Bob Ruder’s Old Browning Mauser 22-250

Written by Sierra Bullets Customer Bob Ruder

Bob Ruder Rifle 1950s

Bob Ruder (age 24) with his custom 22-250 assembled in 1965.

I started this rifle in 1965 and traded it for bow hunting equipment in 1969.  The extra money financed a bow hunting trip to CO. (I did get a small buck.)  The rifle was traded in at a small country hardware store in St. Louis county, and the owner never sold it, but put in his massive gun cabinet.

I moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, and this old guy knew a friend of mine and asked if I would be interested in buying back my old rifle.  That was in 1988, and I jumped at the chance.  He sold the Unertal 20X scope off of it and replaced with a Weaver k10, which I sold for the Simmons I set on 21X power.  The rifle was not fired from 1969 till almost 1990!

Bob Ruder Rifle3

Circa 1990

The even crazier part of this is I am left handed as you will note on the old photo. I fashioned the cheek piece on the old Herter’s semi-inleted stock blank for left-hand shooting.  I started shooting lefty at 8 years old till age 69 or 70.  I developed a serious left-eye problem and had to learn to right-handed at age 70 after 62 years shooting lefty.

Bob Ruder Rifle2Bob Ruder Rifle1








I refinished the stock in 2014 and removed that left-handed cheek piece.

Bob Ruder Rifle4

2014 – Herters Stock, Browning Mauser large ring action, barreled by Flaigs in PA. 26″ 1-14 twist, Timney Trigger, glass bedded free-floating barrel, Tubb lightweight firing pin and new spring. All barrel and action by others– all stock work done by myself.

I shot very little till about 2011, so you can see how this rifle is still a “tack driver” 50 years after I finished it!  The targets below were shot after I learned to shoot right-handed.  I shoot only Sierra 52 gr. HPBT MatchKing bullets #1410, since they give me no reason to change.

Bob Ruder Targets

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30 Responses to Bob Ruder’s Old Browning Mauser 22-250

  1. Pingback: Bob Ruder’s Old Browning Mauser 22-250 | Rifleman III Journal

  2. Paul says:

    Great story, made got my morning off to a good start.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Roger Estes says:

    This is my ‘go to’ email. When I first see the Sierra email I ignore the rest and read this first. Its always a learning experience.
    I enjoyed Mr Ruder’s example shooting perseverance.
    Roger Estes

    Liked by 2 people

  4. robin baye says:

    Looks like a winning combination !

    Liked by 1 person

  5. firstriverbend says:

    It is a wonderful story and having the photos to accompany it make it all the better!
    Miss some of the cool stuff one could get from Herters and the catalog was a wonderful mixture of some great and not so great items.

    Brings back a lot of memories! Thanks Bob and Sierra. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jim Laviana says:

    Great shooting! what load are you using?


  7. Mike Ruder says:

    Alright, nice work there Bob! 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. DAVID RUPPEL says:

    Great story! That rifle is one accuate old Mauser. Congrates!
    I wish I could get my first hunting rifle back. .303 Enfield, but I have no clue where it is.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Bob Wright says:

    What a great story! I love my 22-250 shooting 55 gr. HPBT Sierra’s. Congrats on finding an old friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Larry Randall says:

    Great article, all your notes are great keep up the good work, I have been shooting .55 grain
    blitzking in my Rock River, Fred Eichler predator rifle and it is very, very good !
    Thanks , Larry Randall , Western , Kansas

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Dennis Smith says:

    Very good article, thank you. Interesting history to that rifle labor of love. Why the reference to Browning Mauser?


    • Robert Ruder says:

      Hi Dennis,
      At the time in 1965, I worked in a grocery store and I would cash a paycheck for a Browning employee each week. Of course when not busy, we would talk guns, etc. I mentioned something about building a .22-250 and he said he had a like new Browning 98 style Mauser laying around the shop he could sell me. This action was awesome looking and even had gold color scroll work engraved on the floor plate.
      One must remember that in ’65 there was no Internet and at that time I did not know Remington was developing, or had the 22-250 cartridge on the market. (Same thing for the factory rifle).
      I would probably have done the same thing even if I knew there was a rifle and factory ammo on the market. I also hand loaded my ammo ever since.
      Thanks for your reply and the question too!!


  12. Robert Ruder says:

    For Dennis,
    I forgot the word “ACTION” and that is all I got from the guy at Browning. I had it barreled at Flaigs in Pennsylvania ……. and I am sure they are not in business now. I did a search and did not find them.


  13. Dan H says:

    Love your gun. I just my have its twin! An old timer gun smith Elmer Trout from Dupo IL [ 10 minutes east of St.Louis] made this for my dad back in the 1950s. BRNO v24, large ring, 26″ bull barrel, appears to be 1:16 twist though, herters stock, 8x unertl, 22-250, right handed. It is now mine and I love it. Only thing I would want to change is maybe go with a 1:9 twist barrel , 26″ bull of course so it looks the same. Then I could shoot heavier bullets. The 1:16 likes sierra 45gr spt’s, as well as the 40 and 45gr hornets that I also use in my savage 340e hornet. But it just dont like 50 and 55 grain bullets that my 788 remington 22-250 drives like tacks.
    I would love to someday use my BRNO with heavier bullets and try to push distances, taking advantage of the 26″ barrel.

    Hope the link works.


