K98k To .30-'06


August 5, 2009, 06:46 PM
I'm considering building the Mauser K98k into a scout rifle. As I'm a poor man, I appreciate caliber commonality. How do I go about converting the K98 into a thirty-ought? I want the work done by a professional gunsmith, of course, I'm just curious if it's been done successfully before.


If you enjoyed reading about "K98k To .30-'06" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
August 5, 2009, 07:07 PM
Will require a new barrel as a k-98 is a larger caliber bore.

August 5, 2009, 07:09 PM
Why not just buy a Colombian or Peruvian. They are already in 30.06.

August 5, 2009, 07:17 PM
You're going to need a new barrel and $$ for the gunsmith to install. You're looking at about $150 for the barrel and another $100 or better to install and another $50+ to reblue.
Add to that the money you spent on the K98 and you're well into the cost of a Ruger Scout, FWIW.

August 5, 2009, 07:46 PM
There's more to it than just a new barrel.

You will need to lengthen the magazine box to accept the longer cartridge.
There are several methods, but the most common is to saw the front of the box down the two front corners, move the front forward the right amount and weld it back together.
In doing this, you only saw down to near the bottom of the box, but leave a small amount at the bottom. You then just bend the front of the magazine box forward, then weld it.

You usually have to move the lower rear edge of the feed ramp in the receiver forward by grinding, but you can't go very far, since this ramp is also the rear portion of the lower locking lug.

If you intend to load with a stripper clip you'll need to cut a "half moon" cut through the rear edge of the receiver ring to clear the bullet noses.

If you want to use the military rear sight, you may need to change it or the sight bed as well.

All this is very well explained and illustrated in Jerry Kuhnhausen's book "The Mauser Rifles M91 to M98: A Shop Manual". Money well spent.


August 5, 2009, 08:12 PM
You might as well go buy a new Savage. You're going to have to scrap everything on that K98, but the action and build it from the ground up. That's expensive if you don't run a machine shop and aren't a good machinist/gunsmith not to mention stock maker.

It has been done before, back in the 40s and 50s when K98 surplus actions were 5 bucks and gunsmiths worked for less money. People who build custom guns on Mauser actions now days are generally well healed and just WANT a custom rifle.

August 5, 2009, 08:13 PM
7x57mm Ackley Improved. Only way to go.:D

August 5, 2009, 08:23 PM
"You will need to lengthen the magazine box to accept the longer cartridge." NO you wont the original box magazines accommodate the .06 very well as is. ( I have that book in front of me now) I respect Jerry's knowledge very much but he is wrong in this case. You will have to do this if you go to a magnum caliber however.

August 5, 2009, 08:32 PM
As I'm a poor man, I appreciate caliber commonality.

It will cost you as much or more to build the rfile vs buying one already in teh configuration you want.

August 5, 2009, 08:48 PM
It will cost you as much or more to build the rfile vs buying one already in teh configuration you want.
Depends on the rifle I reckon.

August 5, 2009, 09:39 PM
For the price of doing this, you could buy a heck of a lot of surplus 8mm.


Art Eatman
August 5, 2009, 11:00 PM
You can ream it out to 8mm-'06 and roll your own loads. That was the 1940s/1950s poor-boy solution.

gun addict
August 5, 2009, 11:03 PM
what kind of K98k? Hell if it's a good one , non RC with matching number i'll buy it off of you and give you more than enough money to get a Savage 110 chambered in .30-06.

and i just bought 1500 rounds of 8x57 last week for $135, keep your eyes open, cheap 8mm surplus are still out there

August 5, 2009, 11:24 PM
I'm really just looking for a nice platform upon which to build a thirty-ought Scout rifle and I've seen a few nice Mauser builds. The builds I've seen didn't change the caliber. If I'm paying the money to get the rifle done the way I want, I might as well pay for it to use the caliber I prefer.

gun addict
August 5, 2009, 11:27 PM
i'm just saying you might want to consider what kind of K98k you're buildling the scout rifle out of. IF it's an average mix master RC, then go for it, but if you happen to have a matching bringback rifle with a rare code it would be a VERY bad idea to modify the gun.

just my 2 cents

August 6, 2009, 07:41 AM
You can convert the M98 into almost any caliber made. I have them that I have built in 30.06,.308,.280 Rem. and .257 Roberts. All but one were rebarreled(done by Jim Mccullough of Selma,Al.). The one 30.06 with the original barrel is Colombian. I also have 2 in 7x57. One is a Chinese (Chaing Kai Shek)action with a new 18'' Latin contract barrel. The other is a 1912 Mexican with a new #2 contour Douglas barrel. The M98 is an excellent platform to build on but as gun addict says make sure you aren't cutting up a collector piece.

