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Author Topic: A new old rifle (1916 Mauser)  (Read 1682 times)

Deer Hunter

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A new old rifle (1916 Mauser)
« on: December 16, 2016, 03:29:01 PM »
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.



« Last Edit: December 16, 2016, 04:01:06 PM by Deer Hunter »
Author of A Faerie Bad Deal, Don't Let a Murder Rune your Knight, and more!  My first book is on Amazon, here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K70XWDU

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    coelacanth

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    Re: A new old rifle (1916 Mauser)
    « Reply #1 on: December 16, 2016, 04:26:40 PM »
    Lookin' good so far.   :thumbup1
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    Deer Hunter

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    Re: A new old rifle (1916 Mauser)
    « Reply #2 on: December 16, 2016, 06:20:17 PM »
    Range report as soon as I get my damned firing pin in.
    Author of A Faerie Bad Deal, Don't Let a Murder Rune your Knight, and more!  My first book is on Amazon, here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K70XWDU

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    mattitude

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    Re: A new old rifle (1916 Mauser)
    « Reply #3 on: December 16, 2016, 07:44:55 PM »
    Pretty cool, almost looks like an Engineer's carbine.
    North CarolinaMedically retired Air Force (17 years, 7 months & 25 days)

    RMc

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    Re: A new old rifle (1916 Mauser)
    « Reply #4 on: December 18, 2016, 09:44:51 AM »
    "Open up the rear sight a bit. It's a very tight rear sight picture."

    Indeed!

    And while you are "improving" the rifle, consider installing a replacement square post front sight from Brownells.  The "battle zero" for most Mauser rifles places the shot nearly a foot high at 100 yards. The replacement "Patridge" type front sight will not only give a better sight picture, but will have sufficient height to file to an appropriate zero for your purposes.
    Alabama

    Deer Hunter

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    Re: A new old rifle (1916 Mauser)
    « Reply #5 on: December 20, 2016, 08:32:16 PM »
    Good suggestion. I'll wait until I have it on paper until I look into doing that modification, however.

    "Open up the rear sight a bit. It's a very tight rear sight picture."

    Indeed!

    And while you are "improving" the rifle, consider installing a replacement square post front sight from Brownells.  The "battle zero" for most Mauser rifles places the shot nearly a foot high at 100 yards. The replacement "Patridge" type front sight will not only give a better sight picture, but will have sufficient height to file to an appropriate zero for your purposes.

    Author of A Faerie Bad Deal, Don't Let a Murder Rune your Knight, and more!  My first book is on Amazon, here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K70XWDU

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    Kaso

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    Re: A new old rifle (1916 Mauser)
    « Reply #6 on: December 21, 2016, 11:40:11 AM »
    One thing to note:  Take it easy on your loads.  When I bought my FR-8, I researched them online and found a good bit of chatter concerning how they were liable to blow up in one's face.  Digging a bit, I comfortably determined that no, they were not.  FR-8s are large ring M43 Mausers, but were given a bad rep by the FR-7s.  FR-7s - what you have - started life as M1893s, (1893, the same design as was used against the Americans in the Spanish-American war) were cut down to M1916 spec around *that* year, and then rebarreled in the '50s from 7x57 to 7.62 and renamed FR-7s. 

    Are you holding a live grenade?  No.  A potential grenade?  Probably.  But only if you try stupid loads with it.  Keep it to 7.62 spec and lower (maybe occasional .308 - maybe) and you should be fine.
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    sqlbullet

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    Re: A new old rifle (1916 Mauser)
    « Reply #7 on: December 21, 2016, 03:05:26 PM »
    Keep it to 7.62 spec and lower (maybe occasional .308 - maybe) and you should be fine.

    Huh?
    Utah

    Grant

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    Re: A new old rifle (1916 Mauser)
    « Reply #8 on: December 21, 2016, 04:59:45 PM »
    Huh?

    7.62 Nato, the actual chambering of that rifle has lower max pressure than commercial .308 ammunition.  Thus, .308 ammunition may test the max strength of a small-ring mauser.

     

     
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    Re: A new old rifle (1916 Mauser)
    « Reply #9 on: December 21, 2016, 05:31:25 PM »
    The difference (about 2,000 psi) is mostly related to the location of the transducer in EPVAT testing by NATO vs SAAMI testing.  SAAMI places the transducer in the chamber proper where EPVAT places it at or just past the case mouth.  And, 7.62X51 proof rounds are about 1,000 psi higher than 308 Winchester.

