Swedish Mauser

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Gevär m/96 (Model 1896 Rifle)
Gevär m-1896 - Modellexemplar tillverkat 1896 - 6,5x55mm - Armemuseum.jpg
6,5 mm Gevär m/1896. Pattern, approved 20 March 1896.
TypeService rifle
Place of origin German Empire
 Sweden
Production history
DesignerPaul Mauser
Designed1893-1896
ManufacturerWaffenfabrik Mauser Oberndorf a/N
Carl Gustafs Stads Gevärsfaktori
Husqvarna Vapenfabriks AB
Produced1895 to 1944
Number built750,000 of which 127,000 were m/94 carbines, 535,000 m/96 long rifles and 88,000 m/38 short rifles (converted m/38's not included)[1]
Variantsm/38 short rifle, m/41 sniper rifle, m/94 carbine.
Specifications
Weightrifle 4 kg (8.8 lb)
carbine 3.4 kg (7.5 lb)
Lengthm/1896: 1,260 mm (50 in)
m/1938: 1,120 mm (44 in)
m/1894: 950 mm (37 in)
Barrel lengthm/1896: 739 mm (29.1 in)
m/1938: 610 mm (24 in)
m/1894: 450 mm (18 in)

Cartridge6.5×55mm
ActionBolt action
Muzzle velocityoriginal round nose bullet
rifle: 725 m/s (2,380 ft/s)
carbine: 655 m/s (2,150 ft/s)
Feed system5-round internal box magazine
Sightssquare post front, U notch rear
 
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Gevär m/96 (Model 1896 Rifle)
Gevär m-1896 - Modellexemplar tillverkat 1896 - 6,5x55mm - Armemuseum.jpg
6,5 mm Gevär m/1896. Pattern, approved 20 March 1896.
TypeService rifle
Place of origin German Empire
 Sweden
Production history
DesignerPaul Mauser
Designed1893-1896
ManufacturerWaffenfabrik Mauser Oberndorf a/N
Carl Gustafs Stads Gevärsfaktori
Husqvarna Vapenfabriks AB
Produced1895 to 1944
Number built750,000 of which 127,000 were m/94 carbines, 535,000 m/96 long rifles and 88,000 m/38 short rifles (converted m/38's not included)[1]
Variantsm/38 short rifle, m/41 sniper rifle, m/94 carbine.
Specifications
Weightrifle 4 kg (8.8 lb)
carbine 3.4 kg (7.5 lb)
Lengthm/1896: 1,260 mm (50 in)
m/1938: 1,120 mm (44 in)
m/1894: 950 mm (37 in)
Barrel lengthm/1896: 739 mm (29.1 in)
m/1938: 610 mm (24 in)
m/1894: 450 mm (18 in)

Cartridge6.5×55mm
ActionBolt action
Muzzle velocityoriginal round nose bullet
rifle: 725 m/s (2,380 ft/s)
carbine: 655 m/s (2,150 ft/s)
Feed system5-round internal box magazine
Sightssquare post front, U notch rear

"Swedish Mausers" are a family of bolt-action rifles based on an improved variant of Mauser's earlier Model 1893, but using the 6.5x55mm cartridge, and incorporating unique design elements as requested by Sweden.[2] These are the m/94 (Model 1894) carbine, m/96 (Model 1896) long rifle, m/38 (Model 1938) short rifle and m/41 (Model 1941) sniper rifle.[3] In 1898 production began at Carl Gustafs stads Gevärsfaktori in Eskilstuna, Sweden. All Swedish Mausers were chambered for the 6.5x55mm cartridge, and all Swedish-made actions were proof-tested with a single cartridge developing 66,000psi.[4] Swedish Mausers were manufactured by Waffenfabrik Mauser Oberndorf a/N in Germany and in Sweden by Carl Gustafs stads Gevärsfaktori and Husqvarna Vapenfabriks Aktiebolag. All Swedish Mausers, whether built in Germany or Sweden, were fabricated using a Swedish-supplied high grade tool steel alloyed with nickel, copper, and vanadium, a product noted for its strength and corrosion resistance.

