View Full Version : Mauser bolt

May 6, 2000, 08:22 PM
I have a chance to buy a 7.62mm (.308 I'm assuming) mauser. It seems to have a good bore, but has one problem. With the bolt closed, and the safety on, the bolt has some front to rear play in it. Any idea if this is fixable? Could it just be a bad bolt? The rest of the gun looks original, but the bolt is stainless or some other shiny material. Any help would be appreciated.

Bud Helms
May 6, 2000, 08:48 PM

What you describe is a pretty bad headspace problem. It's not good if you can hear the bolt going fwd/back, but if you can see it! Whoo!

You'd need to start out looking at the locking lugs on the bolt and see if there are any signs of undue wear. Of course it's always a good idea to have those old Mausers headspace checked. Some of the earlier ones did not have receivers that were heat treated well and can stretch from repeated heavy loads.

It could be a bolt that isn't original with that receiver. Could be a lot of things. Just don't shoot it like it is. The two things I look for in old Mauser over-the-counter purchases are snug lockup at the front (what you don't have) and play at the rear of the bolt when the bolt is locked over. That doesn't really guarantee anything at the range, but it tells you if the next round fired in the rifle is risky. Especially the fwd-to-back play. That shouldn't be there.

I'd be interested in some more experienced comments on this thread too. Always ready to learn Mauser shopping tricks.

I just reread your post. Is the play only present with the safety on?

May 6, 2000, 09:53 PM
Yes the play is only present with the safety on, but on my brothers German M.98 8mm the play is not there anywhere, safety or not.

James K
May 6, 2000, 10:43 PM
When the Mauser safety is on, it should pull the cocking surface back off the sear to allow trigger reset. Without the spring tension, the bolt will sometimes show a little play. Have the headspace checked, but it is possible that there is no real problem.

To check trigger reset on any bolt rifle, do the following: Make sure rifle is empty. Then cock the action and set safety to ON. Pull the trigger. Release safety. If the firing pin falls, the rifle is unsafe, and should be fixed immediately.


May 7, 2000, 07:57 PM
Hey BirdDog, I see you made it over here from Rugerforums. Given time these guys over here will really help you out. BTW, it was Sensop that turned me on to the Mausers :D

Know Yourself, Know Your Weapon, Know Your Enemy; then Know Victory! ---DaHaMac

Unkel Gilbey
May 8, 2000, 01:25 PM

And all others concerned. If I were to make a guess, I'd say that there is a good chance that the Mauser in question is a Spanish M1916. Bent bolt handle? Short stock with a straight grip? Dead givaway is the 'M1916' near the muzzle!...

Anyway, I have one of these, and have a similar gripe. Mine is that with the bolt closed, striker cocked, and safety on, there is visible vertical movement of the rear if the bolt (Bolt shroud) when the trigger is pulled. Putting the safety on fire doesn't release the striker, but there is still vertical movement of the rear portion of the bolt as the trigger is moved to the rear. Total movement is no more than a few 16th's - but any movement at all is VERY disconcerting.

I've yet to fire this weapon, and hesitate to do so at all. I've yet to have it headspaced, but even then I have to question the current chambering of this piece.

The Rifle started life as a Spanish Mauser M1893 - chambered in 7x57 (7mm Mauser). Max pressure for this cartidge is in the 40's, something like 47,000 c.u.p., although don't quote me here, I don't have my reference in front of me! Somewhere along the line, someone in Spanish ordnance thought to upgrade these and had them rechambered/rebarreled in a 30 caliber offering. This cartidge is/was 7.62 CETME, to which I understand is a dead ringer for 7.62 NATO (.308 Win) with one BIG exception. It doesn't develope the same chamber pressures as the 308, although it is higher then the 7x57.

Then there is also the information that the Spanish Mausers were notoriously soft in their receivers, which would make any conscientious rifleman nervous!

So... if you couple the above mentioned fact with the fact that you are attempting to fire cartridges that are almost 10,000 c.u.p. over what the receiver was designed for, you might just see the conditions that we are starting to see.

To my way of thinking, it's a plain shame if these weapons are unsalvagable. I'd like mine back in the original caliber (7x57) or maybe a .257 Roberts. But if the reciever shows signs of setback, then I think I have a new wallhanger.

I don't know if rebarreling would fix this, and of course, that would have to be determined by a competent 'smith. But I don't feel (at all) confident with touching this piece off, and I would caution anyone who owns one of these to have it thoroughly checked before you start banging away with it. Better safe then sorry!

In case you are wondering, I got a lot of the info that I have about this from Jerry Kuhnhausen's Mauser book.

Good luck, U.G.

May 8, 2000, 04:18 PM
I don't think I'm going to buy it. It kind of makes me uncomfortable for it to have that much play in the bolt. This one is more than a few 16ths. It moves a lot. Thanks for all the help!

James K
May 8, 2000, 05:25 PM
Hi, Unkel,

If there is vertical movement of the cocking piece or bolt sleeve when the trigger is pulled with the safety on, get the rifle to a gunsmith. It means that the safety is not retracting the firing pin all the way off the sear, and you could have a trigger reset problem coming up. The problem, however, has nothing to do with headspace. (Why do people assume every rifle problem is headspace?)

The 93/94/95 Mauser actions are fine with their original cartridges (6.5 or 7mm) but I do hesitate a bit about using 8mm, .30-'06 or .308 in them. One converted to .308 can easily be rebarrelled to 7mm, but it would probably not be worth it for a Model 93 Spanish. I think I would just load down some .308s, set them aside for that rifle, and shoot it.