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Belgium FN Mauser 9.3 x 62 and 1903 Mannlicher Schoenauer?

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by oleTJ, Jun 25, 2020.

  1. gdmoody

    gdmoody Full Time Moderator Moderator Supporting Member

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    . . . but he is not a member of TFF, at least under the name Kudoae.
     
  2. Rothhammer1

    Rothhammer1 Well-Known Member

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    I was unaware that he had retired.

    I once mistakenly referred to him as a Bavarian forester and was soon, by him, 'corrected' :).

    He has more than once posted that his favorite all around tool for culling hunts of varied game (on the job) was his trusted M1910 Mannlicher Schoenauer.
     

  3. sharps4590

    sharps4590 Well-Known Member

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    Uhhhh...I might be wrong about his being retired Roth. I thought he had but I'm not sure now...lol!

    The 1910, that's like your, right, in 9.5? I'd kinda like to have a 9 X 56 but criminy, I have two 9 X 57's and one 9 X 57R and one of the 9 x 57's is an 1890 or 1899 Haenel/Rasch, I NEVER CAN keep that year straight in my head!!!), which for all intents and purposes is a Mannlicher, it just doesn't have the Schoenauer rotary magazine.
     
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  4. sharps4590

    sharps4590 Well-Known Member

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    No, Axel isn't a member here that I know of. If he were he would chime in, most emphatically, on German and Austrian firearms and their diet and, he would be right. Beyond the occasional German and Austrian firearm his interests are a bit different from the norm of this site.
     
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  5. oleTJ

    oleTJ New Member

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    @Rothhammer1 and others, I disassembled the Mannlicher and it appears the remaining proofs have also been sanded off but I have attached a couple pictures of others I found out throughout the rifle (I am sure they do not amount to much but It was worth a shot.) I also reviewed your links and found that the action does look identical to the militarized greek Mannlicher.

    In regards to the carving on the stock I noticed what appears to be the artist signature, does anyone have an idea whom might be responsible? As pictured it is a large Capital A with a smaller E underneath it. Additionally in the top left of the same picture, next to the deer head on the stock it looks as if a carved section had something removed? I could not identify any additional impressions as if there was a crest or anything of the sort but maybe it shares similarities to another piece?

    Again, thanks for all the help!

    4.jpg

    1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg 5.jpg
     
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  6. sharps4590

    sharps4590 Well-Known Member

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    I believe Roth is right as is your suspicion. I believe that is a Greek military rifle mated to a civilian stock. As far as the initials....who knows.
     
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  7. Rothhammer1

    Rothhammer1 Well-Known Member

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    A couple of interesting details come to light with the additional images you have provided.

    First, I'll address the monogram carved into the stock. There was no shortage of highly skilled woodcarvers in early to mid twentieth century Europe. The style of carving looks rather Bavarian, as commonly seen on cuckoo clocks, highly embellished furniture, and such. I think the chances of tracking down that particular carver's signature is remote. If anything, the folks here
    http://www.germanhuntingguns.com/ may know. It could have been done in the U.S. or elsewhere by someone who had emigrated. I grew up in the postwar suburbs of the San Fernando Valley and many of my neighbors had left Europe in the aftermath of WW2. My guess is that someone modified a surplus 'Greek' as their own personal firearm as so many have with 'Greek' MS, Mauser 98s, '03 Springfields, etcetera.

    The stock itself, which I had previously surmised to be a 'pre WW2' MS stock (or excellent reproduction thereof), may be an M1950 or 'GK'. If the work was done in the 1950s or 60s, these would have been available as new replacement parts from Steyr or through Stoeger in the US. Could we get an 'end on' image of the buttplate for comparison?

    The barrel is not original to the receiver:
    [​IMG]
    Notice the +1 on barrel and -05 on receiver (mine is marked +15, -15). These are marks applied at the factory to match barrels and receivers of proper chamber depth. The -05 receiver was originally mated to a +05 barrel. Note also the different color to the finish.

