Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Spanish Mauser FR-7

Take a look at this first photo closely.
(Click on it)
Looks like an early type of military assault rifle, complete with flash hider at the muzzle, a protected front sight that's adjustable for both windage and elevation, and a bayonet lug underneath.

Not at all the kinds of features typically found on a bolt rifle using a Mauser action designed in 1893!
I bought this oddball at a gun show in the mid-'90s for $65. I was looking for the more desireable FR-8 model ($150 at the time) but other collectors had already beat me to them and the supply had dried up, so I settled for this FR-7.
The seller had probably taken it in a trade since he didn't know anything about it, and apparently neither did the dozens of chumps who had handled it before me.
There was serious damage to most of the moving parts from assclowns trying to work the bolt as if it were a modern Ruger or Browning or Remington.
In fact, the bolt was fully retracted when I found it and the dealer told me he didn't know how to close it!
I did, but played dumb and spent a few minutes looking over the condition while pretending to try and figure it out.
Then I stuck my finger in it and pushed down the badly gouged magazine follower so I could close the bolt.
I told him it was kind of interesting but couldn't possibly be a serious rifle.
And that it had damage here and here and especially here.
Offered half of what he wanted and let him think he got the extra $15 through his shrewd bargaining skills.

Here you can see that the rear sight is a rotating disk with apertures at various heights above the bore.
This was designed to emulate then-recently adopted CETME assault rifle that Spain had chosen in the early 1950s. The German H&K G-series are more recent CETME-types.
Since their economy and political situation was very bad after WWII it was difficult to aquire enough of the new rifles to outfit the Army, Air Force and Navy with sufficient numbers as it was, let alone divert a bunch for training purposes, so Spanish armories modified existing M1916 (FR-7) and M43 (FR-8) Mausers to a configuration that was similar enough, and these rifles also found use in the Guardia Civil which would be a close approximation of our National Guard.
They modified the original wood stocks (some of which are very nice pieces of wood like mine) and put on new barrels chambered for the then-new 7.62mm NATO cartridge still in use today for machine guns and special purpose rifles half a century later.
The popular commercial .308 cartridge is very similar but has slight dimensional and pressure differences that make it a bad choice for the FR-7, but is considered safe for the FR-8.
I've put 20 rounds of .308 through this rifle without blowing myself up, but am planning to work a trade using some 1955-vintage Lake City Arsenal M2 ammo (.30-06) I have for some true 7.62 NATO.

There is also the problem of the parts I had to replace.
The bolt was heavily damaged, as was the magazine follower, and the safety, bolt shroud, cocking piece, ejector, extractor, firing pin...hell, I had to replace everything that moves.
Now that I have my hands on this rifle again I'm trying to get it back to shooting condition.
It kicks like a mule but is one of the truly unique guns of the last century and I want to contribute to the knowledge base so others can benefit from my research and testing.
Fusil Reformado 7

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