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Thread: Re-barreling Mauser 98 from 30:06 to .308 Win--Any Problems?

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    Default Re-barreling Mauser 98 from 30:06 to .308 Win--Any Problems?

    I am in the process of getting a PacNor .308 barrel installed on my commercial FN 98 in 30:06, and I plan to have it chambered in .308 Winchester caliber. Have any of you done this type of change, and if so, were there any problems with feeding from the magazine? Please don't get me wrong--I know there is nothing wrong with the 30:06 cartridge, and it is probably a bit better for Alaska. I just happened to get a good deal on this barrel, and the original barrel is quite pitted, and not very accurate.

    I am hoping that the old slightly pitted action with the new barrel and a glass bedded beater stock will turn out to be my 1/2" group "Rat Gun", using precision handloads. The barrel is a light contour, so I will probably shoot mostly 3 shot strings with it. It was originally sold as a "Foremost" brand hunting rifle sold by either Montgomery Wards or J.C. Penney stores.

    Thanks in advance for your input.
    Best Regards,
    Jim

  2. #2
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Ideally you'd want to put a 1/2" block in the rear of the magazine to take up the extra space, and that would also require a different follower and spring. I don't know if such a follower and spring are readily available. Personally I'd stick with the -06 as I can't stand a rifle that doesn't feed well and running .308's through a 30-06 magazine is just asking for feeding problems at some point. It might work fairly well most of the time, but you could have a failure to feed at a most in opportune time. The .308 and -06 have essentially the same ballisitics and a quality barrel properly chambered in -06 will shoot every bit as well as a .308.

    With a good barrel properly chambered and crowned by a good gunsmith you should have no problem getting 1/2" 3 shot groups with worked up hand loads. My M98 350 rigby which was built with a midway A&B barrel would group 1/2" with it's preferred loads.
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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    What Paul said . . . if it were me I would look very closely to see if there is enough room to set the 308 barrel back and run a 30-06 reamer down it.


    For the follower you mill the one you have down. Your spring may work but also may be too long but can be replaced with a short action Remington spring. Trouble is that 308 is a shade fatter and setting it farther forward means they are even fatter yen between the rails so you may need to deepen the feed ramp deeper into the front ring and open up the rails to feed them well . . . in other word it can be made to feed but there ain't no going back after you do this work.
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    Default Re-barreling Mauser from 30:06 to .308

    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    What Paul said . . . if it were me I would look very closely to see if there is enough room to set the 308 barrel back and run a 30-06 reamer down it.


    For the follower you mill the one you have down. Your spring may work but also may be too long but can be replaced with a short action Remington spring. Trouble is that 308 is a shade fatter and setting it farther forward means they are even fatter yen between the rails so you may need to deepen the feed ramp deeper into the front ring and open up the rails to feed them well . . . in other word it can be made to feed but there ain't no going back after you do this work.
    Thanks to both of you for responding to my question. I don't think the gunsmith has chambered the barrel yet, so maybe I will just go with your advice and have him keep it in 30:06. I have always had good luck with the 30:06. It just isn't something "new" for me.
    Best Regards,
    Jim

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    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    Many years ago I had a Parker-Hale imported 98 Mauser that was chambered for 308 Winchester. It did not have a magazine spacer and it functioned well enough. It was never a favorite rifle and I traded it off. I think you can run it as a .308 without issue, but there's no way I'd not go 30/06 in your circumstance.
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    It seems to me that with the rifle already chambered for 30-06 and a 308 barrel, you would just put them together and go with it. Changing it to the 308 round is going to a lot of extra expense for nothing.
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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    I have an Israeli military M-98 that they re-barreled to 7.62mm ( 308) no other changes. It was originally a 7.92x57mm.
    It does need to be cycled very fast or else odd things happen.
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  8. #8

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    Thanks to all of you for the input--I got hold of my gunsmith this morning, and he hasn't chambered it yet, so it will be a 30:06 again. The sad part of the story is that the pitted original barrel still shot groups right around an inch. I think that borescope I bought will be the financial ruination of me. (Actually, it is a really cool piece of equipment--you can see if you are really getting the rifle clean, you can see any damage that may exist, check wear at the throat, etc.; and you can definitely see the difference between a hand lapped custom barrel and a normal factory barrel--even when the factory barrel shoots well.) What the heck--it's only money until converted to something fun to use.
    Jim

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    I wonder if it would have been worth reboring to 338-06 ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by midnightsunfun View Post
    What the heck--it's only money until converted to something fun to use.
    Jim
    Right on.

    It can be more fun to have work done on an old rifle, than to buy a new one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by midnightsunfun View Post
    Thanks to all of you for the input--I got hold of my gunsmith this morning, and he hasn't chambered it yet, so it will be a 30:06 again. The sad part of the story is that the pitted original barrel still shot groups right around an inch. I think that borescope I bought will be the financial ruination of me. (Actually, it is a really cool piece of equipment--you can see if you are really getting the rifle clean, you can see any damage that may exist, check wear at the throat, etc.; and you can definitely see the difference between a hand lapped custom barrel and a normal factory barrel--even when the factory barrel shoots well.) What the heck--it's only money until converted to something fun to use.
    Jim
    Where did you get the scope from? Would be really nice to check cleaning that way!

    I love the old Mausers, I wish I had bought more when they were $60!

  12. #12

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    The Borescope came from either Brownells or Midway a few years back. It cost something like $650 back then, and they are more now. It is a Hawkeye brand. Very good equipment. It seems fragile, and I have heard that some cleaning chemicals can ruin the mirror. I always clean thoroughly and run a couple of dry patches before using the scope. It is also a great tool to use when considering a rifle purchase. I have seen some very clean appearing rifles with the bores completely shot out. The bore looks like the bottom of an old dry lake bed with cracks running in random directions, and the throat can just be eroded completely away.
    Later,
    Jim

  13. #13

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    I thought about boring to .338-06 until I looked at the barrel again--it is a real slender profile as is, and there were quite a few rust pits on its outer surface, as well as lots of damage inside the bore. I am sure that boring it out to .338 would have cleaned it up, but it sure would have thin walls. I had the PacNor barrel laying around gathering dust, and it should make a pretty accurate rifle out of it. The PacNor is also a slender profile, so the rifle won't be too heavy.

    I still have to decide what kind of finish to put on it. Like I said, I plan to make it my "rat" gun that looks like a real piece of junk and shoots like a real good rifle. Just because I think it would be fun at the range and out in the field.

    Later,
    Jim

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