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1. You cannot have just one.
2. They will spoil you concerning what a military bolt action rifle should be.
3. Your other firearms may begin to feel neglected.
4. The Model 1896, aka M96, is the most common example found in the US.
5. The M38 "short rifle" is found in two main variations... those made from M96 (barrels shortened) and those purpose made by Husqvarna in the 1940s. Older converted rifles typically have straight bolts; Husqvarna M38s typically have turned down bolts like the M94 variant. A bit harder to find, but not uncommon.
6. The M94 and M94/14 are the true "carbine" models. Even harder to find than the M38, but they show up routinely on Gunbroker.
7. The 6.5x55 cartridge is a superb round. Fast, flat-shooting, accurate, superb penetration (high sectional density to the bullet). I have long argued that the US military would be just fine if we went to a rifle that was chambered in 6.5x55 Swedish. Just sayin'....
8. Expect to pay about $300 or more for decent M96. About $350 or more for a M38, maybe more. About $600+ for a decent M94 or 94/14.
9. Read through this forum. A lot. You will learn a great deal from the collective experience captured in the threads found on this forum.
10. Don't worry if you find a rifle with a threaded barrel. It was for attaching a BFA for use with wooden training rounds. Doesn't affect the accuracy at all.
11. Most Swedish Mausers will have a stock disk indicating bore condition, both the measured bore diameter and "erosion" when the rifle was last checked by a Swedish Army armorer. Two points here...
11.a. sometimes people have rifles without the disk, so they put any old disk in there (i.e., so it may not be the original disk for that rifle), but I'd say the majority of rifles with disks that look like they've been there a looooong time are original.
11.b. I've never seen a Swedish Mauser that shot poorly. So even if you find a rifle with 6.53 and "3" condition bore... it will still likely shoot better than most of your other military rifles. So in short, the disk marking may not really mean a lot from a practical standpoint.
 

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A further "caveat": once you start shooting the 6.5X55, you will want more rifles in that caliber. It's a great round for reloading because there is a great deal of flexibility- lots of powder and bullet choices available. Commercial new rifles are available. I have a CZ550, and a SAKO Bavarian in the pipeline.

Bones92's first point is no exaggeration.
 

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Hi, my name is KAIFS. I am a 6.5x55 addict.
I was hooked by a family member, as often happens in these situations...
I shot a 1901 M/96 with open sights 6.5 years ago and since then, 6.5x55 is all I can think about....
great bunch of folks here, welcome to the "club".
 

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They remain the best value in surplus military firearms with respect to bang for the buck, fit and finish, accuracy and precision, shooting pleasure. Swiss would be close, or on par, but prices have been climbing more rapidly on those lately.

The surplus Swedish ammo, if you are lucky enough to run into any, is Berdan primed with non-corrosive primers. The Swedes never used corrosive (potassium chlorate) primer formulations and this is part of the reason the bores are generally in good to excellent condition. That, excellent care and lack of war time use. The exception to the latter point of lack of war time use is the scarcer SA in a box (Suomi Armeija, Finnish Army) marked Swedes, which bring a premium of $100 or so to many collectors.

The Swedes numbered just about every part, most numbers are visible, but some are below the wood, so obtaining a matching example takes a thorough examination or some luck. The three manufacturers also used specific crowns mark parts: Carl Gustafs, top of the crown points to 12 o'clock and has a flat bottom; Mauser Oberndorf, crown again pointing to 12 o'clock with a curved bottom; or Husqvarna (skewed 45 degrees to the right; northeast; or 1:30 on the clock).
 

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Decent factory ammo is readily available, probably most of the folks here started shooting PPU but the Swede really shines when you handload. Most rifles are quite accurate, some even will bust m.o.a. The second worst bore in my safe will do it.

Get a copy of Crown Jewels by Dana Jones. It has recently been reprinted. It is the bible of Swedish Mausers.

Buy a bigger safe, as stated these things are addictive.


P.S. Save up a bunch of money, sell a bunch of other firearms or a combination of the two and get an m41 or m41/B. They're a hoot!! Do you like hitting targets at 700 yards? :thumbsup:
 

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How much difference in terms of price do you all think I should look for between M96 that totally matches and one that mostly matches as I consider my first one? Or should I not really worry about it and focus more on bore condition?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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How much difference in terms of price do you all think I should look for between M96 that totally matches and one that mostly matches as I consider my first one? Or should I not really worry about it and focus more on bore condition?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
If you are a collector, matching serial numbers are the trophy. Then you are competing with other collectors. If you are a shooter, it's bore condition.

A couple years ago my range buddy found an M96 in a local pawn shop. The stock was kind of rough cosmetically, but otherwise sound. The rifle does not look pretty, but it sports an arsenal new barrel. Good deal for $200 if you are a shooter.
 

