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Old December 13, 2009, 08:07 PM   #1
sirusa
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Trouble Feeding Mauser 98 Action

Hi all, I recently picked up a lemon of a Parker Hale Safari in 243win, which is essentially built on a mauser 98 large ring action. It has a drop-bottom magazine, supposedly for 4 rounds capacity. My troubles are:
1. I can put in 4 rounds, but then the bolt wouldn't strip the top round - it just sits there!
2. I can put in 3 rounds, and it strips (mostly) but sometimes still jams when the claw doesn't engage,
3. I can put in 2 rounds and it wouldn't strip at all most times, and
4. I can put in 1 round, and it will strip and the claw engage!!

When the claw is properly engaged, it does eject the round positively. I have no experience with such magazines (my other rifles are detachable box mags). Can anyone tell me how to fix this problem?

Thanks!
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Old December 13, 2009, 08:44 PM   #2
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I know exactly what is going on,I just explained it on another thread.

The mauser magazine is designed for a different case.The 243 is both shorter in length and larger in diameter at the shoulder.

Rounds should stack in the magazine forming equilateral triangles of contact,limited by the box,the follower,and the rails.

What occurs,the rounds become tight at the shoulder hile they are still flopping around at the rear of the mag.They do not come up to the rails,so the bolt rides ove,till it digs in the side of a case.Then it pushes the case forward and jams things up.

Now,I learned all this building a .308,and it is still mediocre.I can't say I have solved the fix.As we cut metal to fix,we risk taking too much,and making scrap.

If I were to pursue it,I would just define the difference in geometry and modify the inside of the magazine box on a vertical mill.I might also modify the follower step on a surface grinder.The magazine might need to be blocked to place the cartridges farther forward.Then,I might study the rails with marker and a light touch with a die grinder.

I think all of this is just crazy.It is crazy because a 6mm Rem is a 7x57 mauser case necked down to .243,and a Mauser was made to work with it.

I cannot understand why Parker-Hale or anyone else would choose the .243 over the 6mm if it is going into a 98 mauser.
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Old December 13, 2009, 10:06 PM   #3
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I have a M98 in 22-250 that used to be finicky, riveted in a Teflon block in the magwell and cut down the follower, feeds perfect now
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Old December 13, 2009, 10:21 PM   #4
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OK Simple,exactly which part is assembled in exactly which wrong way?
Stand up and fix the man's problem.
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Old December 13, 2009, 11:33 PM   #5
sirusa
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80Viking,

Can you please elaborate where you installed the teflon block, and which bit of the follower did you cut down?

Yeah, looking forward to more clarification on the incorrect assembly possibility, please? Thanks all!
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Old December 13, 2009, 11:47 PM   #6
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The Parker Hale used a standard length Mauser action, you need to seat the bullets all the way to the rear to get correct feeding, or modify for a magazine block.

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Old December 14, 2009, 12:13 AM   #7
sirusa
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Jimro, thanks for chipping in. I just went and tried to do both: seat the bullets all the way forward, and right up to the back. With the bullets forward I could actually strip and engage up to 3 rounds. The 4th round wouldn't strip at all - it looked like the 243 shoulders were too tightly pressed against each other with the 4th one in.

Then I tried to have them all to the back. Well, with the 1 round I sometimes could strip and engage, but not always. Then I tried to load more, working up to the 4th round: all seated way back. Nope. Worst - from round #2 onwards it just wouldn't strip nor engage.

Erm, what's a magazine block?

Is it any problem with the bolt at all??
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Old December 14, 2009, 01:56 PM   #8
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There are likely 2 issues:
1- You need to either put in a magazine block or silver solder rails into the magazine just forward of where the shoulder of the cartridge sits. This is because the action was designed for longer cartridges with more taper. I had similar issues with my 22-250 until I put in a magazine block (a block of metal at the rear of the magazine to reduce the volume of the magazine and make the cartridges sit farther forward). Each M98 is slightly different, and there is no "one size fits all" answer.
and/or
2- Polish the feed rails so the cartridges slide easily across them. Do not remove a lot of metal, just polish them. I use a stone on the feed rails when I build Mauser 98s, but some 320 or 400 wet/dry paper on a small dowel will also work.
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Old December 14, 2009, 03:49 PM   #9
sirusa
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Scorch: thanks for that. I was on the chat with people last night, and one of the had a receiver with exactly the same series as mine! The consensus there was as you said: the 243 rounds are too small for the well. Also, it seems these PH's had the aluminium well, which demands to be kept very clean and lubricated in order to feed well.

