Building on a Mauser Action


February 5, 2004, 01:13 AM
Well I am converting one to a .270. I have ordered the barrel and stock from Midway. What about a .338 Lapua as a second one. I am building on the Czech VZ24 Mauser. I'd like to hear opinions on these choices. The .270 is for White Tail and the .338 Lapua is for distance!

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February 5, 2004, 01:29 AM
Yer better off with the 338 Ultra Mag....will feed better in the action, ammo is cheaper, brass is cheaper, barrel life is longer and they are close enough in performance that ya wont lose much...

I wouldnt use a VZ 24 though, unless you are gonna do the work oyurself...its more expensive to have it done than just buy a new rifle.


February 5, 2004, 08:01 AM
I have a .270 built on a VZ24 with Midway barrel and stock. It is a fine rifle. I also have two .35 Whelens built the same way. Real thumpers!

The VZ's are some of the best M98's to build on as they are well finished, have good heat treatment and are relatively cheap.

Good luck and have fun. These projects are almost as much fun as hunting and shooting with them!

February 5, 2004, 03:13 PM
For a hunting rifle, I like building on a Mauser. No, you won't be able to keep the price down to commercial levels. You will, however, have a rifle made to your specs, probably smoother and likely more accurate than a store-bought rifle, with a pride of ownership factor accruing to its one-of-a-kind nature.


February 5, 2004, 06:13 PM
1916 J.G. Haenel Mauser action, Krieger barrel, 6.5-06 chambering:

February 5, 2004, 10:33 PM
Gewehr 98, that sure is one fine looking rifle!

February 5, 2004, 10:50 PM
Sounds good to me I have a Vz-24 here im trying to decide what to do with .. Im left handed so this will be a project gun and i dont plan on hunting with it unless its deer

February 5, 2004, 10:58 PM

February 6, 2004, 01:49 AM
It is now official. I am green with envy.

February 6, 2004, 02:33 AM
And of course the is always the basic beater hunting rifle on the mauser. CZ manufactured German K-98 with the original barrel in 8mm with the steps lathed off.

February 6, 2004, 04:08 AM
Just for my info: which, if any, calibers when built on a milsurp mauser 98 (or other?) action requires only a barrel change and headspacing to be ready to go?
i.e. bolt is correct for rimsize, cartridge length and all that?

will that work with any cartridge at all? or any combo of mauser (any make/country/year) and cartridge?

Cuz if its that simple...

February 6, 2004, 04:20 PM
The cartridges that the Mausers were originally made for were primarily the Mauser cartridges and we still have their derivatives that run through Mauser actions with zero modifications except for the new barrel:

6.5x55 (actually has a marginally larger head size, but typically not enough bigger that the bolt won't work with it. American cases have same head size as 7x57 and 8x57)
6mm Remington
257 Roberts

The next group will generally feed with no trouble at all, but military cartridges may exceed the magazine length and require a magazine box lengthening (not difficult):

270 Winchester
280 Remington
.35 Whelen

The next group can be made to work in a Model 98, but the guide rails of the action or the magazine follower may have to be altered, and the magazine may have to be blocked. In other words, feeding problems are possible to likely:

.243 Winchester
.260 Remington
.308 Winchester
.358 Winchester

Small-bore, purely varmint cartridges for the Model 98:

.22-250 Often becomes a single shot because of feeding difficulties
.220 Swift Generally feeds better than .22-250, but a semi-rimmed cartridge.

There are dozens of additional factory and wildcat cartridges that will fit the Mauser boltface and magazine.

The 7mm Remington Magnum series of cartridges will fit with only a bolt face/extractor opening and perhaps lengthening of the magazine box.

February 6, 2004, 05:51 PM
Clemson, you're the man.
That's the first time in a while someone had THE WHOLE ANSWER to my question. Thanks!

I was beginning to think it ws me.

February 6, 2004, 06:17 PM
Pre '98 Mausers, like the 91 through 96 Mausers (known as Small Ring Mausers), weren't built to handle the pressures of cartridges like the 8x57, and later .30-06 and .308 Winchester.

The '98 Mausers, also known as Large Ring Mausers, came in a variety of action lengths. A popular surplus '98 Mauser available at good prices these days is the Yugoslavian M48 Mauser. It's an intermediate length action, shorter than a Gewehr98 or Czech VZ-24, so running the longer cartridges like the .30-06, .280, .270, 6.5-06, .25-06, and 6mm-06 may require some modification of the action.

