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Mannlicher Schoenauer Rifles

dfletcherdfletcher Member Posts: 8,164 ✭✭✭
edited December 2014 in Ask the Experts
I'm looking over the various models (1903, 1950, 1956 & 61, etc) and have pretty much decided to buy something, but have a few questions regarding scope mounting. I see a fair number of 1903 models that have European "claw mount" bases in place - but no "rings/mounts". I've also checked out NECG and they offer the rings/mounts, but these need to be fitted. I'm fine sending the rifle to NECG, am just wondering if anyone has experience doing this or with the mounts.

I see that a fellow here sells a "Redfield" style swing in set of bases, basically the same as the claw mount but using conventional rings instead. Has anyone seen or used this set up? Supposedly the Stoeger imported models were drilled & tapped for these mounts - true?

Any help based on experience appreciated.

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    v35v35 Member Posts: 12,710 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Leupold made a one piece Adjusto-Mount for scopes without internal adjustments like Balvar 3-9. Rings are in 1", 26mm & 7/8".
    Standard scopes having fairly long eye relief can also be used.
    The European two piece type having clamp on front ring and rear mount screwing to the rear angled flat seem very fragile and subject to bending by a small bump.
    Any are pricey and hard to find.
    Check specs on the MS you choose to see if a scope mount can even be mounted on that model.
    Old Stoeger catalogs may be of some help.
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    perry shooterperry shooter Member Posts: 17,390
    edited November -1
    The Older Mannlicher Schoenauer Rifles were very high quality and very Smooth action BUT they have always been rather hard to mount scopes on
    [:(] some mounts do re not let the scope set centered over the bore but are off to the side. [:(]
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    AmbroseAmbrose Member Posts: 3,173 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have a half dozen or so of these rifles. As you, no doubt know, the Mannlicher Schoenauer has a split rear bridge that precludes mounting "conventional" scope mounts. A couple of my rifles have the original Redfield mount set-up on them. These have the turn-in rings origionally designed by Redfield but now often called Leupold style. The mounts you see offered on the auction side are of this type and, yes, some of the M-S rifles are drilled and tapped for this mount. Some of M-S rifles were d&t'd in that left angular bridge for metric screws and the old Redfield base set included an alternate pair of screws for that thread. The receiver ring was usually d&t'd in the usual way. The old Leupold Adjusto-Mount, refered to above, was a one piece base with a side extension that attached to the left receiver rail with two screws. Screw holes for those have to be d&t'd. I have a model 1952 in .308 that came to me with an Adjusto-Mount and 26mm rings on it. I have a Bausch & Lomb base, again for the old non-adjustable scopes, and it must be attached as the Leupold Adjusto-Mount. Williams made side mounts for M-S rifles and two of my rifles have them. One has a Griffen & Howe side mount. The side mounts require d&t. Some of the model 1950 and 1952 are d&t'd. Most of the model 1956 and 1961's are, as well as the MC and GK. If the rifle you buy does not already have a useable scope mount on it, I think your best bet is the Redfield style mount on the auction side. I do not have a mount by that gentleman but I've bought sight hoods from him and they were good quality. He seems to be getting out of business though--he indicated he was not going to make any more.

    Hope this helps. I think Mannlicher Schoenauers are cool rifles!

