View Full Version : Mauser 98 "Sporterized"

8MM Mauser
October 16, 2011, 07:29 PM
Hello all! I'm looking for some advice.
A couple of years ago my gracious grandfather built for me a hunting rifle based around a very solid Mauser 98 bolt action. I have only shot it twice because until recently I only had access to a 25 yard range where I went to shoot handguns. Now I have a place to go that's free and I think I would soon like to take up whitetail deer hunting so my questions are:

1. Any tips of shooting rifles with a scope? I've only been out twice, though my results have been pretty good (about 2-3 inch groups, my first time firing a scoped rifle, not ideal and certainly not what I'm hoping for with some practice, I would like to keep it inside 1.5 inch groups), I have yet to take it out past 50 yards. A very nice man at the range helped me to sight in the scope, but I would like to have it sighted at 100 yards ultimately.

2. Anything more you can tell me about my own gun? I have no idea what kind of stock is on it, never seen anything like it before this gun. I would ask my grandfather but he recently had a stroke and is somewhat incapacitated right now.

3. Any advice or tips on hunting? I live in Michigan and my knowledge is basically zero. I did take hunter's safety when I was twelve but never actually got to the hunting part, so, like I said, knowledge is low to zero.

Thank so much in advance!


Right to bear arms
October 16, 2011, 08:04 PM
You certainly have a good start toward deer hunting. The Mauser 98 action is the grand daddy of all bolt actions and possibly the finest and strongest bolt action ever developed. [email protected] is a good start. try to match that at 100yds and your ready for hunting. sight it in about 2" high and you'll be fine. You also live in one of the best northern whitetail states. Check your state regulations and look for wildlife management areas. If you're real fortunate you might find some private land. Good luck and welcome to the responsible shooting and hunting community. Firearms played an important role in both our history and our survival as a nation and people. The responsible use of them should be passed on from generation to generation.

roberto mervicini
October 16, 2011, 08:32 PM
Hi 8MM Mauser,
I am positive that your grandfather made a good gun, mauser 98 action are excellent platform to build a sporter. Indipendently from the caliber, once you learn to control tour trigger and your breathing you will achieve the 1, 1.5" groups at 100 yards.
For the rest I can't help since no picture...!!
Best regards,

October 16, 2011, 09:31 PM
What kind of ammo are you using? The American companies load 8mm Mauser to weak levels due to the chance someone may shoot one of the ancient Mausers that aren't suited for full spec. And you had better watch out for old surplus ammo (corrosive!).

Can you find another host for your pic? Always love to see a nice sporterized Mauser, mine is a Euro sporter job. I want to get a full WWII era military Mauser eventually also just because they feel so nice in the hands and are beautiful.

October 16, 2011, 11:48 PM
Don't worry about the "weak" American loads for Whitetail. Those loads are every bit as potent as the old 32 Special that lever action afficionados use to take deer (and occaisionally elk) with every year.


8MM Mauser
October 17, 2011, 07:00 AM
Hey all, thanks for the info so far! So far i've shot some surplus yugo rounds through it. Hated them, took me two hours to clean the rifle afterwords! Won't go back.
Now I shoot Mitchell's Mauser and Prvi Partizan through it. I think the MM is about 174 grains. Off the top of my head the PP is like 196 grains.
Alright, I have attached a picture, I hope it works!

October 17, 2011, 08:34 AM
You probably already know this, but if you intend to hunt with it, do NOT use the surplus ammo for hunting. Full metal jacket ammo is just not good for hunting animals. Find some good commercially loaded ammo with a good soft point bullet around 180gr and you should be ready for the field.
In order to become capable, you should shoot your rifle, preferrably with the hunting ammo, at 100yds... a LOT. The more you shoot it, the more comfortable you get with it. Concentrate on consistency.... hold it against your shoulder the same way, every shot. Squeeze the trigger the same way, every shot, etc... Learn to control your breathing, to help minimize the movement due to your heartbeat (yes, you WILL have a thumping heartbeat when looking through the scope at your first deer) Learn to control it.. Hunt deer "mentally" frequently. Go through the whole scenario, mentally .... seeing the deer, getting in range, easing the safety off, lining up the crosshairs, waiting for the perfect moment, squeezing the trigger. The more you do this, mentally, the more control you will have when you actually DO it.
Your grandfather gave you a nice rifle. Do your part, think safety ALWAYS, and you should have no problems hunting deer with it.