Some aftermarket parts for '98 Mausers won't fit the Yugo M48's, or the popular Turkish Mausers, so be careful with your research before you commit to building a custom. That being said, your VZ-24 action should be just fine for stuff like the .270 Winchester. The .338 Lapua will require extra work to the VZ-24's boltface, extractor, and maybe the magazine rails.

February 7, 2004, 02:55 AM
Well after some serious thought I have decided to make my second Mauser conversion in .308.

I will build my .338 Lapua but on a different action. Maybe a Rem 700 action. In any case I will at the end of my construction have two good hunting rifles built on Mauser actions. Not bad if I say so myself!

Now for some inexpensive 3x9 scopes to throw on these rifles and I am ready for hunting season next time around.

February 7, 2004, 11:47 AM
On building a .308. I have 2 M98 Mausers which are known as model 12/61's. They were built by Steyr from about 1912-1914 I am told and sold to the Govt of Chile. In 1961, they were converted to the NATO caliber, aka .308. Both of my guns appear to have been rebarreled with the mag's blocked in front. No other changes are APPARANT. Both function, feed, extract and eject perfectly.

I am sure, then, that you can have a FINE .308 made on one of the VZ24 actions that will work just great.

Good luck with a fun project. Be sure to give us a report when done.

February 7, 2004, 12:10 PM
Are there any sources for a step by step on converting a large ring mauser into a .308? Seems like an inexpensive way to build a fun .308 rifle.

February 7, 2004, 11:28 PM

The barrel and stock arrived from Midway and now it is just a matter of time. I will let you know how it turns out.

February 16, 2004, 02:39 PM
What about small ring Mausers? What kind of conversions can you do on them?

February 17, 2004, 03:40 AM
You can build a .338 Lapua on a Mauser type action, just not on a surplus 8mm size action.

You need a big one, and they cost allot more money ~$600, not $50.

February 17, 2004, 12:20 PM

A pretty good guide as to which calibers are suitable for small ring actions can be found in which barrels Brownells offers for these actions:

.250 Savage
6.5 x 55
7 x 57
.300 Savage
.35 Remington


June 27, 2006, 08:59 PM
I have been milling the hump off Muasers to make room for the scope mount.

July 4, 2006, 04:37 PM
Here are three 98 Mauser bolt faces.

Left; modified for .223, longer extractor hook, bolt face is relieved to clear barrel breech

center; stock 8x57mm extractor

right; modified for 300 Win Mag, shortened extractor hook, bolt face is opened up to clear larger case head.

Dale Taylor
July 5, 2006, 08:47 AM
Is it necessary to remove barrel to drill and tap for scope on 98 action and use jig to prevent going into chamber. Waffenwerke says no. Multiple threads on Surplus rifle say yes.

July 5, 2006, 08:59 AM
The EASY way to drill and tap a Mauser is to remove the barrel and drill straight through the threads. You can then tap the holes with a taper tap. The lower cost drilling fixtures like the B-Square and the Wheeler are set up to operate this way.

It is possible to drill and tap blind holes in the receiver without removing the barrel. That requires a jig like the Forster, which is a fairly expensive piece of plunder. Some people use a milling machine instead of a fixture. Some have modified the other jigs by grinding off enough of the guide rods to allow them to fit into a receiver with the barrel in place. Regardless, it requires very careful control of the depth of the hole so as not to penetrate the threads. The holes are then tapped out with a set of taper, plug, and bottom taps.

I personally only work on receivers that I have pulled the barrels from.


Dale Taylor
July 5, 2006, 10:16 AM
Critter, did you remove the barrel?? Thanks Clemson and Bill Z.

Bill Z
July 5, 2006, 02:34 PM

Got your e-mail. Sorry, but Critter is not my use name on this board, it was already taken when i had joined. I dunno notin 'bout Mausers.

Bill Z.

July 6, 2006, 11:11 AM
Does anyone know if you can even come close to putting a .338 Lapua into a standard (VZ-24) length Mauser action? I have an action, and would like a .338 Lapua, but I looked at the cartridge dimensions, and it appears it would be WAY too long (with "normal" weight/length bullets) to ever fit/feed in a standard Mauser action. Suppose you could make it a single shot, but that's kinda weird.

July 6, 2006, 11:21 AM
I am building a 338 Lapua on a stretched VZ24 action.

The mag box on a VZ24 fits an 8x57 = 3.25"
I have once lengthen the mag box for a 300 WM = 3.34"
But the 338 Lapua is 3.6"

You could cut out the front end of the mag box and extend length and you could cut into the feed ramp of the receiver that makes support for the lugs, but that is not how I am doing it.

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