    Exterior ballistics tell the real tale though.  M59 ball performs velocity wise just like commercial 150 grain ammo.  If you compare M59 ball with Hornady 150 grain Interlock American Whitetail you find:  M59 ball produces 2750 fps measured 78 ft from the muzzle.  Hornady does not offer a 78 ft velocity, but advertises 2820 at the muzzle and 2553 at 100 yards.  This is a loss of .89 fps per foot of travel.  Or a loss of 69.42 fps from muzzle velocity at 78 feet.  Which is 2750.58 fps.

    Military brass typically has about 1.5 grains less internal capacity than commercial brass. Some opine that this means the chamber has to be stronger since less brass means weaker case.  On the other hand, less case capacity means a need for a slightly higher initial pressure in the military brass to maintain a pressure curve that will still hit the target velocity.  In general, these two cancel each other out for comparable velocity loads that are in spec.

    The bigger concern for me with the '93 action would not be strength, but the lack of the safety features built into the action.  The 93 lacked good venting for gas from ruptured primers and lacked the third, rear, locking lug.  However, neither of these omissions would concern me enough not to enjoy a an FR-7.  I would have no concerns about any factory 308 ammo in the gun, personally.  However, given my penchant for cast lead bullets, it would likely see a heavy diet of "gallery" loads were one added to my gun safe.

    my 2¢.

    Edit--And they still have them in stock.....This might be a late christmas present to me.
    « Last Edit: December 21, 2016, 05:42:29 PM by sqlbullet »
    Utah

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    Re: A new old rifle (1916 Mauser)
    « Reply #10 on: December 21, 2016, 11:01:37 PM »
    my 2¢.
    Yeah, okay.  Let us know how it works for you.  Here's the thing: There are some ugly pictures online of Spanish Mausers blown to pieces.  Those are FR-7s in 7.62x51.  You can form your own conclusions concerning the causes, but the internet consensus is that hot, commercial .308 was fired through them. 

    I only present this information to advise Deer Hunter to be cautious.  A rifle, the action of which could very possibly be 120 years old, can not be expected to be up to modern standards of strength or durability.  In 1893, smokeless powder had been around for less than a decade.  They are good rifles, and Not live grenades, but care should be taken to keep the loads on the lighter side.  In my mind, commercial 7.62 Nato should be the heaviest load considered.

    You could run hot .308 through them all day long, and you may not have any problems...  Or you might be uploading your own set of 'Spanish Mauser kaboom' photos to WTA, telling how fortunate you were to be wearing eye pro that day.  It's a flip of the coin.  Or just keep the loads on the light side, and pretty much preclude that possibility.
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    Re: A new old rifle (1916 Mauser)
    « Reply #11 on: December 21, 2016, 11:12:07 PM »
    This 1987 G&A article may be of interest regarding the 7.62x51 1916 Mauser

    http://masterton.us/Gammo
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    Re: A new old rifle (1916 Mauser)
    « Reply #12 on: December 21, 2016, 11:28:19 PM »
    This 1987 G&A article may be of interest regarding the 7.62x51 1916 Mauser

    http://masterton.us/Gammo
    Good read.  I am not going to argue that they did not actually test the rifles that way - perhaps the did get up to 98,000.  What I would say, is 1987 was before the internet era, where that G&A article was as good as God's law to the gun community, and no one could refute them on a widely read platform, such as gun forums. 

    The examples online that have blown up, did so for a reason.  Were they double charged?  Maybe some.  Or were they just lemons, weak examples that are randomly scattered in the production samples?  If that is the case, how can one be sure that their example is not one as such?  1*
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    Grant

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    Re: A new old rifle (1916 Mauser)
    « Reply #13 on: December 22, 2016, 08:21:53 AM »
    The examples online that have blown up, did so for a reason.  Were they double charged?  Maybe some.  Or were they just lemons, weak examples that are randomly scattered in the production samples?  If that is the case, how can one be sure that their example is not one as such?  1*

    Exactly my point, more room for flaw error, and if one is HANDLOADING......308 there's room to push it hotter than necessary.

     I believe the chances of problems are slim, however they exist and are magnified.     Also, 7.62 nato and .308 headspace figures are far different.  Not enough to matter in a well-made, strong gun.   100+ year old gun that's been rechambered?

