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  1. #1
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    Default Mauser Bolt Rifles by Olson

    How applicable/relavent is the book Mauser Bolt Rifles by Olson in today's world? Found a copy today.
    1stSgt. USMC(RET.)1969-1993
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    I would say it's well worth owning. There's some good info in there. First Mauser book I ever got and still use it.
    CH-46 Phrog Phlyers Phorever !

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    Quote Originally Posted by usmc69 View Post
    How applicable/relavent is the book Mauser Bolt Rifles by Olson in today's world? Found a copy today.
    MBR was in print for 40+ years, and each edition (there were 3) and each printing (there were 16) is different. As you might expect, the last few printings by Brownell's are the most up to date. I believe that Brownell's may still own the book, but I'm not 100% sure. In any case, it has not been updated or reprinted in 10 years or so since Mr. Olson died.

    Although there are some books which are better on some focused subjects (e.g,. markings, German Gew 98's, Chinese Mausers, etc), no other book covers the breadth of the story, the early Mauser history, the patents, sporting and military Mausers, etc, as well as Olson. His first edition even rightly includes the Arisakas, the Enfield M1917 and the Springfield M1903 as Mausers. There is a great deal of techncial and historical Mauser data in MBR that can be found nowhere else. Just be sure and don't waste your money on an old edition.

    Most other Mauser books written since MBR was published assume that you have read and understood the basics found in Olson.
    Regards,
    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Wall View Post
    MBR was in print for 40+ years, and each edition (there were 3) and each printing (there were 16) is different. As you might expect, the last few printings by Brownell's are the most up to date. I believe that Brownell's may still own the book, but I'm not 100% sure. In any case, it has not been updated or reprinted in 10 years or so since Mr. Olson died.

    Although there are some books which are better on some focused subjects (e.g,. markings, German Gew 98's, Chinese Mausers, etc), no other book covers the breadth of the story, the early Mauser history, the patents, sporting and military Mausers, etc, as well as Olson. His first edition even rightly includes the Arisakas, the Enfield M1917 and the Springfield M1903 as Mausers. There is a great deal of techncial and historical Mauser data in MBR that can be found nowhere else. Just be sure and don't waste your money on an old edition.


    Most other Mauser books written since MBR was published assume that you have read and understood the basics found in Olson.
    Regards,
    John
    This is a Third Edition, Fifth Printing. Picked it up for $10.00 OTD.

    My Best,
    AJ
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    Quote Originally Posted by usmc69 View Post
    This is a Third Edition, Fifth Printing. Picked it up for $10.00 OTD.

    My Best,
    AJ

    Hi AJ,
    You got great buy! You can't beat $10 for any Mauser book, especially MBR. That being said, there were 15 printings of the 3rd edition produced by Brownells and Mr. Olson. The 15th (from October, 2002) is not available from the publisher, but Brownells does have the 14th printing on sale for $39.95.
    Regards,
    John
    Last edited by John Wall; 06-16-2013 at 07:35 AM. Reason: punctuation

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Wall View Post
    Hi AJ,
    You got great buy! You can't beat $10 for any Mauser book, especially MBR. That being said, there were 15 printings of the 3rd edition produced by Brownells and Mr. Olson, The 15th (from October, 2002) is not available from the publisher, but Brownells does have the 14th printing on sale for $39.95.
    Regards,
    John

    I like the $10.00 price tag verses the $39.95. Will add it to my reference collection.
    1stSgt. USMC(RET.)1969-1993
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    So, John W, enquiring minds want to know. Do you have all three editions and sixteen printings?

    John

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    Hi TP,
    No. I have all three editions, but only the Brownell's versions came out in more than one printing. The first edition was a 1950-ish US Army-authorized commercial compilation of Olson's foreign weapons course materials which he taught at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD after WW II. The second edition also had just one or maybe two printings. This was a gray, black and red-covered single volume book published in California by "FADCO", an acronym for the Fred A Datig Company in the summer or fall of 1957. I have a few...maybe 4 or 5, of the Brownells printings. I used to buy one every 3-4 years. Although Olson almost never changed the page count, he tucked new data into odd places like captions, or added photos where he had the chapter space.
    Regards,
    John
    Last edited by John Wall; 06-02-2013 at 03:47 PM. Reason: spelling

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    I once went to Wash. NRA Hdgs. and meet Olsen. I had taken a Chinese contrat K98k that I had gotten and brought it wth me to show him. Little was known about them at the time. This was way back after the first book, no mention was in his book of this rifle type. He said he had never seen or heard of one before and asked me to send him a set of pics for his next book. I just never got around to it and the Third edition by Brownells (I never saw a Second) had the rifle in it. So I lost my 15 min of fame, hehehe!
    During our conversation Brownells came up, don't remember his exact words but he was very un-happy with them, indicating they more or less screwed him over money.
    I like his books but much more Mauser detail and varities have become known and been printed in books since his time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lornedavis View Post
    During our conversation Brownells came up, don't remember his exact words but he was very un-happy with them, indicating they more or less screwed him over money.
    Lorne, if your meeting with Lud was prior to 1977, he was talking about Datig for sure because the Brownell book (3rd edition) came out for the first time that year. Lud never received a penny from Datig for publishing the Mauser book. During the years I talked with him, Lud was very pleased with Brownell. They had a good working relationship, and they incorporated all Lud's subsequent requested changes with each new printing. Lud did not have anything nice to say about Datig.

