AR15.Com Archives
 A Custom Built Mauser - Lots of Pics
Old_Painless  [Life Member]
5/13/2010 12:39:13 PM
I guess every man has someone that they looked up to when they were a kid. I greatly admired my Uncle Jack. I wanted to be just like him when I grew up. He is still with us, and is 86 years old. Except for being almost deaf, he is in great physical shape, and I bet he could still wrestle me to the ground and rub my nose in the dirt. He was and is as fine of a Christian gentleman as I've ever known.

Around 1960, he commissioned a rifle from a local gun smith named Ken Witt, in Port Arthur, Texas. Ken Witt was a real craftsman and could do wonders with steel and wood. Uncle Jack wanted a really nice deer hunting rifle. Here is what he got.



It was built from a Mauser action. Before anyone bemoans using a Mauser action to build a "Bubba" rifle, you must understand that back in the day, it was very common for a gunsmith to buy a Mauser action and then use it to build a custom rifle.

This rifle has a Mauser action with the bolt turned down for use with a scope.





The barrel is a Weatherby barrel in .270 Winchester, or, as it is marked ".270 WCF" (Winchester Center Fire).



The barrel is chrome lined and is an excellent barrel.



A Weatherby barrel was used because Weatherby used a chamber with a long leade, or a non-rifled section of barrel about ½ to ¾ inch in front of the chamber. This was called "free boring" and it was believed to give the bullet a "free start" before pressure started to build when the bullet hit the rifling. It allowed much more pressure in handloads and greater than normal velocity. Such a system has fallen out of favor nowadays, but it was the "hot thing" back then.

The barrel is also marked with "Ken Witt" as the builder.

The wood is fiddle back maple, and is beautiful.

It has rosewood inlays in the stock. I realize that such stocks are not the fashion today, but they were very desirable back in 1960.



Of course, the action is bedded and the barrel is free floated. It also has the very excellent Mauser claw type extractor.



I always admired this rifle as it hung in Uncle Jack's rifle rack and one day when we were at his parent's house in the country, he asked me it I'd like to shoot it. Of course, I said "Yes sir!"

I was about 9 years old and had never fired a high powered rifle in my life, but I had shot shotguns and thought, "How much more can it kick than a 12 gauge?"

Uncle Jack nailed a paper plate on a tree and we backed up about 50 yards. He and my Dad were standing behind me and my Dad later told me Uncle Jack was holding his mouth to keep from laughing. He knew just how hard this thing was going to kick.

I snuggled up real close to that scope and touched one off.

Uncle Jack later told me that when the rifle went off, dust came off all my clothes. The scope came back and hit me between the eyes and busted my forehead open and I bled like a stuck pig. He about died laughing.

I went in the house and my Aunt Ruby bandaged me up and when she brought me outside, she gave Uncle Jack a look that would have curdled buttermilk and he quit laughing.

After a while, he said, "Son, there's only one thing to do when a horse throws you…..You have to get back on."

So, I loaded it up again and took aim again. This time I left plenty of room for the scope to come back and have never had a problem with "scope bite" again.

On the first shot, I had hit the bulls eye, but on the second I missed the plate. But I didn't get hurt, except for a sore shoulder.

Let's look at the stock. It has a very pronounced cheek rest.



The fore end has a rosewood end.



And the grip cap matches.



And the stock has several inserts of matching rosewood.

This is amazing to me that a gunsmith in those days could not only do great work with metal and gunsmithing, but could also do beautiful work with wood.

Let's see how it shoots.

I load a handload of a 130 grain Nosler Boattail bullet over a very stiff load of IMR 4350 powder. This load is very "hot" in the manuals, but shows no pressure at all in this rifle, probably due to the free-bored barrel.



It has a truly wonderful trigger. Here's a typical 100 yard group.



It will regularly put them into an inch if I do my part.

Here's the best group for today.



That's a three shot group, with the top two going in the same hole.

Many years ago, Uncle Jack quit deer hunting and gave me his rifle, as he said he wanted me to have it as he knew that I loved accurate rifles and would appreciate it. It is a prized possession and I have enjoyed shooting it for years.

