Saturday, August 26, 2006

"An Anonymous Best"

Here is a classic and utterly anonymous Mauser rifle in the classic older Mauser caliber 7 X 57 mm-- or as the English renamed it, .275 Rigby (which used to be part of Jonathan's email address!

It was made on a military action with no maker's marks whatsoever, not even an initial. The worksmanship is remarkable; the wood looks like it grew around the metal. It has the style of a German rifle built for the English market, with an upright leaf sight and a folding one, a small cheek piece, and a barrel band sling swivel mount.

It has a Rigby cocking piece aperture sight that I have otherwise only seen on an actual Rigby, Father Anderson Bakewell's .416 "Rigby Rifle for Heavy Game".

It may be a bit light for elephants, but that old rogue Walter Dalrymple Maitland "Karamojo" Bell killed over a thousand with the caliber in the ivory days. The almost saintly Tolstoyan hunter- naturalist Jim Corbett used it on man- eating tigers in India. It could be the "one rifle" for almost everyone, as it was for many of the poorer Brits and Afrikaaners in Africa.

My gunsmith friend Frank Combs, who once had it apart, said "That's a NICE Mauser".

Jonathan had the last word. He said "What a neat idea-- an Anonymous Best Rifle"!

1 comment:

Chas S. Clifton said...

My father, a disciple of Jack O'Connor, had at least three rifles in 7x57, the only large caliber he ever used. One is now owned by Tom McIntyre, in fact.

They got the job done, even on bison, but you really needed to be a handloader to utilize that caliber effectively, I think.