The M18 “People’s Rifle”
For over one hundred and fifty years the Mauser name has been synonymous with robust quality and high-end craftsmanship. Their rifles built on controlled-round-feed actions have been the standard for hunters requiring absolute reliability without sacrificing beauty. Think elegant meets bomb-proof. So why would Mauser enter into the utilitarian market with a rifle they unofficially call “the people’s rifle?”
In short, it’s because all of their European cousins have done the same thing with great success and there was plenty of room for one of the world’s greatest rifle makers to join them. So, they did…but not without going back to the drawing board and starting from scratch. Enter the push-feed M18 all-weather and seemingly indestructible modern sporting rifle. To keep you reading I’ll spoil things a bit: if you’re a fan of composite stocked rifles and you’ve coveted the Blaser or Sauer synthetic offerings, but weren’t ready for the price tag, owning the M18 is where you should start.
I guess we should begin with why Mauser would depart from the control round feed action that they’ve always been known for when designing the M18. The short answer is cost. The Mauser M18’s solid steel push-feed action is much cheaper to manufacture, and because of the success of other similar actions, hunters have come to appreciate push-feed simplicity and accuracy.
Just because many safari hunters demand controlled feed for dangerous game doesn’t mean Mauser’s push feed is less reliable – it was perfect in testing. From a price standpoint, you’re going to have a very hard time finding a decent control-round feed rifle for less than seven hundred dollars, but you can very easily purchase a reliable push-feed rifle worth owning for that price. The new Mauser sets itself apart from many other push-feed options in its class simply because of its quality German manufacturing.
So, what does the M18 have that makes it worth a very hard look when purchasing your next rifle? First, it has a FIVE-shot sub 1 MOA accuracy guarantee that actually held up when testing with Hornady .308 ELD Match ammo. It sports a very rugged composite stock that’s filled with foam to keep it from making a loud hollow noise if you bump into something in the woods.
It has a detachable magazine and a short-throw bolt with an oversized knob for easy manipulation with gloved hands. It has a user adjustable trigger with a similar (but slightly less refined) feel to the triggers in the much costlier Blaser and Sauer rifles.
Last but certainly not least, it shares the scope-base footprint of a Remington Model 700 so finding rings and bases is far less difficult than many of its European counterparts. As always, I used rings from Talley Mfg. to mount another value-priced offering, the Tract Torric riflescope made in Japan using German Schott glass. Most of your very expensive European scopes are using Schott for their lenses so the performance of this optic matched nicely with the performance of the rifle.
On the range the Mauser ran as I expected. It was 100 percent reliable with Hornady match ammo grouping just less than an inch when shooting from sandbags. Not every load I tested grouped less than an inch, but Mauser’s guarantee holds up. With a little experimentation this rifle should easily settle in to shooting .75 MOA with ease.
I love what Mauser has done with the M18. They’ve found a way for every hunter to appreciate their brand and they’ve done it without selling out the quality standard they’ve always been known for. Is it the same level of craftsmanship as their wood-stocked brothers that cost as much as a gently used pickup truck? No, it’s not that refined. But what the M18 delivers is a very reliable, very accurate, very durable rifle made in Germany by one of the best rifle manufacturers the world has ever known. And it can be purchased by a hunter looking to dip their toe into the German rifle world. On Sale for $399
.308, .30-06, .243 Win., .270 Win., 7 mm Rem. Mag., .300 Win. Mag.
56 cm for Standard caliber / 62 cm for Magnum caliber
106 cm for Standard caliber / 112 cm for Magnum caliber
2,9 kg for Standard caliber / 3,0 kg for Magnum caliber
Polymer 2- Composite with Soft grip inlays