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Thread: Mauser Project, need some advice

  1. #1
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    Default Mauser Project, need some advice

    I have this mauser project that started a few months ago. It started out as this yugo 48 that somebody had rebarreled with a 18" 308 adams & bennet barrel, pretty light contour. The original wood stock had been rough sewn to approximately 94 winchester dimensions. The barrel was in the white and the stock was pretty rough but the barrel had a great bore. I was planning on making it into a "truck" gun and something for my wife and kids to shoot when they got older.



    First thing I did was take a wood rasp to the stock and finished shaping it out and then sanded and finished with boiled linseed oil and a packmeyr slip on pad. Its not terribly pretty but its actually very handy. It does handle and blance remarkably like a winchester 94 lever gun. I also spray painted the barrel with some tan flat spray paint to keep it from rusting while I was working on it.



    I checked all over town but the only guy who will turn a bolt down is andy hawk and since he doesn't do to many of these it gets pretty spendy with all his setup time. I really didn't want to put that much money into this project so I decided to just have a XS peep put on it instead of bending the bolt and drill & tap, figured that would be much cheaper. We ran into some trouble with the XS peep fitting, would need to do some milling on the reciever so I squashed that plan and was left holding this thing as is. With the cost skyrocketing on this rifle I ended up buying a rem 788 for my wife in 308 and threw this mauser in a corner, until now.

    So here is where I'm at....... I don't really want to bury too much money into this thing, I'll probaby just use it as a loaner/truck rifle. Something cheap that I don't mind risking leaving in the trunk of the car. To bend the bolt down and drill & tap for scope is around $200, to have a custom scout mount made is also $200-$250. And that doesn't take into account blueing or finishing the barrel. Either way more than I wanted to drop into this rifle. I was going to end up investing much more than the gun would be worth.

    I was just going to scrap the whole thing until I saw an add on ebay were a guy will put a new bent bolt handle on a mauser bolt for $35 bucks. Now this is more along the lines of what I was looking for. $35 bucks for the bolt, $35 to get drilled & tapped for scope mount, and a few dollars worth of black spray paint and I'm in under $100. This I could definately live with.

    Now my big question is while its getting drilled & tapped should I get it reamed out to 30/06. The magazine will hold the 30/06, tight but fits, and the 30/06 would do much better with heavier bullets that I would perfer to use, 180-220. It shouldn't be too much to have it rechambered and might be well worth it. My big question now is how much better is a 30/06 than the 308 out of a 18" barrel. I figure either way it should out perform the 308 at any bullet weight even from the shorter barrel. What do you guys think about this plan. Should I just keep it at 308 or ream it out to 30/06? Is the 308 more efficient out of a short barrel? Any of you ever wind up with a project that ended up being more than you had originally planned?

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    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    "Should I just keep it at 308 or ream it out to 30/06? Is the 308 more efficient out of a short barrel? Any of you ever wind up with a project that ended up being more than you had originally planned?"

    Don't they all end up costing more?

    Forget the bending the bolt Handel and get a new one welded on. To do a good job of drilling and tapping the receiver, the barrel needs to be pulled and the receiver ring threads need to be chased. Don't even think about not doing it that way, it will screw you down the road if you don't.

    As to rechambering? That depends first of all if the barrel has been shot much? If it has, most smiths won't run a good reamer into a barrel with a harden throat, it's hard on reamers.

    If not, yes you can benefit greatly in velocity by going to the 30-06. As to your stock, you can look around the different auctions sites for a good take off plastic stock, they don't bring much money.

    I'm afraid the days of the sporterizing are long past for cheap. It's a shame, we used to have a lot of fun with it, but the days are done, lost and gone in America.
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  3. #3

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    I agree with Al on everything but the rechamber. I once worked to develop loads at the same time for an 18" 06 and and 18" 308, chronoing results all the way. The 30-06 only managed to beat the 308 by 50 fps or so with most bullets, meanwhile producing fireballs and flapping your pant legs with the slower powders that normally give it an edge. Save your money on the rechamber and put it somewhere useful.

