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Help Identifying FN made Mauser Sporter

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by draimondi, May 13, 2014.

  1. draimondi

    draimondi Oregon Active Member

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    I recently picked up what I initially believed to be a sporterized military mauser (the owner inherited the rifle and knew nothing about it) The rifle came equipped with a scope that I expected to find some markings under, there were none. The only markings on this rifle are below the wood and only states that it is an FN made in Belgium with the date code and a serial number (receiver, barrel and stock all match) No designation for caliber size. I brought it home expecting a big bore mauser caliber but i'm finding its something different. The only bullet I could find that was close to fitting in the muzzle end without sinking to the neck was a .375 H&H but the .375 H&H looks to be too long. The only caliber I can think off hand that is close to this diameter would be a 9.3x62mm which is a pretty hefty dangerous game caliber and not one you see too often. Does anyone have any info on commercial FN Sporters sold around this vintage(1951)? My local smith has about a two week back-log right now for a chamber cast to be certain and i'm curious what the history is on this old rifle. Are there any other standard action rifle calibers that are close to a .375'' diameter that i'm unaware of? Any help is much appreciated! I'll try and get some pictures up as I don't have any at my disposal on this computer. Thank you.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2014
  2. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    The likelihood that it's a 9.3x62 is actually pretty good. They were very popular in S.Africa and other places where civilians were not allowed to own military cartridges. Especially when/where they may have had dangerous game to deal with, so a number of Mauser builders built them, especially FN.

    Can you get a pair of calipers on the grooves at the muzzle to get a more accurate bore measurement?
    I have seen a small wad of Aluminum foil compressed into a bore, (with a dowel) and then pushed out the muzzle to check bore size too. After it's out, it can be mic'd to give a fairly accurate measurement of the bore.

    Also, if you have any brass with a .473 case head, like .'06, .308, .270 etc, you might see if the bolt face/extractor is sized for it, and if the extractor engages properly. That should at least tell you whether or not it has a magnum bolt. And if the bolt will close on an '06 or .270 casing, you will know it's not chambered for .358Win or one of the shorter cartridges like a .308 or 57mm variant.

    These are not recommendations to shoot the thing before a smith looks it over and gives you a definitive answer, but only to help you satisfy your curiosity until you can have the chamber cast.

    Good luck and keep us posted!
     
  3. draimondi

    draimondi Oregon Active Member

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    I have both 06 and 270 brass here, I'll give that a shot and keep you posted. I will need to dig out my calipers for a precise measurement and report back with that as well.
    Your knowledge and expertise is much appreciated!
     
  4. draimondi

    draimondi Oregon Active Member

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    So, the bolt face is too large to properly chamber and extract the 270 or 06 round. I had some 300 win mag here and it grabbed right on to that but didn't want to chamber it. Any thoughts?
     
  5. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    Got any .338 Win Mag brass? The .338 WM brass is shorter than the .300WM, at 2.5", so it would be worth noting whether or not it will chamber, and if it won't, whether or not it is hanging up on the cartridge belt.
    A big bore .338 variant would be cool. But given it's age, it's probably a 9.3x64 Brenneke, which is a non-belted cartridge, but is considered serious medicine for most African game.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9.3×64mm_Brenneke

    Standard Loadings for the Brenneke approach 4,500 ft/lbs of energy, which is adequate for any game on the planet.
    Finding brass may be a bit of a challenge. Loaded ammo, if you can find it is $pendy too.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  6. JRuby

    JRuby St. Helens Oregon Well-Known Member

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    My primary elk cartridge is a 9.3X62 on a mauser action. If you need any measurements - I might be able to provide them.

    Guess I am late to the party - sorry
     
  7. draimondi

    draimondi Oregon Active Member

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    I do not have any .338 win mag brass handy. I hadn't even thought of the 9.3x64 Brenneke, thank you. I can't say I've ever come across a FN commercial sporter in a 9.3x64 Brenneke. Was this a common caliber to be chambered in commercial rifles in the early 50's?

    JRuby - I appreciate your willingness to help!
     
  8. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    Actually it was. Relatively so anyway.
    From what I've read, Canadian and German hunters used it extensively.
    It was attractive (at the time) because it was one of the most powerful cartridges that would still fit in a standard length Mauser action.
    One of the sources I found for brass this A.M. was Canadian.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  9. draimondi

    draimondi Oregon Active Member

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    I'm going to do some reading and see if I can find some dimensions on the 9.3x64 Brenneke. The .300 Win Mag only chambered about half way so i'd assume the case diameter is too large, not just the belted portion. I really appreciate all the help!
     
  10. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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  11. draimondi

    draimondi Oregon Active Member

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    Haha, I'd say that's a very educated guess. A trip to my local smith for a chamber cast is still in order! Again, thanks for the help.
     
  12. draimondi

    draimondi Oregon Active Member

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    After reading up on the Brenneke it sounded very similar to the .375 H&H. I decided to dust off the .375 H&H ammo again and give it a test fit. The overall length of the round loaded is greater than the receivers opening but inserting at an angle I was surprised to find it seated up perfectly in the magazine and chambered and extracted beautifully. In my haste initially, I just grabbed the round and went to insert it in the magazine with it being longer than the receiver opening I immediately ruled it out.
     
  13. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    Just for informative purposes on the brenneke round...

    93x64_zps200ea9f2.jpg
     
    orygun likes this.
  14. draimondi

    draimondi Oregon Active Member

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    Perfect! Thank you MountainBear.
     
  15. draimondi

    draimondi Oregon Active Member

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    photo 1.JPG photo 2.JPG photo 3.JPG photo 4.JPG
     
  16. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    a real beautiful gun. cast the chamber and slug the bore, get some dies and brass and shoot that puppy!
     
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  17. draimondi

    draimondi Oregon Active Member

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    That's the plan! Looks at this point it's going to be a .375 H&H. In that case I'm already set up and ready to put it to work.
     
  18. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    btw that's a commercial action, no stripper guide and no thumb relief on the left side
     
  19. draimondi

    draimondi Oregon Active Member

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    It is a commercial sporter from 1951. I dropped it off with the smith and he confirmed that it's definitely .375 H&H and headspace is good. He'll be working on the trigger/safety for me. I'm going to replace the old rock hard recoil pad, strip the old lacquer and refinish the furniture, pop on some iron sights and possibly bed the action. He suggested maybe putting a muzzle break to reduce some of the recoil with the barrel only being 22".
     
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  20. tahoe2

    tahoe2 Seattle area, Washington state Member

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    That one's Pretty Special !, Congrats ! Don't forget a range report when you can !