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Old November 16, 2005, 07:17 PM   #1
Leif
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Why Mauser?

Well, this question will probably expose my noob-ness, but I'll ask it anyway:

Why do people select Mauser 98 actions more than any others when producing custom rifles, especially when they are rechambering them for different cartridges than that for which they were intended originally?

I know that the Mauser 98 action has a reputation for strength and reliability, but is there something more to this trend? Are the other actions, say those from the Enfield, MAS, or Mosin-Nagant, that much less suitable for custom work and rechambering? Or is it more of a supply and demand issue?

I'm familiar with the Ishapore and Tristar conversions of Enfields to .308 and 7.62x39, and I vaguely recall reading about MAS-36 conversions to .308. I've never heard of a Mosin being used for a conversion.

Just curious ...
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Old November 17, 2005, 07:12 PM   #2
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there the best and the cheapest, Most every rifle you see is based on the 98
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Old November 17, 2005, 08:54 PM   #3
Leif
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Best at what specifically, though? The other actions/rifles are pretty cheap, cheaper than some Mausers in many cases.
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Old November 17, 2005, 09:21 PM   #4
James K
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The others you name are not as amenable to conversion to sporter rifles as the 98 Mauser, nor is there as wide a selection of accessories for them. There is a circular condition here; the Mauser 98 is popular, so there is a demand for accessories, then the availability of accessories makes the 98 more popular, and so on.

The SMLE and No. 4 rifles are fine battle rifles but are not easy to mount a scope and have a two piece stock, plus they are cock-on-closing, which many American shooters don't care for. Also, the design limits the cartridge that can be used, both in configuration and power. The Indian 2A/2A1 was originally made for the 7.62 NATO, but it was never intended for heavy use and commercial .308 is loaded to higher pressures than the milspec it was made for.

The MAS may have good qualities, but it simply does not appeal to most U.S. shooters. Its two piece stock presents some problems, and no sporter stocks have ever been made for it. There is no commercial ammunition made for it, and the French have released only small amounts of milsurp ammo.

The M-N has a short bolt handle that makes it hard to operate (strong guys, those Russians!), and also is not amenable to easy scope mounting. The safety is hard to operate and about impossible under a scope.

The older Mausers (1893-1896) are not as strong as the Model 98 and also cock-on-closing. They are limited (or should be) to the 40-45k pressure range. The Model 1888 commission rifle (unaltered) requires a small size bullet (.318") that is hard to get and uses a unique en-bloc clip that is also scarce. It also is a bit awkward and not as strong as the Model 98.

So, the Model 98 is not only suitable for most sporting and custom rifle building, but high quality actions are reasonably priced.

Jim
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Old November 18, 2005, 06:14 PM   #5
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As Jim said, the pressure limits of the Lee-Enfields rear locking lugs is not as easily converted to more powerful cartridges. Also, any rifle with a split-bridge Mannlicher type reciever is not the optimum for mounting a scope. I have seen quite a few European sporters using a MAS 36 action as it is a very strong one with a very smooth bolt throw. Unfortunately, many Americans (myself not included) find a two peice stock to be ugly on a bolt action. Mannlicher rifles are common as sporters in Europe (along with the superb 6.5x54 Mannlicher Schroener round). Many of them simply wear iron sights as Europeans don't seem to share our preoccupation with scopes.
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Old November 18, 2005, 06:46 PM   #6
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The reason the Mauser 98 design is so common for custom rifles...is that it is the ONLY action. All else is CR*# !!!






................ (just kidding). I couldn't help it. Actually, I agree with everyone else here as to the reasons. It is still the premier design, though. There have been others that do well....but the majority do owe at least some hommage to the good 'ole 98.
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Old November 18, 2005, 10:10 PM   #7
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I wish I still had it, but lost in a move was a mid-1980's Guns & Ammo Annual.

One article was....... "Why custom gunsmith's prefer the Mauser action".

The bottom line was, because of the mechanical design.

The 98 Mauser is one of the VERY few machines ever made that simply can't be improved mechanically, and is as close as man can get to "perfect".

Almost ALL rifle actions built since are simply variations on the Mauser, designed to be made cheaper, NOT better.

Looking at the Mauser design, and you realize that there really isn't anything that can be done to actually improve the action.

The Mauser is SIMPLE.
It makes do with fewer parts then any other design, and those parts are themselves simple and strong.

