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Old 10-20-2010, 08:44 PM   #1
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Default Turkish Mauser, odd safety-lever?

I have an old Mauser 98, that I bought a few years ago. It is stamped "Made in Turkey" on the barrel, along with the importer, CAI of St. Albans, VT (my home state).
I'm curious about the numbers stamped on it...first on the "ring"(?) around the chamber, where Springfields have their serials, etc. stamped, this one has an odd logo that looks something like a superimposed A T and F, and below it it says "1954". That couldn't be a date, could it? Especially not of manufacture, I shouldn't think.
Below that, above the line of the stock on the left side, it says "1861", and behind that on the side of the action it says "98. Th.". Of these all, the only one that seems to make any obvious sense is the "98".

Now, what I really wonder about is the safety lever...it is in the usual location, but sticks out to the RIGHT side of the action, not the left, like on my 1903, and most other Mausers (as far as I know...). Not only that, but rather than flipping 90deg up to put "on safe", it only moves about 20deg, if that. This DOES put it "on safe", and it clicks into a notch there, but it is only that little movement. Let's say that it takes the slightest brush of your hand to knock it back down into "fire" position...seems kind of pointless.
I'm assuming that it's some sort of modification, but I can't think of WHY they'd make such a poor design. It also says "Mark II"...is this like the trigger on my AK, put there to meet some import laws?

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Old 10-20-2010, 11:34 PM   #2
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Please head space the rifle before firing it. Many of those old Mauser,s wont head space. You can purchase a go,no go head space guage from Brownells.

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Old 10-21-2010, 09:45 AM   #3
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That Turk Mauser would have been made at the Ankara Arsenal, and yes, 1954 is the year of manufacture.
Don't know about the safety - all Turks I have seen and my own have the standard Model 98 safety. Have a gunsmith check it - something is NOT right!

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Old 10-21-2010, 12:06 PM   #4
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As far as headspace, I would not be overly concerned. I've yet to see a Turk w/ headspace issues. As far as your safety, all 95,96, and 98 actions safeties swing from left (fire) to top (pin lock), to right (bolt lock). With your safety over to the right you should not be able to open the bolt. I would bet the bolt sleeve is not screwed in all the way. Weather it be cosmoline or it was not assembled correctly, that would be my bet.
With this link, look at the top right side. It will give you instructions on what to do.
Collecting and Shooting the Turkish Mauser 1903/1938 - HISTORY

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Old 10-22-2010, 03:29 PM   #5
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As far as headspace, I would not be overly concerned. I've yet to see a Turk w/ headspace issues. As far as your safety, all 95,96, and 98 actions safeties swing from left (fire) to top (pin lock), to right (bolt lock). With your safety over to the right you should not be able to open the bolt. I would bet the bolt sleeve is not screwed in all the way. Weather it be cosmoline or it was not assembled correctly, that would be my bet.
With this link, look at the top right side. It will give you instructions on what to do.
Collecting and Shooting the Turkish Mauser 1903/1938 - HISTORY
It could be...but it surely LOOKS like a piece that was installed deliberately that way. It isn't even the same shape as the standard ones...it's less "blocky" than normal Mauser/1903 safetys. In fact, it's long and slender from the very base of the striker, and about 1.5 inches long, including the radius of the base. At the tip, it widens into a flat, grooved head that sticks forward a half-inch. I wish I had a digital camera, so I could at least post some pictures of it.
But it IS very puzzling...I really don't think it's BROKEN, per se...it engages the striker and lifts it off the sear when you turn it on, but it is on the wrong side and turns the wrong way (if you could even say it "turned"), as well as not having any bolt-lock. And I just can't imagine why someone would choose to install that piece...it's pretty much worthless as a safety, since it takes very little to flick it back down...just a nudge. That combined with the fact that it sticks out 1.5 inches means that I certainly wouldn't rely on it to keep the gun from firing. Hell, I bet dropping it would knock it "off safe" easy enough.
I could ALMOST see if it was a sporterized rifle, with a scope the gets in the way of the safety on a Mauser, but this rifle is untouched, still in it's military form. Even odder, it is obviously a newer part than the rest of the gun, with blacker coloring, and crisp machining, as well as a very American or English looking "Mark II" stamped into the flat base of it. I can see no reason to design this safety in the first place, let alone to install it on this gun.
I'll have it checked out though, just because I'm curious. I don't shoot the thing much anyway...ammo is hard to get around here.

