View Full Version : scope mount problem Mauser 98

January 9, 2011, 10:59 AM
A .220 Swift I inherited is in the shop now getting a 30mm tube scope mounted and bore sighted. It's going on 7 weeks and he finally got a one piece Leupold base on it. First they ordered more drill bits, then a special base, then rings. Said the Mauser 98 receiver was too hard to drill to put a two piece base on. He special ordered the highest rings and still the bolt handle hits the objective bell. The shop owner told me all the above and I have to talk to the actual gunsmith Tuesday. I'm disappointed it's taking so long, that I am getting a one piece mount, that I'm buying more rings when my scope had rings included and that I may be paying to have the bolt handle heated and bent. The worst may be that the scope is going to sit so high. I'm new to varminting. Will this be a problem? Do you want a high scope when you're shooting 400 to 500 yards or more? Years ago I had a scope mounted on my deer rifle and it was a snap. That shop closed and I don't even know these guys. I'm getting that sinking feeling in my stomach. (attached pix show ancient Fecker scope that was removed and sold)

January 9, 2011, 11:39 AM
[ Said the Mauser 98 receiver was too hard to drill to put a two piece base on]

Pure BS, IMHO.

Either that, or someone doesn't know their butt from their elbow.

If heard that from someone I was considering to do work, I'd no longer be considering them.

Jes' sayin'........... (Good Luck !)


January 9, 2011, 12:19 PM
:eek: Second - What RetahW said!

That GS would not be working on anything I have!

January 9, 2011, 01:57 PM
Said the Mauser 98 receiver was too hard to drill to put a two piece base on.
Mmmmm hmmmmm.
He special ordered the highest rings and still the bolt handle hits the objective bell.
Mmmmm hmmmmm.


First off, a one-piece base may help your rifle, but a good 2-piece won't hurt it. But that has nothing to do with your smith's lack of ability to drill the receiver.

Next: with any rifle, but especially a varmint rifle, you want the scope mounted as close to the bore as possible. Use the lowest rings that will give you this clearance. If your scope has a large objective lens, you may need to go to high rings to maintain clearance between the objective bell and the barrel, but you don't usually use high rings to clear the bolt handle.

And finally: if your scope interferes with the bolt handle, the typical procedure is to have the bolt handle reshaped ("forged") or replaced with a weld-on bolt handle.

FWIW, if the smith is having problems drilling a Mauser, he will have problems mounting a scope on it, and he will have problems forging the bolt handle. What's worse is that you will probably have problems with the rifle once you get it back. My advice would be to find a smith that knows what he is doing, not one who wants to practice on your guns.

January 9, 2011, 03:55 PM
Geez, I think I would have kept the Fecker on that rig and bought a new varmint rifle to shoot critters with. I thought it looked pretty nice as is. :)

January 9, 2011, 04:25 PM
Had that nice ring adjustment system. Very reliable.

A Mauser action is a bit whippy for a super precision gun, so the one-piece base, especially if it's steel, can actually help make the action more rigid. M.L. McPherson demonstrated that on a Savage action in a Precision Shooting article one time. It's not a bad idea.

I've never had trouble drilling a Mauser action, but have had to use a carbide drill on the back end of a Garand I was modifying for half minute windage clicks. If the complaint is genuine, it suggests that your action may have a non-standard heat treatment. Extra thick carburizing could do that. People use to fuss about with re-heat treating those Mauser receivers.

The main concern I have is why the smithy you took it to didn't figure out about the bolt handle and the scope bell earlier? I'd have stayed with a long eye relief forward mount scope before fussing with the bolt. Even then, it should be possible to part the bolt handle and weld on a lower profile turn-down so the scope could be lower.

January 9, 2011, 04:33 PM
I've never seen a rebent handle that looked worth a flip, plus once rebent they're too short. Have it replaced. If you want a good solid mount have the stripper clip hump ground off.

January 9, 2011, 06:32 PM
I use the one piece barrel clamped scope mount. Of course I don't know if it would be appropriate for a varment rifle.


This was a 8mm bent handle M48 Yugo.

January 9, 2011, 09:56 PM
Thanks for the picture, Mike. Now I know what the one piece base looks like That's also a high mount.

January 9, 2011, 10:10 PM
Yep, even with the bent bolt I had to use a high mount.

