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Old August 17, 2012, 10:24 PM   #1
LOUD
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action too hard!

Hey folks , anyone ever tried to drill for a scope mount and found the action too hard? Im building a custom mauser and am trying to drill and tap for a scope mount but three new bits later all I got is three dimples in the action . Does anyone have any suggestions? Im using a well made Jigg and good quality bits .Any help would be appreciated..............LOUD
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Old August 17, 2012, 11:15 PM   #2
impalacustom
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Are you using cutting fluid? If your bit gets too hot it will immediately dull and you won't drill butter then. I've never had troubles drilling them, I use a lathe but the idea is the same.
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Old August 17, 2012, 11:43 PM   #3
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Yes , Im using cutting oil and am having no luck !..........LOUD
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Old August 18, 2012, 12:28 AM   #4
Kiwi Hunter
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Try a Cobalt drill bit - should be the end of your problems

Some Euro receivers are very hard indeed!
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Old August 18, 2012, 12:41 AM   #5
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Mausers usually are not very hard. The answer may be either spot annealing (which can be done with o-a torch set to a tiny flame or even an electric solder gun) or the use of a carbide bit. But if you use the carbide bit, you will also have to use a carbide tap and they break very easily.

I suggest spot annealing.

Mausers usually run around 35 RC or less, not hard compared with U.S. GI rifles that run 59+. I seem to recall a note somewhere to the effect that if a Mauser is very hard throughout (they are normally surface hardened) it might have been heated and quenched and be brittle. This may be faulty memory, but checking might be advisable.

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Old August 18, 2012, 04:26 AM   #6
impalacustom
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A solder iron won't even phase the steel, to anneal steel you have to get it cherry red and very slowly cool it.

You might try a straight flute carbide tipped drill, if that won't cut it nothing will.
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Old August 18, 2012, 07:43 AM   #7
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Mausers not very hard ?? Typically they are a low carbon steel [1020 ]and carburized.That carburized layer may be very hard. Anneal with a torch as suggested then us cobalt drill and good lube.
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Old August 18, 2012, 09:49 AM   #8
LOUD
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think Ill try spot annealing ,anybody got any good tips on the process? Besides if I go with a stonger bit Ill still have to tap it so I think softening the steel just a little Is the answer. I have some experience as a band saw sawfiler so I understand the process of annealing but have never tried anything but welds in bandsaws. Again any advice was and is appreciated.....................LOUD
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Old August 18, 2012, 06:09 PM   #9
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Most Mauser actions are case hardened with a thin layer that's very hard, and fairly soft under that "Crust".

I'd suggest using carbide or other super hard drills to drill. To many of these rifles have been ruined by improper spot annealing.

One method that does work safely is to get an old fashioned copper soldering iron.
These were heavy chisel shaped lumps of copper on a long steel and wood handle used back in the day before propane torches.

You put the action in a vise and hang the soldering iron from the ceiling or a cross bar so the pointed end of the copper head is resting on the action right on the sport you want to anneal.
Put a drop of lead solder on that spot.
Move the iron off the action and use a torch to heat the copper very red hot, then allow it to settle back on the spot on the action with the lead solder drop between the two.
The red hot iron will pass the heat through the drop of solder to the action and will soften the spot without much heat spread.
After the copper is cold, you do the other spots.

A common method was to use an acetylene torch with a nozzle that would allow a very small needle flame. You touched the point of the flame to the spot and heated the metal until it annealed.
The problem with this method is it's too easy to overheat and ruin the action.

These days, no one much uses annealing due to the risk. These days most everyone used carbide or coated drills.
The tricks of using these drills and taps is to use plenty of a good cutting-tapping fluid and use a drill press to both drill and tap the holes.
Using a press prevents side stresses that break drills and taps.
First drill the hole, then without moving anything unplug the drill press, slip the drive belt off and tap the hole by turning the spindle with a rod for a handle.
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Old August 18, 2012, 07:17 PM   #10
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well I did something , I made a annealing jig . I took a 2 inch section of one inch diameter bolt and ground it to a point and then found a way to suspend it and not have to try holding it till it cooled . then I took my oxy/acet rig and heated the pointed bolt to a bright red color and let it down on the reciever till cool to the touch . The only point of contact was the three dimples my first attempts created and the red hot end of the bolt. i then drilled and the tapped the holes perfectly , I am thrilled to get this phase of the project finnished.anneal 2.jpg

anneal 4.jpg
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Old August 18, 2012, 10:18 PM   #11
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Good, glad the problem is solved.

On hard receivers, I always used a torch and a fine flame, but got taken to task by someone (I think on here) for being old-fashioned and was told that an electric soldering iron would do the job, so I mentioned that. I guess he was wrong. But it's a good lesson not to take someone's word for something.

