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Can an M-48 Mauser be reworked to 308?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by goon, Mar 21, 2003.

  1. goon

    goon Well-Known Member

    I have heard that Mausers generally don't work really well with the 308 because the cartridge is a little shorter than the 8mm, and leads to feeding jams.
    I just tried a handful of 308 through my M-48, and the did feed OK. The bolt wouldn't close, and I am guessing that is because of differences between the two cartridges. I DID NOT attempt to fire it that way, and I will not, so don't worry. I just wanted to see if they would feed, and they did.
    Anyhow, I would much rather have a 308 than an 8mm, so I was wondering if it could be rebarreled.
    I would most likely keep it in original configuration except for the caliber.
    Are there any pitfalls that I should look into before I get my hopes up.
  2. goon

    goon Well-Known Member

  3. Mannlicher

    Mannlicher Well-Known Member

    You can rebarrel/rechamber a Mauser 98 to almost anything.
  4. critter

    critter Well-Known Member

    I own 2 model 12/61 Steyr rifles. They are model 98's made by Steyr and sold to Chili. In 1961, they were rebarreled to 7.62 Nato (.308 Win) and feed, fire, extract and eject perfectly. They are full length actions where the model 48's are slightly shorter which should work even better.

    I also have a friend who rebarreled a Mauser 98 in 22-250 which is sort of short. Works fine too-no work needed on bolt face or rails.

    I think it is a worthwhile project if that is what you want to do. Good luck.
  5. BHP9

    BHP9 member

    Take my advice. You are entering into a financially losing proposition. The money spent will never be recovered when you sell the rifle. Far better to buy yourself some reloading equipment and reload for the caliber. It can be reloaded every bit as cheap as the .308 and most often your reloads will be as cheap or cheaper than even military surplus garbage.

    I just bought another beautiful 8mm. A Czech 98/29 long rifle. I shot cast bullet loads out of it for about half the price of even military surplus ammo and it did not pound my shoulder and I did not have to worry about any effects of devastating corrosive ammo.

    I shot also some jacketed bullet handloads and the cost did not exceed even the garbage corrosive military stuff that people like to use and ruin their rifles with. Handloads will almost always beat out surplus military stuff and will even usually beat out factory commercial loads.

    Half the fun of shooting is creating your own special handloads.

    Another option which would be far more economically sound would be to buy a 98 Mauser that has already been coverted by the miltary such as some of the coverted Israili Mausers and also Federal Ordinance put some M98's together in .308 a few years ago. I shot both of them last summer and both worked perfectly and of course were very accurate.

    Converting a Yugo just doesn't make much economic sense unless you are fabulously wealthy and money is not an issue.
  6. oldfart

    oldfart Well-Known Member

    BHP9 is probably right when he says that you'll never realize a financial gain from your idea. But if you're like a lot of us, you don't really have any idea of selling your new 'project.' If so, go ahead and rebarrel it.

    I don't collect rifles. In fact, I try not to even look at any that are collectable. The ones I do have are to be used and, if they're to be used efficiently, they need to be efficient. I had too many 8mm rifles, including one that shoots a consistent 2 MOA all day long. So I rebarreled another one with a Parker-Hale .308 barrel from Sarco. Last week it rewarded me with a 3/4 MOA group. I don't know if I can do that consistently, but I'll certainly try.

    I had absolutely no trouble with feeding. I DID have a bit of a problem seating the cartridges until I realized the OAL was 0.100" too long. Once I pushed them back to 2.800" everything worked just fine.
  7. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    BHP9 is right as far as the economics go. But to answer your question, the M48 converts well to .308 with just a barrel change and should give no problems at all. There are even .308 Mauser barrels that have the correct military contour so there is no change other than minor fitting.

    But if you are talking sporter conversion, be warned. Converting a military rifle to the equivalent of a commercial sporting rifle will cost almost as much (maybe more) than buying a sporting rifle like a Remington, Ruger, or Winchester.

