Military Review

Mauser M1898 self-loading rifle (Germany)

The first German designer, who took up the subject of self-loading rifles and managed to bring their development to the test, was Peter Paul Mauser. Already at the end of the XIX century, he began work on promising topics and eventually achieved some success. However, more than a decade and a half has passed from the start of work to the adoption of the first production model. During this time, the designer has created several versions. weapons, differing from each other automation systems and other features. The first version of the semi-automatic rifle from PP Mauser became the product Mauser M1898.

P.P. Mauser began to study the subject of self-loading weapons in 1897 year. Soon he offered his version of automation for a promising rifle, which was planned to be implemented in a new project. In the future, the first version of the self-loading rifle, by the year the project was created, received the symbol M1898. At the end of the same year, the designer filed applications for patents from different countries. In particular, in Germany, the rights of the inventor were protected by document number 105619, and the US patent received the number US 639421A.

The gunsmith proposed to use for the reloading of weapons the recoil energy acting on the barrel and the bolt coupled to it. It was proposed to lock the barrel when firing with the help of sliding lugs hinged to the receiver. For reasons of economy, weapons with automatics should have been based on the design of a magazine rifle arr. 1898 d. From the existing project it was planned to borrow some parts that, in combination with the new units and aggregates, were to carry out an independent reloading of the weapon after the shot.

Mauser M1898 self-loading rifle (Germany)
General view of the rifle Mauser M1898. Photo

The use of the existing sample as a basis for the appearance of a promising rifle. Outwardly, it hardly differed from other systems of that time, and in particular, from the Gewehr 98 rifle. It was possible to distinguish between different types of weapons only by the design of the receiver and some units placed on its outer surface. The overall architecture remained unchanged: a large trunk mounted on a wooden bed, a receiver behind it and a store in the bottom of the weapon.

From the predecessor, the semi-automatic rifle was supposed to receive a rifled 7,92 mm caliber barrel with a 740 mm length (93 caliber). The chamber was intended for the use of patrons 7,92x57 mm Mauser early modifications. In connection with the use of automation on the basis of recoil of the barrel, it was decided to modify the existing unit. On the outer surface of the barrel, new parts have appeared, which are necessary for connecting with other weapons aggregates. With the help of such innovations it was possible to reciprocate the barrel within a few millimeters, which is necessary for performing recharging. In addition, a bushing of a U-shaped cross section appeared in the breech breech, which was to include a gate. She was also responsible for locking the barrel, interacting with the battle stops.

Behind the barrel on the rifle's box should fix the receiver of the desired shape. It had the upper part close to a rectangular section with an expanding front volume that contained the lugs. Under the tubular part of the receiver there was a rectangular unit for locating the magazine and the firing mechanism. To completely disassemble the receiver, you should remove the back cover of the upper unit, remove the entire product from the box, and then remove other covers and remove various internal parts.

General view of the weapon in the drawing of the patent

Inside the top of the receiver was placed shutter. Its main part had a relatively large length and a complex section, close to rectangular with protrusions in the upper part. The front part of the bolt had the maximum possible width, behind it there was a narrowing, which smoothly passed into the wide rear part. Inside the gate, on the longitudinal axis and to the left of it, there were two channels. The central channel passed through the entire bolt and contained a drummer. In the neutral position, the needle of the striker was located inside the bolt, the part was held in this position by a spring. In the interaction of the hammer and the shank of the firing pin, the latter had to move forward, compress the spring and hit the cartridge primer. The side channel of the shutter was not through and was intended to install a return spring. The return spring had a guide rod.

For cocking the weapon before shooting on the right surface of the receiver there was a narrow movable cover with a handle on the front. When recharging, you should pull the handle back and then return it to its original position. The handle and cover interacted with the bolt, moving them in the right direction. During the shooting, the lid and grip remained in place and did not move. Inside the handle there was a button used in one of the shooting modes.

The rifle of the new type received the original locking mechanism of the rolling barrel. Inside the front of the extended part of the receiver, in the corresponding grooves of its walls, were placed two movable stops of complex shape. During reloading, they had to interact with the breech, the front rim of the bolt and the receiver, moving along the desired trajectory. When the bolt moves forward, the stops are linked to the barrel, and when the entire system is rolled back - to release the bolt.

Barrel locking system. Figure

The trigger mechanism of the M1898 rifle was divided into two main parts. The first was placed in the bottom of the receiver. It consisted of a trigger, a trigger and a mainspring, as well as several other details. The main element of the trigger was a trigger of complex shape, fixed on the axis. Behind the trigger propped cylindrical mainspring, placed inside the cylindrical casing and having two internal guide rods. In the cocked position, the trigger was blocked by a set of triggers and rocker arms associated with the trigger. Clicking on the latter led to unlocking the trigger and firing a shot.

The second part of the firing mechanism, responsible for the mode of fire, was placed in the back of the receiver, above the trigger and other details. It was proposed to control the regime of fire with the help of a pivotal lever, which was placed on the rear wall of the receiver and capable of rotating around its axis. Turning and interacting with other parts, the lever could block the trigger, as well as select "slow" or "fast" self-loading modes. In the latter cases, the system of the rifle affected parts, blocking the return of the bolt to the forward position.

Below the shutter in its neutral position was an integral box magazine for five rounds, borrowed from a Gewehr 98 rifle. Inside the metal case, fully retracted inside the box, placed a spring and a pusher. When straightening, the spring was supposed to feed the cartridges upwards and bring them to the discharging line. Shop equipment could be produced manually, one cartridge each, or using standard clips.

