How to Clean a Mauser

How to Clean a Mauser

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A Mauser rifle is a classic piece of military history and needs to be cleaned on a regular basis to be preserved. Mauser was a German manufacturer of arms that supplied the country with weapons for over 120 years. The most iconic of these weapons is the Mauser 98k bolt-action rifle. The 98k was created in the mid-1930s as a shorter version of the original design and is often sought after by collectors. Surplus ammunition meant to be used with this weapon is typically corrosive. If this ammunition is used, the rifle must be cleaned after firing.

Items you will need

  • Tooth brush

  • Gun cleaning solvent

  • Shop towels

  • Cleaning rod

  • Brass jag, 8mm

  • Cotton patches

Locate the safety lever at the rear of the bolt and turn it upward. This will allow you to cycle the bolt while keeping the weapon on safe. Grasp the bolt handle and pull it upward, pull the bolt rearward and make sure the weapon is unloaded. If there are rounds in the magazine, continue to cycle the bolt until there are no more rounds left.

Pull the bolt fully rearward and locate the bolt stop release lever located on the left side of the receiver. Pivot the lever to the left and pull the bolt free from the receiver.

Attach the brass jag to the cleaning rod. Soak a cotton pad in cleaning solvent and attach it to the end of the jag. Insert the rod into the breech and push the rod through. Remove the patch and remove the rod. Attach a clean cotton patch to the rod and push it through the barrel from the breech. Repeat this process until the patch comes out clean.

Turn the weapon over and unscrew the "capture screws." These are the screws just next to the main screws that hold them in place. They do not have to be fully unscrewed; turn them just enough to release the main screws. Unscrew the main screws and remove them. Pull up on the trigger guard to remove it and the magazine. Use the brush dipped in solvent to clean the magazine well. Wipe away the excess solvent using the towel.

Apply a light coat of oil to all the metal parts. Apply light coat of oil to a cotton patch and pass it through the barrel using the rod. Reassemble the weapon in reverse order, cycle the bolt, turn the safety lever all the way to the left and dry-fire the weapon.


  • Always make sure your firearm is unloaded before you start cleaning.
  • Work in a well-ventilated area.


  • If you look down the barrel and notice there is excessive fouling, use a brass bore brush dipped in solvent to scrub it away.
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