August 6, 2009, 10:02 AM
The action has been used for just about everything that will fit in it. There are many custom Mauser-based rifles out there.

These are generally not for the self-proclaimed "poor".:)

Do you handload?

If so, I'd just get some 8mm brass and dies. Apart from the initial cost of the dies, it shouldn't cost any more to shoot 8mm than .30-06.

Of course, if you are serious about building a Cooper Scout Rifle, it'll be pretty hard to build it from a K98 IMO. I'm not saying someone can't, but I doubt it would be worth doing if you care about the cost.

For one thing, the spec is 6.6 lbs. max, with scope and sling, pretty much by definition a short-action carbine.

August 6, 2009, 10:05 AM
Getcha' an FR-8. Nice handy-short rifle in .308. It'd make a purrfect scout rifle. Last one I had I paid $125. for, and what a good shooter it was. (so good that I sold it for $350. but still kind of regret doing that).

August 6, 2009, 10:08 AM
Ok so I am going to ask a silly question, but why change to 30-06? Does it really offer that much of a gain over a well loaded 8mm? I ask because I really do not know. I have to agree with Art, a re-chamber to 8-06 might be easier than going totally over to 30-06... says the guy that wants to build his VZ24 into a 35 Whelen....

August 6, 2009, 10:25 AM
Not enough difference in a good 8x57 load and the ought six, to get excited about. Only limiting factor is bullet choice, but there are enough good 8mm bullets on the market to whip-up some great 8x57 loads.

That'd be my approach to this project.

Already have a 20" barreled M98, but it's not a "scout" rifle. Very handy, very accurate. All that was involved aside from the usual chores for mounting a scope, bolt handle reshaping, replacing the trigger and safety, was cutting the original barrel to 20" and crowning the muzzle.

Far less expensive than springing for a new barrel and the extra 'smithing. There are now "scout" scope mounts offered, that can be installed in the original M98 rear sight housing with little effort.

August 6, 2009, 10:29 AM
there are enough good 8mm bullets on the market to whip-up some great 8x57 loads.

IME every bullet you stick in an '06 shoots to a different POI. Generally, you find a bullet you like and your gun likes, and stick with it -- maybe two or three for different game, but no more than that.

Therefore, dizzying bullet selection isn't the most important thing in the world. If anything, the choices can be overwhelming when you want to work up a .30-06 load.:)

...which isn't to say I'd choose to build a Scout from a K98k...

August 6, 2009, 10:59 AM
Ammunition to go HAD 3 commercial (soft point) loads for the 8x57. 139gr.,170gr and 196 gr. That should pretty much cover the spectrum. Notice I said HAD,I just went there and the 196gr Prvi Partizan was all that was left.

August 6, 2009, 11:07 AM
The surplus M98 is about the perfect platform to build a scout rifle on, especially if one reloads: Great choice of cartridge; no real gunsmithing required and there are many to choose from, usually at decent prices.

Not as many choices as years ago, but there are still milsurp M98s around for less than most used bolt action sporters. Cutting/crowning a M98 barrel isn't much of a challenge for anyone that's handy with tools and can follow basic instructions. If ya start with a K98, probably no reason to even shorten the barrel?


August 6, 2009, 11:25 AM
If ya start with a K98, probably no reason to even shorten the barrel?

A 9 lb. scoped long-action rifle isn't a "Scout Rifle". (I hunt with a scoped .30-06 that might come in at 9 lbs. total -- nothing wrong with it, but it's not a "Scout Rifle".)

I don't think JC is JC, but I figured the OP wants something specific if he uses the term.:)

August 6, 2009, 11:42 AM
Why would it need to weigh 9lbs?

