Have it Your Way with the Mauser M03 Modular System

When I think of Mauser, I think of vintage K-98s: I own 20 or so. But these days, Mauser Jagdwaffen GmbH is producing hunting rifles, and they’re unlike anything I’ve ever seen. And since these modern Mausers haven’t really been on my radar, I figured I’d visit with their reps and get the lowdown on their flagship M03 Modular system . . .

The thing that impressed me the most about the Mauser 03 was how modular the system really is.  You can change out the barrel in a matter of seconds with the provided tool: only two screws hold everything in place. Furthermore, if you need to change from a “magnum” caliber to a “standard” or “mini” caliber, then you can change out the titanium nitrated bolt head in matter of seconds. So one minute you might have a .22-250, and the next you have a .338 Win. Cool. In the photo below, you can see how the barrel interfaces with the bedded stock.

Mauser is serious about providing a variety of options for their customers. There are different models, including the basic line: Alpine, the Trail, the Stutzen, the Stalker, the Africa, the Deluxe, and Old Classic, among others. They even make a Match version and a Target version which resembles a police sniper rifle. There are five different stock options, including the Basic, Extreme (synthetic) Alpine, Stuzen, and Target. Ten different grades of wood are available. Different barrel lengths and contours are available.

I’m digging the Mauser Banner engraved into the barrel:

I’m also pretty enamored with the “Hogs Back” stock option with the double fold Bavarian cheek piece.


Prices for these rifles start at $4500 and run to 6K+ with the options and upgrades shown above.


  1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    For a rifle in that price range, I’m pretty disappointed that the grain isn’t completely filled.

    The 3+ inch long cylinder on the barrel profile also harkens back to the sporting weapons made between the wars.

  2. avatar Marcus Aurelius says:

    If you keep having your way with german rifles they’ll REALLY think we’re gun fetishists. Oh…wait…nevermind.

    Why’d they bring a mannequin to display the rifle.

    (i’m feeling irreverent after a long drive home from San Jose. Yes Mr. Diamond, I do know the way there, but trust me, I’m doing you a favor by not telling you. Also, my apologies to the sales rep should he check here for the coverage of his booth.)

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      I think that was Dionne Warwick.

      1. avatar ensitue says:

        Donny Darko

      2. avatar David says:

        Dr Who

      3. avatar silverwarloc says:

        It is Dionne Warwick…don’t ask me how I know.

  3. avatar Gil Elliott says:

    Interesting, I have a Chech V24 8mm mauser which was sporterized. It recoils about the same as a 30-30 which was surprising to me. The action is still smooth as silk and holds decent groups freehand.

    1. avatar Milsurp Collector says:

      Liberty Tree Collectors have VZ-24 stocks and other parts available if you want to un-sporterize yours:

    2. avatar Ben says:

      Are you putting American made ammo like Remington through it? American made stuff is under loaded. Buy ammo from S&B or Prvi Partizan and you’ll get a feel and a power factor more similar to a 30.06.

  4. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    Another rifle with a matte black finish, not polished and blued properly. That’s a shame again.

    I’m guessing upon closer examination of this system that the action does little more than hold the bolt in loose formation with the rifle whilst the user is racking the bolt back and forth. I’m guessing that the bolt head locks into the rear end of the barrel and not on anything in/on the receiver proper?

    That must be a real thrill to machine inside the rear of the barrel…

    1. avatar ropingdown says:

      I think this is also true of their better rifle, the M12…which also has a matte finish. Matte finish is in style. The M12, though, is much more the traditional version of a rifle, with a few EU safety touches. The M3 is sort of the “executive travel rifle” for people who don’t want multiple receivers and registrations. It’s a ‘take down’ gun.

      I prefer the German habit of building bolt rifles with removable box magazines (Mauser, Sauer). Yes, I know I can switch the bottom metal of my Model 70’s and buy AICS magazines…except not for the calibers I most often use. Typical.

    2. avatar Joe Grine says:

      The bolt interfaces directly with the barrel.

    3. avatar lolinski says:

      Maybe the matte finish is less likely to spook game?

      I don’t know here, I am just speculating.

      1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        No, the reason is that it’s cheap. Cheap, cheap, cheap. Polishing costs money and has to be done by hand.

        1. avatar lolinski says:

          Okay, what about stainless steel is that likely to reflect light and spook game (or get you spotted if you are operating in operative operations)?

          I do sort of want to have some fancy bluing and polishing done on an AK, with some high grade wood. Just to piss off the people who say it isn’t a “classy” hunting rifle.

        2. avatar ropingdown says:

          Here’s my beef with the component bolt guns: No matter what they may think, in most of Western Europe south of Örebro, Sweden, the winter weather is very moderate compared to the US northern mid-west and Alaska: How on earth to you get those things functioning again after they’ve been drenched with ice water, then frozen solid. It happens, either from slips on stream/river-bank ice or from snow melt on a briefly hot action. The Winchester one-piece bolt has one component, the firing pin. The safety, like the Mauser 98 safety, is utterly reliable. Removing, disassembling, warming/drying the Model 70 bolt is very fast and simple. That isn’t true for some of the innovative designs, and perhaps even the Remington 700 bolt, which would be more at home and practical on a Virginia farm or Harz Mountain hunting ground.

        3. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          Blue the stainless.

          Yes, it can be done.

        4. avatar lolinski says:

          Holy shit! You just blew my mind (figuratively or I wouldn’t be here). I thought about Duracoat (so people can enjoy it in the next 500 years).

          But you are saying, I can have corrosion resistance AND good looks at once?