Anyway, none of those Mausers are as hard as M1903A3 Springfields, which are really hard, maybe even harder than the old SHT receivers. I don't think anything but a torch will anneal those because they are hard deep down, not just on the surface. Of course, I wouldn't touch an SHT receiver; I once turned down a sporterizing job on one because I never trusted those receivers after breaking one with a hammer.

Jim
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Old August 19, 2012, 08:13 PM   #12
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How do you drill a receiver on a lathe ? I use a milling machine myself !
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Old August 19, 2012, 08:25 PM   #13
LOUD
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I dont have a metal cutting lathe, Im using a drill press , a drilling jig and a machinists vice and now an anealing thingamabob............................LOUD
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Old August 20, 2012, 03:32 AM   #14
impalacustom
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Quote:
How do you drill a receiver on a lathe ?
I use a modified drawbar and an endmill attachment on my lathe. I don't own a mill, would like to but I don't have the room. There isn't nothing that I can't do really on a lathe, might take longer but possible.
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Old August 20, 2012, 04:38 AM   #15
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Back in the old days when movie theaters used carbon torch lights in their projectors carbon sticks were common, then there were carbon torches that attached to electric welders, at about the same time with the same equipment there were spot ‘annealers’..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_arc_welding

Carbon sticks come in a range of diameters, the one I used and still have used a spark plug metal body for an insulator, all that is required is a 12 volt battery, two leads, one attached to the receiver, the other to the carbon stick, the carbon stick should have a point at contact.

It is advised to practice, arching un-nerves most, 12 volts can cause the user to hurt themselves, there is little danger of being shocked.


F. Guffey

The carbon torch uses two carbon sticks.
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Old December 13, 2012, 08:20 PM   #16
LOUD
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you aint gonna believe this!!!!

Well ,earlier in this thread I was saying my action was so hard I couldnt get the scope mount holes drilled , I spent a little extra on some cobalt bits and made my own spot annealer . After getting this chore done I spent the better part of a month polishing and bluing all parts of the action , then I found a nice stock and packed it up to be sent to a manufacturer that offers a rebarreling service . I had a heck of a time getting those scope holes drilled but guess what ? The action failed a rockwell test "unbelievable" aparently they were sort of case hardened just on the surface . They called and said they couldnt barrel the action , it needed to be 20 rockwell but only tested 14 . this was for liability reasons but was told that it would most likely be fine but they couldnt do it . This thing fired countless rounds in war ,should be ok right? its a k98 large ring mauser , all matching numberd parts made br JP Sauer and sons 1940 . What do you folks think?
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Old December 14, 2012, 01:28 AM   #17
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You can have the action heat-treated for lass than $100.
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Old December 14, 2012, 07:12 AM   #18
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I use grinding stone to break the case hardened skin at where to drill, doesn't take much and won't affect other area. Works for me.
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Old December 14, 2012, 12:09 PM   #19
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Two routes: Spot annealing or carbide drill.
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Old December 14, 2012, 07:00 PM   #20
Dfariswheel
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If you re-read my post from August, the first sentence is:

Most Mauser actions are case hardened with a thin layer that's very hard, and fairly soft under that "Crust".

If the barreling service says the action is too soft, you have the option of attempting to have it heat treated, or, scrapping the action as unsafe.

With that said, the Mauser manufacturing method was to give the action an almost glass hard surface in critical areas like the locking lugs, with softer, tougher metal underneath to give it resistance to shattering.

For this reason, people who aren't aware of how the actions were built will get false information doing a Rockwell test. The Rockwell will indicate soft metal when the proper place to do a Rockwell is inside the receiver where the locking lugs are.
This can only be done with the barrel out.

Assuming the people you sent it to know this, there may be another problem.
Again, this leaves you with the two options mentioned above.
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Old December 14, 2012, 11:00 PM   #21
LOUD
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the rockwell test was done on the bottom of the receiver just below the feed ramp behind the front ring , several little pock marks perfectly round . I can attest that the front and rear ring are very hard . The company rep said I could have it barreled by a local gunsmith and be fine. As a legal requirement they had to meet that criteria. Should I go ahead ?
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Old December 15, 2012, 08:00 PM   #22
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Proceed at your own risk.
However, be a gentleman and make sure no innocent bystanders are near and could get hurt whenever you shoot it.

Also, consider how you're going to make sure whoever gets the rifle next will have the information to make their own decision. Sooner or later the rifle WILL pass to another owner.
Of course, much depends on what caliber you're planning on going with and how hot that cartridge is.
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Old December 15, 2012, 10:18 PM   #23
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I am with Defariswheel (Somewhat). Somebody does not know what they are talking about. You can not use a "C" scale to check hardness on something cased only .015 to .020 thick. The same with spot annealing. All you need to do is slightly spot the hole with a carbide drill or small carbide endmill so you break through the cased area wide enough to make sure the tap clears it. Talk about re-inventing the wheel.
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