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Barrel strength question.

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Numeric, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. Numeric

    Numeric New Member

    Jan 25, 2012
    Land of Green and Gold
    I have just removed the sight bands on my M1916 Spanish Mauser in 7x57. First of all, there are 2 holes under the rear sight band. The one that held the rear sight set screw, and there is a second hole 90 Degrees clockwise (from receiver end) and 2 3/8" from the chamber barrel step. I am concerned that these holes may cause the barrel to fail now that there is no barrel band around them.

    The set screw hole is 3/32" (.0937") deep, and the other hole is 1/16" (.0625") deep. The barrel is 3/4" in diameter at this point, and I've calculated that the barrel walls are .233" thick. Therefore, the hole doesn't go more than halfway through the barrel wall. But that's still just a little over 1/8" of steel to hold in a tremendous amount of pressure. Could that sight base band really have been holding the whole works together all these years?

    I don't roll my own cartridges (yet); I use factory Remington, S&B, PPU etc. that are supposedly loaded to safe pressures for older rifles.

    What I want to know is: are my concerns about barrel strength justified? Should I take it to a gunsmith for an inspection, or am I being too cautious since it obviously hasn't blown up in probably 70 years of use.
  2. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Mentor

    Dec 26, 2002
    There shouldn't be a problem.
    No barrel band is going to prevent a blow out if one is going to happen.
    Mauser rifles typically have holes drilled for sights to interlock with and those aren't that deep.
  3. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Elder

    Aug 11, 2005
    Elbert County, CO
    Just about any rifle that has/had open sights has holes in the barrel.

    Not to worry.
  4. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Senior Member

    Aug 1, 2005
    That hole was always there since the rifle left the factory. The fact it had a screw in it didn't make the barrel any stronger.

    Rifle barrels can be thinned down a whole lot more than most people think. Check Hatcher's Notebook for a experiment he did.


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