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 1899 Carl Gustaf 6.5x55
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Badge
Advanced Member

USA
1648 Posts

Posted - November 05 2017 :  10:55:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am seeking additional info from more knowledgable forum members in regards to this weapon. It is a matching, 96/38 with a 5 digit serial number. The brass disc in the stock indicates to me at least that it was certainly refurbished and is virtually new. The Bolt is straight which was apparently common in earlier conversions. Jim,GW, Uncle Mike, and anyone else that can educate me ref. the history and cartridge abilities and possible value of the aforementioned weapon would be very much appreciated. I have some ammo on order and hear very good things about it's ballistic coefficient and mild recoil. Thanks n advance.

MSS

gw
Advanced Member

3983 Posts

Posted - November 05 2017 :  12:10:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I don't much about them, mine is a m94 carbine made by Mauser Oberndorf, I got it at the Rod & Gun club in Texas for $125 if I remember right, worth more today...

yours sounds like a m96 converted to a m38, some dealers call them 96/38s but I think that's misnamed, the Swedish designation is m38

early m38s were rebarreled m96s, later rifles were built ground up as m38s, the straight bolt guns are conversions the ground up rifles had turn down bolt handles, later during WWII Sweden converted some more m96s to m38 for Denmark I think so there were 2 runs maybe.

the things were used by 3 or 4 northern European countries, some until the early 1960s, then they were refurbed and stored, I remember a bunch coming into this country in different bunches from the early 80s - late 90s maybe.

many of the first batches looked unissued, very nice surplus rifles

I don't know what you're saying about the disk, if it's blank then it's definately a new disk. there were maybe 4 types of disks attached dpending on country of origin. most I've seen are unit disks with info on bore condition, what ammo type it was zeroed for, holdover info, bore condition at last inspection. some disks are just unit id and rack number. a few were coins and I think rare in this country.

the 6.5x55 is a really nice round, your mauser action should be safe with any US made ammo, I'd avoid hot rodded reloads, the 96 mauser action may not be up to it. with good ammo it can and has knocked down big critters up to moose and large Affrican antelope. doesn't need to be magnumized to get it done, good penetration with a long for caliper bullet.

there are folks thinking a rifle round with the Swede ballistics would be agood choose for our army today.

I would not "sporterize" it in any way, you'll only destroy the value. my carbine was bought in 87 for $125, i've been offered overa grand for it

your rifle hase been selling around here for about $500, I've seen them being offered for more but not selling, yet...

"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..."
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Badge
Advanced Member

USA
1648 Posts

Posted - November 05 2017 :  12:38:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Forgive me GW,.... that mention of the Stock Disc was ambiguous. The Barrel rating is 0 and the other Barrel reference which escapes me at the Moment was 1. Your information was very helpful. I picked this one up for 375.00 and the only real detractor is the import mark under the barrel. Otherwise it is in grand shape and I will not alter it in any way. I'm anxious to see how it will do at the range. Was this one of the cartridges that WD. Bell used for Elephant? I cannot recall but what I do remember is his commenting on the penetration of the projectile. Just curious.

MSS

Edited by - Badge on November 05 2017 12:39:03 PM
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LittleBill
Advanced Member

4363 Posts

Posted - November 05 2017 :  1:18:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Pending replies from the more knowledgable members, I’ll share what I’ve heard and what I personally know about the gun and the cartridge.

The 6.5x55 has a big following in Scandanavian countries, similar to the .30-06 here. Many claim that this round ‘punches well above its weight’. Moose and elk are routinely taken there with it, even some polar bears in the Arctic.

Due to its high sectional density, it gives exceptional penetration. My buddy and I tacked cardboard targets to a pine tree of around 15” diameter in his yard, and shot at them with my M38, using cheap fmj ammo. At one point after I shot, the entire tree above the target toppled right over! When we went to examine it, we found that all the rounds had penetrated right through the trunk. So in a pinch, your Swede Mauser can double as a chain saw....

Many consider the Swedish Mausers to be the finest Mausers of all, in terms of quality and accuracy. M96s were still being outfitted with scopes and used as sniper rifles in WWII. Even today, it’s my understanding that the winners of iron-sighted military-rifle matches are often shooting M96 Swedes.

Dana Jones’s book— Crown Jewels, the Mauser in Sweden, a Century of Accuracy and Precision— is the ‘Bible’ of Swedish Mauser info.