The Mauser extractor is the best of all the bolt guns, with a forward extractor lug riding in a dovetailed groove.
The harder you pull, the tighter the extractor is forced into the case.

The Mauser bolt lock is a sturdy pin with a strong spring, totally concealed in the under side of the bolt shroud.
Mauser bolt locks just never fail, while most others do.

The Mauser gas handling system is the best possible design, which vents any escaping gas away from the shooter.

The Mauser action is tough steel, with a glass-hard case hardened coating on critical working surfaces.
This allows the Mauser to fire an unlimited number of rounds without cracking bolt lugs, or set-back.

The Mauser is a smoother operating action than many others.

The actual design of the action itself is possibly the strongest ever made.
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Old November 18, 2005, 10:42 PM   #8
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One additional advantage is the double stacked geometry of the Mauser magazine. It is more forgiving when it comes to handling different case sizes ... the big belted magnums just don't fit as many rounds, but they still feed. Designs like the M-N, that have a single stack mag, have a really tough time feeding rounds that are not the same basic size as the native cartridge. That being said, I have an M-N in .223 Remington and another in .22 Hornet that are almost complete. At this time, I think that both will wear iron sights ... and I'm pretty sure that they will be able to feed from the mag when they're done. Why did I do this? Why not?

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Old November 18, 2005, 11:02 PM   #9
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Saands- I hope you are taking pics I'd like to see how that's done. On the other end I was thinking of one in .45-70.
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Old November 18, 2005, 11:07 PM   #10
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heres my 300 WM with Mauser 98 action..


My FN SPR is also there, both with IOR 6-25x50 Glass






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Old November 19, 2005, 12:08 AM   #11
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Isn't the 45-70 too long for an MN? Or was it the 416 Rigby that I checked?

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Old November 19, 2005, 01:46 AM   #12
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I thought I read somewhere that the Japanese Arisaka was the 'strongest' bolt-action rifle...

I agree that the Mauser 98 is probably one of the most difficult machines invented by Man to improve upon, along with the Model 1911 pistol and Remington 870 shotgun.

My preferences are the Remington 700 rifle and Beretta 92/96 pistol, plus the Beretta 1201 shotgun.
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Old November 19, 2005, 06:46 AM   #13
STEVE M
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Along with the reasons everyone else has said, gunsmiths prefer the '98 for

the ease of barrel replacement.
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Old November 19, 2005, 10:45 AM   #14
Jim Watson
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There was an article one time in Rifle magazine that pointed out how the '98 military Mauser was the gunsmiths' full employment plan. They can be made very nice but it takes a ton of work to get there. They got a lot of letters about the natural superiority of the Mauser but you know, I don't see many of them actually being used except by milsurp plinkers.
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Old November 19, 2005, 12:40 PM   #15
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I thought the VZ-24 was the top Mauser grab-up-and-build-something-else-out-of-it-receiver. Either way, with matching bolt and receiver numbers, the steel is very uniform from specimen to specimen in hardness, squareness, dimentions. The Moisen Nagant may have showed promise, but the first time somebody tried to drill holes in one must be about the same time mental institutions started showing up. I'm still hacked off at the first (and last) one I messed with... and that was 4 or 5 years ago!
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Old November 19, 2005, 04:20 PM   #16
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Quote:
I thought I read somewhere that the Japanese Arisaka was the 'strongest' bolt-action rifle...
I think so.

There is a story of a WWII soldier who brought back a 6.5mm Arisaka back. He rechambered it for .30-06, without thinking the barrel was 6.5mm instead of 7.62mm.

He shot it a couple times, nothing blew up. The NRA supposedly did more testing, and it didn't blow. No damage to the reciever.
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Old November 19, 2005, 05:01 PM   #17
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Has anyone seen one of the new Mauserwaffen M 98's? I stumbled across the web site but haven't yet seen one "in real life." www.mauserwaffen.de
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Old November 20, 2005, 11:29 PM   #18
Leif
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Well, it looks like my question was answered quite thoroughly ... yet another reason, I love this board!

[said in SNL faux-Scottish accent] "If it's not Mauser, it's crrr@p!!!!"

Seriously, I remember reading about the Arisaka's reputed strength as well, though I don't recall specifically just now. Isn't the Arisaka action basically a Mauser action, or am I completely incorrect here?

Dfariswheel, if you come across that article, I'd like the reference. Otherwise, it's off to the library I go.

