The Quality of American Firearms...

HWL

AH elite
Joined
Aug 29, 2016
Messages
1,072
Reaction score
1,748
Location
Germany
Media
196
Hunted
RSA, Namibia, Germany, Austria, Norway
It is just not fair, to compare a low end American firearm with a high end European one.....

;)


HWL
 

rookhawk

AH legend
Joined
Mar 4, 2015
Messages
3,194
Reaction score
4,316
Location
North America
Media
138
Articles
2
Member of
NRA Life Benefactor, Trout Unlimited, Safari Club International
apologies to all, but i would take the rem hands down no question.
bruce.
why? Push feed. Untrustworthy safety. Exists as a military rifle solely because the pre64 Winchester ended and the US demanded something, anything, made in America. Wood has always been pedestrian. Side safety is cheap. Barrel quality was never great. They are expensive for their simplicity. Bottom metal is now junk pot metal on many of them. Their bridges are out of true .003”-.008” making two piece mounts a nightmare too.

Compare to, the smoothest action ever created. The only bolt action design with no ammo resistance upon load by its rotary design. Instant unload spool. Intercepting safety block. Match trigger standard. Hand checkered European walnut. Oil finish. Starting at $1000?

the final arbiter, taking tacticool models out of the discussion, which gun has been built into best guns more often?

ive owned several rem700s and have a rem700 muzzleloader at present. Other than savage actions, it’s the $hiti3s1 gun I own as far as fit, finish, and quality, even after I threw $3000 at it to “put lipstick on my pig”.

I Don’t get it.
 

Ray B

AH legend
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
2,421
Reaction score
2,697
Location
WA St, USA
Media
76
Hunting reports
USA/Canada
1
It also isn't "fair" to say that demand drives the selection of supply. consider Winchester. In 1963 there was demand for Winchester products as they were made, however the management saw the in-roads into their demand due to Remingtons fancied-up Models 721 & 722, renamed Model 700. The 700 had several methods of manufacture that resulted in a product that was cheaper to manufacture. Since the outward appearance wasn't significantly different and it had some "benefits" that were heavily advertised such as the 3 rings of steel the 700 could be sold for considerably less than the 70. A considerable portion of the hunting public saw little difference and so opted for the lower priced Remington. There was a group of hunters that appreciated a forged steel action, a non-rotating extractor, a fixed blade ejector and other features of the Model 70, so regardless of the price difference, they purchased the Model 70- these hunters were not seen as a sufficient market for Winchester to continue the product line. So the Model 70 and several other Winchester products were redesigned with the primary goal to lower the cost and copy the 700. The result was Winchester not only didn't cut into the sales of the 700, they lost what market sector they had of loyal Winchester users.

now if the demand steered production, it would have been only a short time before Winchester would have recognized their error and reintroduced the Model 70 as made prior to 1964. And after a few small companies made successful copies of the original 70, Winchester finally came around to making rifles that at least resembled the now famous Pre-64s. However it took about 25 years and a couple changes in ownership for it to occur.

However much has happened in the 50+ years since Winchesters fateful decision to lower the quality of their product. the craftsmen & women aged and retired. they were not replaced by a corps of apprentices. the processes of making a firearm changed from a skilled craftsman heat treating an action based on visual observation or machining a part by cut and measure, repeat until it fits within thousandths to machinery that is computer controlled with little human interference or involvement.

The difference between a European and an American firearm in terms of the high end products is more a question of wanting to pay a craftsman for the products of his training. A few European companies still make firearms in the traditional way. This involves much highly trained and skilled hand labor. But just as has happened with Winchester, a similar product can be obtained by employing technology as a replacement for much of the labor. So the underlaying question isn't so much how much quality does the buyer want (in terms of fit and tolerances) but how much hand work dies he want. Many things in life are desired so that they can be appreciated. There are those that appreciate knowing that the firearm they are holding is the result of hours of labor by skilled craftsmen, the likes of which the world won't see again. To those, a machine made firearm is just another tool but a quality hand made firearm is a piece of art, whether it is embellished or not.
 

