The success of the original Mauser automatic pistol encouraged the great inventor to turn his developing talents to an attempt to create a military rifle in which mere pressure on the trigger would be sufficient to fire each succeeding shot.
The Model 98 was the first rifle of this sort produced by Mauser which proved at all practical However, it was never in general production and will normally be encountered only in rifle collections.
The original German Reich patent No. 105619 covers the use of the turning lever or valve type of action designed by Mauser. Modifications of this system were used in a wide variety of later arms. It was not until its appearance in the Russian light machine gun, the Degtyarov which first saw service in the Civil War in Spain, that this locking principle was developed as a truly efficient mechanical design.
Later German designs, notably the semi-automatic Kar. 43 which the Germans employed in the closing years of World War II to some extent, also used a modification of this original system of operation. While this latter was a gas rifle, and the original Model 98 as introduced by Mauser was a short-recoil operated rifle, it should be noted that the locking principle is equally applicable to both operating systems. The lock is often called a "claw block" or "valve-type" lock-
This design uses the familiar recoiling barrel which is firmly locked to the breechblock at the instant of explosion. The barrel floats within an outer barrel or casing. It is supported at its muzzle end. In these early designs, locking levers were mounted in an extension of the barrel and when the action was fully forward their rear locking arms were securely engaged in cuts in the sides of the breechblock. After the short recoil, and as the barrel hit its stop and its travel was halted, the action had moved back far enough to permit camming action to thrust the rear of the pivoted bolt lugs in when they hit the necessary surface on the barrel extension, thereby drawing the rear locking surfaces out of engagement with the breechblock.
The breechblock then travelled back to extract and eject and compress its recoil spring in standard fashion.
The standard military type Mauser magazine holding its cartridges in staggered rows thrust a cartridge up in line to be stripped by the breechblock into the firing chamber on the return stroke when the
WITH CLAW BLOCK LOCK. SHORT RECOIL SYSTEM, the earliest of Mauser's self-loading rifles.
made in quantity. Few went beyond the experimental stage.
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