Rugged .308 Rifle (Bolt-Action, Iron Sights)


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raindog
January 21, 2013, 07:04 PM
I'm wondering if anyone would care to update this old post from 2004:

http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/index.php/t-88331.html

I'm in much the same spot. I'd like a .308 Win rifle with ruggedness as the primary feature. I'd like iron sights on it, as I don't plan to scope it.

I don't want to spend $1000 on this...the cheaper the better but obviously to be rugged you can only go so cheap.

Something like a WWII battle rifle (e.g., 98k, Mosin-Nagant, etc.) in .308 - though with a decent trigger :p I know it's possible to buy one of those rifles and convert them, but I'm thinking it might be better to just start with a modern commercial rifle. Modern would be lighter as well.

I checked and a caliber conversion isn't cheap - e.g., buy a Yugo 24/47 for $300, then a local gunsmith here charges ~$450 to rebarrel and I'm not sure that's all that would be required.

Anyway...advice, oh wise THR brethren?

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jmr40
January 21, 2013, 08:56 PM
If it ain't CRF, it ain't rugged and tough. I'd look for a used stainless/sythetic Ruger and have a gunsmith add iron sights. Should be able to do it for around $600-$700 and get some VERY good sights.

You can find these for around $750, but I'd want a longer barrel, synthetic stock and would rather not have a detchable mag and flash hider.

http://ruger.com/products/gunsiteScoutRifle/models.html

Liberty1776
January 21, 2013, 09:20 PM
What's CRF?

and to the OP - I'd get an Ishapore .308

Eureka40
January 21, 2013, 09:20 PM
About $450

http://www.savagearms.com/firearms/model/11HOGHUNTER

This thing is built like a tank. 308, accutrigger, irons, threaded barrel and a fantastic recoil pad.

raindog
January 21, 2013, 09:21 PM
Pretty sure jmr40 is referring to a Curio & Relic Firearm.

HB
January 21, 2013, 09:26 PM
Controlled round feed, as in a mauser action. The action of a savage and many other "modern" rifles will not feed as reliably as the mauser type action when the rifle is inverted or other such conditions.

HB

eaglesnester
January 21, 2013, 09:29 PM
get yurself a Marlin lever 308 in stainless for about 750 or so at least thats what they go for here in Canada. I do not own one but I have heard that they are accurate.

rcmodel
January 21, 2013, 09:30 PM
And the solution to that problem is, don't shoot a bolt-action while standing on your head.

Most modern push-feed actions are as reliable as CRF actions.

Every modern military rifle in the world today is a push-feed action.

rc

jon86
January 21, 2013, 09:37 PM
CRF = Controlled Round Feed

MarkR
January 22, 2013, 09:46 AM
I have the SMLE Ishapore 2A1, and am very pleased with it. It's good to shoot, and a piece of history as well. They look to be going for about $350+ on gunbroker.

cal30_sniper
January 22, 2013, 11:10 AM
Why not just get a Model 98 Mauser that's already been converted to .308/7.62x51. Lots of countries did it. The Spanish FR8s are probably the most known, but the Israelis rebarreled a lot of 8mm Mausers to 7.62x51. My brother's got one, it's a very accurate rifle, and easily fits your "indestructible" criteria.

For the Ishapore Enfield, I had one, and really liked the way it handled and shot, but I was not impressed with the metallurgy. It developed an excessive headspace problem twice, both times after only a few hundred rounds had been fired through it. I had to get longer bolt snouts to put it back in headspace, telling me that either the bolt body was compressing or the receiver lug race was setting back. Bear in mind this was with 7.62x51 surplus, not .308 Win ammunition. I finally sold it and bought a Savage No. 4 Mk. I in .303, and never looked back. It may have been an outlier, but given the Indian's lack of industrial and military reputation, I'm betting there are others out there like it.

RPRNY
January 22, 2013, 11:22 AM
Savage Hog Hunter is a great call. As is a sporterized Mauser in .308 - or stick to 8x57 for that matter. The Ruger Scout Rifle will likely also meet your needs.

Finally, an FR8 would be very high on my list based on your criteria. Someone here recently made theirs into a "Scout" rifle and it looked very nice indeed.

Gtscotty
January 22, 2013, 11:25 AM
What about the Gunsite scout? They were going for the mid $700s before the latest scare. You can get aperature sights, a box magazine, and with the newer version, stainless steel and an 18" barrel.

If you don't want to spend that much, you could get the savage hog hunter, but it won't have the nice aperature sights that the Gunsite scout has.

ironworkerwill
January 22, 2013, 11:33 AM
+1 on the hog hunter

cal30_sniper
January 22, 2013, 12:41 PM
I really just don't understand why you would pay $700 or more for a Ruger Gunsight when a .308 Mauser in full military trim can be had for less than $400. Is the 10 round box magazine really worth an extra $300? If you need 10 round capability and easy scope mounting, go with the Ruger and fork out a chunk of change. If you want a rugged .308 bolt rifle with iron sights, spend $300-400 to get a 7.62x51 Mauser conversion. Splurge an extra hundred or so and you can get it drilled and tapped and have a receiver mounted peep sight installed.

valnar
January 22, 2013, 01:26 PM
I'd say the new Ruger 18" Stainless Gunsite Scout is the way to go. I don't understand why people would say a detachable mag is "less" rugged.

If they were making modern military bolt action rifles today, it would probably be close to that, except maybe a little longer barrel.

ironworkerwill
January 22, 2013, 01:49 PM
I just don't understand.(<'.''><'.''>)

Halal Pork
January 22, 2013, 02:24 PM
What about a Spanish FR8? I've seen some for sale here and there in decent shape.

critter
January 22, 2013, 02:31 PM
I own a Mauser 98 that Chile converted to .308 (actually 7.62 NATO) in about 1951. Fits your specs perfectly. Tough, reliable, not too expensive to leave in the truck, plenty of horsepower, accurate enough for what it is to be used for and lots of history.

cal30_sniper
January 22, 2013, 04:50 PM
The magazine itself is not what makes the rifle less rugged (however, along with the flash suppressor, it does make it more clunky and unwieldy to handle). It's the use of pot metal, aluminum, and other less than par materials in the action/bolt/trigger assembly that hurts the "ruggedness" of the Ruger. It's great for a sporting rifle, I'm still not sold on it's application for a rifle that is going to be "ruggedly" used. If you look at any of the old Mausers, they are just about 100% forged steel internals. The triggers might be a little sloppy, the lock time may not be the best, and they might be a little clunky when working the action, but they are almost guaranteed to go bang every time you pull the trigger, no matter what conditions they've been subjected to. Obviously, different people are going to have different definitions of the word "rugged". To me, it means battlefield or semi-permanent wilderness conditions. Why not get something that was designed with that in mind, rather than a hunting rifle in fancy clothes?

