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Old November 6, 2017, 10:46 PM   #1
Saxon3289
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Mauser Mod. 98 Custom What Caliber???

Hello friends I just recently inherited this model 98 but i have no idea what caliber it is. It seems to have had a lot of work done to it and it is in great condition. Was just going to take it to a gun Smith but I thought I would run it by you guys first. It's in great condition and I would love to take it to the range. Any info on the rifle is appreciated.
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Old November 6, 2017, 10:47 PM   #2
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More pics
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Old November 6, 2017, 10:48 PM   #3
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More pics...
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Old November 6, 2017, 10:50 PM   #4
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Even more pics!
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Old November 6, 2017, 10:55 PM   #5
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with military marking on the barrel and the action, more than likely a 8 x 57 mauser.
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Old November 6, 2017, 11:09 PM   #6
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Someone did a nice job of sportorizing the rifle. I love the nice comb on what I am guessing is a walnut stock. It reminds me os a Fajen STock.

There is no guarantee the previous owner left it with its original military caliber. He put a nice stock and a nice scope on it. It would almost lead one to belief he had a custom barrel in a more standard hunting caliber screwed into the action for the rifle. You will have to take it to a gunsmith to determine what it is chambered in.
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Old November 6, 2017, 11:28 PM   #7
Jim Watson
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Stepped barrel with German stamp is probably original, so it is 8mm SOMETHING.
Likely still 8mm Mauser, but it might have been rechambered to 8mm '06 or even PMM.

A chamber cast would be the safe sensible Internet Way.

An attempt to chamber a .30-06 case and a comparison of the bolt face with a belted Magnum case would be a start for me.
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Old November 6, 2017, 11:41 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies guys. Is 8mm ammo hard to get a hold of? What is something like this worth?
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Old November 7, 2017, 12:55 AM   #9
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What you have is a step back in time.My guess,early to mid 60's.Before the Gun Control Act of 1968.
Magazines likePopular Mechanics,and all gun mags had ads where anyone could order milsurp rifles through the mail from Klein's or other outfits.IIRC,a 98 Mauser was$30 to $50. A Garand was about $80.Mostly folks joined the NRA and got a 1903 or 03A3 Springfield for a very reasonable prices .
Fajen and Bishop sold stocks I still have an old catalogue. From Brownells,you could get Mark 2 safeties,as yours has.Bases,rings,etc.
Your friendly crotchety local gunsmith was good for parts and services.
Among the common folks,some shop skills and the DIY spirit were strong.
It was common to strip and clean up a military rifle,buy a 98% shaped and inleted stock,etc. You might pay the smith to alter the bolt handle,drill and tap for scope,and blue it.
A lot of folks had wood shop and could sand and apply Tru-Oil or LinSpeed finish
Some of these rifles were built start to finish by a smith,but most were home built by a hobbyist with some help from a smith.
Which means about anything is possible,not all of it good.
Maybe the work was done right,maybe not.
Stock inletting ...recoil lug,flat even floor,mag box height right,etc...it might be right. Many are not.
It does appear to bean original barrel. Folks did not do extra work to step the contour! Replacement barrels usually were not stepped.
It might be original 8x57. Sometimes people reamed out the chamber to 8mm 30-06. Some rebored to maybe 35 Whelen. You just do not know.
So let a smith figure out what cartridge it is,check headspace,and see if the wood is mostly fitted right.
IF your smith lets you know what ammo to shoot and declares it safe and sound ,you have a hunting rifle. Enjoy!! Eat venison.
Value? Its worth what someone will pay,really.Market is not great. No put down intended..bottom end maybe $150,top maybe $250.I'm not an appraiser.Thats a guess.
But it will probably hunt as well as a $500 rifle.
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Old November 7, 2017, 03:36 AM   #10
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A chamber cast is in order to find out what the chambering is. It looks like a standard gunsmith build, pre-carved stock, rollover cheek piece, Pachmayr pad. Nicely done, but still a standard type of sporterized rifle.

As stated, values tend to not be high on the old sporterized rifles, but I would put that one around $400 with the scope on it.
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Old November 7, 2017, 07:39 AM   #11
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As was said already, it's probably an 8MM Mauser (8X57) That's absolutely what it was when it left the factory as can be seen by the military proof marks on the barrel. One test you can do is to take an empty 30-06 shell and see if you can chamber it. If you can, someone has opened it up to an 8MM-06. If not it's about 99.9999% likely it's still an 8X57. As scorch said, chamber casting is in order, but if it's not opened up to an 8MM-06 it's super unlikely to be anything else.

8X57 is a very fine cartridge and will do about anything the 30-06 will do. It needs no apologies anywhere to anyone. I killed a large bull elk and several deer with mine last season and I killed my 4X4 Buck about a week ago with it too. Graf and Sons sells both empty brass and also loaded ammo if you don't reload.

If it were mine I'd leave it alone unless the bore/chamber was bad. If it is bad contact me. I may have a solution for you that you'd like.

