The web's most comprehensive user-interactive handloading database! Find the loading data created by handloaders, for handloaders, post your pet loads, or access and develop your own online loading database with our LoadNotes personal handloading database software. This feature, unique in its concept and intuitive in it's data presentation is fast to access, superbly organized and comprehensive in scope.Our online forums for questions and answers on many shooting and outdoor related topics. A dynamic, active, and well-informed resource for your enjoyment and interaction. Our most used resource on this website! Come share the experience with us!
» Advanced

Go Back   Shooters Forum > Hunting > Australian Hunting
Register FAQ Members List Donate Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read



Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07-08-2006, 08:02 AM
kombi1976's Avatar
Beartooth Regular
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Southern NSW, Australia
Posts: 462
Metamorphosis of a Mauser.....(a little long)


Registered Users do not see the above ad.


Many of you would be familiar with me speaking about 8x57 Mauser in a few different threads. This is how I stumbled across it and I will kinda trace my continuing journey to convert a fairly 2nd hand military rifle with plenty of life left in it to a very functional hunting rifle suitable for most Australian game.

About 18 months back a few friends of friends made reference to possible deer hunting opportunities and like any gun nut my ears ####### up. Problem was, my 303/25(God bless it's cotton socks) is well up to roo culling and medium game like goats & pigs but its 100gn max bullet weight (due to the 1:12 bbl) twist left me high and dry in terms of a cal suitable for larger deer. So I racked my brains for a solution to the problem.

Originally I'd been looking around for a 7x57 Mauser but they're a bit of a cult cartridge these days and people aren't willing to part with them for cheap. When Raul, a senior club member, said he had a k98 sporter he was willing to sell for $125 I took a look.
At first glance it looked great....see what I mean?



But on a closer look it had it's issues. Sure, the action and barrel had all matching numbers and the Waffenampts(Nazi markings) and factory proof stamps were still there, not ground off like they are on Israeli Mausers. But there was a small ring of pitting on the top of the barrel and fairly serious pitting on the underside where the full military stock & handguard had trapped moisture against the metal at some point.

Btw, it looks worse in real life.

If the bore had been less than impressive I would've said "No thanks" but I knew and trusted Raul and with a complete M98 action for $125 I couldn't really go wrong. If it shot ok it would be a bonus. If not then I'd rebarrel it to 7mm Mauser.

The first thing I did (after Raul roughly bedded the stock using a 2-pak epoxy type body filler! ) was take it to the range with a box of PMC 180gn rounds I'd bought along with the rifle. Now, I should point out that a previous owner had removed the standard cup shaped buttplate and replaced it with a white piece of plastic for a spacer and a black super hard plastic Baikal buttplate for that "classic look". Goodness knows WHAT possessed him!

I think you can imagine what the cut down stock plus nasty buttplate equalled when shot prone. Kar98ks aren't known for their excessive weight and even with the fairly anaemic factory loads which kick along at about 2350fps I came home with bruising. But in spite of the battle sights which made my eyes water it still actually got on paper and showed signs of accuracy.

I decided the first thing I needed to do in order to really explore it's potential was to scope it. Unfortuantely open sights are not my forte and I din't want to be caught out trying to take a long shot without some optical enhancement. I also gave the whole scout scope idea a miss. I don't care what anyone says......why bother with it if your rifle will work perfectly well with the scope over the receiver. It's not a Martini, after all, and you can keep all that fast target acquisition by staying on a low power setting. So I bought some Leupold super high rings and a one peice mount and organised for it to be sent to a local gunsmith to get the work done.

Now, for those of you who dream of converting a military M98 to a scoped rifle, the bolt handle has a 90 degree travel and even the bent ones on k98s and later M98 style mil rifles don't clear a scope. So I also had to have the bolt cut, welded and sculpted to fit. My chosen scope, due to budgetry constraints, was a Tasco World Class MAG IV 3-12x40AO and it went along.
Here's the result:


I also had him flatten the sides of the knob as there was pitting on it too. Here's a closer look:


For obvious reasons I was pretty pleased with the results and I began load testing. You've probably noticed the appearance of the Pachmeyer Slip-On pad. Let's say once bitten twice shy. I began with 170gn Speer Semi-Spitzers & AR2206H powder and managed to get 1.5" to 2" groups. I also trialed some Nosler 180gn Ballistic Tips but couldn't better the groups. However the following Speer 100yd group showed some real potential and I figured if an old military warhorse with a 2 stage trigger and dodgy bedding could pull this off I wasn't going to whinge especially since I was doing the shooting.



It also did some pleasing stuff with the super heavy Woodleigh 250gn RNSNs and 48gn of AR2209 as the following target shows.


It was only a 50m group but nonetheless I feel quite happy with it. Suffice to say I had a beanie shoved between the butt and my shoulder when trying them off the bench.