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    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    As you have no doubt figured out, there is no such thing as a cheap custom rifle......... no matter how plain. If saving money is your #1 priority, and you are fairly "handy" I would buy a can of heat paste (or you can come by my place and I will give you a big blob) grind a bending block and bend that bolt your self. As they say...... this aint rocket science, after all were just tryin to bend metal. Now if you are expecting perfection and tru beuty...... then fork over the cash to Andy and I can attest that he will in fact do a superb job for you, and he is worth every dime. But if you just want a low investment "shooter" that is going to bang around in the truck, ride in the bow of the boat, or get strapped to the front of your ATV then just how pretty does it need to be? I personaly would leave it chambered in 308.........not because 30-06 wouldnt be better......it would, but its ALREADY chambered in 308, and plenty of Moose, Boo and even Bears have been taken down with 308's. Ideal?? probably not, will it kill most anything you hit well with it, yes, of course it will!
    So, back on track here, if it was mine, I would leave it in 308, buy a can of that bake on lacker (I think its around $20) that they sell in Brownells and paint the barrel with that and bake it in the old oven when Wifey isnt home, I would then get a real recoil pad (sorry, but I really hate those slip on pads, they always seem to strech after a couple of years and then never seem to fit right. they also trap alot of moisture against the stock, especially on the end were it can wick in and cause swelling) and install it my self for about $30, next I would purchace the cheepest reciever mount peep sight, some shims, a drill bit and tap I could find in the Brownells catalog (around $50 I would suspect) and then drill and tap the rear reciever myself and mount that peep sight. Ok, so were already at $100 give or take, but you now have sights installed and a durable finish on the barrel.......... and since we didnt mount a scope, why do we need to bend that bolt?? It sure didnt keep the Axis boys from hitting targets far smaller than a moose....... the other thing to remember, is that if you are dead set on mounting a scope, it looks like you have the original safety still installed (but I cant really tell) and that would need to be changed to a 3 position Winchester style or a low mount Bueler style..... either way, more money, more time etc. and then there is rings, mounts and the actual optics.......again more money, time etc. I personaly would just leave it with the open sights, be satisfied with shots out to about 150 yards (more if your eyes are better than mine) and your done! It would make a great little carbine, not to heavy, handy to carry, no optics to get wet or damaged, and anything hit within 150 yards with a 308 is gonna be dead as disco if you do your part.
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

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    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    I guess that i should add, that when sporterizing old military rifles, in my opinion there are only two ways to go...... #1, go ALL the way, and spend, spend, spend and then spend some more and for the small some of three or four grand you will end up with a really nice looking and shooting rifle that will be treasured and passed down in your family. or option #2, go Cheap! and I mean REALLY cheap! file the stock down, mount a recoil pad, and MAYBE mount some modern sights. It wont be pretty, it wont be treasured, but it will shoot. It seems to me that there really is no inbetween........ its kind of an all or nothin thing, every thing you try to do to "improve or change" that old military rifle is going to lead you to another thing that must be done or changed and it just keeps on going....... feeding on itself like a never ending evil black hole tugging at your wallet....... ok, a litle dramatic I know, but you get the point.
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

  6. #6

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    Good point Alangaq. I went with door #2 on a Czech 8x57 I picked up, basically doing little more than hacking on the stock, cleaning up the metal and cold bluing. Call it a $10 sporterizing job, but I think the bottle of cold blue cost less and I already had a jug of TruOil sitting around. Didn't bother with the sights or bolt bending/replacing. And with decent handloads the 8x57 is in a league with the 06 and 308.

    No it isn't purty. No it isn't a precision instrument with those original sights. But it is the perfect behind-the-seat knockaround rifle that I don't worry much about.

    Interesting enough, it's also the rifle that everyone is most interested in and wants to shoot when I take a stack of guns to the range. It's also the gun I grab when I want to bust cans. I've loaned it out many times without much worry, and folks always seem to get game with it.

    Just plain old serviceable gun that's fun to shoot, while not much to worry about. Heck. One of these years I might go hog wild and put a second coat of TruOil on it.

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    I'm also of the opinion that mauser customs should be all the way, or bottom dollar. I've done a few where I did everything but the barrel job, and have been happy with the results. I would weld on a new bolt handle, the brownells handle is a good unit, and reasonably priced. Of course the trick is welding it on, and that is worth paying someone to do it correctly. For the scope d/t, you can get a jig from midway that costs the same as having the job done, and you'll have the tools to do it yourself in the future.

    I would not rechamber, as mentioned a short barrel .30-06 will gain nothing over the .308, and honestly the -06 gains only 100 fps in the longer barrels as well.

    Do as much of the work as possible yourself, as you'll get alot more satisfaction out of the gun.

