Thursday, June 7, 2018

The Mauser Chileno Modelo 1895 - First Shots

I took my Mauser Chileno Modelo 1895 to the range meet-up for the Long Island Gun Club (LIGC) last night. Even though I only put 15 rounds through it but that was enough to let me know a few things about it. It feeds, it shoots, it extracts, it ejects, it does all that safely and it is inherently accurate. In fact it seems to be a very nice shooter and that regardless of my aging eyes. I am willing to wager, that with better eyes or better sights or both, it would be one hell of a shooter.

My problem is I have to wear glasses to be able to sight it in at all and neither my close-up or distance glasses are perfect for the task. While I can focus somewhat on the front sight while wearing my distance glasses (actually the weakest strength over the counter readers but my eye doc gave them his blessing for distance saying they are almost the exact same as would be a prescription) it is only with some difficulty that I can see the small V notch in the rear sight, and have the front sight aligned properly inside the V, while wearing those glasses. When I tried with my close-up readers - fuhgeddaboudit is all I can say.
This is how my Mauser Chileno Modelo 1895 looked when I got it at auction.
Since then, I have removed and sold the bayonet an removed the sling. When I
remember to dig out the sling from its hiding place, I will put it back on the rifle.

I was only shooting at about 30 yards (local indoor range's furthest distance) and tried first with the close-up readers. My 10 shot group size must have been as big as an 8 to 10 inch circle and all over the place within that circle. When I put on the distance glasses and gave it a shot, actually 5 shots, I got a group that was much smaller at about 1 9/16" across (outside rim of uppermost shot to inside rim of lowest shot) for 4 of those shots with one flyer a few more inches off.

That was not exactly what I would have wanted to see at 30 yards and was a bit of a disappointment but such is how it is when your eyes are no longer what they used to be in your youth or even in middle age. One of the LIGC members was amazed that I was disappointed with that group. While I still shoot pretty well, the thing is I used to shoot much better when I had 20/15 distance, and excellent close-up, vision and that makes for some little bit of disappointment.  

While, I think that group would have been okay at 50 yards or pretty darned good at 100 yards (with those sights), I would have preferred it to have been less than half to 2/3 the size of that group at 30 yards. As I said above, had the rifle had a beefier rear sight notch or if I had better eyes, or both, my guess is I would have improved the group markedly. As it is, despite my eyes, there is no doubt this rifle is still a very good shooter. So, I may look for an after market rear sight that fits on the original sight mount or try to see if there is a way to mount a scope without ruining the collector value of this piece.

By the way, the ammo I was shooting was Prvi Partizan 7mm Mauser, 139 grain brass cased soft points. Who knows, it may shoot better or worse with different ammo; I suspect better as the Prvi Partizan ammo is on the inexpensive side. Then again, this brand always does okay as far as I am concerned. I am looking forward to having some fun with my latest rifle but of course that means I'll have to buy a lot more of this latest caliber of ammo in my collection!

All the best,

Glenn B