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I think that you are right on the edge of doom. Any Swede you get will be a good shooter,mismatch,sanded,missing parts,bubbaized,etc. Excellent,perfect,or new will of course shoot better but, (get ready for it), most guys can't tell the difference cuz they don't shoot well enough. Lots of reasons for it but there it is. When you have the gifts,training,practice time and a big pile of m/t brass then you can make the call as to which is the best. All the above posts are for real and right good advice from those who know and you will be one of "those guys " after your first nice Swede 96 Lowe DWM Carl Gustav Husky. Then comes the second to keep the first company. Then a carbine or short rifle dilemma, or a smoking deal on a sniper clone with a real Ajak, followed by.......Well you hand the picture I hope so git jiggy wit it and come and play with all us doomed souls. You'll be glad you did.
 

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I have both a Husqvarna m38 and a Carl Gustav m96 and with four shooters in my house I have noticed that over time they all chosen the m96 as a favorite,me included.For two of my children it is the noticable less recoil and for me and my oldest son I think it is the longer sight radius.I would also add that we have and have had and shot many other caliber rifle's before I acquired the m96 and the m38 was the favorite until then. Bottom line is you could not go wrong with either.As for me I'm thinking that an m41B would be the only way to go up.
 

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1. You cannot have just one.
2. They will spoil you concerning what a military bolt action rifle should be.
3. Your other firearms may begin to feel neglected.
4. The Model 1896, aka M96, is the most common example found in the US.
5. The M38 "short rifle" is found in two main variations... those made from M96 (barrels shortened) and those purpose made by Husqvarna in the 1940s. Older converted rifles typically have straight bolts; Husqvarna M38s typically have turned down bolts like the M94 variant. A bit harder to find, but not uncommon.
6. The M94 and M94/14 are the true "carbine" models. Even harder to find than the M38, but they show up routinely on Gunbroker.
7. The 6.5x55 cartridge is a superb round. Fast, flat-shooting, accurate, superb penetration (high sectional density to the bullet). I have long argued that the US military would be just fine if we went to a rifle that was chambered in 6.5x55 Swedish. Just sayin'....
8. Expect to pay about $300 or more for decent M96. About $350 or more for a M38, maybe more. About $600+ for a decent M94 or 94/14.
9. Read through this forum. A lot. You will learn a great deal from the collective experience captured in the threads found on this forum.
10. Don't worry if you find a rifle with a threaded barrel. It was for attaching a BFA for use with wooden training rounds. Doesn't affect the accuracy at all.
11. Most Swedish Mausers will have a stock disk indicating bore condition, both the measured bore diameter and "erosion" when the rifle was last checked by a Swedish Army armorer. Two points here...
11.a. sometimes people have rifles without the disk, so they put any old disk in there (i.e., so it may not be the original disk for that rifle), but I'd say the majority of rifles with disks that look like they've been there a looooong time are original.
11.b. I've never seen a Swedish Mauser that shot poorly. So even if you find a rifle with 6.53 and "3" condition bore... it will still likely shoot better than most of your other military rifles. So in short, the disk marking may not really mean a lot from a practical standpoint.
What about the various target models?

What would you say is the most desirable example?
 

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What about the various target models?

What would you say is the most desirable example?
I vote for condition first if looking for a target rifle . The most commonly used diopter was the Söderin . Elit would be next in line . Your choice of a m/96 or CG63 , the most commonly seen for sale in the USA . Simpsons has both models for sale or Gunbroker has them as well . Prices could run $400 to $800 , depending on model & condition .
 

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Mausers, especially those in 7x57 have always fascinated me. Swedish M 96's were said to be of excellent quality, but were few and far between until the 1980's when thousands of them showed up here on the military surplus market. The 6.5x55 cartridge, little known and used here quickly gained a well-deserved reputation for it's extreme accuracy and mild manners, particularly in the long M96's. The rest is history, as they say. The 7X57 and 6.5X55 are veritable kissing cousins, but as for fine accuracy, I must admit I put my money on the 6.5. Because the Swede's managed to stay out of any armed conflicts, their rifles were maintained under the best of conditions, and most come to us in much better condition than Mausers from less fortunate countries. They are, in a word, superb. Surely the US had access to both 7X57 and Swedish 6.5 Mausers in 1899-1900 when we decided to replaced our Krags, barely a decade old at the time. As rifles go, the '03 Springfield may not be a Mauser, but it is close enough for government work. The real mystery to me is how we missed the boat on either of the two Mauser cartridges and went with the 30'03, later the 30'06. (Yes, I know about the rifle powder issue, but that could have been resolved and the US could have adopted either the 6.5 or the 7mm Mauser - both noticeably easier to shoot accurately, cheaper to produce and just as effective as the '06.) Buy a good M 96 and you will become a believer.
 

