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Thread: a question for those in the know

  1. #1

    Default a question for those in the know

    I've got an old 8mm Mauser that I am considering using as the donor for a new rifle. Is it possible to turn this action and barrel into something like the .375 HandH? I'm open to any and all suggestions, but I don't know spit about gunsmithing stuff so I need your help. What are your best ideas? Feel free to tell me I'm nuts... I get that all the time.

    Thanks in advance.

    Tom

  2. #2
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    Is it original military configuration?

  3. #3

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    already sporterized

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    If it's a military Mauser the bbl is likely too thin toward the muzzle to be rebored, unless you want a very short barrel. So most likely the barrel is a tomato stake or you could sell it on gunbroker and maybe get 25$ out of it. The British gun trade made 375s and even 416s on military Mauser actions for many years, they are in most cases plenty strong even though most people who and haw over the amount of metal that has to be cut out of the backside of the locking lug buttress in order to make room for the larger magazine. Then we have to either make or procure a new magazine because of the length difference between the x57 family of cartridges and the 375, this is where it starts to get expensive, fabrication time is expensive and most decent long box bottom metal doesn't come cheap. Then one has to have the boltface opened up, the ejector cut back, and the extractor modified. After all that the issue of feeding crops up, each gun is different, I've rebarreled a M98 from 30-06 to 458 and had it feed with no work at all, but then again in much more normal instances some have been a nightmare, not wanting to feed anything whatsoever.

    Assuming you get it all done up and feeding properly, we come to the stock, the magazine opening has to be enlarged for the magnum length box, thereby weakining the recoil lug area of the stock. The stock should at a minimum be glass bedded to withstand extra recoil forces with crossbolts or a high quality synthetic being even better.

    Bottom line, yes it can be done. But it's expensive and you will still have a sporterized Mauser with relatively low resale value unless it says Holland&Holland or Rigby on the side. You would in all likelyhood be much better served to buy a magnum caliber Winchester model 70 to have rebarreled, less cost, just as if not moreso functional, and higher resale if you decide you don't like or need it.

  5. #5

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    You could go with a 338-06 or 35 Whelen. Would feed no problem with a re-barrel/re-bore and still have quite a thump.

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    It is possible to convert a mauser to large rounds, but it is not cost effective. If you are looking for a classic style custom and are willing to spend the $ to have it done right, then using a mauser for a conversation makes sense.

    Just having the machine work done to the action to open it up to take the 375 H&H and replacing the bottom metal to accept the wider and longer rounds will cost as much as buying a new factory 375 H&H.

    I've built a few rifles on mauser actions and just won't do it again. Unless you spend the money to have a full blown classic done, which is thousands of dollars, you end up with a rifle that isn't as good as a factory rifle, and costs more to put together.

  7. #7

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    I appreciate all the info. But I gotta say you guys are a major buzz kill!

    So I'll now revise my quest for knowledge by asking what cartridge(s) would you suggest make the most sense for conversion?

    Guess I'll start looking at the Sako and save some $ in the long run.

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    Quote Originally Posted by happytobeinAK View Post
    So I'll now revise my quest for knowledge by asking what cartridge(s) would you suggest make the most sense for conversion?
    Anything on the 57mm case should be a simple rebarrel, i.e. 6mm Rem, 257 Bob, 6.5x57, 7x57, 8x57, 9x57, 9.3x57. I've also done '06 conversions (25/06, 270, 280, 30/06, 338/06, 35 Whelen, 375 Whelen) that were simply rebarrel jobs on 8mm donor actions, but that's not always the case. The 9.3x57 and 375 Whelen would be interesting conversion considerations IMO.
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    9.3x62! OOPS! I meant to say 9.3x62. Then again, you could go to a 9.3x62.

  10. #10

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    Certainly some interesting ideas being thrown out here.

    What about the .375 Ruger? Built off of the .30/06, but are the pressures too high for that action?

    9.3x62 would be fun, but why stop there when you could go 9.3x64? Or can you? That is if you can find ammo/brass.

    Keep the ideas coming in. I like having options to choose from.

  11. #11

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    The 375/06 Ackley is a great cartridge for Alaska. It works great in the Mauser action.

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    Just stick with cartridges that are the same basic length and diameter as the 8x57. That way you won't spend megabucks on magazine and feed rail conversions or modifications, or have to open the bolt face. Remember, keep it simple. Cartridges like the 375 Ruger aren't going to feed without a bunch of hoop jumping. 1 COR had some good suggestions, he's obviously been there, done that.
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

  13. #13

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    Boy, I'd sure see what you could do with it by realoading and maybe accurizing in the original chambering before moving on. That 8x57 is a dandy round in its own right, and you can improve a bunch on factory ballistics. It all depends on the model and how well it was originally sporterized, and your tastes of course.

    But to my eyes lots of older sporterized military rifles have a lot of appeal, even as most are being disected for new builds. I've got a 30-40 Krag that was sporterized at least half a century ago. Nothing fancy, but man.... That thing is sure fun to shoot and hunt with, and the round is a stone killer within its range. I see it as part of the great hunting heritage, and I'm proud to have it. Those old sporters are disappearing fast.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Boy, I'd sure see what you could do with it by realoading and maybe accurizing in the original chambering before moving on. That 8x57 is a dandy round in its own right, and you can improve a bunch on factory ballistics. It all depends on the model and how well it was originally sporterized, and your tastes of course.

    But to my eyes lots of older sporterized military rifles have a lot of appeal, even as most are being disected for new builds. I've got a 30-40 Krag that was sporterized at least half a century ago. Nothing fancy, but man.... That thing is sure fun to shoot and hunt with, and the round is a stone killer within its range. I see it as part of the great hunting heritage, and I'm proud to have it. Those old sporters are disappearing fast.
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    I'd just do the 375H&H. It can get pricy but to me its worth it. I had mine done over time and luckily I was able to trade gun parts (actions,etc) for the work being done. I was gonna buy a factory 375 but knowing me I will just turn it into a smith and drop more money into so I may as well start out from scratch and have it built the way I want.
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  16. #16

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    Im having my old mauser rebarreled in 9.3x62. I can't think of a more appropriate caliber for this action. Balistically, its a like a lightly loaded 375.

  17. #17

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    .375 Whelan Ackley improved is within 100fps with 270 gr bullets of the 375HH in my experience and fits the action as it is.

  18. #18

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    Blink, Is that a military 98? Another question, was the magazine lengthened at both end or just the front, just curious, Thanks.

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    Its a VZ-24 action and I picked up the bottom metal off a mark X 375H&H. Its not top of the line but it works.

  20. #20

    Default lots of ideas

    Ideas are all over the map. I guess that is a good thing.

    I'll have to investigate the costs involved with this project. Maximizing the 8x57 isn't a bad idea, but not were I want to go with this project. However, I don't see the use in canibalizing the 8mm for something I can buy new and spend less money.

    Thank you to everyone for your input.

    Blink, that is a nice looking project you have going on there. What stock are you going to use?

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