Rifleman Q&A: Firearms Int'l Corp. Mausers?

posted on April 15, 2022
Rifleman Q&A text black gray AR logo rifleman gun soldier shooting
This “Questions & Answers” was featured in the June 2005 issue of American Rifleman.

Q. I purchased two Belgian-made FN Mauser actions many years ago. They have consecutive serial numbers. I have been unable to ascertain even an approximate date of manufacture. The importer at the time was “Firearms International Corp.” The serial numbers are X-0988 and X-0989. If you can supply a date of manufacture, I would be most appreciative.

A. Firearms Int’l of Washington, D.C., began offering FN-made Mauser actions and barreled actions in 1947. The first offerings were essentially well-made military style actions, but significant changes and improvements were made over time. In 1957, the zenith was reached with the introduction of the Supreme Model. These actions featured Sako-made adjustable triggers with a sliding safety.

The .30-’06 Sprg. length model, with a 3.375" magazine box, was referred to as the Action No. 1, and the same length magazine model with a magnum bolt face, was known as the No. 7. FN Mauser actions have always been held in high regard. Weatherby used them for its high-performance rifles until 1958, when it introduced the Mark V. Other manufacturers and distributors, such as Marlin, Sako, Colt, H&R and Sears used FN actions to fill-in their center-fire lines. Custom gunsmiths were also a ready market for FN actions.

My reference materials say that the actions were not serially numbered when they left the factory. It was left to the final manufacturing entity to number them when they were barreled and finished. While I can’t say for sure, I suspect that your actions were likely numbered by a distributor or by a custom builder for use as a consecutive pair of rifles. Why they were not completed is obviously open to conjecture.

This “Questions & Answers” was featured in the June 2005 issue of American Rifleman. At time of publication, "Questions & Answers" was compiled by Staff, Ballistics Editor William C. Davis, Jr., and Contributing Editors: David Andrews, Hugh C. Birnbaum, Bruce N. Canfield, O. Reid Coffield, Charles Q. Cutshaw, Charles M. Fagg, Angus Laidlaw, Evan P. Marshall, Charles E. Petty, Robert B. Pomeranz, O.D., Jon R. Sundra, Jim Supica, A.W.F. Taylerson, John M. Taylor and John W. Treakle.

To subscribe to the magazine, visit the NRA membership page and select American Rifleman as your member magazine.


Simeon North Flintlock Pair Commodore Isaac Hull
Simeon North Flintlock Pair Commodore Isaac Hull

Simeon North: First Official U.S. Pistol Maker

Arguably the first official U.S. pistol maker, Simeon North began contracting to the U.S. government with 500 horse pistols in 1798. After subsequent success, North went on to supply the Horse Pistol of Model 1799 -1800 by the thousands, manufactured Hall rifles and more.

Preview: Ammunition, Demystified

Billed as “Hatcher’s Notebook for the 21st century,” Ammunition, Demystified: The (Non) Bubba’s Guide To How Ammo Really Works is intended for both advanced shooters and reloaders, as well as industry professionals.

James Wallace Elected As 76th NRA Director

James L. Wallace has been elected by the members to a one-year term ending in 2025.

Rifleman Q&A: Marlin’s Mixed Markings

I have this old gun I want to shoot, but I’m not certain exactly what I have, and the gun appears to pre-date any description in the Blue Book Of Gun Values. The gun measures 43" overall, has a 26 9⁄16" barrel and its markings are as follows:

New For 2024: Diamondback Self-Defense Revolver (SDR)

Diamondback Firearms' handguns were previously of a polymer-frame, semi-automatic design, but with the release of its Self-Defense Revolver in 2024, the company is taking a new tack.

Preview: The Headrest Safe Co. Slide Bundle

For the armed citizen seeking to discreetly secure a defensive handgun in a vehicle, the Slide Bundle from The Headrest Safe Co. provides the ideal solution.


Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.