James K
January 9, 2011, 10:11 PM
The Gewehr 98 will definitely require bending the bolt to mount a scope. A K.98k has a bent bolt, but it is still too high for a normal scope mounting. I have no idea why the gunsmith didn't explain this to you and tell you that you will have to have the bolt handle bent down (forged down) or cut off and a new handle welded on. If you don't want to have that done, then forget about mounting a conventional scope and either use a side mount or a long eye relief scope mounted forward of the receiver.

Those who claim the original bolt handle can't be forged down and look good as well as be long enough have never seen one done right.

As to the Mauser having an extra hard receiver, that has not been my experience or a common one. Mausers usually run rather soft (RC 35 or so), though some are surface hardened. None are as hard as an American M1903 or M1 rifle (RC 55-60).

The whole experience makes me doubt the capabilities of the gunsmith. The holes are the same, drilled in the same metal, regardless of whether the base is two piece or one piece. I think there is something phoney there, maybe like he drilled the holes in the wrong places and is using the one piece base to cover up his mistake.


January 9, 2011, 10:17 PM
When I converted my original Mauser back in the 80's I had a gunsmith tell me that some Mauser receivers where super hard and would burn out standard drill bits and that he had to charge extra to drill and tap a Mauser because of that.

James K
January 9, 2011, 10:30 PM
One way to make extra money from a common and easy job.


January 10, 2011, 08:56 AM
Mauser actions are not that hard compared to some others. I've had both one and two piece bases and actually prefer the one piece but it somewhat hampers loading. For longrange zero, the high mount will actually help but the loss of a solid cheekweld will create some problems. I've seen some interferance between the monstrous eyepieces on some scopes and a poorly placed bolt handle but it sounds like yours is not actually forged or cut and welded but simply the standard bent down military style. A couple of years ago, I had a customer bring in 2 Mauser bolts which another "bubba" had tried to convert for him. I cut both off completely and started over hoping the previous attempt had not over heated the bolt body. The customer left satisfied and the bolts have worked fine.

January 10, 2011, 03:13 PM
The safety is replaced as well with a low swing safety.
As Jim k and Scrotch said that " smith" doesn't know jack
Betcha you have a few extra holes. Not even filled in either.

James K
January 10, 2011, 09:25 PM
One more note on drilling and tapping. Many (most?) gunsmiths use a jig that has the hole spacing built in and common mounts conform to that spacing. But some smiths either don't have a jig or won't use one because they insist they can do a better job by eyeball or by calculating dimensions on a milling machine. While some might do OK, those guys are the ones who end up with a receiver looking like Swiss cheese and trying to cover the extra holes up some way or other.

I remember a nice Winchester Model 71 that one of the "eyeball" guys drilled and tapped for a side mount. When we took the mount off (with the customer watching) there were about 20 holes in that receiver as the "gunsmith" kept moving the mount around to get a fresh start. I didn't hear about a murder, so I guess the customer and his "gunsmith" worked something out.


Ideal Tool
January 11, 2011, 02:29 AM
OMG!!! What you just did! Quick..can you call & make offer to get fecker back? Jim, what you had was a classic late 40's, 1950's varmint rig. The Fecker was a very highly thought of scope in those days. to pair it up with a classic caliber like the .220 Swift is just frosting on the cake! Didn't you stop and think how cool you would look with such a classic retro rig, when your buddies had to settle for those ugle plastic stocked/stainless wonders?

January 11, 2011, 09:33 PM
The Fecker was sold months ago on Gunbroker for $430 if I remember right. When I inherited the gun the intention was and still is to do some long range shooting and send as many chucks to their reward as I can. Oh, and the mounting problem. The smith assured me by phone today that a Leupold one piece base is firmly attached by three screws. The bolt handle work and inletting the stock would be another $50. Since I don't really want to see the gun mutilated, we both agreed I would locate another scope with a smaller objective bell. The clearance problem is a quarter inch or less. I'll just put the big scope away and use it on another project. Thanks for all the comments. I learned a lot.

January 12, 2011, 02:07 PM

I would drill and tap the large ring and the rear bridge, with two holes each of 6-48 thread.
I would put a Weaver #403 in the front.
I would put a Weaver #45 in the rear.

February 28, 2012, 11:25 AM
Forged bolt handle for scope clearance.