I don't not like the idea of the Ruger gunsight, Savage Hog Hunter, and others. I just don't understand paying a price premium for something like that, when the old Mausers are already out there in the proper configuration, and have been battle tested and proven to work. If you need to have the next new fancy thing, that's fine, but no-one has yet to explain why it's worth paying extra for in a utility rifle.

Gtscotty
January 22, 2013, 10:46 PM
Where is all the pot metal in the Hawkeye action/bolt/trigger? If aluminum is used in the right places it does nothing to reduce a rifle's "ruggedness" but even so, I don't see much if any aluminum on my Hawkeye African. Some folks are willing to pay a little more for a newer, more refined rifle. If you like converted mausers better, that's fine, but depending on what one's looking for, its not necessarily a better choice, and it's certainly not the only choice.

cal30_sniper
January 22, 2013, 11:25 PM
Almost everything in the action is investment cast, including the actions themselves, the bolt, and all the smaller pieces inside. This is a cost cutting measure. They can't afford to build mass produced forged rifles anymore, so they have to find ways to make them cheaper. The Ruger was designed to be a massed produced sporting rifle. Corners were cut, just like corners were cut when designing the Winchester 70 and Remington 700. Lots of corners were cut when designing the Savage action. They function perfectly well for a sporting rifle that might see several hundred rounds a year and be cleaned in between. As far as I know, the only one that has ever been battle tested is the Remington 700, when used as a sniper platform. Even then: meticulously cleaned and maintained. Mausers are all forged, controlled round feed, have heavy duty firing pins and springs, rugged and solid sights (even if they aren't the most precise out there), and have soldiered on for over 100 years, many of which involved extensive combat. You could clean it once a decade, and it isn't going to phase it a bit. The only thing you've got to watch is the bore, which is true of any rifle. I'm not saying the Ruger is a bad rifle for the application, just that it's a lot of money to pay for a rifle with no pedigree in that use and a lot of shortcuts made because it wasn't expected to perform in that environment any longer.

Simply put, I think it's way too much money to pay for a design that's a little on the silly side. What exactly does a ten round box magazine and flash suppressor do for a bolt rifle other than make it heavier and harder to handle? Then you're supposed to pay nearly $1000 for it? Doesn't sound very practical to me.

As for the Savage, it has plastic sights and a plastic trigger guard among other things. Nice accurate rifles for a great price, but not what I would call rugged.

RPRNY
January 22, 2013, 11:48 PM
Cal30 - that's simply a reasoned opinion supported by facts. It's unfair and has no place here. ;-)

forestdavegump
January 23, 2013, 12:18 AM
About $450

http://www.savagearms.com/firearms/model/11HOGHUNTER

This thing is built like a tank. 308, accutrigger, irons, threaded barrel and a fantastic recoil pad. +1 on the hog hunter Agreed awesome for the price!

35 Whelen
January 23, 2013, 12:46 AM
Most any commercial rifle you buy these days is going to have LOTS of plastic, aluminum and pot-metal parts. It's my understanding the Savage hog Hunter even has plastic sights.....please.

Like many others have said, find a Mauser of some sort. If you can ignore the paranoid old women types on the internet forums, here's a rifle (http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=326446391)that fits your description to a "T" and is quite cheap. I used one of these as a basis for a Scout rifle for my wife. With a little imagination and some elbow grease, they can be made into nice little rifles and they're already rugged with their all steel construction and sinfully simple triggers. Here's what I did:

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h6/308Scout/Scout%20Rifle%20Project/Stockafter5.jpg

If you can afford an FR-8, they're an even better choice as they come with fairly good sights.

You can find rifles such as these on GunBroker just by entering 308 Mauser in the search box.

Good luck!

35W

henschman
January 23, 2013, 01:05 AM
Yep, I would get a milsurp that is already chambered in 7.62. My number one choice would be a FR-8, as they come with adjustable aperture sights and are a nice handy length with a 17.75" barrel.

Zak Smith
January 23, 2013, 01:46 AM
Controlled round feed, as in a mauser action. The action of a savage and many other "modern" rifles will not feed as reliably as the mauser type action when the rifle is inverted or other such conditions.

I hear this alot. One might note that the Accuracy International does not have CRF. It is a contemporary issued sniper rifle system. It feeds just fine upside down.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CArDJs6e9xc&list=UUA5OtK7qlFB9Rqbm6G9LWcQ&index=14

Gtscotty
January 23, 2013, 06:04 AM
cal30_sniper,

The investment cast vs forged steel is a tired debate from the 1911 forums. If a casting is well done, (and Ruger is an expert outfit at casting steel) then there will be no difference between the casting and a forged piece, other than Ruger will be using a newer steel with precise metallurgy, and the Mauser will be using....? This bias against cast steel must be based on the name "investment casting" and a mental association with pot metal investment cast junk, but that's NOT what Ruger does. As far as casting technology and techniques have come today, it would be a fallacy to assume that a forged part is better simply because it is forged.

So if the cast parts and mysterious "cost cutting" are the only problems with the Ruger, I'd still take it for $300 more, and apparently I'm not alone, as they have sold like hot cakes.

Also, if you feel the 10 round magazines for the Ruger scout are silly, that's ok because you can get 3 and 5 round magazines. As for the flash suppressor, I know several people that have bought the scout as a suppressor host, and at that task it excels. So while I could take or leave the flash suppressor, the threaded barrel is a handy feature if you think you might suppress it some day (I plan on getting one for that purpose). And if the flash suppressor bothers you, you can always swap it with a linear comp or a thread protector to quiet things down.

If you can ignore the paranoid old women types on the internet forums, here's a rifle that fits your description to a "T" and is quite cheap.
Who are you referring to Whelen?

texas chase
January 24, 2013, 12:21 PM
Quote:
If you can ignore the paranoid old women types on the internet forums, here's a rifle that fits your description to a "T" and is quite cheap.

