Swedish Mauser Run and Gun

The Mauser series of rifles are some of the finest that have ever graced the earth, and there is a debate among some enthusiasts as to which is better: the 98 or 96. While the 96 rifles cock on close, we have run a 98 as well on the course. In this run and gun, we get behind a Swedish M96 Mauser rifle made in 1904 to see how it stacks up.

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“Hey guys it’s Alex C. with TFBTV and for today’s run and gun we’re going to be using a Mauser model 96, specifically a Swedish Mauser chambered in 6.5×55, also known as 6.5 Swedish. Great caliber, great sectional density, and all around a perfect hunting cartridge realistically for any game in North America.

This one is of course dated 1904, so a little older than I am but it really doesn’t effect the way this gun shoots and we’ll see that here when we get to shooting it.

This is a pretty decent example, it’s got some knicks and dings associated with a gun that is over 100 years old, but mechanically it’s in wonderful condition. Everything is great as far as bluing, it’s all matching, the Swedes pretty much put a serial number or at least the last three digits of a serial number on every single part of the firearms that they made. Don’t know if they still do that to this day, but everything on this gun from the cocking piece to the butt plate to the safety, everything has the last 3 digits of the serial number on it which is kind of neat. Its a great way to ensure that you put your rifles together great I guess.

And of course these are very smooth to operate. Excellent primary extraction, it’s easy to work the bolt. It’s notable that the 96 Mausers are cock on close too.

Now the sights are pretty simple: It’s just a notch and post arrangement. You’ve got 300 to 600 meters without flipping the ladder up, and when you flip the ladder up then youve got some serious adjustment there for volley fire. And then the front sight is just a simple post. It’s easy to line up the front sight and the rear sight and get to work.

And of course the run and gun course is going to consist of 25 shots. 4 Reloads. First five on the move, then five kneeling down, five on the move, then five kneeling down as per usual so let’s see how the Swedish Mauser performs.

All right here we go with the Swedish Mauser.

**Gun fires**

**Reloads in Swedish**

Alright I felt really good about that, let’s go check it out.

Alright guys I felt really good about that run. It felt great, the rifle did exactly what it was supposed to do. Really 6.5 Swede is an excellent caliber, it doesn’t recoil as much as 8mm Mauser. As you can see, most of the shots are also center mass on the target which is great. I was actually altering my aim though because the minimum setting is 30 meters. But still I believe I got 25 out of 25, I’ll count the pings in the video and put the totals hits versus misses right here, now let’s go back to the room and finish this one up.

So we have had very few 25 out of 25 or otherwise perfect run and guns on this course, ever and the Swedish Mauser takes its place among a privileged few rifles. In my opinion they are not as good or not as refined as a 98 Mauser, but still I was running the bolt on this remarkably quick. If you watch the 98 video I was also running that quick. There is just something inherent to the Mauser design that makes them wonderful rifles to shoot, and the Swedish Mausers are no exception.

Big thanks to Ventura Munitions for making our videos possible, and we hope to see you guys next time!

Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.


  • The_Champ

    The most recent addition to my collection is a Swede Model 38, haven’t had a chance to shoot it yet. I’m curious if the Swedish Mausers can produce the same kind of accuracy that Swiss rifles do…. my K31 is the reigning accuracy king amongst my old rifles, and sometimes it makes me wonder if it would out shoot my modern hunting rifles with a decent optic and mount.

    I think we deserve a follow up run and gun with an AG-42 ?

    • randomswede

      Sadly I think the Swiss have us there, the “Gevär m/41” is our best bet and that wouldn’t be an apples to apples comparison.
      The Swiss had to have high altitude, mountain to mountain accuracy Sweden is by comparison flat and wooded so one could argue the accuracy of a Swiss rifle would have been wasted here.

      As Alex getting his hands on one of the early Swedish FN MAGs in 6.5×55 (KSP 58) the Ag m/42 would have to suffice. ; )

    • Just say’n

      My three mil-surp kings of accuracy: Swedish M38, Swiss K-31 and Finnish Mosin M39 are all “tack drivers”, they never disappoint. All are capable of under 2 MOA 5-round groups (with open sights) if the shooter is. Nice thing about shopping for a Swede is that little disk on the stock reveals the bore condition, the last time it left the armorer anyway.

