Sniper Country Duty Roster collective wisdom

Mauser actions:

Went to a local gun show today. A guy was selling Mauser 98 action/trigger assys. for
75.00. The countries of manuf. were:
Czech., Mexico, Belgium. All were 75.00 . Some were what he called large ring and some
small ring. I assume that's a diff. in receiver ring size. These were all complete, in tact,
working units that all looked to be in very good shape. I played with a few and all seemed
to function perfectly. I'm not a gunsmith so I would not know where to look for good or bad
things. But just to look at and handle them, they seemed very strong and all seemed to
operate smoothly. To me, anyway, the trigger pulls seemed rather "long" and could stand
some lightening. He was also selling complete Mauser rifles for 150.00 . He had maybe
20-25 of the rifles. All were priced at 150.00.

Jeff A. <>
Walter Mitty is spit shinning his VIsa card in Smyrna, Ga USA - Saturday, October 03, 1998 at
23:24:39 (EDT)

Mauser actions: If you can find the old Belgian Mausers, that would be a great find for the
money you said, if it were a Mauser 98 action. Hell with the trigger you can always add a
secondary market trigger from Timney, etc. Now look at the actual bolt. You will probably
have to bend the bolt to accomdate using a scope and have to have it drill and tapped. One
thing about the older Mauser actions, and I have seen some at some gun shows, there is a
crescent cut out at the back of the receiver (Made so you can actually remove case with
your fingers) \. This can make the action inherently weaker and check for possible
seperation at that point. Generally this wont happen but Ive seen some. Remember, once
you get it back to your gunsmith, the action which you paid 100 bucks for will probably cost
you another 400 once you put the barrel, trigger, crowning headspacing, drilling and
tapping, and bolt bending, and bluing. But you will have a very good action and a very
strong action.

Al Ostapowicz <>
Mantua, Ohio USA - Sunday, October 04, 1998 at 09:05:03 (EDT)

To Jeff: 98 Mauser actions
You could do alot worse than select a good 98 mauser action as the basis for a custom rifle.
The Vz-24 and the Belgium actions have good reputations, don't know much about the
Mex actions. Stick with the large ring action unless you are thinking about going with a
lightweight rig. A word of advice, If you plan of building a rifle on a good 98 action, better
plan on making it a keeper. You will never get your money back out of it once all the
gunsmithing is done.
I recently bought a Belgium military carbine made for Venezuela with an 18 inch barrel
cal. 7mm. for $75 And I am thinking of putting a $300 long siderail scope base on it.

Steve <>
S.C.D.H., Ohio USA - Sunday, October 04, 1998 at 11:46:15 (EDT)

Reference Mauser actions. The miscellanious military actions found at the gun show are
just that - a mixed collection of parts. The better Mausers are post-war FN, Schulz and
Larsen, and Parker Hale. When building for the commercial market, the company wasn't
constricted to the military design specs including a thumb cut in the left wall for stripper
clips. For a while single shot Mausers were competitive in the benchrest game. Therefore,
if there is a choice, stay away from military Mausers.

CE (Terry) Warner
serving Cpl, ex 2Lt and ex Sgt Canadian Forces
Terry Warner <>
Canada - Sunday, October 04, 1998 at 13:02:44 (EDT)

Mauser Actions...ahh the memories...

Well guys, I'll put it this way. Been there. Done that. Won't do it again!

Why? Money. By the time you are done having the bolt reshaped to clear the scope (and
getting the scope bases aligned is a job in itself), having a new match grade barrel added
with match chamber and target crown, having the receiver tapped for scope bases, truing
the receiver, finding a quality stock of tactical proportions, replacing the trigger with a
quality unit, and refinishing the whole shebang, you will be far enough into debt to have
BOUGHT a top quality over the counter rifle that will be more accurate, have a stronger
action, and shoot more consistently!

Whew! I lost my breath just typing that! Seriously, while I LOVE the 98 action for what it
is, it has too many cut outs to be stiff enough for this sort of thing. In its day it was king.
But that day is over. There are better, tougher, and stiffer actions on the market today
that require NO extra smithing other than truing. You can buy a Savage 110FP for under
$400 and you can buy a 700VS for around $500. Why pay over $800+++ for a modified
Mauser unless you are simply into custom hunting rifles? You see, that $75 deal at the
show will cost you the price of a REAL tactical rifle, if done right, just to shoot on par with
an over the counter rig.

While the M98 action is very strong, particularly in comparison to the rifles of its ERA
there are a few points to consider: Controlled round feeding weakens the action by
requiring a large cut in the receiver. The Thumb notch weakens the action and will be
more suseptable to bedding stress. The large magazine cut out weakens the action. The
Bolt face with controlled round feeding is not ideal in terms of total action strength. And
just to piss some of you off and get things going: controlled round feeding is a waste of
time. To recap: It is unecessary and WEAKENS THE ACTION.

In short, for the money, there are FAR better and modern actions to build a long range
tactical rifle upon today. Leave the Mauser 98 actions for top quality custom hunting rifles
that seldom need to shoot beyond normal hunting ranges. Pick a stiff action with minimal
holes in it.