    EDIT: Perhaps this would be a good place to mention that the last of the standard Mannlicher Schoenauer rifles and carbines were model 1961 MCA. The MC and GK were made during the same time as the MCA. The difference being the MC has the 1956 style stock and the GK has the 1950/1952 style stock. Also, it may not be commonly known that M-S made a "magnum" model in 6.5x68, 8x68, .257 Weatherby Magnum, .264, .338, and .458 Winchester Magnum. (I ran across one in .458 for $1,000 on a used gun rack 10 or so years ago and passed it up. As you can tell, I'm still regretting it!)
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    spiritsspirits Member Posts: 363 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The early Mannlicher Schoenauers (I have 1903s and 1908s) did not come drilled and tapped for scope mounts; and if you find one in fine factory original condition it is best not to muck with or bugger it up. That said, I like the earlier MSs as opposed to the later which are not as finely made, slim, weigh more, and not as handy. If you really want an MS to put a scope on, look at the later MS MCA rifles which usually cost less but shoot better than the MS MCA carbines. Later MCAs (Note: Earlier MCs and MCAs came with only the receiver ring drilled and tapped and not the bridge too.) came already drilled and tapped for the Redfield bases which use their rings. I also have an MS 1950 rifle in 257R with double set triggers that has a Leupold Adjusto base and 26mm rings. This is a much more heavier base than the Redfield base and has external elevation/windage adjustments. I hunted a lot with the MS 1950 and liked it very much but I got to like the cartridge more and really needed a more weatherized rifle and ended up having a Ruger M77 II stainless rebarreled with a Shilen Match Select barrel. The disappointing thing about the MCAs is their plastic safety button and stem which tends to break with much use. I've replaced these with steel ones I made that worked much better. So look at the later MS MCA rifles drilled and tapped for the Redfield base or one which already has a scope mounted on it with the Redfield base.
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    Ray BRay B Member Posts: 11,822
    edited November -1
    The Kuharsky mount, which is a copy of the B&L mount has worked very well on this 1903.
    DSC_0104_zps5993be35.jpg
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    PA ShootistPA Shootist Member Posts: 690 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    S&K makes a beautiful mount with streamlined rings for the Mannlicher-Schoenauer rifles. They are designed to be used with factory drilled-and-tapped guns. As said, if not drilled-and-tapped, there would be a significant loss of collector value by doing so. The last of these rifles were phased out in 1972, having become very expensive to manufacture as Austrian labor costs increased.
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    nononsensenononsense Member Posts: 10,928 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    dfletcher,

    I think that I've pretty much covered the gamut of European scope mounts and including most of the older G&H side mounts which I copied at one time when we ran out of the originals from G&H and they closed shop. The standard G&H side mount allows for a second scope or no scope at all by simply using the release levers.

    I've also known Mark Cromwell at NECG for a long time. I would not hesitate to send them a project to work on so long as you understand the time frame and cost. You will get your rifle back with a perfectly mounted scope.

    The claw mounts are not difficult to fit but they can be tedious and time consuming since any little mistake will compromise the final fit. But slow and careful going with good files will get you through to the end.

    Best.
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    dfletcherdfletcher Member Posts: 8,164 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thank you all for the detailed information. The more I look into it the more I lean toward something already completely set up for a scope, but if the work needs to be done I have a gunsmith who can do it so long as the hardware is available.

    I have a few Griffin & Howe and Jaeger side mounted rifles and am comfortable with them. The MS split bridge seems to have resulted in alot of them being set up this way.

    NEGC certainly seems like a quality operation and it's good to know the claw mount is a good option. One thing I've learned about gunsmiths - their perception of time is on par with geologists ....[;)]I hand over my gun, say "call when done" and promise to not bug them with "is it done yet?" phone calls.
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    dfletcherdfletcher Member Posts: 8,164 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by perry shooter
    The Older Mannlicher Schoenauer Rifles were very high quality and very Smooth action BUT they have always been rather hard to mount scopes on
    [:(] some mounts do re not let the scope set centered over the bore but are off to the side. [:(]


    One of the challenges I have is being left eye dominant and having to shoot lefty. The Jaeger and G & H mounts all get the scope over well enough, but I have to beware of Monte Carlo scopes that have too much of an "off side" edge to them, something the later MC rifles seem to sport.
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    RCrosbyRCrosby Member Posts: 3,808 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Smoothest, most beautifully crafted rifle I've ever owned; a .270 "rifle" version, not the carbine.
    Hurt to let it go, but I sold it when I learned the hard way that a blown primer could send a hot gaseous message straight back to the old optical sensors. Thank God for shooting glasses and ear protection.
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