Use it. Hunt with it. Enjoy it. You have a great rifle there, more reliable then many you can buy today.
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Old November 7, 2017, 11:39 AM   #12
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Stepped barrels were rarely used on re-barrels. So it's most likely a 8mmX57 or an 8X57 rechambered to 8mm-06. Only way to know for sure is a chamber casting or a series of checks and measurements. Take it to a gunsmith. Whatever your chosen path, make sure you KNOW what it's chambered for before trying to fire it.
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Old November 7, 2017, 03:07 PM   #13
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Well guys thanks for all your input. This morning I tried racking some spent 30-06 and the bolt wouldn't seat. Which would mean it's definitely 8mm right because of the smaller cartridge? I'll post some pics.
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Old November 7, 2017, 03:19 PM   #14
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Saxon3289,

You have one beautiful rifle.

Many Mauser 98's were sporterized to fired the '06. If yours is chambered for 8MM Mauser, you're in luck. The 8MM Mauser is a very powerful cartridge. It will kill every big game species in North America.

Now all you're gonna need are tags for bull elk & bull moose, a very sharp skinning knife, a bone saw, and game meat bags.

I hope your rifle brings many seasons of hunting success to you and creates treasured memories for you.
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Old November 7, 2017, 04:13 PM   #15
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I have a twin to your rifle, built on a good german 98 mauser 8mm rifle. mine was built in the early 60,s by a local gunsmith who knew what it took to make nice sporterized rifle out of a military rifle. if your a hunter shoot it, as you may be surprised on how accurett it may be. I know mine is. the leupold veriable scope by its self would bring close to 200.00. eastbank.
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Old November 7, 2017, 07:30 PM   #16
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Looks like a nicely done sporter. Locally, in 8x57js, I am only able to find Hornady vintage match 196gr. It runs about $35 per box of 20 rounds. 8mm is still popular in Europe and soft point rounds can be found online for reasonable prices.
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Old November 7, 2017, 11:26 PM   #17
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Quote:
What you have is a step back in time.My guess,early to mid 60's.Before the Gun Control Act of 1968.
Magazines likePopular Mechanics,and all gun mags had ads where anyone could order milsurp rifles through the mail from Klein's or other outfits.IIRC,a 98 Mauser was$30 to $50.
I was buying them out of a 55 gallon drum at Gibsons dept. store in the 70's for $15.00.
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Old November 8, 2017, 01:09 PM   #18
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Beautiful rifle.

Even though it would not chamber on the .30-06, get your smith to do a chamber cast.

If it is truly 8x57 / 8mm Mauser, American made 8x57 is weak tea, loaded very weak. Get you some euro-made 8x57 and shoot that: S&B, Norma, Lapua and Privi Partisan for blasting. Skip the milsurp in that pretty baby.
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Old November 21, 2017, 05:53 PM   #19
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Very fine stock on that piece!

Nosler makes three excellent full power loads ranging from 180 to 200 gr in 8x57. Tends to be cheapest to buy directly from Nosler.

Very powerful 196 gr loads from Sellior & Bellot (best value) and Norma, 195 gr from Hornady, and 180 gr from Laupa.

And I just picked up some Norma Ecostrike 160 gr @ 2789 fps copper ammo. Take wait to try it out! Should be ideal for whitetail. The ~200 gr loads are more than a bit heavy, although they definitely work!
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Old November 22, 2017, 07:57 AM   #20
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Years ago, my hunting mentor always carried his Mauser in 7.9mm chambering. The rifle was a German built surplus item but the sights had been professionally replaced. The rear was a peep sight and the front was a modern post type. He killed many animals with this sturdy rifle including mule deer, pronghorn antelope, and elk. I'm not sure why someone would re-barrel such an efficient rifle but I guess the 7.9mm cartridge is not for every hunter.

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Old November 22, 2017, 03:45 PM   #21
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Slug the barrel. And quit trying to chamber .30-06. An 8mm barrel will be .323" diameter.
There's lots of commercial 8mm Mauser hunting ammo available. It'll do anything a .30-06 will do.
"...the bolt wouldn't seat..." SAAMI OAL for .30-06 is 3.340". 8mm Mauser is 3.250".
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Old November 22, 2017, 04:37 PM   #22
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Knowing that the 06 casing is longer than 8X57 is exactly why some have said to try it.
If it's a loaded cartridge the bullet will still go in the barrel and not get hung up if it is still the original Mauser chambering. Hence it won't give a false reading.

Many Mausers were re-chambered after being brought back to the States due to readily available 30-06 casings. Was a simple ream job.
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Old November 23, 2017, 02:27 AM   #23
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I agree the barrel is most likely original. Also agree the best way to be certain is a chamber cast.

The stock is most likely either a Fajen or a Bishop, and I'd lean towards Fajen, the pistol grip is very similar to Fajens, I have had.

Contrasting rosewood forend tip and pistol grip cap, this was not the "economy grade" stock.

The bolt handle has been "bent" (cut and rewelded), a scope safety has been installed, and the issue sights removed. I can't tell for certain from the pics if that is the original trigger, but it could well be. The original Mauser trigger can be turned into an excellent (sporting rifle) trigger fairly easily by people who know what they are doing. Some kept it two stage, some would make it a single stage trigger.

The bottom metal is all original, (matching #s), and its the only real step left unconverted. A "complete" sporter job would have replaced the original with a hinged floorplate version.

The triggerguard was often left in original condition to save a few buck, or because having a hinged floorplate simply wasn't important to the owner.

sometimes the triggerguard bow was slightly recontoured by the smith, sometimes not.

very nice rifle, classic sporter. congratulations!
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