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My son was given a 1903 (Argentine?) Mauser chambered in .30-06. All serial numbers, including barell, matched. The barell appears to be factory marked as .30-06. It doesn't shoot worth a crap, and the casings show "ridges" on the shoulder as if the chamber reamer was really worn out. Any suggestions for a decnnt fix? I thought maybe rechambering to .30-06 A I might be plausible.
 

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The Argentine mauser is considered the finest mauser action ever built. However they were chamber in the 7.65 Argentine cartridge. This was a .312" diameter bulleted cartridge. This cartrige was the same head size as the 30-06, but the Argentine cartridge was shorter. Since ammo was scarce and expensive, many importers simply rechambered them for the 30-06, leaving the barrel .312" diameter. The 30-06 being .308" diameter the bullets were rather loose going down the barrel.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Yeah it sounds like a rechambered 7.65 that didn't clean up with the .30-06 reamer.
 

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It depends

The Argentine rifles were either 1891 or 1909 Models. I have a 1909 that was rechambered to .30-06 and it did not shoot very well. I had it rebarreled into a .280 Remington. All the best...
Gil
 

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I believe the 1903 Mausers are Turkish. Originally they were chambered in 7.65×53, same as the Argentines, so the same problem is likely to apply. Someone ran a .30-06 reamer in, but the pilot, which was probably about .306" to fit military minimum spec .3065" bores, bounced around in the .312" bore, which accounts for the scored chamber, regardless of whether the reamer was sharp or not. The accuracy would be pretty awful with bullets rattling down a bore that loose. It's enough clearance that the bullets could wind up engraved by rifling on one side and not the other. That usually leads to keyholing.

You should slug the bore to double-check the diameter. If you are going to go to .30-06 AI to clean the chamber up, see if you can rent a removable pilot reamer and a 0.311" pilot? Then just neck the .30-06 AI up to 0.311" for seating 0.312" bullets and buy those. Hornady makes a couple for .303 British. If the muzzle has been funneled by soldiers cleaning the bore from that end with steel cleaning rods (common in old service Mausers) then I would replace the barrel. Brownells and a number of the custom barrel makers have drop-ins available for Mausers that aren't too expensive.
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Good advice from Unclenick -

Pretty easy to neck up 30-06 cases to accept the .311-.312 dia. bullets made by several manufacturers. I've done this with the Russian 7.62x54R cartridges where the bores on the M91/38 and M38 slugged out at .312/.314 dia.
 

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Yeah, about 12-15 years back the "wizards" from Century Arms rechambered a bunch of 1909s in 7.65x53 to .30/06 and sold them to a gullible public. Some shot fair, but none I ever saw shot well. I worked with a co-workers rifle for a couple of months, loading .312 and .313 bullets, couldn't get under 4 to 6 inches at 100 yards, regardless of what I did. Finally bought the rifle from him for the action and rebarreled it in .22/250. Now it shoots!
 
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