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I have been following along on here for several years just lurking around when I wanted to find out some information and such and decided it was about time to actually make an account. Thanks to everyone all the way back to where the forum looked different than it currently does for answering questions you may not even know you answered about things I was wanting or needing to know.
Having been a gun guy my whole life and piddling around with them here I have slowly worked my way up to wanting to build one. I have built 6 or 8 longrifles both from kits and stock blanks but never attempted a centerfire. Now that I have a couple of Mauser actions laying around that really need to be used on something its making me want to build a new rifle.
One of the actions is a BRNO VZ-24. It used to be on a sporterized 06 which looked like it had been dragged down a dirt road. The other is a Zastava Mauser I picked up awhile back with double set triggers chambered in 8x57JS.
Im leaning towards the VZ action and maybe either a 35 Wheelen or something similar.
The only reason I am considering the Zastava is that the BRNO has some pipe wrench marks on it where the previous owner removed the barrel.
Which do you guys think would make the better base for a build? Once I get my post count up I will post pictures and the build along but I guess until then its simply me asking questions and listening about how to go about the rifle in the best way possible.
I keep going back to the 270 too since I will use it for Elk, Deer and goats but Im open to suggestions.
Quality barrel makers in a #1 or #2 contour, I want it to be a hunting rifle so something that is over 6lbs and under 8.5 loaded would be ideal.
I have a couple of nice pieces of walnut in the barn that are just itching to be used and I think a piece of maple that was going to be a Hawken but may look better as a light stock.
 

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Welcome aboard!!

Pipe wrench marks on an action would take it out of the running unless it was REALLY checked out closely. That is Bubba in a BIG way!
The 'Zastava' could me most anything, but the only ones I know marked as such is the Mark X action, but they're unlikely to be in that caliber with double-set triggers. Tell me more about it.

Both those actions are likely to have mag boxes too short for an '06-based caliber. Are you planning on changing boxes or lengthening or seating bullets deep?

Send me pics if you want, I can post them for you. The main thing is get started!! :)
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Welcome aboard!!

Pipe wrench marks on an action would take it out of the running unless it was REALLY checked out closely. That is Bubba in a BIG way!
The 'Zastava' could me most anything, but the only ones I know marked as such is the Mark X action, but they're unlikely to be in that caliber with double-set triggers. Tell me more about it.

Both those actions are likely to have mag boxes too short for an '06-based caliber. Are you planning on changing boxes or lengthening or seating bullets deep?

Send me pics if you want, I can post them for you. The main thing is get started!! :)
Sounds good, I will send pics and measurements this evening. If needed I will change out the boxes on the action. I dont care much for messing around with my seating depth unless its simply to find something a rifle likes. I just came into a nice model 70 in 270 this morning so it looks like the caliber will be up in the air on it.
The Zastava with double set triggers is a M-70 I bought it awhile back to use as a donor rifle or possibly just shoot is as is since it is a 8x57js and is honestly a very good cartridge in the first place. However, Everything I have used so far in it is way below SAMMI specs for what it is rated (which is for some reason common with that particular caliber in the US)
 

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European made ammo is loaded much more reasonably than the 8x57 we get from US manufacturers. So that may be one route to go. S&B seems to be fairly common and reasonably priced.

The Mauser requires loading shorter than max OAL for '06 based cartridges, but this isn't the huge deal that some folks make it out to be. Unless you are stuck with factory ammo, just load shorter and work up as usual. I have a franken-mauser built on an old k98 in .30-06 (free commercial mauser barrel which greatly swayed the cartridge choice) and it shoots just fine with Nosler semi-spitzers (180gr. partitions). "Worked up" a load and got it sighted in, in ten rounds or so. No that's not "real" load development but for what it is, perfectly acceptable (3 shots in an inch and a half at 100 yards). Just picked a mid-range load out of one of the manuals, started a bit lower and went to the range with several powder increments of a half grain or so, three rounds each. The abbreviated load development was mostly due to only having one box of that particular bullet, and partly just being lazy. Bore-sighted the scope at home and don't remember if I even had to adjust it. The whole thing is as ugly as a mud fence, but it makes a great rough-weather or "brother in law" rifle and I shot 3 or 4 pigs one year, and a doe or two.

Maybe not the vision of a fine custom rifle :p but works great for what it is. Any of the '06 or x57mm cartridges can make a fine gun on a mauser action.
 

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I looked up the Zastava M70. Those are Mark X actions and suitable for what you want to do. The mag box is probably long enough.
SAAMI specs are for the ammo manufactures and represent an idea of what calibers could cause them problems with an insurance company and not a measure of 'what it can do'.

