View Full Version : What tools do I need to replace a mauser barrel?

April 29, 2010, 02:06 AM
I FINALLY got burned on buying rifles on auction sites, and received a K98 mauser with a VZ24 barrel. So...i've been wanting to build a mauser in .308 for a while, and this seems like a decent donor for the project. I know someone will immediately tell me to just buy a Rem. 700 if I want a .308, but I WANT a K98 in .308, particularly because of the greater reloading options.

So, I can get a new surplus Norwegian .308 barrel, short chambered. What kind of tools would I need to change the barrels and set headspace? I searched this forum a LOT as well as some others, but i'm not finding what I really need to know. I REALLY want to do this myself. There are NO gunsmiths in my area, which is sad as it seems like its a dying art. Someone get me pointed in the right direction, but beware, i'll probably be coming back for more info once I get started.


April 29, 2010, 02:32 AM
metal lathe with cutting tools, chambering reamer, barrel vice, action wrench, , headspace gauge, micrometer, milling machine with cutters, dial indicator,, tap handle, files and bottle of cutting oil.

Shouldn't cost you more then a few thousand bucks

Oh and the barrel blank, 2-300 bucks there to

April 29, 2010, 07:23 AM
At minimum you will need to rent a finishing reamers, the headspace gauges and the right barrel and receiver wrenches. That runs you at about $100, and you only get 5 days or so to finish your project. Check E R Shaw (http://www.ershawbarrels.com/) or some of the other lower cost barrel manufacturers, they install their barrels for less.

April 29, 2010, 11:56 AM
If you don't have a barrel vise, action wrench, lathe, mill, grinders, drill press, reamer handles, etc, you might be better off just sending it to a gunsmith. You can find a smith near you by using Midway's Gunsmith Locator, call and discuss the job with a smith, then once you decide on who to use, ship the gun to them via UPS. Or send it to a barrel maker, some of them offer shop services.

April 29, 2010, 02:33 PM
About the only thing I don't have is a Lathe, the rest are accessible, but your advice is appreciated. I used Midwayusa's locator and found a gunsmith fairly close. I'm gonna give him a call before I go gathering lathe's and expensive tools.


April 29, 2010, 03:19 PM
You don't need a lathe,if the barrel is short chambered.Just a reamer after the new one is installed.

April 29, 2010, 04:24 PM
I can get a new surplus Norwegian .308 barrel, short chambered.

Isn't that barrel already threaded for the mauser action, if so, all you need is a barrel vice, finishing reamers and GO-NO/GO gages.

I kind of wished people would put their loacation in the profile, they might be close to someone who would be willng to help them at no cost.

I would if you were near NE Wyoming. I have all of the above plus a couple lathes and a milling machine just setting idle.

April 30, 2010, 05:52 AM
Yes, this barrel is threaded for the 98 action. I'm located in KY. I spoke to the gunsmith, I could buy a lathe and a "how-to-gunsmith-anything" book for what he wanted to install a barrel. I think there's going to be a K98 barreled action for sale soon.


F. Guffey
April 30, 2010, 01:39 PM
GregM, I have no ideal what the lathe is used for when replacing a barrel, before I install a barrel for convincing I use a colet on the gear end of a lathe and use the chuck to hold hold the barrel in when checking the effect the short chamber will have on head space and when reaming the chamber before installing the barrel on the receiver.

First check the head space on the rifle before removing the 'old' barrel then check the chamber for case protrusion, if the head space is OK? the measurement can be used when reaming the chamber in the new barrel.

Equipment" a barrel vise, action wrench, reamer and dial caliper, if you are going to be shooting gages by all means get a go-gage, I shoot ammo new and or ammo I load, I use new commercial ammo and or full length sized cases for gages. You can rent the reamer, the problem with barrel vises they do not work, for me not a problem, I use a hydraulic press with bushing made of aluminum, I am not bashful about pumping the press up, I do not hesitate to put an extension of the handle of the action wrench.

When using the cute little woods blocks with rosin I have come close to setting the wood on fire, at 290 lbs I have been suspended on the end of a 4 foot extension before the barrel and receiver broke loose with a loud noise, sometimes a shock is required, always hook up the two tools close close together to eliminate twist.

Torque when removing a barrel: 290 lbs.X 4'6"=1,305 ft lbs
Torque when installing a barrel 60 lb X 1 ft+ 60 ft lbs, the threads on the Mauser are 12x.110, it would seem 60 ft lbs would be on the light side BUT the face of the barrel bottoms out against the receiver 'C' ring (torque/seating ring) the best way to brake a bolt is to bottom it out first then tighten.

A barrel wrench is held in a vise, again the tool that is sold to hold the barrel is designed to be bolted to something that will hold it but the little wood blocks will not hold the barrel for removal, I have 48" pipe wrenches I can use when the barrel is scrap, but even when it is scrap the chamber can be cut off and reamed for a chamber test gage.

