Model 1903 Mannlicher 7x57

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Bill Blower, Dec 26, 2006.

  1. Bill Blower

    Bill Blower New Member

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    I've got a Model 1903 Mannlicher 7x57 that was given to my son by his father in law and we'd like some information on the age, etc. We understand that most Model 1903s were in 6.5x54 with a full stock. Since this rifle has a half stock and is a 7x57, it is probably a custom rifle or has been rebored. There is a claw mount for a scope, and we're wondering what the chances are of getting the rest of the mount. Any and all information would be much appreciated.

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  2. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    Hi Bill......welcome to TFF.

    Beautiful rifle.....but it might be a Model 1910 and not a 1903. The 1910 was available as a half-stocked rifle (the carbine had a full length stock) and was offered in a number of calibers, including 7x57.
  3. Bill Blower

    Bill Blower New Member

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    Xracer
    Thank you.
    That is the kind of information that we are looking for. I have since found out that it was made in 1919. The model number is mostly covered by the front claw mount but the bottom of the numbers look like they are 1903.
    Do you know any way to distinguish model 1903 from 1910, other than the short stock & caliber?
    Thanks again,
    Bill
  4. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Truthfully Bill....no.

    The various carbines (1903, 1905, 1908, & 1910) all had a full length stock. I believe that the rifles (same models) were available in either full or half stocks and both carbines & rifles were available with single or double set triggers.

    The only real difference with each succeeding model was that the newer model was available in different calibers.

    1903 (carbine & rifle) - 6.5x54mm M-S

    1905 (carbine & rifle) - 9x56mm M-S

    1908 (carbine & rifle) - 8x56mm M-S

    1910 (carbine & rifle) - 9x56mm M-S, 7x57mm, 8x57mm

    1924 High Velocity Sporting Rifle - .30-06, 7x64mm, 8x60mm, 9.3x62mm, 10.75x68mm

    I would guess from the 1919 build date & caliber, that yours is a Model 1910.....but I'm not really sure.

    Your's appears to be in really nice shape, and if it's a 1910, the Blue Book value is:

    95% - $900
    90% - $700
  5. Bill Blower

    Bill Blower New Member

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    Thans Xracer:

    I'll keep looking around and try to pin down the model. I forgot to mention to start with that it has a 17 3/4" barrel. If I could find another rifle like this for under $1000 I would grab it for myself!

    Bill
  6. stash247

    stash247 New Member

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    Bill, look at your chamber markings; This was originally a 6.5mm rifle (The stamp at 1:eek:clock) If now in 7X57, it has been re-bored.
    I'll dig around here and see what I can find, on the subject, but the one thing I am certain of, is that if it was rebored, there will be evidence of re-work, or replacement, to be found on the spool of the magazine; these were unique to any given caliber, and seldom would feed, with another.
    The 6.5 proof mark is at 1 oclock, down on the rh side, lower, is what appears to be a 7X57 proof.
    Please post a pic of those markings, as it will be a big aid in IDing the rifle, accurately!
    Thanks.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2006
  7. Bill Blower

    Bill Blower New Member

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    Stash247
    I can't find any evidence of rework on the spool. It has the same serial number & other than that a "K" in one spot. There is 1848 stamped near the eject button.
    I'm sending more proof pics.
    Bill

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  8. Mark

    Mark New Member

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    IMO, the spool has been cobbled on. The 6.5X54's I've seen all had immaculate polished spools.
    A picture of the bolt face may help. The 6.5X54 is .450 ish, the 7X57 is .473 ish. The bolt face would have to be opened up for this conversion. There may be witness of the machining.
    Mark
  9. Bill Blower

    Bill Blower New Member

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    Mark,
    Thanks for your input. I am sending pics of the bolt face to see if that will help.
    Bill

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  10. Mark

    Mark New Member

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    Boy, do I feel dumb.

    I thought the bolt face was recessed like a Mauser. Not really much help here.
    Mark
  11. Bill Blower

    Bill Blower New Member

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    Mark:

    Nice try anyway, and that explains why I could'nt find a place on the bolt face to measure!

    Maybe those new proof mark pics I sent will help solve the mystery.

    Bill.
  12. stash247

    stash247 New Member

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    Bill, blow in Mark's ear: Mausers have a flat bolt face, too!
    If a grand would solve all these problems, I'd love to offer this old rifle a new home!
    More to the point, regardless of the model, you have a finely crafted rifle, well worth whatever maintainance it requires, that will do nothing but appreciate, in value! Hanging the bolt handle in the middle was a goofy thing to do, back then, I am told, but seems to have eliminated all the binding that other rifles encountered, back then. The rotary spool magazine was unique to the Mannlicher Schoenauer, and Savage, in the M-99.
    Takedown, requiring nothing but a loaded round, for a tool, also, unique, to the rifle.
    I truly hope that your son in law chooses never to sell this rifle, as it is irreplacable, but, should he choose otherwise, I have a place for it, and cash.
  13. Bill Blower

    Bill Blower New Member

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    stash247
    It's my son that has the gun, and he knows how lucky he is. He also has a son who is interested in hunting so this beauty will be in the family for a long , long time!
    I gather that the pics of the proofs didn't prove anything.
    Anyway I learned from this, and thank you all very, very much for your efforts.
    I will be keeping my eyes open for one for myself!

