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VA Gent
October 8, 2012, 04:56 PM
Looking to buy a eqrly 1900 Spanish mauser. Gun has matching serial numbers on receiver, stock, and triggerguard, bolt and floorplate do not match. How would this affect functions/accuracy? Rifle is described as being a good shooter. Other than it going bang when trigger is pulled, could it be dialed in to be a good hunter?

James K
October 8, 2012, 05:40 PM
If the barrel is good and the rifle headspaces OK, it should be a fine rifle for deer-size game in the original 7x57 (7mm Mauser), or it can be rebarrelled to any cartridge in that pressure range.

Jim

VA Gent
October 8, 2012, 05:52 PM
Thanks Jim. The description is brief but makes me thing a good cleaning and use will help it back to good as it can be? Description is "Bore is average-good, dark with strong rifling."
I purchased a German 7mm barrel from him in the past. It was way better than I expected which is why I "think" I want to go after this rifle. I have no idea what diiference it would make for the unmatching bolt though. Any in depth thoughts would be welcomed!
John

James K
October 8, 2012, 06:03 PM
Any time a bolt is replaced, the issue of headspace arises. In most cases, the headspace will be OK or close enough that there will be no problem. In the worst situation, you could get case separation or even a blown rifle. One shot from a rest (the old "tie it to a tire" is not a bad idea) should show if things are OK or you could have a gunsmith check the headspace.

Those Spanish rifles were imported literally by the shipload; many were in good condiiton, but some were badly rusted with ruined wood. Few were in top condition or like new. They are not high priced even today, usually bringing $120-150. If they can be used "as is", they can be a good deer rifle, but most owners don't want to spend a lot of money on them.

Still, they are basically good rifles, and I have seen a few on which a goodly amount of money was spent, resulting in a very nice handy rifle.

Jim

VA Gent
October 8, 2012, 06:36 PM
Okay. Would you consider a modern say, Ruger MK in 7x57 to be a better choice? I was thinking the longer barrel and twist rate of the older mausers were something worth experiencing. I have new rifles in 223, 243, 270, 3030, 3006 & 338 win mag as my taste is only for deer here and javelina, elk out west. For some reason, I think I can eliminate several of these new ones by going with the old timers and possibly enjoying it more.

Scorch
October 9, 2012, 10:58 AM
VA Gent-
A Ruger in 7X57 would always be better than a Spanish Mauser in the same chambering. Rugers are very sturdy rifles, and can take loads that would be the end of a Spanish Mauser. I own and shoot a Ruger 77 in 7X57, it is my favorite hunting rifle.

James K
October 9, 2012, 06:35 PM
I don't question that a new Ruger would be better than an old Spanish Mauser, but i am not sure that it "can take loads that would be the end of a Spanish Mauser". Those old Mausers are pretty tough and I have seen folks use some darned stiff loads in them.

Rugers are undoubtedly good rifles but not magic. I would say that any load that would be dangerous in the Mauser, would also be dangerous in about anything else, including the Ruger.

Jim

Hawg
October 9, 2012, 06:55 PM
The steel in the Spanish Mausers is soft. Heavy loads will twist the receivers until the bolt won't open.

VA Gent
October 9, 2012, 07:58 PM
Scorch - Is that the one you've been using for some 30 years? The 223, 243, 270 & 338 win mag are Ruger 77's, I like them too. The 3006 is a 7400 engraved Buckmaster unfired since new some 14 years ago. I was keeping it for the eventual elk run or where-ever it would fit the occaison. Don't really care for the 06 though but it is eye candy. Guess thats why it's still here. So maybe the better plan would be to keep the Spanish 7 for 4th of July blending with the fireworks and look into another MKII. Gotta admit, I don't mind if the weather changes when I have a stainless/composite stocked 77 with me. It always cleans up very nice afterwards.
Darn...the thoughts continue...
Thanks Scorch

VA Gent
October 9, 2012, 08:00 PM
The steel in the Spanish Mausers is soft. Heavy loads will twist the receivers until the bolt won't open.

