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‘96 Mauser - 6.5x55 Swede - Yes/No?

ZeeZee Senior MemberPosts: 24,025 Senior Member
edited January 2019 in General Firearms #1
Walked into the LGS today as it’s been awhile.  They had a rifle on the shelf that interests me but I know very little about. 

I’ve always been looking towards a Mauser, but not enough to buy a .30-06 chambered one. 

I’ve always been interested in the 7x57 Mauser and 6.5x55 Swede, but never in a modern rifle. 

So, when I saw a ‘96 Mauser in 6.5 Swede, and in what appears to be great shape.........

Learn me. I know next to nothing about either the rifle or cartridge. 









The bore seems to be in little to unused condition. Everything seems nice and my buddy at the shop, who I trust, says everything looks good and came from a family friend of his that is finally selling his deceased fathers firearms after 10 years. 

Tag has $400 on it. I didn’t ask if it was consignment or theirs now. 

Is this rifle worth scratching my Mauser/Swede itch?  From both a rifle and cartridge standpoint?

I’m all ears. 
"To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
«1345

Replies

  • WeatherbyWeatherby Senior Member Posts: 4,953 Senior Member
    That is a great price...…..do it fast.
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 12,638 Senior Member
    If you want it, do not hesitate.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • Big Al1Big Al1 Senior Member Posts: 7,827 Senior Member
    Best of the pre '98 actions and a sweet round. I had to put a taller front sight on mine since it was zeroed at about 250 yards. I sporterized a couple, that had already been Bubba'd and made nice little sporters! They are getting hard to find and the price seems about right!
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,749 Senior Member
    I've read that those were getting harder to come by like ten years ago.

    The discs on the stock are important. I can't recall why. Be worth googling.
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,445 Senior Member
    edited January 2019 #6
    Buy it without a second guess.  Last one I purchased was $300 and last i looked ones in far worse condition were going for about $600 around me.

    That one is a Husqvarna as well.  Not a whole lot of those out there.  Both of mine are Carl Gustafs.

    Fantastic round, but dont hotrod it too much.  The M96 doesnt have all the extra safety of a M98 in case of a case failure.  My surplus M96 is fed a diet of 160gr RN loaded to about 2300 FPS and my M96 hunting rifle likes 129gr SST at what should be just under 2600 FPS if I recall correctly.

    Someday I would like a 6.5x55 in a M98 action so that I can really see what the cartridge can do.  Im guessing that if loaded to the same pressures it would have no problem running with or surpassing the 6.5 CM.  Im just not willing to do that in my M96 actions as they were not designed for the higher pressures used in more modern cartridges.

    Dont trust the stock disc all that much.  The stock on it now may not be the same stock as when the disc was installed.  I have seen them with a disc that indicated a bad bore (dont recall the marking anymore) yet it had a shiny almost new looking bore. 

    My surplus rifle has a decent bore and my hunting rifle was built with an unused surplus M35 barrel.  From the pictures I would say you have a M38 variant in your hands.
  • Elk creekElk creek Senior Member Posts: 6,463 Senior Member
    The disc was for throat, bore wear
    and bore diameter. I don’t know how to translate. 
    Aim higher, or get a bigger gun.
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 11,743 Senior Member
    I've read that those were getting harder to come by like ten years ago.

    The discs on the stock are important. I can't recall why. Be worth googling.
    The discs tell the story of the rifle's bore.  Google it for a lot of details.  I had a couple and a CZ sporting rifle in that caliber.  Excellent.  The one you looked at seemed to be stained, most of them are in beechwood stocks.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    edited January 2019 #9
    I have a couple of M-96s my late brother and I picked up fer $99 bucks each back in the 90s. I have them both now. Both are Carl Gustafs. Mine made in 1900 and  his 08 or so.

    That is a short rifle, mine are full length. They are sweet shooters. Surplus ammo is 139 grain, but here the reloading bullets are nominally 140 grain. You can buy lighter or heavier bullets to reload.

    That bolt is turned down on that model, mine is not, brother had his turned down and mounted a scope on his for a while. . So if you want to scope it that's one step you don't have to do.

    They take a lot of moose in Sweden/Europe with the 6.5s.

    Good price, strike while the iron is hot. There is tons of info out there on the rifles and 6.5 cartridge.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,398 Senior Member
    I bought several of those rifles back in 1992 that had really bad bores for $39.95 apiece and rebarreled them with surplus military barrels. They had the straight bolt handle rather than the bent one like that one. I bought a bolt with bent handle for $49 and put it on one of them. Removed sights from original barrels and installed them on the new barrels.

    Those are three of my favorite milsurp rifles. Taken a few deer over the years with them with heavy round nosed bullets the rifles were designed for. They're accurate if you feed them the bullets that can use that long throat. The round itself is a good one; used on the European moose and does well downing them. Stay within the reloading data for the round due to the lack of safety lug on the 98 and the age of the action. Light recoil and just a lot of fun to shoot. The open sight setup is pretty good, too.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,445 Senior Member
    My M96 surplus.







