View Full Version : Can this barrel be bored?

January 13, 2010, 10:37 PM
I inherited a sporterized Chilen 1985 Mauser rifle. The problem is the barrel is stamped "308x1.5".
That is a wildcat practice load from what I can determine. I can not locate any ammo. A standard length 308 cartridge will not fit in the chamber (too long)
Can this barrel be bored to a more conventional caliber for deer hunting? What would you suggest?


January 13, 2010, 10:49 PM
I wouldnt bore that barrel out. Heres a little info on it.

The 308 x 1.5 inch was developed by Frank C. Barnes in March of 1961. It is based on the 308 Winchester case shortened from the original 2.01 inches to a length of 1.5 inches. The only other difference is in the shoulder diameter which is .003 inch larger than the original cartridge. Two rifles were made up for the developmental work. One a Swedish Model 96 short military bolt action (1 in 12 inch twist) by Les Corbet, and the other on a Remington rolling block single shot action (1 in 10 inch twist) by P.O. Ackley. Both rifles proved to be extremely accurate although the 1 in 12 inch twist appears to be the one that has become more or less standard for this cartridge. The 308 x 1.5 inch is similar to the 7.62 x 39mm Russian (M43) military round, but is larger in base diameter and has a greater powder capacity. Consequently, it can be loaded to produce higher velocity with any given bullet weight. At the time the cartridge was introduced, several gun designers, working on assault rifle designs they hoped to sell to the government, chambered their weapons to handle the 308 x 1.5 inch. However, nothing came of these efforts, and the cartridge has never been seriously considered as a military round. A number of individual experimenters have worked with variations of the original 308 x 1.5 inch Barnes case configuration by lengthening it to 1.6 inch, 1.7 inch, etc., and it has been necked down to 22, 6mm, and 7mm caliber and necked up to 375. The case capacity of the 308 x 1.5 inch is close to that of the 223 Remington, and if necked down to 22 caliber, it delivers approximately the same ballistics. The original case forming dies were made by RCBS and these can still be ordered as a regular stock item.

James K
January 15, 2010, 02:36 PM
I am not familiar enough with that case profile to know if a standard .308 reamer will clean up the chamber or not, but many folks, including me, do not recommend using pre-98 actions for the .308 Winchester as the pressure runs some 10-20k psi over that of the original cartridge and some rifles will show signs of excess headspace if fired very much.


January 15, 2010, 10:13 PM
The 308 X 1 1/2" is a slightly shorter version of the 30 BR (1.500" vs 1.520" case length). Cases can be made by necking Remington 7MM BR or 6MM BR cases up to 30 caliber and trimming to length. Dies are available from Redding and probably others. HOWEVER, pressure concerns about using 308 ammo in this action probably would (or should) extend to using the 30 BR also. The 30 BR runs somewhere around 50,000 cups vs somewhere around 60,000 cups for the 308.

January 15, 2010, 11:09 PM
Sounds like a prime candidate for a trip to ER Shaw or similar for restoration to it's natural state, 7x57 Mauser. Fine deer cartridge, even if people abused it as elephant cartridge (when your only other choice was a 4 gauge).