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Old February 25, 2021, 05:30 AM   #1
JJ45
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1895 Custom Mauser, safe to shoot?

Chilean (Berlin) small ring 1895 rebarreled to 243. I believe these were originally chambered in 7X57.

How safe would shooting factory .243 loads be in this weapon? I have heard that they are not safe but also haven't seen evidence of failures.

Any opinions would be welcome
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Old February 25, 2021, 08:06 AM   #2
ligonierbill
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Kuhnhausen recommends the 1895 only for low pressure rounds like the original spec 7x57. That's probably why you are hearing it is not safe, and it is the general answer. If you want a definitive answer, take it to a smith familiar with Mausers.
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Old February 25, 2021, 10:08 AM   #3
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It's a hot debate for sure, but make sure if you do shoot it to always use eye protection. The gas handling of a ruptured case or pierced primer isn't great. I shoot a M93 in .300 Savage and had one in .308 that I never shot, I also had a M96 in 6.5X55 that hooligan1 now owns. The .308 closed on a No-Go gauge when I had it checked out by a GS.

My take is if you reload your ammunition and don't try to run your rifle at max velocites you should be good. It isn't what most people like to hear that has a .243, but the .243 is still pretty effective at lower velocites. You might want to consider buying a Timney trigger with safety and run a commercial small ring bolt shroud. That will improve gas handling in case of something going wrong, bit it still won't be as good as a M98.
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Old February 25, 2021, 11:10 AM   #4
Jim Watson
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I don't know what pressure factory ammo is loaded to.

I can adjust my handloads to suit the gun.
In this case, a starting load of H4350 will propel a 90 grain bullet 3000 fps, at 44000 CUP which is 7x57 pressure and .250 Savage ballistics. And to misquote Jack Nicholson, that ain't bad.
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Old February 25, 2021, 06:28 PM   #5
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Of all the small ring Mausers, the 1895 was one of the best built. That said, it was rated for 7X57 pressures (48-50k psi), not 243 pressures (55-60k psi). Using it for 243 would be like shooting a proof load every time. And yes, they do not handle gas leaks as well as the 98 action.
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Old February 25, 2021, 06:30 PM   #6
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Gunboards.com link to picture of an article Guns & Ammo did on the 1916 Spanish Mauser in .308 Win. Read it and make up your own decision. .243 has a max operation pressure of around 52K Cup or 60K PSI, and these old Mausers shot cartridges operating around 46K CUP or 51K PSI.

I feel that the actions are running on the ragged edge when you push pressures as high as the .243 at max operation pressure. It's kind of like a race car engine, it might last the whole race and it might not. That's why reloading your own ammunition is pretty much a requirement IMO. Just remember if things ever go wrong with these rifles, your face and hands are in a dangerous place.
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Old February 26, 2021, 04:01 PM   #7
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Phew, interesting question. You have multiple aspects.

First is an old gun receiver with an unknown quality.

Its also not a fully supported case, so there is that to consider.

The failures would no be reported as its not like there is a library of conversions and follow up. There is little enough on large production failures or the 7 x 57 or the 30-06 and often disagreement as to cause.

Low end reloads would be prudent, factory loads are going to be pushing the envelope pas design and then its a crap shoot.

And yes it is sobering to see the aftermath of a blown up gun. In this case the shooter lost 5 teeth. An observer on an adjacent bench bot hit in the side of his cheek with a flat piece (fortunately ) and badly bruises.

We found a piece of shrapnel embedded in the side of the enclosure. If it hit someone they would have been seriously wounded or worse.

The top of the gun was blown off, the barrel wound up down range 20 feet. The stock was in pieces.

Equally the Mauser was 9,000 psi less than a full load 243. That is not a proof load but it is a over stress each time a round is fired.

Then add to the gas path on these (I have seen a modern Winchester blow up so the modern designs do not stop it if violation enough)

As I read it, the 243 at full loads is over the max CUP (in this case) for the bolt and receiver.

Starting loads are under but some are not a lot under.

I would not shoot factory loads in the gun and I would have it examined for the quality of the 243 chamber work by a gunsmith.




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Old February 26, 2021, 04:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Equally the Mauser was 9,000 psi less than a full load 243. That is not a proof load but it is a over stress each time a round is fired.
A proof load is a 10% overpressure load designed to "prove" an action or barrel. A 243 factory load is higher pressure than a proof load. Pretty simple math, but you're right, that's not a proof load, it is 20% overpressure.
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Old February 26, 2021, 05:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
under SAAMI they have a range of 133%-149% of MAP depending on the cartridge.
That is a quote from our very own Unclenick.

Europe is 125% but they have testing required (or did ) for various stages of gun life like owner transfer vs a US once off.
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Old February 27, 2021, 03:29 AM   #10
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There are a few pictures of small ring mausers that had catastrophic failures. The thing is we don't know exactly what happened, we just know the person who pulled the trigger had a bad day. Modern rifles can blow up as well, and have on occasion. Usually the majority of the time it's operator error, occasionally it isn't.

If the OP wants to shoot the rifle in question with factory ammo, he might want to look at the reduced recoil loads that Hornady and HSM offers. There might be others but I didn't look too hard, they will probably be extremely hard to find with the current ammunition situation.
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