Mauser 98 458 Win Mag Custom Rifle by Roy Vail
Used Condition
FFL is required
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Time Left 15 min rule
Item has Ended
7/31/2017 10:05 PM
Item 670230813
Location Houston, TX 77065
See Item Description
No international shipments
Payment Personal Check, USPS Money Order, Money Order, Certified Check, See Item Description
Checkout Yes
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The seller of this item assumes all responsibility for this listing. You must contact the seller to resolve any questions or concerns before placing a bid. Payment must be made using U.S. dollars ($) unless otherwise stated in the listing. Firearms may only be shipped to a licensed dealer (FFL Holder). Some listed items may not be legal in every state. Complete your purchase within the law.

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Mauser 98 458 Win Mag by Roy Vail.

Layaway 25% down and 15% per month until paid in full. If Buyer is in good standing during the layaway period, Seller will refund half of all payments made at any time if Buyer changes mind. Or suggest layaway terms to better suit your needs.

This Custom Mauser Model 98 .458 Winchester Magnum rifle was built by Noted Gunsmith and Custom Rifle Maker Roy Vail. This rifle features an extremely rare left-handed Mauser Model 1898 action (functions perfectly), 26.5" barrel, French style stock, beautiful checkering with numerous French Fleur-de-Lis (a stylized lily composed of three petals bound together near their bases, especially known from the former royal arms of France) accents, era-perfect Pachmayer recoil pad, beautifully-grained fore-end tip in complementary wood tones, beautiful pistol grip cap in the same complementary wood tones as the fore-end, iron sights for close-up large game hunting, drilled and tapped for scope, pristine shiny bore with deep distinct rifling, ROY VAIL block letter signature on top of barrel, not excellent but still very good condition, this Vail work-of-art appears to have actually been used to hunt…wow what stories could it tell if it could talk!!!!!

Roy Vail was one of the most famous US Gunsmiths of the 1930s through the 1970s. One of many of Vail’s claims to fame was being selected by West Point to refurbish George Washington’s ivory and pearl studded matching pistols, now on display at the West Point Museum. Vail also made several guns for General/President Ike Eisenhower and other period dignitaries, including Warren Page (see auction number 582810096) and General Sherman Hasbrough (see auction number 583838864).

One of the photos in this auction shows Roy Vail on the cover of the February 1950 edition of American Rifleman Magazine. He smithed some 200 rifles and 150 shotguns in his illustrative career, each having that flair of design and workmanship that makes it distinctively, “a Vail.” There is no serial number on this rifle that this owner has ever been able to find. Vail is also known for converting right hand Mauser 98s to left hand versions – a monumental amount of gunsmithing effort and craftsmanship – of special significance to “lefties” since Mauser never factory manufactured left-handed 98s. (I am told this but have not confirmed. Is this correct?) Is this very rifle one of the Mauser 98 lefty conversions by Vail? It appears to be. Regardless, any left-handed Mauser 98 is extraordinarily rare. One of the photos provided in this auction is Vail in the Army. The reverse of the photo has his autograph. A copy of this photo will be provided with the rifle.

Update on the left-handed Mauser bolt action. A Mauser expert has reviewed my speculation that this is a right-handed Mauser action that Vail converted to left-handed (a monumental feat of gunsmithing). Extra photos of the action and bolt were taken and sent to him (these have been added to this auction). His conclusion is that this rifle is indeed a right-handed Mauser conversion to left-handed. He says FN chartered a Japanese gun manufacturer to tool up to make left-handed Mauser actions after WWII, in the late 1940s. Only a relatively few were made, and there seemed to be no strong market for them, so the business venture was stopped. The expert thought this might be one of the FN left-handed actions, but he concluded after review of the added photos that this is not an FN action. The expert concluded in his email to me: “You are exactly correct. It is a pre-Japan conversion. Very early and very, very interesting. Roy was a man ahead of his time in more ways than one. Another one of these ain’t (sic) going to come along any time soon! You have represented it correctly in my opinion."

Photos 57, 58, and 59 were added to show the "ROY VAIL" name stamped on the barrel. When Vail signed on the barrel, it is usually in block letters like on this gun. (I have seen him sign on the wood in one case and it was in script letters.)

