1895 Mauser Actions / Pressure


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hotajax
November 9, 2010, 07:49 PM
Have a question about how hot I can load this action with 7x57. I remember reading a few years ago that the '95's were not as capable as the 98's. And I have already had the gun headspaced. Where can I get literature on what my max CUP's are using the 140 grain bullet? Not trying to keep up with the varminters, but just want some options... Thanks in advance.

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SlamFire1
November 9, 2010, 08:59 PM
I don't have a high regard of the safety of these pre 1900 rifles. The metullurgy of the period stinks, regardless of how wonderful the machining.

My reasons for this opinion were hashed out in this thread, starting post 29.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=181401&highlight=1891

rbernie
November 9, 2010, 09:23 PM
I killed my first deer with a Chilean '95 Mauser in 7x57, and spent a lot of time learning about the rifle's design and about how to push the loadings that I used.

The 95 Chileans (as with all small ring Mausers) were made to the highest quality of the period, and are dimensionally no smaller in front receiver ring diameter (where the barrel screws in) than most modern centerfire rifles. Having said that, it HAS to be noted that the alloy consistency and heat treatment accuracy of the period was simply not well regulated by todays standards. For that reason, they are not considered equal to modern actions in terms of safety and strength.

The small ring action was redesigned into a large ring format in the late 1890s, to include several safety features and to increase the dimensions of the action to better accommodate variations in metallurgy and manufacturing. For that reason, it is generally felt that the large ring Mausers (post-1898) are capable of being hotrodded in ways that are simply inappropriate for the earlier small ring design.

I managed to shoot some steamin' velocities out of my Chilean Mauser, and it never did anything to indicate that it was unhappy with my behavior. But there is also no doubt that I was testing my luck with 100+ year old metallurgy, and that's probably not always a great idea...

ReloaderEd
November 9, 2010, 09:26 PM
I worked in a Metallurgical Lab for a Steel Company for about ten years.
We had one gunssmith bring actions in to be rockwell hardness tested for overall proof of heat treatement and detection of any hard spots in the action, especially were scope mounts to be mounted (drilled and taped).
There were a lot of good actions and I don't remember many that were rejects, maybe ten total. But I remember several actions that were over 50 Rockwell C hardess with is just to hard. He had one crack when he installed a barrel in it too.
I would stay within the bounds of pressure for the 7mm mauser cartridge. Lighter bullets can be used to speed up things without over pressurizing the action. Even if your action is within the hardness specification, that doesn't mean it can be used for hot loads.

browningguy
November 9, 2010, 11:17 PM
Keep your loads down to US pressure specs (think Remington factory a40 gr.) and I don't think you will have any problem. I shoot my 1891 Mauser in 7.65x53 quite a lot and it seems to handle my light handloads with no problem. I'm loading a 180 gr. bullet at around 2400 FPS. Works fine on deer up to 150 yards or so.

Go to the alliant or hodgdon site and they give plenty of loads, just keep down toward the starting load and it should work.

Mr_Pale_Horse
November 10, 2010, 09:37 AM
Where can I get literature on what my max CUP's are using the 140 grain bullet?
I frequently hunt with a Deutsche Waffen (DWM) 1895, S/N C1964 (March 1897).

All the major bullet makers list loads specifically for the 45000 cup pressure limit of the 1892 design 7x57.

www.nosler.com
www.sierrabullets.com
www.hornady.com
www.speer-bullets.com
www.barnesbullets.com

The data, in most cases, is not free.

brian923
November 10, 2010, 01:47 PM
The 7x57 will do all you need it to do out to 300-400 yards without being hot-rodded. If you want faster, buy a new magnum action in 7mm rem mag, 7mm stw or 7mm rem ultra mag. No need to hurt yourself trying to get a couple extra feet per second. At 100-200 yards , a whitetale deer aint gonna fell the fps. My 330 fps arrow will go clean through a deer and down it know problem. And with bullets, you have extrem shock to help aid in anchoring an animal. Remmember, the 6.5 sweed was used to harvest moose and other large game. Have fun, be safe and good shooting.

mgmorden
November 10, 2010, 02:06 PM
I don't have a high regard of the safety of these pre 1900 rifles. The metullurgy of the period stinks, regardless of how wonderful the machining.

Keep in mind though that pre-1900 designs aren't necessarily of pre-1900 manufacture. My Swedish 96 action that I used to have was made in 1938 for example. While a small ring action, by that time they a lot better in the metallurgy department.

Mr_Pale_Horse
November 10, 2010, 02:44 PM
The metullurgy of the period stinks, regardless of how wonderful the machining.

By what objective measure?

