Friday, May 20, 2011

Karl Maunz

So I met this interesting exhibitor at the NRA convention.  His booth was on the lower level, towards the left as you walked in.  It was Karl Maunz of Maunz Match Rifles

Mr. Maunz was an armorer for the Army during his stint, and had a couple pictures of him with his unit, including his work with the US Army Shooting Team in a photo dated 1960.  He lives in Ohio and has shot competitively at Camp Perry since 1954, when he was 15. He still lives near Camp Perry).

You all know my fondness for older rifles, particularly stuff with a John Garand provenance.   And especially my fondness for the M1A.  Note the year Mr. Maunz was in the Army?   The thing that caught my eye as I strode past his booth was an M1A/M14... only it wasn't...

What I was looking at had a non standard flash hider and a big box magazine, so an M1A at first look.  But it also had a Garand style walnut forend, the front hand guard.  This detail stopped me in my tracks.  Could this be an example of Garand's T20 prototype?  A Garand adapted to fire with BAR magazines?  The floorplate had a steeper angle than what I was used to with the M1A/M14...  And maybe the bolt was a bit longer than .308, though I wasn't sure...  And I certainly wasn't going to snatch it off the rack and start field stripping it right there.

It was at this point that Mr. Maunz engaged me in conversation.  It turns out he MAKES them.  And made them.  He was involved with the original M14 development as a young man.  One of the many gunsmithing services he had done over the years was convert Garands to fire with a M14 magazine.  Now here is a man that speaks my language.  Somehow the chat drifted over to bolts, and I lamented that M1A bolts were as rare as hens teeth and the guy I bought my M1A from said if I ever see one I can expect to pay $350 or more for em, and I had given up my cursory search for them.  Maunz scoffed and told me I can still get one for around $150, and that I was misinformed.  Wonderful!  Now I have a chance to get spare, somewhere.  Pretty much the only thing I don't have a spare of, now, is the receiver and barrel.  And that's just fine.  

He had a sample of a scope rail for the M1A, made of stainless steel that he makes himself.  Yes, that is serious foundry work.   He casts his own receivers, too, and has done forged receivers in the past.

I noticed he had old boxes of .276 Pedersen, and that way found that he too wished MacArthur had switched to it as military standard back in the Depression, too.   He, as a SHOOTER, loved what the .276 could do.  All the "what might have beens" involved with that round.  Aside from getting us a 10 round Garand.  It's nice to find someone that thinks like I do a bit.  And it confirms my suspicions that the .276 is a sound round ballistically.  (That poor Pedersen.  He came up with some ingenious innovations but they so rarely took off to stratospheric popularity.)

He makes rifles that shoot that caliber.  In fact he is working on some new developments even now, and I can’t wait to see what’s up his sleeve in that regard.

The receivers he displayed didn't say Springfield, and then a big long serial number.  They said "Maunz".  His name.  This guy is the real deal.  He makes these things, too, and that is the coolest thing ever.  Walking talking history of my favorite rifle.

He shoots left handed not because he is left handed but he is left eye dominant, and he is thus sensitive to the needs of lefty shooters.  He was aware of the tendency of a Garand to eject brass toward 4:30 and hit a lefty in the temple. so he’s adjusted many of them to shoot forward to the 2:00 position.  Just like my own M1A does.  He says if you hold your rifle right you can set a hat out in front of your prone shooting position and all the brass can end up in the hat.  If you’re good.  

He is closely involved with the American Shooter's Union, the M14 Club, and the Garand Club.

Archie, the WWII veteran up the street from me, is a great old neighbor, but his thing is cars and boats and archery.  I love chatting with him, and I always learn new old things from him.  But.  Imagine if Archie had been more like THIS guy, Maunz.  All the things I could have absorbed.  Instead of getting my car fixed in Archie's garage (valuable enough, certainly) I'd have learned how to make my own rifle by now.

And, at 70 some years old, Karl Maunz is still innovating, with plans for rifles and ammunition on the boards, soon to be released.  It was a pleasure the time I have to meet up and speak with him on the convention floor.


Bubblehead Les. said...

I was next to T-Bolt while he was talking with Mr. Maunz, and it's all True. Very Nice Weapons!