    My above point stands.   7.62 loads I'd not worry about.  I wouldn't worry about factory .308 rounds.  Handloads pushing the upper end of the load data?     The old Hornady "Light magnum" factory loads?  No, I myself wouldn't be comfortable doing it.
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    Re: A new old rifle (1916 Mauser)
    « Reply #14 on: December 22, 2016, 08:33:42 AM »
    Kaso, I completely agree that there is need for some caution with these guns.  In fact, SAAMI heavily limited pressures in 7X57 in the US market specifically because of concerns. (citation:  http://www.chuckhawks.com/small_ring_mausers.htm)

    But, I will also add this. I have studied a good many kaboom reports in internet forums across a wide variety of guns.  I have had a couple of near misses myself recently.  In almost every case as more information came to light, it turned out the shooter was at the very least not being cautious, and most often was down right stupid.  Myself included.

    Gun guys tend to be a certain stereotype.  A stereotype that doesn't really allow for much public acknowledgement of guilt or stupid.  So in general when I hear of a Kaboom! report, I first suspect the person, not the equipment.

    I would be not shoot "boutique" 308 ammo that pushes limits in this gun.  Thinking about Underwood here, but others fit the bill.  I would be cautious about Hornady Superperformance, as I haven't done a ton of research about it's pressure profile.  But standard factory load from a major maker, not so much concern.  And handload for accuracy, not velocity.

    You are right to suggest caution, and I don't mean to suggest otherwise.  But I don't want this to become an anchor point for more FUD about 308 vs 7.62 or the "fragile" small ring action.  Make sense?

    Utah

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    Re: A new old rifle (1916 Mauser)
    « Reply #15 on: December 22, 2016, 09:09:02 AM »
    Would it be worth the investment of a getting a new barrel made and chambered?

    Or does the failure happen with the action itself, with lugs shearing off, etc.?

    Deer Hunter

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    Re: A new old rifle (1916 Mauser)
    « Reply #16 on: December 22, 2016, 12:06:14 PM »
    Would it be worth the investment of a getting a new barrel made and chambered?

    Or does the failure happen with the action itself, with lugs shearing off, etc.?

    If the gun doesn't shoot worth a dang, I will have a friend of mine taper and cut down a barrel blank and probably put a new stock on the action and have him tap it for a scope too. Because at that point, it's gonna be such an expensive project that it will take a year or so to complete. That's why I'm hoping it'll be an easy fix.
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    Deer Hunter

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    Re: A new old rifle (1916 Mauser)
    « Reply #17 on: December 22, 2016, 12:18:00 PM »
    As for the issue with the strength of these rifles,

    I've read a ton on these things. People on the internet tend to think that these rifles are absolute grenades. Nothing but "Kabooms" waiting to happen.

    Oddly, the only ones I've seen that blew up were on Castboolits.com, and was an OBVIOUS overloaded case. Like, pistol powder and filling the case and then pressing the bullet on a bed of fast powder. The whole gun was destroyed.

    That doesn't happen with .308. That doesn't happen for .308 proof loads. s___, that doesn't happen unless they TRY to make it happen.

    Despite the common wisdom, no one can seem to show any proof of blown up guns that wasn't the fault of the guy behind the trigger.

    SAAMI and CIP tests were not done using the same methods, and if you do the proper unit conversions 7mm Mauser and .308 Win are not that far off. And 7mm mauser has been loaded very hotly at some points.

    Yes, these are small ring mausers. Yes, they have 2 lugs and not 3. But they are still mausers. And if they were gonna blow up, they would have blown up when they were chambered in 7mm mauser. Because they were bad from the factory.

    I headspaced the rifle, and it passed that test without any issues. It's got a high-pressure blow off port in the receiver, but I don't think it'll be that much of an issue.

    I'm not going to be running super hot .308 loads out of this rifle. There's no point, because 1) it's not a precision rifle 2) I won't be shooting this rifle realistically past 200 yards. My hunting loads are the cheapest ammo that the rifle can shoot decently. My standard hunting round has been 200 grain soft points out of my M44, which are MAYBE going 2000 fps by the time they hit something.

    Author of A Faerie Bad Deal, Don't Let a Murder Rune your Knight, and more!  My first book is on Amazon, here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K70XWDU

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    Deer Hunter

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    Re: A new old rifle (1916 Mauser)
    « Reply #18 on: January 16, 2017, 06:37:37 PM »
    Update.
    With the new firing pin installed, the rifle's trigger would not release the pin from spring tension due to some geometry issues within the sear itself. This was only found out at the range, when the cartridge put pressure on the bolt and changed its geometry. It would dry fire just fine. Interesting.

