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Something a little different.

 How we did it.

 At R.J Blackwall’s we are often asked to do small custom jobs on shotgun stocks and forends such as reshaping the pistol grip, forend and comb shape. After completing the wood reshaping we then follow up with a Best London Finish.

 Whilst standing on a peg waiting for some action during a pig drive in Hungary with my Blaser R93 Black I suddenly found myself looking at the stock shape and finish on my own rifle and started to think what how I could improve it. Firstly the Bavarian cheek piece had to go then the Schnabel on the forend. Also like a pretty girl in a sack, I knew the wood under the factory finish was wanting to show its figure off a little more.

 Step 1

So firstly I started with the Bavarian style cheek piece. Now there is a reasonable amount of wood to play with here so after making several detailed   measurements I started filing up the cheek piece. I wanted a more classical English Holland & Holland style shape, with a swept beaded edge.

This was easier said than done, due hogs back style stock. As I am using a scope and not open sights I did not want to reduce the comb height, otherwise I would not be able to mount the rifle consistently.

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Once I was satisfied with the stock and cheek piece shape I turned my attention to the forend. I started by reducing the overall length of the forend by 1 ½ inches, this also luckily removed the Schnabel on the end. I then proceeded to reshape and profile the top edge of the forend making sure it followed the contour of the barrel.

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 Next I milled out and rounded of a new ebony forend tip. Lastly and most importantly I made sure the barrel was floating which unfortunately it was not before I started this process.

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To finish the stock (Best London Finish) I papered back the whole stock with 240 grade paper, then dropping to a finer 1200 grade paper. The idea is to raise the grain each time using various degrees of paper grades.

To get the finish I applied a little red oil to bring out the colour. Following the red oil I used a linseed-based mixture, with a hardening component added to it.

Lastly using our own special/secret formula we build up the coats, we apply up to and over 60 coats of secret formula. This brings up the final colour and brings out the best finish. 

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The new Mauser M12 Extreme

Review part 1

First impressions of the Mauser M12 Extreme.

As a hardened traditionalist (turn bolt rifle with a nice wood stock) I was pleasantly surprised with the feel of this synthetic stock, some other synthetic rifles have a hollow cheap feeling about them leaving you almost thinking that the plastic stock is made out of used yogurt pots, whereas the M12 Extremes stock feels really tactile in the hand, I guess this is why they called it a soft touch coating. The rubberised chequering on the pistol grip and forend makes for a fantastic grip whether wet or dry or with or without gloves.

The next surprise was the length of the stock, whereas most rifles have a trigger to butt measurement of between 13-14 inches, the M12 measures 14½ inches, this may not sound much but believe me it does. The comb is also set higher than its rivals so when mounting the rifle you are not looking straight at the back of the action, this along with the extra length make a noticeable  difference when mounting the rifle and trying to acquire a sight picture through the scope.

Under the spotlight is the trigger pull, which is clean and crisp and is factory set to match that of the blaser, the trigger pull is set at 1lb 12oz, most rifles in the M12 price range are set around 3lbs 8oz.

The bolt runs smooth and is everything you would expect from Mauser. The bolt handle ball is larger than that of the wooden version. The ball is made of a synthetic non-slip material, this enhances the practicality for both rapid reloading for a second or follow up shot, but also looks and feels good to use. The 3 point safety system that works  by holding the firing pin not the trigger is one that has been tried and tested over many years, although I prefer the de-cocking safety system of the Mauser M03 the M12 safety is easy and most importantly a safe system to use.

The M12 magazine is made of a hardened plastic with the Mauser logo on the floor plate, and in my opinion it is well made. The magazine locks into place with a positive click and is easily realised by pressing the magazine realise catch which is located in front of the magazine inlet. The high capacity magazine is a 5 + 1 in medium calibres and uses a zigzag feeding system, this system is simple and feeds well.

Now the niggling bits.

The rifle does not come with a bipod stud, easy to fit as we do them all the time, but it would be nice if they came as standard, not a special order. The wooden version come with the same magazine as the Extreme, but has a polish metal floor plate rather that a black plastic one. The polish metal magazine looks fantastic in both models, so much better that a piece of black plastic. This could just be a personal thing, but a few of our clients have agreed with us on this matter. To this end we will be selling the Extreme with the option of either the synthetic or silver plated magazine.


To sum up this rifle is easy, it is a well-made well thought out piece of German engineering. This is an entry level Mauser with all the hall marks of rivalling most rifles in the market place today. In my humble opinion it knocks the spots of even the top end Nordic rifles. So if you are looking for a top quality rifle either in wood or synthetic, then look no further than the Mauser M12.

In the Next test (part 2) we will be putting the M12 Extreme through its paces on the range to see just how good it shoots! 

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