ELMER KEITH’S CUSTOM RIFLE BY IVOR HENRICKSEN ON MAGNUM SQUARE BRIDGE MAUSER ACTION SOURCED FROM HALGER RIFLE #85 WITH SCOPE AND BOOK “HELL I WAS THERE” BY KEITH.
Cal. 338 Win. Mag.
S# 85. Mauser# 93048 (bottom of action).
The 338 Winchester Magnum was developed to duplicate the ballistics of the 333 OKH as designed by Charles O’Neil, Elmer Keith, and Don Hopkins. It was Keith’s favorite round for heavy game and he was instrumental in having Winchester introduce the 338 in 1958. This rifle has 24″ lightweight sporter barrel marked “HENRICKSEN” around top of breech end (Ivor Henricksen was Elmer Keith’s favorite firearms craftsman and he made quite a few rifles for Keith). Magnum Mauser square bridge action with stipled receiver ring is marked “Halger No 85” on sidewall. The Halger firm produced very expensive hyper velocity rifles during the late 20s / early 30s. The 280 Halger HV magnum was essentially the 280 Ross on steroids with velocities of approaching 4,000 ft. per second with 100 gr. bullets. This rifle is marked “Halger 280 HV Magnum” on top of sidewall. With the powders available at the time, chamber pressures for the Halger magnums were around 60,000 PSI and it is said that Mauser made a special action to handle it. Bottom of this action is stamped with Mauser serial number and “65/6887″ on area behind recoil lug. Lug itself is stamped with Mauser logo. Case hardened bolt has had handle lowered. A Buehler low scope safety has been fitted. Action retains original Halger single set trigger and bottom metal has hinged straddle floorplate with retaining button in trigger guard bow. Horn capped pistol grip stock made of a dense piece of attractively fiddle figured American walnut measures 13 3/8” over “NOSHOC” pad and features Elmer Keith design Monte Carlo right hand cheekpiece, schnabled forend tip, recoil bolt and well cut swept pattern checkering around grip and on either side of forend. Right side of grip has raised oval area giving a palm swell which is carved with the letter “K”. This feature is found on a few rifles known to have been made for Elmer Keith. The initials “IH” are stamped in interior of stock under receiver ring and boltstop. Action is fitted with an unmarked what appears to be Weaver 4x scope with dual range crosshair reticle. As a gun writer, Keith may have been given this prototype scope to assess. Scope is in Buehler rings and bases. UNATTACHED ACCESSORIES: signed first edition book “Hell I Was There” with letter from Elmer Keith to consignor. PROVENANCE: From the Estate of Jon Thomas.