These rifles, like other pre-1898 Mausers, feature "cock-on-closing" (similar to the contemporary Lee-Enfield rifle) instead of the "cock-on-opening" style found on the German Gewehr 98 and most subsequent bolt action rifles.

Contents

m/1894 Carbine

6,5 mm Karbin m/1894 (m/1894-14 with bayonet mount)

The m/1894 carbine was adopted in 1894 with the first 12,000 carbines being manufactured by Waffenfabrik Mauser in Oberndorf am Neckar, Germany. This series of carbines were all manufactured in 1895, and a very few spare receivers dated 1895 were received from Mauser Oberndorf's manufacturers Ludwig Loewe and DWM. Some of these spare receivers have been found built as complete m/1896 rifles with serial numbers falling into the regular m/1896 rifle ranges. It is speculated that these were replacement receivers that were later given the same serial number as the replaced receivers, though this is not yet confirmed due to the extremely small number discovered so far.

Production in Sweden under license commenced in 1898. (The preparatory production development at Carl Gustafs stads Gevärsfaktori found a place in history by being the event that caused Carl Edvard Johansson to invent gauge blocks.) Swedish production continued sporadically until 1918. Very limited numbers were later produced with receiver dates of 1929 and more so 1932. The highest 1918 serial number noted is 111,002. The m/94 carbines have a unique serial number sequence beginning with 1. The highest number so far noted is 113,150 dated 1932. There have been no carbines noted with receiver dates of 1902, 1905, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912 and 1913. It may be surmised that carbines produced from the end of regular production in 1918 until 1932 numbered about 2,150.

Mauser produced 12,000 m/1894 carbines between 1894 and 1896 and Carl Gustafs Stads Gevärsfaktori 115,000 m/1894 carbines between 1895 and 1933, giving a total of 127,000 m/1894 carbines.[5]

Some carbines were lost from regular use by conversion to sub-caliber targeting & practice devices for artillery pieces. Many other carbines have been lost due to conversion to m/63 target rifles.

Sub variants

m/1894-14 carbines have a steel nose piece, not dissimilar to the No.1 Mk3 Lee-Enfield, with a protruding stud under the muzzle for the bayonet ring. There were two bayonets intended for the 94-14 carbine. The most prevalent was the m/1914 long bayonet. The second minor bayonet was the very long bladed m/1915 navy bayonet with the edge facing upwards.

m/1894-67: This was an 1894 carbine modified to accept the m/1867 Yataghan blade saber bayonet. The modification involved a slot machined on the nose cap and a stud sleeve attached to the barrel. Numbers modified are unknown. Possibly only 100 or less. Several have shown up in the United States and one is known in the Netherlands.

skolskjutningskarbin: So-called "school carbine". This carbine was manufactured for Swedish civilian schools for student training. All of these school carbines carry the receiver date of 1901. This model deviates from the standard m/1894 carbine in several ways. The serial number is prefixed with S and runs S.1 to S.1161 and possibly a few more. The serial number appears as S.500 on the left side-rail of the receiver. The bolt handle is the same straight handle of the m/1896 rifle. The sling swivels are on the bottom of the stock just as on the m/1896 rifle. There is no bayonet attachment. Many of these carbines have been found rebuilt as standard m/1894-14 carbines and in one case as a Carl Gustaf m/63 target rifle (CG63).

Kammarkarbin: also known as "gallery carbine". Unique serial numbers prefixed by K. Total number produced is unknown, with the highest reported serial number being K.193 currently in a private collection in the United States. One has been reported in Switzerland. Carbine K.91 is in the Carl Gustaf factory museum in Sweden. Other differences from the standard m/1894 carbine include the stock being dyed black. The rifling rate of twist is about 4 times faster than the m/1894 carbine due to the unique bullet and much slower velocity of the special cartridge intended for this carbine. The only two receiver dates noted so far are 1898 and 1901.