MS 9x56

AH enthusiast
Joined
Apr 10, 2020
Messages
306
Reaction score
448
Location
Central NY
Media
1
I don't want to seem to be bashing Remington guns as I only live 75 miles from the I lion factory. They were extremely handicapped by the most inept management is the history of firearms manufacturing. Not to mention for the most part they are an accurate and serviceable hunting rifle. What they are not is a Mannlicher Schoenauer!
 

Brian Rothhammer

AH enthusiast
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
251
Reaction score
228
Media
36
Come to shoulder with sights aligned swinging like a fine English double shotgun catching up to the buck then passing gun goes off almost of its own volition buck falls. Not to mention it’s eye catching good looks when you take the pictures. There is no finer rifle for off hand and jump shooting animals. Then there is the fact that more than likely you would be the only one in your group using one. Other than that they are both rifles. I wouldn’t trade my MS 1905 for any other rifle. But admittedly I am biased.

Comparing a rem and a mannlicher Schoenauer is like comparing McDonalds to Peter Lugers.

I’ll leave it at that, otherwise I’d have to cover it in a 14 volume desk reference series.

apologies to all, but i would take the rem hands down no question.
bruce.


Bruce (and others reading this thread):

Have you ever handled / fired a Mannlicher Schoenauer?

It is the Mannlicher Schoenauer that Rookhawk refers to (and 9X56 references his M1905), which went out of production in 1972 and is not the same as Steyr's current offerings, as fine as they may be.

The Mannlicher Schoenauer was truly in a class by itself with stock geometry akin to that of Oberndorf Mausers. The drop, comb, cheek rest, and cast of stock are engineered for instinctive 'snap shooting', at which the MS excels. The amazingly smooth and accurate Mannlicher action and flawless feeding of the Schoenauer magazine were hallmarks of the MS.

Open the bolt on your favorite Remington and pull it all the way back. Now (with empty magazine and clear chamber, of course) squeeze the trigger and lower the muzzle toward the ground. Will the bolt close itself by gravity alone? The bolt of any Mannlicher Schoenauer (though pre WW2 are the best) in good condition and properly oiled will, at about 30 to 40 degrees of tilt, slide home as if skating on ice and fully close itself with a satisfying 'snap'. When fed cartridges of proper profile, the Schoenauer magazine always feeds flawlessly and will not fail.

The Mannlicher Schoenauer has a well deserved reputation for accuracy across all chamberings.

Back to stock geometry, have you ever handled / fired a pre WW2 Oberndorf Mauser?
If so, you'll have an idea what 9X56 meant by 'coming up to the shoulder'.
The Mannlicher Schoenauer (and OB Mauser) stocks had a natural, fluid, 'pointability' like no other. Hear an angry pig running up on you from behind? Spin around while bringing cheek to rest and you'll find your iron sights to be right on ol' porky every time.

The machining, fit, and finish of the 'prewar' MS is superb. They were built like fine watches, yet are very simple and easy to maintain in shop or field. The bolt and magazine can be completely disassembled for cleaning without tools.

In short, if you ever handle and fire a Mannlicher Schoenauer and then a Remington (or nearly any other rifle) of the same chambering and come away feeling that you'd rather have the Rem (or nearly any other rifle), I'd respectfully suggest that sentiment and brand loyalty may have overcome reason and objectivity.

From 1939 Stoeger:
MS ST39 50 Mannlicher Schoenauer.jpg

MS ST39 51 Mannlicher Schoenauer details 02.jpg
 
Last edited:

Brian Rothhammer

AH enthusiast
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
251
Reaction score
228
Media
36
The only custom is the Model 7 Mannlicher.The rest are right off the rack..........................

Rifles and carbines (particularly carbines) that are stocked to (or nearly to) the muzzle are properly referred to as stutzen.

