August 19, 2020
A true sporting Mauser, made from the ground up on a non-military action (there’s no thumb relief cut for loading via stripper clips), this Husqvarna Vapenfabriks AB. was made in Sweden. Vapenfabriks loosely translates to weapon factory or fabrications. The “AB.” designation is an abbreviation for Aktiebolag, which means “limited corporation,” similar to our LLC.
A “.30-06 U.S.” caliber designation is rollmarked following the manufacturer’s mark atop the barrel. As is common on some European firearms, the serial number is rollmarked on the left side of the barrel just forward of the receiver. A tiny “Nitro” rollmark and Swedish proof mark indicate the rifle is made for modern loads and properly proofed.
Established in 1689, Husqvarna has made, through its colorful history, everything from blackpowder musket barrels to motorcycles, stoves, and sewing machines. Over the years it manufactured wartime fighting rifles as well as a spectrum of Mauser-actioned hunting rifles based on several different surplus military and commercial actions. Eventually, the company began manufacturing its own Mauser-pattern actions in the mid-1950s. As far as I can tell, the rifle shown here features one of those actions. Based on information gleaned from the 33rd edition of Blue Book of Gun Values, it’s a Series 1100 Deluxe and features a European walnut stock and a jeweled bolt.
Many Husqvarna rifles are difficult to age precisely, but the Series 1100 Deluxe models were made between 1952 and 1956. Values range from about $300 to $550 depending on condition. It’s a lot of rifle for that price.
Most of these rifles were chambered for common European cartridges like 6.5x55 Swedish Mauser and 9.3x62, but occasionally, Husqvarna made certain models in popular U.S. cartridges like .30-06.
Mechanically, this sleek bolt action is pure Mauser. Dual, opposing locking lugs provide lockup, and a massive, non-rotating claw extractor provides controlled-feed function and reliably pulls fired cases from the chamber. The left-side bolt locking lug is split with a groove for the fixed, spring-loaded ejector.
The two-position safety on the right side of the bolt shroud is winged. It locks the bolt when engaged. A heavy cocking piece and firing pin leap forward when the trigger is squeezed, imparting a blow to the firing pin adequate to detonate even the stubbornest of hard-cup military primers.
A proper Mauser-type bolt release resides at the left rear of the action. Opposite it, in the right side of the rear receiver ring, are two holes, drilled and tapped for a receiver-mounted aperture sight. Up front, there’s a bead sight on a ramp-type base, and a folding rear sight is dovetailed into the barrel. The stock dimensions are ideal for iron-sight shooting.
A good steel hinged floorplate is well set against the underside of the nice walnut, and the trigger bow has a lovely shape. The trigger is so crisp and clean I wondered if it is an aftermarket version. Sure enough, when I pulled the barreled action from the stock to examine the bedding, I found a Dayton Traister Mark II trigger.
For this report, I borrowed the rifle pictured from a friend. He inherited it from his father, who obtained it long ago from an old fisherman who lived on San Juan Island in Washington. As the story goes, the old boatman purchased the rifle in a little gunshop along the coast. Later, my friend’s father got it and promptly cut down the stock to fit and installed a recoil pad. (Makes me cringe just to think of it.) He also glass bedded the recoil lug area.
Some years later, while hunting Wyoming’s high country with his son, he shot a big black bear 200 yards away across a canyon, using a Barnes 200-grain TSX bullet. Shot through both lungs, the boar took one massive leap, dropped, and rolled dead down the mountainside.
A few years ago, I watched my friend shoot three shots into a 1.25-inch group at 200 yards, using the same Barnes 200-grain TSX load his dad had used to kill the bear. I didn’t have any of that handload with which to accuracy-test the rifle, but I ran three of my favorite factory loads through it. The results are listed in the accompanying chart.
Even though a crosswind was gusting from 2 to 12 mph, the clean-breaking 3-pound, 2-ounce trigger made it easy to get clean shots downrange. Accuracy was good but not spectacular, averaging just over 1 MOA with the best load.
The next day, when I pulled the barreled action from the stock to look for any additional rollmarks or proofs on the underside, I found I’d made a mistake. The action screws were loose. Whether caused by stock flexion, by humidity, or by too many miles vibrating around on dirt roads behind the seat of a pickup, they’d come a tad loose. I should have checked them before shooting because I’m convinced the rifle would have shot better with those screws snug.
While fit and finish are not what you’d see on one of the finer Mausers, this is a fine old rifle that is reliable and accurate enough for its intended purpose.
Mauser Series 1100 Deluxe
- Type: Bolt-action repeater
- Caliber: .30-06 Springfield
- Magazine Capacity: 5 rounds
- Barrel: 24 in., 1:10 twist
- Overall Length: 43.5 in.
- Weight, Empty: 8.75 lbs.
- Stock: European walnut
- Length of Pull: 12.75 in. (as modified)
- Finish: Blued barrel and action, oil-finished stock
- Sights: Folding leaf rear, bead front
- Trigger: 3.13-lb. pull (as tested)
- Safety: Two-position wing-type
- Manufacturer: Husqvarna Vapenfabriks