And there’s a lot of info on Swedish Mausers to be found on internet forums.

Opinions on the subject differ, but I’ve tentatively concluded that the M96 action is plenty strong to use with modern ammo.

For years, the Swedish firm of Husqvarna turned out sporters based on 96 Mauser actions in .30-06 caliber (50,000 cup), with zero issues.

Folks who supposedly know claim that the original M94s were proof-tested to 66,000 psi/55,000 cup, well above the current SAAMI limit of 46,000 cup. Which would explain why they’re safe to convert to .30-06.

Internet rumor has it that the Norma factory still uses the M96 to test their 6.5x55 rounds.

Rumors aside, plenty of folks on the various Swedish Mauser forums attest to having shot modern ammo in them with no problems. I’ve shot some of the hotter European offerings (the RWS DK Twin Core 140gr, advertised mv 2855 fps; and the Norma Oryx 156gr bonded soft point at 2560 fps) in my M38 with no ill effects.

Hornady has a Superformance 140gr load they say achieves 2735 fps from a 24” barrel, Nosler Trophy Grade drives their 140gr Accubond to 2650 fps.

Not sure how much you should worry about the stock disc; apparently the Swedes were very conservative in their ratings. Folks who’ve owned a bunch of them will tell you that regardless of what the disc reads, it’s hard to find a M96 variant that won’t shoot well.

And many insist that the 6.5x55 represents the perfect ‘sweet spot’ between power and performance on the one hand, and shootability on the other.

One thing everyone agrees on: the 6.5 Swede is a joy to shoot.

$375 is a very good price!


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast

Edited by - LittleBill on November 05 2017 1:25:46 PM
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gw
Advanced Member

3983 Posts

Posted - November 05 2017 :  1:48:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Badge

Forgive me GW,.... that mention of the Stock Disc was ambiguous. The Barrel rating is 0 and the other Barrel reference which escapes me at the Moment was 1. Your information was very helpful. I picked this one up for 375.00 and the only real detractor is the import mark under the barrel. Otherwise it is in grand shape and I will not alter it in any way. I'm anxious to see how it will do at the range. Was this one of the cartridges that WD. Bell used for Elephant? I cannot recall but what I do remember is his commenting on the penetration of the projectile. Just curious.



still not sure where we are with the bore disk, I haven't messed with Swedes in 20 years

there's a pie shaped section in the disk marked 123, those indicate bore condition

a "0" bore is an unmarked 123 disk and is like new, a marked 1 bore is minimum wear and a very good bore

Bell used a 6.5 Mannlicher and maybe other 6.5s, but they would be simular to a Swede

those early guys going into Africa used what the could get, military fmj ammo was the norm

he brain shot elephant with ammo that would be illegal today, but it worked, must be placement again...

"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..."
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LittleBill
Advanced Member

4363 Posts

Posted - November 05 2017 :  1:55:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
IIRC, I once read something to that effect, that Bell attributed his success to a round he could count on to penetrate, and his intimate knowledge of elephant anatomy: knowing exactly where the tiny elephant brain resided in his massive skull, and the proper angle needed to hit it from any particular position; all borne of years of experience. “Don’t try this at home...”

"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast

Edited by - LittleBill on November 05 2017 2:00:24 PM
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gw
Advanced Member

3983 Posts

Posted - November 05 2017 :  1:58:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I didn't know anything about them in '87, went into the Gun club on Ft Bliss to put my name in the drawing for a deer tag

everyone at the bar was crowing about the bunch of Swedish carbines the club was selling so I bought one, took most of the money I had, but it was a good buy...

got drawn for a deer tag too!

"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..."
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LittleBill
Advanced Member

4363 Posts

Posted - November 05 2017 :  2:18:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yeah, the M94 carbines are the most ‘collectible’, they made a lot fewer of them. Good thing you left it alone!

They’re neat because even in their stock configuration they’re very handy little guns. The last one I saw sell on our local Armslist went for $1000.

I bought my Husqvarna M38, in mint condition, for $135 back in the late 80’s, never occurred to me not to sporterize it. I had it drilled and tapped for scope mounts, the bolt bent, the barrel cut back to 20” and crowned, Timney trigger installed. Glass-bedded it into an inexpensive Choate ‘rinite’ stock, topped it with a Nikon 1.5-4.5x20 scope in Buehler rings and mounts.

Sweet gun! First 3-shot benchrested 100 yd group w/ Federal Premium ammo was less than 3/4” center to center.