  8. goon

    goon Well-Known Member

    I am not wealthy. In fact, quite the opposite.
    But, after comparing that old Yugo to my new Rem 700 ADL, I am kinda in the dark.
    The Yugo is a MILITARY gun, and yet it is much smoother and much stouter than a brand new SPORTER.
    What I would like to do is to have it rebarreled to 308, and leave it in original military configuration, with the exception that it might one day end up with an antiquated looking scope and mount on it.
    I will admit that I haven't the slightest idea what this will end up costing. I think that Gibbs Rifle Co also made some Izzy Mauser knock offs a few years back, but I haven't had any luck tracking one down. That would be a preferable scenario.
    What it amounts to is that I would like to have a well built rifle that is likely to never fail me.
    I have considered a VEPR 308 as well, solely on the fact that an AK is supposed to go over 20,000 rounds easily.
    That is alot of rounds, especially considering that I will most likely be shooting other guns as well, so I would assume that a gun like that would outlive me.

    The Remington broken bolt handle got me thinking..., even if it is a limited scenario.
    I have never heard of that with a Mauser, or an Enfield, or a Mosin-Nagant. I think it would be safe to say that the avereage example of one of those rifles will go, or has gone, its whole life without any serious breakages. I doubt that one could say that for many rifles made today.
    That is why I was interested in the Mauser as a base for a 308. The 308 Enfields sometimes have reliabilty issues, and a MN is just plain too different to try that with, but a Mauser...
    Well, it has potential.
    I think that I will try and find an M-48 action to try this with. I kinda like mine the way it is.
    Now that you mention it, I could just buy another set of dies...;)
  9. Mannlicher

    Mannlicher Well-Known Member


    I don't understand your opinion that rebarreling a Mauser is ruinously expensive. Any decent gunsmith can put on a barrel for about $150 tops. Add in the price of a Yugo Mauser, and you have under $300.
  10. dude

    dude Well-Known Member

    Alot of things about BHP9s post I don't 'understand', but what do I know.

    ......as I happily shoot and quite enjoy the stuff he says is 'garbage' and 'devastating' all the time

    Mausers are very easily and cheaply converted to .308. Styer Mausers in .308 are only going to cost you $175 or so in the first place though.
  11. goon

    goon Well-Known Member

    What would really be required other than a different barrel?
    I am relatively sure that the case head is the same size, so the bolt and extractor would still work.
    The mag may be too long, but my informal tests have shown that may be blown out of proportion.
    OTOH, I may just go for an Israeli Mauser. I have been turned onto a source of Ufixems, so I might try that route.
    It would be kinda cool to build your own rifle.
  12. oldfart

    oldfart Well-Known Member

    All you gotta do is change the barrel and change the sights. I haven't experienced it, but I suppose there might be a few cases where feeding problems could occur. I don't think it could be anything that a decent gunsmith couldn't take care of though. The Israeli Mausers weren't completely overhauled to make them work, just new barrels and sights and possibly--- occasionally-- a bit of 'tweaking' here and there.
  13. BHP9

    BHP9 member

    I don't understand your opinion that rebarreling a Mauser is ruinously expensive. Any decent gunsmith can put on a barrel for about $150 tops. Add in the price of a Yugo Mauser, and you have under $300.

    In my neck of the country the barrel alone can run that and more and if you do the job right and remount the front and rear sights you get into way, way more money. Even if you jury rig one with no sights try getting $300 bucks out of it if you want to get rid of it. The selling price will end up being more like 100 bucks and thats a loss of $200 dollars when you could have gone out and bought a Federal Ordinance for about $125 to $150 bucks.

