Ordered a new bear gun



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  • Ordered a new bear gun

    On auction arms I picked up a turkish m38 (mauser) action. It was cheap. Not exactly the premo action but it is functional. anyways the guy selling it is a smith out of Oklahoma. Talked to him and hes building me (tentitavly) 338wm, 20"bbl, timney trigger, aluminum hinged floorplate, cut and reweldbent bolt handle, action reworked, boyds laminate stock, with a duracoat finish. Also of course drilled and tapped for a scope. I'm planning on a no frills working man hunting rifle.

    He said he uses pac-nor bbl's and thats fine with me as long as it can shoot 225-250gr bullets accurately. I'm sure it will come out OK, I got a 1.5X5 leupy waiting for a new home.

  • #2

    you made a fine choice for a DG rifle. An 1898 Mauser Action is one of the top choices for DG due to its reliability. The positive feed, claw extractor, and all the technical stuff is all there for a rifle you can bet your life on if you get in too close to a bear (been there, done that, not pretty). The .338 Win Mag is the Best all-a-round Alaska gun. Unfortunately it's not a cheap gun once it's complete with all the extras outfitted and ready for the field, but is custom and it's yours
    I'm opinionated when it comes to Mausers because I really like 'em and consider it the best bolt action available. All the finest boltys are based on the 98 Mauser actions.
    God, Guns and Guts is what made America Great


    • #3
      YeH, THE 338 is almost a perfect round. I was gonna go with a 35whelen. I love the whelen (got a nice blackie with a whelen) but decided on the 338. wife looked at me, rolled her eyes and asked what I'm gonna do with my other 338's in the safe. Umm, shoot and hunt with them.

      I'm still undecided if If I want a muzzlebrake or not. this thing is gonna be kinda light. I have one 338 right now thats about 7.5lbs with scope and its not to bad.

      oh well, when its done I guess I got to shoot it to find out.


      • #4
        Blink, NO muzzlle break! The generated recoil is not that bad, I have 2 .338's and find the recoil of no consequence. I lean toward the idea those that complain must be inexperienced and or pretty "light" in design.
        The end result will be a well built field gun with alot of BOOM!!! Will damage your ears surely. Sounds like you have an Alaskan rifle-good for you. I have done the Duracoat on a few of my rifles, shotguns and one handgun. I am not thoroughly pleased with a "paint" job as the paint seems to not handle impacts well. I believe I will for mine down the road be prepped first by parkerizing and then painted-just some food for thought.
        Can pics be posted if so try to do one of your reworked Turk when it gets done.



        • #5
          My 338 right now is pretty light (savage) and the recoil isnt that bad. Yeah I cant wait to get it, although it will probably be a while. I had a 458Lott with a 20" bbl and it was great for a bear gun, kicking myself for getting rid of that one.

          As for the duracoat, I'm trying something new. My co-pilot is parkerized and I'm not to impressed with it. Of course it depends on prepping, etc. The best finish I've found so far is Krylon. I "finished" my savage about 4 years ago and still looks good, alittle wear around the muzzle but is holding up.


          • #6
            Why 20" barrel?

            The 338 burns large volumes of slow burning powder. That powder will not all burn up in a 20" barrel. The result will be lost velocity and a large muzzle flash as the unburned powder ignites outside the barrel.

            I have a 300 win mag with a 20 inch barrel. It's velocity is about equal to a 30-06. Kinda defeats the purpose of having a magnum. It is now on its way to be rebarreled in 458 win.


            • #7

              The main reason for a short bbl is where I hunt it is real tight. I usually use my 338 that has a 24" tube and its a pain. weight isnt an issue. velocity isnt really all that much of a worry to me. Besides its something different. I know a few guys who have short bbl'ed magnums and looking at there results (at the range and field results) what I would lose I'm not to worried about. Grant it, it will take some range/reload time to try and find a good combo but it will work out. If not, I'll rebarrel it.I'm willing to try anything once.


              • #8
                I understand the need to do something different (short barrel). You can get the most out of that short barrel by reloading with the faster burning powders suited to the cartridge. Like RL15.

                I love the old 98 mausers and am usually in the middle of one at all times. I am currently messing with a Yugo 48. The bore on the old stepped barrel is clean as a whistle so I plan to leave it alone in the original 8x57. The last couple of mausers that I have messed with I wire welded the scope bases on then ground them down with a die grinder then refilled the divets with weld and ground some more. In the end it looks like the bases are actually part of the receiver. This is a little tedious but looks good when done. The weld's blue up very well and in the end you can't see them. Same with welding on a new bolt handle. I like the old military stocks as well. The steel block in the stock mates up very well with the lug on the bottom of the receiver. I think the cheap synthetic stocks are a step backwards from the original military stock. I slim the old military stock up a bit and then stick on a recoil pad. I also remove the bulky flip up safety and grind the shroud down. Then install a $50 bold trigger with safety.

                I have several of these old mausers and would put them up against the high dollar stuff as far as reliablility and function. I have two 8x57's and a Bruno 06 all with the original stepped barrels and all three will shoot inch groups with their pet loads.


                • #9
                  As much as I like mauser 98's, unless you're going to get custom bottom metal designed around the size of the 338 case, you'd be much better off going with the whelen, which will feed way better out of the mauser magazine.

                  A properly assembled mauser is much better than a factory rig, but costs considerably more. An economy conversion costs more than a factory rifle and yet isn't as good.

                  I've built several custom mausers, and the magazine and feed rails are the heart and sole of what makes it a great rifle, but they have to be sized for the round they are meant to feed.
                  Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

                  If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.


                  • #10
                    Paul, When I was talking to him on the phone, I made it extremely clear on the feeding issue. He guerenteed me it would be done properly. I need to get ahold of him again to talk more indepth and it will be stressed again, besides the money involved I dont want to be carrying a half-a@*ed rifle for bears.


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