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Thread: "Best" Mauser Action?

  1. #1
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    Default "Best" Mauser Action?

    What are peoples opinions on the best Mauser actions for custom projects? Mil Surplus and/or non-military production?

    I don't have much experience with customized/sporterized military actions but I'm partial to Interarms Mark X guns that I have owned and used.

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    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
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    Default If you're partial to Mk X's...

    then that's the way to go! The Zastava commercial M98's have a lot going fo them. Nice lines, strongly built of good materials, generally have nice triggers and the FN style bolt sleeve to dress things up, as well as pretty nice magazine assemblies with good lines and features. You can also pick up a complete rifle for the cost of an FN or Husqvarna action alone most of the time.
    Speaking of FN's and Husky's, they'd be at the top of my own list for desireability, if I had to have a Mauser based rifle.
    Of the various military 98's, the BRNO VZ24's, the FN's, and DWM's are my favorites, IF they're in good shape to start with, and that means no pitting below the wood line, little wear, AND matching numbers OR correctly fitted parts. Parts are available for customizing these actions almost everywhere, it seems, triggers, scope bases, magazine assemblies, and replacement parts and folks to install them abound. By the way, don't be put off by a mismatched bolt/receiver, especially if you're going to rebarrel.
    I've also managed from time to time to fall into some of the small ring 98's, and they make up into delightful sporters. Look for the VZ33 BRNO, the German G33/40, or, if you can find a GOOD one, the 1936 Mexican Mausers. They take the small ring 93/95/96 size barrels, but if custom fitting one, it's just a thing. Only thing is that they're at their best with .308/7X57/8X57/6.5X55 based rounds without having to make major modifications.
    Now, for my own personal pick, which I'm sure not everyone agrees with.....A Remington or Smith Corona M1903A3. These things never did get much use, are made of absolutely impeccable materials, fit and function very nicely, AND, can most of the time be found with very nice barrels on them, if they haven't been mistreated. The barrels have a nice contour to them without a bunch of lathe time, accessories are available, though not in the quantity that the 98's enjoy and are usually priced higher. The receivers are fairly compact, light, and are still large and strong enough to take conversion to some pretty serious cartridges. Look for unaltered guns, or work done well if they are modified.
    I can't say that I'd recommend the Turks, or the Arisakas. Strong, yes. Also butt-ugly, and take a TON of work to make right. The Arisakas never do look right.

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    Default Best Mauser action

    The best common 98 mauser actions were the FN Supreme actions that Weatherby built his first rifles with. Reportably these actions were specially hardened so they won't upset the lugs with his high pressure cartridges.

    I agree that the later model 1903's / A3 are a nice mauser variant. I've never heard of anyone upsetting the lugs on a late model 1903 or A3 and the milled trigger guards are some of the finest ever put on any rifle.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  4. #4

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    The new CZ 550 action is hard to beat. Especially the magnum length action. The only downfall is the 6" block lettering on the side of the action.

    PS... My Custom CZ 550 375 H&H licks up rounds like a hound at a sausage trough.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default

    With the cost and work involved in sporterizing a mauser, not to mention replacing the magazine unless your sticking with the X57 rounds, it just doesn't make economic sense to use the 98 for a custom anymore. By the time you d/t for scope mount, ground off the stripper clip hump, replace the safety, replace the bolt handle, replace the trigger and bottom metal, you're out nearly $1000.

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    Default The Fun

    Anything custom will cost you a little more. I think it is the fun of making something that no one else has. I have worked on a couple of commercial actions and had some fun.

    I can spend $900 and get a Ruger Alaskan in .375 Ruger that looks and shoots pretty much the same as all the rest on the rack OR I can spend $1200 and take a used long Mark X action have a 22.5" Douglas light contour barrel mounted and the action modified for the cartridge, fit my own express sights, barrel mounted sling swivel, stock of my choice with bottom metal of my choice and have a gun that, if done right, shoots great and is like no one else's. Plus I would have the fun and gratification of having done some of the work myself and knowing it was what I wanted, not what was built to appeal to the general masses.

    $1200 is still less than a lot of standard rifles built out there today.

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    Default

    Darreld, thanks for the input; that is the type of information I was looking for. I just have not had the experience with a lot of these actions and want to know what to look out for, good and bad.

  8. #8
    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
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    Default When shopping...

    look for pieces that have the least wear, abuse, or alterations. The last bunch of useable 98's that I've been interested in was the wave of VZ24 BRNO's that came in awhile back. There were worn out junkers in the mix at bargain basement prices, but GOOD ones could be had for less than $150, and a few weeks back, I found a very nice one for $65 out the door in complete military trim.
    With the way the economy's going, we're taking in an awful lot of gun pawns, more than we normally see this time of year. We're also seeing a lot of folks walking away from them, too. You might keep your nose in the wind for a face to face sale by watching the for sale ads in the ADN, or other local rags, credit union for sale bulletins, and sometimes by just putting the word out to a few friends about what you're looking for. Even yard sales turn up a decent ol' rifle once in awhile.
    You might even consider spending a few bucks and posting a real 'WANT' ad stating what you're looking for and willing to spend....
    If you're willing to even mention wanting to start, you owe it to yourself to at least give it one shot. I think you'll find that it bites hard, and stays under yer hide for a long time.
    Most of all, have fun doin' it. If you can't grin about it at the end, ya done it wrong!!!

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