Thailand’s Beautiful Mauser

Siam was unique in South East Asia for its avoidance of Western colonization.  Its sovereignty was guaranteed by politically deft royals and a Japanese-modeled system of aggressive modernization.  At the turn of the century, Siam sought to rearm its soldiers with a rifle of unique design.

Thai-Mauser-Type-46-Full 15

What we often refer to as the Thai or Siamese Mauser is actually a design licensed from Germany, modified and manufactured in Japan, and adopted in 1903.  This was AFTER the adoption of the 8x50mm rimmed Thai cartridge in 1902.  Originally the rifle was designated with the “Rattanak 121” due to 1903 being the 121st year of the Rattanakosin Kingdom.  Later, during a period of modernization, Thailland would switch to the Buddhist calendar and so 1903 became 2446 and the rifle was retroactively referred to as the Type 46.  The ammo, from 1902, became 2445 in the Buddhist calendar and has led to years of confusion in which the rifle is often called the “Type 45.”

The R.S. 121 (Type 46) Mauser was essentially a Model 1898 stocked somewhat like the earlier 1896.  In Japan it was fitted with an Arisaka Type 35 styled dust cover and deep tangs, also some examples have Arisaka-like two piece stocks.  In 1923 the 8x50mmR cartridge was upgraded to 8x52mmR (Type 66), a spitzer bullet with improved power.  Existing Type 45 rifles were more than strong enough and so many were rechambered.  Because the updated ammo was flatter shooting, the rear sights were ground down to match the new trajectory.  These converted rifles are commonly referred to as “Type 46/66.”

Site comparison

For collectors, Thai Mausers can be found in a variety of conditions.  Many were imported cheaply and subsequently show signs of abuse such as rust, missing or chopped pieces, rechamberings (usually to .45-70), and other neglect.  However, some can be found in pristine shape as well and exhibit beautiful markings, right down to the interesting serials.  Ammunition is extinct and requires a fair knowledge of handloading and cartridge conversion to produce, but if loaded these are strong, safe, and accurate rifles.  They have a fantastic long and narrow contour with good balance.  If you have the occasion please do handle one for yourself as they are truly unique Mausers.  We have a little more information on these rifles over at C&Rsenal.


Othais is practically useless with modern firearms. That’s OK though, because he specializes in Curio and Relic military pieces and has agreed to decorate The Firearm Blog with a little history. He maintains his own site, C&Rsenal, with the help of his friends and the collector community.


  • Get this smut off TFB!

    • Martin Grønsdal


      • SP mclaughlin

        Probably deleted a troll’s comment (waffenss?)

        • Martin Grønsdal

          ahh, on Norwegian newspapers, if a comment is deleted, you can still see that there used to be a comment – what’s left is “comment has been deleted, due to…”

          Thumbs up for Nathaniel then….

        • Martin Grønsdal

          also, what I find so funny about people admiring the Waffen SS today, is that most of them would be rejected even as cooks for that military force.

          • Cymond

            I’ve noticed that too, and your comment ran through my head a few times today.
            Many people daydream or aspire to be more than they are. I guess for a certain disenfranchised portion of society with supremacy ideologies, they dream of being part of an elite (and elitist) group.

            What confuses me is that anyone would publicly associate themselves with one of the most hated regimes in modern history. Seriously, here in America we are still making movies about WW2.

            On a related note, I heard that ‘Fury’ is pretty good, and it’s of special interest to me because my grandfather was in the 8th Armored Div.

          • Martin Grønsdal

            Ideologies aside, one can’t deny that the Waffen SS was in general a rather well put together fighting force. I read the biographies of several officers serving there. After the war, the Waffen SS was supposed to become a sort of police force in Greater Germany, For that their plan was to educate all officers on master degree level, and NCO on bachelor level, which is pretty much more than what modern armies do.

            That was the academic approach, which of course, was for practical reasons not applied to wartime. The NCOs had 3-4 months courses, officers maybe a year (simply because they died faster than Germany could educate new ones). But the military training was superb. I don’t want to sound like I am in any way ideologically close to Nazi Germany, but objectively speaking, their training was probably the best in the world.