American soldiers brought it back from both world wars – the Model 98 Mauser. The Mauser 1898 action became the “perfect action” upon which most all future bolt action rifles have been based. For example, the US Government paid many millions of dollars to the Mauser Company in Germany for patent infringement penalties from our Military Model 1903 rifle, which was basically a duplication of the Mauser Model of 1898 rifle action. To this day there are few improvements in this action, and none of the modern improvements are more than incidental. Influencing the design of virtually every “modern” bolt action made today, the Model 98 Mauser never died. It is especially alive and vibrant is this beautiful custom rifle by Roy Vail.

The .458 Winchester Magnum is a belted, straight-taper cased, dangerous game rifle cartridge. It was introduced commercially in 1956 by Winchester and first chambered in the Winchester Model 70 African rifle. It was designed to compete against the .450 Nitro Express and the .470 Nitro Express cartridges found in big bore British double rifles. The .458 Winchester Magnum remains to this day one of the most popular dangerous game cartridges. Most major ammunition manufacturers offer a selection of .458 ammunition for rifles chambered in the cartridge.

The .458 Winchester Magnum was designed for hunting dangerous game animals by emulating the performance of powerful English double rifle cartridges in a bolt-action rifle. The use of a bolt-action rifle offered hunters a cheaper alternative to the big-bore double rifle, and ammunition could be manufactured using available tooling. The .458 Winchester Magnum soon became a success as dangerous game hunters adopted the cartridge. Soon game wardens, wildlife managers, and professional hunters switched to the .458 Winchester Magnum as their duty rifle. The cartridge would become the standard African dangerous game cartridge in short order. Recently other .458 cartridges and various .416 cartridges have gained wider acceptance, but the 458 Win Mag remains the King of the African Safari. With modern powders the .458 Winchester Magnum is capable of launching a 300 gr bullet at 2,600 ft/s, a 350 gr bullet at 2,500 ft/s, a 400 gr bullet at 2,400 ft/s, and a 450 gr bullet at 2,300 ft/s.

The .458 Winchester Magnum was designed for use against heavy thick skinned African game species such as elephant, rhinoceros and African Cape buffalo. The exceptional sectional density of the 500 gr bullet combined with a muzzle velocity of between 1,950–2,250 ft/s provides the cartridge adequate penetration on these dangerous game species. Rifles produced for this cartridge usually weighed under 11 lb. The combination of these factors helped the .458 Winchester Magnum become the most popular dangerous game cartridge on the African continent.

While the .458 Winchester Magnum is considered over powered for North American game species, the cartridge has found use for the hunting of large bears such as the polar and Alaskan brown bear and American bison. A few guides in Alaska and Canada carry rifles chambered in this cartridge to provide a defense against these largest bear species for themselves and their clients. As almost all dangerous game hunting is conducted at short ranges with most shootings occurring well within a distance of 60 yd, the .458 was not designed as a long range hunting cartridge. Its effective hunting range against large dangerous game is considered less than 110 yd.

Additional Notes: Item is used, but in good condition -- see the photographs. Mechanically this rifle’s action appears to function perfectly (but has not been test fired) Numerous photographs are included to show the bluing handling/use marks, which are tolerable considering this rifle’s age. Included with the rifle if purchased BUY NOW is an expensive protective “Guide Series Three Forks” leather case for protection during shipping and during rifle use. The fine leather is that soft, supple leather that “talks to you” when you pick it up by the handle. It’s a fine gun case for a fine rifle, for sure!!! They go together very well!! See added photos.

Additional $75.00 Shipping is to pay for fully insured (insurance is a big part of the cost) FedEx shipping to all states except California, Alaska, and Hawaii. In those states add $35. Shipping will be fully insured, and packaged securely to protect your investment. More photos to you by email upon request. Good luck bidding! Please call me, Mike Jackson, phone 346-666-4372 cell “24/7,” if you have any questions.

OK…nobody is saying you gotta have a .458 Win Mag to hunt anything in America. But every serious gun enthusiast who can afford one should own one – it’s the Classic American-Born African Big Game Safari Cartridge!!! This is a very fine old custom rifle with gentle honest wear that you will treasure forever. Display it in your gunroom and use it on that safari you haven’t taken the time for yet, but soon will!! What a discussion piece it will be at home and in the bush hunting!!! It’s the classical, famous, always reliable Mauser 98 action. It’s the equally famous .458 Win Mag caliber. It was beautifully customized by one of America’s truly great gunsmiths, Roy Vail. WOW what a package!!! Get your bids in early and often!!

Seller provided no "Additional Terms of Sale"
.458 Win. Mag.
Barrel Length
26 inch
Mfg Part Number
15.00 Pounds