F. Guffey

April 30, 2010, 02:51 PM
Here are the items you need to re-install a military barrel...there are no $8000 lathes involved. :eek:
Barrel Vise (http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=16139/Product/ALL_PRO_BARREL_VISE)
Action Wrench (http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=25111/Product/LARGE_RING_MAUSER_RIFLE_ACTION_WRENCH___HEAD)
Pull Through Chamber Reamer (http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=5172/Product/PULL_THROUGH_CHAMBER_REAMERS)
Go Gauge (http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/sid=11696/pid=27266/sku/GO___243_Win___308_Win___308_Win___308___358_Win___308)
No Go Gauge (http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/sid=11697/pid=27266/sku/NO_GO___243_Win___308_Win___308_Win___308___358_Win___308)
308 Military Style Barrel by Wilson (http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/sid=37502/sku/Military_Step___308)
Soft Solder for the Sight Bases (http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=108/Product/TIX_SOFT_SOLDER)

April 30, 2010, 06:45 PM
I have no ideal what the lathe is used for when replacing a barrel
You don't need a lathe,if the barrel is short chambered.
there are no $8000 lathes involved.
When rebarreling a Mauser, you need to make sure the barrel shoulder contacts the front receiver ring and the threaded portion of the barrel shank seats on the flange inside the reciver. You have a few thousandths to play with. If you can do this without a lathe, more power to you, it's just a lot easier with a lathe than a file.

The lathe also helps keep the chamber from becoming egg-shaped.

Jim Watson
April 30, 2010, 06:55 PM
Once upon a time you could buy fully chambered Mauser barrels.
It was then considered that the inner collar was held to close enough tolerances to allow screw-in installation. But we are more careful now.

Once upon a time, a decent lathe did not cost $8000 and it was assumed that any serious gunsmith would have one. So barrels were sold long chambered and were fitted by setting back in the lathe. That way the gunsmith did not have to have a library of chamber reamers for anything he might get an order for, just a pair of headspace gauges for all the usual sizes.

F. Guffey
April 30, 2010, 09:50 PM
I have two lathes, just past on another, Monarch 16 inch for $400.00, 4,500 lbs with tooling, no room and I would have to do the hauling, 800 miles one way. A friend purchased one of the two Monarch for sale, USAAF 1942 with an 18 inch swing,

Short chamber has to do with chambering after installing, I choose to chamber first then install and finish the last .003 + or- very little if required after checking head space, again the Mauser barrel bottoms out and does not advance except for crush, the feeler gage, a foreign tool around anything related to guns can be used to determine the gap between the front receiver ring and seating surface of the shoulder at the end of the threads. I have been lucky? I have never been required to move the shoulder forward to make sure the face of the barrel seats before the shoulder on the barrel and the gap never required the face of the barrel to be moved back. When indexing the M1917 or the 03 it is a given, I have never had one index without moving the shoulder forward and that is the only seating surface, like a small ring Mauser.

Tools: a depth micrometer and or dial caliper with the companion to the press the feeler gage, for me, is a must.

F. Guffey

May 6, 2010, 01:02 PM
I have taken the barrel off and drilled and tapped ~ 100 Mausers, then put the barrel back on.

I have put a different barrel on and got the Mauser shooting again on 15 Mausers, and stood around while my brother has done another dozen in his shop.

If you take a long chambered, pre threaded, quality factory lapped barrel to a competent and fair priced gunsmith, he can pull your old barrel [using an action wrench and barrel vise], cut a hair off the breech and shoulder of the new barrel [ using a lathe ] to head space it [with a go gauge], and screw it into you action [again with barrel vise and action wrench] with an hour of effort. He could charge you $50 +tax.

But things are not so simple.
The sporterization process may also include:
Bending the bolt handle or welding the bolt handle to clear a scope.
Drilling a tapping for scope mount.
Installing the scope mount(s)
Glass bedding the barreled action to the stock
Getting a new stock.
bluing the barrel.
Finishing the stock
Sling swivels in the stock.
Installing a recoil pad.

And if you go the Rem700 route, things are no easier trying to get a Rem700 up to Mauser standards:

So what is un Mauser like about Rem700 actions?
What can you do about it?

1) Bolt hand falls off..... TIG weld it
2) Round bottom..... glue it in a flat bottom shroud
3) Wimpy extractor.... Sako extractor conversion
4) Recoil lug not attached... drill and pin to receiver
5) No inner C ring..... glue barrel threads
6) Safety blocks trigger, not firing pin..... Gentry 3 position safety

May 6, 2010, 01:37 PM
Hey I am in the same boat with you. I live in Louisville, also Building a Mauser. All you really need from what I have learned is Reamer. I am going to use this one. Cost about $ 50 rent it. From what I understand you mount the barrel install the reamer and try to close the bolt and turn the reamer till the bolt closes. You can get a set of go-no go gauges to check your work. I won’t have money to finish mine till summers over. Let me know how it goes if you get yours done 1st.

May 12, 2010, 10:13 AM
GregM CW shooters can do it. The guy sounds like he knows whats going on.

http://guncrank.com/ here is his web site.

F. Guffey
May 14, 2010, 12:17 PM
DustinO, if the barrel is off and the old barrel is still in reach and if head space was checked before removing, the chamber can be reamed before installing to within .002 thousands, if the removed barrel is no where in sight the chamber can still be reamed before the barrel is installed with a few tools like a depth gage, and it can be determined if the new barrel is going to seat on the 'C' seating/torque ring before the shoulder at the end of the threads on the barrel hit the face of the receiver ring, and with a feeler gage the amount of crush can be measured.
I have pipe wrenches in length from pocket size to 4 ft, the pipe wrench is never a good choice for the receiver or barrel, in my opinion a barrel and receiver wrench is minimum requirement with a depth micrometer.

Nothing against gages, I use micrometers.

F. Guffey