Those same actions were used in the Whitworth rifles in .375 H&H. They 'lengthened' the action like FN did for Browning by cutting away part of the feed ramp which is also the buttress for the lower (right) locking lug. They suffer the same failures as a result so I'd advise against doing what the factories do in that regard, but the actions are fine for everything else.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
European made ammo is loaded much more reasonably than the 8x57 we get from US manufacturers. So that may be one route to go. S&B seems to be fairly common and reasonably priced.

The Mauser requires loading shorter than max OAL for '06 based cartridges, but this isn't the huge deal that some folks make it out to be. Unless you are stuck with factory ammo, just load shorter and work up as usual. I have a franken-mauser built on an old k98 in .30-06 (free commercial mauser barrel which greatly swayed the cartridge choice) and it shoots just fine with Nosler semi-spitzers (180gr. partitions). "Worked up" a load and got it sighted in, in ten rounds or so. No that's not "real" load development but for what it is, perfectly acceptable (3 shots in an inch and a half at 100 yards). Just picked a mid-range load out of one of the manuals, started a bit lower and went to the range with several powder increments of a half grain or so, three rounds each. The abbreviated load development was mostly due to only having one box of that particular bullet, and partly just being lazy. Bore-sighted the scope at home and don't remember if I even had to adjust it. The whole thing is as ugly as a mud fence, but it makes a great rough-weather or "brother in law" rifle and I shot 3 or 4 pigs one year, and a doe or two.

Maybe not the vision of a fine custom rifle :p but works great for what it is. Any of the '06 or x57mm cartridges can make a fine gun on a mauser action.
You make some fine points. Also. Brother in law rifle cracked me up. I think we all have a loaner in the safe or at somebody's house. I have a elcheapo Remington 243 I have loaned out to my brother in law right now 😂😂
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I looked up the Zastava M70. Those are Mark X actions and suitable for what you want to do. The mag box is probably long enough.
SAAMI specs are for the ammo manufactures and represent an idea of what calibers could cause them problems with an insurance company and not a measure of 'what it can do'.

Those same actions were used in the Whitworth rifles in .375 H&H. They 'lengthened' the action like FN did for Browning by cutting away part of the feed ramp which is also the buttress for the lower (right) locking lug. They suffer the same failures as a result so I'd advise against doing what the factories do in that regard, but the actions are fine for everything else.
I don't think I'll cut on it any. I didn't draw an elk tag this year so I might just shoot for a good antelope gun build.
 

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I have decided to use the VZ action and keep the Zastova as is for now. After looking the Zastova over a little closer it is much rougher as far as the machining goes and its already a working rifle. Might as well leave it as is for now and work with the VZ. The pipe wrench marks on it I think can be covered up with scope bases so that hopefully will not be anything other than a cosmetic issue. Im trying to decide between a 280AI and a 25-06 If anyone else has any suggestions I am open to them. I still need to order a trigger for it and a floor plate and such so this will basically be a ground up build.
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For the price of postage and lunch, I'll grind the front ring and bridge. I can't guarantee the pipe wrench marks will come completely out, but the three closest to center will be covered by a scope mount. the important thing is to get the vertical spacing of the ring and bridge correct for commercial scope mounts. The perfectly straight, level and square with the bore line is a big bonus.

Here's a VZ-24 that started out nearly as crusty as yours. (for sale, too)

I can't imagine looking at pipe wrench marks in my custom hunting rifle! :eek:

Mausers can look mighty nice when given the classic treatment. ;)
 

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For the price of postage and lunch, I'll grind the front ring and bridge. I can't guarantee the pipe wrench marks will come completely out, but the three closest to center will be covered by a scope mount. the important thing is to get the vertical spacing of the ring and bridge correct for commercial scope mounts. The perfectly straight, level and square with the bore line is a big bonus.

Here's a VZ-24 that started out nearly as crusty as yours. (for sale, too)

I can't imagine looking at pipe wrench marks in my custom hunting rifle! :eek:

Mausers can look mighty nice when given the classic treatment. ;)
Now that is a beauty of a rifle! I can only hope that this one turns out even close to that.
I will send you a PM on that action! It could defiantly use some cleaning up bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just to make sure before I order a barrel. I should be good to go with a large ring Mauser barrel right? I keep getting mixed signals on it.
Also does anyone have any suggestions on a barrel maker that may have them premade?
 

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Your's is a Large Ring M98. I've installed a couple hundred barrels but never a pre-thread so can't say.
 
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