The 71/84 mauser is an absolute marvel of 19th century precision engineering! It is hard to imagine anything at a comparable scale fitting together better, even now in the 21st century. And the design is quite ingenious, despite being misguided (Mannlicher's box magazine was clearly the better idea as history demonstrated). But at a time when military policy was that ammunition should be conserved, and that magazines constituted "reserves" to be resorted to only when single loading fire was insufficient to stop a charge, the tubular magazine rifle fit the bill.
However, the engineering ingenuity that went into the design also sometimes
baffles modern enthusiests trying to decipher its machinations cold!
I get more inquiries regarding disassembly of the M71/84 than all other
rifle questions combined. So FINALLY, after 8 years, herewith, a
tour through the disassemble of the 71/84.
This page is divided into three (3) sections:
I. REMOVING THE BOLT FROM THE RECEIVER
II. DISASSEMBLING THE BOLT
II(a). REMOVING THE FIRING PIN AND REAR BOLT PARTS
II(b). REINSATALLING THE BOLT INTO THE RECEIVER
III. SEPARATING THE RECEIVER FROM THE STOCK
& REINSTALLING THE CARTRIDGE LIFTING SPOON FROM THE RECEIVER
READ EVERYTHING FIRST BEFORE
Unlike much of the rest of this website, the following notes are on
TOP of the pictures and apply to the picture below the notes.
I. REMOVING THE BOLT FROM THE RECEIVER:
Lay the rifle out like this to begin, on its right side, muzzle to the
left, bolt open and to the rear.
Also note that the repeater selector (that controls single shot vs feeding from the magazine by controlling the operation of the lifting spoon) is set to the rear, in the repeater position.
Pay close attention to the bolt stop screw and washer. DO NOT
REMOVE THE SCREW!!!! Than means DON'T TAKE THE SCREW OUT!!!
You will need to unscrew it a ways, but NOT remove it as the screw is PINNED into the bolt body.
The Germans did this because the screw of the I.G. Mod. 71 German Mauser (the predecessor to this M71/84) was not pinned.
Needless to say, the screws went missing continuously. So Mauser then pinned this screw.
If you take the screw totally out, you will break the end of the screw and cause yourself significant grief. Don't do it.
Unscrew it THIS much. No more. Until you begin to feel resistence.
All you need to do is to back it out enough to clear the receiver body
when the bolt is slid back out.
Note that the bolt has been pulled back almost up against the washer stop cutouts on either side of the receiver bridge. The washer will need to clear the bridge but that's all.
The bolt is now in position to be removed: Washer screw is backed
out a bit and the washer is loose and can be slid up to the head of the
screw to clear the receiver, AND the selector lever is all the way to the
This can be tricky: Lift the bolt retainer washer and hold it
up as you pull back on the bolt AND as you move the selector lever forward
at the same time. By moving the selector lever and pulling back on
the bolt (with the washer clear) the bolt should slide back and out as
the lever goes forward. It should not be difficult. Tricky
and clumsy but not difficult.
Bolt successfully removed:
Look closely. Here you will see the cross-pin which holds the
bolt retainer washer screw in the bolt. This is WHY you don't want
to remove the screw.
II. DISASSEMBLING THE BOLT:
Remove the bolt head by slightly peeling the rear of the ejector rod
from the bolt body and sliding the bolt head forward. If it has rotated
it might not move forward, in which case rotate the bolt head counter-clockwise
until the bolt head locking stub clears the matching bolt body notch.
(btw, e-mail me if you know the correct terminology for all of these pieces
Photo showing the extractor removed fromt he bolt head, stripped bolt
head with it's locking stub, and ejector rod.