My 20" barreled K98 weights far less than 8lbs, with an old Fajen walnut sporter stock and 3x9x40 scope. Although I eliminated a few ounces, when I lopped-off the ugly black plastic fore end cap on the stock and reshaped it?

Most folks would install a synthetic, if they wanted a lighter M98 scout rifle, instead of letting the full mil stock on it? Midway regularly has Ramlines on sale for the M98 and other rifles. Got one two years ago from them, for $69+ shipping, on a monthly special.

Besides, the OP stated that he was dealing with a K98, so apparently he has no qualms about one in a scout rifle configuration?

August 6, 2009, 11:45 AM
What would it take to get a K98 down to 6.6 lbs. including an IER scope, forward scope mount, sights, and sling?

A Ruger Frontier with a short action, 16.25" barrel, and forward scope mount weighs 6.75 lbs. without the scope, or sights.

August 6, 2009, 11:50 AM
Choates synthetic stocks are by far lighter than any other I have tried. It lightens the rifle but accentuates the recoil!

August 6, 2009, 11:55 AM
What would it take to get a K98 down to 6.6 lbs. including an IER scope, forward scope mount, sights, and sling?

A hacksaw, a lathe and about five hours...:)

Why sights w/the IER scope? Wouldn't mind carrying a 6.6lb rifle, but depending on the load, probably wouldn't look forward to shooting it very often?

My lightest deer rifles are a M92 Winchester and a M94 carbine. Neither are a problem to carry or to shoot.

Smokey Joe
August 6, 2009, 12:31 PM
Traveling Jeff--I agree that the conversion to another cartridge is expensive, and that a "Scout" made from a K98 will be too heavy.For one thing, the spec is 6.6 lbs. max, with scope and sling, pretty much by definition a short-action carbine.That said, my personal feeling is, "Phooey on Col. Cooper!" He had Steyr build the original production Scouts, and Steyr rifles by definition are out of the price range of most of us.

Buying a Steyr and using it for ordinary deer hunting is like buying a Ferrari Testarossa and using it to go for groceries.

You want to build a Scout from a K98--and you have one that isn't historically significant--Go Right Ahead. (I agree with the above posters that the "museum-piece K98's" shouldn't be modified.)

I made mine from a Yugo M48: Timney trigger, Boyd's stock, B-Square 'scope mount, Leupold Scout 'Scope. Mine I did leave in 8x57 mm--couldn't see the benefit in going to the expense of converting it. With my 8mm handloads it holds < 1.5 MOA out to 200yd benched--certainly not target-rifle quality but neither Bambi nor Snuffles the Hog will know the difference. Cost, including the 'scope, was under that of the store price of the 'scopeless Ruger Scout, let alone the Steyr.

My "Pseudo-Scout" weighs just under 10#. So what? The extra weight will minimize the recoil, and I'm a big boy--if I need my hunting rig to weigh 4# less I can diet and lose the 4# from my own self and be healthier into the bargain.

In the Scout Rifle, the sainted Col. Cooper had an excellent idea--one of many he propounded. My respect for him and his lifetime body of work is huge. However, IMHO, we should not be slaves to anothers' designs, particularly in something as personal as ones' own weapon.

Somebody else's good idea should be a starting point for our thinking, not an ending point.

August 6, 2009, 12:40 PM
That said, my personal feeling is, "Phooey on Col. Cooper!"

Oh, me, too. But the general idea of a Scout Rifle includes "lightweight.":)

August 6, 2009, 07:31 PM
while i'm not much of a scout rifle fan i don't see any problem on building one off a mauser.
making it in -06 too would be preferred for someone who doesn't handload. you can pick up sp 30-06 hunting ammo anywhere, you cant say that about 8mm.
it wouldn't be all that expensive either, & if you can space out the build by slowly collecting the parts over a 6months or so it's even easier.
the best bet would be to start out with a columbian fn 1950 & hope it shoots. you should be able to pick one up for under $150. if it shoots, cut the barrel to about 20" & have it recrowned. most gunsmiths will charge around $40-50 to do it. if it doesn't shoot buy a sporter profile barrel, right now midway has shilen 30-06 barrels threaded & short chambered on sale for $138 p/n 595191. i would recomend skaggs gunsmithing, he charges $65 to install a pre-threaded barrel, that includes squaring the action, finish reaming, crowning, caliber stamp and test firing.
instead of using one of those cheesy scout mounts that attach to the rear sight base buy a 1pc mount for a thompson conteder. have you gunsmith d&t the barrel for it, about $45-50. by using a t/c mount you can position it for use with a pistol scope or an intermediate eye relief scout scope & its much stouter than the normal scout mounts.
bolt doesn't beed to be bent & the safety doesn't need to be modifed but i would install a timney or bold trigger along with a wolf firing pin spring.
there are plenty of synthetic stocks available for right at $100 or less, the choate would be ideal if you wanted it light because it's a blind magwell so you would loose some weight there.
buy a can of gun-kote for the metal & your done.
all the parts i've listed are in stock at midway