Who are you referring to Whelen?

He's probably talking about how tons of people "warn" you about firing modern 308 in small ring mausers because they will certainly blow up, maim you, etc.

cal30_sniper
January 24, 2013, 12:30 PM
Quote:
If you can ignore the paranoid old women types on the internet forums, here's a rifle that fits your description to a "T" and is quite cheap.

Who are you referring to Whelen?

He's probably talking about how tons of people "warn" you about firing modern 308 in small ring mausers because they will certainly blow up, maim you, etc.

That's how I read it too. Don't get me wrong, I love small ring Mausers, but you couldn't pay me enough to convert one of mine to 7.62 and fire full power .308 Win loads through it. The Spanish small rings were rechambered for 7.62 CETME. They weren't supposed to even fire 7.62 NATO, much less .308 Win. I even shudder at the thought of the Carl Gustaf .30-06 M96 Swedish Mauser conversions as well as the .308 Kimber Swede conversions, and the Swedes were a lot better known for their metallurgy than the Spanish.

raindog
January 24, 2013, 12:44 PM
I've certainly learned a lot about Spanish Mausers as a result of this thread I started :-)

Here is something I read about 7.62x51 CETME vs 7.62x51 NATO:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7.62x51_CETME

What I take from that is the idea that 7.62x51 CETME was loaded more lightly to improve full auto fire. But it's not clear to me if firing standard 7.62x51 NATO (or for that matter, commercial 308 Win, which is what I'm likely to shoot, either off the shelf or my own reloads) would damage the rifle or be at all dangerous.

35 Whelen
January 24, 2013, 06:14 PM
I think the people to whom I referred is quite clear.

That's how I read it too. Don't get me wrong, I love small ring Mausers, but you couldn't pay me enough to convert one of mine to 7.62 and fire full power .308 Win loads through it. The Spanish small rings were rechambered for 7.62 CETME. They weren't supposed to even fire 7.62 NATO, much less .308 Win. I even shudder at the thought of the Carl Gustaf .30-06 M96 Swedish Mauser conversions as well as the .308 Kimber Swede conversions, and the Swedes were a lot better known for their metallurgy than the Spanish.


If the cited article is correct, you can't chamber a firearm to 7.62x51mm CETME, because it isn't a unique chambering, rather it is a unique loading of an existing cartridge; the 7.62x51mm. Further, NO WHERE in the article did it say the CETME cartridge was a reduced pressure loading, rather it is stated that the CETME is a cartridge loaded with a reduced powder charge and a lighter bullet, which in no way means the cartridge is reduced in pressure. Any semi-competent handloader will tell you that light bullets and small powder charges are in no way, shape or form indicative of a low pressure loading.

Last of all I OWN a 1916 Mauser and the underside of the barrel near the muzzle is stamped ".308 Win.". I have and will continue to fire it in it my handloads which propel a 150 gr. bullet up to 2800 fps or so.

One last piece of evidence on which to chew; Samco Global sells 1916 Mausers (https://www.samcoglobal.com/1-1916.html) chambered in .308 Winchester and have sold them for as long a I can remember...certainly since the '90's and possible longer. This fact would beg the question: Since they've imported and sold God only knows how many over the last 20+ years, and if they are as dangerous as the internet experts seem to think, wouldn't ONE...just ONE have blown up and maimed someone? And if this did occur, would an enterprise like Samco Global continue to sell the rifles???

There was a heated discussion on this very subject some time back, and in the interest of obtaining the truth, I e-mail Samco and asked them about the strength of these rifles. They replied with a *.pdf of an article from (going from memory) Guns magazine in which Gary James (?) tested one of these rifles. When I get home, I'll see if I can dig it up.

35W

cal30_sniper
January 24, 2013, 06:30 PM
The short and long answer is yes, it is dangerous to fire .308 Win in a Small Ring Mauser.

The long story is the Model 91, 93, 94, 95, and 96 were all designed for low pressure cartridges. The 7x57, 6.5x55, 7.65x53, 9x57 and 9.3x57 are some of the ones I can think of off the top of my head. The Swedes also chambered some M96 commercial variants in 9.3x62, .30-06, and 8x57, which were higher pressure cartridges. These catridges are severely pushing the capabilities of the small ring action, even when used with supposedly superior Swedish steel and quality control.

The original chamberings of the small ring mauser are capped at 46,000 cup, or roughly 51,000 psi (SAAMI Specs). The .308 Winchester is loaded to 62,000 PSI. That's 122% of even the hottest allowable 7x57 load that the M93 Spanish was originally chambered in. In reality, it's about 125% of the 50,000 psi that most recommended small ring mauser loads max out at. Those are both within the proof specs, but proof specs are for surviving a freak occurrence, not day in day out shooting. Also, proof specs are also for when the rifle was brand new, not after 100+ years of use.

The main problem is not the rifle blowing up on the spot (although the .308 conversions have been known to do this), but lug set back. The receivers simply aren't hard enough to take that kind of punishment all the time. Combined over multiple firings, this starts to build unusual stresses within the receiver, and it can eventually let go violently. Another serious problem with the small ring is it's lack of gas handling capability. The bolt gas escape ports aren't nearly as large as the 98, and the shroud on the small rings does not shield the shooters face very well in the event of a gas leak (unlike the 98 shroud, which is very well designed). Any pierced primer or case failure, and the gas may come straight back into your face.

The short story is you will probably be fine for a while. Then again, you might not. At some point, you are almost guaranteed to have problems. For the extra hundred bucks or so it costs to buy a large ring in 7.62x51, it's just not worth risking it. You're putting your fingers, hands, arms, face, eyes, hearing, and life on the line for a very silly gamble. If you have a 7.62x51 CETME conversion small ring, download it to 7.62x51 CETME or small ring pressure specs, and bang away to your hearts content. If you have a large ring 7.62x51, shoot all the 7.62x51 NATO and .308 Win you want. But don't put one in a small ring. You're taking a much greater risk than you have to.

Husker_Fan
January 24, 2013, 06:42 PM
You should not fire 7.62 NATO or .308 through a rechambered 7mm Mauser like the FR7. However the FR8 was rechambered from 8mm and has a heavier receiver and can take it.

cal30_sniper
January 24, 2013, 06:48 PM
I think the people to whom I referred is quite clear.




