Questions about the M38

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Calfed
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Questions about the M38

Postby Calfed » Tue Dec 01, 2009 4:01 pm

Two questions about the M/38: (offered to anyone who cares to answer)

1) The early M/38's, the ones made with earlier M/96 receivers are frequently described as being "cut down" from M/96's (Crown Jewels, p81). Did these early M/38's actually use "cut down" barrels from the existing M/96 barrels, or is that just short hand for actually re-barreling with a new, shorter length barrel?

2) I have examples of both the early M/38's and the later Husqvarna made M/38's. One of my early M/38's has the Vasteras micro adjustable rear sight insert. The other does not. It seems that the sight insert is fairly common on the early M/38's and I think I read some where that it was added at the time of conversion.

Neither of my Husqvarna made M/38's have a micro adjustable rear sight. Why did Husqvarna discontinue the use of micro-adjustable rear sights on the M/38's that they built?
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OverHill
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Re: Questions about the M38

Postby OverHill » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:31 pm

M96 rifles converted to M38 rifles can be found with original M96 barrels cut down as well as others with new M38 production barrels; it depended on the condition of the M96 barrel; if within spec. the barrel was cut, if out of spec. a new M38 barrel was installed.

The M96 sight had to be replaced because in addition to the shorter barrel changing bullet trajectory they went to a newer 6.5x55mm cartridge with the M38; the insert you described was a relatively low cost recalibration solution for converted rifles, later a standard type M38 sight with the correct calibration markings went into production.
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OverHill
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Re: Questions about the M38

Postby OverHill » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:12 pm

Here are a few pictures of an M96/38 rifle I bought just to see if Swedish rifles were as accurate as I had heard. In discussing accuracy with a long time Mauser collector friend of mine he recommended this rifle if I wanted to find out for myself:
• It was originally one of the 50,000+ M96 rifles manufactured in Germany in 1899.
• It was pulled from storage in the late 30’s to be converted to an M38.
• The original barrel failed the spec. tests.
• A new M38 barrel was fitted and test fired.
• The old rifle was put back into storage as a backup rifle.

He said he had shot it only five times so I would be getting basically a new Swedish Mauser.

Notice the WWII M1 rifle canvas sling; always shot with one, probably left over from my M1 rifle team days. The device on the end of the barrel is a Swedish flash hider; someone gave it to me and after I found it had the same threads as the wood bullet shredder I screwed it on for safe keeping. Normally M96 converted rifles kept the original straight handle bolt, however, this rifle while still using the original bolt (serial number matches the 1899 receiver) it has been heated and bent; my friend had seen this before, but only on M96 rifles modified for a scope.

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Re: Questions about the M38

Postby DuncaninFrance » Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:03 am

So, how accurate was it?
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OverHill
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Re: Questions about the M38

Postby OverHill » Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:12 am

Duncan,

That was years ago so I do not have any target pictures, however, I remember it very well, and the net was I came away a believer.

I had the assistance of two other club shooters interested in learning about the accuracy of the Swedish Mauser. We shot new Norma ammo on our 300-yard rifle range; this distance of course limited any serious long-range testing, but after installing a taller front sight and filing it down we dropped the zero down from 300-meters to 100-yards and focused on 100-yard results.

Shooting from a bench rest the best we could do was 3-inch groups at 100-yards, however, when you consider we were shooting with sights that in our joint opinion technically “SUCKED”, and the fact that the groupings always included a flyer or two with the remaining hits tightly grouped we felt the rifle could do a lot better. I have often thought if the “Old Master” had taken a little time away from improving his bolt actions to designed a proper Mauser sight it would have been great for everyone.

This was the only Swedish Mauser any of us had shot, but we felt the sights were certainly causing problems for us, and while we couldn’t prove it, based on the tight sub-group hits we were getting that the rifle was in the one MOA class.

Jim

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