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Thread: Old gun, help required

  1. #1

    Old gun, help required

    Hi everyone, I have a few questions about a gun I have been given as my knowledge about historical guns isn't very good.i beleave that it started life as a military Rifle although now it just has a 12 bore shotgun barrel on it. It has 1886 stamped on the action. I wondered wether it would be feasible to turn it back into a rifle as I fancy making a stock for it myself and having it with open sights for woodland stalking. So can you still get barrels for this action and if so what caliber would it be and we're could I get them from? Any other info would be much appreciated. Cheers. Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    It looks like a Mauser 1871. It would of been a single shot in 11mm mauser, a black powder cartridge. It was the first of Mausers rifles to be adopted by the German army. There was a later version with a tubular magazine.
    It only had a single locking lug so I don't think it would be safe to rebarrel in a modern centrefire cartridge. Mauser beefed up later designs for use with smokeless powder.

  3. #3
    Would it be safe to use if rebarrelled as an 11mm Mauser?
    should be able to make it deer
    legal if safe to use?

  4. #4
    SD Regular
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    East Midlands M1/M69 Junction 21
    You may find that it is an expensive whim. I am sorry to be pessimistic. I have two iron sighted rifles a .270 WCF and a .280 Remington that is awaiting a suitable period USA 'scope again. Try Holt's they have literally scores of rifles with iron sights in "modern" calibres at usually around sixty or so pounds. You can't give these things away.

    It's a good project, iron sights in woodland, and sounds like fun. But don't, please, waste money on that Mauser when you can get to your destination with less effort and less cost via Holt's. Try their Sea;ed Bid Sale that ends at 10.30 on 7 January....or the Unsold Lots of the Sealed Bid that will follow straight after.

  5. #5
    My new unfired 222 came from Holts for about 200 all in. Bargains to be had, though I've had it a year and it's still un-fired.

  6. #6
    Thanks for your concern and I get what you are saying, But I have loads of rifles already, ranging from 100 to thousands. This gun has sentimental value so I would love to give it a new lease of life.

  7. #7
    And if it has to be a black powder cartridge then so be it I never intended for it to be a working rifle, just a fun project. Thanks for the help so far guys. 👍

  8. #8
    A slightly interesting fact, particularly from an Irish viewpoint in 2016, the model 1871 mauser was the rifle that the Germans sent to arm the Irish volunteers during the 1916 uprising. I think who ever had a Short Magazine Lee Enfield had a slight advantage...

  9. #9
    SD Regular Greener Jim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Yorkshireman in Darkest Cornwall
    May I suggest you have a look at the old black powder cartridges such as 577 Snider, 50-70, 45-70 etc.

    Likely as as not it would be a custom job anyway so changing chambering is the least of your worries. The main issue i can see is that it's set up for the 22.50mm rim diameter of a 12 gauge shell so that would have to be reduced even for the 577 (19.00mm). Reducing the bolt face is quite a bit harder than enlarging it.

    700 Nitro Express would be nice with a 22.60mm rim diameter but it would need to be a MUCH shortened case to fit in the action, run it on black powder (or substitute) and not exceed 12 Gauge pressures. At least you don't have to make it feed. I also doubt that you could get an FEO to put a .700" slot on your license for deer.
    However, a 45/700 Short Black Powder Express would be a very fun wildcat. I can draw one up on QuickDesign if you would like?

    Anyway, that's enough of my eccentric ramblings for now
    Any Questions Feel Free to PM me

  10. #10
    I knew what that was right away! I have a 1871 and two 71/84 repeaters. The 11 Mauser round is a fine shooting and accurate cartridge. I used to load it with 4831 and it shot bug hole groups with an RCBS 440 grain FP bullet sized to .448 inches, IIRC. My best 71/84 hunting rifle was equipped with a 1905 Krag Jorgensen rear sight with a flip-up peep built into it, and it has a Lyman bead front. The magazine was shortened to 5 rounds. Wonderful rifle.

    That said, the main problem with rebarreling your rifle is that it has been made into a 12 ga which means that in all likelihood, the maker cut off the bolt face and remade the extractor to accommodate the wide 12 ga rim. I'm not certain that even rebuilding that into a 11mm would be even remotely practical.; you'd be better off buying another rifle and handing that on the wall. As was said, the Mauser has just one locking lug, but it's a massive one. I wouldn't make a high pressure CF on it but I wouldn't hesitate having a rifled 12 ga slug barrel fitted to it. Mount some express sights and treat it like a big bore rifle.

    Kinda in the same spirit as my Little Beast.~Muir
    Last edited by Muir; 07-01-2016 at 01:42.

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