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exbiologist's picture
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Custom Mauser ideas wanted

Kicking around a bunch of winter boredom solutions, most of which revolve around a new elk rifle. Now that I sold the .358 Norma, I'm down to just the .264. While I've taken 3 elk with it the last two years, I still want something different. Thinking about doing a cut down Vz-24 in 8mm-06 Improved on the cheap end, and a Mannlicher stocked .338-06 Improved on the more expensive end. I could even replace the .358 easily enough, but I still want to do another one in stainless in the future. Also need to replace my .280, and I like the idea of Improving that too.
First, any reason not to do an "Improved" over a standardish chambering? You'll need to buy or rent a reamer regardless, and Redding has dies for all of the above.
What kind of feeding issues would I expect with a Vz-24 or similar action using -06 length cartridges instead of x57 stuff?
Am I better off just purchasing a commercial Mauser action (Midway will hav Zastavas in stock by the end of the month) rather than sporterizing a military action when all the mods are said and done? Considering I can't weld, at the bare minimum I will need a smith to do a new bolt handle for me, but everything else I think I could do myself, including drilling and tapping, hand reaming, headspacing, safety install, crowning etc. But I'll definitely need some new tools, at which point, should I have just done the commericial action instead?
So, at a bare minimum, say an 8mm-06 Imp might cost what? $200 for a very good Vz-24 from AIM or JandG or Century, $30 reamer rental, $92 Boyds laminate, $70 muzzle crown tool, maybe a $10 extended floorplate release button, plus a D&T fixture and taps. I love the idea of putting old guns back to work, but I'm not sure it makes any sense when I can buy a new Zastava for about $280, already D&Ted, plus a safety and bolt handle that works with with a scope. Even if I just purchased a Mauser action for $100, it seems like that would be tough to beat the commercial Mauser considering all the work that needs to be done.
Any ideas, thoughts, horror stories?

WesternHunter's picture
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Re: Custom Mauser ideas wanted

Not sure about the various caliber options when building a rifle on a Mauser action. I know several folks who have hunting rifles built on 98K actions. Cartridges that they had the rifles chambered in are in .30-06 Sprngfld, .270 Win, 7X57mm Mauser, etc. All of the rifles were built during the late 1940's and throughout the 1950's on actions that were salvaged from both wartime or pre-war 98K actions My wifes grandfather is one of those who owns a .270 Win build on a 98K action. He said that he had once overloaded (by error) one of his reloads years ago and burst the cartridge case inside the chamber. The action was unharmed according to the rifle smith that he had examine it. You can't go wrong having a custom rifle built on a Mauser action. I would only recommend that you keep the chambering in a similar chambering and pressure level that the Mauser was designed for.

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Re: Custom Mauser ideas wanted

Sounds like a fun project ex! I have a 270 with a mouser and really like it now that I floated the barrel and adj the trigger. For some reason I'm tryin to sell it?? The main thing I don't like is having to have the tall risers to clear the safety. If you need some help with the welding let me know I have done quite a bit of stainless work but not any actions yet. Tim

bitmasher's picture
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Re: Custom Mauser ideas wanted

Prior to reading this thread I was not familiar with the vz-24. But I just did some reading, the vz-24 is a Brno gun and should be of solid craftmanship, plus it looks like the vz-24 coming in to the states lately are coming in from russia as capture guns. While I have not held or examined a vz-24, I have examined a good deal of captured k98 and was generally impressed with the reworking the Russians did at that time (good blue, good bores, and functional guns).

The 30-06 is slightly longer than the 8mm, so I'm not sure if they will work in these rifles, if its an exact copy of a k98 dimensionally it should work out fine.

If you must use a mauser action, I would look for some of the used commercial mausers of a few decades ago. FN actions and Interarms Mark X are good and were chambered for 30-06.

If you can kick the need for push feed, you could go with a used savage action, these would probably be easier to build up on a budget with fewer tools.

WesternHunter's picture
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Re: Custom Mauser ideas wanted

As long as it's a long action you should be fine. It's the new barrel that will be chambered for the specific cartridge you want. The bolt face may need to be tweeked too, head space will be set when the new barrel is screwed to the action. Ditto on the FN Mauser actions, those could be found in many parts of the America's mainly from Mexico on south and many African countries as well.

exbiologist's picture
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Re: Custom Mauser ideas wanted

One aspect I totally forgot was that I can get my hands on a used sporterized or 50-60s era commercial Mauser for pretty dang cheap, and will save me a lot of the action work that might be required.

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Re: Custom Mauser ideas wanted

That would save you a lot of the metal work. I allways wanted to do this but I know how I am. I just don't have the patience.

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Re: Custom Mauser ideas wanted

A commercial Mauser would be quite a bit easier to work with. I like the idea of a Mauser in .35 Whelen.

If you do end up with the VZ-24, don't shoot it. You may like it too much. A buddy of mine has one and it's a good shooting rifle with handloads.

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Re: Custom Mauser ideas wanted

I have a couple of the older commercial Mausers, Int MKX, FN Sako and Husqvarna and any of them would make a great custom rifle, but they are getting tough to find for a fair price. If you search GunsAmerica (or similar) you might get a real bargain. One Husky, very similar to mine, recently sold for about $300.(as I debated! Duh ) and those actions are very very nice. Something else to look for might just be an older "sporterized" M98 (or similar). I've found two in the last 3 yrs on GunsAmerica for $375 each that both already had very nice stocks (nicer than my Boyds ones) nice bluing (one matte the other high gloss) and were even good shooters. One was still in the original 8X57, but barrel steps turned down and barrel shortened, new bolt handle, scope bases and low-swing safety were already installed, then the entire barreled action was matte blued. The stock was also really nice, uncheckered, but nice grain and well finished. A very fine rifle/shooter for $375. The other find had been re-barreled to .308, but I will ultimately have it rebarreled to .358, .338F, .338/06 or .35 Whelen (once I decide! Unsure ) and then perhaps an Accurate Innovations stock added making it a really nice, true custom, piece.

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