If the cited article is correct, you can't chamber a firearm to 7.62x51mm CETME, because it isn't a unique chambering, rather it is a unique loading of an existing cartridge; the 7.62x51mm. Further, NO WHERE in the article did it say the CETME cartridge was a reduced pressure loading, rather it is stated that the CETME is a cartridge loaded with a reduced powder charge and a lighter bullet, which in no way means the cartridge is reduced in pressure. Any semi-competent handloader will tell you that light bullets and small powder charges are in no way, shape or form indicative of a low pressure loading.


You need to read the fine print in the sidebar:

Winchester later asked for and was granted permission to develop a civilian version called the .308 Winchester which is not always interchangeable because of higher pressures

Furthermore, a lighter bullet and smaller powder charges in the same casing is almost always a sign of lower pressures. In the same casing, if you have a certain grain of bullet with the certain grains of the same powder, you can almost always use that weight of powder with a lighter grain of bullet. That's because it generates less pressure. You can never load a max load of the same powder for a lighter bullet into the same casing with a heavier bullet. That generates overpressure.

So yes, a lighter bullet and a lighter charge of the same powder will generate less pressure. It's unlikely that the Spanish government used two different types of powder when one would have sufficed. Even if they did, however, the 7.62x51 CETME was still loaded to lighter pressures, and one of the particular reasons for that was to be safe for large volume fire in the older small ring mausers that were being rechambered.

Sorry, but no one should stake their life on the fact that bubba stamped .308 Win on the bottom of your barrel, or Samco decided it should be safe. I've seen some of the junk that comes out of Samco, I wouldn't stake anything on them at all. The fact is, numerous small ring mausers have blown up, up to and including Swedes that were pushed a little too far. The reason you don't see lawsuits, is that most of those guys were also handloading, and there's no way to prove it wasn't their mistake that caused it. Other explosions are documented in foreign militarys of the time, where it turns out you didn't have much legal recourse at all.

Also remember the early poorly heat treated 1903s. A good number of those blew up, but it still wasn't enough of a percentage to force the federal government to get rid of them. They kept them in reserve, and then later let them loose on the public. If our own government did it, what do you think a war torn and unstable Spanish government was capable of doing?

If you want to take risks, go right ahead. But do so knowing the risks, and don't try to lead the uninformed blindly along behind you. I've presented the facts of pressure limits. The documented failures are out there, along with many other undocumented ones. For anyone thinking of trying this, do your own research, draw your own conclusions, and talk to guys on milsurp forums like gunboards that actually work with these rifles in large numbers. Don't just experiment for yourself on pure chance and hope for the best. You're not guaranteed to have a failure by a long short, but it dang sure could happen.

cal30_sniper
January 24, 2013, 06:50 PM
You should not fire 7.62 NATO or .308 through a rechambered 7mm Mauser like the FR7. However the FR8 was rechambered from 8mm and has a heavier receiver and can take it.

Correct. The FR8 is designed off a Model 98 Mauser (also known as a large ring).

cal30_sniper
January 24, 2013, 07:05 PM
Last of all I OWN a 1916 Mauser and the underside of the barrel near the muzzle is stamped ".308 Win.". I have and will continue to fire it in it my handloads which propel a 150 gr. bullet up to 2800 fps or so.


Cross referencing the load manuals I have on hand, there's not a single loading that will do this and stay below max pressure for the 7x57 cartridge that rifle was originally chambered in. Lyman #49 shows a 150grn bullet with 50.0 grns of 748 powder at 2996 with 43,200 CUP, which is under the limit, but the same powder listed in the Lee Manual shows a max load of 48.5 grns of 748 at 48,000 CUP, which is well over the 7x57 limit. Likewise, the Lyman 49 shows 52grns of H380 at 2787fps and 45,200 PSI (which is under the limit), but the Lee Manual shows 51 grans of H380 at 2876 fps and 61,400 PSI, which is way over 7x57 levels. No telling where the disparities are coming from, but the danger is certainly there.

Finally, unless either you or the fellow who marked .308 Win on the barrel after it was imported are qualified Strengths and Materials Engineers with dedicated research and testing on that action to make sure it is safe, you can't guarantee that it is. Even so, due to age and differing circumstances, you could only guarantee it was safe in your particular rifle if you did the testing (the rifle would also likely be destroyed in the process). The people who originally designed and built the rifle did not feel it was safe to fire it at higher 7.62x51 NATO and .308 Win pressures, thus, nobody else probably should either.

cal30_sniper
January 24, 2013, 07:39 PM
There was a heated discussion on this very subject some time back, and in the interest of obtaining the truth, I e-mail Samco and asked them about the strength of these rifles. They replied with a *.pdf of an article from (going from memory) Guns magazine in which Gary James (?) tested one of these rifles. When I get home, I'll see if I can dig it up.

35W

I found this particular thread, as well as the .pdf that you posted. Testing was done by H.P. White on a sample size of 3 Samco 1916s in 7.62x51. The .pdf you sent claims that they tested the guns, "successfully running pressures over the SAAMI max of 55,200 psi for .308 Win." I had to read that twice, because even that is wrong. SAAMI max for .308 Win. is 62,000 psi. SAAMI max for 7x57 is 51,000 psi. They supposedly did all these tests to validate these rifles, but they couldn't even get the SAAMI max right? It also states that the rifles were tested to destruction at 98,000 psi. Great, one round at 98ksi blew them up, that's proof that those particular rifles were strong for several shots. What it is not proof of, however, is that any of those rifles could hold up to a steady diet of even slightly overpressure rounds, much less rounds at a 120+% overpressure of SAAMI max for the round they were originally chambered in. It also doesn't state what the original manufacture dates were for any of these rifles tested. As we all know, steel got much better as time went along. Early model 1916s, made in the heat and haste of the Great War, might not be safe at all, even if later ones are. The simple fact is, WE DON'T KNOW. So why risk it for a few bucks?

And you're letting your wife shoot that thing? That's what I can't believe...

