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Best way to scrub a receiver ?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by Jessesky, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. Jessesky

    Jessesky Member

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    I bought a small ring sporter not too long ago. Currently working on bringing it from average sporter, to custom rifle.

    First question is: I am wondering the best way to scrub some of the proof marks and crests off of the receiver. (Apart from the serial number)

    Second question is: I know it’s illegal to grind off the serial number and leave it, but can I grind it off and then have the serial number re engraved but in an aesthetic calligraphy font.
     
  2. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    I would think the receiver jig used to uniform the receiver rings. I can't remember the real name.
     
  3. entropy

    entropy Member

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    No you cannot remove the serial number and reapply it. It might be possible to put the new version on first, then remove the old, but I'd check with ATF before I did that, were it me.
     
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  4. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    I have seen my dad put a action on a receiver facing mandrel, in the lathe and mounted a 1/4 die grinder to the tool post. Turning the action back and forth to clean up the receiver rings.
     
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  5. MosinT53Hunter

    MosinT53Hunter Member

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    Just buy another one with a scrubbed receiver, like the 1916 Spanish mausers.
     
  6. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    No! Once the serial number has been tampered with, the rifle becomes contraband and there is nothing you can do to make it legal again.
     
  7. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I do not agree with removing material from these older actions. You are reducing the amount of structural material on the receiver ring, in the load path of the receiver lug seats just for cosmetic purposes.

    Leave well enough alone.
     
  8. BBBBill

    BBBBill Member

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    ^^^ Wise words indeed. The older guns do not benefit from the metallurgical advances that have taken place. And many of the marks are deep enough that removal would destroy the integrity regardless.
     
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  9. Jessesky

    Jessesky Member

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    I appreciate the safety caution and fully understand removing a lot of material will be dangerous, but what about these high end firms, and guilds from the first half of the 20th century? They did scrub actions completely of all markings sometimes before building the rifle. I’m talking taking off .005”
     
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  10. MosinT53Hunter

    MosinT53Hunter Member

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    Do what you want, seems you going to do it anyways. We are just here to advise you, since you asked. Best of luck.
     
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  11. Jessesky

    Jessesky Member

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    No way, if the general consensus is it is dangerous, I won’t. I like my face and fingers how they are. I’m just trying to get a sense of what’s possible, and how some other makers do it
     
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  12. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    Many mausers had a dovetail in the receiver rings for scope mounts that left little metal. If you keep the psi with in reason there will be no problems.
     
  13. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    No one I know has ever run a legitimate test to determine the level of material removal it takes to make one of these dangerous. I highly doubt receiver thickness was determined by cosmetic reasons, and because I don't know how Mauser sized his actions. I would not assume that something is safe to do because I don't know the why's or wherefores.
     
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  14. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    From my understanding from what I've read and what most military Mauser receivers that I have dealt with, the underlying material under the case hardening outside is pretty soft on most Mausers by design, those where it is not were actually improperly heat treated as the design was supposed to be hard on the outside surfaces and soft on the inside. The softer material was supposed to deform rather than shatter if a pressure event happened as kind of a passive safety during an era of poor issued ammo. Turns out that was a pretty good way to make these for longevity.

    However, the thickness of the case hardening on particular Mausers varies a bit and as noted above that some countries scrubbed some receivers and restamped them with "proper marks" such as the Yugos did with a bunch of German Mausers after WWII. Due to the longevity in service and manufacture, you would need to specifically focus on a particular country's manufacture or imported manufacture and the relevant manufacturing techniques and materials used in fabricating your Mauser. The older the Mauser is, the more the metallurgy and heat treatment becomes more primitive and the more that re-arsenaling, etc. might have already removed some of the surface.

    From my experience, I find that the older German export (like the Brazil 08 model for example) and GEW 98 models that I have acquired are pretty soft and you have to be careful with them when rebarreling because of that. The Spanish 93 and the Chilean 95s are similar. My Argentine 91 receiver (a DWM manufacture) on the other hand seems pretty hard on the surface and I do not remember complaints about them having soft receivers.

    Later Czech and German interwar and WWII era Mauser 98's seem to be a bit harder. And the Brazilians apparently had some issues with Mausers that they converted to .30-06 and there is dispute whether or not they reheat treated them. Otherwise, a fair amount of folks claim that some of these receivers were too soft and might have been inappropriately re-heat treated by the Brazilians during the chamber conversions.

    Given the amount of Mausers out there and the different manufactures of these by various countries and plants over the years, I cannot speak to everyone's experience to different Mauser subtypes, manufacturers (alas I have no Simson Suhls for example), or their suitability for receiver scrubbing. All I can tell you is that the heat treatment thickness and underlying soft material on the ones that I have appear to vary and other folks have reported some pretty wide variances in these things including destructive testing.

    I believe that one or another of the regular old time posters (Clark mebbe) on this website used to do some pretty awful stuff to poor old rifles up to and including grenading receivers (and no it was not PO Ackley--I am not that old). You might look those experiences and postings up but some of his stuff may be on other forums like Gunboards.
     
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  15. SGW Gunsmith

    SGW Gunsmith Member

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    Back in the day, I did a lot of Model '98 Mauser conversions. The BATF-E claims they need serial numbers to trace firearms from the manufacturer, forward. I asked an agent that was doing a "compliance check" on my bookwork about my "updating" these rifles by adding a new serial number that would then start a paper trail over again. His response, whether right or wrong was that it would indeed be impossible to trace a rifle made in 1939 through all the previous owners, up until today.
    I surface ground the "clip" charging ears off the bridge of the action to accept Winchester Model 70 bases, along with the receiver ring to true that up and remove any markings, again, for a Winchester Model 70 base.
    Actually, I don't think that guy knew diarrhea from good brown gravy. I did quite a few Model 98 Mauser conversions, and added a new serial number, but kept the old serial number in my "bound record book":

    1CGg4Hcl.jpg

    The above is a Mauser 98 VZ 24 action rebarreled to 7mm Mauser. Shot some nice whitetails out back with this rifle:

    ucRI5irl.jpg
     
  16. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    Beautiful work and a very nice chunk of wood for the stock.
     
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  17. SGW Gunsmith

    SGW Gunsmith Member

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    Thanks. I do prefer the harder walnuts like California English, Bastogne and Oregon Black Walnut mainly because the grain is tight and the wood is hard so it's easy to shape and checker. The one above has been checkered to 24 LPI @75°.
    I do more handgun grips for the Ruger Mark pistols these days. Keeps me busy during the winter months:

    XscTkB8l.jpg
    0n5hQQtl.jpg
    AvPPZMcl.jpg
     
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  18. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    Wow. They really dress up those Rugers.
     
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