    I've thought some more about this subject. I think Lud retired from NRA in '77 or, at least, close to that time. If that's true, your conversation would have taken place prior to '77, so his comments would have applied to Datig, not Brownell. I can be corrected on this because I've not given the subject any consideration since about that time. Time just keeps moving on down the line.
    Last edited by fredh; 06-02-2013 at 08:04 PM.

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    My first real reference also..bought mine "New" ..now I'll need to check which "New" volume it actualy is

    Still very worthwhile if you get a chance to pick one up..$10???...Who hooo : )

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    I recall coming home several years ago and checking my phone machine, Marcia was watching and asked me what was wrong.........I told her I had a message from "god"...:-)

    Lud(who I had never met) had called me to ask a question about something. This was maybe a year before his death and he was still working, looking for another data point or two. He had a friend who was going to try to bring him to the MACA show or a meeting in Baltimore where I hoped to meet him but he never made it. I should have gone to DC to see him but never got around to it. As I recall, that friend has most if not all of Lud's papers and was going to publish an update........?

    (BTW, I did call back)

    Oh well....

    Jack


    We all should have his book! It is indeed somewhat like the bible in that each time you read it a new truth will jump out........

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    fredh is offline Platinum Bullet Member with clusters
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    Quote Originally Posted by mman View Post
    We all should have his book! It is indeed somewhat like the bible in that each time you read it a new truth will jump out........
    Nicely put, Jack! I met Lud years ago in Bud Waite's office at NRA. After talking for an hour or more, he excused himself and went and found Lud who joined us. That's when I met him. After leaving the office, I felt I'd known both of them for years and that they were old friends.

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    The best thing about Mauser books to me is that they keep getting better. My first was W.H.B. Smith's MAUSER RIFLES AND PISTOLS copyright 1946. Comparatively speaking, it's a far cry from Olson but it was the best available in 1958.

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    I have both Smith's original Book on Mausers, and several editions of Olsen, as well as a lot of the more specialised books which came later (some in several editions).

    I believe in "analysing" a book's correctness by (1) comparing with existing rifle examples I have in my collection ( Down under, and with different sources of supply from those in the USA ( but ultimately from the same original sources of origin); (2) comparing with other Writers of other Languages ( German, French, Italian) to see what "mistakes" have been translated across, and what is "new" information not found in English; (3) taking into account the Time any particular edition was written, and the available info ( or Mis-info) available or not available at the relevant time; and (4) Down-right misconceptions and Mis-interpretations on the part of the Author.

    After all that ( and annotating glaring Mistakes of fact, typos, etc in the side margins) I consider the book on a scale of 1-10 as to Historicity, Factuality, and Clear Writing. Nothing turns one off a book which may be filled with Facts and interesting History, but is a Mishmash of ideas and other construction problems. One thing I have found in nearly all gun books is that Authors are fain to admit to "I don't know" when there is doubt or incomplete info about a particular item. The other is that a lot of Proof-reading is done by People not "au fait" with Gun terminology and usages.

    AS to Olsens MBR, I bought my first copy some 20 years ago, and several others since. I found the Mauser Factory History very helpful ( I visited Mauser Oberndorf in 1993, and walked around all the Building except for the Shooting Range and Lodge...I also visited the Cemetary and saw the Mauser grave monuments. Sadly, the Museum at the SchwedenBau was closed ( it was a Wednesday). I even put a foot in the Neckar..it was Mid summer, and only running at about 4 inches over a gravel bed ( in the Diverted section which was built when they built the "NeueBau" (New Factory). )

    I found some of the Details of Contracts Lacking, or vague. The Sporting section I found excellent for its time, but Speed's Specialised "Mauser Sporter" Volume far exceeds Olsen. The Turkish (1920s and 30's and 40's..The Kirikkale and ASFA Ankara era) section was not examined at all; the pre-WWI era was reasonably well done.

    I think that it is time for a well-revised edition to be done, collecting all the various strands of "Mauser-ology" that have arisen since the Internet and Web-Boards have developed...Olsen had at his disposal Snail Mail, Personal visits, and maybe a Teletype ( in his official capacity)...we now have the Internet and Google, for instant information transfer and photo-verification.

    Any takers??? ( My name is available, if anyone cares....)

    Doc AV
    Mauser-ologist, Turko-Phile etc. etc.
    Down Under.