Strong words? yeah, sorry guys! I lost it there. I am just thinking about the several $1000s
of dollars I have wasted over the years trying to turn sow's ears into gold. You see, I
LOVE Mausers...
Scott <>
USA - Monday, October 05, 1998 at 13:46:23 (EDT)

Why don't you really tell us how you feel about converting the mauser!!
At the Varmint Hunters Jamboree last year they had a gunsmith talk to all about "Why
Build a Custom Rifle". When the question came up about actions he practically quoted you
word for word except to say if you do build one, plan on keeping it, because you will not get
your money back out of it.His recomendation was to stay with Remington,
Sako and Winchester in that order because of the cost of parts and stocks available. He
said with these three its like whats best Ford, Chevy or Dodge, They all have good
features it's just a matter of what options you want.
Pat <>
USA - Monday, October 05, 1998 at 16:33:34 (EDT)

To Scot: I think you may be selling the mauser a little short.
I know of several M-98 mausers that shoot 1 Moa or a little better as issued. M96 Swedish
mausers also. I concede that it may not be the best choice for a .1 Moa bench gun but, if
you keep your goals to a realistic .75 MOA or so, is well within the capabilities of the 98
As far as the cost goes, cant argue there, since I said as much in an earlier post.

Steve <>
S.C.D.H., Ohio USA - Monday, October 05, 1998 at 21:01:04 (EDT)

Seems to me I saw a old stock of mauser actions in Shotgun news a while back that had
never even been cut for the magazine.. also no striper notches, might take a bit more
machine work but for $25.00 if ya had to have a mauser it might be worth looking into. also
the bolt handle is NOT that big a deal. not to bad a grade of steel and I have seen some
rather tastefully formed ones done with nothing more that a torch and a heat treat oven.
also brownells sells preformed handle in all shapes that can be fitted. if you gonna hack on
it it ya might as well go all the way. The Biggest drawback seems to me to be the huge
firing pin and funky cock on closing action, ( also handled for a bit more money by a trip
through some of the parts books ) guess it comes down to " with enough time and money , I
can do anything " seems that I dont have enough of either these days. there does have to
be a bigger sense of acomplishment in making a good shooter out of one of the old timers

grey <>
Alaska USA - Monday, October 05, 1998 at 23:01:12 (EDT)

Steve: I didnít say the Mauser action couldnít shoot! My WWII era FN with a very heavy
Douglas bull barrel shot M852 into .5" on a regular basis. BUT, it cost twice as much to
create as an off the shelf rifle. Had I just bit the bullet with a new factory rifle at the start,
I could have had the same performance for a lot less cash and hassle. Also, you really do
need to think about barrel support with the 98 action. I could watch the bending forces
when ever I removed an action screw! This was due to the very heavy barrel and the
finger grove in the receiver. Like I said, I love Mausers! But it took me a long time to
realize they are best left in their original condition as collector pieces, or modified for
highly custom and personalized light to medium weight hunting rigs. OR building very
inexpensive open sighted hunting rifles.

In short, building a tactical rifle from scratch with an "affordable" Mauser action is NOT a
way to save money! There are simply much better actions to do this on.

Scott <>
USA - Tuesday, October 06, 1998 at 13:25:12 (EDT)

Hello everybody intrested, im thinking to buy a 300 Win. Mag. It is a mouser 98 action vith a hunting barriel and iron sights, the rifle has never been used in this condishion, the action is of a old mouser refinist and looks very good, new stock and barriel. I dont know the twist but the barriel is 24", im told it makes one h*** of a blast. 8)
What do i have to look into about rifles of this kind, ammo and such,300 Win. Mag is not wery common here in Iceland, but can be had if you know the right people, that is´nt a problem.

I´m now ready too hear your words of wisdom. :)

John ST <>
Fellabaer, Iceland - Wednesday, November 25, 1998 at 16:29:58 (EST) 

John in Iceland,
I would strongly recommend having a good gunsmith check out the rifle before you buy it. Mauser 98 actions have been used in building some fine rifles; but some have been turned into very dangerous things. Stay away from 88 and 95 actions as they aren't strong enough for a .300 Win. Mag. The action and barrel should be removed from the stock so you can get a look at the lower half of the action. Many times, the bottom half of the action is so badly rusted and pitted that it is not strong enough to use. The headspace should also be checked to make sure it is safe to fire. If you plan on using the iron sights and not adding a scope later, the standard military bolt handle will work just fine. If you are going to scope the rifle in the future, don't forget the added expense of drilling and tapping the receiver for scope mounts, plus reworking or adding a new bolt handle so it will clear the scope. It's a good caliber and yes, it is loud.

Doc <>
The Ozark boonies, MO USA - Wednesday, November 25, 1998 at 18:50:58 (EST) 

Ref Mauser actions: The old 88 and 95 generally are not worth the effort to try and turn them into super shooters. Now the Belgain commercial 98 are. If you can find one that might have been imported into the country during the 50s you've probably got a great action. I found one at a gun show which I converted into a 25.06 with absolutely no serial numbers on it. Great Great shooter.

Later gentlemen!

Al Ostapowicz <>
I Can See Clearly Now, the Rain is Gone in Blustery, Ohio USA - Wednesday, November 25, 1998 at 23:08:28 (EST) 

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