August 6, 2009, 08:03 PM
dirtyjim - Thanks for that highly informative post, I appreciate it.

I'm not concerned specifically with the weight either, as long as it's appropriate for what it can deliver. A slightly heavier thirty ought, with the ability to kill a moose at one hundred yards, would be worth the extra pound or so.

I'm seriously considering purchasing a stripped lower (?) for the 03 Springfield or a Turk/Yugo Mauser. Anyone know of good places for this? I would send the receiver to Robar or some high end company, pay for a match grade barrel, nice stock, bedded, forward-mounted scope, nice, light trigger, polished internals. I'd let Robar use their NP3 (?) coating all over it and end up with a REALLY great pseudo-Scout unit with a nice custom barrel, all put together by quality smiths, and without costing too terribly much.

Thanks again to all that contributed!

Nice post, btw.

August 6, 2009, 08:29 PM
you can usually pick up a complete donor rifle for not much more than a stripped receiver, then you have spare parts for selling or trading. i get them off gunbroker. that way you will have all the small parts & not need to scrounge any.
high end smiths charge a high end price. there are many great smiths that are reasonably priced. skaggs is one of them, along with fred at lowtech gunsmithing. midway has a gunsmith locator on their website. i would look on it & see if there's anyone local. if there is i'd call them & have a chat about what your looking to build & get an idea of his rates & if he specializes in certain types of rifles. its not uncommon for them to have your rifle over a year & most work will take at least a month before they have time to get to it.

August 6, 2009, 09:03 PM
I'm thinking seriously about doing this Scout rifle as "just" a .308. I've seen some nice Ishapore builds. Though I sure love that thirty ought :)

August 6, 2009, 09:07 PM

Perhaps this... :-)

Would that be sufficient to use as a "building block"?

Smokey Joe
August 6, 2009, 09:28 PM
Travelling Jeff--It LOOKS good at the outset, and you'd already have your receiver and magazine lips & follower set up to handle .30-'06 ammo. And the Springfield was and is a nice, sturdy action. And there are a great plenty of retro parts available for it. BUT: I'd be wary of this seller. The rifle action shown has a stamped magazine/trigger guard, and if it's from 1905 production as the seller claims, that item should be milled I believe. Stamped parts were a wartime expedient.

Also you need to check the serial number and/or exact date of manufacture--some of the early Springfields had heat treating that was suspect. The flawed Springfields are dangerous to shoot--They are only good for wall-hangers. If the seller is a square dealer he'll tell you the serial number or exact date and let you check it out. If he refuses to cooperate, or shilly-shallies around on that checking you'd be better off taking a pass, IMHO.

Whenever it was that they realized about the flaw in the heat treatment of the Springfield receivers, they changed the procedure, and the Springfields with higher numbers than whatever are nice strong receivers.

I'm not enough of a Springfield maven to be able to explain further, but I AM well aware that this was a problem with some of the early Springfields. Now that it's been brought up, there will probably be half-a-dozen posters chime in with the exact serial numbers and dates in question. That's one of the nice things about The High Road.

Sorry to rain on yr parade, or at the very least, to cause you some more homework!

August 6, 2009, 09:56 PM
1903 Springfields under 800,000 are suspect for the single heat treat which caused some to be brittle and unsafe. Those after received a double heat treat and were changed to nickle steel after serial # 1,275,767.


August 6, 2009, 09:57 PM
Smokey Joe & NCsmitty - Thanks so much for the information, I appreciate it :-)

If you enjoyed reading about "K98k To .30-'06" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!