The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: Bolt, Lever, and Pump Action

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old January 26, 2014, 07:15 PM   #1
feets
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 28, 2008
Posts: 428
What to do with this old Mauser?

I took my old Mauser out of the safe today and gave it a little exercise. It's the first time in years that it has seen action. Despite my best efforts, it refused to hit the 10" x 18" steel plate at 200 yards with 15 rounds fired.

This old man is one of the infamous Spanish Mausers in 308. It was my first gun and followed me home from a pawn shop in 1990 at the whopping price of $90 and no tax.
I've put all manner of stuff through this thing. It's seen surplus, factory, and reloaded ammo. It's never missed a beat, is nice cosmetically, and all the numbers match.

The bad part is that the last few inches of the barrel, the most critical part, are wasted. A few bazillion strokes with the steel mil-spec cleaning rod has killed the tube. I ran a bore scope down there and the rifling simply disappears.

Before the naysayers start bashing the weak, dangerous, blah blah blah about the Spanish Mausers let it be known that the action is sufficiently strong for a 308. However, it's not a good idea to run a heavy charge because if a case ruptures there is nothing to prevent the gasses from running back to the shooter's face. The receiver is ported out the side but high pressure gasses have a bad habit of blasting out in a 360 degree pattern.

I'm troubled on what to do with this thing. There is a sentimental attachment since it was my first gun and I bought it when I was 18 years old. It still looks nice on the outside but the bore is gone.
Running the gun isn't very pleasant since the screw sits a bit proud of the steel butt plate. I've actually had a screw head shaped bruise after an enthusiastic shooting session.

I have far more accurate rifles but haven't come to a decision on what to do with this old friend. I cant sell it in good faith because of the bore and taking it apart or destroying it would just feel wrong.

I've thought long and hard about building a lightweight 45 ACP bolt action carbine for hunting tin cans and stray rocks. The 308 bolt face would be a perfect fit for the 45 but the effort required to close the bolt on this thing is a bit excessive.

So, what do I do with it?
Sell it?
Kill it?
Rebarrel for something else?
Put it back in the safe for another 10 years or so?
feets is offline  
Old January 26, 2014, 08:21 PM   #2
Cowboy_mo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 23, 2010
Location: Missouri
Posts: 898
One idea you didn't mention is to find a gunsmith and have him cut and recrown the current barrel. A friend of mine did this with one of his rifles not long ago. He wasn't having an accuracy problem, just decided he wanted a 20" barrel instead of 22".

In your case, it would depend on how far down the barrel the rifling is gone.

P.S. My buddy was lucky and found a good local gunsmith who only charged him $100 for the job.
Cowboy_mo is offline  
Old January 26, 2014, 08:34 PM   #3
MikeG
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 2, 2002
Location: Pueblo West Colorado
Posts: 212
The Russians and Finns restored accuracy to muzzle-worn Mosin Nagants by counterboring.
They drilled out the first inch or two of the muzzle to eliminate worn rifling and make the end of the barrel concentric.
MikeG is offline  
Old January 26, 2014, 09:11 PM   #4
5whiskey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 23, 2005
Location: US
Posts: 1,561
^^^two valid ideas... neither of which should be stupid expensive. Counter-boring would keep the character of the rifle, you wouldn't have to re-blue (or parkerize, or whatever finish) the end of the muzzle, and you don't have to worry about remounting the front sight.
5whiskey is offline  
Old January 26, 2014, 09:21 PM   #5
Dc777
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 18, 2013
Location: South West, Alabama
Posts: 605
Cut the barrel. Don't get rid of your first gun like I did. My first gun was a marlin 30-30 that my dad bought me for Christmas when I was 13. About 4 months ago I traded it for a remington 700. I feel money wise that I got the better end of the deal, but I've been upset about my decision. Even if you just decide to hand the gun on the wall, keep it! Making the trade didn't bother me, but a few days later it kicked in and still haunts me. Get the gun fixed and shooting again, or hang it on the wall, but whatever you do don't get rid of it bud.
__________________
NRA member