1894/96 Fortress Carbine: Another variant produced in unknown numbers and unknown years of production. This carbine is very similar to the standard m/1894 except in the manner of sling attachment. This carbine uses a sling attachment identical to the skolskjutningskarbin as the sling swivels are on the bottom of the stock instead of the side. The lower sling swivel is placed much further up the buttstock nearer the triggerguard than the m/1896 rifle.

Weapons Officers Carbines: These standard m/1894 carbines were hand-built by weapons officers as part of their training. Instead of having serial numbers, the name of the weapons officer is the identifying "serial" mark. Most of the parts are marked with the two letters of the officer's name and in some cases with a + sign. These carbines are among the most valuable of collectible m/1894 carbines.

The m/1894 carbine is still used today by the Royal Guards at Stockholm Palace.

m/1896 Long Rifle

Carl Gustav M96 rifle, bayonet, 2 different bayonet frogs and Swedish Cartridge Belt.

The Model 1896 rifle in 6.5x55mm (6,5 mm Gevär m/96) was adopted in 1896 for infantry use, replacing the Model 1867-89 Remington rolling block rifle in 8x58mmR Danish Krag. Swedish production (under license) started in 1898 at Carl Gustafs, but additional rifles were produced by Mauser during 1899 and 1900 because of delays in shipping additional production machinery from Germany to Sweden.[6]

Standard production at Carl Gustafs continued until 1925, but approximately 18,000 m/96 rifles were manufactured by Husqvarna Vapenfabriks AB during World War II for civilian marksmanship training.[7]

Mauser produced 40,000 m/1896 long rifles between 1895 and 1900, Carl Gustafs Stads Gevärsfaktori 475,000 m/1896 between 1896 and 1932 and Husqvarna Vapenfabriks AB 20,000 m/1896 between 1942 and 1944. Giving a total of 535,000 m/96 long rifles.[8]

m/1938 Short Rifle

6,5 mm Gevär m/1938. Shortened rifle m/1896, rebuilt in 1938-1940.

The Model 1938 rifle (6,5 mm Gevär m/38) was adopted in 1938 as part of a worldwide trend (which began just before World War I) towards service rifles that were shorter in overall length than a standard infantry rifle, but longer than a cavalry carbine. Contemporary examples such as the Karabiner 98k, Short Magazine Lee-Enfield Mk III, MAS-36, and M1903 Springfield were all noticeably shorter than a standard late 19th century infantry rifle, and with another war on the horizon the Swedes felt it would be expedient to adopt a shorter rifle for use by mechanized troops and the Navy.

The original m/1938 rifles (Type I) were converted m/1896 rifles with barrels cut down by 5.5" (139mm) and almost always with the original straight bolt handles. These rifles are often referred to by collectors as "m/96-38" rifles, but there was never an official designation for this conversion.[9] The majority of purpose-built m/1938s (Type II) were equipped with bent bolt handles and manufactured by Husqvarna Vapenfabriks AB, with production ending in 1944. However, the Swedish military made no distinction in service between the two types.[10]

Carl Gustafs Stads Gevärsfaktori converted 55,080 m/1896 long rifles to m/1938 short rifles in 1938-1940. In addition to that Husqvarna Vapenfabriks AB produced 88,150 new m/38 short rifles between 1942 and 1944. Giving a total of 143,230 m/1938 short rifles.[11]

m/1941 and m/1941B Sniper Rifles

6,5 mm Gevär m/1941 sniper rifle.

The m/1941 and m/1941B sniper rifles were m/1896 rifles selected for accuracy and fitted with a telescopic sight, initially with the German AJACK 4x m/41 scope. Because of the deteriorating war situation Germany however stopped selling rifle scopes to Sweden, resulting in Swedish made AGA 3x m/42 and 3x m/44 rifle scopes (made by Svenska Ackumulatorfabriken Jungner) being used instead.[12]

Carl Gustafs Stads Gevärsfaktori converted 5,300 specially selected m/1896 long rifles to m/1941 sniper rifles in 1941-1943.[13] The bolt handle of all m/1941 rifles was bent in order to provide clearance for the rifle scope.