Thread referenced:
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=653520&highlight=small+ring+mauser+strength

.pdf referenced:
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachmen...7&d=1330392604

Gtscotty
January 24, 2013, 08:56 PM
Huh, well I've learned a lot about small ring Mausers from this thread, I'd always read that they should be limited to lower pressure rounds, but had never heard the full history before.

txgunsuscg
January 24, 2013, 09:24 PM
To address those earlier who spoke about the Gunsite - do you actually have one, or have you just read articles? I only ask because I do have one, and finally got to take it to the range today. Unfortunately, all I got to shoot was steel, because I forgot to bring something to attach my targets to the stands (rookie move, I know). Here are my opinions as they relate to the OP and the commentators:

Sights are a bit rough, but functional, and mine were good to go out of the box. I popped a 12x12 plate at 200 yds with absolutely no adjustment out of the box.

Recoil, very manageable, both for me (6'4", 219 lbs), and another guy (5'8", 180 lbs). He shot it standing offhand at 100 and had no issues with the recoil shooting 175 gr Match 7.62x51.

I like the removable mag, but then again, I grew up in the era of the M14 and later. To be fair, I also own and shoot a Garand, M48, 1903A3, and FR8, and I still prefer detachable mags. Oh, and I get 10 rounds every reload, Mausers get 4-5.

I like the flash suppressor, mostly because even with the suppressor, a 16" barrel still spits a fireball at dusk. Speaking of which, the FR8, which has been recommended several times, has a flash suppressor.

As for price, I paid $885 or so out the door, and the last quote I got to bring a surplus Mauser up to the features of the Scout was over $1000, not counting the $200-$300 for the rifle.

Simply put, I think it's way too much money to pay for a design that's a little on the silly side. What exactly does a ten round box magazine and flash suppressor do for a bolt rifle other than make it heavier and harder to handle? Then you're supposed to pay nearly $1000 for it? Doesn't sound very practical to me.Um, you do know that the AR-15 has a detachable mag and a flash hider, and they don't make it harder to handle or heavier... In fact, I'm pretty sure that my Scout is lighter than my M48, has a higher magazine capacity, and is about 4-6" shorter... Plus, if I did want to put an optic on it, I could put a rail over the action (XS Ruger Gunsite rail) and still be able to reload it and have my iron back up sights.

My two cents...

solvability
January 24, 2013, 09:26 PM
My Ishapore Enfield in 308 - reliable - pretty accurate - certainly rugged and cheap.

35 Whelen
January 24, 2013, 09:31 PM
What you heard is another "Google, Copy and Paste Expert" that has not, and will not offer one shred of first hand experience. This guy has been a member here for 9 days, and he's already made almost 100 posts. So, guess what he spends most of his time doing....

cal30_sniper
January 24, 2013, 10:00 PM
What you heard is another "Google, Copy and Paste Expert" that has not, and will not offer one shred of first hand experience. This guy has been a member here for 9 days, and he's already made almost 100 posts. So, guess what he spends most of his time doing....

When logic fails, result to personal attacks. Where have I seen that before?

I just spent the last hour and a half going through old posts on the board on this subject, so I knew this was coming. Every single one, numerous people preach caution based on historical data, pressure statistics, and pictures of blown up small rings mausers. 35 Whelen responds with a few cherry picked numbers, and the idea of "If it worked for 20 years in my personal rifle, it must be perfectly safe for every Spanish 1916 out there, because Samco said so in some test that nobody seems to have the actual methods for." I'm not going to get this forum any further off track, if you want to start a new thread, I'll debate you until you're blue in the face. For anyone else interested in the topic, run a search on "small ring mauser strength," you'll be enlightened at his resilience in the face of hard data and good reasoning. For the OP and anyone else that would ever consider firing .308 Win in a small ring mauser of any type, consider yourself warned...

raindog
January 25, 2013, 02:44 AM
Well, since starting this thread, I've certainly learned a lot about Spanish Mausers :-)

I'm tempted to take a 24/47 and have it rechambered/rebarrelled for 308 Win...found a place that advertises they do it for $257, which considering I already own a 24/47 that's gathering dust, it's an attractive option.

I'm going to read up some more on the Ishapore.

stubbicatt
January 25, 2013, 08:53 AM
And the solution to that problem is, don't shoot a bolt-action while standing on your head.

rc
Ha! You kill me sometimes RC!

That Ruger Gunsite Scout does look like a whole lotta fun.

cal30_sniper
January 25, 2013, 09:27 AM
To address those earlier who spoke about the Gunsite - do you actually have one, or have you just read articles? I only ask because I do have one, and finally got to take it to the range today. Unfortunately, all I got to shoot was steel, because I forgot to bring something to attach my targets to the stands (rookie move, I know). Here are my opinions as they relate to the OP and the commentators:

Sights are a bit rough, but functional, and mine were good to go out of the box. I popped a 12x12 plate at 200 yds with absolutely no adjustment out of the box.

Recoil, very manageable, both for me (6'4", 219 lbs), and another guy (5'8", 180 lbs). He shot it standing offhand at 100 and had no issues with the recoil shooting 175 gr Match 7.62x51.

I like the removable mag, but then again, I grew up in the era of the M14 and later. To be fair, I also own and shoot a Garand, M48, 1903A3, and FR8, and I still prefer detachable mags. Oh, and I get 10 rounds every reload, Mausers get 4-5.

I like the flash suppressor, mostly because even with the suppressor, a 16" barrel still spits a fireball at dusk. Speaking of which, the FR8, which has been recommended several times, has a flash suppressor.

As for price, I paid $885 or so out the door, and the last quote I got to bring a surplus Mauser up to the features of the Scout was over $1000, not counting the $200-$300 for the rifle.

Um, you do know that the AR-15 has a detachable mag and a flash hider, and they don't make it harder to handle or heavier... In fact, I'm pretty sure that my Scout is lighter than my M48, has a higher magazine capacity, and is about 4-6" shorter... Plus, if I did want to put an optic on it, I could put a rail over the action (XS Ruger Gunsite rail) and still be able to reload it and have my iron back up sights.

My two cents...

Sorry your reply got caught up in the other junk flying around in here. I figured I'd get back to you and push it back to the front in case anybody else had any commentary on your post. I do.

I'll answer your questions first. No, I have not fired a Ruger Gunsight before. I've fired several Ruger 77s in .308 and .30-06 however, and that's where I base my comments on the inferiorities of the Ruger action. Great for a sporting rifle. In fact, I like the Rugers way better than either Remington or Winchester. However, they were not designed nearly as rugged as the Mausers, and no amount of wishful thinking will ever change that. The Mausers were designed for battle, the Rugers were designed for hunting. The Mauser action is a bit heavier than the Ruger, I'll definitely give you that. You may never need the level of ruggedness that the Mauser has to offer, but it is there if you do. Then again, the Ruger is nice and new and shiny. That matters to some folks.