Paintings were made to look at, and guns were made to be shot. If you aren't going to use them as they are intended for, get rid of them and buy a Picasso.
Dc777 is offline  
Old January 26, 2014, 09:30 PM   #6
SaxonPig
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 24, 2006
Posts: 700
Clarify for me, this is a Model 95? I would not spend any money on it. If it has sentimental value hang it on the wall in the basement or garage.
SaxonPig is online now  
Old January 26, 2014, 10:46 PM   #7
feets
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 28, 2008
Posts: 428
Mine is an unmarked 1916 Spanish Mauser similar to this one:



I have a lathe at home that is more than capable of cutting and crowning the barrel as well as freeboring it.

I had considered a freebore. The damage is deep and it would take some effort to get a good finish on the short crown inside the bore.

As far as chopping it off, I'm not too sure about that. It might drop the barrel below minimum and turn it into an SBR.


I may try to slug or cast part of the bore to see what it looks like.
feets is offline  
Old January 27, 2014, 06:59 AM   #8
Mobuck
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 2, 2010
Posts: 2,187
I thought replacing the barrel on a couple of the 1916's would be a simple fix. Wrong! Both had the front ring cut back at least 1/8"(or more) making prethreaded barrels a start over situation. I still have one barrel and action laying on the shelf after the local guy who was doing my lathe work told me not to come back.
Mobuck is offline  
Old January 27, 2014, 07:52 AM   #9
bigghoss
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 15, 2006
Location: Pueblo, Colorado
Posts: 2,659
Quote:
As far as chopping it off, I'm not too sure about that. It might drop the barrel below minimum and turn it into an SBR.
Maybe not practical but SBR'ing it would be cool.
__________________
I don't collect guns, I accumulate them.
bigghoss is offline  
Old January 27, 2014, 11:17 AM   #10
Magnum Wheel Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2006
Location: Southern Minnesota
Posts: 8,195
how about relining the barrel... not sure if you have enough meat there, but barrel liners can be had reasonably priced... I have a couple rifles I've done this to...

otherwise it may be possible to find a "factory replacement barrel" I have have seen them from time to time at places like Sportsman's Guide, or Cheaper Than Dirt...

or you could remove the barrel, & buy a barrel blank, & make a new one to re-barrel it with...

if you were re-barreling it, or re-lining it for that matter, you could re-chamber it for something you wouldn't have to worry about future owners shooting too hot of ammo ( they could be your kids, future kids, or other relative ??? ) mine is chambered in 7 X 57, & I did rebarrel, & it is now a tack driver
__________________
In life you either make dust or eat dust...
Magnum Wheel Man is offline  
Old January 27, 2014, 05:04 PM   #11
kawasakifreak77
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 16, 2007
Location: St. John, Ks.
Posts: 194
I'm in a similar situation. Got a 1930 FN 8mm Mauser laying around. All nubmers match, no importation markings, etc. But the last few inches of the barrel is toast. I can't cut much off as it's already less than 18" from the factory & I don't want to counterbore since once again the barrel is already short.

I've been thinking about rebarreling it to .35 Remington with a nice stock & peep sight once I get my other projects wrapped up.
__________________
Looking for 6.5mm 142gr SMKs or 120gr GMXs. If you have some to sell, pm me!
kawasakifreak77 is offline  
Old January 29, 2014, 11:14 AM   #12
WardenWolf
Junior member
 
Join Date: December 12, 2013
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 135
Either counterbore it or rebarrel it. I believe ER Shaw can provide a new barrel and fit it to your gun. If you prefer to keep your barrel, I'm not sure if they do counterboring or what their rates would be, but I do know their other services seem reasonable. I recommend you give them a call.
WardenWolf is offline  
Old January 29, 2014, 10:01 PM   #13
feets
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 28, 2008
Posts: 428
I can rebarrel/rechamber, counterbore, and cut/crown the barrel at home on my lathe. I just didn't know the best route to take.

