Mauser 300SL target rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Mauser 300SL
Mauser 300SL. There are three finger scallops along the cocking lever.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Description
  • Sights
  • Taploader
  • Trigger
  • Not much information
  • Summary

Here we go! I told you I would be reporting on those airguns I acquired from the Gun Broker website. This is the first of them. The Mauser 300SL is an underlever spring-piston target rifle that is almost a 10-meter rifle, but not quite. After examining it, it appears the people who made this rifle were concentrating more on the style of the zimmerstutzen, rather than a modern 10-meter target air rifle. I’ll explain as we go along.


The 300SL is an underlever that looks something like a Feinwerkbau 300. But there are many differences. For starters, this is a recoiling air rifle. No attempt was made to cancel the recoil. Given that it was sold in the 1980s, that takes it out of the running for 10-meter competition. The FWB 300 was already obsolete in the ’80s.

My example weighs 8 lbs, 6 oz., so it’s no youth rifle. The large beech wood stock is evenly stained a dark brown and has three cutouts on either side of the forearm, similar to some versions of the Diana 75 match rifle. The stock is tall and squared-off like an FWB 300S stock. The cheekpiece stands away from the buttstock and is sharply contoured. The pistol grip is vertical and deeply stippled for better gripping. There is no accessory rail under the forearm, which is another departure from a true 10-meter rifle.

The barrel is just under 19 inches long. The overall length of the rifle is 43 inches, measured at the center of the buttpad.

The most different feature of the stock is found at the butt. As the photo shows, the butt pad is angled to the left by the shape of the stock. It’s done for a right-handed shooter. Even in the 1980s that was radical, because it eliminates a large number of potential customers. But it’s cheaper to shape the buttstock this way than to add an adjustable buttpad that does the same thing.

Mauser 300SL buttpad
You have to see it to believe it! The shape of this stock is an example of hard-wired ergonomics from the 1980s.


The 300SL has a target globe front sight that accepts different inserts. I haven’t checked the size of the inserts yet, but I think the maker would have been smart to make them one of the common sizes. We shall see!

Mauser 300SL front sight
The front sight is a target globe with replaceable inserts. At present there is a post and bead installed.

The rear sight is where the zimmerstutzen influence really comes to light. My rifle has a factory sporting rear sight! Some zimmerstutzens also have this intermediate sight. I don’t know the purpose, but I suspect there are matches for it. The Germans seldom do anything without good reason. The Haenel 311 bolt-action target rifle also has such an internediate sight, though it is quite scarce.

Mauser 300SL rear sight and tap
The rear sight is a sporting sight that adjusts in both directions. Note the manual loading tap.

There is also an 11mm dovetail where an optional Mauser rear peep sight can be mounted. According to the Blue Book of Airguns, this sight adds 25 percent to the value of the rifle today, but that would only be true if it was an original.

Mauser 300SL rear peep
This 300SL appears to have a Walther peep sight. If it is original, the Walther sight was copied.


This rifle loads from a manual tap. After cocking, open the tap, drop in a pellet nose-first, close the tap and fire. Loading taps are seldom used on target rifles because the pellet skirt can be damaged when it jumps from the tap to the breech of the barrel.


The trigger appears to be adjustable. As it came to me it was single-stage and creepy. The pull is too heavy for a target rifle. An automatic safety button on the right side of the receiver must be pushed forward before shooting every time the gun is cocked. I will look at the trigger more closely in Part 2, but from what I have read on the internet, I don’t hold out a lot of hope.

Mauser 300SL trigger
Two screws and an access hole indicate some sort of trigger adjustability. We’ll see.

Not much information

I did a quick search on the internet and found there is very little correct information about the 300SL. This series will probably become a resource for airgunners in the future. Mauser didn’t make it. Our reader, Mike Driskill, provided as much information as the Blue Book. He says the rifle was made for Mauser by the same Hungarian factory that made the Relum Telly and similar airguns. And the consensus of those who have seen the rifle agrees with me that it appears similar to an FWB 300S, though it’s not up to the same quality standards.

When they were new I saw one in a gun store selling for $375, as I recall. That would have been around 1988-90. At that time the FWB 300S was selling for at least double that price, and was well worth the difference. The Mauser 300SL is one of those airguns you buy for the looks, then discover that what you have is just a nice-looking plinker. I am tempted to make an inappropriate remark here, but instead I will just ask, “But, can she cook?”


That’s all for this report. Because the Mauser 300SL is so unknown, there will be more description in every report to come.

33 thoughts on “Mauser 300SL target rifle: Part 1

  1. B.B.,

    An odd duck to be sure! With the taploader and target stock, I presume it shoots in the 550-625 fps. range. I’m sure it’s pleasant to shoot from a bag, but it’s a bit hefty for off-hand plinking, kinda like a chunkier take on the Diana Model 50 or BSA Airsporter.


  2. I remember seeing one of those back in the day, it had the looks. But after handling it, I went a different direction.

    The angled butt stock was the nail in the coffin for me.

    I do like the tap loaders though..
    I miss my old Barnett Spitfire..