Thanks, Uncle Jack. I love this rifle. And it means more to me since it came from you.

(If any of you have a custom built rifle, please share a picture.)

Paid Advertisement
--
FJC  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 12:41:18 PM
That's just gorgeous! And isn't it amazing how much more meaning something like this has when it's been passed down via family?

Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed that post.
CouncilOfDave  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 12:46:33 PM
That wood is beautiful.

I had an Uncle Jack, too.

He was a character... this post reminded me of a lot, since me and Dad used to go out to his place to shoot when I was a kid.
Old_Painless  [Life Member]
5/13/2010 12:47:44 PM
Originally Posted By FJC:
That's just gorgeous! And isn't it amazing how much more meaning something like this has when it's been passed down via family?

Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed that post.


You are certainly correct.

I always think of Uncle Jack when I shoot that rifle.
HiredHitman  [Member]
5/13/2010 12:49:49 PM
Beautiful rifle.

Great story.

Thanks O_P.

paul463  [Member]
5/13/2010 12:51:04 PM
I've been working on a M48 for a couple of years, just to burn up rainy days.
Richards AAA walnut stock, and a Shaw barrel in 25-06.
Its basically done now except for the blueing, which no one near me does anymore.
TheRedGoat  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 12:51:23 PM
"Uncle Jack later told me "Son, there's only one thing to do when a horse throws you…..You have to get back on."

The reminds me of a joke..".If your Uncle Jack helped you on to a horse...?"

TRG
nicholsmf  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 12:54:28 PM
Thank you for posting this up OP. The scope bite story reminded me of the first time I shot .338 win mag. The scar is almost faded away but the memory of being knocked out by a rifle scope hasn't.

As for that Mauser, fashionable today or not, it's beautiful.
Magurgle  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 12:55:35 PM
Originally Posted By Old_Painless:


(If any of you have a custom built rifle, please share a picture.)



http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=6&f=19&t=253796

here is my thread on my custom build, off of a yugo Mauser into .35 Whelan I don't have any finished pics, the rifle is at my mother's house and I live 3 hours away and have been having some health problems. I'll snap some more pics next time I am there.

ETA: Here is a pic of two other stocks I've done.


Rifle is a Mauser '95 in 7mm Mauser
Shotgun is a Savage 311
SSeric02  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 12:55:57 PM
Awesome rifle O_P, both in it's physical form and in it's history.
talon146  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 12:57:16 PM
Awesome, thanks for sharing OP.
Taboot  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 1:00:16 PM
Beautiful rifle. Great story and nice shotting too!
Bama-Shooter  [Site Staff]
5/13/2010 1:00:51 PM
Very nice.
40xb-shooter  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 1:04:07 PM
That is stunning.
dedfella  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 1:05:21 PM
Beautiful rifle

good backstory also


BTW that does NOT qualify as being bubbaed
KJCA3  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 1:05:32 PM
Good Lord O_P that is a work of art! thank you for sharing that
QwikKotaTx  [Member]
5/13/2010 1:06:53 PM
I think that stock is very cool looking, reminds me of a fancy pool cue.
Keith_J  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 1:07:35 PM
Wow. What is it with .270 WCF and men named "Jack"?

MSC182  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 1:07:35 PM
Beautiful rifle and a great story as well.
Burntrubber87  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 1:08:09 PM
That rifle is a work of art. thanks for sharing O_P
kallnojoy  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 1:08:55 PM
Great post as always O_P.

Beautiful rifle and even better back-story.
helmutlent  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 1:09:03 PM
.
Fat_McNasty  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 1:11:01 PM
Originally Posted By Magurgle:
Originally Posted By Old_Painless:


(If any of you have a custom built rifle, please share a picture.)



http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=6&f=19&t=253796

here is my thread on my custom build, off of a yugo Mauser into .35 Whelan I don't have any finished pics, the rifle is at my mother's house and I live 3 hours away and have been having some health problems. I'll snap some more pics next time I am there.