Automatic rifle M1898. The shutter is in the forward position, the trigger is released. Drawings from the patent

Semi-automatic rifle PP Mauser received a wooden box with a set of cutouts for fitting the necessary parts, which was standard for the weapons of that time. From above the mobile trunk was closed by an overlay. Details of weapons fastened with screws, clamps, etc. The box had a neck with a pistol projection in front of the butt.

The weapon received standard rifle sights in the form of a fly on the muzzle of the barrel and an open adjustable sight. The latter was decided to be installed on the back of the receiver cover, outside the window for the ejection of the sleeves. The use of a rolling barrel did not allow the use of a standard placement of the sight.

The preparation of the M1898 rifle for firing almost did not differ from similar procedures with other weapons of this class. It was necessary to take the bolt to the rear position, and then insert the clip with cartridges into the upper window of the receiver, or place the ammunition in the store manually, but one by one. Then the bolt returned to the neutral position, at the same time the patron was sent to the chamber. After disconnecting the fuse and setting the desired fire mode, you could search for the target and shoot.

When fired, the recoil energy should have rolled back the barrel and the bolt engaged with it for a short distance. After braking the barrel in the rearmost position, the bolt continued to retract by inertia. At the same time, its front end was to pull back the lugs to their extreme rear position. From such an impact, as well as as a result of interaction with the receiver, the backs of the stops diverged to the side, allowing the bolt to go back. During the rollback, the bolt removed and discarded the sleeve, and also cocked the trigger.

Automatic equipment at the shutter taken away back. Patent drawing

After braking in the rear position, the bolt went forward, pushed by its own return spring. When this occurred rassilanie top cartridge from the store. Then the head of the bolt entered the barrel bushing, which resulted in the latter returning to its original position with simultaneous displacement of the lugs and locking of the barrel. After the barrel returned to the extreme forward position, the weapon was ready for a new shot. A slide lag was also present: after the cartridges in the store were used up, the pusher did not allow the shutter to go forward, which facilitated and accelerated recharging.

A curious feature of the Mauser M1898 project was the use of two firing modes. In the “quick” fire mode, the rifle used automatic equipment and reloaded independently. The arrow could only point the weapon at the target and pull the trigger. Shooting in the “slow” mode looked different. In this case, after the shot, the bolt rolled back, throwing out the cartridge case and cocking the trigger, and then braked with a special lever. For the next shot, the shooter had to press the button on the shutter handle associated with the locking lever. Only after that the bolt moved forward and prepared the weapon for firing.

It was assumed that the use of two firing modes will avoid unnecessary waste of ammunition by reducing the rate of fire with "slow" fire. The “fast” mode was considered as a means of increasing the rate of fire in appropriate situations, but it was not the main one. At the end of the century before last, even the leading countries had no experience in using self-loading rifles, which led to such interesting consequences.

The device back of the receiver. Patent drawing

The first draft of the semi-automatic rifle, written by Peter Paul Mauser, was completed in 1898, which led to its traditional designation. At his own weapons factory, the designer assembled a prototype of a promising weapon that was planned to be used in future tests. The prototype was made with extensive use of finished parts, components and assemblies borrowed from serial rifles recently ordered by the army. Thanks to this, the assembly of the test rifle did not take much time, after which it was ready for inspections.

As far as is known, during testing, the experienced M1898 rifle showed insufficient reliability of the mechanisms. The lack of proven ideas and solutions led to the emergence of a mass of “childhood diseases” that should be discovered, studied and eliminated. It took some time. Moreover, some problems could remain in new projects.

Most of the flaws of the rifle adversely affected the performance, but did not lead to any incidents. Nevertheless, some problems during the tests still led to tragic consequences. According to the tradition of the time, PP Mauser independently checked his rifle at the shooting range. During the next test shooting during the shot, the destruction of weapons assemblies occurred. The scattered parts and fragments caused the gunsmith numerous wounds to the face, as well as deprived of his eyes.

Elements of the trigger mechanism. Drawings from the patent

According to reports, the failure of a rifle with tragic consequences led to the cessation of work on the M1898 project. By this time, all the main features of the prototype had been studied, because of which the assembly and further tests of the second prototype were considered unnecessary. The damaged pilot rifle was restored, although it was not planned to be used in new tests. According to others, it was disposed of as unnecessary, without performing repairs.

Already after the completion of the tests, PP Mauser engaged in obtaining patents for his new invention. Even without justifying the hopes pinned, the M1898 project was of some interest from the point of view of copyright. As a result, the inventor received a patent securing for him the rights to the original design of a self-loading rifle.

Even a serious injury could not distract PP. Mauser from further work on the development of small arms. After completing the tests of the unsuccessful and unreliable prototype of the M1898 product, he continued to work on creating new automation systems and weapons based on them. A few years later, a new version of a self-loading rifle based on a different automatics appeared. The next rifle used recoil energy with a long recoil of the barrel.

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  1. Lekov L
    Lekov L 25 July 2016 11: 36
    Another big thanks to Cyril for the article on the history of weapons!
  2. certero
    certero 25 July 2016 16: 50
    Thank you for the article!
    It would be interesting to read about the various schemes of automation and who first thought of using gas exhaust for recharging.
  3. tracer
    tracer 25 July 2016 19: 07
    Nemchura knows how to make rifles. Everyone who understands weapons is aware of this. Thanks to the author for the article.