The Mauser History

Immerse yourself in the world of a legend. Learn interesting facts about the Mauser brothers, the company foundation and how it grew into an international premium brand. Follow the progress of Mauser hunting rifles that runs parallel to the history on the right side.


1871

The Mauser Brothers

Wilhelm (*1834) and Paul (*1838) Mauser grow up in poor conditions. From an early age the brothers join their father working in the royal weapons factory in Oberndorf/Neckar. They succeed with hard work, technical skills and business acumen in founding the Mauser weapons factory, which later attains worldwide renown.

Mauser Brothers & Co. Weapons Factory, Oberndorf

Following significant structural changes, a preliminary decision is made in favor of the Mauser rifle with the provisional title "Model 1871 (M/71)". Range is increased with this rifle from 800 m to 1800 m and a higher penetration capacity is also achieved.
Further improvements follow with the sample rifle presented ultimately being commissioned as the infantry rifle, Model 1871 (M/71), and its introduction being ordered for the re-arming of the infantry of the collected armies of the German Empire (with the exception of Bavaria).

Model 71

The collected armies of the German Empire (with the exception of Bavaria) are equipped with the infantry rifle, the Model 1871 (M/71).

Mauser Brothers
Model 71

1882

Death of Wilhelm Mauser

Following the death of his brother Wilhelm, January 13 1882, Paul Mauser takes over sole leadership of the expanding company.

Death of Wilhelm Mauser

1884

M.71/84 Bolt Action Rifle

Motivated by the American (Spencer, Winchester) and Swiss (Vetterli) paragons, Paul Mauser converts the M/71 to a bolt action rifle by introducing a tubular magazine. 2000 test rifles produce good results at the Royal Prussian Shooting School under the toughest trial conditions.

The introduction of the new rifle under the title Model 71/84 (M.71/84) as an infantry bolt action rifle for the army is decreed by the Prussian King and German Kaiser.
Production of the new rifle in the Bavarian and Prussian royal weapons factories (against payment of a low license charge) once again prevents Mauser from participating in big business.
The 71/84 hunting rifle designed by Paul Mauser as the M.71/84 rifle is not accepted as a model for the army.

M.71/84
Model 71/84

1888

The "88 Rifle"

Re-arming of Prussian troops with the new "88 Rifle" follows irrespective of costs and quality. Due to the numerous complaints and accidents, continuous improvements have to be implemented.

Model 88

1889

First-class Small Caliber model

Mauser meets the requirements of the new market with the introduction of a small caliber rifle in Belgium, which leads to the continuation of Mausers successful series. The Spanish rifle of 1893 is a direct predecessor of the German 98 model (the "98 Rifle"). The "98 Rifle" is tested by order of the Kaiser as the successor to the "88 Rifle".

First Small Caliber Model

1896

"Model C 96" Pistol

Paul Mauser brings a ten-round self-loading pistol, the Mauser "C 96 Model", to the market. The production of pocket self-loading pistols and small caliber rifles goes into operation.

Model C 96

1898

"Model 98"

After a 7-month trial period, the final design of the "98 Rifle" is approved on April 5, 1898.
International breakthrough follows with the introduction of the "Model 98" in the 8 x 57 caliber.

This "98 Rifle" becomes the most important rifle for German troops during the First World War. Active troops are equipped with the "98 Rifle" successively until 1907, reserve troops until 1912. To this day, approximately 100 million 98 Rifles have been produced.

Model 98

1903

From 1903 until 1930, this very simple hunting rifle was bought into military circles as the cheapest model. Most C-Models have military actions and chambers; there are also individual editions with civilian actions.

Model C

1904

This type appeared ca. 1904 to meet the requirements of German settlers in eastern and south-western Africa. The Magnums and short actions are the rarest of all four action sizes. For reasons of taste, changes to the stock and barrel were made on location, so that only a few of these models can still be found in their original state.

Africa Model

1908

Todays role model for the finest English design bolt action rifles. Presented by Mauser before the First World War as the most expensive top model with 8 versions. These type A rifles are produced only in Mauser calibers, but in various action lengths, and mainly go to customers outside Europe. The rarest A-versions are the .404 Jeffery (Magnum) and .250/3000 Savage (short).

Special Rifle Type A

1914

Death of Paul Mauser, First World War breaks out

In the later years of his life, Paul Mauser is awarded numerous honors. In 1898, he is elected in the Reichstag as Royal Commerce Councilor. In 1912, he receives the Grashof Commemorative Medal of the Association of German Engineers, although he has never been an engineer. In the same year, he is ennobled with the Grand Cross of the Royal Württemberg Order.
Paul Mauser dies May 29, 1914 at the age of 76 of an embolism. The outbreak of the First World War in 1914 quickly leads to increased production of the "98 Rifle"; research takes a back seat. By the end of 1916, employee numbers have risen to approx. 7,000.

1914 Model M Stutzen

The Model M (M for Mannlicher design, as rival to the "Mannlicher-Schönauer Stutzen" model) was included in the Mauser product range from 1914 to 1946. This light, easy to handle rifle was only provided with standard, medium and short actions and in 9 x 57 caliber or smaller. Amongst five standard versions, the M Stutzen with short actions are very rare.

Model S Stutzen

(S for Stutzen German for short rifle). This short rifle was on the market at the same time as the Model M in 7 standard versions each with a 50 cm long barrel. Significantly more of this model were produced than of the M Stutzen. The short versions are also the rarest here.

Death of Paul Mauser
Model M Stutzen

1923

(B for Büchse German for rifle) 16 Versions with many different sights options and at least three barrel profiles have evolved from this most widely-used hunting rifle from the European mainland. All four action lengths and almost all Mauser calibers are supplied.