II(a). REMOVING THE FIRING PIN AND REAR BOLT PARTS:
OK, now it's tricky again. Notice how the firing pin retaining
nut (the short cylindrical piece at the very back of the bolt) has a tab
at its very rear that faces/points down. This tab will need to again
point DOWN when you are done reassembling the bolt in order to be able
to replace the reassembled bolt into the receiver. The retaining
nut holds the firing pin by screwing onto the back end of the firing pin
itslef. But it's tricky! Start with the wing safety lever on
either side. Easier that way.
Carefully turn the back part of the bolt body counter-clockwise and
ease it forward to relieve some pressure on the firing pin spring.
Holding the bolt body firmly, use your thumb to DEPRESS the wing safety
into its bolt body housing (it is held out by a fairly firm spring and
this will take a little bit of effort)
thereby exposing the grooves in the safety lever which lock the firing pin retaining nut into position normally preventing it from rotating and backing out.
Here I have not yet begun to depress the safety lever.
Here I HAVE depressed the safety lever. Note (not easy to see)
the semi-circular grooves in the base of the safety.
Once sufficiently depressed, the firing pin locking nut can be rotated counter-clockwise to remove it from the back end of the firing pin.
In this picture, note also how the back end of the firing pin is flush with the back end of the cylindrical firing pin locking nut.
I continue to depress the safety lever as I turn the locking nut and
here you can see it backing out from the firing pin. The tab is rotating
and the nut is beginning to come off the firing pin threads.
Almost off. And here you can clearly see the semi-circular cut-outs
in the safety lever body.
You will need to be CAREFUL! The firing pin spring is under a lot of tension. It may be safest hold the firing pin down against a soft piece of wood as you finish this last step.
Use your judgment but be cautious.
I am holding pressure against the firing pin against a piece of soft
wood while I undo the last turns of the firing pin retaining nut and gently
ease everything apart.
Here is what it looks like disassembled. Note that the bolt retaining
wash screw and washer have NOT been removed!!
Clean, polish and lubricate before reassembly. Reassembly is accomplished by reversing all of the above steps, but check the next couple of pics before proceeding.
When reassembled, the firing pin retaining nut must be situated so that
when the safety is properly seated the back end of the firing pin is flush
with the retaining nut AND the nut tab points down!! You may have
to hold pressure on the tip of the firing pin and/or the safety lever to
be able to turn the retaining nut into proper position.
When reassembling the bolt head, be sure that it slips onto the bolt
body first and then is twisted/turned so that the bolt head tab slides
into the bolt body notch.
Before turning the bolt head tab into the bolt body notch, also be sure
that the ejector is properly seated. Tab at the front fits into the
bolt head cut-out.
Groove cut-out at the rear of the extractor matches and fits over the
guide tab on the back bolt body piece.
A fully reassembled bolt ready to be re-inserted into the receiver:
II(b) REINSTALLING THE BOLT INTO THE RECEIVER:
Best I can tell, the elevator spoon has to be in the UP position for the bolt to be able to be reinserted into the receiver. If your elevator is down, that is, if you manipulated it and it is now in the down position able to accept cartridges from the tubular magazine, you should be able to get it back UP by laying the rifle on it's left side (or clamping in an appropriate vice) and, using a drift pin, gently tapping the front edge of the elevator lug which protrudes into the left receiver extractor channel. Tap the lug toward the rear of the rifle until the elevator snaps back into the "up" position. If it seems to be stuck, use a bit of penetrating oil and try again.
If you are unable to tap the elevator up (say it's rusted or frozen into place) then you would have to disassemble the barreled action from the stock and disassemble the receiver in order to get to the underside of the elevator and push it up manually. So try the above first!!
With the elevator in the UP position, move the magazine cut-off lever all the way back, the carefully move the lever forward BUT NOT ALL THE WAY. Move it forward until it is about vertical. There is a critical point at which the lever clears the bolt head and holds the lever spring away from the receiver, allowing the bolt to easily slide in and "click" past the spring and properly into place. But it's a VERY fine window. You will need to experiment.
Once the bolt clicks past the spring screw down the bolt retainer washer
screw and that's all there is to it.
