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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I posted something in the wildcat area, but some of the questions would better be asked here I think.

I have a 1908 MS carbine (8x56) that was rechambered in 8mm-06 by a PO. The magazine was also worked over, and it works up to a 3 of the larger cartridges. I had some light loads I used to put together 25 years ago, but would rather go back to a milder cartridge. Is this even possible? If so, what would be my options?

I would be ok with 8x56, but if there is something comparable (power wise) that is more available I would choose that.

Are there any recommendations on gunsmiths for a job like this?

Thanks in advance
 

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I'd recommend leaving it alone. The magazine had to be re-worked to get the longer 8-06 to work in it. That means nothing else will unless its reworked again. That will take new parts which are very hard to find and extremely expensive.

The 8-06 is a fine caliber with plenty of components and loads listed for it. Early Speer manuals have the caliber listed.

Forget putting a scope on the rifle. It is stocked for irons and the receiver is NOT conducive to scope mounts.

Set a price on the gun and send me some pictures if you want to sell it.
 

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I know that rifle has a different magazine than some, and I'm unfamiliar with it, keep that in mind.

Anything shorter should be just fine. I've re-barreled a 7mm RM to 22-250 and it fed just fine. Shorter is easy.
Yes you can re-barrel to almost anything you want to pay for.
It really won't take any magic in terms of a Smith, just competence.

All that said, I personally would sell it. Folks like JBelk like those things. Many current rifles are easier to adapt and change without expensive tools or smiths. I vote for one of them.
 

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"Fair value" is an elusive figure. Are you buying, selling or insuring?

The holes in the side knock off several hundred dollars and the re-chamber several more. The three filled holes in the butt of the barrel would make it a parts gun for me until I found out where those holes go!! That could be a 'pressure gun' with a crude stopper in the hole.

I'd just about guess the follower is an original M-S for a longer than 8x54 case. Is there a matching number on that part?

Do you have a fired case from that rifle?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
"Fair value" is an elusive figure. Are you buying, selling or insuring?

The holes in the side knock off several hundred dollars and the re-chamber several more. The three filled holes in the butt of the barrel would make it a parts gun for me until I found out where those holes go!! That could be a 'pressure gun' with a crude stopper in the hole.

I'd just about guess the follower is an original M-S for a longer than 8x54 case. Is there a matching number on that part?

Do you have a fired case from that rifle?

I appreciate the info. Might just hang it on the wall and work the action whenever I need some zen. It is far and away the smoothest action I have ever felt.

I am looking for a sellng price. There is a gentleman who offered me $750 a few years ago, might be able to track him down.


Can you tell me where a part number might be on the follower? Don't see anything.


Somewhere I have a box of cartridges I loaded in the early 90s and there would be some fired cases... I hope to find them, along with the dies. The previous owner gave me details about recommended loads. I probably made 50 of them and shot half. One of them took a nice elk.
 

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Kinda sounds like it isn't worth kindling as it is, apologies for misrepresenting it. Could it be rebarrelled and converted to a different cartridge? Frankly I would be willing to pay quite a bit to convert this to something like a 257 Roberts.

Edit: This sounds more like a gunsmithing challenge, so I am going to pursue it in that section. thanks for the feedback!
Maybe this moved the discussion to the proper wood stove---

THIS is the kind of thing I specialized in for quite a while--restoration of metal work on nice guns. That's why I won't pretend to be objective about this one while I slobber all over the keyboard!

The barrel can be duplicated and the original sights re-installed with 'original' engraving applied to the barrel in any caliber that 'spool' will feed reliably. Look for two or three digits on any parts. They should be the same as the last of the serial number. Some 1908s are 'numbered' and some aren't.

I'm going by the memory here because I don't have a handy rifle to look at, but I think that spindle/spool is original 8x54 or possibly 8x57. It hasn't been butchered and I can't find anything but 8x68 long enough to work and that does not look like the 8x68 I looked at.

The holes in the side can be filled and the notch in the stock filled to show a repair, not to hide it.

I love the "Zen by bolt feel" comment. I agree. I have been very fortunate to accompany some 'money-uninhibited' gun collectors to some of the best shows in the world and to the best high-grade dealers in the country. I was even a judge of custom rifles for international awards several years in a row. There was even a time when scotch and a microphone conspired to make a comment before 300 people that warned them that to walk through the gun exhibit next door could require a condom.....
Some were not amused, but I still think its true to REAL gun guys!.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The course of action I would like to take:

1. have it inspected to determine if it is safe in the current configuration

2. if safe, develop a load for the rifle.

3. if not safe, identify options and costs.




Seems like a plan if I can find the right smith.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Took a good look at the rotating mag and do not see any numbers.

Wish I had an original to compare it to so I could know how much metal has been removed. While there is some rough grinding in the base piece the follower is lovely.


 

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Those are Bubba tracks, and fairly serious The cover can be replaced or repaired with a soldered-in liner. Here's what I see from the excellent pictures.

Post mortem on a Bubba job--The shoulder area of the spindle is visible and its plain to see the proper cartridge lays in that two diameter trough: Body, the neck and bullet. By trying to stuff a 62 mm case in a 54 mm spindle, the body of the case hit the shoulder area which made the cartridges lay at an angle with the bullet splayed outward. Bubba ground away the cover so the bullets would clear rather than moving the shoulder forward in the spindle to make it fit right. To fully support the cartridges as they rotate, that cover has to be fitted to hold them against the spindle.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I can only say that I believe you... because I don't know what it is supposed to look like.

Any chance that you can point me to a picture?
 

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I just slapped myself for repeating the wrong length....8x56MS.

The MS case is slightly smaller than the 30-06 and the rims drag on the 'saddle' when it's latched in the gun. Bubba ground away enough to allow them to clear in the rear and then had to grind considerably in the front to clear round 'propped up' by the short shoulder of the spindle.

It would be important to know if any grinding was done to the bottom of the receiver....

I don't have a picture but have two guns within a hundred miles I can fondle and photo.
 

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I was reading to the bottom of the string before embarrassing myself by correcting you too early on the length. They did make a 8x68 length but not in the 1908 model. It is really a shame that gun has been so badly bubba'd as in its original condition it would easily bring between 1500 to 2000. But to a collector it is forever ruined. Even for a shooter there are too many issues for me to feel safe shooting it. The OP is correct in that they are still the smoothest sliding bolt action ever made. Even the Mauser fans will give the MS their due.
 

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Even the Mauser fans will give the MS their due.
You bet! There's never been a higher quality bolt action ever made.
I have a 6.5x54 1903 here now, if the OP still need pictures. That gun could be made to shoot fairly simply...but not cheaply.
I wish he was interested in selling it for scrap prices but he was here four years ago and probably turned down my owerture. :)
 

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They do get in your blood don't they. I have not found another although I have bought a CZ 550 FS in 9.3x62 and a Ruger 77 RSI in 250-3000 savage. I like both of them but they don't speak to me like the 1905
 
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