After taking a deer this season with my m44, I decided that perhaps my main hunting rifle should have a safety. It's about time I caught up with the rest of the world.
And by safety, I mean a safety that's slightly easier to use!
J&G Sales was offering a "Gunsmith Special" 1916 Mauser for $175. Meh. I'll keep looking. I don't really need anything at the moment. They were rebored back in the 50s for 7.62 NATO and used by the equivalent of the Spanish National Guard. Kinda neat rifles, and I liked the look, but not for that-
-The price dropped to $149.99. Ugh, FINE. Give me your broken rifle and let's get this project started.
The 1916 Spanish Mauser is a small ring 1893 pattern with a shorter (22") barrel originally chambered in 7mm mauser. I wanted the 7.62 NATO version because of ammo availability mainly. The "gunsmith special" rifles could have any assortment of problems, such as broken stocks, firing pins, missing front sights, busted bolts, ringed barrels, etc.
I was taking a gamble, but I figure if I rolled snake-eyes I could always shelf it for when I felt like putting more money into it and building an entire rifle off of the action.
So I got the rifle in the mail a few weeks back. It was defintely "used". Probably as a boat anchor, or baseball bat. Or maybe the stock got that dinged up when they air-dropped these things into the country.
After taking the thing down to its bolts and pins, I noticed a few things that were broken.
1) Broken firing pin. Simple enough, Numrich has them for $20.
2) Stock forend cracked. Again, not too bad. A little wood glue and sanding.
3) Bore was a MESS. Copper solvent, a few days rest, lots of brushes, and the bore ALMOST looks shootable. It's no sewer pipe, but there's a little pitting. We'll see how it shoots once the pin comes in the mail.
4) Front sight hood was wobbly. I unwobbled it with the help of a vice after removing it from the rifle.
5) Dirty as hell. The deep clean included breaking everything down as far as possible and using PB Blaster and Remoil with rags and Q-tips to get the gunk out.
6) Took some metal off of the extractor an cleaned up the feeding of the rifle. It's almost smooth now.
7) Took some metal off of the follower to prevent it from nose-diving in the magazine.
Since I had the stock off, I figured I would sand it down and hit it with a stain.
320 grit paper took a while to get it down to anything reasonable. I wasn't doing this because I wanted a pretty rifle, I just wanted the two woods to kind-of match and for the nicks in the stock to get cleaned up.
Finally, after a cleaning, a soaking, and a staining, I put the rifle back together. Things I still might have to do.
1) Open up the rear sight a bit. It's a very
tight rear sight picture. Not sure how it will work in lower light.
2) Still waiting on the firing pin. Numrich and USPS are conspiring against me.
3) Shoot it and make sure it works.
4) If the front bayonet mount gets wobbly, I'll bob the stock and get rid of the broken wood. It's only really broken/missing wood up near the bayonet mount, and I don't plan on charging bambi. I've got my M44 for that job.
And it's nearly a pound lighter than the M44.