In the summer after I graduated high school, a friend of mine and I decided we needed Mauser rifles. After some searching, we settled on the Yugoslavian M48A and soon each of us was the proud owner of a beautiful surplus Mauser, covered in cosmoline. Over the next couple of years, we fired countless rounds out of our rifles, bruising our shoulders with extended range sessions. We loved those rifles, despite their sloppy triggers and difficult-to-work safeties. Years passed and I acquired different firearms. I no longer saw my Mauser as my go-to battle rifle, but merely an old relic I kept around for sentimental reasons. The stock was cracking and the sights weren’t as good as my newer battle-rifle. The old M48A stayed in the safe, lonely and unused.
Finally, I decided to put a new stock on it and modify the bolt. Even with a scope, the Mauser wouldn’t really be transformed into a precision rifle without a decent trigger. Timney seemed the logical choice, and soon a Mauser Featherweight Deluxe trigger was sitting on my kitchen table.
I”m not going to sugar coat the installation for you. It’s a bit of work. You’ll need to do some inletting of the stock, though this can be accomplished with something as simple as a dremel tool.
I took the trigger and the rifle to a friend of mine, Kevin Neitzel. He’s the owner of Accurate Sports, and is incidentally, a damn fine gunsmith. I’m not going to claim that I did all the modifications myself (though I swear I could have!). Instead, I mostly sat around and admired the skulls and taxidermy heads that adorn his shop while he did the required work to the ATI stock I have on my Mauser.
With the trigger properly installed and my Vortex Viper PST 4-16x50mm first focal plane scope mounted on top, I headed off to the range. You may notice in the video that I have duct-taped a cheek riser to the stock. I will be changing out my scope mount to a lower set of rings soon, and so the cheek piece will come off at that time. But, I digress. After 25 rounds of 7.92x57mm Turkish 1940s surplus, I came to the following conclusions:
1. As soon as I’ve shot through my stock of surplus ammunition, I need to switch over to a stainless steel .308 barrel and handload my cartridges, because…
2. The Featherweight Deluxe is fantastic. I’m pretty demanding of triggers, as you’ll see in an upcoming review of the Geissele SSA-E. That said, my immediate reaction to using the Timney trigger was “Damn, this is crisp!” There is no noticeable creep.
Since then, several others have tested the Featherweight Deluxe, including shooters with a wide range of experience using various triggers. Without exception, they’ve been shocked at the smoothness of the trigger. Adjustable from a solid 4lbs down to a feather-light 1.5lbs, this trigger is extremely versatile. I tend to like my triggers set so light that they break if you blow on them, and the Timney doesn’t disappoint.
This is now the main rifle I use to teach students how to handle a scoped bolt-action. The Featherweight Deluxe trigger has received quite a bit of use and some hard knocks, as students can be a bit careless (and if I’m being truthful, I can too). Despite the jarring from the rough handling and several rifle-to-concrete impacts, the trigger has remained unaffected. The set screws have not loosened, even after numerous shots.
I (and others who are familiar with the Mauser family of rifles) absolutely love the safety built-in to the Featherweight Deluxe. Instead of taking your right hand away from the operation of the rifle, you can now simply flick the safety on and off with either your thumb or firing finger. It’s a dramatic improvement over the original design.
Bottom Line: My two complaints about surplus Mausers have always been their sloppy triggers and its bulky safeties. Timney’s Featherweight Deluxe is the solution to these problems. It’s accurate, durable and ergonomic. If you want to turn your Mauser into a modern precision or hunting rifle, this product will do the trick. It’s truly a remarkable piece of engineering and a fine addition to your (and my) armory.
By Allen Cosby