III. SEPARATING THE RECEIVER FROM THE STOCK:
Removing the receiver from the stock is yet another tour of wonderful
The tubular magazine tube must be removed in order to separate the receiver from the stock.
START at the muzzle end!! Do it like this:
Carefully (without buggering the magazine cap grooves) unscrew the magazine cap/stacking rod from the magazine tube.
The magazine cap is under spring pressure. Be Careful!!!! It will fly apart if you are not paying attention!
Remove the forward barrel band by first removing the forward barrel
band cross-pin locking screw.
(Now there is a name for a tiny part!!)
Flip the rifle over to expose the other side of the barrel band and the end of the grooved end of the barrel band locking cross-pin which is usually flush with the barrel band. Using a small, thin screwdriver, gently tap out the cross-pin. Here I have just started to tap out the cross-pin and you can see its end now into the barrel band.
Again flip the rifle over and carefuly remove the flat cross-pin.
The forward barrel band should now easily slip forward. Totally
remove it from the stock and barrel.
This will now allow you to slide the magazine tube out of the stock. Note that the forward end of the tube behind the threads has a tab. On reassembly, this tab MUST fit into the notch in the Combination tubular magazine tube guide and cross-pin locking tabs welded onto the bottom of the barrel (see next picture).
Combination tubular magazine tube guide and cross-pin locking tabs located on bottom of the Mod71/84 barrel:
The magazine tube removed from the stock:
Remove the remaining barrel bands.
Do this CAREFULLY buy screwing IN the middle barrel band screw. NOT OUT!!
Like the bolt retaining washer screw, DO NOT REMOVE the barrel band screw. Screw it IN.
Here is the barrel band screw in it's normal tightened position securely
clamping the barrel band tightly agains the stock.
Turn the screw IN (closkwise) the loosten the barrel band. If you turn it out, you risk damaging the screw retaining ring on the end of the screw which is not to be removed.
Here is the screw which has been (properly) screwed IN! Note how screwing it IN separates the barrel band ends. This allows the barrel band to slide over the cross-pin which also helps to retain the band when installed.
The barrel band easily clears the locking cross-pin whed the barrel band screw has been screwed in.
The lower barrel band should be a no-brainer. Depress the barrel band retaining spring to allow the spring pin to clear the band.
Here is the lower barrel band being removed.
Next, remove the forward trigger guard tang screw, which seats into the bottom of the receiver.
Now remove the rear receiver tang screew which seats into the rear trigger guard tang.
Gently lift the receiver away from the stock and you're done!!
Any further disassembly is at your own risk, or else you'll need to pay me to consult!!! :)
(Note that unlike most of the rest of this website, the text referes
to the photos FOLLOWING the text. The text is ABOVE the photos referred
to, not below.)
IV. REMOVING THE CARTRIDGE LIFTING SPOON FROM
The lifting spoon is buried deep in the receiver of the M71/84 Mauser
and requires a fair amount of disassembly to get to.
But it is not especially difficult, nor quite as tricky as takedown to this point has been.
Begin with the receiver laying on its right side, left side up:
Remove the retaining screw of the L-shaped bolt catch / bolt
stop, and remove the bolt catch.
It's not obvious, but the "bar" across the magazine cut-off switch has a nipple on its end (see below) that enters a notch in the receiver and contributes to retaining the bolt
in the receiver. Moving the selector switch back and forth engages and dis-engages this bolt stop nipple. This is why, in the instructions far above, you needed to flip the selector
while pulling back on the bolt in order to first remove the bolt from the receiver.
View. I've had some feedback telling me that my readers' Mausers
don't look anything like the pristine rifle used for the above disassembly
instructions, so here are some pics
of a rifle which is more likely to be in the condition of yours when you first disassemble it!
The L-shaped bolt catch may be retained by old grease/dirt. Once its retaining screw is removed, tap it lightly with a rubber mallet to loosten it.