Webleymkv, the European MAS sporters are intriguing. Were they simply put into a sporter stock, or were they rechambered for a different cartridge than the French 7.5?

saands, I'm also curious to see how your .223 and .22 Hornet conversions for the Mosin turned out, so pics, please? Pretty please?

CDignition, nice ... very nice. Did you do this yourself?

Jim Keenan, with regard to two piece stocks, aesthetic considerations aside, are there mechanical/technical problems with two piece stocks?

Everybody, thanks again.

BTW, this thread could use more pics!
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Old November 20, 2005, 11:59 PM   #19
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This be a Mauser.

More specifically, a 1916 C.G. Haenel Gewehr98 action and bolt, magnafluxed and trued. Here's all the goodies that went into it:

The bolt has a Brownell's handle welded on, a Mark II low-swing safety, and a Tubb Speedlock aluminum/steel striker with a Wolff heavyweight spring, for drastically reduced locktime.

The barrel is a Krieger #5 taper, 6.5mm bore, 5-grooves, 1 in 9" twist, with a George Vais muzzle brake threaded on at the 26" point, then lathe turned to match the barrel contour. The chamber was cut to 6.5-06, standard shoulder, using a brand-new finish reamer.

The trigger is a Canjar single-set model, about 2 pounds unset, 8-10 ounces set.

The action and first inch of the barrel are DevCon Marine Epoxy bedded into the ventilated Fajen Ace Varminter stock, with the rest of the barrel completely free-floated forward of that first inch.

The scope base is a Millett steel one-piece Weaver slot model, and Millett steel windage-adjustable rings were added. The scope is a plain-vanilla Weaver V-16 w/duplex reticle, clear optics and repeatable settings all the way up to 16x.

The combination will run 123gr Lapua Scenars at 3200fps measured 10ft from the muzzle. The load is 59.0gr of H4831SC drop-tubed into reformed RWS 7x64 Brenneke brass, primed with Federal 210 Match primers. The rifle groups consistently inside 1/2 MOA, and on days when I haven't had any coffee or Mountain Dew, it will group to the 1/4 MOA mark.

Having said that, one can buy a rifle that performs to that level from a reputable rifle maker, and probably cheaper than what I have invested in this proof-of-concept beast. But this one's mine, and will go with me to my dirt nap.

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Old November 21, 2005, 01:02 PM   #20
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Gewehr98, that is very nice. I've seen some of the photos that you posted in previous threads, and am always green with envy as a result. I guess your screen name suggests your sympathies on this issue!
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Old November 21, 2005, 08:42 PM   #21
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I'd really liked to have owned the rifle as a complete, WWI Gewehr98.

Especially if it had the original rollercoaster rear sight. But it came to me as nothing more than a stripped receiver and bolt. So I did the next best thing, and built a precision rifle out of it.

Funny thing is, I wanted to put the barreled action into a McMillan Prone stock, but when Fajen was going out of business, they were selling those laminated Ace Varminters for $79.95 each, so I bought two on a whim. The rifle was near completion, so I hastily "borrowed" one of the stocks from storage to do load development and see what the combination of parts and pieces would do. The resulting cloverleaf groups at 200 and 300 yards convinced me not to monkey with that Fajen stock, as they say "don't fix what ain't broke." So I DevCon bedded it, and it stays married to the rifle to this day.

You don't know what you're missing until you hit a Texas armadillo in the brown eye as he's ambling away from you at 300 yards. A Nosler Ballistic Tip at 3200fps will scoop that armor completely clean, leaving a pink foam and pretty little copper sparkly bits for several yards downrange from the rocking remains of that "possum on the half shell". Quite literally, the last thing that went through his mind...
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Old November 21, 2005, 10:33 PM   #22
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I remember seeing a story about that arisaka on tv the gi chambered it for a 06 and was getting terrible groups with it they recovered the bullets on took it to his gunsmith and the rest posted by jefnvk
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Old November 21, 2005, 10:55 PM   #23
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Quote:
You don't know what you're missing until you hit a Texas armadillo in the brown eye as he's ambling away from you at 300 yards. A Nosler Ballistic Tip at 3200fps will scoop that armor completely clean, leaving a pink foam and pretty little copper sparkly bits for several yards downrange from the rocking remains of that "possum on the half shell". Quite literally, the last thing that went through his mind...
Gewehr98, I'm sooo glad I didn't read that prior to dinner. Your descriptive powers leave me at a loss, sir.
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