SOLD FOR: $1275
Make: Niedner Rifle Corp.
Model: Custom Mauser Sporting Rifle
Serial Number: 4549
Year of Manufacture: Ca. 1920-1957
Caliber: 7x57mm Mauser
Action Type: Bolt Action with Internal Hinged Floorplate Magazine
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “NIEDNER RIFLE CORP. DOWAGIAC, MICH.” and at the rear with “7×57”. The left of the chamber ring has an eagle next to “4549”. The right of the chamber ring has crowned script letters. The bottom-right of the barrel is marked “1068”. There are inspection marks on the bottom of the receiver. The bolt sleeve and striker assembly are marked “40”. The rear of the safety arm is marked “MARK II”. The bolt handle is marked “198?”. The extractor is marked “40”.
Barrel Length: 22 1/2″
Sights / Optics: There is no provision for iron sights on the barrel. The right of the bridge is drilled, tapped and filled for a receiver sight (none present). The top of the receiver is drilled and tapped with a one-piece Redfield base installed.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stock is one-piece checkered walnut with ebony nosecap, capped pistol grip, straight comb with European-style cheekpiece, basketweave textured black rubber Pachmayr buttpad and a sling stud in the belly (there is another stud integral to a band on the barrel forward of the forend). Harvey Rodgers or Tom Shelhammer are the most likely stockmakers for this rifle, as they both worked with Niedner. The stock has some scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches. There is a patch repair on the right in front of the bolt-handle slot. There are a couple of very minor losses at the toe. There are no cracks. The checkering is well defined. The LOP measures 13 1/4″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the pad, 12 1/2″ to the back of the wood. The pad is still supple with light wear at the heel and toe. Overall, the stock is in Very Good-plus condition as repaired.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Refinished
Bore Condition: The bore is bright with sharp rifling. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 96% of its metal finish. There are a few scattered minor marks and the action shows operational wear. There is infrequent minor erosion and a few nicks under the finish. The finish is slightly mottled with areas showing a plum hue. The screw heads are tool marked with strong slots. The Niedner applied markings are clear, the original German markings are shallow and incomplete. Overall, this rifle is in Very Good-Fine condition as customized.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. A Bold trigger has been installed which is light and crisp. There is a safety mounted on the rear of the bolt. Rotated all the way to the right, the safety is OFF. If pulled up, the safety will block the trigger. If the bolt handle is operated when the safety is engaged, the safety will automatically disengage. We did not fire this rifle. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: Sporterizing surplus military rifles has probably been done for as long as militaries have used rifles. In many cases, it is a purely utilitarian task, taking a rifle which is heavy, long and designed around the rigors of military use and making it shorter, lighter, and more suitable for stalking through brush. It can also be done with an eye to aesthetics, as one can see in this rifle. Adolph Niedner was a renowned barrel maker in the early-mid 20th century and he eventually began his own rifle making company based out of Dowagiac, Michigan. This is a nice example of his work, built on a German Mauser receiver and chambered for 7x57mm Mauser, it has a nice 22 1/2″ barrel which still has a great bore, a beautiful walnut stock, likely made by Harvey Rodgers or Tom Shelhammer with nosecap, capped grip and cheekpiece, and has been equipped with a great Bold trigger. With provision for mounting the scope of your choice, this should still make for a great hunting rifle that will look as good as it shoots. Please see our photos and good luck!