Maurice Ottmar - Tom Burgess .30-06, G33/40
by SDH
FL Right- copy

I’m guessing that this is a late Ottmar custom rifle although I have no information about when or for whom it was created. The 24” barrel is marked M. OTTMAR GUNMAKER along the right barrel channel and .30-06 SPRINGFIELD along the left.
The G33-40 action is topped with Tom Burgess scope bases using quarter-turn lever releases and a pop-up peep sight in the rear base.
Burgess Peep Up-
Burgess peep up.

Burgess Peep Down-
Burgess peep down.

Burgess Ring closed-
Burgess ring locked.

Burgess Ring open-
Burgess ring unlocked.

Tommy Burgess was truly a pioneer of custom metalsmithing and his refinements and innovative products were developed with the notion of utility, purpose and elegance with little concern for manufacturing convenience. Maurice Ottmar was a fan of Burgess’ work and often used his scope rings and bases. The scope rings work on a quarter-turn of the lever and can be tilted into place rather than slid on. The peep sight is mounted relatively close to the shooter’s eye, folded down it is completely out of the way and it is windage adjustable. This unit is a simple marvel of engineering!
The rifle has an aftermarket floorplate and trigger guard with a release in the bow (probably Blackburn) and a Blackburn adjustable trigger. A banded-ramp front sight is installed with a blade insert. The bolt handle is long, well shaped and has four panels of checkering.

Action L -

The stock is high-contrast English walnut, well laid-out and perfectly quarter-sawn with feather-crotch figure in the butt. It is checked in with a fleur-de-lis pattern with a large wrap-around pattern on the forend and three panels at the grip. The stock is fitted with two-screw swivel bases with pedestals shaped into the stock and a skeleton grip cap. The forend tip has a small and interesting schnable shape. The rifle weighs 8 lb. 12 oz. with the Leupold 4X scope in place.

Ottmar got his wood where ever and whenever he could just like most walnut junkies. He preferred quarter-saw blanks with excellent wrist grain as has the rifle shown. I interviewed him for my first book because he had more experience with walnut of different origins than anyone else I knew, it's all in
Fine Gunmaking: Double Shotguns.

I once bought a walnut longrifle blank from him that I saw in the background of a B&W photo of his shop he had sent me. All I knew was that it was walnut, long and if Maurice had it, probably worth having. I'm sure we traded for something? For those that didn't know him, he pronounced his name Morris in the vernacular of the Palouse country.
Maurice did do a very nice job with the bolt handle checkering and wrote a piece on it years ago when I was editor of Gunmaker. He wasn't afraid to try anything with metal or wood. Some stuff, like his Germanic raised side panel stocks, worked out better than other things, like pedestals for the swivels that really date rifles of the eighties.

The Ottmar Mannlicher stock rifle is one of the most visited pages on my web site, understandably so. It belongs to a client that bought it secondhand at G&H who ought to give it to someone who could REALLY appreciate it, someone like me... I'm dreamin' agin'...
Jerry Fisher remarked that pedestals were one bad idea he did for several years.
Action L -