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Old January 24, 2013, 01:20 AM   #1
TheDoubleDeuce
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M48 Appraisal and Identification!

Hey guys, I made the mistake of calling the LGS today to find out they had a M48 in stock. I won't tell you what I paid for it - yet - but please let me know what you think it's worth and any knowledge you wish to share! I don't have a working bore light at home, but the bore is BLINDING with great lands and rifling. There is a (typical?) crack in the handguard behind the rear sight.

I am guessing it's an M48, not an A, because the trigger guard and floor plate appear to be milled, but I will leave that determination to the experts. Its serial is 54,5XX with all numbers matching and smooth bolt action. Any info, thoughts or suggestions appreciated!

I still have some cleaning to do but here are the pics:






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Old January 24, 2013, 01:27 AM   #2
Scorch
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Upper handguard is split, cost to replace it is about $80. M48s are a very nice $200 rifle, but prices lately have been going up steadily and I have seen them selling for $300ish.
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Old January 24, 2013, 01:55 AM   #3
TheDoubleDeuce
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Scorch, your wording was more accurate than mine; I said the handguard was "cracked" but it is definitely more than a crack I think I have found them on Numrich for $12 but they are out of stock:

http://www.gunpartscorp.com/Products/305760B.htm

Do you know anybody who has them in stock? Thanks for the input!
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Old January 24, 2013, 02:15 PM   #4
Scorch
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Have you looked at Sarco?
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Old January 24, 2013, 07:56 PM   #5
TheDoubleDeuce
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Yeah, i wasn't able to find it on their site.
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Old January 24, 2013, 09:01 PM   #6
wpsdlrg
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You have an M48. The M48A receivers were marked "M48A". As it happens, the later M48B model was also marked "M48A" (they did not change the stamping for that model).

The cracked hand guard is not unusual (as you already mentioned). The cause is usually that the screws for the (attached) clip were not tightened evenly at some point (this puts differential pressure on the hand guard wood). It can be repaired, if you wish. First, you must be sure that the wood is completely degreased. The BEST adhesives to use are either thin, high strength epoxy, or "gorilla glue". Gorilla glue is terrific for this, but the joint can be more difficult to hide, than with epoxy. Either will do the job well. In addition, adding some glass fibre cloth (glued to the inside of the hand guard) will reinforce the guard and help keep it from cracking in future. Finally, when re-installing the clip, be sure to tighten the screws carefully and evenly. Or, you could re-drill the screw holes and re-install the screws longitudinally, that is, in line with the barrel (instead of cross ways). That will eliminate the possibility of differential pressure against the thin wood.
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Old January 25, 2013, 12:20 PM   #7
madcratebuilder
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wpsdlrg nailed it. Those hand guards are normally easy to repair, I've done three or four of them and had good results using epoxy. I grind the tips if the spring retainer screws down so they are less likely to crack the hand guard again.

Before repair


Repair on different hand guard


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Old January 26, 2013, 10:49 PM   #8
TheDoubleDeuce
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Thanks for the info guys! I'm not much of a carpenter; do you think it's likely that I'll be able to find a new upper handguard to buy? Shoot, if I had to, I might just buy the whole stock set. The stock itself is in "fair" condition, so I am considering trying to refinish the whole thing or buying a new stock.

On a separate note, I shot 50 rounds through it today. Wonderful shooter. I did have a LOT of hangfires though. I was using some unmarked milsurp ammo from the LGS. Do you guys know of any particular ammo to stay away from when I'm looking for more? Is the 8mm ammo somehow more susceptible to hangfires than 7.62x54? I haven't had a single problem with my Mosin.
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Old January 26, 2013, 10:55 PM   #9
lordhedgwich
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m48s never nromally go for more than 350ish or less than 200
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Old January 26, 2013, 11:19 PM   #10
kilimanjaro
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If you're going to shoot it a lot, try the Prvi Partisan 8mm Mauser ammo, it's clean and new, non-corrosive, and not high in price. This is one caliber a reloading setup will save you big bucks over a few years, be sure to save your brass.
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Old January 27, 2013, 12:12 AM   #11
TheDoubleDeuce
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Kilimanjaro, thanks for the input. It's good to know there is a modern ammo for backup, but it's still more than twice the cost to shoot. Hopefully I can find some good surplus and stock up. If there is a die for the Lee classic turret press then I will probably end up reloading 8mm at some point.
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Old January 28, 2013, 06:57 PM   #12
wpsdlrg
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Best of luck on the surplus ammo hunt....you'll need it. Virtually all of the good 8mm surplus is long gone. You're rather late to the game, you see. I second the recommendation for Prvi Partisan. About the cheapest new 8mm ammo you'll find....and good stuff to boot.

A word about your hangfires. That is the ammo, not the rifle. 8mm Mauser has not been a current military cartridge, for any military in the world that I know of, since the 1960's. The Yugoslavs still drilled recruits and taught basic marksmanship, etc. with M48 series rifles then - but phased this out early in the 70's. However, they kept the Mausers stored away as "war reserve" weapons until the 1980's - that is why the rifles became available on the surplus market in the 80's and 90's. A few Mausers have still been used, by irregular troops, in conflicts such as Kosovo, even up to current times. The Yugos did use LIMITED numbers of Mausers as sniper weapons, even in the early 80's. But, the point is, there is NO military contract 8mm Mauser ammo being loaded now -and not for a long time - so any surplus you find now is truly old stuff. The only exception that I know of is some Yugo 8mm sniper ammo loaded in the early 80's - but that stuff is well nigh impossible to find. Any ammo, if not stored properly (and if it is of poor quality anyway), will display reliability issues. The older the ammo, the more this is true. Thus, duds and hangfires.

I actually started handloading, many moons ago.....specifically to feed my 8mm Mausers. That is another possibility for you, if you wish to consider it. It really isn't expensive to get started (you can get budget equipment for $100 or less)....and you'll save lots over buying commercial ammo. It's not difficult to learn and loading for one particular cartridge is pretty simple. Just an idea....

Last edited by wpsdlrg; January 28, 2013 at 07:15 PM.
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