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Old February 4, 2009, 08:20 PM   #1
dburkhead
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Project Mauser

I recently acquired a cheap, partially "sporterized" Turkish Mauser (K. Kale 1946) which I've decided to take on as a project gun.

Since it's collector value is nil (already had the barrel bobbed to 17", handguard is split lengthwise, missing bolt stop), I figured I could go wild. After all, I certainly have no use for a bolt action "carbine" chambered in 8X57.

I'm planning to build it into a rifle for medium-long range (800-1000 yards). Just about the only thing that will remain from the original will be the receiver--although I may keep trigger group and bolt for a while anyway (after turning down the bolt handle for a scope).

Yes, I know I'd probably spend more time and money building the rifle than I would buying one, but that's not really the point.

And so the first first issue is to get the barrel off the receiver, and therein lies the first problem. I've seen some discussion that mauser barrels can be difficult to remove. And so, here's what I have tried:

I secured the receiver in a bench vise, with thin padding to prevent marring the surface. I used a 14" pipe wrench to grip the barrel and attempt to twist it loose (since I have no use for the barrel, I didn't mind marring it). I've made several attempts over the last several days, soaking the join between the barrel and the receiver with WD-40 repeatedly and letting it soak. Several times I hit the end of the wrench to try to "shock" it loose.

The only result of all this is that the bench vise broke (3 1/2" bench vise on a swivel mount. It's the cast iron mount that broke).

Bought a new bench vise (this one a 5" job) and am trying again.

I have seen references to a couple of other things to try. One is to cut a slot round the barrel near the "shoulder" which can relieve stress and help free the barrel. I have also seen some claim that is no no value since the bearing surface is the face inside the receiver and there is no "shoulder" to accumulate stress. The other is to heat the receiver to break the lock between it and the barrel. My concern on that one is will it destroy the temper on the receiver requiring it to be re-heat-treated. True or not?

Thoughts/suggestions?
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Old February 4, 2009, 09:04 PM   #2
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Do not apply heat to the action/barrel. Some gun smiths report that soaking the action in penetrating oil for several days almost always allow the barrel to be removed with an action wrench.
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Old February 4, 2009, 09:40 PM   #3
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Dburkhead: It takes a barrel vice, a sturdy bench to mount the barrel vice to, an action wrench, and about a three foot pipe.: Been many an action ruined by what your trying to do.
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Old February 4, 2009, 09:44 PM   #4
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Okay, action wrench and barrel vise ordered.

Wouldn't be worth it if I were only planning to do this project, but since I'm thinking down the line....
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Old February 4, 2009, 10:31 PM   #5
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I'd try cooling the barrel but stay away from heat. As the others have indicated, the proper tools are key. If you could cool the barrel in ice while keeping the receiver at 80-90 degrees you might have a shot though.
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Old February 4, 2009, 11:33 PM   #6
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Cooling might loosen it, but I would be wary of causing any kind of thermal shock. The advice to soak the gun in penetrant is good. PB Blaster is particularly good in a multi-day soak. Hit the shoulder of the barrel at the front receiver ring, and also shoot it around the back end of the barrel where it screws up against the lower ring behind receiver lugs. Rotate it and spray again. Try to hit it at least a couple of times a day. After three or four days it will have done all it can. Wipe the excess off with alcohol so the barrel vice can get hold of the barrel.

I use a small 12 Ton hydraulic press to keep my barrel vice closed. It can take some serious force. Since you don't want to preserve the barrel, you could actually cross drill it for a steel rod or something that lets a large conventional vice get hold of it. Just be sure to use the action wrench on the receiver. You will probably wind up using a long pipe or hitting it with a 2 lb. or larger hammer to break the thread loose. When you put your own barrel on, use anti-seize compound on the threads so you don't have this issue again.

Good luck getting the Mauser to shoot well at distance. It has a reputation for being whippy and a bit difficult to tame. You might get a copy of Harold Vaughn's book, Rifle Accuracy Facts and see if it doesn't give you some ideas?
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Old February 5, 2009, 03:02 PM   #7
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Sounds to me like you are trying to twist your action. Find your local gunsmith and ask him to remove the barrel. Usually, I don't even charge to break a barrel free as long as it doen't need any special treatment. Our barrel vise setup is kind of like Unclenick's with a hydraulic press to apply pressure.