BTW, Yahoo News is reporting that the CDC's Zombie Apocalypse Site crashed due to High Traffic Volume! Sounds like there are a lot more Zed Removers out there than we thought!

Anonymous said...

I respectfully tell you to RUN from this man as fast your possibly can. He is a con artist, liar, and his American Shooters Union is a scam at best, a ponzi scheme at worst. Believe me when I tell you that there are multiple companies and individuals who are pursuing legal action against him as we speak. He is not what he presents himself to be.

Anonymous said...

You might want to take a look here:
for more insight into what Maunz has been up to.

Theft of intellectual property is at the top of his list.

Anonymous said...

Is this:!/photo.php?fbid=406441212477&set=pu.62369247477&type=1&theater the rifle similar to the T20 prototype you were talking about? If so, Maunz does not make that rifle, it is the property of LOSOK Custom Arms, LLC and is patent pending. LOSOK was with Maunz at the show, and his rifle was displayed in that booth, but is NO WAY, SHAPE OR FORM, produced by Maunz. Nor did he have anything to do with the design, or development of that rifle.
LOSOK and Maunz were, to my understanding, exploring the possibility of working together, but since then Maunz has shown his true colors and LOSOK ended all business with Maunz, post haste.

If ANYONE sees or hears of Maunz displaying this rifle, or even just the receiver, please contact LOSOK Custom Arms at or I think you can reach them via facebook too.

I can not stress enough that you must RUN from this man. Do not give him one thin dime... you will get nothing in return.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

That doesn't look like the T20 type rifle displayed at the convention. I'd have to get a closer look at the barrel end.

Anonymous said...

There were two versions of that rifle on display at the show. The only Maunz rifle on display had no flash hider. Did the rifle you saw, that Maunz passed off as his own, have a flash hider?

Anonymous said...

Just to be upfront - when I saw this post, I contacted LOSOK (have done biz w/them in the past and became friends) and he confirmed that the rifle w/non standard flash hider, and BAR magazine (as you described with the sloped floorplate) was indeed his rifle, a version of which can be seen on his website, and on his facebook page. Maunz was obviously passing this rifle off as his own while LOSOK was out of the booth.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Mr. Maunz mentioned that other people have appropriated HIS ideas. He never pointed at the rifle and said, "I made that." He said he makes that kind of rifle.

So who is right?

Anonymous said...

Feel free to contact LOSOK. I'm sure he would be able to answer your questions.
This particular rifle has been in the works for years, and LOSOK never even knew who Maunz was until Maunz approached him at the SHOT show in January of this year.
From what I understand, Maunz is very good at playing the victim. As a friend of LOSOK, I know for a fact how this rifle came to be and it started a long time ago. There is no similarity to any of Maunz other rifles. The LOSOK rifle is a totally different design than a Garand or the M14. There have been radical changes to both the interior geometry and exterior functionality.
Check out the link that I provided to the AR15Armory message board. You'll see that Maunz stands accused of stealing another design from Quality Arms and passing it off in a magazine as his.
Just do some investigating before you give this man a single penny. He is as crooked as they come.

Anonymous said...

Karl is a very charismatic and intersting guy to talk to, however I would be very careful! Just do your home work before you decide to do business with him. Further do yourself a favor and do a google check and you will get a good idea of his character.

He has been in civil court more than most of us ever get to see of the local court house. Ethics and honesty are a serious issue with Mr. Maunz.

Anonymous said...

I agree if you see Maunz run. He is very crooked, been waiting six years to get a gun back from him. Unfortunately I don't think I'll ever see it again. I think I'm gonna give him a call right now

Anonymous said...

I have been waiting two years to get my rifle back. Probably will never see it in my lifetime. What a rip off artist.

Anonymous said...

I believe this is the same Karl Maunz that used to have an auto dealership (in NW OH) and was barred from doing business in several counties. He then moved to Cincinnati and had a Corvette (rebuildables and parts) business back in the late 70s and was ripping people off. If so, he has not changed his ways. He took me for several thousand....

The last time I saw him, he was working on opening a gun shop. He was being investigated then by the Sheriff's department for fraud and theft.

He's very likeable and charismatic. He can talk the skin off a snake.


New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

I'm not publishing anymore anonymous comments on this subject. It seems it might be one Crazy person with something in it for Karl that keeps trash talking over and over. If you got a problem with him, sign your name.