8MM Mauser
October 17, 2011, 10:03 AM
I never intended to hunt with the surplus. In fact, I'm probably never going to put that crap in my gun again. Actually I was pleasantly surprised to find that I can get the prvi partizan ammo soft points for the same price as fmj's. So I'm just going to practice shooting with the soft points.
Sounds like this type of shooting requires the same mentality as martial arts, envisioning your target, what you will do... And the consistency of course! I will probably skip this hunting season and wait for next year, I'm too busy anyway this fall. So I should have plenty of time to get proficient at 100 yards.
I really do want to take good care of this rifle and treat it right, my grandpa may not last much longer and the rifle really means a lot to me.
Thanks for the advice hornetguy, that was exactly the sort of detail I was looking for, as this type of long range shooting is very new to me.

October 17, 2011, 11:05 AM
Prvi is pretty good stuff. Save your brass. If you don't end up reloading you can sell it to someone who does to help offset the cost of buying more ammo.

Don't worry about groups at 100 from the bench, if you can hit a paper plate at 100 yards consistently from a standing position you are ready to hunt. Groups from the bench are nice to post, but you'll not have the bench in the field. However you might have a rest (shooting sticks, log, tree trunk, whatever) if you are lucky.


8MM Mauser
October 17, 2011, 02:09 PM
I like to take most of my shots standing anyway I think, I'm not one of those people who are obsessed with perfect accuracy, just a good scope sight-in on the bench and then standing shots.
I was thinking of getting a rest, or maybe even a bipod. Does anyone have thoughts on that? Like brands or compatable types of stands/bipods? I apologize for such blatant ignorance, but I am very new to rifle shooting and hunting in general.
Any advice is appreciated!

October 17, 2011, 02:15 PM
A bipod isn't necessary for a hunting rifle unless you plan on shooting from the prone. For Michigan you would probably be better served by getting a set of shooting sticks to steady your rifle on from the standing position, but maybe some Michigan hunters will chime in with some experience hunting those big Whitetails.


October 17, 2011, 02:26 PM
Not a bad looking rifle, looks to have the original barrel.

This is not a bad place to start for learning the basics of rifle shooting:


October 17, 2011, 02:37 PM
That's a nice looking rifle and one you will be handing down to your kids some day. Take care of it and it will last several lifetimes. I'll second the shooting sticks recommendation, make sure if you buy them you practice with them. You'll want to practice from a variety shooting positions, I find I shoot from a sitting position more than any other due to the fact that I hunt from a tree stand so this is what I practice most. I do a little bit of still hunting, but not anywhere near as much as I used to so I still practice my off hand shooting to stay sharp.


8MM Mauser
October 17, 2011, 05:23 PM
It's a new barrel.
Thanks for the link, I will definitly check that out!
Sounds like it'll be shooting sticks then!

October 17, 2011, 06:01 PM
It's a new barrel.

That is a surprise. It has the original military step profile.

October 17, 2011, 06:11 PM
Get a nice sling you can use for shooting offhand.

8MM Mauser
October 17, 2011, 06:47 PM
It's a new barrel.
That is a surprise. It has the original military step profile.

All I know is my grandpa told me it was a new barrel. I beleive him, because unless someone cleaned it every day for the last seventy years I doubt it would still look so nice Inside.
He may have intentionally selected a barrel with the original profile; it sounds like him.