        5. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:


          It is possible to hot-salt blue stainless. Stainless steel is only “stain less,” not “stain none” or “stain never.”
          Most stainless steels in use come from two “families” of steels: “300-series” stainless steels and “400-series” stainless steels.

          3xx steels are more stain/corrosion resistant. But they’re also a bitch to machine well. So we don’t use them on guns.

          4xx stainless steels are easier to machine, but aren’t as corrosion-resistant. Most guns are using 416 or 416L stainless, some barrels use 420 stainless. High-strength requirements occasionally invoke specialized stainless steels such as 17-4 PH, but you will find that in only actions and frames. Barrels are 416 or 420 stainless, usually.

          Stainless can be blued, but unlike regular alloy steel that corrodes readily, you have to “push” stainless to blue. You need to use a different hot salt formulation, and you need to play with the salt bath temps.


        6. avatar Matt in FL says:

          I want to move to wherever you live and become an apprentice.

    4. avatar Mauser Man says:

      Are you taking Prozac or some other happy pill ? I think you may have neglected to swallow this morning.
      Lets be honest, the current models offered by Mauser are so far beyond American manufactures, it makes them look positively archaic.
      There is only one rifle in my safe that is not a Mauser, and thats just because Mauser have not made a .22 kit for the M03 yet.
      Now try a smile, and cheer the f*%k-up !

  5. avatar C says:

    Zhe German seems out of place. I’m sure it’s a fine piece, but why should a free man, able to easily buy multiple rifles, be bothered?

    1. avatar mountocean says:

      Yep. As cool as all the european interchangeable rifles are, I see them as an answer to an artificial problem (legislation).

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        I was thinking if you were traveling for a safari or something, that it could be more useful than bringing 2-3-4 different rifles for different game. That’s the only application I could come up with.

        Gorgeous wood on them, though.

        1. avatar Joe Grine says:

          ^This. And when you want to change a barrel out, the gun does not have to sit 2 months at your gunsmith’s shop.

        2. avatar C says:

          bring four middle of the road rifles and use the remainder to bribe officials and hire a local to carry your kit.

        3. avatar Mosinfan says:

          It would make sense if the stock was custom. i.e. 15″ LOP or 12 7/8″ LOP. Then you could have a stock that fits perfectly in all your favorite calibers.

    2. avatar Defens says:

      There seem to be plenty of US black rifle manufacturers that think interchangeable barrels on interchangeable AR uppers are just dandy – LaRue, LWRC, etc.

      1. avatar ropingdown says:

        What an apropos and perceptive comment! With four uppers for an AR, two requiring their own bolts, people find the trend toward component wood-stocked bolt guns strange? But in a world in which private gun ownership means hunting rifles, in which traveling with more than one rifle is difficult, that’s how they indulge the concept. Germans guys seem to allocate much more of their income to their cars and, if they hunt, their guns and hunting clothing. It feels very noticeable there. And they beat their car engines to death. It’s night-and-day to go from Sweden down to Germany to hunt. Everything becomes more formal, traditional, and (as to dress and equipment) proud in a very German and only half-pleasant way. People either love it or hate it, I think.

        1. avatar lolinski says:

          I like component guns, because I can for one “space” on my license have more than one caliber (especially useful if you are a wildcatter). This is also why I dream of an switch-caliber Ithaca 37. I would love one I could change between 12 gauge, 16 gauge and 20 gauge on one receiver.

        2. avatar Paul Rain says:

          Not just because it’s so convenient to be able to slam-fire those babies (given an appropriately aged one)?

      2. avatar C says:

        When I can get respectable quality complete AR’s for less than the cost of an upper, I’ll start thinking separate uppers are dumb too.

  6. avatar ValleyForge77 says:

    Making a run at the Blazer R8 ‘market’. Mauser’s name alone carries some serious weight. Unfortunately I’d have to hit the lotto before I could drop that type of cash

  7. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    I’ll take the Blaser R8 you profiled yesterday.
    I’d sure like to carry one for a day and try that trigger.

    I think the wood was nicer too.

    1. avatar ropingdown says:

      Unlike Blaser for the R8, Mauser offers a wide variety of wood quality and engraving, at least for the M12.

    2. avatar Joe Grine says:

      Tom, send your email to Robert or Dan and i’ll get in touch with you. I’ll get you some trigger time on my Blaser LRS 2.

  8. avatar Denny says:

    The imbedded link is spelled wrong. Mauser Jagdwaffen not Mauser Jagdwaffer.
    But Jagdwaffer may be a new hunting pastry for on the go.

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      Now I’ve gotta be responsible for other languages when I proof, too? Garsh.

      1. avatar Denny says:

        Ja Warum nicht? 🙂

        1. avatar lolinski says:

          Zasto ne?

          (Sorry, I don’t have the correct keyboard).

    2. avatar JW says:

      Es ist sehr schön, nicht war?

  9. avatar Yoel Grauberg says:

    Where are the booth babes? Every pic from that show has some dour looking dude, come on if you want to keep up with Gunblast take some pics of the chicks.

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      There may not be too many. When I went back and looked for booth babe pictures from last year, all the really good ones (that is to say, all of them) came from the NRA Convention in May, not from SHOT.

  10. avatar Graham Brown says:

    Nobody mentioned the quality of mauser barrels. Made in the same factory as the Blaser (same group after all). Our club R8 has had about 15k rounds through it and is in perfect condition. Mauser I am assured are the same. Like to see a Remmy cope with that. Dont get me wrong Remmy’s are fine often forming the basis of a custom re-barrel!

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