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    I wouldn’t get it rechambered, because there’s not that much diff betwixt a 308 and a 30-06

    I don’t see a rear sight in your picture. If that’s the case, you need one, or if you go with doing the bolt handle, and tapping for scope mounts, don’t forget a safety that will clear the scope.

    Maybe you could have it drilled and tapped for a Lyman Receiver sight, instead. You might need another front sight, but that’s the way I’d go.

    An 18” barrel is hard on the old ear balls.

    Why don’t you take it to Stan Jackson and talk it over with him? 907-349-3854

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    You are taking a chance on dropping $35 for a bolt handle. You get what you pay for. Ditto on Stan.

    Get rid of that slip on thing, it's hideous.
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    I already have spoken to Stan. The only one who will mess around with the old mausers is Andy Hawk. I'm sure he does good work but just can't justify how much I would end up spending to have this done "right". I will take my chances with the ebay replacement bolt guy, he has almost 1k positive feedback.

    I have a bueler low style safety for it too. I'm pretty sure this is the cheapest way to get what I want out of it. Maybe down the road I'll spruce it up some.

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    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
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    Default The absolute cheapest way to go...

    Is to do all the work yourself.
    I bought the jig from Midway to drill and tap receivers, and it works out well, definitely less than the cost of having someone else do the work at $25 a hole. Biggest hassle is that you have to pull the barrel to make the thing work. I looked around and found a second hand barrel vise and action wrench, and have used the bejeebers out of it.
    I finally broke down and got the Brownell's bolt welding jig, some of their 3.5% nickel rod, and heat sinks for M98 and 1903 Springfield bolts, as well as the heat stop paste. I'm still looking for a torch, or better yet, one of my 'buds' to offer to let me use their heliarc.
    For the first go-round, the costs are about what I'd have to pay someone else to do the work, after the second or third jobs, it's all gravy.
    Problem is, that doing this sort of thing is addictive. It really is...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thebear_78 View Post
    I already have spoken to Stan. The only one who will mess around with the old mausers is Andy Hawk. I'm sure he does good work but just can't justify how much I would end up spending to have this done "right". I will take my chances with the ebay replacement bolt guy, he has almost 1k positive feedback.

    I have a bueler low style safety for it too. I'm pretty sure this is the cheapest way to get what I want out of it. Maybe down the road I'll spruce it up some.
    Thebear:
    That sounds good to me. You aren't risking that much, and hopefully, you'll be able to make that rifle into something useful.
    Smitty of the North
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    I like to have a rifle in the vehicle at all times and its a lot easier to risk losing a low dallor rifle like this one will be than it is one of my more expensive rifles. I won't feel nearly as bad having to replace a rifle I have $250 bucks in than the 1400 I have in my kimber, that I was keeping there.

  14. #14

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    I have welded several Brownells bolt handles on...anyone that can wire weld can do it. I have also wire welded Weaver Grand Slam scope bases to the receiver. I dress the welds up with a die grinder ( high speed dremel tool will do), some fine files and then emery cloth. If need be I reweld to fill any voids and then grind some more. If your patient enough it can look real good when done!

    A $50 Bold trigger with safety has become a standard option for me. You have to do a little inletting to the stock and then open up the trigger slot in the bottom metal. In some cases you have to grind a little off the top side of the trigger guard where it fits up into the stock so that the safety will work...

    I have done a dozen or so of these on various 98s/96s and will admitt that the last ones look a whole lot prettier than the first ones. I've got a couple of them that are just plain ugly...I spent more time cussing at the wire welder than welding on some of those first project guns. I have the same welder and it does a much better job these days...it finally caught on!

    I just picked up a M24/47 that is clean as a pin. I spent 2 hours cleaning the stinking cosmoline out of it so the hard part is done and the fun is just beginning.

    Brownells is only 20 miles from my back door( my truck knows how to get there by itself now) so it looks like another lunch hour parts run. Then after supper one night I'll throw a couple of big ole hunks of hickory into the wood stove in the shop, stick in a Lynard Skinard CD, turn the bright lights on and have at it! Heck Paul jr and Paul sr aint got nothin on us huh boys!

    The truth is... I have some high dollar guns that I would give away before I would ever part with some of my 8x57/ 98 project guns. Just because!

  15. #15

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    Hey EKC-

    Try brake cleaner for removing that cosmoline.

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    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Just to add to what you might want, try this link.

    http://www.mausercentral.com/
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

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