October 17, 2011, 07:11 PM
nice rifle . Get a sling and some Remington corelock . Even if it is loaded lite ,it is way more then enough for deer . ;)
If you can find it ,this winchester is near perfect for deer . http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/default.aspx?productNumber=451420

October 17, 2011, 07:30 PM
FWIW, Your Grandad's rifle has been custom-stocked with a laminated wood stock in the thumbhole style, now offered by several gunstock companies for the home/hobbyist stocker.

It looks like he had a strong idea of what he wanted, and got 'er done ! :D


October 17, 2011, 07:31 PM
8MM, how do you like the Mitchell's Mausers loads? If I recall correctly, they are 175 gr SPs at 2600 fps, sounds like a nice combo. Similar ballistics to the $$ Nosler Custom 180 gr.

8MM Mauser
October 17, 2011, 10:10 PM
Thumbhole stock. That's a good ame for it, I really like this type of stock. Thanks for the info!
I like the MM rounds. They shoot way better than the surplus for sure! And I haven't put any of the PP through it yet, I'm totally open to lots of different brands though.

October 17, 2011, 10:42 PM
I have heard from several sources that MM 8mm ammo is made by Privi Partisan.

Privi makes excellent ammo, at a good price. Try a box, you may find it is the same as you have been shooting for less money.

October 18, 2011, 08:11 AM
I liked my Sellior & Bellot 8mm mauser ammo. It was soft point. When my 8mm was my back up hunting rifle, I took that with me. I believe it was like 198gr? which is more than you'll need for a white tail. I liked Prvi also. Winchester reduced recoil 8mm sp will work for deer also at short ranges.

IMHO: Depending on the ranges that you'll be shooting, you should practice your shooting at both a 100 yard range and a 200 yard range. Sight in for 200, but check the vertical rise for 100 yards to see how much higher the bullet will be at 1/2 distance. If you're in deep dark woods, you might only need to sight in for 100.

The yugo's not that bad, minus the occasional requirement to pull the trigger twice to set off the hard primers.

8MM Mauser
October 18, 2011, 08:47 AM
I actually ordered a box of PP last week. I'm hoping I'll get to try it out this weekend!
If I do make it out this weekend I shall return with a range report!

October 18, 2011, 10:25 AM
1. Any tips of shooting rifles with a scope? I've only been out twice, though my results have been pretty good (about 2-3 inch groups, my first time firing a scoped rifle, not ideal and certainly not what I'm hoping for with some practice, I would like to keep it inside 1.5 inch groups), I have yet to take it out past 50 yards. A very nice man at the range helped me to sight in the scope, but I would like to have it sighted at 100 yards ultimately.

I can't see your pic .....

Advice anyhow:

1. Make sure your stock comb is the right height for your scope height. Stand with the rifle at "low ready", looking at a taget. Close your eyes, mount the gun, open your eyes. Are you looking through the scope with a full feild of veiw? How is the eye relief? If you open your eyes and have to lift your cheek off the stock to see through the scope (scope/comb height issue) or have to move your head forward (eye relief problem) to see, you should get that fixed. There are comb raising kits to raise the comb height or maybe lower scope bases (and possibly a smaller belled scope). Having your head in a consistant place with good cheek to stock contact will help practical accuracy in field situations. Dry fire is great to train you to find a target in your scope without a lot of searching around, because that buck of a lifetime may not wait around all day for you to find him in your scope.....

2. Once you have established that you gun/scope/load can predictably put 5 shots in a decent group from the bench, leave the bench behind, and work on YOUR ability to shoot up to the ability of your rifle: there are darn few shooting benches in the woods, so work on field positions, and learn to use a shooting sling ....... Include getting into field positions quickly. Generally, I have found the prone position pretty useless, as there is often too much brush or tall grass to use it (plus, it is slow to get into). Sitting, kneeling and "combat squat" work best for me. Practice, practice, practice....

3. To that end (more practice), you might look into handloading. 8mm Mauser is, as others have noted, underwhelming as loaded by US manufacturers, in deference to 8mm guns like mine (Bubbafied 1888 Commision Rifle). 8mm Mauser is pretty versatile, akin to a .30-06, but it does better with heavier bullets than the-06 ....... If you handload, you can make reduced loads to use on your 25 meter range ....... or load 220 gr for bear or moose......