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As has been said by several members, the Swedish Mausers are superb shooters, and very good-looking rifles besides. Balance and handling are excellent. Felt recoil is minimal. I'm not a fan of cock on close actions, but the Swede is so good in every other way that I don't even think about it. The bit about not being able to have just one is really true. I collect Finnish guns, not Swedish. I bought my first M96 because it had a Finnish SA property stamp on it (Sweden sent a bunch of rifles to Finland during the Finnish-Soviet wars). I was in the gun business at the time and pretty soon a good deal came along on a Husqvarna M/38, and then I got another SA marked rifle, and then a 94/14 carbine, and a shooting-club rifle with an M55 sight, and eventually I couldn't resist adding an M41b sniper rifle, and then I found an M96 with the original unit disk in the stock so I bought that, and eventually I got one with diopter sights and another that had been fitted with a fancy custom stock by Folke Dahlberg. Oh, and somewhere along the line I couldn't pass up a deal on a semiauto M42b Ljungman. But, like I said, I don't really collect Swedes; my thing is Finland where I used to live.

Regarding matching numbers: The overwhelming majority of Swedish rifles you'll find are mostly or completely matching. The most important match is the bolt, because that is what determines headspace. I won't buy a rifle with a non-matching bolt unless it is a real rarity. My Finnish dual-slot m/28 has a non-matching bolt, as do a couple of other items, but for a common item like an M96 I wouldn't even look at one that the bolt didn't match. For some reason there are a lot of M94 carbines out there with non-matching bolts, but it's pretty unusual to find any other Swede with a non-matching bolt. Most of the M96 rifles you will see are matching except for maybe barrel bands, cleaning rod, and/or bolt parts like the cocking piece and the safety. The M96/38 conversions typically have matching action parts, non-matching barrel bands, and un-numbered floorplates and cleaning rods.
 

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Collector or Shooter?

If you want one as a collector item you want to consider a pristine stock and metal finish first. Then all matching numbers and five tiny crown stamps on the bolt, bolt shroud, follower, bottom metal and floorplate showing the rifle passed inspection, was test fired and zeroed. Then bore, action, et cetera. Early rifles were manufactured in Oberndorf, Germany at the Waffenfabrik Mauser plant, or one of two Swedish operations -- Carl Gustaf Stads Gevarsfaktori or Husqvarna Vapenfabriks Aktiebolag -- which produced under license to Mauser.

If one is looking for a shooter, any of the above will suffice, or none of the above, and it'll probably still be a good shooter. Swedes didn't use (Berden) corrosive primers, hence most bores will seem good on inspection. Learning to translate the information of the brass disc inserted into the right side of the buttstock of many rifles will further one's knowledge of the condition of what's being looked at. One section of the disc will indicate how much erosion has been determined from the bore's original 6.51mm/6.48mm groove and bore diameters. Another section will indicate (for example) a "1" indicating minimal darkening of the bore. Still another section indicates the rifle was zeroed with the 9.1-gram/140-grain pointed boattail bullet or the 10.1-gram/156-grain round nosed.

There are four primary variants, about 750,000 in all: m/94, m-96, (long-barrel, 2/3 of total) m/38, (143,000+) and m/41 sniper model. Early rifles were manufactured in Oberndorf, Germany at the Waffenfabrik Mauser plant, or one of two Swedish operations -- Carl Gustaf Stads Gevarsfaktori or Husqvarna Vapenfabriks Aktiebolag -- which produced under license to Mauser. Most any will do 2 MOA at 100 yards or better, depending on the ammo used and one's experience as a rifleman, and MOM out to 600 yards or better. Finer fabrication with fewer tool marks will be found on earlier dates, naturally. Good luck with your new obsession!


Carry On!
Gary
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Once you get into these you'll want more than one. My personal favorites are the M94 carbines, I love the size of them and they are fun to shoot.
It looks that i am not alone here.
First there was desire, then envy looking at the other guys swedish mausers ... then one day i went to club competitions with Russian MCU pistol and returned with new aqusition
m/80 Mauser with S&L heavy barrel.
Then it began:
m/96 by Mauser from 1899
m/96 by GF from 1900
I am longing for m/94 but they are beyond my reach ($$$).
As a substitution I bought DWM Modello 1893 Cavalry carbine 7x57
It may happen that i add one or two long 7x57 Mausers to the lot.
 

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CG 63

While I was becoming adult in 63, two marvels made me dream : the Dragunov and the CG 63, the CG 63 was so elegant !

Was out question for money and legal situation of those toys in France. Since then and recently I got a TIGR and I have two CG 63, with light (normal) barrel and heavy (a bit heavier) barrel.
No great difference between light and heavy, quite accurate both and still so elegant !
 
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