People in the U.S. have come to refer to all stutzen as being 'Mannlicher stocked' or as 'Mannlichers' even when they are not. This is, presumably, due to the fine reputation developed by the M1903 early in the Twentieth Century and its introduction to many American buyers through Stoeger Catalog images.

Though previously imported by Sequoia Importing Co., many Americans were first introduced to the MS through late 1920s Stoeger Catalog images such as this, from 1927:
MS Stoeger 1927.jpg



Had they read the description below the image, however, they may have realized that the MS was also offered in half stocked and half stocked takedown versions.

From 1931 Stoeger:
MS Stoeger 1931 detail b.jpg


By 1939, the Stoeger included images of the half stocked and take down (available pre WW2) versions (see above post) along with this image of a stutzen offered by Mauser.

Mauser Stutzen in 1939 Stoeger:
ST39 400dpi 44 Mauser Sporting Rifles 2 001 3_zpst9o5kxwn.jpg


So, as one can see, Mannlicher Schoenauers were not always stutzen and stutzen are not always 'Mannlichers'.

Steyr offered the commercial Mannlicher Schoenauer in both full stocked and half stocked versions from the M1900 through the M1972 as well as, prior to WW2, take down models.

A full stock does not a Mannlicher make.
 
Last edited:

bruce moulds

AH legend
Joined
Aug 10, 2018
Messages
2,275
Reaction score
2,931
brian,
while i respect your obvious love for these rifles they are not for me.
firstly i cannot abide the stock designs, having found improved performance in more modern designs.
i have worked with cast a fair bit, and found it is overrated, at best needing to be custom fitted to the user.
mounting scopes on those old mannlichers comes under the heading of living in hades.
scopes always look too high on them as well.
to me they are engineering for engineerings sake.
the fact that bolts will slide forward under gravity is irrelevent.
stutzen stocks are a way of adding unnecessary weight.
guns like rem 700 are cheaper to make, function well, are scope mounting friendly, and "bits" are readily available.
animals shot with a rem are just as dead as those shot with a mannlicher.
my preference over a rem is for win m70 or a variant.
i just find them user friendly.
while i appreciate their crf, i find that many guys who want this do not actually understand what it is or its benefits.
bruce.
 

MS 9x56

AH enthusiast
Joined
Apr 10, 2020
Messages
306
Reaction score
448
Location
Central NY
Media
1
I have a Ruger 77 RSI in 250-3000 that I really enjoy hunting with especially from tree or ladder stands. It is not however handle the same as my 1905. Each have their place. I also have a CZ 550 FS in 9.3 x62 that is defiantly a poster child of Bruce’s observation tha Mannlicher stocked rifles add weight. Both my Ruger and CZ have 1 1/2 to 3 lbs on my 1905 which defiantly affects their handling. I actually like the xtra weight on the 9.3 as it would be quite lively in an MS. I just enjoy the aesthetics of the full stocked rifles. I defy any one to tell me they can’t be accurate as my CZ consistently shoots sub MOA. The Ruger will for the first 3 shots then throws an outlier an inch or two. Not fair to compare the MS with open sights. But I I am going still hunting it is always the MS that finds its way into my hands. To each his own use what you enjoy and good hunting and shooting.
 

Brian Rothhammer

AH enthusiast
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
251
Reaction score
228
Media
36
brian,
while i respect your obvious love for these rifles they are not for me.
....bruce.

I understand and respect your opinions, but you didn't answer;
have you ever handled and fired a Mannlicher Schoenauer, especially a pre WW2 example?

One place I will directly disagree with you - there is nothing over engineered or over complicated about the MS. They are a natural progression of Ritter Ferdinand von Mannlicher's previous designs combined with the simple elegance of Otto Schoenauer's rotary magazine.

In military form (Y1903...) they served reliably through two world wars and beyond.

They are difficult to scope, having been originally engineered for iron sights. Vintage see - through claw mounts were wonderful, however. Simple one handed removal of scope, always returns to precise zero when reinstalled.