Model 1896 Swedish Mauser in Finnish service during WW II

In 1939 an unknown, but apparently rather large, number of Swedish m/1896 rifles in 6.5x55mm were given to the Finnish Army, with the rifles being used during the 1939-1940 Winter War against the Soviet Union and most probably also during the 1941-1944 Continuation War. Model 1896 rifles used by Finland in WW II can by recognized by a stamp with the letters SA (Suomen Armeija = Finnish Army) surrounded by a square with rounded corners. Most of the rifles were returned to Sweden after WW II but some remained in Finland.[14]

End of service

The m/1894 carbine and the m/1896 and m/1938 rifles were gradually phased out of Swedish service starting in the 1950s, although the sniper variants continued in service until the early 1980s. They were succeeded by the Ag m/42 semi-automatic rifle beginning in the late 1940s, followed by the AK 4 battle rifle starting in the 1960s. However, some rear echelon logistic units were still equipped with m/1896 as late as 1983. The m/1894 carbine is still used for ceremonial purposes by the Royal Guards.

Civilian versions

Both the m/1896 and m/1938 rifles are highly sought after by military rifle shooters and hunters. The 6.5x55mm is an ideal all-round hunting rifle cartridge, as it has a flat trajectory, low recoil, and high accuracy. Many rifles in the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom and South Africa have been sporterized to make deer (or similar game) hunting rifles, and many firearms manufacturers, including SAKO, Ruger and Winchester, produce new hunting rifles chambered in this cartridge.

Many m/1894 carbines and m/1896 rifles were successfully converted by Carl Gustafs and Norma into the CG 63 Competition Rifle chambered in 6.5x55mm and 7.62x51mm NATO. These rifles are known to be very accurate, with heavy free-floating barrels, diopter sights (many models), target stocks and tuned triggers.

Husqvarna also made commercial m/1894 and m/1896 versions available as sporting rifles called Model 46 and its variants (Models 46A, 46AN and 46B) in 6.5x55mm, 9.3x57mm and 9.3x62mm. After World War II they used m/96 and m/38 actions without thumb notch to create the Model 640 series (646 in 6.5x55mm, 648 in 8x57mm, 649 in 9.3x62). These are not to be confused with the late-production Model 640 using FN Herstal M98 actions. Stiga also made sporterized versions in popular calibers, which are very well finished and balanced.

Gallery

References

  1. ^ http://www.gotavapen.se/gota/artiklar/rifles_se/faq_se_rifles.htm
  2. ^ "Mauser Bolt Rifles by Ludwig Olsen, 3rd edition, F. Brownell and Son, Publisher, p. 81
  3. ^ Jones, D: Crown Jewels: The Mauser in Sweden, pp. 37, 59, 81, 93. Collector Grade Publications, 2003.
  4. ^ de Haas, Frank, Bolt Action Rifles, Northfield, Illinois: DBI Books, Inc. (1984), ISBN 0-910676-69-0, p. 31
  5. ^ http://www.gotavapen.se/gota/artiklar/rifles_se/faq_se_rifles.htm
  6. ^ Jones, p. 66
  7. ^ Jones, p. 76
  8. ^ http://www.gotavapen.se/gota/artiklar/rifles_se/faq_se_rifles.htm
  9. ^ Jones, p. 82
  10. ^ Jones, p. 83
  11. ^ http://www.gotavapen.se/gota/artiklar/rifles_se/faq_se_rifles.htm
  12. ^ Jones, pp. 95, 97
  13. ^ http://www.gotavapen.se/gota/artiklar/rifles_se/faq_se_rifles.htm
  14. ^ Schinke, Carsten - Die leichten schwedischen Infanteriegewehre Armee und Heimwehr - Journal-Verlag Schwendt Gmbh (1990) - page 59

Further reading