  • Darrell

    Now we’re talkin’! I love my Swedish Mausers–M96, M38, and CG63. I have an AG42B for good measure. 6.5×55 is my favorite long arm caliber.

  • Mark

    I killed my first two mule deer with a sporterized 6.5 x 55 Swedish mauser carbine.

  • I have not bought a M96 but I have the m/94-14 carbine to go with my Swedish Kg m/37 BAR (POTD on this sight earlier) and Swedish K and I love it. The 6.5X55 Swedish round is great round in the machine gun as well as the bolt rifle with lower recoil than most service rounds of the time.

    • Very nice Mongo. From what information you have provided here, you have some truly spectacular pieces in your collection.

      • All you have to do is come south a bit to Houston area to shoot them some time.

        • You know, I would love to take you up on that one day.

          • Just send me an e-mail when you what to come down. I have plenty of time these days after being hit by a drunk driver a few years ago.

    • randomswede

      Have you heard this one?
      “Two nazis waiting for the train to leave for Norway, walk into a Swedish BAR;
      they are immediately turned around as it’s daytime and the bar is closed.”

  • Rob

    Almost picked one up a while back, but for some reason I bought an Ishapore 2a1 that was next to it, it was in impulse buy. I honestly didn’t know anything about either rifle, in hind sight the Swede was a better deal and probably a far better rifle. Live and learn I guess.

  • nick

    Yes, nice to see this featured. As collecting goes, this is the rifle I spend the most time with, particularly the FSR competition rifles (Swedish Shooting Federation ) . What really sets these apart from other Mausers, is the quality of the steel that was used for production. Even the initial batch that was made in Germany, used the steel that was sent from Sweden.
    Favorite of mine of the series, hands down, is the CG 63, with the heavy hammer forged barrel. That rifle drives tacks well beyond what would be considered rational for a 1899 dated receiver

  • Vitor Roma

    6.5 master race. Chamber a k31 in 6.5 and we have the uber race rifle.

    • ostiariusalpha

      A K31 in 6.5 Creedmoor or .260 Rem would be the bee’s knees! Just so long as you don’t throw away the 7.5 Swiss barrel or otherwise sporterize the gun. Even if the stock is in rough shape, it’s worth preserving.

    • StickShift

      And peep sights, like a later Lee Enfield.

  • DetroitMan

    Proud owner of an M94 Carbine. I bought it because I liked the gun, which is both handsome and a good handler. It made me a fan of the cartridge though. If some of my favorite rifles could be had in 6.5×55, I would be a few thousand dollars poorer.

    • iksnilol

      Dragunov SVD in 6.5×55.

      That’d be a dreamy shooter :3

  • Earl

    Been shooting all manner of surplus military rifles since 1980. Got no idea how many different kinds, couple of 96’s in the mix. Fine rifle for what it is. Later product improvements mirrored changes made w/ M-98, i.e., shorter barrel, more useful sights, etc. In field conditions, about like the rest of the Mausers, very useful.

    Big problem is the caliber. It is fine for shooting people. It isn’t so useful for anything much beyond that. Japs and Italians went into WWII w/ smaller caliber rifles. Went to .30 cal. given their own experiences in the field. Of course the Japs used 7.7 in their aircraft and heavy machine guns. British had nothing but good results w/ the .303 round. The U.S. wisely did not downsize to 7mm. Early part of the war when aircraft were less robust, the .30-06 was extremely effective in aircraft, etc. as well as just about all things that walked or rolled throughout the war.

    In the end its a wash. In the hands of a man who knows how to think and shoot, just about any rifle fielded by a major power that saw actual combat will prove very effective in producing actual on target results. In the end, is the 6.5 Swede ideal? Nope. Same goes for just about any similar design/round. Ideal takes in a lot more than merely whether or not a rifle is finely finished, whether or not a caliber is comfortable to shoot in T-shirt weather. For use in less than ideal light, less than ideal conditions, ideal would have to go to something like the SMLE, M-91. M-1 Garand was probably ideal for all situations.