    A cartridge case head that has been inset to the grip cap. I cannot make out the headstamp. Is it 6.5X54MS? Regardless, it is important to verify your chamber dimensions.
    [​IMG]

    Now for the most interesting bit; it appears that a notch has been cut into the tang (rearmost part) of your receiver. Does it lug into a corresponding tab on the stock metal? If so, that is how the 'Takedown Model' operated. To disassemble the TD, one turns a lever fore of the trigger guard, pulls a pin out near the front of the stock (both features found only on the TD), then lifts the barreled action up and out of the stock.
    [​IMG]
    Notice also the optional 'special folding peep sight' among options listed in the 1939 Stoeger catalog. Replacement stocks could be ordered, as well.

    This is a Y1903/14 receiver (with original bolt):
    [​IMG]

    A Mannlicher Schoenauer Take Down model:
    [​IMG]
    There is no threaded hole at the tang, as no screw was used.

    My M1910 bolt has the cross in circle identical to that on your firing pin nut, and is repeated on the bolt head where yours has a star. The extractor on my M1910 is marked 9.5 where yours has a star. I suspect the stars are unique to military production, but that's a guess as I am more familiar with the commercial MS. Also, My M1910 has no 'S' on its safety lever as does yours.
    [​IMG]

    As fascinating as it is to trace down the history of your firearm (which it is), its market value is not as a collectible 'classic'. A collector of MS sporting arms wants rifles and stutzen that are in exceptional condition and are either completely original as built by Steyr or with a few desirable modifications that would have been done when new such as a Lyman 1A or model 36 peep sight. The collector of military arms wants original examples with all stampings and proof marks intact as well as unaltered wood, bayonet lug, etcetera.

    The value of yours is the sentimental aspect of inheritance from your grandmother and of the sum of its parts.

    [​IMG]
    My grandfather holding his (my) M1910 Takedown Model which I would never sell.

    To reiterate prior advice, I'd take yours to a competent (preferably expert) gunsmith, have the stock repair inspected, and also have the bore 'slugged' to verify chamber dimensions. That is all the more important now that we know the barrel has been replaced. It's logical to assume that the cartridge head inset to the grip cap indicates the proper cartridge, but it is vitally important to verify this.

    A gunsmith will make a cast of the chamber with cerrosafe or other material and measure the cast to insure overall dimensions and the all important headspace. Then have the smith test fire a round and 'read' the fired case for headspace and other issues. If it passes, try a few more and verify.

    After that, I'd take her out and shoot several rounds through it at different positions and see how well that stock fits you. The 6.5X54 should be far lighter on recoil than my 9.5X57, but I can't imagine that deeply carved cheekpiece being comfortable to shoot. It may
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
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  8. Rothhammer1

    Rothhammer1 Well-Known Member

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    Apparently that post ran out of room.

    To continue, It may 'bite' your cheek a bit with all of that deep carving on the ckeekpiece.

    Bring the rifle up quickly from 'at rest' to a shooting position, as if you've just flushed a boar out of hiding and it's charging. A proper MS stock will land in the perfect position for cheek meld and iron sight alignment on an average built, right handed shooter.

    If all is acceptable, enjoy your Mannlicher Schoenauer!

    If the stock does not fit you well, bites your cheek, or the crack is too severe, you may consider having a new stock made to suit. If a scope is desired, side mounts are expensive, claw mounts are exceedingly pricey to purchase and have mounted as the work must be done by someone who is very experienced with scope mounting specifically for the Mannlicher Schoenauer. The result, however, would be a rifle built on one of the finest firearm actions known to mankind that would be built to suit you personally while still being an heirloom from your Grandmother.

    Food for thought?

    Here is offered a replacement 'MC' stock. 'MC' was the Monte Carlo styled stock available from Steyr from about 1956: https://shop.macongunstocks.com/Mannlicher-Schoenauer_c135.htm

    Another: https://www.cottagecraftworks.com/mannlicher-schoenauer-
    replacement-gun-stock


    They also show up on Ebay from time to time. This one's for a M1952 with the 'swept back' bolt handle: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Steyr-Mannlicher-Schoenauer-
    1952-riflestock-w-swivels-used-folk-art-carved/233629029763?hash=item3665601583:g:pFYAAOSwkwte84xk


    The 1950, or GK, stock has essentially the same profile as the pre WW2 MS though lacking the trapdoor buttplate with rod storage. There were no MS Takedown Models built by Steyr after WW2.

