The 1916 Spanish Mauser flooded the US market about a dozen years ago and still lingers in a few merchants inventory I'd imagine....although they must be getting close to all gone. The interesting things about them were that they were in really good shape, were carbine length, were Mauser design actions and were converted to fire the 7.62x51 Nato round, which is the same size round and more or less the same power as the 308 Winchester. And above all, they were relatively cheap. A gun that also just called out to Bubba in a way that a lot of other surplus couldn't.
The down side was that it was a small ring Mauser that had been converted from a 7mm configuration. The Nato round and the Winchester round were more powerful than the 7mm and could have used a larger ring configuration. And on top of this it was Spanish all the way and Spain was suspect, particularly with guns that came from the time of the revolution. And the action was the old two lug cock on closing design that had been relocated to the past by the time these guns were first made. And to add one more downer, the company that imported them, Samco, would offer a mysterious proof of safety. They would send a copy of a story that proported to be a story reprinted in an obscure magazine of a Guns & Ammo story saying that Samco had paid White Laboratories to test the strength of the actions. What was so strange was how convoluted that was if Samco had actually done such a thing as pay White Labs for any kind of report. Anyway after the safety issue came up there came to the front a story or two of some serious mishaps upon firing on various gun sites over several months time. This caused a minor tempest in a teapot among gun collectors. However, none of the stories ever seemed to prove out as actually happening. And all the self styled experts came to the conclusion that it was probably ok to fire as long as you didn't fire 308 Winchester in it since some of the sport loads were too powerful for the small ring action. That seemed to be the internet expert opinion coming from the usual assortment of people who answered to the profile of "I believe I'm an expert and I wouldn't lie to you, so you should believe me". You know the sort.
Whatever ammo the rifle is or isn't safe to shoot, it does look like a fine rifle. The parts seem well fitted and of good quality. The little things, like locking screws and a well fitted hardware look better than average for a milsurp of any discription. It has a neat trick where you press in a catch on the front barrel band to release the cleaning rod.... better idea than most of the Mausers made in Germany. It has a fitted bolt through the stock for strength....not just the old wood screw of the Ishy Enfields.
I've fired mine a number of times with no ill affects noted. I have only shot surplus Nato ammo. And...it will hit a target with decent results at a 100 yards.
The "matching" numbers in the advertisement are a little misleading. When these rifles were reconfigured for the Nato Round some renumbering was done and I doubt if all parts are "Really" matching. They don't all match on mine.
I wonder if Samco still sends out the same information to this day if there is a question?
Full time Grandpa to
And...just today...I got this in the mail. The answer for the guy that is afraid an actual full power round is too much. Happens to be from SOG. I'm sure there are other sources.