    6.5x55 160gr and 8x57 170gr





  • ojrojr Senior Member Posts: 1,092 Senior Member
    edited January 2019 #12
    Firstly-The 6.5x55 caliber information is available everywhere.I have two of them in modern actions with 1-8 twist they work fine and with Amax type projectiles are a certain killer.between 2-500yrds
    I shoot my spe'ced up one out past 1K at targets and it is reliable and accurate, Lapua make brass and at least over here it is one of the cheaper Lapua brass as there are so many of them around the world.
    Stick within practicable reloading limits for the era and you will be pleasantly surprised.
    I'd be suspect about buying an Orbendorf or CarL G  manufactured any later in the conflict.

    Secondly- It's a Husky, buy it.



    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,960 Senior Member
    Zee, everything you ever wanted to know about M-96 discs,

    surplused.com/tip-how-to-read-swedish-mauser-stock-discs/

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • rberglofrberglof Senior Member Posts: 2,659 Senior Member
    Haven't checked prices in some time, paid 129 for my rifle and 40 for carbine with trashed stock. If that price is in line and as Big Chief said it is good price I say jump on it if you haven't already.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,025 Senior Member

    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • rberglofrberglof Senior Member Posts: 2,659 Senior Member
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,445 Senior Member
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,149 Senior Member
    You made a great choice.  Sweet chambering and, like you, one for which I’ve always had an itch.  Frankly, even though a .260 Rem can surpass it on paper with more readily convertible brass, I’ve even considered 6.5x55 in a modern gun.

    Please get that puppy up and loaded for, and get us a good report.  Excellent buy.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,025 Senior Member
    Ordered dies on sale. 



    Already have 140gr Hornady A-Max bullets on the shelf. Gonna wait and find a deal on brass. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,025 Senior Member
    You Enablers, you!!!
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • MichakavMichakav Senior Member Posts: 2,732 Senior Member
    That is a sweet deal on a true classic! Hell, Mosins are going for $300 now, so that is a complete steal.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,025 Senior Member
    edited January 2019 #22
    My intent is to leave it as is. While part of me wants to drill and tap, the other parts says, “Why?”  I have other guns for that. 

    I think I want to leave it original and just use the iron sights. Therefore, I’ve no reason to hotrod the cartridge. It will only be used at iron sight distance. 

    Planning to use the RCBS dies and and 140gr A-Max to work up a reasonable load to hunt with. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 10,925 Senior Member
    Can you imagine what the inventor of this cartridge and gun would think of things like A-Max bullets? Cartridge is what, 130 years old?
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,445 Senior Member
    Introduced somewhere around 1894 if I recall correctly.  Still a fantastic cartridge.
  • MichakavMichakav Senior Member Posts: 2,732 Senior Member
    edited January 2019 #25
    Zee said:
    My intent is to leave it as is. While part of me wants to drill and tap, the other parts says, “Why?”  I have other guns for that. 

    I think I want to leave it original and just use the iron sights. Therefore, I’ve no reason to hotrod the cartridge. It will only be used at iron sight distance. 


    Yea, I wouldn't alter that one in any way. Give it a good cleaning and be done.  There is a 1942 Husky just like yours that has bids at $780. Add $30 shipping and transfer fee and it's around $830.


  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,025 Senior Member
    That one might have a little better stock than the one I posted above. But, I don’t think it’s +$400 MORE BETTER.  😳
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 11,743 Senior Member
    It's also shorter with a bent bolt...but it ain't worth $800. 
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • MichakavMichakav Senior Member Posts: 2,732 Senior Member
    edited January 2019 #28
    Gene L said:
    It's also shorter with a bent bolt...but it ain't worth $800. 
    Zee's is the same thing. His is actually an M38 and not a 96 going by the pics (hard to tell barrel length). The M38 is mostly the same as a 96 with a shorter barrel and bent bolt.. It is worth whatever someone is willing to pay. In this case, it's over $800.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,262 Senior Member
    Looks like I've arrived for late approval.  Good man!

    I had a long-barreled M96 that I scored in my gun shop employee days of the early '90's, and it was a sub-incher as-shipped.  Sold it off to finance the NRA Highpower addiction.  The M38 short rifles like that are a lot handier.

    You've got a round that will kick about like a .243 with available bullets that have taken a lot of elky/moosey sized animals over the years.  Kind of a .30-06 for versatility, and kid-friendly to boot.

    This is the earlier cock-on-close Mauser action without the later refinements of the '98, so probably not the place to hot-rod - - not that you really need to.

    Only dislike I had for them was the straight-wrist stocks.  Id LOVE to have the '94 carbine version. . .
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,025 Senior Member
    Yeah, at the distances I’ll be shooting, no reason to push the pressure. 

    I’ll follow the book max most likely. 

    Gonna use H4350, CCI-200, and 140gr A-Max. 

    Haven’t decided on brass yet.  Probably Hornady. Don’t seem to be many options out there. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 11,743 Senior Member
    I think I used Sellier & Belloit, IIRC.  Very accurate rifle.  I bubbad up mine with a scope and a stock job, and my CZ was a sub MOA rifle.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
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