Yea, I have heard talk about this from different directions.
John

VA Gent
October 9, 2012, 08:01 PM
James K - You use one of these mausers? You seem fond of them. Any good experiences in your past?
John

Scorch
October 10, 2012, 12:12 AM
I would say that any load that would be dangerous in the Mauser, would also be dangerous in about anything else, including the Ruger.

Perhaps. Spanish Mausers are tough, but they were originally designed around a cartridge that generates about 50K psi. Rugers are routinely chambered for cartridges that generate 65K+ psi with never any talk about locking lug setback or growing headspace. A am a big fan of Spanish Mausers, owned and shot several of them for about 10 years, but I also realize they have their limitations.

Cheapshooter
October 10, 2012, 01:22 AM
Okay. Would you consider a modern say, Ruger MK in 7x57 to be a better choice?

Well, this is getting a little OT for a Curio & Relic thread, but unless you are just interested in hunting with old military rifles, or have a "thing" for the 7X57 Mauser round, a modern Ruger in 7MM-08 would be a much better choice. No smithing, or bubbaing needed for optics, and ammo that is both less expensive, and easier to find.

VA Gent
October 10, 2012, 01:44 PM
Quote:
unless you are just interested in hunting with old military rifles........

I am somewhat. My roots go back to Vera Cruz some 90 years ago when this rifle I have would be 12 years old. The Mexican colors painted on the sides of the stock, Mexican disc emblem and Villa stamped into the stocked is authenticity and I can admire that. It appears to have been a real workhorse and no doubt helped populate cemetaries. It's time to have it do something usefull in a different manner...feed the family in a semi retired way. For that, I can appreciate it more as it will have a 2nd history, with me. That 102 year old actually means more to me than the new ones I have. Can't explain that but I guess it's the sum of the total.

VA Gent
October 10, 2012, 02:29 PM
Quote:
I also realize they have their limitations........

I guess thats why you invested in the MK, nice caliber while the MK offers refinements.

The limitations I'll probably never discover other than reports from distance test shoots at the range. Thinking better, I think for around here I'd like to dial it in to 200 yds max and I prefer iron sites. Pleases me to just use it for what it was designed for. If it kicks in my undesirable range, it will sit more. Some say less than a 270, some say kicks like a mule. Of course some say the 270 is 1/2 the 06...I have a recoil chart from Chuck Hawks but to me they are just a bunch of numbers. Actual is best I think. For instance, I ONLY take this 338 mag out when I know:
A) distance merits it ( I use it for mountain top to mountan top mostly out west ) Funny about that caliber. People have driven from several miles away thru the desert and asked what the hell was that?
B) 1 - 2 shots will be the limit for that hunt.

emcon5
October 10, 2012, 03:38 PM
Something to consider about hunting with iron sights on an old military Mauser is the point of aim/point of impact. I do not know for sure about the Spanish models, but some Mausers the closest sight setting is 400 Meters.

You may find that at the lowest setting it still shoots about 16 inches high at 100 yards. For a military rifle where recruits are taught to aim for the belt buckle, this is fine, but for a hunting rifle, it could be a problem.

VA Gent
October 10, 2012, 05:18 PM
Yes, it was mentioned earlier this rifle was zeroed @ 300yds by the manufacturer. This ladder sight goes from 4 - 18. I'd like to see how much it might have drifted at that distance. This on a whole is a gray area to me. Sights will most likely need some modifications but don't know at the moment. All part of the bonding if it is to be.

DennisCA
October 10, 2012, 06:14 PM
I had a M1916 Spanish Mauser (rechamber in .308) had nothing but problems:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=492126


I think as long it's in the original caliber, you should be ok.
(just don't max-out the loads)

VA Gent
October 10, 2012, 07:27 PM
Hey Dennis, I remember reading your original post. If I remember correctly, you went through 3 rifles and called it quits?

VA Gent
October 10, 2012, 08:15 PM
This rifle is in the original chambering. Update! - Cool, I have a guy online that I have been buying guns from for 40+years. My old smithy so to speak...he's going to fine tooth comb this mauser, laser bore sight and trial shoot out back. We'll see what the report card says!

