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Old March 24, 2013, 03:34 PM   #1
BoogieMan
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Mauser re-barrel

I have a pretty well shot up FN mauser in 30-06. I am thinking of picking up a barrel from midway (or any suggestions) and sending it off to be finished. Alternately I may just send the whoel barreled action out to be re-barreld and fit. Any suggestions on who to use for this and what it may cost. The rifle has sentimental value and this would be a good way to keep it and make it usable for what I want.
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Old March 24, 2013, 04:28 PM   #2
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Almost any gunsmith should be capable of rebarrelling a Mauser. No matter who you have do it, he will need the barrel, action and bolt at a minimum, unless he is to supply the barrel.

Jim
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Old March 24, 2013, 04:51 PM   #3
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Am I going to save anything by removing old barrel and installing new? Or will it have to be re-moved again to finish chamber/headspace?
Any recommendations on a smith that can do a nice job and do a nice re-blue"?
How about determining the contour and length for the new barrel? I think I will stick with 30-06. I would like to use it to see how far I can reach out. I was able to shoot a decent ba 30-06 this weekend and found out im capable of sub 1" groups. If I had a rifle that would make those groups I think I could stretch out a bit.
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Old March 24, 2013, 05:05 PM   #4
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E.R. Shaw can supply & install the barrel and blue the whole gun in one trip.
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Old March 24, 2013, 05:16 PM   #5
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If the headspace is ok in the original barrel (if you have shot out the throat we'd have to assume it is) you can send the old barrel in to a good gunsmith and have it copied, right down to the depth of the chamber, so the headspace would be exactly the same.

The contour would be very close (it's best to make the new one about .010" oversize so you can use a dowel and sandpaper only to "inlet” it perfectly, or go larger if you’d like)

All you’d have to do is screw it in.

I have done this kind of work many times for customers in other states who don’t want to mess with shipping to an FFL and jumping through the hoops. A barrel is not regulated by state of federal law.

If the old barrel has sights on it you’d need to sweat them on the new barrel when it gets back to you and after it’s screwed into the action. Then you need only clean up the solder and blue it .
If the barrel is stainless you need not blue it at all

On a Mauser you can expect to pay about $150 for the work plus the price of the barrel.

That would be for threading, chambering/headspacing, contouring crowning and polishing. Add that to the price of the new barrel of your choice, plus shipping both ways and you have an approximate total
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Old March 25, 2013, 05:28 AM   #6
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Thanks for the info. I am going to contact Shaw today. The price estimate sounds well worth the money, hopefully I come up close to that.
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Old March 25, 2013, 11:21 AM   #7
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Talked to Shaw. The old mauser is on its way to the fountain of youth.
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Old March 25, 2013, 10:33 PM   #8
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With all respect to Wyosmith, I would never assume that a replacement barrel will headspace correctly just because the old one did, or even assume that the old one did. Without the receiver, there is no way to take the state of the bolt lugs and lug seats into consideration. If the original rifle was already over the line on headspace, there is no way to know that from the barrel alone, so copying it would leave the rifle with the new barrel as bad off as the original.

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Old March 26, 2013, 08:34 PM   #9
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Midway barrels, like every one else new replacement barrels are short chambered and will require final chambering and headspaced to your action.

Don't go by what the maker says either, measure it.

For example I just received a new barrel for a M1903a4 build. It was suppose to be chambered 0.020 short. I just measured it. It's 0.033 short meaning I'm going to have to run the reamer in another 0.033 to get to close on a GO gage, not hard, you just have to pay attention.
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Old March 27, 2013, 09:14 AM   #10
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You are correct James K. Which is why I started my post the way I did.

However in rifles with excessive headspace your brass life is very short and it's unlikely that most men can fire a rifle enough to shoot out a throat with factory ammo unless they are quite wealthy. Also with that much shooting it usually becomes obvious to the rifles owner that the chamber is loose by examination of the fired brass.

But your point is valid.

Before such work is done the headspace should be checked and measured in the old barrel.

