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M96 vs. M38 Swedish Mauser

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by disintegratinglinks, Jun 20, 2014.

  1. disintegratinglinks

    disintegratinglinks Seattle Member

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    Hi All,
    I've been a member for a while, but this is one of my first posts. I am interested in learning anyone's experience with the M1896 vs. M1938 Swedish Mauser. I really like these old rifles, and I already have a hunting rifle chambered in the 6.5x55mm cal. Love it.

    Does anyone have an M96 or an M38 military Mauser? Which do you prefer? I'm leaning toward the long 'smoke pole' M96 with the straight bolt handle. Still, the M38 looks a little less clumsy. Maybe I'm missing the point - clumsy might be the new cool. I plan to shoot at 100 yards mostly, but if I could get out to a 300 yard range I'd be all about it.

    Anyone's experience would be appreciated.
     
    Brutus57 likes this.
  2. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    Had both. Shot both. Stripped and sporterized both.

    Nah, actually that last comment was just to make the purists sweat a little. I've had both guns, although both had clipped military stocks when I got them. They are good guns, same action. The bent bolt is nice, but not critically better than the straight to me. Love the caliber. Still have both guns, they're just waiting for barrels (will still be 6.5x55 when I'm done).

    In my experience, the M38 are a little harder to find and may bring more of a premium, so just a standard 96 might be a good start...
     
    Brutus57 likes this.
  3. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    Very, very accurate guns. Had a few and have zero complaints. 300 yards should be no problem, do some research, there are some nice rear match sights out there.
     
  4. disintegratinglinks

    disintegratinglinks Seattle Member

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    Match sights. Do I have to drill and tap for those? I'd rather not do anything to a classic.

    I've seen some of the Swedish-made ones on a collector's website "House of Karlina." It's a very informative site. http://dutchman.rebooty.com/ Those Mojo sights look pretty sweet too.

    Thanks for your help gents.
     
  5. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    the swedes had a replacement for the original sights for their service matches. most do require some mods, and probably cost as much as a rifle.
     
  6. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    For serious shooting, you should look into the CG63 and/or the CG80 Swedish match rifles.
    These are rifles the Swedish military rebuilt using (mostly) Carl Gustafs M38 receivers with an updated match grade stock, better barrels and match grade peep sights, like Soderin and Elit diopters.

    These are VERY accurate when they're well maintained and shooting good ammo. The Swedes used them in 600M matches.
    18082.jpg
     
    gaijinsamurai likes this.
  7. judicator

    judicator McMinnville Active Member

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    I have owned a Model 96 for several years, never got the chance to really test it for accuracy, it was mostly a wall hanger. What always impressed me was the quality of the steel in the Swedish guns, fantastic durability.

    The ammo seems rather well-designed, as well, very light recoil but tons of accuracy and power for the cost.

    /shameless plug I currently have a M96 for sale in the classifieds :( /shameless plug
     
  8. nfield4

    nfield4 Mid Willamette Valley, OR Active Member

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    I've owned & shot several swedes. Very accurate, low recoil. Good hunters. You will likely be pleased with either a 96 or a 38.
     
  9. abu

    abu australia Member

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    I have the 96 in 6.5x55 and its great for deer, kangaroo,pigs and small buffalo.Accurate out too 500 metres and no recoil.The straight bolt is my favorite but they can weigh a bit on long trips.
     
    disintegratinglinks likes this.
  10. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I prefer the short rifle, (and MUCH prefer the carbine, but they are now scarce as hen's teeth to find). For a military bolt gun, I believe this caliber is by far the most enjoyable to shoot: more comfortable (and as a rule more accurate in these fine Swede rifles) than any (other) Mauser, Mosin, Enfield or dare I say Springfield. The Arisaka rivals it for pleasure during shooting, but cannot shine a candle for quality of manufacture.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2014
  11. tac

    tac UK, Oregon and Ontario. Well-Known Member

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    I have a three-digit m/96 Carl Gustaf made in 1898 and would not swap it for an m/38. I shoot both the 140gr and 123gr bullets with some pretty good accuracy, but then I have an inter-war after market peepsight fitted to it. Called the 'Wehrmann' sight, it simply fits on the bolt removal latch using a longer locating screw, and also folds down flat if you wish to use the original iron sights. They are, I'm told, quite rare, but mine was only a couple hundred bucks at a gun show, and the vendor had three of them.