So I had a serious shooter. But the barrel pitting was still driving me nuts. I'd asked all sort of questions about over coming the bad look. One friend who is mad on originals said I should restock it to original condition and blue the whole rifle again. The stock and handguard would cover the pitting over coming the problem. But there was pitting in little spots around the floorplate and some scuffing on the receiver, not to mention the atrocious condition of the lip on the rear sight sleeve which was there to hold on the handguard. It was rusted and sharp and just plain ugly and no amount of sanding and polishing it was going to fix it. The rear sight leaf had been removed so the scope could be fitted so it was a little silly to retain the rear sight full stop. If the sleeve could be removed a whole lot of grief could be avoided. I wasn't planning on auditioning for Enemy At The Gates, I just needed a hunting rifle, so I couldn't see the point in the move back to military wood.

Desiring answers I rang Keith Hills in Canberra. In case anyone is unfamiliar with his work he completely refurbished, reblued and fitted a Geoff Slee stock and a scope to a Lithgow No1 MkIII* for a guy in Guns & Game magazine a year or so back and the job was superb. He's also done a trigger job and fitted a scope mount to my 25-20 Martini making it a 100yd 1" holer so I only have good things to say about him.

I'd been wondering if sandblasting and powder coating might be a solution. Rocky Mountain Rifles in Canada, who specialise in alpine rifles for Dall Ram hunting, have made powder coating their primary choice of finish because it is very hardy and is the last word in corrosion protection. I thought a charcoal colour would fix the pitting on the barrel and floorplate as well and generally tidy things up. Keith said he could take the sleeve off, lop the barrel just behind the front sight to about 21" and recrown it, all for a very reasonable price. He thought the 'blasting & 'coating scheme was an excellent idea and further suggested I get the receiver done as well so it matched. He thought it would solve all of the problems and still mean I could rebarrel it later on should I wish to.

I'm now about to head away to Gulgong to throw a little lead at the landscape on a friend's property but come the 17th I'll trying to get to Canberra to get the Mauser to Keith. There's also the issue of a new stock for it but I'll talk more about that later.

So what do you reckon guys?
__________________
.22lr - .22 Hornet - 25-20 - 303/25 - 7mm-08 - 303 British - .310 Cadet - 9.3x62 - 450/400 NE 3"

Cheers & God Bless

Sporting Shooters Association Of Australia - http://www.ssaa.org.au/
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07-08-2006, 09:18 PM
Beartooth Regular
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Flinders Ranges SthAustralia
Posts: 349
I like the idea ! A sight cheaper than investing in a new rifle ! I've seen too many good rifles scrapped when a little reburnshment was all that was needed ! I'd call this a Poor mans custom rifle ! All the benifits of a custom rifle with half the cost .


Dave
__________________
"ALL TIMES WASTED WOTS NOT SPENT SHOOTIN"
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-09-2006, 04:22 PM
The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Mesa, Arizona
Posts: 19,697
Besides, don't we all just love tinkering with a firearm?
__________________
NRA Benefactor Member
NRA Certified Police Firearms Instructor
NRA Certified Range Safety Officer
NAHC Life Member

"Firearms only have two enemies - rust and politicans" author unknown
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-09-2006, 05:52 PM
kombi1976's Avatar
Beartooth Regular
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Southern NSW, Australia
Posts: 462
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave H
I like the idea ! A sight cheaper than investing in a new rifle ! I've seen too many good rifles scrapped when a little reburnshment was all that was needed ! I'd call this a Poor mans custom rifle ! All the benifits of a custom rifle with half the cost .
Dave
The SMLE I spoke of that Keith Hills did had a similar philosophy and it groups astoundingly well.
__________________
.22lr - .22 Hornet - 25-20 - 303/25 - 7mm-08 - 303 British - .310 Cadet - 9.3x62 - 450/400 NE 3"

Cheers & God Bless

Sporting Shooters Association Of Australia - http://www.ssaa.org.au/
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-10-2006, 08:13 PM
Beartooth Regular
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Victoria, Australia
Posts: 66
Good stuff. No shortage of horsepower in the old 8mm.