Question - when you mentioned installing rails to guide the shoulders, do we want to guide it all the way down to the bottom of the well?

Interestingly, the 7x57Mauser and the 243 share many similar dimensions, up to the shoulder/neck where the 243's shoulder starts a full 4 mm before the 7x57. The neck is 1.25mm narrower than the 7x57 too.

What is your experience with the spring? Could the spring on my gun be weak and need replacement?

I noted that my follower had been cut in the front part, down to 3" in length. There's a whopping 10mm gap from the front of the follower, up to the front wall of the well. I noticed that the tip of the rounds seem to catch in the breech, when pushed into the chamber. The exposed soft point on the bullet starts to get a bit roughed up after a while...

Since I to space from the back, what do you think of cutting the base/foot of the spring to sit the follower almost flush with the front wall of the well? Then I'd have space to fit the spacer in the back too.

Thanks all for the comments so far!
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Old December 14, 2009, 04:17 PM   #10
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sirusa, here's what I did to get my 22-250 M98 to feed properly, your follower and spacer block will have to be sized accordingly for your caliber, for the follower, I cut the extra material off behind the magazine spring, it now measures 2.450'' long, you'll have to cut an angle on the top rib of the follower so the bolt will close on an empty magazine, the block I used measures 1.4'' H x .87'' x .75'' this is attached with a rivet or a sheet metal screw going in above the trigger cut out in the rear of the magwell, make sure the block is left high enough for the floor plate to snap in ,hope this helps
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Old December 14, 2009, 04:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
do we want to guide it all the way down to the bottom of the well?
Yes, all the way to the bottom, otherwise the rounds wil not sit at the back, they will move underneath the edge of the guides.
Quote:
what do you think of cutting the base/foot of the spring to sit the follower almost flush with the front wall of the well?
That's one way to do it, in fact that's how Interarms did theirs. You can buy short followers for the job or just shorten yours.
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Old December 14, 2009, 05:29 PM   #12
sirusa
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80viking, Scorch: thank you very much for your help and advice.
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Old December 14, 2009, 05:41 PM   #13
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sirusa,

If you seat the rounds all the way to the rear and #2 and onward won't engage, it means that the rounds are not being forced upward into position by the spring. Either they are catching on the side of the mag well or the spring isn't strong enough to force them up.

Let me guess, when you cycle the bolt on the first round, the second round just sits there not touching the bottom of the bolt at all. Then you fiddle with the round a litte bit and it "clicks" into place so that you can feed it?

It is time to dissassemble your Mauser and take apart the bottom metal. Clean the magazine well and check the magazine spring. Reassemble and see if that helps matters. If it doesn't I would replace the spring, and if that doesn't fix the problem I would install a mag block.

A mag block can be made from a piece of wood very easily. Cut the mag follower to the length of your longest round, then cut a block of wood to fill the remainder of the magazine from the rear (so that your rounds are loaded in the forward position). Sand/whittle/cut the sides to match the taper of your mag well and you have a cheap mag block to see if that fixes the problem.

Polishing the feed rails is for when you have actual feeding problems (such as the round not leaving the mag well once engaged by the bolt, or having the wrong angle of feed into the chamber and getting rammed into the C ring). So I wouldn't polish the rails until a last resort. Remember, if the first and second round feed, there is no need to polish the rails.

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Old December 14, 2009, 10:41 PM   #14
sirusa
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Thanks Jimro: you've hit it right on the head. I'll try that first, and see what happens. Right now the spring looks somewhat rusty and dark to me... As it is, when I do manage to cycle a round, the tip gets caught in the front of the breech, before the chamber. I noticed that the tips do get a bit mashed when I force things. So I'll try to install the block first and see if that helps. I've got a new synthetic stock and mag spring in the mail, so I should be right!