JNewell
November 10, 2010, 03:30 PM
I don't know about the Argies, but the Swede Mausers are supposed to be capable of shooting loads at pressures well above the original 6.5x55 load, and are reported to be commonly rechambered for higher pressure loads in northern Europe. Whether that is true or not, it is clearly true that the small ring Mausers handle issues like case head failure or case ruptures much less safely than the large ring Mausers. I'd shoot it as it was issued.

kaferhaus
November 10, 2010, 03:50 PM
It all depends on the date of mfg. Anything made post about 1908 had the alloying process down.

many 10s of thousands of Model 95 mausers have been re-barreled to high pressure cartridges without issue.

The blanket statements about them being "weak" was to keep morons from re-barreling the very early models to high pressure standards. And verified reports of those failing are very scarce.

I wouldn't do it because of the gas issues. Not because I'd be afraid of the action but I'm a reloader.... mistakes happen and I don't want all that gas coming back down the raceways into my face.

SlamFire1
November 10, 2010, 04:58 PM
By what objective measure?

Whenever I have read a metals analysis of the irons and carbon steels of that era, they are all “slag, impurities, low grade”.

All of these old actions were made of plain carbon steels, that today, are used as rebar.

Maybe someone here can provide a timeline of what alloy steels were discovered and when. That would be instructive.

Today, no one uses plain carbon steels to make receivers. From the descriptions I have read, most are built from 4140.

Go over to Mat Web and compare ultimate and tensile of 4140 and 1020 carbon steel heat treated billets.

This was more than state of the art in 1911, it was cutting edge.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/FarmanLonghorn1910Aircraft.jpg

This is a free country, as a free man go forth and stick your heads behind the highest pressure charge you can put in one of these antiques.

Just please post the pictures afterward.

Something like this would be neat. And this is a later receiver than a 1895.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Blowups/M1903LN764040shatteredreceiver.jpg

Mr_Pale_Horse
November 10, 2010, 05:33 PM
Issues with low serial number Springfield receiver processing is well documented.

JNewell
November 10, 2010, 07:46 PM
But that ^^^ is a heat treat issue, not a steel issue per se.

IIRC, there was no change in the Carl Gustaf receiver or bolt metallurgy between the earliest production (1894) and the final production in the WW2 years.

Here's a reliable suggestion: anyone thinking about rechambering a Mauser, especially a small-ring, should pick up and read Kuhnhausen's book on these rifles.

browningguy
November 10, 2010, 09:46 PM
Quote:
The metullurgy of the period stinks, regardless of how wonderful the machining.

By what objective measure?

By any objective measure you would like to use. UTS, Yield Strength, elongation, % impurities, do I need to go on?

Look, I own and shoot rifles from the 1870's to 1890's and like them a lot. But please don't fool yourself into thinking that 19th C. metallurgy is up to modern standards. That's worse than wrong, it's dangerous.

Mr_Pale_Horse
November 11, 2010, 12:04 AM
But please don't fool yourself into thinking that 19th C. metallurgy is up to modern standards.
I am not saying that it is.

German mild steel receivers with case hardened exteriors were made about as well as you can make them, then or now.

No sign of "slag, impurities, low grade" or any ill odor.

They are not modern alloys or investment cast stainless but are perfectly suited for the cartridges and pressures for which they were designed.

My point is simple: They are as strong as they need be by a considerable margin for the 7x57, 6.5x55, etc.

Lastly, just because Uncle Sam's first attempt to copy the 98 Mauser blew up in his face (legally and literally) should not color what Paul Mauser accomplished over the previous decade. There is no comparable legacy of failures of pre-98 Mausers from Oberndorf, Loewe Berlin/DWM Berlin. Hatchers notebook clearly and repeatedly points to human failure in Springfield heat treatment, with receiver failures as late as 1929; and secondly, to initially poor, but over time, improved brass case metallurgy.

The worst that can be said about pre-98 mausers is that when a cartridge case failed, all the gas went straight aft.

JNewell
November 11, 2010, 11:33 AM
The worst that can be said about pre-98 mausers is that when a cartridge case failed, all the gas went straight aft.

Some are good, some are not, but what you wrote ^^^ is true of all of the small-rings. I'd put a Swedish Mauser, from any maker, up against anything made today for the quality of the steel (and workmanship, but that's not the question here), but I wouldn't want to be at the trigger when a case let go.

SlamFire1
November 11, 2010, 11:01 PM
There is no comparable legacy of failures of pre-98 Mausers from Oberndorf, Loewe Berlin/DWM Berlin. Hatchers notebook clearly and repeatedly points to human failure in Springfield heat treatment, with receiver failures as late as 1929; and secondly, to initially poor, but over time, improved brass case metallurgy

There is nothing in print. If it was not for Hatcher documenting the process control problems with the single heat treat receivers you would know nothing about them either.