I've done a Swede up.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-16-2006, 08:35 AM
kombi1976's Avatar
Beartooth Regular
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Southern NSW, Australia
Posts: 462
Well, now for the next chapter.
Sorry about the gap.
About a fortnight ago I picked up the Mauser from Keith, sans sight base sleeve and front ramp.
$85 later it looked at great deal better.
Then after he stripped the receiver I rushed from one side of Canberra to the other and dropped the stuff off at the powder coater.
The agreed colour was called custom black, allegedly a matt colour, but the guy said all powder coating has some sheen and I really didn't mind.
I'd already arranged for the sand blaster to pick it up from there and when I rang the following afternoon it was already done and back to be powder coated.
And it was only $20.
Then it was a case really of getting back to Canberra when I could to pick it up.
Aint that the problem.
I finally managed to dodge some extra stuff at work and arrange everything for this afternoon.
I'd rung the powder coaters and said I'd be there as close to 4:30 as I could, which I'll admit was a little ambitious.
When I arrived at 5pm they were long gone and talking to the guys from the engineering firm who share the same warehouse they'd nicked off at the crack of 4:31!
I was severely peeved but the engineering guys took me through an adjoining door to have a look for the stuff and when it couldn't be found they rang one of the powder coaters to find out where it was.
Only cost me $50 in the end for the 'coating but talk about stress.
Suffice to say, I think I'll be sending the engineering firm a thankyou card with some beer money in it.
So now it was 5:15 and at 5:30 I was due at Keith's so he could reassemble the Mauser.
As I mentioned before he's on the other side of the city and it's a half hour drive at the best of times.
And it wasn't the best.....it was peak hour.
So at 6pm I pulled up outside Keith's house and I suspect I may've taken him away from his dinner.
But he reassembled it and I have to say it's a great deal better.
You can certainly still see the pitting but then it wasn't going to look like a new rifle.
But it is tidy and the whole further deterioration issue is over.
The crown is also fixed so on the first opportunity I get I'll be hitting the range.
BTW, does anyone remember that I lost my digital camera in a field somewhere while on the last hunting trip?
Well, it turned up!!
I should get it back early next week.
If it still works, which is my only concern after laying in the grass for so long, I'll take some pics of the Mauser and post them as soon as I can.
__________________
.22lr - .22 Hornet - 25-20 - 303/25 - 7mm-08 - 303 British - .310 Cadet - 9.3x62 - 450/400 NE 3"

Cheers & God Bless

Sporting Shooters Association Of Australia - http://www.ssaa.org.au/
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-22-2006, 04:38 AM
kombi1976's Avatar
Beartooth Regular
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Southern NSW, Australia
Posts: 462
Well, the digital camera works so here are a couple of pics.
They were taken inside and my camera isn't great at that.
But here they are anyway.....




The differences are subtle; no front sight, not rear sight base.
I'll take some more tomorrow afternoon in the daylight that will showup the effectiveness of the powder coating in sealing the pitting.
__________________
.22lr - .22 Hornet - 25-20 - 303/25 - 7mm-08 - 303 British - .310 Cadet - 9.3x62 - 450/400 NE 3"

Cheers & God Bless

Sporting Shooters Association Of Australia - http://www.ssaa.org.au/
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-22-2006, 09:11 AM
The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Mesa, Arizona
Posts: 19,697
Might need to cut the stock down a bit for the kid!
__________________
NRA Benefactor Member
NRA Certified Police Firearms Instructor
NRA Certified Range Safety Officer
NAHC Life Member

"Firearms only have two enemies - rust and politicans" author unknown
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-26-2006, 08:26 AM
kombi1976's Avatar
Beartooth Regular
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Southern NSW, Australia
Posts: 462
Post re-crown range report

You got it in one, kdub!
The little tackers have been at my guns again!

Today, since I had to head up to see family, I took the 8x57 to the SSAA 50m indoor range at St.Marys in Sydney's west for a sight in and test.
I have to say that the scope was SHOCKINGLY out and due to my own incompetence I had the poor thing shooting all over the place.
I did notice that the lack of the bbl sleeve meant it didn't heat up as quickly.
But, after a lot of stuffing around there were some moments of pure gold.
When I FINALLY got the rifle centred and shooting a little high as I wished it showed it's colours.



Ignore the yellow stickers.
They mean nothing.
The target is about 5" across and the 3 shots(2 into the same hole) measure about a 0.7" group.

I was aiming at the bottom 10x circle on the following bear target:



This time a little to the left but still a 0.86" group.
Now, all of these groups are shot at 50m but it's a big start and I look forward to trying it at 100m.
__________________
.22lr - .22 Hornet - 25-20 - 303/25 - 7mm-08 - 303 British - .310 Cadet - 9.3x62 - 450/400 NE 3"

Cheers & God Bless

Sporting Shooters Association Of Australia - http://www.ssaa.org.au/
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Long toms from not so long ago. mcumpston Handguns 6 10-09-2008 05:41 PM
Marlin Model 1892 --- experiences in reloading Gatofeo Marlin Model 39's 20 12-09-2005 04:25 AM
The 45-70 at longer ranges oldfordjr Leverguns and Their Cartridges (General) 10 08-17-2005 11:02 AM
Using an Old Mauser or a New commercial Mauser FNFALmeister Rifles and Rifle Cartridges 10 12-09-2004 06:26 PM
32cal model 39 broncobill86 Marlin Model 39's 9 11-13-2004 06:11 AM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:43 AM.

< Contact Us - Shooters Forum - Archive >

 
 

All Content & Design Copyright © 1999-2002 Beartooth Bullets, All Rights Reserved
View Privacy Policy | Contact Webmaster | Legal Information
Website Design & Development By Exbabylon Internet Solutions
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2