    This was fixed by purchasing some hardened pins (1/8ths inch) and redrilling/reaming the trigger pin and the sear pin. For the sear pin, it had to be moved forward on the trigger assembly due to poor QC during manufacturing.

    Myself, along with my good gunsmith friend, redrilled the 3mm slot to a 5mm slot and used a pin from an AK-47 parts kit for the sear. We then staked the new trigger pin in place.

    However, I made the decision to bob the front of the stock, as it was cracked and only getting worse. I also took a file to the rear sight and opened it up, as well as sharpened the picture.

    I took it to the range yesterday. It shot straight enough from a prone position after adjusting the elevation of the rear sight, but the front sight may have to be drifted slightly. I'll know more when I put it on sand bags. I mainly wanted a function test.

    I had a few blown primers due to the firing pin being a little long. The Spanish QC is BAD. So I'm going to remove the pin and take a bit off of the tip with one of my files.

    My buddy has a sling he tossed my way, which works well with the rifle. I ordered 80 rounds of Silver Bear 140 grain soft points for final testing.

    Though now I know that my dog has my six while I'm prone, which is comforting.









    Author of A Faerie Bad Deal, Don't Let a Murder Rune your Knight, and more!  My first book is on Amazon, here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K70XWDU

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    Re: A new old rifle (1916 Mauser)
    « Reply #19 on: January 16, 2017, 07:08:29 PM »
    Good looking pup!  (Nice rifle,too!)  What kind of dog is it?  Looks like he's pretty serious about covering your six!
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    Re: A new old rifle (1916 Mauser)
    « Reply #20 on: January 16, 2017, 09:27:56 PM »
    Good looking pup!  (Nice rifle,too!)  What kind of dog is it?  Looks like he's pretty serious about covering your six!

    Labradoodle, second gen. Great dogs. My family has a kennel/farm in Texas and they are one of the breeds we raise. Growing up training hunting dogs, I was apprehensive about labradoodles, but they won me over fast. Hyper intelligent, extremely loyal, large, shaggy, great companions. We've sold them to suburbanites and hunters alike.

    New ammo will be here on Thursday, so Brown Santa says.
    Author of A Faerie Bad Deal, Don't Let a Murder Rune your Knight, and more!  My first book is on Amazon, here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K70XWDU

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    Re: A new old rifle (1916 Mauser)
    « Reply #21 on: January 16, 2017, 10:22:07 PM »
    Also, with enough poodle in the mix, hypoallergenic...

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    Re: A new old rifle (1916 Mauser)
    « Reply #22 on: January 18, 2017, 05:46:46 PM »
    Got ammunition in today. Tomorrow targets come in. Friday I'll try to get out to shoot it on bags. Got the firing pin fixed up.

    Couldn't help it. My dog's name is Mosin, after all.

    Author of A Faerie Bad Deal, Don't Let a Murder Rune your Knight, and more!  My first book is on Amazon, here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K70XWDU

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    Re: A new old rifle (1916 Mauser)
    « Reply #23 on: January 19, 2017, 10:31:13 AM »
    That's funny!
    I have a Spanish 1916 as well, that was rechambered for 8mm Mauser by a gunsmith buddy of mine.



    Not as nice looking as yours! I will say that it is one tough grand old lady, but I only load cast bullet loads for one reason - that IS a 100 year old receiver. I don't need to load romper stomper loads in such an old rifle, so I don't, and keep the pressures way down to where she doesn't blow her skirts up in my face.
    Very nice sir,and awesome dog.

    Deer Hunter

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    Re: A new old rifle (1916 Mauser)
    « Reply #24 on: January 19, 2017, 01:25:56 PM »
    Nice looking rifle, man. Better than mine most likely.

    So I took the firing pin out and examined some of the brass. I'm getting some bulged primers sadly.  :facepalm

    Next course of action is to leave this rifle in the hands of my gunsmith buddy until he builds his barrel vice. The barrel will have to be pulled and stuck on a lathe to set back the shoulder 360 degrees, then the chamber will have to be reamed again. He's got all the tools but the barrel vice.

    Other options are to take it back by 45 degrees, but I'd have to knock the sights off and install new sights. I don't really want to do that. I could always get a new barrel as well, but that's a few hundred dollars to drop on a rifle that I paid $150 for, so that's not happening.

    One day it'll be a decent blaster! But may take a few months now.

    The good news is that when I did shoot it, it shot pretty well. So there's always that.  :coffee
    Author of A Faerie Bad Deal, Don't Let a Murder Rune your Knight, and more!  My first book is on Amazon, here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K70XWDU

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