Custom building a mauser


Arkansas Paul
November 8, 2009, 12:33 AM
I want to build a rifle on a 98 mauser action. About how much will I have to spend to get an action and have it barelled and stocked. I want to barrel it in 7mm Rem Mag. Anybody done this?

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November 8, 2009, 07:24 AM
Done it , not cheap anymore!!!!!!!!! I used to do it for $125.00. Now it will probably be closer to $500.00 and that does not include scope, stock, rings, bases, sling or some other little refinements that make a custom rifle esthetically pleasing.
One factor in keeping cost down is: how much of the work can you do your self.
Gunsmith labor rates are roughly the same as car dealership shop rates, upwards of $70.00 an hour for custom work. Think seriously about a new CZ or Tikka, save you time and money.
Now for a wildcat caliber, thats a different story and a whole different feeling.

November 8, 2009, 07:41 AM
as mmc suggests, it isn't cost-effective. the last one i had done was roughly $500 for d&t, new bolt handle, boyd's laminate stock, and a shilen barrel installed. i probably paid about $100 for a czech rifle, and on on top of that i also put in a new trigger, and talley lightweight rings. at the end of the day, i had about equivalent money, maybe more, than a remington 700 cdl.

if you just want to build/have a mauser action, look for a used interarms rifle - or other commercial mauser. typically run under $400.

if you can do some of the work yourself, especially the holes, and bolt handle you could probably get the cost closer to a remington 700 bdl.

the one thing that is nice about building your own mauser is even though you will have as much money as a rem 700 cdl into it when you're done, remington cdl's do not come with custom barrels...

November 8, 2009, 08:00 AM
I agree that it is not cost effective BUT for a firearms enthusiast, it is the most satisfying of all activities (short of shooting it).

November 8, 2009, 09:10 AM
Really watching for deals on action, barrel (w/o muzzle brake), stock, trigger, bedding, bottom metal and slings swivels, scope base/mounts, metal coating, recoil pad, you can put one together for $1,250 in synthetic or $1,500 in fair XX+ wood...This is with you doing the majority of the work yourself but using good, name brand parts bought on sale or slightly used...

I just helped my friend build his in .338/06 using a P14/M17 action that he had laying about, Lilja barrel, local synthetic stock, ??? trigger, Talley mounts, LimbSaver pad and ??? other parts...

Then again you can have a great stockmaker take a superb piece of wood and end up with a $20,000+++ stock...

November 8, 2009, 10:40 AM
This is along the same lines, made on a K98 action. It is not cheap to do and I left it as a 8MM. Cost between $800-$900 back in the mid 90s. Great rifle and a fun shooter. Is it worth the cost???? That only you can answer. I'm happy with mine. But you can find some very nice rifles in your caliber off the rack that will save you a lot of money.

November 8, 2009, 10:41 AM
it depends a lot on how what you want for the finished product. for a magnum build i would look for a decent czech v-24, a fn columbian or a WWII era german rifle as a starting point. save the contract mausers, gew98's, & peruvians for classic style builds where you can leave those nice looking crests intact.
you can save a lot of money by buying some elses project rifle then restocking & refinishing it to you liking
if you have the ability to do the work yourself or at least most of the work you should be able to do it for under $500. i would suggest skaggs gunsmithing to do the barreled action to keep the cost down.

November 8, 2009, 11:07 AM
I just checked my Sunday paper and looked at the local sporting goods store's ad. They had a Remington 770 in 7mm mag with a 3X9 scope for just 379$. Figuring the background checking fees and sales tax, the out the door price was 438$.

Building a new rifle on a Mauser action could easily be more. Just an action right now is 50$. Then you'll have to pay someone to open the bolt face to hold a 0.535" belted diameter. Pay someone to weld the bolt handle. Pay someone to drill and tap it for a scope. Rifle barrel, 100$. Rifle stock, 80$. Recoil pad, 30$. Scope, 50-500$ depending on what you want.

You can save alot if you are handy and have access to machine tools. You might be much better off if you chose 30-06 instead of 7mm. That way you wouldn't have to alter the bolt face. If you buy a barrel/stock combo, you can save a few dollars there too. Still, it's a hell of a lot of work when you can get the same thing new in the box for 438$.

November 8, 2009, 11:53 AM
+1 on the CZ if you want a Mauser type action. The good news is as the 7 mm REM Mag is a very slow selling cartridge in today's market. If you want more of a classic than a new CZ then you can find really nice older rifles in the caliber for a good price - a quick search of Cabelas produces a number of good canidates:
There is a Browning Safari (SAKO) 7 mm REM Mag listed there with box and scope that would be far less expensive than building one up - plus this rifle is limited in numbers and will hold the resale price.

