he Gevär m/38 was the last of the Mauser rifles used by Sweden, serving from 1938 to the mid-1980s. (Above) Swedish soldiers, circa 1930, armed with Gevär m/96s.
The m/96-style bolt featured a full-length guide rib to ensure smooth functioning. Note the charger guides machined into the receiver bridge of the rifle.
The Gevär m/38 loaded a five-round, Mauser-type charger. The rifle was chambered for the 6.5mm sk ptr m/94 prj m/41 round (6.5mm loaded cartridge m/94 with m/41 projectile).
Most Swedish Mausers imported to the U.S. have a brass disc inletted into the buttstock, useful to identify the rifle’s condition.
The rifle tested by the author is built upon a converted Gevär m/96 made by the Carl Gustafs Stads Gevarsfactori.
The Swedish Mauser’s wing-type safety can be engaged with the bolt cocked or uncocked.
This Gevär m/38 rifle is fitted with an m/41 sikte rear sight that is adjustable by tangent from 150 to 600 meters. This sight had followed the m/38 sikte, a simple tangent, and the even earlier m96.
The Gevär m/38’s receiver was slim and compact.
Visible here are the Gevär m/38’s late-style, square-blade front sight, angled bayonet lug and cleaning rod. The rifle sports a 23.6-inch barrel.
The Gevär m/96 and m/38 each used an all-steel bayonet that featured a hollow grip and a short, 8-inch, knife-style blade.
In the early 1890s, the Swedish army began searching for a new small-bore, smokeless-powder rifle to replace its Gevär m/1867, a Remington Rolling Block chambered for the rimfire 12.7mm skarpa patron. In 1892 trials were held to evaluate various Mauser, Mannlicher and Krag-Jorgensen designs, which resulted in an order to Waffenfabrik Mauser for a quantity of carbines for extended field trials. After extensive testing, during which time the caliber had been reduced to 6.5mm, the Mauser was adopted as the 1894 års Karabin (year 1894 carbine), although the following year the designation was changed to Karabin m/94. The m/94 carbine used a Mauser 1895-type action with a turned-down bolt handle and a safety that could be applied with the action cocked or uncocked. A full-length stock with side-mounted sling swivels ran all the way to the muzzle band, which did double-duty as a front sight guard. As did those of all Mauser designs before the famous Model 1898, the m/94’s bolt cocked on closing. By 1896, the Swedes had purchased 12,200 carbines from Mauser, and the carbine had proven its worth. The army then adopted a Mauser infantry rifle, the Gevär m/96.
From a military standpoint, a 6.5mm cartridge made a lot of sense as it had more than sufficient power and range to meet most military requirements. The 6.5mm also was lighter weight compared with the 7.62mm to 8mm cartridges then coming into service, making it easier for soldiers to carry more ammunition per ounce of weight. The load’s light recoil also aided in training recruits. The Swedish 6.5mm skarpa patroner m/94 (6.5mm loaded cartridge m/94) consisted of a rimless, bottlenecked case that was 55mm in length and whose 156-grain, round-nosed, full-metal-jacket bullet was propelled at 2,380 fps. It was a ballistically efficient load that retained velocity, had a low trajectory and achieved deep penetration.
Several specialized variations of the m/94 carbine saw limited use. The Karabin m/94-96 för Ingenörer e Fortificationen (m/94 Carbine for Engineers and Fortification Troops) differed in that the sling swivels were mounted on the bottom of the stock rather than the side. Then there was the Skolskjutningskarabin (School Shooting Carbine) intended for Landstormen (army reserve) youth detachments and high school shooting clubs. It was similar to the m/94-96…
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In the early 1890s, the Swedish army began searching for a new small-bore, smokeless-powder…
by Mike Beliveau / Sep 10, 2013