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View Full Version : Rebarreling a M96 Swede ?


mustang66maniac
January 2, 2010, 09:51 PM
I've had this rifle for about 10 years now and I'm pretty sure the barrel is worn out after its nearly 100 year life. It's a 1914 Swedish Mauser M96 in 6.5x55. The first three shots are about 1.5"-2" groups at 100 yards. As I keep shooting, the group starts to open up to about 5"-6" groups as the barrell gets hotter.

Anyways, I'm kind of a fan on the 6.5x55 cartridge and new factory rifles in this chamber are few and far in between- especially ones with heavy barrels. I'd really like to replace the barrell with a new one- preferably a heavy barrel.

I've heard the mauser actions are very stout, so I don't think I'll need any replacements or upgrades there, unless the experts at TFL suggest otherwise.

How much would I be looking at to replace the Masuer barrel with a heavy barrel of, say, 24-26 inches at a reputable gunsmith?

Is this something that I can do myself with a sense of mechanical aptitude but absolutely no gunsmithing experience?

Would you even suggest that I replace the barrel or for the money could I just replace the whole rifle with, say, a Tikka T3 in the same chamber?

Scorch
January 2, 2010, 10:13 PM
Ballpark figure for a barrel replacement= $400, depending on what barrel you buy, who does the work, etc (basically, the cost of the barrel plus $150 for thread/chamber/crown/polish, then the cost of bluing if you choose to go that route). You will also ahve to decide whether to have the barrel contoured to fit in the current stock ($60) or go with an aftermarket stock ($100). Then add sights ($40-100). You will probably want a better trigger, too ($60). You can see that it adds up to the cost of a new rifle pretty quickly. My advice, FWIW, is to go buy a new or used rifle and retire the old war horse.

mustang66maniac
January 2, 2010, 11:11 PM
Well, luckily I've already had a modern scope and stock put on it, and I believe it's already had trigger work done- although I could be wrong on that. So basically I think all I need is a barrel.

Unclenick
January 2, 2010, 11:17 PM
That's probably correct for a decent grade barrel, and it's really not worth spending money on a cheap one, like the Adams and Bennets sold by Midway, unless you are going to put it in yourself, because the gunsmithing will cost more than the barrel is worth.

You can do it yourself, but the first time out you will have to buy an action wrench, a barrel vice, and something to hold the barrel vice, plus, unless it's a drop-in, which means a loose chamber, you'll want one with a roughed chamber that you finish ream yourself to get best fit. In other words, by the time you have the tools it will cost as much as having the gunsmith put a decent barrel in. After that, it will be less. What I did when I decided to rebarrel some old 98 Mauser actions some friends and I got about 20 years ago, was split the tooling cost with them. That's another route you can take.

The 96 is not as strong as the 98, but the Swede is usually better fit. Some have put some pretty stout chamberings in them, but I am more comfortable doing medium powder cartridges like the original.

As to your barrel opening up as it heats, that is not the normal mode of failure for a shot out barrel. A shot out barrel typically has increasingly frequent uncalled fliers cold or warm. You more likely have a bad metal fouling issue due to the throat getting rough. If you were ever satisfied by the original barrel's performances, I would look at having a gunsmith remove it, set the shoulder back half an inch to an inch (he can look with a bore scope and check the chamber dimensions to see how far back it actually needs to go) and maybe trimming or counterboring and recrowning to bring accuracy back.

mustang66maniac
January 4, 2010, 06:45 PM
As to your barrel opening up as it heats, that is not the normal mode of failure for a shot out barrel. A shot out barrel typically has increasingly frequent uncalled fliers cold or warm. You more likely have a bad metal fouling issue due to the throat getting rough. If you were ever satisfied by the original barrel's performances, I would look at having a gunsmith remove it, set the shoulder back half an inch to an inch (he can look with a bore scope and check the chamber dimensions to see how far back it actually needs to go) and maybe trimming or counterboring and recrowning to bring accuracy back.

That is a good point, I wonder if that is even the case?
I've been doing an experiment the last couple of days since i posted this bulletin. I tried to clean the barrel really well, but I just can't seem to get a clean patch out of it.
I cleaned it the best I could, then I ran a patch soaked with Hoppes 9 thru the barrel and let it sit overnight. The next morning i ran some dry patches thru it and they came out GREEN! Like, statue of liberty green. I've been doing this over and over after letting it sit for a few hours and I hope it will eventually clean up. Otherwise, I'll take it to a gunsmith like you said.