First Look: Custom Argentine 1909 Mauser 6mm Rem. Rifle and Weaver (USA) T10 Scope

By Gordon Landers

We all miss our friend, the late Mike Catlin, and I am happy to have acquired one of Mike's guns. It is a bolt action sporter based on an Argentine 1909 Mauser 98 action, chambered for the excellent 6mm Remington cartridge. This seems fitting, as the 6mm Rem. case is based on a necked-down .257 Roberts case, which is based on the 7x57mm Mauser case. Thus, as far as the action is concerned, it is a simple conversion to 6mm Remington. Just re-barrel and everything else, particularly the bolt and magazine, are good to go.

This Mauser 98 custom rifle is the work of someone who paid attention to detail. This is not surprising, since Mike was a connoisseur of fine firearms. The stock is made from a nice piece of walnut and the inletting and fitting to the action was carefully done. Bedding of the action to the wood shows some Brownell's type bedding resin, which suits me just fine. Good Grief, I have seen many examples of hatchet work on stocks in my time. There are many tiny bits of work that appeal to those of us who are detail oriented (or nitpicking, tightassed snivelers). The gun, as I received it, was clean, lightly oiled and in immaculate condition, as we would expect from our late friend. I am sure that as time passes and we get to know this rifle we will come to respect it greatly. The barrel was blued and the receiver, including the bolt, was left in the white.

An interesting part of learning about this rifle was examining the telescopic sight. It is a Weaver ten power target scope and we all are aware of the changes that have occurred with the Weaver brand in the last decade or so. This example has markings on the tube that indicate that it is a Weaver T10, made in the USA. It is a fixed magnification scope. It has the fine threaded, "twist and twist and twist" American type ocular focus adjustment. There is a great deal of detail imprinted on the objective bell that I, as a scope sight ignoramus, assume to be parallax adjustment.

This Weaver scope has been around for awhile, because its tube is steel. When did Weaver stop using steel tubes in favor of aluminum? The target type elevation and windage knobs are large and stand way proud of the turret. They have large incremental markings for bullet drop, even on the windage knob (bullet windage?). There are no dust caps to cover the adjustment knobs. This is not your average hunting scope.

Eye relief is critical. If you move your head an inch fore or aft the scope "winks" at you. You'll get a pinpoint light in the ocular, or no light at all. Back in the nineteen sixties, the U.S. Army and Marine Corps promoted sniper tactics and provided the chosen few with bolt action rifles equipped with Unertl ten power scopes. Have you ever seen a Unertl ten power scope? I do not doubt that they exist, but I have never seen one. I do have a Weaver ten power scope with a steel tube, not very exciting optics and large, officious looking adjustment knobs. It will have to do.

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