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The Yugoslavian M48B Mauser, Worthy of the Breed!

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Zeliard
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The Yugoslavian M48B Mauser, Worthy of the Breed!

#1 Post by Zeliard » Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:41 pm

Originally posted by carteach0.

Last year I was fortunate enough to acquire a Mauser rifle in excellent condition.
This specimen is a fine example of a Yugoslavian M-48B 8x57 Mauser type
bolt action battle rifle.

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Following WWII, the Yugoslavs moved to rearm themselves with an eye to
self-reliance. They had production facilities left over from the Nazi occupation,
and large numbers of captured German weapons. Many of these were
reworked and standardized in Yugoslavian armories.

In the early ‘50’s Yugoslavia designed the model 1948 Mauser type rifle,
otherwise known as the model 48. It eventually had several variations
on a theme, with most staying quite true to the original.

The M48 was a fairly faithful copy of the German K-98, with some changes.
Chief among these was shortening the action to an ‘intermediate’ length,
which stiffened it considerably and made it faster to operate (although just barely).

The origins of the design are made clear when looking at the front bands and
bayonet mount, which are pure K-98 to the eye.

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The bolt was bent down, although not in the usual American sense. As built it
will not clear a traditionally mounted scope. It is bent enough to make
handing more efficient and operation quicker.

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The sights are the simple Mauser style, with a front upside down V blade on
a hooded ramp and the rear a typical ramped military Mauser sight graduated to
2000 meters. The rear notch is V shaped and quite small, making close aiming
difficult at times.

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The stocks are usually found made of Elm or beech, which confused many
people used to seeing Walnut on a rifle. Much of the nicer Walnut having
been used during war production and on the 24/47 Mauser, the Yugoslavians
used what they had in abundance, that being elm. On rare occasions walnut
stocks have been noted, as have oak of all things.
The early M48 models are sometimes found in walnut, or leftover 24/47
walnut stocks.

The Elm furniture is often mistakenly labeled Teak, but that is incorrect.
A small run of M48 barreled actions was run off for a nation that then
installed their own wood, and was sometimes actually Teak, but the
Yugoslavian M48 and M48A was never mounted in Teak by the Slav’s.

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American collectors encounter the M48 in four main variations; The M48,
M48A, M48B, and M48BO. The M48 being the first model, and having a
milled floor plate, the M48A being a bit later, the M48B having a stamped
steel floor plate to decrease production time and costs, and the slightly
mysterious M48BO.

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The M48BO is often mistakenly called the ‘Egyptian’ model after a run of rifles
built for sale to Egypt, but canceled when the war with Israel broke out.
In reality, many M48 rifles were built as BO models, and are notable by having
no markings other than serial numbers. These were made for sale to nations
that wished to maintain plausible deniability as to the weapons origins.

Many M48 rifles are found complete with bayonets, sheaths, frogs,
ammunition carriers, and cleaning kits. The bayonets are standard German
style fare and are not in the least rare.

Original Yugoslavian 8x57mm ammunition was a glut on the market for
quite some time, but has now dried up. It proved to be decent ammunition,
but is noted for having rather hard primers, and rifles with weak firing pin
springs have issues with it.

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There are many of these fine little Mauser style rifles available on the market,
in varying condition. The intermediate action makes it suitable for custom rifle
builds, and quite a few have gone to those projects. The bulks of those
seen are in decent condition and make excellent shooters.

There are a fair number of M48 rifles that were built in the mid 1950’s and
went into storage at once, the market for bolt action battle rifles having
dried up. The rifle shown here seems to be one of those, with a very
late serial number and no signs of wear at all. It appeared unfired when
purchased, but that soon changed.

It’s a decent shooter. Experience has proven it to be
Dependable, accurate, and of excellent quality.

The Slav’s had a nickname for the M-48, which translates roughly as
‘Old Reliable’. I see no reason to disagree!

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Those wishing to learn more about Yugoslavian Mausers could do worse than to
purchase the book ‘Serbian and Yugoslav Mauser Rifles’ by Branko Bogdanovich.
The author is the historian for the Yugoslavian arms industry and most
knowledgeable on the subject. He is alive and well, and as this is written
available by E-mail for questions regarding the subject.
Proud alumni of Transylvanian Polygnostic University. "Know enough to be afraid."

"Vertroue in God en die Mauser".-Faith in God and the Mauser.

"Send lawyers, guns and money." -Warren Zevon

mr.tickle
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Re: The Yugoslavian M48B Mauser, Worthy of the Breed!

#2 Post by mr.tickle » Wed Jul 19, 2017 4:04 am

Great write-up! I concur Branko's book is a must have! I love my M48, kicks like a mule but is nice and handy.
I'm just here for the food...

spentprimer
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Re: The Yugoslavian M48B Mauser, Worthy of the Breed!

#3 Post by spentprimer » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:26 am

Thank you for the history lesson on the M-48, very enjoyable article. I will have to look up the book.
This ain't Dodge City and you ain't Bill Hickok - Matthew Quigley

indy1919a4
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Re: The Yugoslavian M48B Mauser, Worthy of the Breed!

#4 Post by indy1919a4 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:49 pm

Nicely done... top draw history write up with good photos...

Nice rifle by the way...

swede
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Re: The Yugoslavian M48B Mauser, Worthy of the Breed!

#5 Post by swede » Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:49 pm

That is an awesome rifle, thanks for the info

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