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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At my Fathers insistence (and his finances) I Postal Bid on this rifle a couple of weeks ago, won it, and received it today.

Argentinian M91 Mauser made by Lowe in (going from what I've read based on the serial number) in 1892. Excellent condition overall, bore is brilliant. Still has the crest, but has a mismatched bolt and magazine. It looks like someone has used the side of the stock to break down the bolt a few times, and in one case had gone right through the wall of the stock.

I can tolerate the mismatched mag, but I have made it a point to avoid rifles with too many mismatched parts - especially bolts. Having said that though, it wasn't bought for my enjoyment, it was bought for my Fathers. I like the rifle, and look forward to shooting it.

Some questions:-

Anyone got my bolt?

Is this the 310th or 10,310th M91 made?

What bullet weight are the sights regulated for?

Does it bear any signs of refurbishment? The serial number fonts on the receiver are different from those on the barrel and stock - rebarrelled and restocked in Argentina perhaps?

It has a bolt through the stock wrist, but there's no evidence of any cracks through there - is this commonly seen on M91s?

...and now for the photos...





















 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If I lived in the USA, I'm positive I could find a better example, but I don't so I've had to make do with this one. Very few of these were imported onto NZ in the late 1980s, and this one I've bought is the first I've seen for sale in about six years - and the first I've laid eyes on in 20 years of collecting military rifles.

I paid the equivalent of USD$555 for it - quite fair by NZ standards.

It will be fired - I have some Grafs brass on the way, and managed to find a set of Lee dies from a local hoarder. I'll probably use Hornady 150grn or Sierra 180grn projectiles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Are you fortunate enough to have access to them over in NZ?
There might be some old Norma ammo around, and surplus is occasionally seen in small amounts, but new production ammo just isn't imported. I can get Norma and Grafs brass though.

Wow, that's crazy! I guess in lucky to live in the US.
You sure are. I holidayed in the US for six weeks in late 2012 - I'd move there in a heartbeat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So you can't get the reasonably priced PPU ammo, but you can get the Graff's brass which is probably PPU anyway? Hate to hear that you can't get ammo, but as a handloader I typically buy a box or two of commercial ammo for testing/fun and then reload when I get serious about group sizes. I'm assuming you have better access to .311" and .312" bullets than we do here in the U.S. due to the use of the .303Brit over there?
Most (near all) of the components available to handloaders here comes from the US, so you and I probably have access to the same bullets. We are still feeling the effects of the US 'Great Panic Buy' from a few years ago - it is near on impossible to get some brands of primers, brass and projectiles. Because of this we are seeing increasingly more European brands of loading components available for sale - for example all the F/TR, F, and Palma target shooters have moved away from Sierra Matchkings, and Hornady AMaxes and are using Lapua Scenars instead, purely because they are more available. My favourite bullet for shooting out of .303 Brit, 7.62x54r, and 7.7x58 has been the Hornady .3105 174grn FMJBT. These aren't being made at the moment and none are coming into the country, so now I'm having to use PPU .311 180grn FMJBT for most of my Service Rifle shooting.

I'd love to see New Zealand sometime myself. I've been all over the U.S. and the world for that matter, and NZ is one place I haven't been to unfortunately. Aside from everyone thinking it's just like "Lord of the Rings", it can't be too terribly bad can it? What's not to like about whitecapped mountains, lush green fields, coastal villages.............once again, tell me what's bad about it? Maybe I have the wrong place in my head. And before you get too carried away with how bad NZ is let me tell you we're not far away from 110 degree+ days with humidity here in my part of Texas with summer coming on strong!
We don't have The Cheesecake Factory, Walmart, $120 Mosins, or $800 ARs. NZ isn't really that bad, I'd move to the US purely for the firearms, and my girlfriend would go for the horses.

Where did you "holiday" at here in the U.S.? After travelling abroad I like to use "holiday" in place of "vacation" to make myself sound internationally savvy.
My girlfriend and I drove around California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah. Going to Northern Arizona and Southern Utah were most definitely the highlights. If I were to move to the US I'd live in Flagstaff, AZ, St George, UT, or maybe Las Vegas - where I'd probably stand the best chance of getting a job - I'm an Electronic Security Technician.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Some great info here guys - thanks.

The Peruvian link intrigues me as its not something I had even considered considering.

I would have thought the different font between the receiver and barrel/stock would indicate a replacement receiver and stock, and numbered to match the barrel of what was left of the existing rifle. Whether this was done in Peru or Argentina - who knows?

Or...

There were a pile of parts laying around the armoury and they were assembled into new rifles, and took the serial number from an older condemned rifle that had been struck off the books?

This rifle had been in a collection since these were imported in the early 1990s, and it was covered in old, dirty cosmo so I don't think anything has been spuriously done to it since it has been in private hands. Incidentally, the people I bought it from also imported it.

Regardless, it was bought for my Fathers enjoyment, I like the rifle, and I received my Grafs brass yesterday so it will be shot in the weekend!
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Finally shot the rifle today....



Set myself up at the 100m bench, targets were 200m 'Full Blacks' taking a six o'clock hold.



Ammunition was my handloads using a Hornady 150grn SP in front of 43grn of AR2208 powder (sold in the US as Varget) in Grafs cases with CCI primers, with an OAL of 2.89. Three fired cases on the left.



Shot six five-round groups, with the group shown below of about 90mm being the best of the day - thats 3MoA. Not bad, but I bet it could do better if I experiment with seating depths and/or switch to a longer bullet like the 180grn Sierra (which I will do). What a great rifle to shoot - mild recoil, great trigger, and slick action. Don't like the sights.





And because I can, here's a photo of the M91s shooting buddies for the day...



...best group of any rifle for the day went to the Swede...a shade under 2MoA.

 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Thanks Dale.

I found it interesting that Hodgdon/ADI didn't have Varget/2208 in their data for 7.65mm.

The burning rate of 2208/Varget sits nicely in between IMR4895 and IMR4064, and these were both listed in the Sierra manual data for 7.65mm, so I picked a mid-range load for each of these two powders, and split the difference for Varget which came to about 43 grains.

Given the lack of firm data for 2208/Varget I won't do any more load development with this powder - I'll stick to AR2206H/H4895 (which I would have used if I hadn't loaded the last of what I had into 7.7x58mm cases).

Didn't even think to chronograph the load. My chrony is out of action as the aerials got shot late last year.....
 
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