Mauser M59

Mauser M59
Kongsberg M59
Kongsberg M59 rifle.jpg
Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk M59
Type Bolt Action Repeating Sniper Rifle Target rifle
Place of origin Norway
Service history
In service 1959 - ca. 2000
Used by Norway
Production history
Designer Kongsberg Small Arms
Designed 1959
Number built N/A
Variants M59 and M59F1
Cartridge .30-06 (M59) 7.62 × 51 mm NATO (M59F1)
Action Bolt action
Rate of fire N/A
Muzzle velocity 860-880 m/s
Effective range 800 m
Feed system 5 Round
Sights Target aperture sight

The Mauser M59 and Mauser M67 were rifles produced by Kongsberg Arms of Norway and were not licensed products of Mauser. Although they were produced by Kongsberg it was always called a "Mauser" in Norway, hence its listing under Mauser.


Mauser rifles in Norway

After WW2, large numbers of German Mauser 98k were confiscated by Norwegian forces. Most of the rifles were re-barrelled to .30-06, later to 7.62 NATO, and used as normal service rifles, but a number of Mauser 98 actions were used as the basis for building both military sniper and civilian target rifles at Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk. Target shooting is very popular in Norway, and stocks of the Krag-Jorgensen M1894 were scarce after the end of the war. The Mauser rifles were available and very well suited to conversion into target rifles for use by the Norwegian DFS. The M59, M67 and the Krag-Jørgensen were the official target rifles of the Norwegian DFS until the adoption of the Sauer 200 STR in the 90's.

Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk Skarpskyttergevær M59, "Mauser M59"

Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk introduced the M59 (also denoted KV59) in 1959, first chambered in .30-06, but shortly afterwards production was changed to accommodate the new 7.62 NATO round, and M59 rifles chambered for the 7.62 NATO were denoted M59F1. The M59F1 served first as a sniper rifle for the regular armed forces. After the NM149 was introduced, the M59F1 served with the Norwegian Home Guard (Heimevernet) until the 1990s. It was also used as a civilian target rifle, having the advantage over the Krag-Jørgensen M1894 that it did not suffer from changing point of impact in rainy weather. Thus, many shooters had a Krag-Jørgensen for the sunny days and one Mauser for rainy days.

Technical details and images

Kongsberg M59 rifle.jpg

Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk used German Mauser 98k actions for the manufacture of the M59. The picture shows a civilian M59.

Closeup of the action and re-profiled bolt handle:

Mauser M59 closeup.jpg

Old markings were removed, and the front receiver bridge was opened to accommodate loading of the somewhat longer (compared to the 7.92x57 mm Mauser) .30-06 cardridge,

Mauser M59 front bridge.jpg

This is also found on the M59 rifles which were re-chambered to the 7.62x51 NATO cartridge. On the civilian version, only the extractor claw was blued, while the rest of the bolt was polished, while on the army issue M59F1, the whole bolt was blued.

The pistol grip:

Mauser M59 pistol grip.jpg

The magazine follower on the 98k would lock the bolt's forward motion on an empty magazine. This feature was retained on the M59:

Mauser M59 sight and magazine.jpg

The half-length cleaning rod was screwed into the fore-end. Two to three of these were required to assemble a rod of sufficient length:

Mauser M59 cleaning rod.jpg

A civilian M59 (top) in .30-06 and the army issue M59F1 in 7.62x51 NATO (bottom, with a side-mounted scope). Note the blued bolt and absence of the cut-out in the front receiver bridge on the M59F1. Note also the different markings on the front receiver bridge.


Alternative model designations (unofficial)

  • Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk Modell 1959
  • Kongsberg-Mauser M59
  • KV59
  • KV M59
  • Modell 1959 Skarpskytter
  • Skarpskytterrifle M59
  • Skarpskytterrifle Modell 1959

Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk Skarpskyttergevær M67, "Mauser M67"

The M59 was redesigned in 1967, hence the M67, and was made using a captured World War II German M98 action, fitted with a heavy target stock and barrel. It was usually fitted with Busk diopter sights. It was chambered in 6.5x55, 7.62 NATO and in .22 LR as a single shot.

See also

Other Norwegian rifles:

References and notes

External links

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