    • 45Bravo,

      I saw a NIB Barnett Spitfire at the Hickory, NC show this past Saturday. I have seen this same rifle at the Roanoke, VA show a couple of times. BB may remember seeing it himself. Very nice looking rifle. It is .177. If it had been .22 it probably would have gone home with me.

  3. Pingback: Mauser 300SL target rifle: Part 1 | Airguns: Air Rifles and Pistols

  4. BB,

    It is my understanding that open sights are used in 10 yard competition shooting while the peep is used in 10 meter.

    This may have been an attempt at an affordable entry level shooter.

    • RR,

      I think you are right, but with something more. I think someone at Mauser who wasn’t an airgunner thought this rifle would sell because of the Mauser name. I would love to have been a fly on the wall at their decision-making meetings!


      • BB,

        Like my Webley/Hatsan Tomahawk, the marketeers expect the name to sell. They may hook the newbies with initial sales, but once everybody catches on it creates more damage than profit. Right now the only Webley’s that sell are the ones with UK on them.

  5. BB,

    You are completely right. These were sold in the 80ties in Germany though the large mailorder firms like Wehkamp for abouth a thirth of the price of a FWB 300S. They were made to look like a target rifle, but no one bought these for serious competition.

    On the other hand, they were fun, accurate (certainly in a dime on 10 mtrs) and a good start for a novice shooter. I have a Grothouse which is similar to the Relum, which is similar to the FÉG which was sold by Umarex as the Mauser 300SH.

    In short: do not begin to try to understand the confusion over here about what is made by whom, it is an amusing but complete mess.

    Nice that you showed the heritage of the zimmerstutzen, I did not notice that but once said it is quite obvious.



    • August,

      Thank you for that! Living in Germany, you see things like this so much closer than we do in America.

      The zimmerstutzen reference only came to me because of my fascination for them. And the Haenel 311 also has an intermediate sporting rear sight option. Probably a lot of target rifles do, but that’s the only one I can think of.


  6. An interesting gun to be sure on several fronts. It appears to have plastic used at the front sight, trigger guard, elsewhere? That seems odd for a 375$ rifle, but perhaps not. The butt stock/pad angle is something that had to be seen to be believed. Hopefully it shoots nice and is accurate.

    • Yogi,

      Taploaders have their quirks, but I have two, a Hakim and a Diana Model 50, and at the 10 meters to 20 yards I have shot them they are tack-drivers. I suppose they lose some power because of the taploader, and they much prefer pure lead, thin-skirted pellets over others, but I like them overall.


  7. 45 Bravo and Chris USA,

    I am left-handed, and my LH FWB target rifles all have completely articulated buttstocks. I have each adjusted as the one above is angled (except the opposite direction), and they practically melt into the crook between the deltoid and pectoral muscles of my shoulder. It is quite ergonomic. I would expect the Mauser 300SL to be very comfortable to most right handers who shoulder it.


    • Michael

      I actually imagined it to be that way and am glad to hear my opinion affirmed by at least one person. I too am left handed but have never shot a left handed gun. I have passed on some good deals just because I am tired of buying right handed rifles. I would love a sweet little left handed 10m fwb. But the price of any of these let alone availability is enough to keep me away.

  8. The moment I saw this I thought F E.G (Hungarian), popular in the UK as Relum, parts (if needed) are abundant from Protek supplies here in the UK…local to me, if they are reluctant to send internationally let me know I could pick up
    You should be looking at a double spring and leather seal, and around 9fpe, accuracy in the inch at 25 yards sort of area…so no target rifle

  9. FEG had various tie ups with CZ (Brno) over the cold war years (CZ took over the Telly production under various numerical designations and brands,eventually developing into the Slavia range) Relum was a UK company that held most of the western sales and exports, thats why so much product is branded as Relum.

  10. Hello Tom; Sorry to place this question in the comments section here, but I am no computer expert and this is the only way I could figure how to contact you with my question, which is; Is there an (easy) way or any way to measure the force required to cock a break barrel air rifle? Thank you. Regards. Lajos Tresser

  11. Mauser never made an air rifle.

    Back in the 80s, in Europe, Mauser licensed their brand name out, so you saw “Mauser” blank-fire guns, and “Mauser” air guns,,including some re-badged Diana 30s, and whatever this was, maybe, as some have said, a Relum.

  12. Tom, that’s a very interesting rifle I haven’t seen in ages! A couple quick notes:

    – As already noted, it’s actually a Hungarian-made action, probably by FEG, and seen as a “Relum Tornado,” etc.
    – I would suggest the match sight looks not like a Walther, but the classic Weihrauch unit (by the way, the HW sight was made first with 13mm scope grooves and later with 11mm, it would be interesting to know which is used on the Mauser!).
    – The angled buttplate may have been inspired by the Diana model 75 recoilless match rifle that was made in the same time period.
    – I remember that the Mauser name was used on quite a few airgun products in the late 80’s period. There was a Mauser version of the fascinating Record “Jumbo” concentric-piston springer pistol, and also a line of Mauser-labeled pellets. I bought some of these locally back in the day, and remember thinking they must have come from REALLY clapped-out H&N dies!

    Thanks for your great work as always! I look forward to reading more on this rather off-center classic…

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