About the headspacing...why is it that older guns often tend to have bad headspacing? I don't see why it should change over time. Or is it the size of the cartridges that has changed? I'm curious what the effects of firing a poorly-headspaced rifle could be. I fired off a couple boxes of pretty old surplus 8mm ammo...first thing I noticed is that the primers on the fired cases were sticking out a bit, no flush with the base any more. Someone told me that old cartridges get more powerful as they age, and so can exceed safe pressures. I don't know how much I buy that theory, but there was one round which broke in half in the chamber...I went to eject the spent shell, and only the first half-inch of the case came out. It broke off in a pretty clean, straight line right around the base of the cartridge.
I know that Springfields leave the last little bit of the case basically unsupported by the chamber, and I recall hearing that Mausers do this also, but with far less case exposed.
Could this broken shell have something to do with the headspacing? Or was the guy who told me that the bullets were probably firing with to much pressure telling the truth? Or was it just old, weak, cheap mil-sup brass?
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Old 10-22-2010, 03:44 PM   #6
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Okay, update. I believe I've solved my mystery, for the most part. The safety on my rifle is indeed designed to clear a center-mount scope. Why on earth someone chose to install it on an still-original Mauser is beyond me...seems like there'd be better places to start!
Anyway, the "Mark II" is actually the products name, and it is made by "Dayton Traister" (whoever that is!), and sold by Brownells. I think the technical term for it is a "2-position safety". The Mark II's specialty seems to be that it is specifically designed to allow very low scope mountings, lower even than "standard" 2-position safeties. That might explain why it has such a short stroke, and I suppose when one has a big ol' scope mounted over it, it'd be protected from a lot of the things that would be almost guaranteed to disengage it on a scope-less rifle like mine.
There is, however, another curious point. I was messing around with it earlier, after posting my last, and I discovered that if you slightly lift the bolt handle while pressing up on the safety lever, it will move another 10deg or so, and lock into position more positively than it did in the lower spot. I guess that COULD be intentional, since putting a safety on is generally less urgent than taking it off, but somehow it seems to me like something must be out-of-whack, or something...it's just too much a pain to have to lift both the handle and the safety lever at the same time (although it can be done one-handed without to much trouble.
Another thing that I find curious is that when you raise the bolt handle (more than a tiny bit), the safety automatically flicks off. I wonder how it does that when the normal safety doesn't act as if it were spring loaded?

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Old 10-22-2010, 09:35 PM   #7
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All Mauser rifles in the Turkish armories were arsenal refinished/rebuilt in 1954. Turkey had many different Mauser variants in stock at that time. All were upgraded to JS barrels (if needed) and had previous markings removed to be replaced with the 1954 markings. Germany had supplied Mausers to Turkey during WW I. More were sold/donated during WW II. If you find a Turk Mauser that is NOT marked 1954, it was captured during one of the wars.

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Old 10-23-2010, 04:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robocop10mm View Post
All Mauser rifles in the Turkish armories were arsenal refinished/rebuilt in 1954. Turkey had many different Mauser variants in stock at that time. All were upgraded to JS barrels (if needed) and had previous markings removed to be replaced with the 1954 markings. Germany had supplied Mausers to Turkey during WW I. More were sold/donated during WW II. If you find a Turk Mauser that is NOT marked 1954, it was captured during one of the wars.
thats good to know robo i just picked up a turkish mauser a few weeks ago and its marked 1934 not 54...
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Old 10-30-2010, 04:20 AM   #9
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Get it headspaced. Turkish mausers can range from good headspace to TERRIBLE headspace. They imported the rifles in one box and the bolts in the other. Typically the importer didnt take the time to match em back with their parent rifles. My rifle had terrible headspace, it swallowed the GO, No-Go, and field gauge like they werent even there. Tried out a few other bolts and found one that worked. Passed the No-Go. The rifle shoots great though, Turkish mausers are fantastic rifles.

Turkey was nuetral during WW2 were they not? My Turk is a 1944 K-kale.

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