Workin' On The Turk


Zeke Menuar
November 22, 2004, 03:49 AM
Spent most of the day working on my beater M38 Turkish Mauser. When I got it I knew it would be a big POS. I wasn't disappointed. Pitting under the stockline, no exposed bluing, mismatched parts. The stock looked like it had been dragged across the Turkish frontier then trampled by a division of horse mounted cavalry. A headspace check revealed a generous chamber. I would like to think that the chamber was cut larger to help function under battlefield conditions. But hey, this is a Turkish Mauser. Routine cleaning seems to be of a lower priority. A peek down the bore shows some questionable maintenance. Maybe someone shot a few thousands round of some high quality? highly corrosive 8mm ammo and forgot his bottle of Windex.

Some of the high points are a nice slick Mauser action and a very good trigger. I hope to learn how gunsmiths improve the standard Mauser trigger without aftermarket parts. I am thinking a same size lighter sear spring and some strategic polishing might improve a already good two-stage military trigger. After that the parts are of lower quality.

I got another stock and threw away the crappy stock that came with it. The replacement was well used. Made of Walnut. Good shape, has one bad spot in need of repair and came with the spring-loaded forearm band. Not the hammered in/pinned assembly. A real plus. I managed to fix the gouged out areas with commercial wood filler(not the crap at Home Depot). The gouge looked like someone dragged a screwdriver across the stock twice. One inch long, 1/4" wide but not deep. Too shallow to splice. Color matched with a blend of two stains and a small paint brush. Ready to seal and finish with Tung oil.

Cleaning the metal was another matter. Soaked the small parts for a week in mineral spirits. Once the parts dried I used a small dremel wire wheel to get the easy areas, then switched to a brass brush and/or dental picks when needed. Took most of a football game to do this. Lots of dried caked stuff in the corners.

When game two started I had cleaned and steel-wooled the metal parts. I have both Brownells Oxpho-Blue paste and liquid. The liquid wins hands down for the best finish. Got started on the barrel and reciever, triggerguard and all the other exposed metal parts. I put about five coats on everything. So far the metal looks far better than I expected. There is more to do. I think some parts need more bluing. The triggerguard need a few more coats. The rounded corners still have some shine to them. The Oxpho-Blue blends in well and is easy for blockheads to work with. About 5-7 more coats should do the trick. I haven't done the bolt and the bolt parts. I cannot find any information on whether or not issue Mauser bolts were blued or issued in the white. I am also holding out on bluing the buttplate. It is rusted and pitted pretty good. I would like to get a better one. If not it looks like the dreaded power drill/wire wheel treatment.


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November 22, 2004, 11:37 AM
Hey, I just happen to have one laying here. I don't need it anymore, so if you want it let me know.

Sleeping Dog
November 22, 2004, 12:34 PM
I'm pretty sure the old Mauser bolt bodies were "in the white". It seems that the safety and shroud were blued, but could be wrong about that.

An easy and fairly safe trigger improvement - on the top of the trigger are two bumps - the first and second stage pivot points. You can see on the receiver bottom where they move against it. Also, on the sear, there's a surface that mates with a similar surface on the cocking piece. Use a dremel with cloth wheel and some jeweler's rouge to polish all those surfaces, but just a little bit. That should smooth out the trigger.

The trigger return spring has very little to do with trigger pull, it's more in the condition of the surfaces and the strength of the firing pin spring inside the bolt. The trigger return spring (in the sear?) has to be strong enough to return the trigger to its normal rest position when you release it after taking up the first-stage slack.

How does it shoot?


Zeke Menuar
November 22, 2004, 03:22 PM
Sleeping Dog,
Haven't shot it yet. I am doing load development for my Ishapore 2A and my No1mkIII. The Turk is next in line when I get brass and a neck sizer.

old fart,
If your plate is better than mine I am interested. Mine might be salvaged save for a very bit rusty pit that can't be sanded out. Send me a e-mail or PM and tell me about it.

The bluing on the barrel up front didn't turn out so well. I shined a flashlight on the bluing, there is brown mottled patches under the bluing. Looks like I will be breaking out the Scotchbrite and working down to bare metal and starting over.


cracked butt
November 23, 2004, 10:02 AM
The Turk is next in line when I get brass and a neck sizer.

The turks usually don't deserve good handloads, try some turk surplus ammo first, you might be suprised on how well it shoots. :cool:

November 23, 2004, 12:52 PM
The turks usually don't deserve good handloads, try some turk surplus ammo first, you might be suprised on how well it shoots."

Actually, I've been playing with my old '93 recently, trying to make it shoot better. The Romainan surplus has held pretty consistently at 3 MOA regardless of what I do and the Yugoslav stuff is worse. Yesterday I went to the range with some 200 grain Barnes bullets in front of 42 grains of Accurate XMR4064 and got a 3/4" group. It was the best of four groups, none of which was worse than 1-1/2".
The throat on that rifle is so long I had to use an OAL of 3.245" which is too long for the magazine. But the old war-horse does shoot! Now, if I can find an inexpensive substitute for those $$$ Barnes bullets.... The nice thing about the Barnes bullets is that they are made of pure copper, so a 200 grain bullet is considerably longer than a similarly weighted lead/copper one.

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