Ever have one of those rifles you’ve worked on for a while and just can’t seem to come up with any solutions?
by Wendell Dwight Deaner
For the last few years I’ve been fooling around with some old military-issue Mausers, specifically 96s and 98s. The reason I am such a fan of these guns is they are positively basic. By working the Mausers I have come to better understand how bolt action rifles work and what’s needed to keep them functioning properly. This style of action is the basis of many modern actions and the knowledge I’ve gained by working on the basics has carried over to such actions as the Model 70 Winchester, Remington 700, Ruger 77 variants and others, all of which are offshoots of the original Mausers. Although many of these guns are still available, albeit at premium prices, I was able to obtain mine at a time when they were relatively abundant and cheap. I guess we’ll never see those days again.
While I have been chastised for altering guns that may have some collector value, I counter that if a weapon originally beat up on the battlefield is purchased for one hundred dollars and years later is worth no more than four hundred dollars at inflated prices, exactly how valuable is that?
When Peter Paul Mauser and his company’s engineers designed a rifle for cartridges such as the 6.5x55mm, the 8x57mm, the 7x57mm, and the others they paid close attention to the specs of the feed ramps and springs for each individual chambering. By changing the cartridge in such a rifle we are working without a net as far as feeding issues are concerned.
Read more in our June 2013 issue. Back issues are available.
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