    The MC, or Monte Carlo was introduced in the 1950s to suit buyers who preferred to use scopes. The MC has a very high comb designed for scope use only.

    The MCA stock was a compromise referred to as 'Monte Carlo All Purpose' or 'Monte Carlo American' with a higher comb than the GK yet low enough to allow use of scope or iron sights.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    If you'll never use a scope, the GK or 'prewar' stock is ideal. When using a scope, which tend to be mounted high on MS to clear the bolt handle, on the early style stock the neck position is somewhat awkward and one's jaw tends to be on the cheekpiece.

    As yours is so utterly and completely non original, consider yourself free to customize it to suit your own use. It's a bit like hot rodding a 1955 Thunderbird. Many would consider it a sin to butcher a fine old original by swapping out the oil sucking Y block, leaky brakes, horrid suspension for modern components but if one has a 'Bird pieced together of a raceworn and beat frame which already has mismatched components and a modified body... have at it!

    Frankly I wouldn't mind seeing a tastefully done MS with synthetic stock and matte black finish.

    Happy hunting!
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
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  9. Rothhammer1

    Rothhammer1 Well-Known Member

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    The proprietary Mannlicher Schoenauer cartridges were:
    [​IMG]

    The 6.5X54 was a rimless version of the 6.5X54 rimmed that had been used for the preceding 'straight pull' Mannlicher military arms and their sporting variants.

    The Schoenauer rotary magazine was introduced with the M1900 and is what made it and succeeding models 'Mannlicher Schoenauers'. Prior Mannlichers used the en bloc clips of Mannlicher design which Steyr marketed as the 'Mannlicher packet loading system'. That system was adopted for use on the Gewehr 88, or '1888 Commission Rifles', which resulted in Steyr suing over rights. Steyr was granted contracts to produce the 88 as a result.

    The M1900 were essentially sales samples and prototypes shown, demonstrated, and distributed to government officials in effort to secure military contracts. Some found their way to British gunmakers. The M1900 as well as 'Greek contract' Y1903 and variants were chambered for the 6.5X54 MS cartridge.

    When the Y1903 entered production in 1905, production of the Mannlicher Schoenauer sporting rifles and stutzen commenced. The first four models were chambered for Mannlicher Schoenauer proprietary cartridges, thus:
    M1903 - 6.5X54
    M1905 - 9X56
    M1908 - 8X56
    M1910 - 9.5X57

    The M1924, built on a longer receiver and magazine, was chambered for 'The U.S. Cartridge of 1906', or .30-'06 cartridge. It also had a retaining ring added to the magazine which allowed for use of different cartridge profiles which was carried over to subsequent models. The pre M1924 models were very particular regarding the overall length of cartridges used, and specific size and shape of projectiles.

    After the M1924, several chamberings were offered for what Stoeger called 'High Velocity' models up to 10.75X68. During the post - WW2 years a magnum action and chamberings were added.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
  10. Rothhammer1

    Rothhammer1 Well-Known Member

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    Ok, I'm bored... ;

    I've hatched another 'origin theory' for your MS.

    Imagine a group of guys pondering the impending retirement of an admired and respected member of their local rod and gun club when member X holds up his new Stoeger catalog and says, "If we could come up with enough money, we could buy him one of these gussied up Man - licker shoulder jobs".

    [​IMG]
    From the 1958 Stoeger - that's $3193.84 in 2020 dollars: https://www.usinflationcalculator.com/

    "Oooooooooh", say the bretheren.

    "Hey, fellas", offers member and amateur gunsmith Y, "I could work one of those up from one of my old Greek actions for a fraction of that!"

    Motion carried.

    For openers member Y starts to 'smooth out' previous receiver markings, pits, and surface rust, then assembles a barrel to it with a decent bore. Perhaps later he'll do some engraving on the front bridge, as he'd already started on trigger guard and magazine cover plate, before finishing all to match the newly blued bolt, front receiver screw, swivels, and such. Then 'Y' spends countless hours skillfully embellishing a new M1950 (GK) replacement stock that he'd purchased from Stoeger. Now he's ready to test fire the sporterized Greek in progress.

    The stock breaks at the wrist.

    A different parting gift is procured, the unfinished MS is put aside... .


    Compare to the Stoeger ad above:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
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