View Full Version : k98 Mauser problem

March 22, 2008, 11:10 PM
I purchased a k98 Mauser last year, gave it a very good cleaning, checked the headspace with a field gage and brought it to the range. (BTW - the bolt didn’t close on the field gage) Everything went well that day and I was quite pleased with my purchase. I brought it to the range just last week and now I can’t get the bolt to close on the cartridge. When chambering the first round it somehow just didn’t feel right. When pushing the bolt handle down it felt like I needed to use more force than usual. I fired the round and ejected the spent cartridge. I tried a second round and needed even more force to close the bolt. Needless to say I stopped shooting.

I cannot chamber a round. The bolt goes all the way forward but I can’t get the bolt to rotate and lock with a round. The bolt rotates and locks without a cartridge. I read a recommendation to thoroughly clean the chamber to remove any lacquer or carbon buildup. I did that, checking with a light to make sure there wasn’t any buildup – there isn’t any. The mil surplus 8mm ammo I have works fine in my Yugo mauser.

I don't have a "go" gage and plan to look for a gunsmith next week to have the rifle checked out but I am curious as to what the problem may be. Thanking you all in advance.

March 22, 2008, 11:50 PM
Very few Mauser's that were imported into the US had the original matching bolt, and it's actually rather rare to see a Mauser with a matching bolt.
One wag once said that the reason was, the bolts and rifles were stored in separate locations to prevent unauthorized target practice at the Presidential Palace.

When the rifles were imported, they were supposed to be checked for proper head space, but this was not always done correctly.

I'd check to see if the bolt actually matches the rifle.
If it does, check the barrel for a matching number.
These rifles have been imported into the USA for 50 years, and God only knows what a previous owner may have done.

March 23, 2008, 09:26 AM
The Mauser is designed to feed cartridges from the magazine. As you push the bolt forward, the case rim slips between the bolt face and extractor. This is known as "controlled round feeding".

If you place a cartridge in the chamber and expect the extractor to snap over the rim as you push the bolt forward, it WILL NOT work.

10 Spot Terminator
March 23, 2008, 09:30 AM
Not that long ago I purchased a model 98 that had been customized with a beautiful stock, custom trigger, a nice medium weight douglass supreme barrel, knurled bolt and all of the goodies to make you drool. It was chambered for the 25-284 wildcat so I bought brass, forming dies, spent many hours getting it all just right and then came the long awaited trip to the range for its maiden voyage. When I fed the first round into the chamber ever so gently as to insure it was going to be all it could be imagine my dismay when I couldnt get the bolt to close ! *#@!!!!*#@!!! . I thought how in the world could I have built my rounds so badly that they wouldnt chamber after all of the measurements I had taken before, during and after I had built the rounds. Back to the drawing board ! Check and recheck, check and recheck and all passed , I even did a chamber casting and measured it to insure it was not a smithing issue and then made an appointment to see a good smitty I knew . You could have knocked me over with a feather when he took a couple of rounds, pushed them down into the magazine and work the action with 2 fingers both feeding and extracting the rounds ! As it turns out there were several of the 98s made to feed only by the way they picked up the rounds from the magazine and positioned themselves inside of the extractor . To allow single feeding would require some intricate bolt work . You may well be running up against the same dilemma as I did and may need to have the bolt worked . Good luck and be so kind as to drop a line letting me know how this turns out. 10 Spot .

March 24, 2008, 10:16 AM
Thanks for all the information.

The bolt and receiver have "matching" serial numbers but I haven't checked the barrel number to verify. I am experiencing difficulity removing the front band.

I appreciate the info regarding from DnRPK about the "controlled round feeding". I didn't feed from the magazine so I'll try that next.

March 24, 2008, 08:16 PM
The spring that holds the front band in place has a tiny cylindrical nipple that engages a hole in the band from the inside. To disengage that nipple you have to press in on the spring adjacent to the band. With the band depressed, tap the front band off with a soft object that won't scratch the band.

James K
March 27, 2008, 12:35 PM
Mausers were made to feed primarily from the magazine, but all [unaltered] Mausers will close on a manually fed round if necessary. It was a requirement that they do so, just in case the magazine became disabled, but it is harder to close the bolt when fed that way. Of course, the shape of the case rim has a lot to do with it, so chambering the rifle to another cartridge might make it more difficult or even impossible to get the extractor to jump the rim.

BTW, "controlled round feeding" was not developed to prevent jamming (contrary to the idea put out by most writers) but to prevent a situation where a round is picked up from the magazine and fed into the chamber but the bolt not locked. Then, if the bolt is pulled back and a second round picked up, the point of the second bullet may strike the primer of the chambered round; strange things will happen very shortly thereafter.


March 28, 2008, 05:54 PM
Hello All,

I just got back from the range and the k98 worked well I am very happy to say. When fed from the magazine, it worked like a champ. I appreciate all the good advice. Thanks again.

March 28, 2008, 07:45 PM
How about a pic of that bad boy?

Harry Bonar
March 29, 2008, 02:37 PM
If you will carefully remove that extractor and use a fine 3m wheel that basically just polishes polish the front of the hook (don't remove any metal from the hook) but just polish the incline where it slips over the rim it will help - also - when you just insert a cartridge in the chamber not fed from the magazine) just press in on the spring in the middle and it ought to feed.
but, as has been correctly said, 'Mausers are designed to feed cartridges from the magazine - not singly.
harry B.