About the Blog

Educating fellow Jews about the sporting and defensive use of firearms. Especially Jews in North America, too many of whom are instilled with the belief that guns aren't for nice Jewish boys and girls.

If you know of notable Jewish shooters that should be documented on the blog, even if it is only at the local club level, I am happy to report and profile them. And don't be shy if that person to be documented is you! Please drop me a line at jewishmarksman at gmail dot com. Also follow me on twitter @JMarksmanship.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Jewish Marksman's Israeli Mauser

I've written before on this blog about the Israeli Mauser rifles. Essentially, these are bolt action rifles that were the main battle rifle for the Germans in WWI and WWII. After WWII, these rifles were captured by the Allies, and then made their way over to Israel for use in its war for independence and other battles. When the Israelis received the rifles, they re-barreled them for a 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge instead of the 8mm Mauser, which means the Israeli rifles can usually handle .308 Win.

I spent about a year waiting to find one with the right markings at the right price. They generally come in 3 flavors: German made with German markings, Czech made with a lion's crest, and Belgian made with the IDF crest. The German and Czech are captured rifles, the Belgians were contracted. I wanted a German with a stamped Star of David to start the collection. My original plan was to strip it down to the receiver and build a match rifle, but when my wife saw it she vetoed and insisted we leave it more or less as original. I've since bought a stripped down IDF crested receiver to build a match rifle someday. The Czech will have to wait.

I sent the rifle to well known Mauser gunsmith, Eric at Gunworks of Central New York. He did some refinishing, put in a Timney target trigger, bedded the action and floated the barrel, and also replaced the shot-out barrel. I also decided to go with Mojo aperture sights instead of the original battle sights, and went with a Tubb speedlock spring and firing pin. The gunsmith did a great job. The trigger is great and the action smooth.

I don't know how well the rifle groups yet. I shot it once with 20 hand loads, but I was trying to use the session to find a zero, and did not quite understand the Mojo sights so that session was not as fruitful as it should have been (in a later post I'll explain how the Mojos work). I have another 20 rounds loaded to try again this weekend, hopefully I'll find zero and will then shoot for groups from prone. The gunsmith tested it and got a 2" group at 100 yards, but the tester complained about not being able to shoot well with open sights (I guess he's used to a scope). I actually do have a scope mount for it but forget to send that to him.  Oh well.  That starting group is still a good sign that with a little experimentation through hand loading that we can get down to 1.5" or less. That should be a decent rifle for 100 yard High Power matches.  If I an find a magic load to make a 1" group....

The picture at the top of the post shows the interesting markings on the side of the receiver (click it to enlarge). You can see the Star of David, and that there used to be a German eagle holding a swastika, but the armorer hammered away the eagle's head, wings, and the swastika in its talons (look for the the 4 dots). There are cool markings on the other side, but my patience with my cell phone's camera wore out.

On the top of the receiver you can see the simple crest, indicating where the rifle receiver was made and the year, 1940 (click to enlarge):

Yep, the rifle is 72 years old and shoots about as well as many off the shelf rifles made today.  The rifle has an internal magazine loaded via clips, with a little more practice I'll be as quick with them as a magazine swap on an AR-15:
There you have it, hopefully I'll have some nice targets to post soon.

I paid $200 for mine, which was in poor condition and the barrel was shot out, which is wanted I wanted because I was planning to upgrade. I paid $50 for the IDF crested stripped receiver. Both off of Gunbroker. 

A nice specimen recently sold on Gunbroker:

Here is another currently for sale at the time of this writing:

Ironically, I'm a little on the fence about whether Jews should own these rifles.  You'd be surprised how many philo-Semitic gentiles own them out of respect and admiration for the Jewish people.  It is as if these rifles are a sort of silent ambassador, and its almost a shame to take one out of gentile circulation.  That is another reason I bought a poor-grade specimen and a stripped receiver that nobody else wanted.  On the other hand, I'm told there are plenty to go around, so perhaps my concerns are unfounded.

I can't say I'm an expert, but after a year or so of watching the auctions and other sites, I got decent at appraising these.  If you are in the market, feel free to email me with a link to one you are considering and I'll give you my thoughts privately.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Itamar Gelbman - Jewish Marksman and Congressional Candidate

Thanks again to reader Brad in MA for the tip on today's Jewish Marksman, Itamar Gelbman, who is running for . According to his campaign web site:
Itamar Gelbman was born in the United States and, as a child, moved to Israel with his parents where he grew up. While studying Business Management and Computer Science at Tel Aviv University, Itamar served as an undercover reserve police officer in the Tel Aviv Police Department.

After graduation, Itamar joined the Israeli Defense Force where he served as a lieutenant in the Army Special Forces. For his service he received numerous awards, including commendations from the Chief of Staff, IDF.

Since returning to the United States, Itamar has worked as a security consultant for high profile clientele. He also advises law enforcement agencies on Israeli counter-terror, military and police strategies and border security.

Itamar also serves as a search and rescue pilot in the U.S. Air Force, Civil Air Patrol.

Since starting his first business in 2004, Itamar has created hundreds of jobs for Americans.
Itamar comes from fighting stock. Both parents served in the Army. All of his grandparents escaped from Nazi capture during WW II. His mother's mother escaped alone from a mass grave in Auschwitz and his father's parents leaped from the Holocaust train taking them to Treblinka.
Most importantly to our readers though, Gelbman is a Jewish politician who supports the 2nd Amendment, and dedicates a portion of his campaign web site to the issue:
America is the land of the free and home of the brave, as a free and brave man or women you have the right to defend yourself, your family, your property and other law abiding citizens.
A firearm is just a piece of metal. A firearm does not have a mind of its own, it does not make judgments. A human being needs to pull the trigger.
Banning firearms for the claim of "firearms kill people" is just as bad as banning cars or knives for claiming that they kill people. In the U.S.A more people die from car accident over firearm related crimes: An average of over 40,000 people die a year in car accidents compared to 16,000 deaths related to firearm which are not suicide. According to the Department of Justice’s statistics knives were used in 6% percent of the violent crimes that occurred in the USA in 2008 while firearms were used in 7%. This proves that if you want to ban firearms you should also ban knives and cars. Furthermore, banning firearms will NOT stop the criminals from getting and using weapons. Banning firearms will only make the law abiding citizens more vulnerable to attacks. In the U.K. firearms were banned in 1998, since then firearm related injuries more than doubled and firearm related crimes consistently grow every year!
In fact, he is not afraid to put the following picture on his site:

I know I have several readers out in Texas, so take the time to investigate Gelbman and consider giving him your vote!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Catching up with the Jewish Marksman

I apologize that the pace of posting has slowed of late, I have been busy with work and trying to do get some reloading done so I'm not rushing to load before matches. But fear not, I have a queue of Jewish Marksmen to profile soon! I also have a new rifle to tell you about and will review it soon...

Otherwise I have finally begun to make some progress in my sitting position scores, which had slumped below 95% recently. I made some tweaks and basically through trial and error discovered a few nuances in the position I had not noticed before, and today shot a 97%. Specifically, I had sometimes found myself muscling the rifle up to raise the muzzle when needed, but I realized that the same result could be achieved by leaning back and sorting of "hanging" from the sling. I thought perhaps that this position would not settle from recoil well, but the opposite turned out to be true. I have also smoothed out my magazine changes, carefully keeping the rifle in my shoulder and then releasing the bolt as I settle back down in position. I still have a hard time judging time though, and this tendency to rush is hurting my score, as I'll have a bunch of tens and then a couple of rushed eights where I shot before settled after recoil. I am going to start integrating a timer into my practice sessions.