Loyalist Dave
November 8, 2009, 12:01 PM
Twenty years ago I did it converting to .308, and a better trigger. The barrel was an Israeli surplus job, and the trigger was a Timney. Had the whole thing parkerized, and added front and rear sights, plus scope bases, and rings, to the barrel in front of the action (scout rifle experiment). $500 plus a good scope at $250 resulted in an $750 firearm. Still shoots great, lots of fun to have built..., not cost effective though.


Arkansas Paul
November 8, 2009, 12:45 PM
MichaelK, no offense, but you would have to give me a Remington 770 before I would take it. I wouldn't give a hundred bucks for one. My nephew has one in 7 Mag and it feels like it was made by Fisher Price.
However, if the prices you listed are accurate, I would be willing to pay $600-$700 for the mauser. If I can do it for that. I'll just have to keep my eyes open.
I wasn't aware you'd have to open the face bolt either. It would probably be more cost effective to chamber it in a standard sized round. I'm thinking maybe .280 Remington. Thanks for the info.

November 8, 2009, 02:10 PM
WHERE? Seriously, please let me know because I haven't found a good receiver for that let alone an entire action!

November 8, 2009, 02:12 PM
You may want to check this thread out.<>

November 8, 2009, 03:45 PM
This is a complex question. The first response by most folks when you mention building a custom rifle is "You can buy a factory rifle for less money" and this is essentially true. But this presumes that you would be happy with a factory rifle and if that were true why would you be asking about a custom gun? If all you want is cost effective and serviceable then yes, go with the Win/Rem or whatever. But some guys want something different, unique or personalized.

You seem to want the Mauser action. Good choice IMO. I believe the bolt gun design has not been improved since 1898. You have three ways to go, as I see it.

1. Buy a factory Mauser like the CZ or Sako. But again, you could have done that without seeking suggestions on a custom gun.

2. Build one from scratch. A military action will require a lot of work to civilize. If you are into a truly elaborate project and don't mind the cost and effort then go for it. If you want to cut some corners, an alternative plan might be to start with a commercial Mauser 98 action. Pictured below is a rifle I built from a brand new commercial CZ action I got off GunBroker for $245. It came with the dual set triggers and I picked up a Douglas barrel that had been used some then taken off. Cost me $50.

I got the stock as a second from the Great American Gunstock Company (danged if I can find any flaws in it but it was priced at $125 for being below standard). Added a checkered steel buttplate for $25 (was going for the European Sporter look). Had a smith install the barrel, fit the semi-finished stock, then install the front ramp sight and barrel mounted sling swivel. He charged me $125 for all of this and it was a deal. I bagged a Redfield receiver sight off ebay for $15. I could scope it if I wished as the holes are there but I like this set up.

Total investment is $585. The barrel and action were blued as new, and all the necessary holes were already there as was a proper safety. All of this would require attention if building a military action and would add to the cost.

What do you think? I think it beats an off the shelf Ruger or Remington hands down.

3. The remaining option is buy someone else's project and make it your own. Half-finished custom rifles can be found cheap. Even completed custom guns can be bought for less than the sum of the parts. Everyone always says you never get your money back when you sell a custom gun but that's good if you are the buyer! I regularly peruse the GunBroker auctions looking for unfinished projects that the owners have given up on and are selling cheap.

Uncle Mike
November 8, 2009, 04:19 PM
Gunsmith labor rates are roughly the same as car dealership shop rates, upwards of $70.00 an hour for custom work.

And that is on the lesser expensive end of the scale.

Rifle build complete, you do nothing but pick it up from a shop...$900 to $1500 and up, depending on the work you desire and the parts you choose, quality of these parts, ect...

A Jim Walter rifle, you do some of the work....$600 and up.

It's cost effective to buy a semi-custom production piece, or just a production rifle you like and have some 'personalized' touches added.

November 8, 2009, 04:30 PM
Building a new rifle on a Mauser action could easily be more. Just an action right now is 50$.

Century Arms is selling K98 actions for $189.. I have not seen them, but I expect they are beat up.

Will a 7 MM Rem Mag fit in a K98 magazine box?

November 8, 2009, 04:40 PM
A K98 magazine box is too short for any round longer than 30.06. Brownell's sells a lengthened aluminum trigger guard/magazine for around $80.00.

November 8, 2009, 05:50 PM
Will a 7 MM Rem Mag fit in a K98 magazine box?

