Musgrave Model 90: A South African bolt-action hunting rifle

Eric Sof

Musgrave Model 90 with scope mounted

The Musgrave company was established in 1950 and soon built up a reputation for accurate, robust, and elegant sporting rifles for South African hunters and target shooters. With the easing of the political situation, their rifles are now becoming available in other countries and are well worth consideration.

Modified Mauser bolt system

All their major-caliber sporting rifles are based upon a modified Mauser bolt system, machined from steel forgings and sufficient to cater to the most powerful cartridges. The flagship rifle is the Musgrave Model 90, which was available in Standard, De Luxe, Light, and Magnum variations.


Some of the Musgrave Model 90 is based on the Mauser K98 and Winchester Model 70. The Standard model is fitted with a sported stock with cheek rest and butt pad. The bolt action is the Musgrave variation of the Mauser, notable for its safety catch being mounted on top of the striker cover at the bolt’s rear, where it is convenient to the tumb and easily visible. Iron sights are fitted, the adjustable rear sight ahead of the chamber, and the front sight being hooded; the receiver is also drilled and tapped, ready for a Weaver telescope sight mount.

Musgrave Model 90 L with scope and modified Mauser bolt system
Musgrave Model 90 L with a scope and modified Mauser bolt system (Photo: XY)


The magazine is, in Mauser style, integral within the rifle stock. As noted above, the rifle can be chambered for various popular sporting cartridges, though the magazine capacity remains the same for all.


The Musgrave Model 90 DeLuxe is mechanically the same as the Standard, but with a selected walnut stock and a generally higher quality of finish; the company can engrave virtually any form of decoration to order.

Musgrave Model 90 Deluxe chambered in .308 Winchester
Musgrave Model 90 Deluxe chambered in .308 Winchester (Photo: XY)

The Musgrave Model 90 Light has a light-weight walnut stock with a ‘Schnabel’ fore-end, and the barrel is some 50 mm shorter than the standard rifle. Mechanically it is the same as the Standard but weighs 2.2 lbs (1 kg) less.

The Magnum Model 82 differs in being chambered for .375 H&H, .300 Winchester, or 7 mm Remington Magnum cartridges; it, therefore, has a longer action and trigger guard. Otherwise, it uses the same type of bolt action as the Standard rifle, is fitted with a walnut stock with cheek-piece and recoil pad, and weighs 8.11 lbs (3.66 kg). This rifle has become very popular among big-game hunters in South Africa due to its combination of high power, accuracy, and lightweight.

Musgrave also manufactures a series of sporting rifles based on the Muser Kar98 military bolt action rifle. These rifles are less expensive, more ‘working’ rifles than the Musgrave Model 90, and were widely used throughout Africa.

Technical specifications

Manufacturer: Musgrave (Pty) Ltd., Bloemfontein, South Africa
Type: bolt-action, repeater
Caliber: available in .243, .270, .308, .30-06, 7×57 mm and 7×64 mm
Barrel: 24 in (610 mm)
Weight (empty): 9.25 lbs (4.2 kg)
Magazine capacity: 4 rounds

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