As far as extra capacity magazines and flash hiders, they absolutely do make a rifle heavier and harder to handle. That's simple physics. Twice the ammo capacity means twice the weight of ammo when it's loaded up. It also means a big bulky magazine sticking out the bottom of the rifle, conveniently placed at that exact point where the rifle will nicely balance in your hand for that extra stable offhand shot. If you've ever fired a Garand and an M1A, you've noticed the difference and know what I'm talking about. Extended magazines are also awesome for getting hung up on things, whether your trying to pull it out of a rifle scabbard, push through brush, get it out of a rifle case, or out from behind the seat of your truck. Yes, the Ruger has flush mount magazines available. They hold 3 rounds, the Mauser holds 5. Yes, with a ten round magazine, you only have to reload twice as often. It also takes you twice as long to reload. That is, unless you buy spare 10 round Ruger specific magazines. Then you have to carry those magazines around with you everywhere you go. Personally, I'll keep a few stripper clips and be able to load dang near as fast.

For 99% of usage any gunsight rifle will ever see, it's a gimmick. It adds a completely useless extra length to the end of the barrel, and increases the weight of the muzzle that much more. Also, current production Gunsight rifles have 18" barrels. I think the older one's have 16", I'm guessing you have one of those. Strangely enough, the shortest barreled .308 I have is my M1A with an 18" tube and flashhider. However, I've been on a lot of dusk and night hunts for varmints with my 16" barreled 6.5x55 Swedish Mauser, and muzzle blast has never been a problem for me. Your mileage may vary, but I've never found it to be an issue.

As far as optics, as long as you've got the original iron sight block on the barrel, it is very easy to mount a scout sight setup on a military mauser. Even if it doesn't still have it, it is neither difficult nor expensive to glassbed a scout mount to the barrel.

Finally, your comments on the price of bringing a Mauser up to speed are simply off-base. It does not cost a thousand dollars to have a barrel cut-down and re-crowned, cut off the nose of a military stock, and drill and tap a rifle for a receiver mounted peep sight. An old Lyman or Williams peep is also likely to be a more accurate and durable sight than that thing perched up on top of the gunsight receiver. I can't say that for certain because I haven't handled the gunsight. That sight sure looks awkard though. I'd say at the most you'd be looking at for that work is $300, even if you did none of it yourself. Even better, if you start looking, you'll likely find one that's already had a lot of that kind of work done to it. They sell pretty dang cheap once they've been altered at all from military original condition. Even if you threw a completely new barrel on one and had it refinished with a new stock, you'd still have to try really, really hard to get to $1000.

If you feel the need to pay nearly a thousand dollars for a nice shiny new rifle, go right ahead. Unless you're doing lightning fast magazine changes on your bolt action rifle or looking for oohs and ahhs at the range, a beat up old Mauser with a smudge of work will do anything that gunsight can, and do it way cheaper. In many cases, I think you'll find it will even do it better.

EDIT: Since we're on the topic, and I also feel that personal experience is irreplaceable, here's my "rugged bolt action rifle". It's a Model 94 Swedish Mauser, made in 1906, 16.25" barrel, fully bedded walnut stock, Williams peep sight, and a Timney trigger. It will shoot 1-1.5MOA with every grain bullet I've ever tried. I bought it exactly that way for $175. Prices have gone up in the last decade, but they can still be had for not too much more than that. It's not a .308, but it'll do about anything a .308 will do, and you can load a whole lot of 6.5x55 for the extra $700 a gunsight would cost you:
http://img708.imageshack.us/img708/7451/img0282wp.jpg

EDIT: I also forgot to mention, as Gtscotty said, if you ever plan on mounting a muzzle brake or suppressor, the threaded flash hider barrel would be nice. Then again, it doesn't cost a lot to get a barrel threaded either.

txgunsuscg
January 25, 2013, 01:15 PM
Finally, your comments on the price of bringing a Mauser up to speed are simply off-base. Maybe so, but it wasn't my comment, it was a quote, sent to me by a gunsmith that specializes in Mauser actions to bring the Mauser up to the Gunsite specs, ie, rebarrel in .308 with an 18" threaded barrel, mount a rear sight, mount a scout scope rail, and add a detachable mag and a turn down bolt. I can post the email if you want.

As far as extra capacity magazines and flash hiders, they absolutely do make a rifle heavier and harder to handle. That's simple physics. Twice the ammo capacity means twice the weight of ammo when it's loaded up. And yet, my Gunsite is still at least a pound lighter than a stock Mauser per the specs I found on the internet. As far as harder to handle, maybe I'm just used to dealing with it, as in my service time, my issued weapons have been M4 family weapons, the M14, and the Mk11.

Also, current production Gunsight rifles have 18" barrels. No, the newly introduced Stainless have 18" barrels. The blued are still 16" and they are still in production.

However, I've been on a lot of dusk and night hunts for varmints with my 16" barreled 6.5x55 Swedish Mauser, and muzzle blast has never been a problem for me. Your mileage may vary, but I've never found it to be an issue.
I didn't view it as a problem, but the guys on the range with me all commented on the flash.

It also means a big bulky magazine sticking out the bottom of the rifle, conveniently placed at that exact point where the rifle will nicely balance in your hand for that extra stable offhand shot. I have to qualify standing off hand with a 15 pound rifle at 200 yards (my total loadout with mags is over 22 pounds, just in rifle and ammo), the 7 pound Scout is a dream compared to that. And actually, the balancing point on my Garand is just in front of the internal magazine, so even if it had one sticking out, I could easily get my hand there.

That sight sure looks awkard though. As I said, the sight is a little rough. It is the same sight from the newer Mini-14s, and is only adjustable with an allen wrench, which is probably its biggest downfall.

Extended magazines are also awesome for getting hung up on things So is my field gear. In fact, my field gear (especially my pistol) has gotten hung up on far more things than even the 20-30 round magazines I normally carry at work.

cal30_sniper
January 25, 2013, 02:36 PM
I think we're on the same page on everything. I get the quote on the Mauser now. Yes, I could see that it would easily take that much to fully refurbish a Mauser with all of the features of the Gunsight. I still think you'd have a better rifle in the end, but those features still wouldn't be worth paying for to me. That's completely up to the individual shooter. Yes, if you need all of the features of the gunsight in a bolt action rifle, the Ruger is a much better bang for your buck than trying to completely rebuild an old Mauser.