In fact, it can be set tighter if the old one is on the loose side of mil-spec.
I have done that many times myself.

If for example you have a set of specs that is + or - .006" and your headspace is .005" I can easily set it to .002" and that gives the new barrel a slightly shorter and tighter chamber, but still within spec. (so can any good smith) Such a new barrel can be more accurate and will also give much better brass life to the reloader.
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Old March 27, 2013, 10:42 AM   #11
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If you're rebarreling, headspace needn't be checked against the old barrel. Rather, it will be measured from the bolt face to the receiver face (which should be faced off to ensure that it is true). That distance, minus .002" for crush depth, determines how far to insert the reamer into the new barrel.

A decent gunsmith should be able to give you match (minimum) headspace. The "go" gauge should just close easily.
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Old March 27, 2013, 10:43 AM   #12
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FWIW, any Mauser I deem a candidate for a rebarrel would positively need to have the chamber final reamed & headspace checked, because I would heartily recommend the locking lugs & recess' be lapped & the bolt face trued, as long as it was going to be apart for the rebarrel anyway.

One just never really knows what shape they're in, until the old barrel's "off" an old Mauser.


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Old March 27, 2013, 11:00 AM   #13
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Just FYI sake...

There's another school of thought that goes that lapping is unnecessary and undesirable. I'll have to ask one of the gunsmith instructors why again.
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Old March 27, 2013, 04:02 PM   #14
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I always check the lugs with Dykem blue. If they appear to be bearing evenly I don't mess with them. If not, I lap as necessary to get them even.
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Old March 27, 2013, 06:20 PM   #15
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Squaring the face of the receiver with the internal threads is more critical to accuracy then lapping the lugs.
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Old March 27, 2013, 10:18 PM   #16
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Agree with Kraigwy.
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Old March 27, 2013, 11:46 PM   #17
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Hi, Wyosmith,

Now I am puzzled. What does "shooting out the throat" have to do with excess headspace? Excess headspace (aside from some kind of tampering) almost ALWAYS results from wear or compression of the bolt lugs and/or the bolt seats*. That is why I don't know how one could make a new barrel to proper headspace using the old barrel alone. Even if a gunsmith could set up the new barrel to exactly the same dimensions as the old one, how could he know the condition of the rifle without having the receiver and bolt?

*In some rifles, like the Lee-Enfield, receiver bending/stretching can also cause excess headspace, but that is not common.

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Old March 27, 2013, 11:56 PM   #18
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Agree with 4V50 Gary and kraigwy.
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Old March 28, 2013, 12:13 AM   #19
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If you find a gunsmith who would agree to make you a barrel that someone else he doesn't know is going to install, but the headspace will be right, I would doubt his judgment.
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Old March 28, 2013, 11:00 AM   #20
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Throat erosion has nothing to do with head space EXCEPT when it comes to setting back the barrel, then of course the rifle needs to have a reamer run through it and re-headspaced.

When I'm building a target ( bolt gun) rifle I make a bit longer then need so I can extend barrel life by setting it back.

That may be an option for the OP instead of buying a new barrel.
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Old March 28, 2013, 06:41 PM   #21
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JamesK I think maybe I didn’t explain myself correctly ----or you mistook what I wrote.
Let me try again;

The headspace is the amount of space between the head of the shell and the bolt face. It’s measured differently from say, a rimmed shell than it is from a rimless shell in that it is going to be the measurement from that part of the chamber that stops the shells forward movement and the bolt face.

So on a rimmed shell it would be measured from the forward surface of the rim recess of the camber and the face of the bolt, and on a rimless shell (like the 8mm Mauser or a 30-06) it will be measured from the datum line of the shoulder to the face of the bolt.

With that said, throat erosion has NOTHING to do with headspace. The connection I was trying to make is simply that if someone has fired a 30-06 enough to need a new barrel it’s probably that such a gun would show itself to have excessive headspace in that amount of time just because every shell that is fired is going to stretch more than it should.

You’d never know if all you shot was factory ammo, but if you are hand loading the brass you’d be able to tell pretty fast. To shoot that much factory ammo would be very costly indeed.