    • Dan H says:

      Oh, my rifle was originally reamed with a 22 Varminter reamer bought from J Gebby. It was extremely tight for modern 22-250, so I had it touched up with a rem 22-250 finish reamer. Now the bolt closes easily and cartridges do not have to be fire fitted to work.
      And forgot, my. Dad bought the scope from john urtel at a gun show in Pennsylvania back in the early 1950s. He also bought a 20x too, which is on a 270 Winchester my uncle now has.
      I have to say, my 8x urtel is a clear scope, but I am not found of having a 2.75 eye relief. Even then vignetting can be very annoying. I wouldnt mind changing that out as well.


      • Robert Ruder says:

        Your 2nd post was very interesting too. Like I said ….. these made my long day! (It is 2 am now).
        Bob in Indy


      • Dan H says:

        I felt the same when I ran across yours. It was like twins. Now if either of us were ambidextrous and could heft these monsters single handed, we could shoot them both at the same time! Lol.

        But seriously. Elmer Trout did the receiver and barrel, my dad did the hot tank bluing (something he suggest to avoid doing as the chemicals as nasty but the finish is over 50 years old and still looks amazing) and he mounted the scope and carved the stock. I did a strip and non varnish Hope Tung oil refinish on the stock as the original finish had cracks.

        Oh, forgive for the typos in my post. Im not as proficient as my kids typing on my phone, and spell check sometimes decides for me.


    • Robert Ruder says:

      Holy Cow …….. this is absolutely unbelievable. I am pumped about your post. I really liked the Unertal 20 power scope that was on mine originally but this low-end Simmons I have set at full 21 power has been very good …….so far. I can’t get over the likeness to my rifle. The grip cap, the dip near the front action screw that “ramps up” to more mass on the fore end.
      I have been having real bad computer problems ……. I finally got going again and WALLA!! The first email I could look at all day was yours. What a wonderful way to get back on line.
      Thanks for that post ….. It made my day.
      Bob ……. in Indy


  14. Dan H says:

    Here are a couple better pictures I just took this evening.

    My dad, now 87, had shot many a groundhogs with this rifle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • firstriverbend says:

      Really pretty setup! Had a .220 Swift which was very similar and just a joy to shoot!
      Not to carry, just to shoot! LOL 🙂


    • Robert Ruder says:

      Hi Dan,
      You are correct. These pictures show the rifle’s beauty and lines. I wish I would have stained my darker as yours when I refinished it about 4 years ago. I made it a little darker, but not much.


      • Dan h says:

        I just removed the old varnish oil my dad had used back in the 50s that had checked , the stock had already darkened with age, and then I used Arts French Red, a pore filler and stain , followed by 4 applications of Hopes 100% tung oil. The first application was cut 30t with mineral spirits to allow it to sink into the wood better. The rest were straight tung oil with at least 2 days between coats. Between coats I wet sand with Tung oil and a green scotch brite pad. I wanted the reddish look like my old browning A5 has , but I guess due to the aged walnut it came out a lot darker.
        Arts french red It is suppose to be the same formula as gun manufactures like Browning used. – Alkanna root powder, linseed oil and french, or Moroccan clay powder (pore filler) .
        Art worked as a repairman here in St. Louis at Browning for 40 years, and now with his sons runs a small repair shop down in Desoto Mo. I drive 30 minutes to get it from Arts as he sells it for a flat $9. Tax included. Midway and Brownells gets $16 + shipping.
        And they always give a full tour of repair shop plus they has 6 of the greatest Belgium shepherds ever. (Gratuitous plug )

        I have a question you might be able to help with. A replacement 22-250 barrel for mine, in a 1:8 or 9 twist would cost me around $350. Being the guns not really worth that Im leary to invest that much. However, I found 24″ bull barrel in 223 , 1:8 twist for around $150. I am wondering if I were to just rent a 22-250 reamer , like from 4d reamers, and open the 233 chamber to 22:250 if that would work?

        I still have no ideal why the guy who built the original barrel used a 1:16 twist.



      • Robert Ruder says:

        Hello again Dan,
        I have lived in Indianapolis since late 1973, but spent my first 32 years in the outlying suburbs of St. Louis Co. I did a lot of deer hunting just North of St. Genivieve MO. I did ground hog and fox hunting down that way too, so Desoto MO hit home. (Also, my wife was born in Desoto MO).

        OK …………. back to the rifle question. I am an honest person so I will tell you up front; I can work with wood, and would have loved to do machine shop work …….but never did. Also I do not know enough to give you any technical information on that barrel situation. Sorry.
        BTW ………….. I watched that “About” video on that link you posted about Art’s Gun Shop. That really was something……. and he has his 3 boys to take over when he retires or passes. I have a Browning Buckmark .22 semi-auto that I sent to Arnold MO to their repair shop there. (It was a minor problem and under warranty.) That Buckmark is the best pistol I have owned. It makes me a good shot with it. (I am NOT good with handguns).
        In that Art’s video they displayed and talked about the Browning Sweet 16 semi-auto shotgun from back when I was a young man. I could not afford one then and I was salivating when Art was handling and showing it for that video. Wonderful shop and business it look like.


      • firstriverbend says:

        Dan H. I do not know of a reason that your idea will not work, but call Art’s, or maybe check with 4D reamers, as I am sure this is not a new question for them.
        4D might be the best choice as they do have a lot of experience and know what is not a good idea for people to do with their reamers.
        One thing that comes to mind is the amount of metal needing to be removed to go from .223 to .22-250, might cause some problems.


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