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GUNS Magazine January 2012 Digital Edition - Page 28
HOLT BODINSON the siAmese mAuser This Japanese-built rifle is one of the stronger military bolt actions ever made. M y introduction to the Siamese Mauser was a comical calamity. In September, 1975, CBS television, with Dan Rather as narrator no less, aired a vicious, antihunting program called The Guns of Autumn. So immediate and strong were the protests from the hunting community, CBS caved to the pressure and immediately began filming what was to be a prohunting sequel titled, Echoes of the Guns of Autumn. Working for the state Conservation Department at the time, I was elected to go on film with CBS to tell the real story of modern sport hunting. Everything was going along fine on the morning of the filming at our local rod and gun club, that is, until a good friend asked if I would like to step over to the rifle range and try out his new Siamese Mauser rebarreled in .45-70. CBS was still setting up so how could I resist! The setting was impressive that morning. CBS semis parked all over the club grounds, cables strung here and there, cameras, light stands out to be a 500-grain clone of the .458 Win Mag, and when it was torched off, that Weaver scope slammed back and opened up my right eyebrow like a can of tuna. Now, I admit to having had a “Weatherby eye” before, but there was something really special about the foreshortened mounting distance of the bell of that K4 combined with that little atomic bomb of a handload, because suddenly there was blood everywhere. Fortunately, the CBS crew was so focused on their work they didn’t catch me making a mad dash for the club house to bury my head in the old, red Coke cooler filled with 5-pound blocks of ice. Three-quarters of an hour later, the swelling was under control and with the help of a woman’s make-up kit, I pulled off my debut on CBS without a hitch; however, ever since that memorable day, I’ve had the utmost respect for Siamese Mausers. unique mauser Being chambered for a rimmed 8mm round, it’s a unique Mauser with a distinctive, slanted magazine box to insure faultless feeding of a rimmed case. Back in the early 1970s, Siamese and reflectors being set in Mausers in great condition place, a million minions flooded our milsurp shores. running around doing their Imported from Thailand thing and so, dressed in my (formerly Siam), it was a mandatory and immaculate Seen with the .308 rare model very few had red checkered shirt and Win (right), the 8x52R ever heard of. What didn’t pressed jeans, I sat down at Siamese cartridge (left) come ashore was 8x52mmR the bench and loaded the is distinctly modern in ammunition to feed them, so Siamese sporter, topped with design, albeit of rimmed with our typical ingenuity, design, which was a steel, Weaver K-4 scope. we tore them apart for their soon obsolete after its rimmed cartridge actions dressed up original adoption. and rebarreled them in .45I paid no attention to the 70, .30-40, .348 Win. and load. I was thinking about what I was who knows what. I even rebarreled one going to say on national television in for the .458 American, a 2" version of a few minutes. The .45-70 load turned the .458 Win Mag. The big, long Siamese Mauser is a rarity today since many were sporterized soon after they hit our shores. 28 W W W. G U N S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 2