View Full Version : .45 bolt action carbine

June 23, 2000, 12:07 PM
This is to all of you smiths out there. Something to think about. Would it be possible to build on a Mauser receiver, a bolt action .45 ACP carbine, much like a larger Spanish Destroyer? Give it a short 18 inch bbl, in a basic, no frills wooden stock, and fed with 1911 mags. How much would have to be custom made, and how much would be a simple parts, and minor adjsutment job. Does anyone make a .45 bbl in the white for use in a Mauser receiver?
I love my Destroyer, and just think a modern, .45 ACP version would be slicker than eel poop.

June 23, 2000, 01:39 PM

I have rechambered and sporterized several Mausers, so I'm not a professional, I do have some experience. I believe it can be done. How much, don't have a clue. You are looking at some heavy machine shop work. You will need to alter the magazine box to accomodate the 1911 mags, the front part ofthe reciever may need to be opened up to accept the larger diameter chamber, or an existing chamber can be reamed out to accept the .45 acp round. You will need to shorten the barrel chamber on a stock or aftermarket barrel. It will still be cheaper than having a custom barrel made. Since the .45acp round is not a rimmed cartridge, you will need to do something to the extractor so it will catch the sent case. The bolt face will also need modifications. If I'm not mistaken, the base of the.45 cartridge is larger in diameter than the Mauser bolt face.

All this being said, it does sound do-able. Spend some time and think it out. You may want to make friends with a machinist to bounce questions off. Also, you could call a gunsmith in your town, make an appointment to talk with him about your project. Offer him his hourly rate for his time and his advise. More than likely, you'll get the advise for free. He will be hoping for the machine work.
Good luck and keep us posted!

You can find the price of freedom, buried in the ground.

George Stringer
June 23, 2000, 02:12 PM
Wetsu, that's one I've been thinking about. I haven't done one yet so I really would be hesitant about pricing it. Once I get one figured out I'll post it. Until then feel free to harass me with e-mail to get it off the ground. George

James K
June 23, 2000, 02:28 PM
The extractor and bolt face should not be a problem as the .45ACP is the same rim/head diameter as the 8mm/.30-'06 family. It might make sense to use the DeLisle system and modify the magazine to allow insertion of a Model 1911 magazine. I think a problem might be that the .45ACP is pretty short and getting it to guide into the chamber on a Mauser might be a problem.

Of course, the whole thing is a little silly because you would be carrying a big rifle to fire a small cartridge. Still, something to try for a fun project.


June 23, 2000, 05:13 PM
That is my next project.I will use a enfield and work from there.I have a ishonpore(sp) jungle carbine that will be the beginning.
During WW2 the Brits made one on this action full lengh silencer on it.They used a colt bottom frame section so it used colt mags.You do not need to rework the bolt face.I plan on mounting a colt mag inside the stock enfield mag.Will see if it works out.

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Jim V
June 23, 2000, 07:14 PM
The .45 conversion of the .303 enfiled was called the DeLisle. It came in both single shot and magazine fed. The single shot dropped the empty case into the still attached Enfield magazine. The magaizine being empty of follower and spring but lined with felt. The magazine fed carbine used the 1911 magazine in a modified Enfield magazine that contained a spacer to hold the 1911 magazine in place. I think the Enfield, SMLE or Mark 4 would be easier to convert to .45 ACP than a Mauser. There would be much less bolt face work to be done.

Or you could buy one of the replica DeLisle carbines that are or were on the market with or without the scilencer.
Ne Conjuge Nobiscum
"If there be treachery, let there be jehad!"

[This message has been edited by Jim V (edited June 23, 2000).]

June 23, 2000, 10:44 PM

This is a project that I have given considerable thought to-

Biggest problem I see is this, there is nearly a half-inch of space needed in the front of a Mauser-type action to accomadate the front locking lugs of the bolt, IMO it will be *very* tricky to get your 45 ACP cartrige to jump this gap and hit the chamber squarely.

The "DeLisle" type modification of a milsurp Lee Enfield is a bit easier to do. One of the members of our local gun club built one ( with a 18" barrel inside a dummy silencer)

Biggest problem in making this type of conversion is in following the original construction. The bolt was shortened in the original, this allowed the Colts 1911 magazine to be held in by the original Enfield mag catch. The barrel was extended back into the receiver about an inch and a half to cover the excess length of the receiver.

The ensuing gun has a bolt throw of about an inch and a half, and is fairly quick to work because of this.

The same person also modified a SMLE rifle to use 44Mag ammo, he built a magazine out of a Gi 30 carbine magazine.

Something else to think about <S>


Lay up some blackpowder and flints
The rest we can build, if need be

June 25, 2000, 09:32 PM
Okay, as long as we're making a carbine, why not do it in 45 Win Mag? One could load it "down" or go full power and have a small to medium game carbine, too.

As long as we're on the subject, how about a Model 92 lever gun in 45 ACP? The extractor would be the problem, but not impossible for a competent gunsmith/machinist.

For the modern gun class, this would be the Cowboy carbine!