James K
October 10, 2012, 08:50 PM
First, always be careful with those converted rifles. There is NO WAY you can "rechamber" a 7x57 to a 7.62x51. You have to either replace the barrel, set it back so far as to make the rifle possibly unsafe, or rebore the barrel then drill out the back end to install a chamber insert and ream it for the 7.62 cartridge. Only the first option is a good choice. The others can introduce problems that would not occur if the rifle were simply left in 7x57, the cartridge it was made for.

I own 3 Spanish Mausers (one is German-made) and have fired them a fair amount with no problems. All are in the original caliber.

Yes, Spanish-made rifles tend to be soft, but they will still stand up OK within their design specs and really will take a lot more than most folks think. And most of the early Spanish Mausers were made in Germany, not Spain.

But the original question was about using one as a hunting rifle. I answered the OP's question on that basis, not on whether there are better rifles made today, or how much of an overload it would take to blow it up. The 7x57 is a perfectly adequate deer cartridge and a Spanish Mauser in that caliber and in decent shape can be a good and inexpensive hunting rifle.

Jim

emcon5
October 10, 2012, 09:56 PM
this rifle was zeroed @ 300yds by the manufacturer. This ladder sight goes from 4 - 18

Yeah, but with what ammo? The Spanish 7X57 started out with a 173 gr round-nose at about 2,300 fps, and switched to a 139 gr spitzer at 2,700 fps just before WW1.

With the closest mark 400 meters, it is going to shoot high, but you have no way of knowing where it will hit with any ammo without taking it to the range and trying it with the ammo you plan to hunt with.

The good news is that there are higher front sight blades available for most model Mausers, and you can probably work around it.

VA Gent
October 11, 2012, 11:35 AM
I'm listening...trying to absorb everything to learn about these old warhorses.

VA Gent
October 11, 2012, 12:51 PM
Quote:
But the original question was about using one as a hunting rifle. I answered the OP's question on that basis, not on whether there are better rifles made today, or how much of an overload it would take to blow it up. The 7x57 is a perfectly adequate deer cartridge and a Spanish Mauser in that caliber and in decent shape can be a good and inexpensive hunting rifle.

Yes James. It's like teetering on a fence top. Has to be my imagination but as mentioned before, this rifle is begging to get out of the house to explore again. In reality, I would like to use/experience it in action. A modern 7x57 to me wouldn't be much different than a modern 270, only maybe more reliable. I say maybe because I don't use them that often. At my rate of use, this mauser would easily last another decade. So, the mauser can hang on a wall to be forgotten...I don't see that happening. Maybe I have to learn and decide the hard way as I'm sure many people have been down this road with these older guns. I haven't fired this one yet so I'm sill at point A.

emcon5
October 11, 2012, 08:33 PM
Yes James. It's like teetering on a fence top. Has to be my imagination but as mentioned before, this rifle is begging to get out of the house to explore again. In reality, I would like to use/experience it in action. A modern 7x57 to me wouldn't be much different than a modern 270, only maybe more reliable. I say maybe because I don't use them that often. Any modern rifle is reliable, I can't imagine why a 7x57 would be any more reliable than a .270.


At my rate of use, this mauser would easily last another decade. So, the mauser can hang on a wall to be forgotten...I don't see that happening. Maybe I have to learn and decide the hard way as I'm sure many people have been down this road with these older guns. I haven't fired this one yet so I'm sill at point A.

It has lasted 100 years so far, you are going to wear it out in a decade? :D

The 7x57 should be fine for any game in North America, short of a big Bear, but keep in mind that metallurgy and manufacturing techniques have come a really long way in the past ~100 years. Even the cheapest hunting rifle from Wal Mart will most likely be more accurate.

Problems as a hunting rifle are the point of impact at short range I mentioned above, and weight. Most military Mausers are fairly heavy, with long barrels and full stocks.

There are 7mm carbines out there, something like this I think would make a fine hunting rifle: http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=310958814

If I didn't handload, I would probably try a box each of Privi Partisan 139gr sp (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/273774/prvi-partizan-ammunition-7x57mm-mauser-7mm-mauser-139-grain-soft-point-box-of-20) and S&B 173gr SP (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/936434/sellier-and-bellot-ammunition-7x57mm-mauser-7mm-mauser-173-grain-soft-point-cutted-edge-box-of-20) and see how they shoot and where the hit, and use the better of the two.