Thanks all.
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Old December 14, 2009, 11:50 PM   #15
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sirusa,

Sounds like you do need to polish the feed rails, if you don't want to buy a set of stones get some wet/dry 600 and 800 grit sandpaper. Use a light oil with the sandpaper when you are polishing. Go slow, take your time, and check about every 30 minutes to see how your rifles are feeding.

It's tough to get the geometry right with a short stubby cartridge like the 243 in an m98 action, but it can be done with patience (my brother did it with a Turk M38 action and rethreaded Remington barrel).

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Old December 15, 2009, 12:09 AM   #16
sirusa
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Ok Jimro, just to be on the same page absolutely: by feed rails you mean the lips of the mag? Right?
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Old December 15, 2009, 04:39 AM   #17
sirusa
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After all the feedback and suggestions, i spent a lot of time today with some rounds of 243 and the gun (ulp!), observing the cycling. I found if I loaded rounds all the way to the back, and, pushed the tip of the 4th round down a little so that it's butt is over the bolt face, there's no problem to strip and cycle it! And thereafter all rounds cycle. (Of course by now I've sprayed Balistol everywhere and wiped things clean.)

Now, if i loaded all the 4 rounds forward until the farthest they can go, the shoulder of the 4th round is very tight - no more give below it. It's butt is able to flop up/down in the back of the mag well. The butt of round 4 will sit below the bolt-face, and therefore it can't be stripped. I have to be careful to push the tip down, to lift the butt up. But then more often than not, the 3rd round gets stripped at the same time, jamming the action!

I went and stretched the spring good, loaded the rounds all the way to the back, and now the 4th round just sits flat - the bolt face catches it everytime. I can cycle the rounds through completely (albeit the last one seems to bind a bit before I can push the bolt home - but that's another issue i think!).

So with new spring that I've ordered installed eventually, I think this problem will be solved adequately.

Last edited by sirusa; December 15, 2009 at 06:08 AM.
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Old October 26, 2012, 01:22 PM   #18
Filthyclyde
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Hi and thank you

I realize this thread is really old and probably dead, but I too was having feeding problems with the .243 in a Mauser action and found this on the internet. Loading the .243 cartridges in the very back is definitely the cure but I was also having problems due to the base of the cartridge not sliding up the bolt face as the cartridge neared the chamber. The angle of the cartridge was thus too steep and it would bind. I have 2 other Mauser action rifles in .220 swift and 7mm Rem Mag so I looked at the way they operated. When the cartridge was sliding up toward the chamber and 3/4" was still visible, the base of the cartridge was at least 3/4 of the way up the bolt face thus assuring the proper angle to enter the chamber. I then took a file and rounded the very bottom lip of the ejector on the bolt at the bolt face. I doubt if I took off more than 0.010" of metal. The .243 base now slides up the bolt face properly, there is no binding and it feeds the entire magazine easily. Thanks for this thread as the whole thing was driving me nuts and I had no idea what to do about it. Thanks again.
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Old July 16, 2013, 07:14 AM   #19
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Hi guys need help i have a parker hale safari 243 now i have attached a web link i was given by bell and carlson its a right handed the safety is on the right it does not have a magazine as the bullets are loaded down into the chamber below the bolt and can be released from under neath the 2 choices i have are mauser 96 L/A stepped barrel or a mauser 96 LA and as am in the uk i need to order from the states i need to get the right one hope u can help

http://www.rifle-accuracy.com/
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Old July 17, 2013, 05:32 AM   #20
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Parker Hale never shipped a commercial rifle with a stepped barrel in 243 that I am aware of.

Although I'd be wary of getting an M96 stock for an M98 based rifle.

I'd get the #5051-__ Mauser 98, Long Action

Fits sporter action with taper barrel without adjustable trigger, sporter floorplate, because of multiple origins of manufacture and variations in actions modifications may be required.

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