Now I wish I’d bought a few, bubba’d the one and left the rest alone....


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast

Edited by - LittleBill on November 10 2017 8:44:07 PM
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gw
Advanced Member

3983 Posts

Posted - November 05 2017 :  3:52:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've never chopped on a surplus rifle

I did have an 03 that some professional worked over some time in past

Williams reciever sight and K3 weaver installed with a GI barrel

it was an old job, nicely done, and an interesting thing to hunt with, heavy though

"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..."
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Badge
Advanced Member

USA
1648 Posts

Posted - November 05 2017 :  5:00:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
GW,.. you said it better than I could type it out. After the comments here and some additional reading it would appear that while this weapon is a " Blue Hair ", it was Arsenal refinished and is virtually new. 1899 is one long time ago. While it's not a Garand I like it just fine.

MSS
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LittleBill
Advanced Member

4363 Posts

Posted - November 05 2017 :  5:12:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I’d be curious to see how the ballistics of the Garand and the M96 compare. My guess is that as distance increases, the ‘power gap’ between them narrows and maybe disappears.


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast
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Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9431 Posts

Posted - November 08 2017 :  09:20:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I don't have much knowledge to add, other than the little carbine was the reason that the 1934 NFA was changed to allow 16" rifles - originally it was 18" for both shotguns and rifles but someone discovered there were many of those 6.5s in the country.

I love the 6.5 X 55 cartridge - it is a very well balanced round. I like the little carbine too and have no excuse for not owning one...othr than I once bought a rifle lenght one for $60 that wasn't in such good shape and I wacked the barrel off, put on a synthetic stock (bought that as a factory second for $5) and mounted a 4X Leupold on the barrel for a "pseudo scout" - it is right handy.

I do have a pristine rifle made in 1912 I think - it will stay as issued.

Jim

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Badge
Advanced Member

USA
1648 Posts

Posted - November 09 2017 :  11:14:03 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Shot the 96 this am. I was very pleased. I only used water filled Gallon Jugs at 50 yards and it centered them with a dead on hold. If I decide to take it into the woods in the thickets I hunt that will be more than adequate. Very easy to shoot and for a 118 year old weapon a pleasant surprise. Thanks for all of the input.

MSS
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Olddog84
Senior Member

USA
598 Posts

Posted - November 10 2017 :  08:07:04 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I love the 6.5 Swede. I have an original unmodified 96, it is one of my favorite military Mausers. My brother has a nicely sporterized one that was his favorite deer rifle for years. He has taken a lot of deer with it, all dropped right there or after a short run. Mild recoil, good expansion and penetration, etc. Never a lost deer with it. He has moved on to a lighter rifle he won at a gun raffle, but only because of the light weight: something we have learned to love as we got older! This new love of the 6.5 bullets and all of the new cartridges always made me smile, we have known for a couple of decades how good 6.5 bullets perform, and if you aren't worried about max velocity or a short action the 6.5 Swede will do anything you need it to.
Mike

"Somebody Tries to kill you, you try to kill 'em right back." Malcolm Reynolds
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Arvinator
Advanced Member

USA
5252 Posts

Posted - November 10 2017 :  10:02:41 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My father in law has one. He really likes it. It's been sporterized and it's his favorite rifle

Be honest, fair, and always prepared...
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LittleBill
Advanced Member

4363 Posts

Posted - November 12 2017 :  10:36:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Found this on an online Swedish Mauser forum, have no way of knowing how valid it is. It's a comparsion of remaining velocity and energy at 500 yds of some popular rounds. Supposedly he picked rounds in each caliber that were among the best long-range performers:


.308: Winchester 150 gr SP, mv 2900 fps
500 yds: 1642 fps, 692 ft-lbs

8 mm Mauser: KJG Kurz 139 gr HP, mv 3287 fps
500 yds: 1965 fps, 1200 ft-lbs

.30-06: Hornady 150 gr SST-Light Magnum, mv 3100 fps
500 yds: 2013 fps, 1350 ft-lbs

6.5x55: Norma 130 gr HP, mv 2953 fps
500 yds: 2152 fps, 1338 ft-lbs


The old Swede looks pretty good! I guess its high ballistic coefficient is why it retains its velocity so well... and its high sectional density is why it penetrates.


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast

Edited by - LittleBill on November 12 2017 11:04:26 PM
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