Any US manufacturer probably won't be any better, and will cost twice as much.

And if you really want to mess with people, tell them it is .275 Rigby.:D

VA Gent
October 11, 2012, 09:37 PM
Okay, first of all, how do you get the quotes into a box?

Quote: Any modern rifle is reliable, I can't imagine why a 7x57 would be any more reliable than a .270. - What I was trying to say here is modern rifles are to me boring. Some have no kick while the 338mag made me feel like my eyeballs bounced off the back of my skull first time I pulled the trigger. One feels like the next otherwise. I'm hoping to understand anothers point of view on this so maybe I can adopt & enjoy in a different way.

Quote: It has lasted 100 years so far, you are going to wear it out in a decade?

Well, someone already got a good head start with it. As some mentioned, he has a milsurp that looks like it won the war by itself :)

As for hunting, yea they are heavy but heck, its only for a few days each season. Almost industrious compared to some of the modern ones I have used.

Cost twice as much and rising it seems...smilies arent working here either. Must be Windows 98.

Nice chat!
Have a good one,
John

VA Gent
October 11, 2012, 09:47 PM
emcon5 - Yea you know, I saw that rifle earlier today and wondered if a short rifle might be better but to be honest with you, I like that 1/4 acre of barrel and stock sticking out there along with the additional twist for what thats worth. That is a nice piece though.

emcon5
October 12, 2012, 12:27 AM
Okay, first of all, how do you get the quotes into a box?
When you reply, there is a button just above where you type your reply, looks like a text bubble from a comic strip. "Wrap {quote} tags around selected text"

What I was trying to say here is modern rifles are to me boring. I don't know that I would say boring, but to me the older stuff has a lot more character. I stand by my comments in this thread (http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?p=4958245#post4958245).

I like that 1/4 acre of barrel and stock sticking out there along with the additional twist for what thats worth. That is a nice piece though.

I thought long and hard between one of those, and a ex-Brazilian VZ24. I was wanting a 7X57 short-ish rifle with a bent bolt, and chose poorly. (thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=478615)

A bigger advantage, particularly if you are going to use iron sights is the longer sight radius. Makes the sight alignment a little easier.

warningshot
October 12, 2012, 03:05 AM
about matching numbers...I don't know about you, but I've been told by some guy at the gun show that the bullets on an all matching rifle will go faster. :D

VA Gent
October 12, 2012, 11:58 AM
about matching numbers...I don't know about you, but I've been told by some guy at the gun show that the bullets on an all matching rifle will go faster. ...... wanna see if this works, thank you!

My grandmother told me that once. One of the things she said that I always wondered after she passed, where that came from...she was German.

VA Gent
October 12, 2012, 12:09 PM
emcon5 - you still have that VZ? The one with the pitted barrel.

emcon5
October 13, 2012, 12:24 AM
No, I sold it to a local shop. I was thinking about re-barreling it, but my heart just wasn't in it.

VA Gent
October 13, 2012, 10:42 AM
Was it the pitting that turned you off? I'm wondering because my mauser looked like the one in your pic. Pitting was above and below the wood in places but gave the barrel the appearance of still being functional. I'm going to have a smith check it over though as opposed to rigging it to a tire.

emcon5
October 13, 2012, 03:42 PM
No, the pitting was ugly, but not as deep as the threaded holes you find for sights in some factory rifle barrels. It was under the wood anyway, and wasn't hurting anything.

What put me off was the accuracy, or rather lack thereof. It also had the closest sight setting of 400m, and when you combine the two you get an ~8 inch group, a foot and a half above point of aim at 100 yards, I just had no interest in shooting it.

I was considering getting these and trying to do something with it,

http://www.gunpartscorp.com/catalog/Detail.aspx?pid=1370200&catid=6962
http://www.gunpartscorp.com/catalog/Detail.aspx?pid=955300&catid=6961

But decided it was throwing good money after bad. I ended up losing about $50 on the deal, but I am OK with it.

emcon5
October 13, 2012, 03:54 PM
That whooshing sound was the point zooming over your head.