View Full Version : 308 Norma Mag

March 13, 2011, 05:17 PM
I have a line on a rifle marked 308 Mag FN 1951. I know that I will have to reload for it and that it will run neck and neck with a 300 Win Mag.

My problem is trying to figure out how much it is worth. It is built on a mauser action, in a fairly nice stock and scope with an old (60/70's) Leupold 4x scope.

Here is what it looks like.


I am trying to find out what a fair trade value would be. I really don't want to screw the guy with the rifle, but I don't want the same to happen to me also.

Any ideas?


March 13, 2011, 05:44 PM
It cost some money to build. Probably 1000 or more what with opening up the rails and refacing the bolt but a real world value is closer to 300-500.

March 13, 2011, 06:14 PM
The 1951 Mauser supreme is a fine and sought after action.It is not a converted military and it was available as a magnum action.While I am not an expert on the market,the action alone might bring $300+
By the looks of the lines on the stock,and the checkering,the maker knew what he was doing.You might try to find a maker's name.Some riflesmiths stamped it near the caliber designation.
The .308 Norma is an excellent cartridge.The wildcat 30-338 is nearly identical..308 Norma brass is still available,but .338 brass reformed in a .308 Norma die will work.I think there is a small difference in neck length.
Modern rifles benefit from improvement in technology.The sub MOA rifle is more common today.IMO,that old school custom rifle has something about it that you can't buy easily in an off the shelf modern rifle.
I am trying to say its value is higher than what the market might say it is.
I suggest,go to an old school gunshop with a good reputation with your buddy and the rifle.Ask for an honest appraisal.

March 13, 2011, 07:20 PM
I have a 51 F.N. that was a military action. I had the stripper clip hump ground off but it still has the thumb groove in the left side.

March 13, 2011, 10:11 PM
That piece of wood is worth over $500 just by itself. A military FN action is worth about $200 or so, commercial FN actions maybe $300-$350, and the barrel is always worth $100. The old Leupold is actually an unknown, it will have to go to the factory, if it has the spiderweb reticle they will not service it. If you pay $600-$800 you won't get hurt, neither will your friend. It's a shame, because it would cost over $2000 to replicate that rifle today.

March 14, 2011, 01:44 AM
OK,Hawg,I think you are right,which would make me wrong!The bolt sleeve/safety is the military type.I have a 1952 FN commercial magnum action my 375 Taylor is built on.
In either case,I think we agree they are a fine,quality action.
That bolt handle looks good.
OP,does it have the half round cut in the left rail for thumb clearance when using a stripper clip?

March 14, 2011, 01:56 AM
I haven't seen the rifle up close and personal yet, just the pics for now. From what I can see here, there is no cutout for stripper clip use.



March 14, 2011, 04:58 AM
No it doesn't appear to have the cutout. Yes Hi we both agree it's a very fine action. Not a good pic but heres mine.


March 14, 2011, 06:06 AM
Thats another fine looking rifle,Hawg!
OP,seing the other side of your potential rifle....It looks like some of the work that used to get put in the rifle pinup pictorial spreads in the old John T Amber Gun Digest.Custom makers like Biesen(sp?) and Fischer got to show their stuff.It would not surprise me if that was made by one of the Masters.
Now,with all due respect to the folks who believe in preserving military battle rifles,I do not think it is a shame when a 1909 Argentine or a VZ-24 was converted into something like these rifles.
And,for a time,a large part of what the serious gun culture was about was building these rifles from milsurps.
Today,it is more about buying the right parts to assemble an AR or something.
Thats OK,but taking a 98 or an 03 and a board and some chisels and files and making these just does not deserve the "Bubba" status.
You just can't go to the big box sporting goods and buy that kind of rifle every day.
And,doggone,if someone comes up with an action,and finds he has an old school streak in his soul and wants to try....he/she will run a lathe,cut some threads,chamber,headspace,file,polish,drill,tap,and chisel,scrape,learn to fit wood and steel.
Developing that person matters to the history upstream as much as whatever history is trapped in a thing in the back of some gunsafe.
Sad thing is,I guess the people from that era,like me,are dinosaurs.Modern shooters reality is rifles are made in factories.Anything else is suspect,or oh my gosh,altered!
Comes down to it,the rifle is worth however much someone will pay for it.
And,it would not surprise me if the market would not do it justice.

March 14, 2011, 08:01 AM
Comes down to it,the rifle is worth however much someone will pay for it.
And,it would not surprise me if the market would not do it justice.

That's the sad thing. I've heard it said hundreds of times you can spend 1000 dollars turning a 500 dollar rifle into a 200 dollar rifle. It makes no sense. My rifles will shoot rings around anything you can buy off a rack yet they're not worth half what I have in them.

March 14, 2011, 11:28 AM
I do not think it is a shame when a 1909 Argentine or a VZ-24 was converted into something like these rifles.
Many of the truly fine rifles built over the past century have been built around military surplus actions, mostly because they were reliable and available. And since most of our grandfathers' and fathers' contemporaries had actually seen the battlefields of the world, they had had enough of military rifles. They wanted to shoot, but they wanted something pretty.
My rifles will shoot rings around anything you can buy off a rack yet they're not worth half what I have in them.
Most will, and with style.
I've heard it said hundreds of times you can spend 1000 dollars turning a 500 dollar rifle into a 200 dollar rifle.
Whether you start with a $300 Savage, or a $1000 Remington, or a $100 surplus action, when done correctly the results are far more satisfying than an off-the-shelf rifle. If this were not true, why do these rifles attract so much attention at the range? Just sour grapes for folks who say they don't like 'em.