    Just doesn't make any economic sense.
  14. goon

    goon Well-Known Member

    I just bought an Izzy today, so we will see what we see.:D
  15. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    I don't think I said that rebarrelling a 98 Mauser is ruinously expensive. I didn't know whether the question involved a simple rebarrelling or a full sporter conversion. The latter can be very expensive for a equivalent to a good sporting rifle. As others have pointed out, just rebarrelling is not nearly so costly. Those considering sporterizing a Yugo M48 should be aware that the receiver is shorter than the standard Model 98 and this may affect the fit of stocks, scope mounts, etc.

    As to Remington 700 bolts. The bolt body is made from heavy wall tubular steel with the bolt head pinned and brazed into the bolt body and the bolt handle copper induction brazed in place. Since the bolt is not forged from solid steel like the Mauser, the bolt handle can, at least in theory, peel off. I have never personally seen that happen and don't know anyone I trust who has. I have heard people say that they know someone who knows someone who knows a guy whose brother-in-law, etc.

    I do know that type of joining is pretty tough and unless something went very wrong in manufacture and testing didn't catch it, it seems unlikely that the handle will come off. That is not to say that someone with enough determination could not remove the bolt handles, even sawing or torch cutting them, and use the result as "proof" that the handles come off.

    With the increased cost of labor after WWII, every U.S. sporting rifle manufacturer has adopted cost reduction techniques. This type innovatiion is one of the things that allows modern sporting arms to be kept at a reasonable price. A gun made like the 98 Mauser in the U.S. today, in sporter quantities, would cost at least twice what those guns do.

  16. goon

    goon Well-Known Member

    I was playing with my M-48 again today, and the thing is built like a tank.
    A swiss tank.
    Very smooth, and very solid.
    The only reason that I have had it for about two months and not shot it is that it is too nice to shoot that corrosive stuff out of.
    It is also to nice to sell off, so I guess I need to get another set of dies.
    My M-39 gives a similar feeling, but you can feel the cartridges working into the chamber as the magazine lets go of them. You don't really feel the round being stripped off of the top, you just feel a little clunk as the mag does its thing.
    Very cool.
    My 91/30 is a little grittier than the Finn, but still smooth and very usable.
    What I am getting at is that I love C&R's.
    They are awesome guns, and at the prices that you can get them at, everyone should have at least one or two around.
    Those old guns put almost any new one to shame...
    But, in all fairness, I may be a little biased.
  17. critter

    critter Well-Known Member

    Goon, I used to think like you. You know where you said the C&R's are neat guns and cheap and everybody should have 1 or 2 around. Weeeeellllll, it doesn't work that way! Them suckers multiply-they're like 'tater chips. Nobody can have just one! They GROW on you and they grow in number! I think I have about a dozen now-and I don't even have C&R liscense nor do I 'collect' them! They just 'gather up' some way. Follow me home from gun shows, etc.

    BTW, I have a '48 also. Wonderful gun in tip top shape. Try some of the German made K98's that the Yugo's reworked. Also GREAT guns at low prices. Then you have to have some in 7.62 Nato like the model 12/61's or a FN in original 30-06 chambering-now there is a SLICK, nicely finished gun!

    Good luck with your project but look out for the others just waiting to ambush you and weedle their way into your gun safe.
  18. goon

    goon Well-Known Member

    I was looking at this Czech 98/22 today.
    It has obviously seen some action.
    Very little bluing, with the overall finish being somewhere south of beat to hell.
    But, when I worked the action, I felt that feeling.
    You guys who know Mausers know what I mean; that unlocking the vault feeling. I feel that there is no greater testament to these old warhorses than that.
    Try that with your Remington 700!;)

    BTW- I didn't say that I only wanted a couple, I just said that most people would be well served with a couple.:D
    I need at least three of each Mosin-Nagant varient, a couple of Enfields, and a couple of different Mausers.
    Maybe a Swede after I get my Izzy home...

    The truth is that if SHTF came today, I think I would leave the Scoped Savage, and the AK, and take my Finn M-39. The others may make better weapons, but I just can't stand to think of that beauty in the hands of my enemy.;)

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