You can buils an excellent F-class rifle with a Mauser action.
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Old February 6, 2009, 01:00 AM   #8
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cut

Take a hacksaw blade and grind it flat on one side. You don't need to go crazy just take a sharpening stone and dull the sharp edges on one side. Take and put the barrel in a vise and carefully start cutting around the barrel about a blade width ahead of the action to a depth of about 3/16"keeping the dulled side toward the action. Turn the barrel as needed to continue the cut all the way around. Once you are done the barrel should come off with little effort. I just did this on one of the P17 Enfield actions and the thing broke free with only a little more than grip strength.
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Old February 6, 2009, 12:44 PM   #9
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As I mentioned uptopic, I've gone ahead and ordered a barrel vise and action wrench. In addition, I've ordered Kroil in three forms--liquid, "aerokroil" spray and "silikroil" spray. In the meantime, I've got it soaking in WD-40 since that's what I have.

Oh, and I should probably emphasize, that the "thoughts/suggestions?" in the OP was meant to apply to the project as a whole, not just the barrel removal.
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Last edited by dburkhead; February 6, 2009 at 12:52 PM.
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Old February 6, 2009, 12:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Take a hacksaw blade and grind it flat on one side. You don't need to go crazy just take a sharpening stone and dull the sharp edges on one side.
I'm not sure what you mean by this. Do you mean blunting the teeth on half the blade (presumably to give you a "handle")?
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Old February 6, 2009, 03:15 PM   #11
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Military mauser and P-17 barrels are different.A mauser bbl does not have a shoulder that tightens against the forward face of the reciever ring.The chamber end of the bbl is the surface that tightens against the diaphram at the end of the receiver's threads,inside the reciever ring.The hacksaw or partoff tool trick works on some bbls,but not on a military mauser.

Don't apply any force behind the front receiver ring,the actions are spot hardened,the rails are soft and bend very easily.
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Old February 6, 2009, 04:21 PM   #12
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When I remove a barrel the strong get weak and the weak pass out, I do not apply heat, I do not cut a relief, I have the barrel vise that uses the oak blocks, I do not know where the blocks are, I make aluminum blocks to match the barrel, the Mauser is easy, no contour, I place the barrel vice, blocks and barrel in a 40,000 lb press, I apply pressure and with an action wrench with 4 foot handle, I remove the barrel, I do not struggle, hammer or heat, I do have action wrenches that are designed to be used with a heavy hammer (shop type), shock does wonders, they are very used but fit actions that are not common.

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Old February 6, 2009, 04:52 PM   #13
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I have 48 inch pipe wrenches, a 6 ft chain wrenches and a 12 inch vise(close to 110 lbs, the pipe wrench can collapse the barrel, the large vise does not work as a barrel vise with modified jaws, nothing works like the hydraulic press for holding, the wood blocks that come with the barrel vise will crush but are not adequate for removing barrels, installing? that is different.

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Old February 7, 2009, 12:31 AM   #14
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Dburkhead: It'll be a fun project no doubt. Nothing makes a project like this more enjoyable than having the right equipment to do the job. Did your rifle have a new bolt handle welded on, or was the orginal handle forged? Keep us posted.
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Old February 7, 2009, 01:03 AM   #15
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The bolt handle is still the original straight. I see that Brownells has a jig for bending/forging the bolt handle, but their instructions call for an oxy-acetylene torch. I don't know if the propane blowtorch I have can produce enough heat and I don't think I can justify buying the oxy-acetylene rig for this. That means I'll probably have to find a friend who is set up to do it or pay the money to have it done.

I really want this to be, as much as possible, a do-it-myself project, but some tools are just a little too rich for my blood at the moment.
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Old February 7, 2009, 01:25 AM   #16
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The propane will require heating a large area of the bolt to reach the necessary temperature and will heat too much of the bolt. An oxy-acetylene torch will focus the heat better. Even then, it is a good idea to have a heat sink (a chill) on the bolt body to keep it from getting too warm. This may be one part you want to have a gunsmith do. He can get you a sharper angle by cutting the handle off and relocating its angle and welding it back on.
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Old February 7, 2009, 04:22 AM   #17
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Bolthandles,relatively lo-buck,I have come up with 2 workable solutions.As you are rebarreling,a commercial mauser bolt is a possibility,if you can locate one. That is probably best,and the original bolt is saved.Try Numrich.I bought some through Alex imports.
I have found these for $65 or so.
I have taked a Mil bolt,cut from the top down on the bolt handle root almost though,save .06 to .08 or so,heat the thin spot (oxy acetylene) and fold down 90 degrees,Fill has been successfully done with fluxcore wirefeed.It is necessarry to put a heat sink/thread support into the cocking piece threads.
Getting it righ,it may be a good idea to let the local gunsmith pay his light bill?

Good luck,and don't let anyone call you "Bubba"!!
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Old February 7, 2009, 06:37 PM   #18
dburkhead
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Tried the bolt in the receiver today. It went about 2/3 of the way and stopped. Yep, I had damaged the receiver. However, on closer inspection, the damage was in the form of "dings" along the edges of the trough that guides the bolt lugs into place. A few minutes with a hammer and punch pushed them mostly back into place, and then some grinding with a dremmel tool finished the job. It's still rather rough, but I think I can stone it smooth and we'll be good to go.