            Now, take your average skinhead. Almost illiterate, not very physically fit (unless they are muscular, but that won’t help much in the military), probably a drunk and totally undisciplined.

            But they love the Waffen SS. Hello?

            A different discussion could be, that though passions may have torn, now, 70 years later, maybe we could finally discuss if the labelling of the entire Waffen SS as war criminals in general was fair. What we would probably end up with, however, is declaring the entire German military as war criminals, but that’s a different story.

          • waffen ss

            spoken like a true jew ball licker

          • Cymond

            In short, look at your description of the average skinhead, and your description of the SS. Is anyone surprised that the average skinhead wishes he could be a part of that? It still surprises me though that anyone would openly affiliate with Nazi ideology in a place where it is obviously unwelcome.

            But there are many people who are similarly unfit who dream of being members of other elite groups. How many armchair commandos claim to be Navy SEALS or Army Rangers or whatnot?

          • Martin Grønsdal

            Agree. But would the Waffen SS want the average skinhead? No, neither for their intellect, nor physical stamina or discipline.

          • waffen ss

            your grandfather fought for a lie. you are seeing the consequences as the untermensch swarm the US and Europe thanks to the Zionists and Marxists and their puppets that permeate the top levels of finance and politics.

          • Cymond

            My grandfather fought for his country at a time of need. Do you deny that Germany invaded many European countries, starting with Poland? Do you deny the things they openly said about conquest? Those things alone required the world to put a stop to it.

            And say what you will about the Holocaust, but my grandfather saw some of the horror himself. He didn’t talk about the war much, especially since I was very young when he passed, but my mother knows a fair bit about his service. From what I understand, he personally helped liberate a camp.

            I agree, though, that other dictators & murderers have not been given the attention that they deserve.

          • noguncontrol

            not to mention that the nazis and the SS were homos, yep, check out Pastor Scott Lively’s website, , he did all the research on how homo the nazis really were. i bet most skinheads will abandon all this nazi nonsense if they found out how homo it is.

          • waffen ss

            do you find that funny you silly little bitch? at least the US Armed Faggots could find a spot for you.

        • waffen ss

          wasn’t me. 88

    • Steve Truffer

      I’m kinda curious as to what got Nate to bark…

    • Cymond

      Some people would call it “gun porn” to post hi-quality Mauser pics but “smut” seems a little strong. [ba-dum-tish!]

      In all seriousness, thanks for smacking down whatever filth some idiot posted.

  • DiverEngrSL17K

    Othais, thanks very much for posting this article. It sheds additional light on a subject that is all too often ignored, and which I have seen covered in reasonable detail only on Forgotten Weapons ( for obvious reasons ), and in odd intermittent snippets on specialized historical firearms sites — until now.

    I found the comment about the confusion surrounding dates of manufacture and / or issue arising from the differences in the Buddhist versus Western calenders really interesting — a similar sort of situation has arisen in the context of Japanese firearms due to, firstly, the use of dating from the first year of the Taisho Era ( starting in 1911 ), and later by a change in the late 1920’s to a designation by the year of the Japanese calender. To frame the latter aspect more simply, Ian V. Hogg in his “Machine Guns — 14th Century To Present” ( Krause Publications, 2002 / Library Of Congress Catalog Number 2001091076 / ISBN : 0-87349-288-9 ) has stated that “All you need to remember is that 1940 produced the Type 0 of anything, and using that as your base, count back or forward. So the next machine gun, which appeared in 1931, was known as the Type 91”.

  • petru sova

    One of my favorite Mausers. Beware though not all of the guns that are chambered for the 8×52 will work with converted 45/70 brass as the rim thickness is too thick for some of them. The rim could be reduced or the extractor modified but this is a job for a first class gunsmith as spare extractors are very difficult to find if you mess yours up trying to modify it. I have done it but it is not a job for the average guy. The gun is outstandingly accurate but do not change the front sight (butcher it) to get it to shoot lower as these guns shoot very high at 100 yards. Simply put two Winchester sighting in targets on top of each other and aim at the lower one. A simply solution that Mr. Bubba would never think of doing as he would rather destroy a historic rifle by butchering it. It gives him an orgasm.

  • noguncontrol

    with the current state of thailand, you would think it was colonized by the democrats.