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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I'm hoping to find out whether or not the following is a problem with my gun, or operator error.

I have a rifle with a 98 Mauser action. The first thing I noticed is that I can not more the bolt forward on an empty chamber. Turns out that was done on purpose so that soldiers would know they were out of ammo, makes sense.

Now, on my other bolt action rifle I can load the magazine, push the rounds down into the magazine a bit, then close the bolt on an empty chamber. I like doing that because it allows me to keep the gun in a "safe" state when I'm not anticipate using it, but I can just work the bolt once and it's ready to go. We used to call this "hot standby."

Anyway, when I do that with the Mauser and I work the bolt, the first round in the magazine kind of stands up at a 45 degree angle when I pull the bolt back, and when I move the bolt forward is moves back down to it's original position in the magazine. I can do that repeatedly without the round chambering.

Is something wrong with my rifle, or is that normal for these old military actions?

I guess I should mention that this is a 45-70 built on a Siamese Mauser action.

Marc
 

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It depends

The original magazine follower on a '98 Mauser will prevent closing the bolt on an empty chamber. A lot of rifles were altered my chamfering the rear of the follower to allow the bolt to close when the magazine was empty.

The second problem may need a bit of attention. The round should feed from the magazine. Without seeing the rifle, it is a bit difficult to say what is going on. The magazine spring may need to be replaced. The rails may need to be altered to accommodate the .45-70 cartridge. A competent gunsmith should be able to advise you on a fix. All the best...
Gil
 

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THe 45-70 is a rimmed cartridge and the Siamese Mauser has a curved magazine that allows the rounds to stack so that the rim of the top round doesn't catch on the rim of the next round below when chambering.

Double check that you have the topmost round stacked so that the rim is free to slide forward without catching the rim of the next lower round. If the round still won't chamber the problem could be with the follower not positioning the rim between the boltface and the extractor. Or the rails may not be spaced properly to allow chambering.

You'll need an experienced smith to work out these kinks. Not everyone has worked on a Siamese Mauser. I know this from hard experience. Finally found a smith that knew what he's doing, but he's had my rifle for 9 months.
 

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One explanation for your problem may be that when the rifle was rebarreled for the .45/70 cartridge no work was done to the magazine to allow it to feed the straight walled .45/70 catridge. The original 8x52mmR Siamese Mauser cartridge, although rimmed like a .45/70, was a bottleneck cartridge and the magazine was optimised to feed it. The straight .45/70, especially with a flat point bullet, is a challenge in a box magazine.

Adapting the magazine for the .45/70 would be as much of an art as a science, and perhaps the conversion of the magazine was either not done or not done properly. You could try different bullet profiles and avoid flat point bullets, but if that doesn't work you need to find a gunsmith who knows how to make it feed.
 

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I had to replace the magazine spring in my Siamese Mauser 45/70 and you do need to load the magazine properly as mentioned.Mine feeds flat and round nose bullets very well.The 350 gr Barnes TSX is not so reliable but is loaded to a longer COL.I plan to polish the front of the magazine box to see if that helps with the pointy bullt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Great input, thank you. That makes a lot of sense, and it turns out that at least some of my problem is operator error. I had no idea I have to pay attention to how I load it.

It's with a very reputable gunsmith now, so I hope he will find any problems that may (or may not...) exist with the gun. I'm going to call him and confess that I wasn't loading it correctly.

I was hoping to use the 350 grain TSX, so it would be nice if they would load in my rifle. On the Barnes site is says those are for the 458 Win Mag, is that why they are making the cartridges longer?

Marc
 

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Unfortunately the 45-70 to Siamese Mauser is not a "Done deal" conversion !!! I had one chambered to 45-90 and recently sold it. I could never get it to feed efficiently enough to suit me, even when shooting 45-70 rounds through it. It definitely requires some tweaking !!! Good luck !!! HD1
 

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Great input, thank you. That makes a lot of sense, and it turns out that at least some of my problem is operator error. I had no idea I have to pay attention to how I load it.

It's with a very reputable gunsmith now, so I hope he will find any problems that may (or may not...) exist with the gun. I'm going to call him and confess that I wasn't loading it correctly.

I was hoping to use the 350 grain TSX, so it would be nice if they would load in my rifle. On the Barnes site is says those are for the 458 Win Mag, is that why they are making the cartridges longer?

Marc
I haven't used Barnes 350's, but I've used Swift 350's that have the cannelure in the wrong place for the 45-70. I just use a Lee factory crimp die and crimp at the length that works best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all for your input. I've solved the problem by returning the rifle. After more testing it continued to have feeding problems, and I have no use for an unreliable rifle.

I ordered a new 458 lott. That way I have all the power I could ever want when I need it, but most of the time I'll be loading it down to stout 45-70 levels. Bullet selection will no longer be a concern.
 
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