    The low recoil and shoot-all-day comfort of these lovely old rifles and carbines makes them a joy to shoot on the range, or out in the field.

    You can see it being shot on Youtube - tac's guns - Swedish Mauser

    tac
     
  12. First Sergeant

    First Sergeant New Member

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    I have both the M38 (1901) and the 96 (1903) and love both of them, although I favor the M38. Very good shooting rifles and extremely accurate. I have been able to hit the "dinner plate" gong at 300 yards with iron sights. Very flat trajectory. Either model would be an excellent addition to anybody's collection.
     
  13. muskoka

    muskoka Member

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    I once had an M38 and with the open sights, it was sub-MOA with handloads. It was the best military surplus rifle I have ever owned. That was one rifle that I truly regret selling.
     
  14. DeanMk

    DeanMk Poulsbo, Wa. Active Member

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    Well I don't have either of those guns, but thinking about the aspects you included in the description of those two rifles, the longer barreled gun will have a longer sight radius, comparative to the other gun.
    This, along with the powder's ability to have an effect on the bullet for a longer period of time, will affect accuracy in your favour.
    The shorter gun, however, will make a better "brush gun" for hunting, since less of the barrel will sit above the shoulder.
    When my dad got a sling for his Win. 94, he put the forward swivel just behind the front barrel band, so that the gun would sit lower on his shoulder and that completely eliminated the gun catching on overhead branches, which made walking through the woods infinitely easier.
    The shorter gun should also be a little bit lighter in weight, compared to the longer gun.
    Cutting down the stock will do a lot for losing weight, too.
    My brother cut the stock on his '95 and that gun is literally as light and handy as our 94's.

    So, I guess the answer to your question is, how do you intend to use the gun?
    Hunting or competition?


    Dean
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2014
  15. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Thought I'd revive this thread. I picked up an M/96 over the weekend. Beautiful gun. Bolt, barrel, all in good condition, though the finish could use some touching up. And it's in a synthetic stock, which I may swap out some day for an old wood one if I find a decent one. The action is still tight and works fantastic. I can't wait to get some 6.5x55 so I can get this out to the range. Picked up a Type 99 Arisaka re-chambered to .30-06 too, it's a bit rougher overall, but should be fun to have in the collection. Both can use a little work and I'm looking forward to cleaning them up and getting them out to shoot.
     
  16. gaijinsamurai

    gaijinsamurai Beaverton Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    008.JPG I've owned both (currently own a M38, an FSR, and a 1894/14 Cavalry Carbine-pictured 1654190_10151842472145836_2088467648_n.jpg ). Kinda regret selling the M96, but the FSR is basically the same thing, plus diopter sight and modified stock. Love them both. For a purely match rifle, I'd opt for the M96. For an all around hunting/all-purpose rifle, maybe the M38, or better yet, get both. I would love to have a CG63, or even better, a CG80. Also, a M41 sniper variant.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2015
    tac and etrain16 like this.
  17. CStory

    CStory Starkville, MS New Member

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    The M/38 is it's simplest is an M/96 with the barrel cut to 23.1", the muzzle turned to reinstall the front sight, which is soldered on! The serial number is a dead give-away, as is the date stamped on the receiver. It could have an old M/96 rear sight, or the new one calibrated for the spire point bullet standardized in 1941. There is a fairly good "For Collectors Only - Swedish Mausers" book that attempts to clarify the issue. Get one!
     
  18. tac

    tac UK, Oregon and Ontario. Well-Known Member

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    Wehrmann peep sight on my m/96 -

    upload_2016-9-24_18-59-21.png

    It works well.

    tac
     
    3MTA3 likes this.