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1914 Mauser safe with modern ammo?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by 19112XS, Sep 15, 2004.

  1. 19112XS

    19112XS Well-Known Member

    Can anyone tell me if a Mauser rifle, serial number in the 1600 range, with "Amburg 1914" and "Gew 98" on the receiver would be safe to fire with modern readily available ammunition? Thanks.
  2. jefnvk

    jefnvk Well-Known Member

    The biggest problem you may have is if it is a smaller bore Mauser. They were made in two different bore sizes, .318 early on and .323 later (IIRC). Now, I can't remember WHEN they stopped making the smaller one, but if no one else here can help, try gunboards.com or milsurpshooter.net.

    As for modern ammo, American 8mm is loaded a little less extreme than the military variety, for the reasons you mentioned above. Lots of old Mausers still in use. For example, Remington's ballistics table shows their 8mm ammo at 2300 fps. The Turkish ammo out of my Yugo mauser runs upwards of 3000 fps.

    Edited to add: Make sure you have it checked over by a good gunsmith if you have any doubts, esp. if it is a war bring back that has been sitting around for years.
  3. cracked butt

    cracked butt Well-Known Member

    Should be OK. I would slug the bore and if it has a .323" or better bore, you're golden.
  4. spacemanspiff

    spacemanspiff Senior Member

    i've looked at a 1916 gew98 the pawnshop has, each time i cringe as i see the horrible sporterizing job some bubba put it through. matching numbers, decent bore, very readable markings. they've had it for over 3 years, starting price was $310, now they are down to $190. if it ever goes below $100 i might pick it up and see how a new stock would make it look, but i'd probably never fire it.
  5. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    Given that production date I'd be very surprised if you had the old "J" bore. The Germans were among the very first to shift to high-speed spitzer loadings. Their 8x57JS came out in 1905 IIRC. Scared the bejesus out of everybody, including us. A WWI vintage gew 98 is almost certain to have the new bore. The biggest problem is the amount of abuse these old rifles went through. If it's in good condition and headpace checks out, it should still be an absolute tank. Stronger than many modern rifles, in fact.
  6. SMLE

    SMLE Well-Known Member

    Comoline is spot on...

    A 1914 dated rifle will be a .323 bore. Get the headspace checked just for "CYA".

    IIRC, the switch to the .323 bore was before the adoption of the '98.
  7. 19112XS

    19112XS Well-Known Member

    :) Thanks all! Good news for a change. After a trip to the 'smith and ammo store, we're a'goin shootin'. Thanks again :D

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