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Long Eye Relief Scope Mounts for Vintage Rifles

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  • Long Eye Relief Scope Mounts for Vintage Rifles

    I've been a collector/shooter of mostly military bolt action rifles since age 14 in 1965. Mostly Mausers but not all. I've specialized in 1896 Swedish Mausers for the last 20 years and I'm pretty well known to Swedish Mauser collectors around the world.

    As most of you probably know already when you get older.. past 40.. past 50.. your eyesight goes bye bye. Couple this with poor military iron sights and it causes a lot of shooters to miss shots they shouldn't.. or so they say. Plus iron sights aren't the best for hunting with a 29" barreled Mauser in dim light.

    Modifying collectible rifles is against my religion. But not all military bolt action rifles are collectible. I have 3 or 4 Swedish Mausers that have mis-matched numbers or are put together from parts that give me immunity from prosecution of my own religious beliefs.

    The use of long eye relief scopes, or handgun scopes, on rifles isn't new. There are a couple commercial LER mount makers with S&K being probably the oldest. They're good solid mounts but many of them are way too high for no good reason. (I'd like to spend a couple weeks in the machine shop of S&K redesigning their mounts).

    My first attempt at a LER mount took 3 tries to get it to where I was happy with it.

    Its a very well known rifle. I've had a lot of requests to reproduce it but up to now I haven't. I do have plans with the new Enco mill to produce some for sale. Its not like its a complicated issue designing this kind of mount. But you can't alter the rifle and can't drill and tap anything. You have to utilize exisiting attachment points and stay within the boundaries, usually, of the rear sight base.

    The method of anchoring the LER mount on the above rifle is now obsolete. From now on I'm going to use a method that I call the 'top hat' anchor as that's what it looks like. And strangely, the dimensions of .500/.501" wide and .031" thick are nearly universal for quite a few different models of Mausers made in many different countries.

    This is the 'top hat' before the thickness is trimmed to size.

  • #2
    These are shots of a raggedy pitted but completely functional 1908 Brazilian Mauser in 7x57mm that I use as my shop fitting rifle.


    • #3
      In use this particular scope mount has an abundance of eye relief and scope ring adjustment. The position of this scope is perfect for my eyes in the offhand position (standing). The scope is a cheap Chinese NcStar 4x32 with steel tube so its a little heavy but very clear.

      A lot of the prototype machining is done on the shop rifle as its purely a matter of whatever works. Once the first bases are made then this type of setup is no longer needed.


      • #4
        Wow, nice work and great pictures! The "no modification" mounting scheme is very clever. Thanks for sharing this.



        • #5
          The Japanese Arisaka Type 38 (Model of 1905) caliber 6.5mm. This is the rear sight base without the elevating ladder. The particular model of Arisaka is very unique in that it offers a method of anchoring the base not present on the later Type 99 and not present on many other rifles. At this time I'm not going to reveal that because I'm not done working it out but it was another one of those epiphanies that made me laugh its so neat.

          This is the base that fits within the confines of the rear sight base. So far so good.

          The underside of the base.

          For about $6 I can buy this NcStar Picatinny rail for the Marlin 336 rifle as it has a flat bottom and is 4.750" long and has attachment holes already there. Its foolish not to utilize existing hardware when possible.

          Because there is no handguard between the rear sight and the receiver there's no real limit on how low the mount can be. Some Mausers have handguards that require the mount be higher than I'd like but there's no way around it. This Japanese rifle doesn't have that problem nor does the Model 1891 Argentine Mauser or the very common World War 2 German infantry K98k 8x57mm. These particular rifles offer some outstanding possibilities for very low mounts. The issue with low mounts is the comb height, the part of the rifle stock your face gets glued to in order to have a solid repeatable sight picture. The comb on military rifles is made for open sights so any scope mounted requires a less than perfect cheek weld on the stock.



          • #6
            This is a Finland m/39 Mosin-Nagant rifle caliber 7.62x54R. A very common and popular rifle. This mount needs just a little tweaking but it'll be the best mount for this rifle anywhere. Its beautifully simple and utterly strong.

            Mounting points are the ladder pin and the existing M4 setscrew that's originally used to hold the rear sight base on the barrel while soldering during manufacture. The trick is getting that setscrew out as they sometimes become soldered during the process.

            I'll be able to get this a little lower than pictured here. Sometime the rifle sight base is the limiting factor in how low the mount can be. The Finn m/39 is one of those cases. But still, its a very rigid mount. This particular scope is a Tasco 3x28 pistol scope. Very light.


            • #7
              Neat, trim looking mounts. Using existing hardware to mount without modifying a gun is worthwhile as these guns are no longer made. They were once common, but good specimens are dissappearing, and once modified, the damage is done.

              Where do you get the 336 mount for $6.00? I am looking for a mount for a 336 I just worked up in 219 Zipper, but don't like the standard Weaver, they have too many holes for my taste. I have been considering making my own.
              Jim H.


              • #8
                Originally posted by JCHannum
                Where do you get the 336 mount for $6.00?
                Good outfit.


                I wanted a decent spotting scope that would see tiny holes at 100 yards. This one is splendid but I tossed out that cheap tripod and bought another..


                With a little shopping you can find this tripod cheaper.


                A little cheaper here..




                • #9
                  Dutch51, great stuff! Nice work.