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GUNS Magazine January 2011 - Page 28
HOLT BODINSON thOSE LOVELY YUGOS Model 98 Mausers, of course. urrently, the greatest milsurp bargains looking for new owners are the Model 24/47 and Model 48 Yugoslavian Mausers. Ranging from brand new Model 48s to stunningly rebuilt Model 24/47s, I’ve seen recent prices for Model 24/47s in very good condition for as low as $169. Plus, the shelves are overflowing with Yugoslavian 8x57 standard 198-grain ball and sniper-grade ammunition made by Prvi Partisan. This is one Yugo and one time a Yugo is worth buying. If there were one compelling reason to study geography, the former Yugoslavia is it. Pasted together after WWI, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later to become Yugoslavia in 1929, consisted of Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Kosovo. If there ever was a polyglot country, seething with latent multicultural and multiethnic animosity, this was it. On the other hand, they did agree on one vital issue, the selection of military small arms and adopted the Mauser action and the 7.92x57 Mauser cartridge. C Consequently, they built a major arms and ammunition industry around both the Mauser 98 action and the 8mm Mauser cartridge. The Yugoslavian Model 24 is based on the FN Model 1924 short rifle. When the Treaty of Versailles prohibited Germany from resuming the production of military arms following WWI, the Belgians in charge of Fabrique Nationale d’Armes de Guerre were quick to seize an immense opportunity in the small arms business. Their most successful and early post-war design was the FN Model 1924, chambered for the 7x57, 7.65x53 and 7.92x57. It was offered as a rifle as well as a carbine with a 17.52" barrel. Although the newly formed Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (1918-1929) inherited hundreds of thousands of various models and calibers of military small arms at the conclusion of WWI, much of which they rebuilt over the ensuing years, they pursued a post-war policy of upgrading their inventory with the latest Model 98-type firearm available, which just happened to be FN’s Model 1924. Turnkey Operation In 1925, the Kingdom struck an unusual and very advantageous business deal with FN. It ordered 100,000 Model 1924s and 110,000,000 rounds of 7.92x57 plus all the machinery, gauges and training necessary to produce the Model 1924 and 7.92 ammunition. In short, a M.24/47s are very accurate with inexpensive surplus Yugoslav 7.92 ammunition. The M.24 Mauser is still reasonably priced when found at gun shows or gun shops specializing in milsurps and are usually in pretty good shape. 28 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • JANUARY 2011