View Full Version : Mil-surp project rifle?

August 6, 2001, 01:01 AM
I have been toying with the idea a buying a mil-surp rifle to use as a platform for building a custom rifle. Unfortunately I don't know much about all of the different makes that are available. Which actions are stronger, more accurate. I would prefer to stay with a lighter recoiling round as it will be mainly used for target practice and the occasional deer hunt. Is this a good idea or would I be better off searching the gun shows for a newer action. Any advice you can give me will be greatly appreciated, thank you in advance.

George Stringer
August 6, 2001, 07:16 AM
Prhm, there are several good actions available. Turk mausers and VZ-24s are plentiful, inexpensive and make great platforms to build on. The accuracy will come from the building. The bbl selected will have a effect the outcome also but it's more the installation than the bbl. George

August 6, 2001, 07:17 AM
Start with a Model 98 Mauser. I have 2 built in .35 Whelen, one in .270 Win and one in 25-06, all on 98's. Good luck-it is a fun project with fantasitc outcome!

August 6, 2001, 09:08 AM
Since you state a preference for light recoil, consider installing a 257 Roberts barrel on a Model 98 Mauser. The nicest Mauser for this purpose would be a 1909 Argentine, but a VZ 24 would certainly be serviceable. Since the Roberts round is based on the 7x57 Mauser case, feeding is perfect and no adjustment in magazine length is required. Good Luck!

August 6, 2001, 06:34 PM
prhm, I am assuming that you are willing to do as much of the work on this project as you can, otherwise you could most likely purchase a brand new rifle for less money. That said, I agree with the others on using the Mauser 98 action. If you don't reload the 25-06 might be your best bet. If you are willing to put up with a little more recoil you might consider trying to find a 98 with a decent barrel and inletting that into an inexpensive stock. 8MM Mauser is a good round and surplus ammo is cheap.

August 6, 2001, 10:32 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions. On the matter of changing the caliber. Do I just need to change the barrel or will I need to change other items as well? Does anyone know of a book that might be able to give me some guidance. Thanks again.:)

August 6, 2001, 11:33 PM
Don't overlook the 6.5 swedish Mauser. Get the gun for less than 200 dollars, they are usually in great shape. It is a sweet, soft shooting round, with the ability to reach waaaayyyyyy out there if you are so inclined. Many bench shooters use this round. Just something else to thing about.


George Stringer
August 7, 2001, 05:45 AM
Prhm, it depends on the caliber you want and the action. Some will require opening the feed rails. Some will need the mag box lengthened and magnums will need the bolt face opened up. It all depends on the cartridge you choose and the action length. There are a couple of books that will help you. "Mauser Bolt Actions; A shop manual" by Jerry Kuhnhausen and "Mauser M98 & M96" by RA Walsh. George

August 7, 2001, 10:18 AM
I know we've hashed this subject over before, but unless you can do most of the modifications to the action yourself, you're going to get creamed in gunsmithing fees.

Consider the following:

Rebarrel: $300
Drill and Tap 4 holes: $40
Bend/Replace Bolt: $40
Scope Safety: $20
Alter Rails: $Ouch

My point is, you are quickly up to the cost of a good factory rifle. For the price of a fully modified/sporterized Mauser you can have an accurized Rem 700 or Win 70 in your choice of caliber.

If you are looking to just mess around or practice gunsmithing on a rifle, naturally you don't want to invest much as your first work will be a write off... I recommend practicing on a Mauser 98. As your skills increase or you find you have a natural talent for this type of work, you can begin to farm out various aspects of the job to good gunsmiths so you can examine their work...

I also hear the Walsh M96 M98 book is worth the investment...

August 7, 2001, 01:41 PM
On the other hand, a Midway barrel and synthetic stock are on sale this month for $100. A VZ 24 with a cracked stock can be had for $59. Buy a drill and tap fixture for $40 and do the work yourself. Make an action wrench and barrel vise from scrap metal and wood blocks. Buy a Brownells bolt handle for $6 and have a buddy at a muffler shop TIG weld it on. A glass bedding kit costs $10. Rent a reamer and gauges for $35. Do a bunch of hand and file work on the metal, replace the safety for $15. Leave the two-stage trigger alone until you feel rich. Many of them have acceptable pulls as-is. Bead blast the metalwork and send disassembled to a bluing shop. Bluing should not cost more than $40 for a dip-only job. The finished product will be a rifle that you can say you built "lock, stock, and barrel." It will shoot with virtually any factory rifle and will outshoot most. You will learn a great deal about the rifle and the tools needed to put it together, and the satisfaction of having done it yourself cannot be touched with a factory purchase.

August 7, 2001, 08:40 PM
Just some questions to educate myself.

How do you ream the chamber without a lathe? Can you use a hand/power tool? How do you bead blast without an expensive set up?


George Stringer
August 8, 2001, 08:25 AM
Doctari, if you don't have the equipment you'd need to get a pre-threaded, pre-chambered bbl. If you get them "short chambered" they are about .010" short of finished depth. You install the barrel on the action and then using an extension and larger tap handle you deepen the chamber slowly until the bolt will just close on a go gage. George