When three, historically prominent names in the firearms field come together in a single piece, it's unusual. It's also what makes gun collecting such an intriguing hobby. You never know what you'll run into, and when you do come face-to-face with a treasure, you can only hope your wallet is thick enough that day to bring it home. Walking into Murphy's Gun Shop in Tucson, Arizona, I came face-to-face with such a treasure--an original Kurz Mauser Type M carbine re-barreled by Al Marciante in Jerry Gebby's .22 Varminter caliber. There was quite a story lurking there, fortunately my wallet was full.
Original Mauser sporting rifles were built at the Mauser plant in Oberndorf, Germany, from 1898 through WWII (Can you imagine Mauser turning out elegant sporting rifles until 1944? The last barrel date found so far is October 1944, and it's on a Type S carbine with a double square-bridge action in 7x57!). In all their model variations and calibers, the Mauser sporters were the high watermarks in terms of factory-produced sporters and, in my opinion, still are.
The sporters assembled on Mauser's small ring, short action, or "Kurz" action, are among the most appealing. The Kurz action appeared around 1900, and it's estimated that somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 Kurz-action sporters were made at Mauser. The smaller action, typically chambered for the short 8x51K Mauser, 6.5x54K Mauser and the .250-3000 Savage cartridges, lends an elegance to whatever sporter model it graces, particularly the dainty carbines.
The Type M carbine evolved shortly before WWI. It was designed to compete head-to-head with the highly successful Mannlicher-Schoenauer carbine. Indeed, the Type M carbine incorporates a Mannlicher-style stock and a Mannlicher-type spoon-shaped bolt handle, and, frankly, I find the lines of the Mauser-made Mannlicher stock more pleasing than those of Mannlicher-Schoenauer.
Some of the features of the Type M pictured are its 20-inch barrel (which has been polished white and not re-blued), a hinged magazine floorplate with lever release, a unique Type M bottom-opening trapdoor buttplate for a jointed cleaning rod, stamped with the Mauser "Banner," steel nose- and pistol-grip caps, a ramped front sight, sling swivels (the front swivel mounted with a barrel band) and a checkered walnut stock with cheekpiece. As pictured with Weaver bases and a Lyman No. 48 sight (the sight slide is carried in the butt trap), it...