German mild steel receivers with case hardened exteriors were made about as well as you can make them, then or now.

Darn, and I thought there had been progress in the last 112 years. CAD/CAM, Lean manufacturing, scanning electron microscope and the semi conductor revolution just did not happen. Maybe it was in a dream.

No sign of "slag, impurities, low grade" or any ill odor

I for one would be interested in reading any metallurgical report you have documenting this.

My point is simple: They are as strong as they need be by a considerable margin for the 7x57, 6.5x55, etc.

They are more likely to frag when they blow.

JNewell
November 12, 2010, 09:52 AM
Quote:
German mild steel receivers with case hardened exteriors were made about as well as you can make them, then or now.
Darn, and I thought there had been progress in the last 112 years. CAD/CAM, Lean manufacturing, scanning electron microscope and the semi conductor revolution just did not happen. Maybe it was in a dream.

You didn't address his point at all. Nothing you listed has anything to do with what you quoted. But, in fairness, maybe there has been change in firearms metallurgy over the last 100 years. Things like sintered metal, MIM, use of aluminum and polymer. But as far as quality steel used in quality firearms, there hasn't been much change. All of the change has been focused on substitute technologies and materials. :(

SlamFire1
November 12, 2010, 10:28 AM
But as far as quality steel used in quality firearms, there hasn't been much change. All of the change has been focused on substitute technologies and materials. Is process control divorced from technological advancement? Sensor technology, analysis, inspection and control, production process planning, scientific knowledge the same as it was 112 years ago?

The M1895 and M1898 actions were designed and built before the discovery of the electron. Decades before it was shown that the atom had structure.

When did we stop using the Bessemer process, and why? And exactly when did the Basic Oxygen process, vacuum smelting, aerospace metals start appearing?

Even within my lifetime I have seen advancements in manufacturing, manufacturing technology, inspection and process control technology, that 60's manufacturing technology looks Paleolithic in comparison.

Sweeping statements of the “quality of steel” being the same now as it was then are simply based on ignorance of the history of technology.

We still have libraries, they still have books.

Too bad the manufacturing has gone to China. :o

USSR
November 12, 2010, 11:33 AM
The problem with the '93, '95, and '96 Mausers is not the metullurgy, it is that they don't have the third safety lug that was designed in the 1898 action. For this reason, I would restrict the pressure to that which is currently found in U.S. commercial 7x57 and 6.5x55 ammo: about 46k CUP.

Don

SlamFire1
November 12, 2010, 01:41 PM
According to an article written by John Haviland, in the June-July 2007 issue of Rifle magazine, a custom rifle maker built a custom rifle on a M1896 action only to find that the receiver metal was so soft that lugs set back into the receiver first time he fired it.

I assume one shot increased the headspace so much that further shootings were deemed undesirable.

Rifle Magazine , “6.5 X 55 Swedish Mauser, June-July 2007, author John Haviland. Pg 69.

http://www.riflemagazine.com/magazine/PDF/hl247partial.pdf

The warnings to keep the pressures down on those older actions is probably due to the variblity of the things. Some here consider the Low Number Springfield issues not to be “steel” issues, or to be a “heat treat” issue. The true problem was a process control problem, forging temperatures were too high. In the 20’s the Army looked at reheating all of the low number Springfields, to avoid the cost of scrapping, and found that due to the variability of the steels used, they could not come up with a way to do that.

Old guns can let go in ways that are terminal to the shooter.


Mr. Glen de Ruiter was fireforming brass in his 6mm lee-navy straight pull 1895. Apparently he worked at SARCO and liked these antique rifles.

Bethlehem Township, PA 1 July 2002

http://www.falfiles.com/forums/printthread.php?threadid=43726

Yes, I was at the next range over, in a shooting class, about 75 - 80 yards away. One of Glen's shooting buddies came running around the berm, asking us to call 911, saying there was an accident. One of our class members dialed 911, two class members (Rick and Pete) ran to the scene, the instructor gave me a first aid kit and I took it to where Glen was laying. Rick and Pete were doing what they could to help. I tried to give assistance where possible, without being in Rick and Pete's way. Here are Rick's own words about the incident from another list, he tells it the best:

"I was one of the first to arrive at the scene. Glenn was lying on his back, bleeding from a single wound to the center of his forehead. A quick survey of the scene showed his rifle in two pieces, looking like it separated at the receiver ring. I knelt down to Glenn and check for a pulse. I easily found the pulse in the carotid. A couple quick shouts to see if he were conscious were futile and he wasn't breathing so I pulled the jaw down and pushed the tongue down to open the airway. He took in a deep raspy breath. I then moved to the forehead. I gingerly felt the open wound for protruding metal. Finding none, I began to apply pressure to the wound. About this time, Pete showed up and immediately began to assist. For the next 12 minutes, Pete maintained his airway and I kept pressure on his forehead to stop the bleeding. He was unconscious the entire time, most likely from the initial explosion. Pupils were dilated and fixed for the entire period as well. When Pete & I handed him off to
EMS, Glenn was still breathing on his own and had a good heartbeat.