Then again, if you can get away without the detachable magazine, and can stand shooting out of a 50 year old barrel that is still quite accurate, A Mauser can still be modified to give 90% of the function of the gunsight for 50% of the cost. For people who aren't doing something that requires detachable mags, you get 100% of the function for 50% of the price in a more rugged platform.

As far as the weight disparity, a lot of the extra weight you're feeling in the M48 is due to the longer barrel and full length stock with barrel bands, etc. Cut the barrel down in length, sporterize the stock, and loose the huge chunk of steel rear sight for a nice receiver mounted peep, and you've gotten rid of a whole lot of the extra weight on that rifle. My short barreled swede is very light, in the same general region as my plastic stocked Savage 11F without its scope. I realize the small ring is slightly lighter than a large ring of similar barrel length and profile, but the difference isn't much.

I think the rest is up to individual preference. Thanks for the correction on the barrel length, I didn't realize that they came in different sizes according to finish.

frankenstein406
January 25, 2013, 02:44 PM
Someone had a lee enfield for sale in 308 idk how common they are tho.

txgunsuscg
January 25, 2013, 02:52 PM
Thanks for the correction on the barrel length, I didn't realize that they came in different sizes according to finish. I didn't either until you mentioned it and I looked closer at the new ones :rolleyes:

As for the barrel, I don't have a problem with utilizing an older barrel, I actually have a weird affection for old military rifles, my choice of .308 has more to do with having a common caliber among my rifles than dissatisfaction with the stock rifle.

Given the option (and money) I would actually love to totally redo a Mauser. I love the thought of a project gun, and love hearing stories about famous soldiers/adventurers/etc custom rifles. Budget wise though, its not in the cards for me, nor is the custom M1, or a dozen other guns I could dream up...

tikka-guy
January 25, 2013, 03:50 PM
Has anyone seen a Tikka Battue in person? It'd fit the bill, but i have no idea what you'd have to do to find one. Ordering site unseen can be scary.

I think I would love one, but I'd really like to be able to look at it first.

Something to think about anyway.

dmckean44
January 25, 2013, 05:08 PM
Yes, the Battue Lite looks great. I've never seen one here in the US though. I don't like the 3 round magazine but it looks like theres an optional 5 round?

dmckean44
January 25, 2013, 07:52 PM
Another option for .308 with iron sites.

http://www.galleryofguns.com/genie/Default.aspx?item=27738&mfg=Mossberg&mdlno=MVP+Patrol

http://www.galleryofguns.com//prod_images/27738.jpg

izhevsk
January 26, 2013, 08:30 AM
Speaking to lever action, a Winchester model 88 in .308 could be had for under $1000, I would think.

FSJeeper
January 26, 2013, 09:12 AM
If I were a right handed shooter, my scout rifle would be a swede small ring mauser in 6.5 x55 or a 1909 argentine rebarreled to .308. I have owned many Mausers over the years and admire them greatly. I would not trust any small ring pre-98 mauser in .308.

Since I shoot left handed, my options boil down to sporting rifles with the Win. mod. 70 being my favorite. To have my idea of a scout rifle built on a Mod. 70 action would have cost much more than buying the Ruger Gunsite.

I bought mine at a gunshow in Houston last Spring for $700 before the ban scare. They sold out except for the one left handed rifle they had left that would not move and I was able to talk them down on the price.

I am taking the rail off and replacing the flash suppressor with a threaded barrel cap from Brownells as they are useless to me. The Scout scope concept has merits, but for my use I do not need to go that direction. The iron sights work well and that is all this rifle is going to have for sights. The rifle is well balanced. I did not like the original aftermarket steeel magazine but the new Ruger polymer mags are the cats meow and you can top them off in the rifle and load them with strippers with the mag not in the rifle. The 5 rounders almost fit flush and make carrying a lot more comfortable. The trigger surprised me. Very smooth and good enough not to require work on it or replacing it with an aftermarket trigger. The bolt was not smooth at first which was a big disappointment but after hundreds of rounds of working the action it is starting to smooth out. Another thing I wish was that the firing pin mechanism would be able to be comletely dissembled like a Mauser. They should have designed this rifle to take stripper clips and M14 Mags so I would only have to stock one mag.

While not a Mauser, this Ruger is high quality and functions flawlessly. And it is left handed which is what sealed the deal for me.

cal30_sniper
January 26, 2013, 01:37 PM
Now that's a great application for a gunsight rifle. You got what you needed, cheaper than anything else out there you could have built, and in a brand new package. I like it.

I agree about the Magazines and stripper clips. If they had designed this to use magazines from an M14, FAL, G3, or even some variant of the AR10, I would see this as a much better platform. Then again, they wouldn't make nearly as much money as they do selling proprietary magazines. Unfortunately, adding a stripper clip guide would have required reworking the receiver design, which would have cost big money and been passed down to the consumer through purchase price. I agree, having a stripper clip boss would be really nice on a rifle like this.

majortoo
January 26, 2013, 02:09 PM
First, it is fascinating to see the varied recommendations, which demonstrate some expert knowledge and skills. Personally, I think that the 1916 Spanish Mauser in .308 is an excellent buy at $169.95 from Sarco. I would feel quite comfortable using this as a deer rifle with commercial ammunition. However, for only a little more money there are some really superb choices available in new rifles. Ruger, Savage, CZ and others all make outstanding weapons with accuracy, precision and reliability factors that are far better than is typically found with old, surplus military pieces. Go to a few gun shows and see which ones fit!

Rick R
January 26, 2013, 04:14 PM
I've got one of the Federal Ordinance Mausers in .308 and a Ruger Gunsite Rifle. The Federal Ordinance is a Frankenrifle built like an issue M98 but still quite use-able. In one range session I was giving a friend with a red dot equiped Springfield Scout a run for the money on steel until I ran out of stripper clipped ammo. :evil:

The GSR is now my favorite rifle. It's short and light and handy, I normally use five round magazines, either steel or poly. My natural carry position is thumb over the action, fingers in front of the magazine. I get 3/4" groups at 100 yds with the Leupold Scout scope and good ammo off the bench. My chrony tells me that the GSR's 16" barrel gives up about 100 fps to my 22" barreled M70 Winchester. The flash suppressor doesn't cause excess blast and accepts the M16 style Cap Plug muzzle covers. My rifle has fired @ 500 rounds with no problems.