Claw mount on Mauser:
ST39 400dpi 45 Mauser Big Game Rifles 001 (4).jpg


Mannlicher Schoenauer:
MS 1900 Rifle.jpg

Military version above, sporting rifle below (shown with double set triggers, may be exchanged for single if desired):
MS 3511_83_52-mannlicher-schoenauer-bolt.jpg



This is, of course, all rather off - topic to the thread as the Mannlicher Schoenauer has been out of production since 1972.
 
Last edited:

Red Leg

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
May 19, 2009
Messages
5,820
Reaction score
15,366
Location
Texas Hill Country
Media
264
Articles
5
Hunting reports
Africa
2
USA/Canada
4
Mex/S.Amer
1
Europe
3
Member of
SCI DSC life memberships / NRA Patron Life
Hunted
Mexico, Namibia, RSA, Germany, Austria, Argentina, Canada, Mozambique, Spain, US (15 states)
I understand and respect your opinions, but you didn't answer;
have you ever handled and fired a Mannlicher Schoenauer, especially a pre WW2 example?

One place I will directly disagree with you - there is nothing over engineered or over complicated about the MS. They are a natural progression of Ritter Ferdinand von Mannlicher's previous designs combined with the simple elegance of Otto Schoenauer's rotary magazine.

In military form (Y1903...) they served reliably through two world wars and beyond.

They are difficult to scope, having been originally engineered for iron sights. Vintage see - through claw mounts were wonderful, however. Simple one handed removal of scope, always returns to precise zero when reinstalled.

Claw mount on Mauser:
View attachment 376542

Mannlicher Schoenauer:
View attachment 376544

View attachment 376545
They are exquisite and somehow exactly right in the hand. Their original rounds are also perfectly balanced for the game for which they were intended. They work on other continents as well. The 6.5x54 is an elegant and perfectly proportioned carbine for North American whitetail. And it is definitely not a Remington Model 700 or a Winchester Model 70 - pre or post - 64.

M1903 Mannlicher Shoenauer


None of that is to say that a Winchester or Remington won't do the job - of course they will. And I can take them some places that I would not take my dainty Schoenauer. But there is no comparison with respect to quality of workmanship.

I should also add, that we build magnificent rifles in this country as good as anything anywhere. A Todd Ramirez creation is as finely built as anything ever created in London or Suhl. I'd put my own Libhart .404 up against most anywhere.

Custom .404 Jeffery by Craig Libhart


American custom gunmakers have been building such masterpieces for a century or more, and the best take second place to none anywhere.
 
Last edited:

Brian Rothhammer

AH enthusiast
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
251
Reaction score
228
Media
36
They are exquisite and somehow exactly right in the hand. Their original rounds are also perfectly balanced for the game for which they were intended...

M1903 Mannlicher Shoenauer


I should also add, that we build magnificent rifles in this country as good as anything anywhere. A Todd Ramirez creation is as finely built as anything ever created in London or Suhl. I'd put my own Libhart .404 up against most anywhere.
American custom gunmakers have been building such masterpieces for a century or more, and the best take second place to none anywhere.
That's a lovely MS stutzen. Looks to be an early one with the 'Prince of Wales' grip.

Joel Dorleac's creations (and restorations) set a rather high bar: https://www.dorleac-dorleac.com/?lang=en

ZZZ.jpg
 

Attachments

  • Screen Shot 2020-11-22 at 10.53.40 AM.png
    Screen Shot 2020-11-22 at 10.53.40 AM.png
    3.5 MB · Views: 7
Last edited by a moderator:

Ray B

AH legend
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
2,421
Reaction score
2,697
Location
WA St, USA
Media
76
Hunting reports
USA/Canada
1
One aspect of the various rifles mentioned is the technology available to the makers at the time. Following is a photograph of the three basic styles available in the years following the Great war. The MS 1903 6.5x54 is 1920; the Spfd 1903 is 1919, and the M98 GEW is from 1916.

