Looking for Mauser Ideas...


January 19, 2004, 05:43 AM
I've got a new toy, er, I mean rifle :D

Well, sort of new. My Dad is giving me his old 1916 Mauser (95 action) that was re-barreled to .308 Winchester. I took this gun deer hunting a couple of times when I was a kid (along with my Pre-64 .30-30 Winchester lever gun). Shoots pretty well.

But I have a few concerns...

For some reason it doesn't like pointy bullets (they function, but you end up with HUGE groups). Since my Dad and I handload, we just make our own ammo with round nosed bullets designed for the .30-30. They shoot well, but arn't designed for .308 velocitys.

I suspect that the round nose bullets work better because more of the bullet comes into contact with the rifling. That is just a guess, I could be totaly wrong...

I'm going to try several different bullets in an attmept to find one that will shoot accurately at the proper velocity, but I don't want to get my hopes up.

I think my best bet may be to re-barrel this rifle a second time. So I'm wondering if there are any calibers you'd recomend. I'm looking for something for hunting deer, and maybe elk (but I dont' want to push it, the rifles main role would be deer hunting). Range would probably be 250 yards or less. This is a 95 action made with 7X57 Mauser in mind, and alot of the modern calibers operate at a much higher pressure. In fact I'm suprized that it can handle .308 winchester.

So it would need to be fairly mild pressure, and short (7X57 Masuer size or shorter, I think 7X57 is 55mm long). I took a quick look at my speer manual to come up with some ideas. 3 calibers caught my eye:

.257 Roberts: Way too small for elk, but should work for deer. Softer recoil too I'd guess, it would probably be more fun at the range.

7X57 Mauser: It seems kind of silly to convert back to the old caliber, but then again 7X57 isn't a bad caliber. Again, probably too small for elk, but should work great for deer...

.358 Winchester: If I understand this right, it's a necked up .308 Winchester. Sounds like an interesting idea, sort of like .35 Whelen. Looking at the numbers, I'd guess it would make an OK elk round (at shorter ranges anyway). But I don't know much about this caliber at all, if anyone has any experiance with it please let me know what you think of .358

So what would you guys sugest? Should I just leave it as is? Should I get a new barrel for it? And if so, witch of these calibers would you go with? Or would you pick a different caliber altogether?

If you enjoyed reading about "Looking for Mauser Ideas..." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Dave Markowitz
January 19, 2004, 09:32 AM
I have not heard of the Spanish 1916 Mausers ever blowing up with .308s, but what may very well happen when using this round is that over time, the rifle may develop excessive headspace. I am pretty sure that when the Spanish rebarreled these rifles from 7mm to 7.62, they intended to use the lower-pressure 7.62 CETME round, which is externally identical to 7.62x51 NATO.

I would either handload the rifle using .308s loaded to .300 Savage pressures, or rebarrel it to 7x57 Mauser.

Sylvilagus Aquaticus
January 19, 2004, 12:11 PM
I had a FR-7 Spanish Mauser built on the 95 action, chambered in 7.62 (CETME, probably) that I fired with a lanyard exactly 3 times. Each time the action required a length of cheater pipe to cycle the bolt in order to open (it). No signs of excessive pressure, no blown primers, and the headspace checked ok with go-no go .308 gauges, but it just didn't like the fact that I was using light .308 Winchester FMJ reloads. Incidentally, the rifle was fired from a fixed platform secured by a Black and Decker Workmate bench. The lanyard was approximately 30 feet in lenght and I pulled it from a covered position behind a thick wall.

After the third shot it became instant trading material.

I'd suggest that if you want a Mauser in .308 start with a 98 based action.

Otherwise, this might make an interesting project for say, a 44 Magnum or .357 Maximum rifle.


January 19, 2004, 01:00 PM
Go with the 7X57. That's what it was made for and it'll probably handle that best. New military barrels are fairly cheap if you get them from Numrich Arms or Sarco. I'm not familiar with the '95 threads, but if they're the small-ring variety they can be turned down by any competent gunsmith. I had one installed on my wife's '93 Spaniard and it works great!

January 19, 2004, 01:45 PM
Note Dave M's comments ........ I have a 1916 ... it's a carbine, small ring. I do believe if used repeatedly with .308 Win loads then there could over time be probs with bolt set back and headspacing could become dangerous.

I keep mine for playing with cast bullet loads only .... quite a good rifle for that. Best to play safe IMO.

I used to have a K98 in .308 ... sadly it is gone (stoopid!) .... I would say that if you can find one of those - go for it ... it's a great gun.

January 19, 2004, 02:52 PM
I need to clear a couple things up...

#1: This rifle started out as a 7mm Mauser when my dad bought it (probably about 15 or 20 years ago). He paid a gunsmith to put the .308 Winchester barrel on it, but the barrel itself was of questionable quality (he didn't want to spend alot of cash on the project).

#2: I don't want to leave this one sitting in the safe and start with a 98 action, for 2 reasons. First, this is one of the guns that I learned to shoot on, and I'd hate to banish it to the safe. Second, it's a very nice rifle (except the darned .308 barrel). The bolt has been altered to clear a scope, the stock has been re-finished, baicly the entire gun works and looks great, except that darned barrel. If I start from scratch with a 98 action, I'll have alot more work to do than just change barrels...