If you bother to do a bit of research, Ruger tried to adapt the rifle to M14 magazines and ran into problems with different brand mags not functioning correctly. Apparently they got one prototype rifle to work with M14 mags and no one liked the balance or amount of bolt drag caused by that big magazine. ( When was the last time you saw a gunsmith offering bolt gun to M14 mag conversions?)

The GSR uses the same AICS magazine as some military bolt actioned sniper rifles. There are several manufacturers for these. The trigger guard / mag well on the GSR is made of material similar to that used for Glock frames. Not too fragile for you I hope?

I love my Mausers, the Ruger is simply a modern copy with modern steels and manufacturing processes.

txgunsuscg
January 26, 2013, 06:39 PM
Then again, they wouldn't make nearly as much money as they do selling proprietary magazines. As mentioned by Rick R, the Gunsite uses AICS magazines made by Accurate Mag, at least that is what mine is stamped. You can buy them at Brownells for about $65-70. The proprietary mag is the polymer one, and it is half the price of the Accurate Mag and about the same as an M14 mag new, so technically, their proprietary mag saves you money over the non-proprietary one...

cal30_sniper
January 26, 2013, 08:48 PM
Thanks for the clarification on the magazine type. I looked all over Ruger's site and didn't see any mention of AICS magazine compatibility. I guess they don't want to turn you off of buying their polymer mags. Should have guessed by the mag release though.

+1 point for the Ruger designers. I'd still rather have a 50 cent stripper clip than a $30+ magazine though.

I've had the same problem with magazines in my M1A. The mags with a square shaped catch on the back work perfectly. Any of the mags that have rounded corners on the catch so they look more like an oval don't work well at all. They pop out when firing, preventing the rifle from stripping the next round out of the magazine. The solution is just not to buy cheap magazines. No argument on the friction of them. Seems like more a function of parkerized magazines than the design itself though.

AK103K
January 26, 2013, 10:45 PM
For a reasonably priced rifle (and even for what they go for now), you cant beat the FR8's. Accurate, reliable, good sights, stripper fed, and you usually dont need to do anything to them, other than maybe clean up the stock.

Personally, I like the straight bolt handle, but I know a lot of people cant stand them straight. Once you see the light with them straight, youll understand, and wish all your iron sighted bolts were. :)

Ive had a couple of them since the mid 90's, and they are great rifles. We were gretting them for about $110-140 back then, these days, i think $400 is more likely.

If you look at the SMLE's, Id make sure you shoot it first. I had a couple in .308, and they were trouble. Headspace issues, mag issues, extraction and ejection issues, and a lot of fiddling with no real results. They did shoot OK though. If I were to do that again, Id get them in .303.

B!ngo
January 27, 2013, 12:33 AM
If it were me, I'd go for the Gunsight Scout in a flash. I have been impressed by every review, commentary, holding/handling in at my LGS, etc. No, I have not shot any of the items discussed in this thread so in that regard, I am insufficiently informed.
But the GS seems to cover more bases, and do so efficiently and elegantly, than most others. I strongly considered buying one before choosing a Tikka Sporter (my options are limited because I'm left-handed) but in doing so, gave up on some of the more practical handling aspects of the GS. Given the choice between a larger mag or a smaller one, I'll take the larger; a shorter and easier to handle barrel length, simple and proven design (like all others in this thread); a manufacturer with a good reputation and available to provide support and service, and so on.
Since I just purchased a long-gun in .308, I could not justify buying the GS right now. But if they offered the same design in .223/5.56 (a left-handed model) I'd line up to purchase it.
B

txgunsuscg
January 27, 2013, 08:11 AM
For a reasonably priced rifle (and even for what they go for now), you cant beat the FR8's. Accurate, reliable, good sights, stripper fed, and you usually dont need to do anything to them, other than maybe clean up the stock. I will second the FR8, although I am still trying to figure out how to get the sights zeroed correctly. I keep getting close, but not quite there. The front sight really messes with me. In addition to the ruggedness of the gun, it makes a great conversation starter on the range while people stand there and stare trying to figure out what it is...

AK103K
January 27, 2013, 10:00 AM
I took one of the cheap Chinese flat bladed screw drivers, and filed it down to use as a sight tool for mine.

The threads on the front sight are very fine, and the post is not centered on the base, so you use it for both the initial elevation zero, as well as windage. One of mine is pretty much centered for zero, the other, just off enough you can notice it if you look at it hard enough. Lucky for me, as I cant stand them when they are offset to one side or the other.

I zeroed mine using the notch at 100 yards and was pretty close later on at 200 yards using the 200M peep. I was using Santa Barbara 7.62x51 for both.

That notch on both the FR8's/CETME's, and the HK's seems to be misunderstood by a lot of people. Its your CQB sight, using the big notch and the top of the front sight globe/shroud as the "sight". At the same time, with the same cheek weld, a slight roll of the eye downward, and you will notice it brings the "post" into near perfect alignment in the small "V" notch in the base of the big notch, for shots out to 100 yards or so.

If its any help, these are the different settings for the rear sight.....

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b7d700b3127ccec27e0bed793e00000010O00CYuWbdo5bsQe3nwk/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

FSJeeper
January 27, 2013, 10:28 AM
I did my research before buying the gunsite and know the story about trying to make the gunsite run with M14 mags 1st but do to variances among the brands decided to go with the other mag for reliability.

Why didn't they make their own propreitary M14 magazine to use in the gunsite and sitpulate to only use that mag which would also function in an M14?People have converted the M77 Ruger to M14 before with excellent results. Google it.

And come on, how hard would it have been to put a stripper clip guide in? That would have been a large selling point.

The Gunsite Scout is an excellent companion for the M14's when you need something light for carrying around all day but have the same sight picture that you are used to with the M14.

aka108
January 27, 2013, 10:37 AM
I made a cheap durable 308 by using the action from a rotted out 1909 Argentine Mauser and a surplus Israeli stepped barrel chambered in 308. Never bent the bolt handle. Just left it straight. Well under 100 bucks invested.

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