    Bill
  14. ibtrukn

    ibtrukn New Member

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    BB, VERY nice old Steyr, if it was kal22 I wood REELY want it. as far as those claw mounts, in my somewot limited (ok non xistent) xperiance, those scopes were setup for eaach individual rifle, the "hole" spacing can differ, sumtimes by a bunch. a pal of mine just fitted a Zeiss w/claw to a nokout cape gun by hogging the mounts a little bit. luckily the lateral spacing was almost xactly the same. just hadto take off a bit of inside metal to make the fit. but he was fortunate (also a classA #1 gunsmith). Look around out there it just like wimen, the chase is 1/2 the fun:cool:


    ps:my book indicates mod 1910 has double set trigger & 2 leaf rear site. does yours? if not prally (mebbe) a reworked 1903, still a prize ( and U no howta take a good pic.!
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2007
  15. Bill Blower

    Bill Blower New Member

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    ibtrukn:
    OK good stuff. I guess that's one problem with detach scopes, they get separated from the gun!

    This gun has the double trigs and two leaf sight, but I took a closer look at the little bit of Mod# that you can still see that isn't covered by the scope mount (check new pic) and to the right of the scope alignment mark the numbers are round on the bottom as in 903, 905, etc. so it is pre 1910. Did they make these early models even after the M 1910 came out? If not then my manuf. date of 1919 would be wrong.

    Can someone with an early model check their bolt face and see if the extractor has the same amout of meat on it? Mine wouldn't be changed very much, because (by checking the sizes of the 6.5 and 7mm in Barnes "cartridges of the world") there would only have to be about .012 taken off on each side, .023 altogether.

    Bill

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  16. Bill Blower

    Bill Blower New Member

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    After that last post I realised that 1919 is probably right because the proof mark STMG/12g I understand puts it newer than 1912 and the bolt release puts it older than 1924, so if you take out the WW I years 1919 looks good.

    Bill
  17. nevadany

    nevadany New Member

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    if it's worth anything to the owner of this rifle, you can try contacting NECG (New England Custom Gun) about trying to find claw mount rings for this rifle. they wont be drop in because the rings are hand fitted to to the bases, but they might have something that will work and can be fit. if they do, you will have to send the rifle to them so they can fit the rings, and it wont be cheap!

    DW
  18. Bill Blower

    Bill Blower New Member

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    Thank you nevadany.
    I will check out that source and a few others and try and come up with something. This rifle will be used for hunting and it would be a shame not to have a scope on it.
    If anyone is interested, a local gunsmith informs me that they made the Mod.1903 up untill 1937.
    Bill
  19. Mark

    Mark New Member

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    Hi Bill,
    I finally bought a book, Mannlicher Rifles and Pistols by Walter Smith. The book was a big disappointment, not much in it about sporters.
    There was mention about a 7X57 being produced in a 1903 style rifle, NOT a 1903, but it is recorded as having a 20 inch barrel. This may give us a clue.

    I am constantly humbled at the knowledge brought forward by the members of this forum. With the information already revealed concerning the proof marks, if there is an 18 inch barrel, I'm wondering if we couldn't assume the rifle has been rebored to 7 X 57. I can't post pictures, but my 1903 spool magazine is polished very well. The other 6.5X54 MS magazine spools I've seen are the same. Yours looks like it's been cobbled on.
    I thought I was on to something with the bolt face, but the bolt face is flat on the 1903. Mauser bolt faces need to be machined to accept anything larger than a .473 dia. cartridge head, and a 6.5 X 54 is like .450. If there was .010 removed from the ejector, I sure can't tell, and with normal clearances, who knows if a 7 X 57 would work with a 6.5 X 54 ejector or not?

    The Blue Book of Gun Values has a mention about the 1903's being found with corroded bores. Putting 2 + 2 together, we might come up with 5 in this case, but perhaps there was a reboring to 7 X 57 to clean up the bore. The spool would have to of had .010 per surface to accommodate the larger diameter 7X57 cartridge. This would explain the cobbling. I'm thinking overall length would work, but if not, the 7X57 bolt stop could have been installed.

    I'm really wondering if you don't have a 6.5 X 54 MS that has been reworked by the factory to use a 7 X 57 cartridge?????????????????????
    Measure the length of the barrel.

    I really need to appologize, I really love stuff like this. I don't need to be cured, just relieve the symptoms. LOL
    Mark
  20. Bill Blower

    Bill Blower New Member

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    Mark:

    There's a good chance that you are right & that this is probably a M. 1903 built in 1919 that has been factory rebored to 7X57 possibly in 1937 (proof mark 637). The spool has the same ser.# but looks like it has been worked on. A local gun smith says that the bolt head is probably replaceable between the two calibers if necessary.

    The barrel is 17 3/4" & it does not appear to be altered.

    Too bad your new book didn't have more info on sporters. Does anyone know of such a book? I have one on German proof marks on order.

    If I come up with anything else, I'll let you know.

    Bill
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