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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

    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 Master 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.
    Ad Reipublicae his Civitatum Foederatarum Americae, ego sum fortis et libero. Ego autem non exieris ad impios communistarum socialismi. Ora imagines in vestri demented mentem, quod vos mos have misericordia, quia non.

    To the Republic of these United States of America, I am strong and free. I will never surrender to godless communist socialism. Pray to images in your demented mind, that you will have mercy, because i will not.


  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

    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

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  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 Man
    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!

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Mines a custom sportier hunting rifle. 25 inch barrel. I don’t know if it changed the way it shoots. I’ve found some accurate loads and bullets, but it’s a chore keeping them shooting that way. Trying to make paper patch work now with lube cookie. The way it was meant to shoot is the biggest challenge. Gonna take a lot of lube to soften my powder.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
    Dutchman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Siskiyou County, Calif
    A few thoughts....

    The m/1871 Mauser wasn't the first Mauser.

    The m/1871/84 is not a m/1871 with a tube magazine. The 71/84 is a completely different rifle action altogether. The receiver of the 71/84 is much more complex than the 1871 model. The m/1871/84 is not a "modified" m/1871. It was a whole new rifle that used the "skeleton" of the m/1871. The heart and soul is the receiver and it was new-manufactured, not modified. IMO, the 71/84 is 10 times the rifle the m/1871 was/is.

    Bore size is not the same between the 1871 and 71/84. The 71/84 is nominally .446" while the m/1871, in mine at least, is .454". That's a lot of difference so be sure to determine the dimensions of your rifle. And the expander in the die will need to be compatible with your rifle.

    My m/1871 Mauser is a rebuild from an unknown period. The receiver and parts were re-numbered 5 on all the parts. The stock looks like a replacement. This rifle came out of a long time collection in Iowa that I purchased 25 yrs ago. The rebuild went so far as to carefully remove the I.G.71 on the receiver. Not just ground off but polished carefully. It also had a brass tack on the forearm with a number. The late Mauser expert John Wall said it appeared to be a "sample" rifle.

    Hope you have a good time with your new rifle. Old guns are the best guns.

    Guns of the Easter Rising - 1916 Northern Ireland

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

    GregLaROCHE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Southern France by way of Interior Bush Alaska
    Beautiful gun. It must have been well kept in someone’s collection. Enjoy it and take good care of it for future generations.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Bryan, TX
    Gorgeous girl!

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    State of Denial
    NICE! You're gonna have fun with that!

    I've often thought that for colonial Africa, where you might have to deal with anything on two legs or four, the tube fed version was among the best options available for quite a spell.

    Is the mightiness of the pen still relevant after we roll the writing paper into cartridges for a Sharps?

  16. #16
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Bore size on the 1871 and the 71/84 is nominally the same at approximately 11mm +/- .05mm. Groove size on the two differ. Rifling depth on the 1871 is specified as .3mm +/- .05mm (Storz, 2011). I cannot find a reference for the 71/84 groove size/rifling depth or why it changed, but it seems that after a decade, all the arsenals and manufacturers finally standardized on the commonly encountered .446" diameter groove.
    Last edited by wyowillys46; 08-09-2022 at 07:59 PM. Reason: Conciseness

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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