#3: I realize the limitations of the 95 action, and if I re-barrel it I don't have a problem with switching to a weaker caliber. It's not my intention to turn this thing into a 16 inch battleship gun. I want to make it SAFE (thats always #1 priority), durable, and accurate. Within those guildlines of course, bigger is better. I'd like to at least be able to hunt deer with it...

rust collector
January 20, 2004, 01:29 AM
You may find that a lower powered chambering not only works fine on deer but is more fun to shoot.

The last 20 or so deer I have shot with my model 70 in 7x57 mauser did not seem to be concerned about muzzle energy, at least out to 250 yards. If WDM Bell shot elephants with it (don't try this at home), it's certainly up to deer. Jack O'Connor's wife used to shoot deer with it in the Sonoran desert, IIRC.

Swedish mausers in 6.5 x 55 are also accurate, deadly and enjoyable to shoot. I have 3 of them and am still amazed at how the Swedes came up with such an accurate and pleasant round. They do a great job on deer without a lot of fuss.

The biggest challenge is finding a smith that is patient and skilled enough to do a good job.


Badger Arms
January 20, 2004, 01:56 AM

The 257 Roberts and 7x57 are excellent rounds that will work just fine at the pressures you want in that gun. As others have said, it's marginal to use 308 pressure cartridges and that includes the 358 for sure.

If it were me, I'd stick with the barrel you have and play with loads. It's not the shape of the bullet, it's the weight, usually, that will tell you whether or not the gun will shoot well. Get a few boxes of bullets of different weights. I'd suggest 150, 165, and 180gr if it were me. The 180's are heavy, yes, but many rifles like them just fine. Use at least two powders, take good notes, and use reasonable loads that fall anywhere from 300 Savage to the low end of 308 pressure. I'd pick a reasonable load with each bullet and powder and load 5 rounds with each powder-bullet combo. That's 30 rounds. Shoot goups and pick the best group. Stick with that powder/bullet combo and then work up or down in fraction of a grain increments until you find a load that shoots the most accurate. Write the load down, stick with it, and don't look back.

One other thing that you might want to do to make your gun more accurate is to have it recrowned. A good, fresh crown can do wonders for accuracy. A poor crown can ruin it.

January 20, 2004, 01:58 AM
7x57 !;)

January 20, 2004, 02:19 AM


January 20, 2004, 02:53 AM
7.62x39 Russian, not a bad deer round, low pressure, ammo galore for next to nothing at gunshows, plink all day long. My 2 cents. By the way I have a 1916 chambered in 308 that I aquired about 15 years ago too. shoot factory, and handloads with absolutely no signs of pressure after all these years, and hundreds of rounds. Guess I was lucky few that got one with decent steel. NRA did certify action design and quality as safe way back then, still have the letter. Does shoot best with lower pressure handloads though.

January 20, 2004, 03:19 AM
I'll mess around with some handloads and see if I can find a combo the gun likes before I dicide to re-barrel it. Why waste money on a new barrel if I can make the old one work, right...

The only bullets my dad found that would shoot well were the 150 gr remington core lokt bullets made for .30-30 winchester.

I'm thinking about trying some low presure rounds with 180 gr round nosed bullets...

I'll also try some different powders...

January 20, 2004, 11:27 AM
Brownells sells barrels threaded and chambered for small-ring Mausers in .250 Savage, 6.5 x 55, 7 x 57, .300 Savage, and .35 Remington. You can figure that those cartridges meet the pressure restrictions of the 95 action. The only one of those that I would think about taking on an elk hunt would be the 7 x 57.


January 20, 2004, 11:32 AM
Wildalaska beat me to it.

However, since the rim of the 6.5x55 is larger than the 308, wouldn't bolt work be in order as well?


January 20, 2004, 11:42 PM
Another vote for the Swede. On the topic of bolt work, wouldnt the entire 96 bolt work, alleviating any issues?

January 21, 2004, 05:21 AM
Hmm... a 1916 in 35 Remington. Now that sounds like a dandy pig rifle, might have to take a look at Brownells.

Second thought, at $223.50 plus smith work cost, i'll leave it a .308, afterall I only paid $69.00 for a hand sellected one.

Jim K
January 21, 2004, 08:47 PM
What is the rifling twist on that .308 barrel?


January 21, 2004, 08:56 PM
I vote for 7 x 57. A great round and if you can buy barrels cheap from Numrich or such, I'm picking that'd be the way to go.

A deer ain't going to argue with 7 mm projectile and if you place it right an elk ain't gonna argue either. Lots of deer have been made DRT with .222 Rem around these parts (not recommended, but its been done plenty). Ya don't need a cannon to drop a deer.


January 22, 2004, 12:15 AM
"What is the rifling twist on that .308 barrel? "

Now thats a good question. I have no idea. Is there an easy way to find out?

January 22, 2004, 12:19 PM
Is there an easy way to find out Yes David there is .......

With long barrels do the following (this is not easy to use on short handgun barrels) ......

Take a cleaning rod and fit with a jag ... preferably a brass one that will hold a well wrapped patch, for a fairly tight bore fit.

Insert this from muzzle .... all the way to just in front of chamber ...... make a mark on rod with fine point Sharpie ... both across rod and along - just by crown.

Now withdraw rod slowly allowing it to turn with the rifling, and watch for first mark to appear after 360ยบ of rotation ..... mark again on rod by crown.

The distance between the two marks is your inch value for one revolution.

If patch and jag not easy because of difficulty withdrawing ..... use a slightly oversize and lubed bronze brush ... the principle is the same ..... just a way to get a visual on the rotation distance.

If you enjoyed reading about "Looking for Mauser Ideas..." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!