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    Member robinpeck's Avatar
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    Swedish Mauser 96 Weapons Officer Rifle

    Sharing a few photos of a Swedishicon Mauser 96 Weapons Officer's rifle (sporterized in Sweden) that I recently picked up in Canadaicon.

    Thanks to Svenska Arméns Rulla (1925 Ed. page 142) we know that the rifle was assembled by and became the private property of Löjtnant Nils Åkerhielm of the 15th Infantry Regiment (Kungliga Älvsborgs Regimente), a member of the Swedish nobility. Löjtnant Åkerhielm is listed as having completed the GBK (Kurs för utbildande gevärsbesiktningsofficerare - trans: course for training rifle inspection officers) and serving as a regimental weapons officer (VapOff.) He is also listed as FriH (Friherre) indicating nobility. ("Friherre" corresponds to the rank of Baron and is used in written Swedish. In spoken Swedish, "Baron" is now generally used.) Åkerhielm is a prominent family in Sweden: the Baron Johan Gustaf Nils Samuel Åkerhielm served as Prime Minister of Sweden from 1889 to 1891.

    The younger Baron Nils Åkerhielm's name and initials (N.A. and NSA..."S" for Samuel?) are stamped on all parts of his rifle: on the bolt and bolt shroud, bolt stop, receiver and barrel, rear sight base, trigger and sear, the firing pin, the trigger guard assembly and floorplate. As is the cross stamp, signifying a part taken out of military service, sometimes alone, sometimes stamped directly on top of a crown mark. The barrel has two stamps of "23" and three other proof marks as well as the initials NA on the bottom. The receiver is dated 1923.

    The sporter stock that came with the rifle from Sweden is just a commercial Husqvarna beechwood stock from the 1950's intended for the their FN 98 series of rifles, modified to fit a 96 by moving the recoil lug slightly further back into the stock. I have replaced it with a good condition walnut Husqvarna Model 46 stock. It's a better fit than the M-98 beech stock. If I come across a good condition walnut M-96 stock set, I may restore the rifle to full military, however I will probably just leave it as is.

    The bolt handle is modified to a slight curve down and to the rear, likely to make the rifle a bit more compact and for ease of cycling rather than for scope use, as it is not low enough for that. The 2-stage military trigger has been safely modified to a no-creep single stage with a very consistent pull weight of 3 lb. The cocking piece has been shortened and there is no safety. I have some 96 safeties in the parts bin and can probably find one that will fit. The magazine follower, the only part with an intact crown stamp, is bevelled at the rear to allow cycling of the bolt on an empty magazine.

    The Åkerhielm rifle did come with a Norma/Hellqvist peep sight (windage and elevation adjustable) soldered onto the rear receiver bridge. The previous owner removed it. That is the reason for the discoloration on the receiver bridge. I have four of these peep sights and can replace it, but I am probably just going to put a standard military ladder sight and slider back on it. In one of the photos, I placed a Hellqvist sight on the rifle, however it's not actually fastened down. I forgot to photograph the front ramp, but it has a very tall flat top blade and should work with the military open sight for average 100-200 yard hunting distances. (If it doesn't, I may put a Hellqvist back on.) The ramp looks to me like a Husqvarna part.

    I am interested in seeing descriptions and photos of other Weapons Officer Rifles, original or sporterized.

    Last edited by robinpeck; 02-12-2021 at 09:55 AM.

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