8MM Mauser
October 18, 2011, 03:57 PM
Handloading is really intereting to me; however, as I am a full time student with a full time job and a baby daughter who doesn't like to sleep through the night yet, it'll have to wait a couple years. Thanks for the shooting tips!
I plan on doing plenty of dry fir exercises as I'm only able to make it to the range about once a month.
Thanks for all the advice!

lead head
October 18, 2011, 04:00 PM
I like to target practice with the Prvi Partizan ammo. For hunting I prefer the Sellier & Bellot ammo. 196 gr leaving the muzzle at 2,591 fps with 2,923 ft/lbs of energy. I think the 8mm really shines at the 2,500 fps range.

8MM Mauser
October 22, 2011, 02:18 PM
Took the Mauser out to the range today, sited in at 50 yards.

First pic is at 50 yards. E was my sight in target. F was my first couple shots not on the bench. The I shot at, in order, D, H, E, and B. I kept switching circles so it didn't get too easy on me, :cool: The holes in A and C are from the nails, not shots.

Second Pic. is at 100 yards. Shots labeled "1" are the first five rounds. The bottom two shots were fired so I could see the difference between where my scope was aimed and where it hit. The others were taken with that adjustment considered. Shots labeled "2" are from the second five rounds, the fifth bullet was fired at a clay target on the top left corner of the backstop, it was not a miss.

In addition to this, I fired off about 40 rounds at bottles, cans, and clays. I seem to be less anxious when aiming at an object, and i think i do better, i consistently hit objects smaller than the groups im shooting. I hit 35 out of 40 of the bottles/clays/cans. Of the five misses on trash, three were fired at a used shotgun shell. I didn't hit the shell. The two other misses were fired at a paper cup that may have simply been too light to knock over. However, overall, I was very happy with the results of todays range trip. The ammo fired was Prvi Partizan, and I was very happy with it! Made cleaning the rifle MUCH easier than after shooting that surplus crap. This is a great rifle and I thank you all for your help and information. I feel as though I am ready to hit a deer. Now the only question is how to make the time to get out in the woods!
Thanks everyone.

8MM Mauser
October 22, 2011, 02:20 PM
I'll have to give that Sellier & Bellot ammo a try before hunting season. Thanks for the advice.

October 23, 2011, 01:08 AM
Well you won't win any benchrest competitions with those groups, but you'll hit the boilermaker of a deer just fine. Keep up the practice and good hunting!


8MM Mauser
October 23, 2011, 07:54 AM
Thanks! I feel pretty decent about the groups considering I've probably fired less than 500 rounds of anything my entire life, and less than 200 through this gun. I have no trainign from anyone and I practice like once a month and, as you stated, they are good enough to hit a deer in the vitals, which meets my purpose.
You should have seen the guy who came to the range with me. At 100 yards he missed the target 40% of the time, made several shots into the outer rings and managed two shots on the bullseye. Weird :eek:. He was so excited, I didn't have the heart to explain to him that his utter lack of repeatability would make it hard for him to count on a shot like that. Most of his shots were at least 8 inches from the center. Oh well, hopefully when it's a deer in his sights he'll make one of the good shots.
Thanks for all the advice everyone!

September 19, 2012, 04:06 PM
My brother and I just recently purchased a sporterized 8mm Mauser...dad owns a 7mm that was sporterized back in the '50's. The old man's is a Span-Am war era that has beautiful rifling (after 100 years) to this day! Probably has had less than 1000 rounds through it as we pretty much only use it for hunting. It has been shortened and had a monte carlo style stock installed. It is a tack driver, for sure! HOWEVER...the 8mm we just got has been fairly modified. More so than the 7mm! It has a custom carved stock and someone spent a bit of money to have a beautiful set trigger installed. Pics of both (side by side after this weekend!) to follow soon. Man, i love old Mausers!