After EMS took Glenn away, I began to examine the scene. Mixed in with the blood was brain fluid. This meant the skull was breached. Since there was no exit wound, this meant that either there was piece of metal inside the brain area or he had been dealt a glancing, ricochet type blow that had cracked the front of the skull. It looked like he lost about 1.5 to 2 pints of mixed fluids.

I looked at the pieces of the rifle. The barrel metal was completely intact, with the expended cartridge still in the chamber (more on that later), and the wood was badly splintered. It didn't take long to see that the receiver had failed. The upper half of the receiver ring was missing as were tops of the rails for about 1-2". Upon closer examination, the metal showed an obvious crystalline fracture, with the outer edge areas of the ring and maybe 1/2" back showing stretching/tearing, rather than crystalline breakage. The missing metal was nowhere to be found, although some wood splinters were recovered. The bolt would not return to battery. I couldn't tell if the bolt had been completely in battery when the round was fired but I am unfamiliar with the Lee so I don't know if it is possible to fire a round when the bolt is out of battery.

I then turned my attention to the barrel. The brass was stuck in the chamber. There was a hole in the brass, in the extractor area. The primer was missing, the base of the cartridge was blackened and slightly bowed out into a convex shape. Surrounding the hole in the brass was obvious flow into the unsupported area of the extractor. The semi-rimmed brass was now obviously rimmed. Obvious, major headspace problem. Obvious, major overpressure situation.

Looking through the barrel, I saw that it was plugged. Obtaining a rod, I slid in down the muzzle until it stopped. Marking the length with my thumb, the obstruction was at or near the end of the chamber. A shake of the barrel was silent. Driving the rod into the barrel to drive out the brass took a few sharp strokes, the first couple feeling like something was wedging in the barrel. After popping out the brass, I inspected the barrel. It was free of bulges and the barrel actually looked quite nice - dark but with strong rifling. The chamber was in good shape as well, with no obvious deformities. Examining the brass, I immediately noticed that the bullet had never left the barrel because I had driven it back into the powder area of the brass when driving it out and that it was what I had felt for the first couple blows. I did not notice any rifling marks on the bullet but could not see it that clearly inside the brass.

I next turned to the shooting table, where Glenn had his box of ammunition. Glenn was apparently testing handloads because he had a few pieces of paper with different loads written on it. I recall them being 30gr or so of IMR powders but don't remember the numbers (I'm not a big reloader) with 100gr and 150gr bullets (Hornady and Speer). I do recall that one of the loads was 11gr Unique. Looking at the ammo in the box, I realized that the fatal shot was his second as there was only one previously expended round. Picking it up, it was obviously deformed as previously described: obvious brass flow into the extractor area, blackened & rimmed base, missing primer, except no hole in the brass. Looking at this first round, I have to wonder how hard it was to extract. It looked like a hammer-beater to me.

And that's as far as I got before the police started to impound everything.

It wasn't until later that I found out that when Glenn was taken to the hospital, x-rays revealed that a piece of metal 40mm on its long side had penetrated the brain, ending its straight though travel at the rear of the skull; destroying his sinus cavity in the process.

I consider the M1898 Mauser to be as safe an action as ever designed. In fact built of modern materials I consider it the best action ever designed. But I do not consider WW1 and earlier M1898 actions to be all that strong due to the materials.

And when you get to pre 1900, that is the beginning of metallurgical science. The metallurgy of the period is primitive.

The closer you get to WWII the better the technology. I would have no problems building a custom rifle around a 1930’s action, maybe some hesitancy about a 20’s action. I don’t have any metallurgical data to back this up, but it comes from a general feel for the technology of the day expressed in technical literature that I have reviewed.

rbernie
November 12, 2010, 01:49 PM
The true problem was a process control problem, forging temperatures were too high and burning the steel.Folk have to remember that, back in the last nineteenth/early twentieth century, forging temps and heat treatment temps were judged by color of the steel. It took a very practiced eye and very consistent conditions and alloying to get it repeatable.

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