ETA: Here is a pic of two other stocks I've done.
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a32/magurgle/arfcom/stockmaking/CIMG1229.jpg

Rifle is a Mauser '95 in 7mm Mauser
Shotgun is a Savage 311


what no checkering?
Old_Painless  [Life Member]
5/13/2010 1:11:09 PM
Originally Posted By nicholsmf:
Thank you for posting this up OP. The scope bite story reminded me of the first time I shot .338 win mag. The scar is almost faded away but the memory of being knocked out by a rifle scope hasn't.


"Information about fire is good, but the burned hand teaches best."

I'll never creap up on a scope again.

As for that Mauser, fashionable today or not, it's beautiful.


Many thanks.



Old_Painless  [Life Member]
5/13/2010 1:13:28 PM
Originally Posted By Magurgle:
Originally Posted By Old_Painless:

(If any of you have a custom built rifle, please share a picture.)



http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=6&f=19&t=253796

here is my thread on my custom build, off of a yugo Mauser into .35 Whelan I don't have any finished pics, the rifle is at my mother's house and I live 3 hours away and have been having some health problems. I'll snap some more pics next time I am there.



Please do so.

I enjoyed your other thread.

nick1983  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 1:14:00 PM
Great story thanks for sharing.

Great write as always O_P.

I have always wanted a rifle built on a Mauser action. The Mauser action when you open and close the bolt has a feel all it's own, it's hard to describe, other than it feels solid.
marcushire  [Member]
5/13/2010 1:14:52 PM

Absolutely beautiful. That grain of maple was very 'in' at the time and I always liked it. Very into stock work and I think it is as near perfect as you can get.
anekrel  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 1:15:25 PM
That is a beautiful rifle, and a wonderful story to go along with it.

Thank you for sharing.
Magurgle  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 1:16:34 PM
Originally Posted By Fat_McNasty:
Originally Posted By Magurgle:
Originally Posted By Old_Painless:


(If any of you have a custom built rifle, please share a picture.)



http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=6&f=19&t=253796

here is my thread on my custom build, off of a yugo Mauser into .35 Whelan I don't have any finished pics, the rifle is at my mother's house and I live 3 hours away and have been having some health problems. I'll snap some more pics next time I am there.

ETA: Here is a pic of two other stocks I've done.
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a32/magurgle/arfcom/stockmaking/CIMG1229.jpg

Rifle is a Mauser '95 in 7mm Mauser
Shotgun is a Savage 311


what no checkering?




Oh I can checker, by hand, not with one of them fancy machines, but it isn't my thing.

I don't dig on it, ya hurd me

ETA: if anyone ever wants to gauge just exactly how patient they are take up hand checkering.
bcw107  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 1:17:00 PM
That stock. Wow.
nick1983  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 1:17:43 PM
Perhaps someone more knowledgeable can answer this for me.

I had never heard of "Free-boring" the chamber before. Did this result in less accuracy is that why it fell by the wayside? This rifle seems very accurate.
ultramagbrion  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 1:18:40 PM
Another beautiful stick in another great O_P thread........thank you.
freerider04  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 1:19:56 PM
I just passed on a beautiful custom Mauser in .458 Winchester Magnum made way back on the day for a good price
The_Gooch  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 1:20:28 PM
Very nice!

I bought a couple Czech VZ-24 Mausers last year with my C&R and one of them is very nice, while the other is a complete disaster. The wood is trashed, 0% finish and the bore is worn out. I think the receiver would make a nice candidate for a sporter. I plan to do mine in a more modern style with a synthetic stock and more weather resistant finish like gun-kote over park or get the whole thing melonited. I have already received a beautiful barrel from Lothar Walther in 8mm Mauser. I planned to keep it in the original caliber as I handload. There are some nice 180 and 200gr bullets in 8mm, and 150gr for lighter game. I think it would make a fine mule deer/boar rifle.
callgood  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 1:20:29 PM
The photography was great. If I had a rifle as fine as that and I posted pics of it you would all think it was a beater.
68-19583  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 1:23:11 PM
Great pics O_P, we lost an old timer who built customs on '03s and 98s years back in Cent. Ohio named Al Huff. Same stock styles and his rifles would shoot. I've been trying to buy *Uncle Al* off of my buddy for 20 some years, wont sell, but it's in his will to me.

