VZ 24 Re Barrel


February 6, 2014, 07:12 AM
DIY instructions. Plan on staying with 8mm 8x57. Looking for Barrel selection priced for proven performance not over the top, Hunting for Medium Game under 600 yds. If you have done this R&R on the VZ-24 please respond with advice.
Cheers, Allenrat

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February 6, 2014, 08:52 AM
I've done this or rather should say "had this done by a professional gunsmith for me" on a Mauser 98, not a VZ-24 specifically but same rules should apply...

To do this project you would need a barrel vise, metal lathe, chamber reamer, and a headspace gauge at minimum. Even with the proper tools you'd then have to know what you were doing. I leave this type of work for the professionals.

Modifying a bolt shroud for a low-profile safety, installing and setting up a trigger... sure I'll tackle those kinds of things on my own. But re-barreling a rifle is out of my comfort zone. Plus I don't have the setup in my shop.

Good luck!

February 6, 2014, 12:08 PM
This should give you an idea of what is involved. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ufes_zrZmg

February 6, 2014, 01:18 PM
R&R on the VZ-24 please respond with advice.

Allen, give me a hint, what tools do you have available to you. It has never been as simple as R&R.

F. Guffey

boom boom
February 8, 2014, 12:07 PM
Headspace Gages and Reamers can be rented, one such company is http://www.4-dproducts.com/

Action wrenchs can be bought at Midway and Brownells--Large Ring Mauser is what you want.

A lathe is handy to clean up a dinged up receiver ring or to remove material from the barrel facing to make sure proper headspace exists. Now some machinists can do this for you relatively cheap if you know any--but you have to find out whether they understand what you want. Once material is gone, you really can't add it back easily or safely.

Generally speaking, it is far cheaper to let a gunsmith do the job for you if you want an accurate, properly headspaced, rifle with a new sporting barrel.

Rebarreling yourself is not the huge difficulty that many would make it but it is expensive to get set up to do so and can be time consuming (unless you already are a machinist who has access to mills, lathes, barstock, welding and grinding tools, etc.). I do it mainly because I buy sporterized guns and restore them to military specs which means fixing what Bubba did, and replacing hacked off barrels etc, with old full military barrels on such things as Arisakas, Lee Enfields, etc. Even here, if I can find a barreled action for a particular rifle that gives a safe, not perfect, headspace, I would take that over just a raw action.

In my area, I started doing it from necessity as I have found many gunsmiths today simply do not want to mess with old surplus especially those that have been Bubbaized already. I also suspect that they do not want such jobs because it is easy to screw up a receiver when removing a barrel, they may not want the liability to fix hidden Bubba problems, and the old military replacement barrels that are available may not be that accurate. Thus, bitchy and unsatisfied customers that don't return to them. I also suspect that my local gunsmiths don't like taking the old barrels off that much because it is unpredictable how much labor is involved, there is some risk of damaging the parts, and how much to charge for it.

After all that is said and done, it is almost always cheaper to just buy a more accurate low end brand new or slightly used sporting rifle such as the Ruger American at your local gun store if all you want is a hunting arm.

Absent that, if you have a VZ 24 receiver with no barrel, with all other parts--most importantly you will need a bolt, then by all means go to the local gunsmith and request that he put a new barrel on it and headspace it properly. Be prepared to pay significantly more than that low end hunting rifle. Given the prices on Ebay/Gunbroker recently, you could also sell this stuff and buy you a new/used sporting arm for hunting as above. These options are far cheaper than gathering the necessary tools, learning how to use them, and then doing it yourself with risk of making mistakes (which is how you learn).

I do it because of a)necessity as noted above, b)its a hobby, c)I like fixing things that have historical significance, d) I like to know how things work, but it is certainly not cost-effective if all you want is an accurate hunting rifle. These are things that I have learned over the last 7 years or so messing with military surplus rifles, of course, YMMV.

February 12, 2014, 11:54 AM
Brownells has new barrels that are threaded for large ring mausers and short chambered, but not in 8x57. Great cartridge, but not really a big seller with hunters. They even have a military contour barrel, but in 30-06 and they dont get into which military contour.

You could conceivably hand ream in a short chambered barrel, although it is not a widely accepted best practice.

This is one of those areas where a $300 rifle from walmart is going to be cheaper than the cost of installing a new barrel on your rifle.

The rest of the package, ie getting your rifle to shoot accurately to 600 yds, is another issue. That is outside conventional hunting ethics for one. Also that is more 300 WM territory. Getting a surplus mauser to hit under an MOA out to 600 is possible but will cost you more than a new Rem 700 Sendero or similar.

Are you restocking? D&T for scope (and bend/sweep the bolt handle)? Replace iron sights on new barrel?

February 12, 2014, 11:16 PM
@ Lathedog.
I have replaced lots of barrels on Mausers with Short chambered barrels and hand reamed the headspace to spec's.
They are pretty accurate, and in most cases more accurate than the lower priced off the rack guns.
But just the good parts like barrels and triggers end up costing more than the lower price rifle.
But it is all the things you have to do or should do like Lapping the bolt lugs, and bedding the rifle properly that helps greatly.
I do not expect MOA groups at 600 yards, Nor am I trying to acheive that, but the rifles will hit Minute of Moose at 600 yards.
Plenty of accuracy for hunting at those distances.
But after the investment in the tools, I have saved many a Mauser from being just a wall hanger, and turned them into useful shooters or hunting rifles, Both in their military dress, or as customized sporters.
But by far, rebarreling a rifle is not the cheap way to go, even if you are doing the work yourself.

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