September 19, 2012, 04:37 PM
For those who couldn't view the OP's link, here's his rifle:



Hunter Customs
September 20, 2012, 08:48 AM
I have two 8mm Mausers one is a semi custom the other is a full custom made by a very taleneted rifle smith.
I could blindfold anyone, hand them ten different rifles, and when the full custom 8mm was in their hands they would be able to pick it out from all the others.
This gun is so sweet it makes everything else feel like your holding a 2x4 in your hands.

The 8mm can be handloaded to give 30-06 performance.

8MM Mauser, keep practicing you have one fine rifle that will make you an excellent deer rifle.
I tip my hat to your Grandad, I would say he's a fine gentleman that cares about his Grandson and did an excellent job in building you a great rifle.

Best Regards
Bob Hunter

September 20, 2012, 09:43 AM
I see the pic now..... looks like the custom stock was made for the scope!

Very Nice!

Handloading is really intereting to me; however, as I am a full time student with a full time job and a baby daughter who doesn't like to sleep through the night yet, it'll have to wait a couple years.

Save your brass!!!!!..... think of is as quarters- if you dropped a quarter, you'd pick it up, right? It's actually worth more than that, as brass from your gun is fireformed to your gun's chamber..... no other brass fists as well. New unfired brass for 8mm Mauser can run 50 cents/ea to as much as a dollar....

Thanks for all the advice!

There's more where that came from, and worth at least what you pay for it!

You need a sling. I suggest one of these:

For the budget minded:


I use these:


If money is burning a hole in your pocket and you want the best:


A primer on sling use:


Have fun!

September 22, 2012, 03:42 PM
When you go to get your sling, do yourself a favor and get a set of Uncle Mikes detachable swivels for it. They will usually fit existing swivel mounts. If they dont, no need to worry, the swivels come with mounts.

Major Dave (retired)
September 29, 2012, 01:14 PM
Buy a better scope - the Simmons scope line is considered to be somewhat minimal.

Since you are still a student, with a baby girl who doesn't sleep through the night, yet, I'm sure you don't have the funds to do any upgrades for now.

When the time comes, I would suggest a Leupold VX 2, for about $300.

Or, for about $200, a used Leupold Vari-XII.

Note that the "Vari-X I, II, and III" series is the oldest Leupold Series, the "VX-I, II, and III" series is newer, and "VX 1, 2, and 3" series is the newest, best, and most expensive.

Even the oldest Leupold scope is better than a new Simmons. I know - I traded up from a Simmons ($125, new) to a Leupold Vari-X III ($225, used), for my .243 Win Model 70, and the difference is really noticeable.

Just some food for thought, for the future.

September 30, 2012, 01:06 PM
With all due respect for the above, get a Redfield scope.

Leupold bought them out and they are very good glass, not as pretty nor some of the features of Leupold, but the Redfield is intended as a hunting scope which is what you need.

3-9 should do you fine (young and good eyes). Something around $200 and rebates leading up into the fall usually. Lifetime warranty on it.

Also, when you set it up, you want to be 2 inches high at 100 yards. That should give you spot on at 200 (or close, have not run an 8mm trajectory).

At 250 you are 2 or 3 inches low.

That means you can do a single aim point and hit so close as to not make any difference in a good shot (likely off a bit due to all the hunting factors of standing shot, out of breath a bit, excitement, animal movement).

That is one beautiful rifle.

Mauser barrels were easy to come by as many made them. Its the easiest gun to put a new barrel on as the head space is simple. Extremely strong action. Do not go overboard on re-loads. There are some weaknesses to the gun and depending on who made it.

You can rely on a standard load being ok. If you can get the receiver details that would be interesting (serial, any stamps and letters or numbers)

A lo of people will do a serial like 1,250XXX or some such. I just list them, not sure who would do what with the full one but if you are leary then the XX or XXX is fine as it gets close enough to know years and such.