*Swedish Mauser model 1896*
By Mr Poyz
Lots and lots has been written about the various Mauser rifles, and I'm not the man to write yet another article on that. It was the mainstay of a lot of armies for the earlier part of the 20th century, and depending on who you ask the later variants (m/98) were, if not the best, then at least one of the better designs going at the time. The specific rifle I'm going to concentrate on is the Swedish Mauser m/1896, how to get it apart and how to get it back together again.
Most of the ones that appear on the surplus market now are made by Huskvarna/Carl Gustaf stads gevärsfaktori under licence, but there are some early ones made in Germany as well.
The rifle was made in three versions: the one in the pictures here, one carbine version, and an improved version dubbed rifle m/38 (shorter barrel and turned down bolt handle).
Anyway... To strip it, start by ensuring that the gun is unload, then cock the bolt, and put the safety in the straight up middle position.
Push the bolt retaining catch outwards, and pull the bolt clear of the action.
The bolt will come out both uncocked and cocked, and with the safety in whichever position, but to get it apart, it needs to be cocked and with the safey straight up position as shown in the picture. Now unscrew the firing pin assembly and pull it clear of the bolt.
Using some caution (the parts are under fairly stiff spring pressure), place the firing pin tip against a suitable surface, push the housing downwards until the firing pin nut clears and turn the firing pin nut one quarter turn either left or right. Carefully ease off on the spring pressure.
Pull the housing off the firing pin, rotate the safety to full safe, and withdraw it to the rear. Pull the mainspring off the firing pin, and the bolt disassembly is complete.
Now turn the rifle upside down, and take a suitable object (the firing pin, or a cartridge works well), and depress the floorplate retaining stud. Using the thumb of the other hand, push the floorplate to the rear until it disengages. Lift out the spring, floorplate and follower.
Again using a suitable object, press the catch that holds the bayonet mount/barrel band and slide the band off towards the muzzle.
Take the forward sling mount/second barrel band off in the same way.
Raise the rear sight and lift the handguard off, then unscrew the action screws, as you would on a normal bolt action rifle, and take the stock off.
To reassemble, fasten the barreled action in the stock, put the hand guard back, slide the barrel bands in place (bayonet mount last :-) ). Insert the floorplate assembly towards the rear, and slide it forward until it engages front and rear. Concentrate on the front, and the rear will basically follow.
Put the mainspring on the firing pin, insert the safety lever into the housing, while keeping it on SAFE, slide the housing over the firing pin, slide the nut, rotated 90 degrees away from its final position over the firing pin, push down until it engages, turn, and ease off on the pressure until it rides on the safety.
Rotate the safety straight up. DO NOT put the safety in the fire position. The firing pin would snap forward in your hand, and blood, snot and humiliation would follow. Thread the firing pin assembly back into the bolt.
Insert the bolt in the rifle, close the action, take the safety off, open the action, pull trigger, push the bolt forward, close and you are done.
I may be biased, but all in all, it's a good rifle/cartridge combination, if not exactly the handiest gun ever made. Since Sweden never took active part in WWII, there was never any "wartime production" in the bad sense of the word, and most of the rifles I've seen are in good or excellent shape.
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