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How to tel if old gun has been “wildcatted”?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by Wooden, Nov 24, 2019.

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  1. entropy

    entropy Member

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    I shook my head in sadness at the ruination of a milsurp. The stock work is well done, but the gun was irreversibly altered. It has far more sentimental value for Wooden than any other kind of value at this point. Go ahead and shoot it with good memories, Wooden. (After you find our for sure the caliber.)
    It's most probably still 7.92 x 57JS caliber, but a chamber cast is cheap insurance to verify that or acertain the correct caliber if not.
     
  2. TikkaShooter

    TikkaShooter Member

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    I do the same now when I look at modified old Milsurp. However, when I was a kid, we could buy a WWII Springfield at an auto parts store for $30 and from the NRA/DCM at Letterkenney Arsenal for a less. I believe I remember about $18.
    As we were poor, we couldn't afford a factory deer rifle and deer meat was inexpensive or less that $5 for the license.

    Now, I look back at it and say what did we do? How could we do such a thing? Then, I remember my first deer I shot with a sporterized 1903-A3 or A4.

    That means I agree 100% with your ruination and sentimental value.
     
  3. Wooden

    Wooden Member

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    I called a place that has a gunsmith on staff here, asking about a chamber casting. They said they have an easier/cheaper way to do it - headspace gauges or something?

    does this sound right? Is this a good enough method for what I am trying to do, or do I need the legit chamber casting? Watching some of the videos it’s not something I am quite setup to do right now. And it would be a little over my head so bringing to someone is the route I will go.

    you guys are awesome - thanks for all the help and input!
     
  4. Jackrabbit1957

    Jackrabbit1957 Member

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    Chamber cast for sure, headspace gauges can be misleading for determining caliber.
     
    entropy likes this.
  5. #1buck

    #1buck Member

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    This! If their person thinks that is acceptable then they don't have a gunsmith. Look at that facsimile compound I linked to. It's some kind of polymer that you don't have to melt.
     
  6. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Cerrosafe melts at low temps. I agree, that's a lazy gunsmith. Find one that will do a Cerrosafe casting.
     
  7. BBBBill

    BBBBill Member

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    … or buy the Cerrosafe and do it yourself. That much is not a major project not difficult to do for a novice. If you cannot find instructions for doing it, ask here and someone will guide you through it.
     
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  8. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    If you buy it from Brownell's it comes with instructions.
     
  9. #1buck

    #1buck Member

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    I posted a video on page 1 that shows you how....
     
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  10. fguffey

    fguffey member

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    The difference in length from the datum to the bolt face between the 8MM57 and 8MM06 is .127". Figuring it out? The 30/06 bullet is .308" in diameter; The small diameter of the 8MM barrel is claimed to be .311. I have at least 25 8MM barrels, most have a small diameter of .314". When I want to determine if the barrel is 8MM or 308" I drop a 308" bullet down the barrel. The 308" bullet will not drop straight through but it will cause the bullet to spin/slow the bullet down when falling through.

    F. Guffey
     
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  11. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    An older Smith with a rack full of go-gauges and a few dummy rounds can often quickly identify a chambering without charging a penny. A chamber cast offers more information, but there really aren’t so many options. As was recommended at the beginning of the thread - “if a .30-06 case chambers, you know it isn’t an 8 Mauser.” - if a 30-06 go gauge closes, an 8 Mauser it ain’t. If a a 30-06 bullet falls free in the muzzle, it ain’t a 30-06. If it has a belt step and a magnum bolt face, it ain’t an 8-06. Very, very quick determinations like that can be made with only a rough caliper measurements, a couple dummy rounds for bore checking, and either some empty cases or go gauges.

    Lazy? Eh. Considerate? Damned straight. Any time I’ve done a chamber casting, I typically hold a rifle a few days and get my poop in a group, and I charge my labor time plus consumables + 10% over cost. When I was working under Van and had hundreds of gauges and dummies at hand, the 20min conversation with the customer plunking and measuring, then handing back an identified rifle - for free - almost always yielded return customership and word of mouth referrals - and of course, no entry in the log book. Equally, most often when a simple go-gauge and bullet/bore check didn’t yield a definitive answer, it meant a lot more time of research once the casting was done to figure out WTH I was holding.

    Alas, that was 20+ years ago and I don’t have that catalog of gauges at hand any longer, scattered to the wind years after I left Van and he finally passed - with me too broke to buy out his entire inventory. In more recent years, I was stuck casting a lot more often than I’d have liked. But cerrosafe is universal and cheap, compared to dozens of go-gauges.
     
  12. entropy

    entropy Member

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    The only problem with using gauges is that will tell what it isn't, not what it is. A casting, Barnes' Cartridges of the World, and a caliper will tell you exactly what it is.
     
  13. fguffey

    fguffey member

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    I have never though the gage was the problem; I have always though the problem had to do with others telling others "it can not be done". And there is chamber casting; the problem with that one is the story always starts with "All you have to do is....etc. etc.".

    F. Guffey
     
  14. Bill M.

    Bill M. Member

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    I like the rifle. I think you should get it identified and then shoot and hunt with it if you wish. I would cast it myself or find a local go do it for a low cost. But then I am probably about your grandfathers age and what do I know? Refitting military rifles was quite the hobby for a time and it seems like he did a good job with the stock and sights. But in the long run you will want a modern caliber with a good scope. I would pretty much leave the Mauser "as is". The stock is probably cut to put your eye in front of the receiver sight.
     
  15. rodregier

    rodregier Member

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    Want to bet your Great Grandfather had a very similar "build" as yourself and perfectly fitted the stock for himself.? That's probably why it fits you so well...
     
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