Mauser M18

• $699 • .308 Win. • 6 lb. 10 oz. • 21.5-in. bar­rel

Outdoor Life - - GEAR -

Will mir­a­cles never cease? I didn’t think I’d live to see the day when I could pur­chase a new Mauser that didn’t re­quire tak­ing out a sec­ond mort­gage. And yet here we are. It is ac­tu­ally made in Ger­many—and yet car­ries a very at­tain­able $699 price tag. The price is a func­tion of the ri­fle’s sim­plic­ity. But that sim­plic­ity is also what makes the gun so ap­peal­ing. It checks all the boxes a good hunt­ing ri­fle needs to and it avoids un­nec­es­sary em­bel­lish­ment. The ri­fle has a three-lug bolt that glides back and forth smoothly with min­i­mal wig­gle and no bind­ing. The slick ac­tion shined dur­ing the field drills—the test team was able to run the gun quickly from the shoul­der while main­tain­ing ac­cu­rate fire. The bolt han­dle has a gen­er­ous round knob, and the 3.25-pound trig­ger is right in the sweet spot for a hunt­ing ri­fle. A but­ton re­cessed into the stock re­leases the box mag­a­zine, which loads eas­ily and sits flush with the stock. The syn­thetic stock has a matte fin­ish and soft, tex­tured in­serts on the fore-end and grip. It’s cut in the Amer­i­can Clas­sic style, and has an el­e­gant air de­spite its eco­nom­i­cal con­struc­tion. Mauser put a three-po­si­tion safety on the ri­fle that keeps the bolt locked down when in the safe po­si­tion. The ri­fle de­liv­ered ex­cel­lent ac­cu­racy too, with a 5-shot-group av­er­age of .877 inch, in­clud­ing a .673-inch group with Fed­eral’s 165-grain Nosler Ac­cubond. Per­for­mance like that in a ri­fle that han­dles well would be a good value in a $1,200 ri­fle. For a $699 gun, it’s out­stand­ing.

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