Converting an Israeli Mauser

 Some time ago a mate gave me an Israeli Mauser. In the April 2012 Sporting Shooter you said that the serial numbers of these rifles didn’t match because they were assembled from component parts taken from an oil drum. This one is different. I’ve included some photos for you to look at.
From research I have done,
I believe my rifle was manufactured by Sauber undo Soho in Sulk in 1941. The bolt and receiver have matching serial numbers. Any information you can give me about this rifle would be appreciated. I have been thinking about having a big-bore rifle built on this action – maybe a 9.3×62. Is the action strong enough? Is the magazine long enough, it is 79mm? Can the block at the front of the magazine be removed without affecting
the functioning of the rifle? If so, the magazine would open up to about 85mm. Is this project worth pursuing, or, given the excellent value of new firearms, should I keep this old warhorse as a conversation piece and consign it to the back of
my gun safe?
– Peter Ward

 As a rule, the Israelis dismantled the 7.92x57mm German Mauser, threw all the parts in a drum and later reassembled them without bothering to match bolts and receivers, hence them numbers on bolts and receivers rarely coincided. Your rifle does have the original bolt. I can’t see any markings on your photos that would indicate where it was manufactured. If it was made by Suaer und Sohn in 1941 the receiver should carry the code letters “CE”. This is the only code I have for Sauer und Sohn, but there are many codes that researchers have been unable to identify. The markings on the top of the receiver ring in your photo are too indistinct, but if it is “CE” then it was made by Sauer. The M98 is strong enough for to be rebarreled to 9.3x62mm and the magazine will be long enough if you remove the block in front. It was only inserted to make the short 7.62x51mm NATO round feed properly. My honest opinion is that it would cost more than the price of a new factory rifle to do all the work needed to transform your M98 into a decent sporter.




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Nick Harvey

The late Nick Harvey (1931-2024) was one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He wrote about firearms and hunting for about 70 years, published many books and uncounted articles, and travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject was unmatched. He was Sporting Shooter's Technical Editor for almost 50 years. His work lives on here as part of his legacy to us all.