Wednesday, 14 September 2016

1895 Spanish Mauser Carbine 7.62 Nato

Every now and then a rifle pops up that is very hard to resist. Especially if its a carbine that's chambered in a versatile cartridge like the 7.62x51 NATO. Its no secret that I have a soft spot for carbine & compact style rifles so when this particular Spanish Mauser came up I just had to have it. 

 Sometimes being short has its advantages

This rifle is still classed as an 1895 Carbine although it has the action from 1916.  The 1916 has the thumb cut-out in the the action and the large gas escape hole in the left side of the action. These Mausers have a cock-on-close bolt that functions similar to a Lee Enfield .303.  Everything on this rifle has matching numbers, even the timber! This is always a bonus when buying any surplus rifle.  These little beauties have a 17" barrel which is really quite short.  I thought that this fact alone would lend the rifle to have brutal recoil characteristics similar to that of the Mosin Nagant M44, but quite surprisingly, its a pleasant shooter with NATO pressure loads.  I had no problem hitting my 120mm steel plate repeatedly from 50 metres so it is plenty accurate for hunting in the thick country.

Whenever I buy a rifle, be it old or new, I always disassemble it and inspect it to make sure everything is in order.  The action is screwed into the stock through a metal pillar on the rear, but there is no front pillar. I am going to epoxy some decent sized aluminium pillars in the front and rear of the stock and then bed it to try and get more rigidity.  Larger pillars should also distribute  some of the force generated in a better manner that should stop the stock from splitting again.


The rifle is in reasonably good condition for its age but the timberwork really let it down.  It had a crack in the wrist that needed repair and the grain of the timber felt incredibly rough, almost like someone had tried to steam the oil out of the timber. 



The stock showed signs of a hard life
 
I know that the purists out there will curse me, but because of the sad state of the timber I decided to re-finish the stock. I used a wet tea-towel with an iron to raise some of the smaller dings out of the timber.  Out came the sandpaper and after an afternoon of sanding and finishing up with steel wool, I applied a little stain.  The true nature of the timber was starting to show.  It's no high grade walnut, but it is quite a nice piece of timber. I had decided that instead of using Tru-Oil, I would use pale boiled linseed oil for the finish.  I am so glad I did because it is a far superior finish.  The best thing is that it only costs $10 a litre at the local hardware store.

Linseed oil finish is easy to work with and touch-ups a breeze. Like always, the photos do it no justice! 

The bluing looks great in all of the visible areas, but there were some pretty rough spots on the underside of the barrel.  A quick clean up with some superfine steel wool and lightweight oil had the corrosion gone with minimal effort.

The rifle tidied up nicely - I'm very pleased

Add a sling from a French MAS that I bought at a gun show and its ready to take hunting


There is a lot of conjecture out there on what maximum pressure loads can be used safely in these small ring Spanish Mausers re-chambered in 7.62x51. They were proofed to handle the pressure of the NATO F1 ball ammo, so that should be an indication of the pressure it can handle safely. From reading the ADI Handloaders Guide, I came to the conclusion that a 150gr Hornady Interlock SP with a charge of 43gr of AR2206H runs at the same pressures as the NATO round. Provided you don't go beyond what these rifles are proofed to handle, all will be well in the world.

I have a feeling that this will be my go-to rifle for daylight feral pig hunting. Its very well balanced and comes up into the shoulder nicely and the sights are actually quite good.  I have thought about a no drill & tap scout rail that attaches to the rear sight hardware and fitting a 2.5 power long eye relief scope, but I will wait until its first field test which is on Saturday. 

I will post the results of my Saturday hunt and also the range test of this rifle.  I will also do a video on this rifle for my YouTube Channel. Get on over to http://www.youtube.com/trumpychris and check out some of my other great gun videos.


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