I didn't find any counterbore reamers in a quick search. I'd have to dig up a piloted reamer in some random size over .308 if I want to take that approach.
feets is offline  
Old January 30, 2014, 02:55 PM   #14
Paul B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 28, 1999
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 2,619
I have to ask. Is your rifle an 1893 or 1895 Mauser? If you don't know, pull the bolt and look at the bolt face. If it is flat on the bottom it's an 1893 and if round, an 1895.
The .308 still perfoms nicely with a short barrel. My Ruger RSI has an 18.5" barrel and I get 2550 FPS with the Speer 165 gr. Hot Core. It is simply devastating on large Mule Deer with 8 or 9 (I've lost count) one shot kills.
I once had a very nice lightweight sporter that came out of some British gun shop. It looked like a clone of the .275 Rigby (7x57)and was stamped 7x57. In a serious fit of stupidity I sold it and would gladly pay double what I got for it to get it back.
Paul B.
__________________
COMPROMISE IS NOT AN OPTION!
Paul B. is offline  
Old January 30, 2014, 03:12 PM   #15
g.willikers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 28, 2008
Posts: 5,048
It's a common compulsion to get each and every gun in really good shooting order.
But it's not necessary to still enjoy an oldie.
I'd keep it, occasionally take it out and fondle and lube it, show it off to friends, and let it go at that.
__________________
Lock the doors, they're coming in the windows.
g.willikers is offline  
Old February 1, 2014, 10:01 AM   #16
tobnpr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 1, 2010
Location: Tampa Bay
Posts: 2,902
Heck, since you've got a lathe, re-barrel it.

I wouldn't even be considering any other options to "save" the existing barrel.

Doesn't seem to be much value in the small ring mausers, but if you wanted a shooter, there's a nice, unfired Swede 6.5 x 55 barrel for sale on GB right now that would be a good candidate.
__________________
Custom Bent Bolts and Gunstocks for the Mosin-Nagant
www.biggorillagunworks.com
tobnpr is offline  
Old February 1, 2014, 12:17 PM   #17
Jimro
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 18, 2006
Posts: 5,457
I second a rebarrel to 6.5x55, or possibly 7x57. They will do everything a 308 will do at lower pressures.

Jimro
__________________
"Gorsh" said Goofy as secondary explosions racked the beaten zone, "Did I do that?"

http://randomthoughtsandguns.blogspot.com/
Jimro is online now  
Old February 1, 2014, 01:42 PM   #18
Paul B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 28, 1999
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 2,619
"I second a rebarrel to 6.5x55, or possibly 7x57. They will do everything a 308 will do at lower pressures."

It would be a good idea to check the magazine first before going to the 6.5x55 or 7x57 cartridges. I have a couple of 1912 Steyr Mausers that were coverted to 7.62x51 NATO for Chile' and both have blocks in the magazine that have been welded (That's what it looks like anyway.) in to shorten the internal dimensions of the magazine. Dunno how hard it would be to remove the block if it has one but I'd look bebore I umped. You could always go .243 ot 7-07 or even .358 Win. if the box is blocked.
Paul B.
__________________
COMPROMISE IS NOT AN OPTION!
Paul B. is offline  
Old February 2, 2014, 10:18 AM   #19
Jimro
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 18, 2006
Posts: 5,457
If a magazine block has been welded in you have to prime options, mill it out or replace it.

I wouldn't use a 243 Win, the pressures are too high for my comfort level in a Spanish Mauser. Not because the action couldn't take it, but because of how the action handles gas in the event of a rupture.

Jimro
__________________
"Gorsh" said Goofy as secondary explosions racked the beaten zone, "Did I do that?"

http://randomthoughtsandguns.blogspot.com/
Jimro is online now  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:30 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10210 seconds with 7 queries