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    About the only gun book in my collection that consistently reaches an acceptable standard of academic reliability would be Clawson's work on .45 Cal. service pistols. Since this thread was begun, I have been re-reading Smith's book on Mauser rifles and pistols and like some early Luger books in my collection, it contains much erroneous information. All I can conclude, is that as firearms values began to increase, so have standards of scholarship. After WWII a variety of fine military firearms could be had cheaply and there was little incentive for verifying the details of production and contract data. Sadly, those who could have answered many important questions from personal experience weren't consulted and are now long gone. Many of us have libraries of expensive gun books containing information more economically found on the internet.

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    A friend recently loaned me a copy of Smith's 1946 book. You can see in it the source of much received wisdom that one hears repeated at gun shows. It is really not very good at all. The level of scholarship needed was just not there. Because Smith wrote a book, he was believed. Considering the information and editing available first in Olsen, then in Mauser Military Rifles of the World, the recent book on Argentine Mausers, and lastly Storz's excellent volumes, we are indeed fortunate in what we have today. For the foreseeable future it is more likely that the largest amount of accurate, reliable information will continue to show up in books, rather than on the internet. New "finds" and facts can easily be disseminated quickly on the internet, but to collect and make sense out of them still really takes a published volume. A book requires real expense and a bad book can easily become a costly financial failure, and thus provides its own critique. It costs nothing to post a fact or an opinion on line and challenge or dissemination is hit-or-miss, depending on who reads the post. A book has the best solidity, in more ways than one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fredh View Post
    Lorne, if your meeting with Lud was prior to 1977, he was talking about Datig for sure because the Brownell book (3rd edition) came out for the first time that year. Lud never received a penny from Datig for publishing the Mauser book. During the years I talked with him, Lud was very pleased with Brownell. They had a good working relationship, and they incorporated all Lud's subsequent requested changes with each new printing. Lud did not have anything nice to say about Datig.

    I've thought some more about this subject. I think Lud retired from NRA in '77 or, at least, close to that time. If that's true, your conversation would have taken place prior to '77, so his comments would have applied to Datig, not Brownell. I can be corrected on this because I've not given the subject any consideration since about that time. Time just keeps moving on down the line.
    I purchased the rifle in May 1963, local gun shop (paid 80 bucks, an outragious price at the time!), GI bring back, marked M north sea fleet. Showed to Olsen Aug 1963. Confirms markings Chinese, says 'he has never seen one before'. (From my notes made at the time). I do not know if this rifle is mentioned in 2nd, edition or not, never having seen one. It is in the 3rd (not mine rifle). The conversation on Brownells is as I remember it but its a long time ago and I will not swear by it. I do not know why he would have mentioned Brownell's at all if he was not associated with them and he probably didn't, may have just said that he never got any money and years later I assumed he meant Brownell. I did not make any notes on that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Wall View Post
    Hi AJ,
    That being said, there were 15 printings of the 3rd edition produced by Brownells and Mr. Olson, The 15th (from October, 2002) is not available from the publisher, but Brownells does have the 14th printing on sale for $39.95.
    Regards,
    John
    John, thanks to your wonderful tip, I ordered the book from Brownell's and received it today. I received a copy of the 15th printing. I don't know if someone screwed up or if the listing was in error, but it turned out in my favor! My local library has the 7th printing, which I have been repeatedly signing out. Comparing the two, the 15th has many more pictures of the military models described (I'm not through the civilian sporter models, yet). Thanks again for the heads up.

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    How much is a set of Storz's books going for now? Are they still in print?.....in English? Jim
    Last edited by Jim Goodman; 06-16-2013 at 04:48 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Goodman View Post
    How much is a set of Strorz's books going for now? Are they still in print?.....in English? Jim
    By the time you get them to the US (from Austria), all three of them together are going to run $500-$600. They are well worth it. Basically the price of a single collectible Mauser....I believe all three are available in English.

  22. #22
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    All three, in English, are in stock and for sale at Mowbrary Publications in Rhode Island.
    Regards,
    John

    http://www.gunandswordcollector.com/...torz_RC98.html
    Last edited by John Wall; 06-17-2013 at 06:23 AM.

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    Hello Gents,

    Regarding Dr. Storz three volume set, just be sure your wearing a jock strap and a back brace when you pick them up in order to avoid a hernia or ruptured disc! I've have reviewed all three wonderful books for GUNS Magazine and they are ALL EXCEPTIONAL! .......... Just REALLY HEAVY!!!


    Click image for larger version. 

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    If you have any interest in German Imperial rifles, their development and accouterments ranging from cleaning kits, to muzzle covers, to ammunition pouches, to bayonets, slings, etc. etc. ad infiinitum....Dr. Storz work is a must have.

    I have a well worn copy of Olson, but don't recall which edition it is off the top of my head? Sounds like it's time to upgrade. Thanks for the info Gents. This has been a very interesting thread.

    Warmest regards,

    John

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