Model B

1935

A light rifle with half stock in 8 variants was offered under this title until ca. 1940.

Model K

1945

Destruction of the weapons factories

Mauser continues to produce hunting rifles until 1944 despite the disorder and confusion that war brings. At the end of the Second World War, the Mauser factories in Oberndorf, Berlin and Karlsruhe are hit by the bombing campaign and dismantled by the occupation forces.
Walter Röll, the last manager of the hunting rifles department, continues to build Mauser rifles from residual stocks on his allotment garden under French supervision. The quality of his work is appreciated by French, British and American officers alike.

Destruction

1954

Reconstruction and marketing of rifle makes

After rearrangement and reconstruction of the company, developments in the weapons sector get up and running again. Along with hunting and sport guns, anti-aircraft guns and aircraft weaponry is also produced. The civilian production segment incorporates measuring machinery, tool-making machinery and special apprenticeship programs. Munitions test instruments and gas pressure measuring instruments are built according to the most modern technological know-how and receive international recognition, from NATO forces, among others.

Reconstruction

1965

In 1963, Mauser acquires production rights to a sports rifle with a short bolt, developed by the renowned shooting and rifle dealer, Walter Gehmann. This bolt action rifle is then introduced in 1965 as the "Mauser Model 66".
During the 60s, the HSc and Parabellum pistols are reintroduced, as are rifles produced in external factories under the "Mauser" name.

Mauser "Model 66"

1966

A Mauser bolt-action rifle with short action as a post-war development. Due to the easy exchangeability of the main components barrel (and therefore caliber) and action, a system family is created – a novelty for hunting rifles. Shortening the overall length by 10 cm (4”) while keeping the full barrel length preserves the ballistic performance.

Model 66 SP

A sniper rifle with match barrel in the heavy version. Also produced on request in different calibers than .308.Win.

Barrel length 70 cm

Model 66 S

1971

Over&under shotguns with and without ejector, single trigger or double trigger in different designs have been produced in licensed production by Spanish and Italian manufacturers for Mauser, e.g. Mauser Gold or Model 71.

Shotguns

1974

Model 2000/3000/4000

The rifle manufacturer, Friedrich Wilhelm Heym in Münnerstadt, produces the 2000, 3000 and 4000 Models under the Mauser name as the modern day successors to the 98 systems with short extractor and separate ejector.

Model 2000/3000/4000

1977

Model 77

New design of a bolt action rifle with interchangeable magazine and innovative, combined shotgun trigger with single-set trigger facility, which guarantees the shooter safety with automatic decocking with opening bolt.

Model 77

1981

Mauser "Model 77" and "Model 86"

A Mauser bolt action rifle with interchangeable magazine and innovative, combined shotgun trigger with single-set trigger facility is presented. It is followed by the "Model 86" for precision shooting and the public sector weapons segment.

Model 86

1986

Mauser small caliber rifles were produced from 1898 until 1986. Commonly known as the "Mauserlein", 500,000 small caliber rifles were sold during this period, which included various sports models, such as the "Olympia Model".
Mauser rounded the series off with the KK bolt action rifle, Model 201 with all the features of a genuine hunting rifle. As standard model or in deluxe version. Robust, reliable action construction with no plastic components.

Small Caliber Rifles

1994

Mauser bolt action rifle in classic style with walnut stock and removable magazine.
Barrel lengths: Standard 56 cm / Magnum 61 cm

Model 94

1995

The Mauser Company is taken over by the Rheinmetall Group during 1995-96; the gun-producing company segment now becomes "Mauser-Werke Oberndorf Waffensysteme GmbH".

The Mauser "Model 96" is presented as the new hunting bolt action rifle with straight pull action.

Mauser bolt-action rifle with straight-pull action, walnut stock and repeating function. The Premium version has a detachable magazine and a polished finish.
Barrel lengths: Standard 56 cm (22”), Magnum 61 cm (24”).

Model 96 S
"Stainless" version. Fiber glass reinforced plastic stock with removable magazine.
Barrel lengths: Standard 56 cm / Magnum 61 cm

Takeover

1997

Mauser bolt-action rifle with straight-pull action, walnut stock and repeating function. The Premium version has a detachable magazine and a polished finish.

Model 97 De Luxe
Version with deluxe stock and precious wood tips.

Model 97

1998

Big game hunters in India and Africa help the 98 Rifle to attain its legendary status.
Mauser introduces four special series of the Model 98 for the Mauser 100-year anniversary: A limited edition collectors series of the imperial 98 infantry rifle and the 98K carbine and 2 special series of the Magnum big game rifles in 1930s style limited to 100 units each (.375 Holland & Holland and .416 Rigby).

100 Years of Mauser System 98

1999

Rheinmetall sells the Mauser civil arms segment and the company Mauser Jagdwaffen GmbH is formed. Based in Isny/Allgäu, Mauser is now manufacturing rifles and accessories exclusively for hunting.

The M 98 und M 98 Magnum success stories are built once again according to the original drawings.

Mauser Hunting Rifles
Mauser M 98 and M 98 Magnum

2003

The "M 03" hunting bolt action rifle is launched on the market. A rifle with numerous innovations, the likes of which has not been seen at Mauser since the legendary "Model 98" and the "Mauser 66".

Mauser M 03

2012

Mauser celebrates its 140th company anniversary and on that occasion proudly presents the M 03 as a special edition with a limitation of 140 units.

140 Years
Mauser M 03 Anniversary Model

2013

The M 12 offers Mauser's acclaimed quality at an affordable price. The rifle is also available with a synthetic stock as M 12 Extreme. Both provide the proven Mauser features of solid steel construction with a smooth trigger pull and interlocking barrel.

Mauser M 12