Let me copy and paste my previous post again and see if it makes sense now in light of what I am trying to explain here.

However in rifles with excessive headspace your brass life is very short and it's unlikely that most men can fire a rifle enough to shoot out a throat with factory ammo unless they are quite wealthy. Also with that much shooting it usually becomes obvious to the rifles owner that the chamber is loose by examination of the fired brass.

But your point is valid.

Before such work is done the headspace should be checked and measured in the old barrel.



Now if you load many thousands of rounds and your brass life if 2-4 shots it’s likely you have a headspace problem.

If however your brass life is normal you probably have normal headspace and maybe even less than normal headspace.

So if the old barrel was checked for headspace (as it should be) and the new barrel was copied to those dimensions both outside and inside, you can (and I have --- more times than I can count) just screw in the new barrel and all will be well

None of this is to say that if you had a damaged receiver that this would fix it, but again I’d have to guess that if you have fired a 30-06 enough times to shoot out a barrel you’d probably know if these was something wrong with it by now.

Not…to address Oldgunsmith
I too am an old gunsmith
I’ve been doing this kind of work now since 1969.

I have been a full service gunsmith and at one time I did most of the gunsmithing for 7 shops in western Nevada, and I have also been doing work for a few here in Wyoming now for 15 years. I was the head ballistician for Cast Performance Bullet Company as well as a part owner for a few years, and then later the CEO of that company. I worked on guns from all over the world. I have been honored for my work by Safari Club International and also by the NMLRA (which has nothing to do with this kind of gunsmithing, but it’s enough to say I am not an amateur )

As far as “questioning the judgment” of doing this kind of thing, well, ---what do you think the barrel companies have done for many many years?

ER Shaw have been selling short AND LONG chamber barrels for so many years that they were “old timers” when I started gunsmithing back in 69

You buy a deep chambered barrel and use a lathe to set it back to proper headspace. Many other companies do the same thing. Most did this back in the 50s and 60s in fact.

These days it’s popular to do the opposite by selling short chambers and also a chamber reamer (makes more money that way)

Perhaps they believe that having the owner do his own headspacing is “safer” from lawyers and they may be correct, but if that’s the case it’s ONLY because they are trying to insulate themselves from lawyers.

It has nothing to do with gunsmithing per se.,

Kraigwy is 100% correct in his posts here. I also have made more barrels than I can count on rifles for target shooters. About 2” “too long” so they can have me set the barrel back as the throat shoot out. It’s a good way to do things, and keeps you from having to buy a new barrel every time.

He’s also right in that comment that truing the action is more important than lapping the lugs.
To set up an action to perfection with a new barrel it’s necessary to have them both, but not to simply rebarrel.

If you send in a Ruger, Winchester or Remington--- or about any gun to it’s manufacturer they will rebarrel them for you--- but they do not set the receivers up on mandrels and dial them in, and true them every time. It’s best, but it’s not necessary and it’s not dangerous to fail to do so.
As I said in my very 1st post “If the headspace is ok in the original barrel” you can proceed without having the action by simply sending the old barrel to a good gunsmith and having him copy it.


Nuff said
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Old March 28, 2013, 09:16 PM   #22
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IF the headspace was carefully checked and was found OK before the old barrel was removed, you might get away with making a new barrel to the old dimensions. But that is a big IF. Do you take the owner's word that the headspace is OK? Do you require a certification from a competent gunsmith? I can almost guarantee that if the customer "just screws in the barrel" and something goes disastrously wrong, the gunsmith who sold him the barrel will be held liable.

Frankly, in today's lawyer-ridden society, I would never set up a barrel and send it off for someone to just screw in. But, if that is the way you do it, I wish you luck.

I don't know if I am an old gunsmith or not, but 1969 was about the year I retired from regular gunsmithing, so maybe I don't know much about the way you new fellows do things.

Jim
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Old March 28, 2013, 09:27 PM   #23
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Lots of good information here. Time to move on.
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