Looks like I dodged that bullet.
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Old February 7, 2009, 07:19 PM   #19
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To be honest I've never seen a rebent Mauser bolt handle that looked worth a crap and they're too short. Do yourself a favor and get an aftermarket handle.
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Old February 8, 2009, 12:59 AM   #20
sadsack
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Dburkhead: You might check the bottom flats of the action to make sure it isn't twisted. You could tell right away if it is.
I have to agree with Hawg on the bolt handle, forged handles look terrible and feel even worse. If you have a 'smith weld the handle, you might consider having him drill and tap for the scope mounts while he has it. You could file off the stripper clip hump before you take it. That makes longer, cleaner looking bridge for the rear base.
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Old February 12, 2009, 02:59 PM   #21
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And I got the barrel off. Confirmed that the barrel is a small-shank. I haven't got a gauge to determine if it's 12 tpi or 11.5 (as many Turkish Mauser's apparently are), but I figured to go ahead and chase the threads anyway with a tap for a small ring Mauser.

The receiver bottom is still flat, so it doesn't look like it's "sprung."

Barrel, however, is pretty thoroughly ruined. Still, since I planned to pitch it anyway, that's not a great loss.

Next up is selecting a barrel.

What I have in mind is one from ER Shaw's barrel builder is this:
Quote:
Ok, my barrel will be a Mauser-95 Standard bolt face only with a number 3 contour and .308 Win caliber barrel. I chose the 4140 steel in the white metal type and finish, on a 24 inch barrel with no fluting. My barrel will have a 1 to 10 inch rifling twist rate.
- Mauser 95 for the small shank barrel. The Turkish Mauser has a large ring on the outside, but its internal diameter is that of the small ring Mausers.

- The #3 contour they call a "varmint" profile and tapers down to 0.700" at the muzzle (well, the profile shows for a 26" length so maybe it's a hair larger at the 24" length). Weight is 4 lb 3 oz.

Lengths range from 16 to 26 inches. I picked 24 since that seems to be the most common that I've seen in gun stores.

- The barrel could be had in 1 to 12 or 1 to 10 inch rifling. I don't know which would be better for my purposes.

Thoughts?
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Old February 12, 2009, 07:10 PM   #22
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Dburk: Given a choice I'd go with the 10" twist, but either one would work. Glad that your action is ok and not twisted.
I have a Turk that I built for myself about 25 or 30 years ago. I've fit two barrels for it, the orginal 8mm and a 308 Win.
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Old February 12, 2009, 08:18 PM   #23
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Quote:
You could file off the stripper clip hump before you take it. That makes longer, cleaner looking bridge for the rear base.
That it does.
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Old February 12, 2009, 09:13 PM   #24
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Now,I am certainly not saying you cannot put a .308 in a Mauser.You can.

Here is an issue you may come up against.There is less case taper in a .308.The dia at the shoulder is greater than a mauser case.

In the mag box,the cases will find ther ideal triangular stack forward,at the shoulders,while back at the rim,the cases are loose ,and have not come up to the rail.

This can lead to the bolt failing to pick up a round from the mag,or dragging a cartridge forward.

You may have a bit of work to make it feed right.

If you want something unique,there is an old cartridge called the .30 Dunlap.

All you do is short chamber with a 30-06 reamer,and then grind off the bottom of 30-06 dies.to get a 57 mm length version of an 06 and you get a tight chamber.

7x57 and 6.5x55 might be great choices,too
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Old February 13, 2009, 10:01 PM   #25
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In other forums I received advice to go with the longer barrel (26") and stay with the 1 in 10" twist.

So we're looking at the following then:

Quote:
Ok, my barrel will be a Mauser-95 Standard bolt face only with a number 3.5 contour and .308 Win caliber barrel. I chose the 4140 steel in the white metal type and finish, on a 26 inch barrel with no fluting. My barrel will have a 1 to 10 inch rifling twist rate.
Contour "3.5" is nominally:

26" long. 1.25" dia for the first 3". Straight taper from there to the muzzle where it's 0.875". Weight is 6 lb 12 oz.

I presume the first inch or so (I haven't measured the length of the threaded portion on the old barrel) will be turned down to 0.960 and threaded to fit a small ring Mauser.

The next question is fluting: Is having the barrel fluted (for cooling and, I suppose, to save some weight) worthwhile? A friend of mine, Michael Z. Williamson, wrote an article Six guns for every home. I'm planning this one for category 2: a good bolt-action rifle for long range sniping. Planned uses are medium-long range target shooting (longest range I know of nearby goes up to 700 yards but I'd certainly like the rifle to be capable of better if I have to.), and possibly long range hunting.
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