DSC_1267.JPG
 
Last edited by a moderator:

sestoppelman

AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 25, 2010
Messages
7,169
Reaction score
6,334
Media
165
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
NRA, NA Hunt Club
Hunted
Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe (2), Namibia (2), South Africa (2)
I have owned a few Steyr rifles but not any earlier Mannlichers, I know they are fine rifles, but to my eye they are just flat ugly and awkward looking.
The later Steyr M, L, and S series rifles look great. The ones I have owned have all been very accurate. I dont own one now because of my proclivity towards "rotating" my stock, but often keep my eye peeled for another M.
I did find to my dismay that very early M series rifles had a defect. Its been some time and I cant quite remember what it did, but it prompted a trip back to Alabama to get repaired and retrofitted so it wouldnt do it again. In talking with the shop manager there who explained it to me, it was the reason the later rifles had that little plunger near the root of the bolt handle.
No rifle is perfect, not even a Steyr.
 

Brian Rothhammer

AH enthusiast
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
251
Reaction score
228
Media
36
One aspect of the various rifles mentioned is the technology available to the makers at the time. Following is a photograph of the three basic styles available in the years following the Great war. The MS 1903 6.5x54 is 1920; the Spfd 1903 is 1919, and the M98 GEW is from 1916.

All of which have common ancestry in the 'Commission' Gewehr 88, which was largely a combination of Ritter Ferdinand von Mannlicher and Paul Mauser's work.
 
  • Like
Reactions: HWL

HWL

AH elite
Joined
Aug 29, 2016
Messages
1,072
Reaction score
1,748
Location
Germany
Media
196
Hunted
RSA, Namibia, Germany, Austria, Norway

bruce moulds

AH legend
Joined
Aug 10, 2018
Messages
2,275
Reaction score
2,931
again at the risk of offending.
look at the placement of the bolt handle in hwls rifle, and the horrible butterknife shape of it.
then add the spur on the trigger guard and the way the scope is mounted.
rifle design has gone past that for a long time now.
look how the scope is mounted in post 315.
these are things of the past, going back to muzzle loaders and early single shot design.
good american rifles like the m70 and m700 just function better from a design point of view, and with a bit of work where necessary are absolutely flawless in function and accuracy still cheaper.
face a charging lion or elephant give me a m70 or variant or even a rem 700.
no need to use irons, as the scope will be where it needs to be in the first place.
the mannlicher really shows its pedigree of the 88.
it just never went where the m98 went.
the current m98 looks to be a very good rifle in design too.
i nanswer to brian, i have never fired a mannlicher, but i have handled them.
things such as bolts sliding shut are nice but not of importance compared to other things.
bruce.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
35,637
Messages
665,256
Members
60,465
Latest member
VeraDalzie
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

DGGardner wrote on Rare Breed's profile.
I'm sure I am a day late and a dollar short but if the deal on the .416 falls through let me know and I will buy it.
Pondoro wrote on Tally-Ho HUNTING SAFARIS's profile.
Hello...could you please pm me regarding what species available on this fly-camp offer....can cape buffalo be taken for instance..? Trophy prices..?
matt vejar wrote on kevin masters's profile.
Kevin,
Played rookie league for the Yankees in Paintsville after winning the College World Series at Fullerton State, in1979. All I could think about was the movie “Deliverance”- lived up in a hollow with some other players. Refused to go on a moonshine run because it was a dry county-no way. Met some of the nicest people on the planet there! Van Lear the home of Loretta Lynn was highlight of summer LOL.
Tally-Ho HUNTING SAFARIS wrote on jfowler812's profile.
hi Mr fowler

im happy to do these deals for 2021

i will knock off 10% off each deal if you take 2 so $18000 per package

look forward to your response

regards
Mule deer and Colorado elk seasons almost done! Hunters driving farm roads, looking for racks, their PH driving them along, I ask that you not pull into my drive. The buck behind me, on the boundary line of the GMU somehow knows. The hunter laughs, I would invite you in to see my Searcy rifles but social distancing prevails, darkness arrives and the buck slides away into secret tree grove...
 
Top