March 14, 2011, 11:34 AM
SCORCH!!!!! You stole my stock!:D

March 15, 2011, 11:21 AM
Purty, ain't it? ;)

March 15, 2011, 11:29 AM
Of course.:D

March 16, 2011, 12:30 PM
Well, I looked at the rifle today. Some people (ok, most people) would have looked at this rifle and said..OMG, what a beat up rifle. I looked at it and thought, Oh the places you'll go and the things you'll see.

I looked beyond the obvious, it was dirty, the scope is going to the trash and I will have to replace the stock and probably the scope mounts.

But what did I get in return for a Para Ordnance P14-45 that has probably had less than 500 rounds through it since 1997? I figured that the Para really didn't mean much to me...so off it went.

I got a FN commercial Mauser action mated to a 308 mag barrel.


It does not have the cut out for stripper use.


It is dated 1951 and the FN logo is barely visible above the 'Made in Belgium" rollmark.


The trigger is marked MK II DT CO, I don't have a clue, but it is very crisp with very little take up. I don't have a trigger scale but it is reasonably light.


The bottom of the bolt is flat and checkered, from what I have read that means it is probably a supreme action.


I am happy with the trade. I have a base for what can be a great rifle for long range target and for any game present in WA. The safety is still on the bolt.

Some people need or want the latest whiz-bang gun they can get. I am very happy with old school customs and can now take the time to make it what I want it to be.


March 16, 2011, 12:36 PM
The trigger is a Dayton Traister MK II:


That's a first rate action. The only drawback is the unusual chambering, but if you reload that should be only a minor inconvenience. All in all a very nice rifle.

March 16, 2011, 07:04 PM
Good trade, IMO. If you hadn't shot the pistol much in 14 years, it was just taking up space.

I wouldn't be in too big of a hurry to trash the scope and mounts, there are collectors who will pay for those old parts. The Leupold may actually be worth a couple hundred $. Advertise them on Auction Arms of GunsAmerica.

If you decide you don't want a 308 Norma Mag and beong forced into reloading, it should not be a big deal to open up the chamber and remark the barrel to 300 Win Mag if the magazine can take the .090" longer cartridge.

March 16, 2011, 07:52 PM
Actually, because I do reload, the chambering is one of the things that drew me to this gun in the first place. It was a good (still is) cartridge many years ago and with modern powders and bullets it can be a contender. I am thinking of doing a few long range matches this year and this gun may be just the ticket.


I figure with a few modern touches this gun should be good for another 100 years or so.

Thanks for the replies in the thread. It has been very informative.


March 17, 2011, 04:14 PM
The 338 Norma came about from the 30-338 Wildcat. They're basically the same except for shoulder angle and a slight difference in neck length. The 30-338 was all the rage for long range matches back in the day. It's the most efficient 30 caliber cartridge there is and it doesn't erode throats like the 300 Winchester.

March 19, 2011, 02:28 AM
I shoot a 30-338 I made on an HVA Husky 5000 commercial smallring magnum action.It has a 26 in Lilja #3 bbl on it.
I get 2900 fps with a 200 gr nosler Accubond.Not that I would shoot at game at way long range,at 8000 ft,it will still be at 2000+ fps at 700 yds.BTW,that load works out perfectly with a Leupold B+C reticle zero'd at 300 yds.
You do things your way,no problem,but that sure is an elegant stock.
I am not an expert on old Leupolds,I was a Weaver guy.The knurled ocular looked Redfield.I saw some script and zoomed in on it.I read Kolluoroski or something like that,I didn't write it down.I also saw "........klyn,N.Y,which
I assume may be Brooklyn.That does not seem Leupold.
I could be wrong,but I think maybe the .308 Norma came first.Long ago,milsurp conversion days,Norma had a program of renting reamers to gunsmiths to convert 30-06 rifles to their proprietary round.They followed with the .358 Norma.
Might be the 30-338 came first,though,as the .338 came out in 1958.
I saw my first .358 Norma,on an M-70 fwt,in 1964 or so,my older brother's moose gun.

March 19, 2011, 03:42 AM
The scope turned out to be a Kollmorgen 6X double mounted with Stith mounts. The scope has seen better days, but is possibly still usable. The scope mounts will not be able to be used with modern rings. I removed the scope and scope mounts. I will probably go with a Leupold one piece mount and a Leupold scope. The wood I will keep just in case, but I will have to get a new stock for me to use. I may have a custom brake made for it, it depends on how it shoots. When I finally get it all sorted out I will send it off for a high gloss reblue.


March 19, 2011, 07:21 AM
I could be wrong,but I think maybe the .308 Norma came first

Yep, you're right. I should have done some research first.

May 23, 2011, 03:20 AM
you have a commercial FN series 200 action with a replacement trigger. The trigger is from a reputable company. The same action was used to build J.C. Higgins sporters during the fifities and early sixties. It is an excellent action.
The rifles were sold at Sears Roebucks and other department stores. they were sold as FN commercial rifles as well.
The scope mounts and scope should be offered on an auction site. The mounts may be worth more than the scope. If you are ditching the stock, why not sell it to me?