June 25, 2000, 09:52 PM
I've seen a Winchester 94 that was converted to 45acp. It had British proof marks. Pretty neat idea.

I'd like to see Marlin make a lever action carbine in 10mm & 45acp with a 16" barrel. That would be a neat little rifle.

Nestor Rivera
June 26, 2000, 11:03 AM
If you do make a .45 Bolt Carbine, you should be able to use .45 Super or .45 Super Express and get some decent power out of it

Daniel Watters
June 26, 2000, 12:07 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Archie:
As long as we're on the subject, how about a Model 92 lever gun in 45 ACP? The extractor would be the problem, but not impossible for a competent gunsmith/machinist.[/quote]

An easier conversion would be a .357 Magnum carbine to either .40 S&W or 10x25mm. The rims are nearly the same size, solving the extractor and magazine tube issues. 0.400" barrels meant for the .38-40 WCF are available. The only issues are modification of the lifter and feed guide lips. I also worry whether or not the extractor will provide sufficient headspace for the .40 S&W in a 10x25mm chamber. (If worse came to worst, you would manufacture the carbine for one or the other...probably .40 S&W due to its popularity and availability.)

Some might ask: Why not just get a .38-40? The ammo isn't nearly as available as .40 S&W, the .38-40 case is bottlenecked and requires lubing in contrast to the carbide dies for the .40 S&W, and the case mouth of the .38-40 is notoriously thin and prone to damage while sizing and seating.

June 26, 2000, 01:41 PM
Wow! Thanks guys for all the replies. I knew you would have feedback for me. Agreed, it IS silly to have a pistol sized cartidge in a rifle sized weapon, but hey, it's also silly to have as many guns as I do! I stil thinkit sounds neat. And based on your comments, I think I will forgo the Mauser route and look into the Enfield Delisle type setup. Thanks again.

July 8, 2000, 12:31 AM
I think a gunsmith, Randy Ketchum, recently built some historically correct 45 carbines with fake supressors.

He owns Lynwood guns in WA.

Badger Arms
July 9, 2000, 03:11 AM
I second what was said about the length of the cartridge. It's just too short to work with the front-lugged system. This is why the only guns mentioned as having been converted were rear-lugged. May I suggest a Remington 788 instead. The bolt head is the same diameter on standard caliber guns and the receiver is quite simple... simple enough to, say, weld a chopped colt frame to instead of making your own well. Feeding might still be a problem, though, but heavily throating the breech should solve the problem.

Paul B.
July 10, 2000, 02:26 PM
I agree. A .45 cal. Destroyer would be nice. It's a project I've thought about off and on since I got my first .45 ACP, way back in the dark ages.
First off, the Mauser is a controlled feed action, so the jump past the locking lug space does not appear to be a problem. Several gunsmiths have cut and welded Mauser action to either make shorter or longer actions to work with appropriate rounds. I always figured that this would be one of the things that had to be done. The bolt head is no problem, and after cutting and welding the action, a new magazine spring would be necessary. The stock would no longer be usable, so a new one would literally have to be made from scratch.
Tuning up and checking feed would probably take a bit more labor.
All in all, it sounds like one great, but expensive idea.
George. You're in the business. What do you think something like that would run? I've always backed off due to what I think it might run, but then it would be a custom proposition from the get go. Oops! I left out finding a barrel of the proper dimensions.
Paul B.

July 10, 2000, 04:38 PM
I have several 'projects' that I have never pursued. Mainly because it was WAY too much time, money, effort, etc. Such as that five shot .45acp revolver with a two inch barrel. Fairly easy to do, if I use S&W parts. Could almost make it like a parts gun. Right up to having to chamber and time those five chambers. Not easy, but definately doable. But I haven't.

Why do I tell you all this here? Because, if you want a reliable .45 acp rifle that will use 1911 magazines, consider a Marlin Camp Carbine in .45 acp. Yeah, I know it's not the same, as EVERYBODY and their dog has one, but......

My two cents. Jim

July 21, 2000, 12:17 AM
Once captured by the extractor, wouldn't the cart then make the jump to the chamber?

I was intending on doing this exact project with a Mauser.

Badger Arms
July 22, 2000, 02:26 PM
The reason that Controlled Feed work is because of the interaction between the front of the cartridge and the chamber area. At the moment when the feed lips release the cartridge, the nose has already entered the receiver ring and even a "push feed" is controlling such a round. Try turning a Savage 110 upside down and it will feed fine dispite it's push feed system (well both of mine did). The primary advantage of the Mauser feed system is NOT that the shell is aligned better but that once partially inserted, the round can be withdrawn and ejected. With push feed, the extractor snaps over the rim as the round is chambered.

I have to disagree with the posts which were of the opinion this system would work. The cartridge is simply too short for the kinetics required to make the Mauser reliable. Steer toward Remington 788, Ruger 77/44 carbine, Lee Enfield, and other rear lugged systems.

Badger Arms
July 22, 2000, 02:29 PM
And just for the record, I'd use an Ishapore 308 Enfield if I were to do this myself. It's got the right bolt face and would be quite simple to modify. In fact, I might even take up this project myself someday.