Thanks for the photos - I miss the old timers and their rifles.
Fat_McNasty  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 1:24:02 PM
Originally Posted By Magurgle:
Originally Posted By Fat_McNasty:
Originally Posted By Magurgle:
Originally Posted By Old_Painless:


(If any of you have a custom built rifle, please share a picture.)



http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=6&f=19&t=253796

here is my thread on my custom build, off of a yugo Mauser into .35 Whelan I don't have any finished pics, the rifle is at my mother's house and I live 3 hours away and have been having some health problems. I'll snap some more pics next time I am there.

ETA: Here is a pic of two other stocks I've done.
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a32/magurgle/arfcom/stockmaking/CIMG1229.jpg

Rifle is a Mauser '95 in 7mm Mauser
Shotgun is a Savage 311


what no checkering?




Oh I can checker, by hand, not with one of them fancy machines, but it isn't my thing.

I don't dig on it, ya hurd me

ETA: if anyone ever wants to gauge just exactly how patient they are take up hand checkering.


LOL and thats why I get the big bucks to do it.. With the MMC tool its like you need to be in a state of Zen to do it..
Magurgle  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 1:27:21 PM
Originally Posted By Fat_McNasty:
Originally Posted By Magurgle:

ETA: if anyone ever wants to gauge just exactly how patient they are take up hand checkering.


LOL and thats why I get the big bucks to do it.. With the MMC tool its like you need to be in a state of Zen to do it..


Lol, yeah you can only screw up so fast with hand tool, the MMC could go to hell real quick.
TX_Metal  [Member]
5/13/2010 1:29:26 PM
Very cool write up, and what a lovely rifle to boot.
Sure is a shooter
deimos  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 1:31:25 PM
That's a sweet stock!
cosmos556  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 1:31:41 PM
Originally Posted By FJC:
That's just gorgeous! And isn't it amazing how much more meaning something like this has when it's been passed down via family?

Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed that post.


First post nailed it. Work of art, Old_Painless!!
68-19583  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 1:34:02 PM
Originally Posted By Keith_J:
Wow. What is it with .270 WCF and men named "Jack"?



The only thing missing is Connors.
Remman  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 1:34:16 PM
Beautiful
jfrankparnell  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 1:35:33 PM
Originally Posted By MSC182:
Beautiful rifle and a great story as well.


Celt  [Member]
5/13/2010 1:40:55 PM
In 1967 I bought three Mausers, still in the cosmoline, through the mail from Sears. For $33 each. Built two into sporters, eventually.

Gawd, those were the days.............


Thanks, OP.
bloatingfloater  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 1:41:28 PM
Funny, my first and only "scope bite" also came from a .270. Certainly a lesson that only needs to be learned once.


Oh, that's a nice rifle with an even better story to go with it.


Thanks for sharing.




pakm  [Member]
5/13/2010 1:44:25 PM
Hi Don
Boy did you bring back membiers , you know I'm from Port Arthur and Kenn witt built my father a .270 on an Mauser action also. the wood looked very much like yours(a little darker maybe), The only reason I dont still have the rifle is that my father was Left eyed and right handed and he shot long guns left handed and ken made his stock where It could not be shot right handed. it was a beautiful rifle and my father took many a deer with it.
Pat
pyro6988  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 1:46:40 PM
Great story. Thanks for sharing OP
yumbeef  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 1:52:58 PM
the only "custom" rifle i own is a saiga sporter that i hacked and beat into looking kind of like an ak. it is ugly as sin.

nice rifle though OP! the wood is beautiful!

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
sslocal  [Member]
5/13/2010 1:55:27 PM
Nice rifle OP thanks for sharing.

My father has a Walther in 30.06 that has been customized. He picked it up in the PI way back in the 50's. I would love to have it but I think he has another brother picked out for it.
scragman  [Team Member]
5/13/2010 2:15:41 PM
That is one very, very nice looking rifle O_P.
Paid Advertisement
--