View. Be careful prying it loose as it fits into a detent
in the receiver.
Remove: With the bolt catch removed, gently lift out the magazine
selector switch. It fits into place on a non-screwed pivot pin, and actuates
the spoon lock with another
non-screw-retained pin. The selector should simply be carefully lifted out vertically.
Note the two pivot pins at the base of the selector switch, and
the bolt stop on the end of the L-shaped bolt catch bar.
View showing the receiver with selector switch removed. Now you
can see a part of the bolt-to-spoon lifting block beneath the cresent shaped
cut-out for the selector switch pin.
This "bolt-to-spoon lifting block" is its own, separate piece as you will see below.
View of bottom of receiver showing the twin channels in which
the "bolt-to-spoon lifting block" rides. One channel is cut into the receiver,
the other is cut into the spoon.
The spoon will need to be removed before this little block can be removed.
Back to the left side of the receiver:
View: Make a mental note that the left/forward end of the spring fits UNDER the cartridge block spring to its left(forward).
Remove the screw holding the spoon retaining catch spring (or whatever in the world this is called!).
This is yet another good time to realize that if you havn't invested in a decent set of hollow-ground screwdrivers/bits then you have no business disassembling antique rifles at all!!
Get a Chapman 8900 Gun Screwdriver Kit at the very minimum!!
View of the "spoon retaining catch spring" showing that it too
sits in a detent so remove carefully. Tap with rubber mallet if necessary.
Flip the receiver over.
View: Note that the spoon pivot pin has a screw head with half moon locking cut-out and that the pivot pin retaining screw ALSO has a half moon cut-out.
They don't both need one, but they both got one, Don't ask me why.
Align the spoon pivot pin with the half moon cut-out of the retainer
screw. Personally I like to align them both but only aligning the retainer
screw is necessary.
Flip the receiver over and using a brass drift pin which is aligned
through the receiver cut-out, and through the "bolt-to-spoon lifting block",
gently Tap Out the spoon pivot pin.
It should come out easily. If it won't budge, check what's wrong!!! You may need to lign things up more carefully.
View of the spoon pivot pin as it is being gently tapped out
of its detent in the receiver.
View of the side of the receiver with spoon pivot pin removed.
View of the cartridge lifter spoon and the "bolt-to-spoon lifting
block" both removed from the receiver.
Note that I should have photographed the spoon removed first, as the spoon must be removed before the block can be easily accessed. I skipped over a step here.
View showing the spoon and block separated with the block having
been flipped over to the right.
Note how the block rides in the milled slot in the spoon. The block's other side rides in a slot milled into the inside of the receiver.
View of the bottom of the receiver with everything flipped over
to the right.
You can see the block returned to and positioned in the slot in the receiver and at the bottom of the photo, the slot in the spoon in which the block also rides.
Note, the block must be inserted into the receiver first to more easily re-assemble the spoon inot the receiver.
Align the spoon and "bolt-to-spoon lifting block" pivot holes
with the drift pin,
Realign the pivot pin locking screw half-moon cut-out and
Reinsert the spoon pivot pin by gently tapping it into place with the rubber mallet.
Lock the spoon pivot pin in by tightening (not too tight!!)
the pivot pin locking screw (utilizing your excellent, perfectly-fitting
hollow-ground gun screwdriver set of course).
Reposition the spoon spring with its forward end below
the cartridge stop spring. Return its locking screw into position.
Line up the "bolt-to-spoon lifting block" selector switch hole
with the spoon pivot hole and carefully re-insert the selector switch
making sure that it is fully seated and snug.
Reposition the L-shaped bolt catch bar and reassemble to the receiver with its retaining screw.
View: This portion of re-assembly is Complete.
Last time: Note that the text refers to the photo immediately
BELOW the text, not above the test as is usual on the website.
Page first built February 23, 2007
Revised February 27, 2007
Revised November19, 2010 to add spoon removal