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Thread: The Very First Mauser, the 1871

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    The Very First Mauser, the 1871

    I ran across a gun that I have had kind of a love affair with ever since I first saw one many years ago, the Model 1871 Mauser rifle. This was the first design by the Mauser Brothers and led to every design afterwards that we all know. The 1871 was a single shot, the later 1871/84 was a tube magazine version of this gun, and what was amazing is how these guns saw service well past the adoption of better and newer designs. During WWI the Model 1871's were present in Africa where the German backed local troops and police were armed with them.

    The Mauser 71's were in the Boer War, Balkan Wars, and during the Boxer Rebellion, the Chinese troops were armed with the 1871 facing off against German troops armed with the 1871/84. The last real known use of the 1871 was when some were handed out to the Volkssturm in the last ditch defense of Berlin.

    This particular gun was made in Amberg in 1878, has a really nice bore and rifling, The metal and wood were cleaned at some point, but that's fine, I plan on shooting it every so often. The serial numbers all match except for a couple of parts, which considering everything down to the screw heads is numbered, is a feat. The buttplate doesn't match, which sadly is where the stamping would have been of what regiment the gun was assigned to.

    One thing about this gun is that it is HUGE. It's a good three inches longer than my 1891 Mosin Nagant and a couple pounds heavier. I'm trying to imagine what lugging this thing around a pre-WWI battlefield must have been like. I ordered a box of ammo for it, which is pricey, but I also got a set of dies so I can at least reload the brass for it. The quality of these guns is amazing, and you can see the early start of the famous Mauser bolt and the flag type safety.

    Whatever cannot be remedied, must be endured.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Way up in the Cascades
    Very nice. Better condition than most found today, and a collector's item as well as a shooter. Congratulations. I'll bet the cost of that one box of ammo made you holler!


  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy 444ttd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    thats a nice rifle!!!!!!!

    its much much better than any of today's "plastic" stocks and stainless steel barrels.
    "The religion of KE: proposed by the ignorant, and parroted by the unknowing" - MikeG

    ​“Einstein's relativity work is a magnificent mathematical garb which fascinates, dazzles and makes people blind to the underlying errors. The theory is like a beggar clothed in purple whom ignorant people take for a king... its exponents are brilliant men but they are metaphysicists rather than scientists.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Cool rifle,I shoot a 71/84 and love it. That rear sight is MASSIVE. It looks like there is a slot machined in the back of the leaf, for a sliding insert with different ranges?

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy iron brigade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    I had the 1871 and used 45-90 brass. Lubed the brass cases and ran them up into the 43 mauser die. Worked real well.
    They are a massive bolt action. Fun to shoot.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2012
    South Texas
    Very nice.......what is the caliber?

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Outside Rolla, Missouri
    The caliber is nominally .446, the cartridge is the 11.15 X 60R. I don't have a '71 or a '71/'84 but I do have a double by E. Goldmann in Erfurt that is chambered for the 11.15 X 60R cartridge. To finally get the barrels to regulate the load was 5 grs. of SR-4759 under 68 grs. of Ffg, under a 350 gr. bullet. The cartridge is a fine one, equal to anything on the North American continent except the big bears.

    Yours appears to be in remarkable condition. Well done, sir!
    "In general, the art of government is to take as much money as possible from one class of citizens and give it to another class of citizens" Voltaire'

    The common virtue of capitalism is the sharing of equal opportunity. The common vice of socialism is the equal sharing of misery

    NRA Benefactor 2008

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Great pics, thanks for sharing.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    David, like you I also have a 71, but mine is a year older than yous but made in the same place. All my metal is good but kind of looks like it has been gone over with a scotch brite pad. I don't think the wood has had anything done to it as its on the dark side. The wood has a lot of dings and such and like yours the butt plate has a number that doesn't match the rest of the rifle. A lot of the metal is getting a good coat of brown on it. My SN is 9900. I have shot it a few times with cast bullets and BP. I have been given a box of brass and some low pressure smokeless loads. Those I think I am going to pull down and replace them with black and a PP bullet of the proper weight as I have an adjustable mold. For its age and all the bore is excellent. It will be interesting to see how it shoots with the proper ammunition.

  10. #10
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Susanville, Kalifornia
    Our CMP Rangemaster shoots a 71/84 quite often at our matches and does quite well with it. He uses 15 gr. of Unique under a cast bullet weighing about 380 grains as I recall. The accuracy he gets with that load is remarkable. What's interesting to note is that you can plainly hear that big bullet smack through the target backing board at 100 yards, even in the wind!

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check