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Old October 8, 2012, 04:56 PM   #1
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How does it matter?

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?
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Old October 8, 2012, 05:40 PM   #2
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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.

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Old October 8, 2012, 05:52 PM   #3
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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
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Old October 8, 2012, 06:03 PM   #4
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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.

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Old October 8, 2012, 06:36 PM   #5
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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.
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Old October 9, 2012, 10:58 AM   #6
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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.
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Old October 9, 2012, 06:35 PM   #7
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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.

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Old October 9, 2012, 06:55 PM   #8
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The steel in the Spanish Mausers is soft. Heavy loads will twist the receivers until the bolt won't open.
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Old October 9, 2012, 07:58 PM   #9
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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
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Old October 9, 2012, 08:00 PM   #10
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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
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Old October 9, 2012, 08:01 PM   #11
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James K - You use one of these mausers? You seem fond of them. Any good experiences in your past?
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Old October 10, 2012, 12:12 AM   #12
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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.
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Old October 10, 2012, 01:22 AM   #13
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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.
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Old October 10, 2012, 01:44 PM   #14
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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.
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Old October 10, 2012, 02:29 PM   #15
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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.
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Old October 10, 2012, 03:38 PM   #16
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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.
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Old October 10, 2012, 05:18 PM   #17
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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.
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Old October 10, 2012, 06:14 PM   #18
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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)
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Old October 10, 2012, 07:27 PM   #19
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Hey Dennis, I remember reading your original post. If I remember correctly, you went through 3 rifles and called it quits?
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Old October 10, 2012, 08:15 PM   #20
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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!
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Old October 10, 2012, 08:50 PM   #21
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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.

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Old October 10, 2012, 09:56 PM   #22
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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.
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Old October 11, 2012, 11:35 AM   #23
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I'm listening...trying to absorb everything to learn about these old warhorses.
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Old October 11, 2012, 12:51 PM   #24
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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.
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Old October 11, 2012, 08:33 PM   #25
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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.


Quote:
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?

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/Vie...Item=310958814

If I didn't handload, I would probably try a box each of Privi Partisan 139gr sp and S&B 173gr SP 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.
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