7MM Remag and 338 Winmag are both 2.500" long and the '06 is 2.494, so yes, they will fit a K98. I have a 308 Norma Mag in an FN 98 Mauser that uses a 2.560" case.


Arkansas Paul
November 8, 2009, 05:51 PM
SaxonPig, I love that rifle. What caliber did you have that made in?

November 8, 2009, 06:14 PM
It's certainly not the cheapest way to get a rifle, but you can build exactly what you want. My .458 is built on a Charles Daly Mauser action, with a BOyds JRS stock, 24" barrel with sights and a barrel band swivel. My 7x57 is built on a Czek VZ24 action with a B&C composite stock, 24" barrel. I would expect the guy I use near astlanta could probably still do either one for $1k or under.

For me it was certanly worth it, there were not any factory guns available the way I wanted them set up.

November 8, 2009, 07:45 PM
Read the photo.

Where are you in Central AR?

November 8, 2009, 08:15 PM
With all due respect to NCSmitty,I just tried some Remington Scirocco Bonded Premium in7mm Rem mag in my K98 (a 1937 Erma Russian Capture) It will not fit. (It could easily be modified to accept them however). A Colombian Mauser typically has a longer magazine for the 30.06.

Arkansas Paul
November 8, 2009, 09:19 PM
Brain fart there SaxonPig. Sorry bout that. I'm located just outside of Hot Springs.

November 8, 2009, 10:22 PM
With all due respect to NCSmitty,I just tried some Remington Scirocco Bonded Premium in7mm Rem mag in my K98 (a 1937 Erma Russian Capture) It will not fit. (It could easily be modified to accept them however)

jimmyraythomason, You and I both know that not all Mausers are made equal,
but when converting to a caliber that will require an OAL of 3.340" or so, sometimes a slight modification is needed in the mag area either by grinding and filing or cutting and lengthening. It's not a given that any Mauser can be converted without some mods if you're planning for a large or "magnum" cartridge.
I always try to plan my conversions for common sense cartridges.
I do have one in the works that's not so sensible. It's a pristine M48 action, and I have a new A&B barrel blank in 6mm and the reamer is a 6mm-284 finisher.
I'll load it to 6mm Rem levels and not burn the barrel out.


November 8, 2009, 10:28 PM
That sounds like a very interesting set up NCsmitty. Is it going to be for hunting,target or both? I like to keep my Mauser conversions in standard calibers(I have M98s in 30.06 and .280 rem without modifying the magazine and an extended mag in a Colombian chambered in .308 win. without a filler. They all work very well.

November 9, 2009, 07:27 AM
Someday soon, these are supposed to be available:

Uncle Mike
November 9, 2009, 11:26 AM
Century International Arms (CIA) has K98 Mauser actions right now, either Belgium manufacture or German manufacture... comes complete with bottom metal, trigger unit, bolt(complete), blued, listed price is:

Belgium- p/n AC1011-G, condition good....$189.97

German- p/n AC014-G, condition good....$199.97

This is from their latest catalog, I did not call them, so you might want to check and see what the particulars are on these actions, be sure to inquire about the bolt and ALL its parts. The bolts should me matched to the receiver, if not...leave it!

FFL Required

CAI 1-800-527-1252

November 9, 2009, 11:38 AM
Uncle Mike,are those K98 actions all military? Mismatched serial numbers mean nothing on a barreless receiver so that won't matter. For a custom rifle the only parts usable would be the receiver and bolt body including firing pin and stricker (sans handle). The trigger would have to go as would the bolt sleeve and safety. The trigger guard would need to be replaced or heavily reworked. At around $300 the Zastava actions would be by far the best deal.

Arkansas Paul
November 9, 2009, 01:33 PM
I appreciate all the info. When I decide to do this it will be done as a project, probably taking a while to finish. I'm a full time student so I'll have to nickle and dime it to death. I looked at Douglas barrels online today. Looks like the barrel and action will cost about the same. I'll go with a budget stock until I can pony up the cash for a nice one. Like I said, it'll be a project and will take some time to complete, but should be fun.

November 9, 2009, 06:03 PM
it'll be a project and will take some time to complete, but should be fun.

Time indeed

November 9, 2009, 06:11 PM

I've gotten super lazy with mine and haven't quite finished yet....

November 9, 2009, 09:05 PM
i need to get back to work on a few of my mauser projects.
i have a bad habbit of buying parts guns cheap & buying parts that i think i might be able to use in the future if i can get a good deal on them. i proably have the parts on hand to assemble at least 7 or 8 nice mauser sporters.

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