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Mystery Mauser Small ring Rifle

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by J1mdog, Dec 16, 2020.

  1. J1mdog

    J1mdog Member

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    32 Years ago! (I was 19 yrs old) when I walked out of a Boise, ID gun show with a $115 Sporterized "Spanish" Mauser chambered in .308, I took it to the local gunsmith who outfitted it with a safety kit, drilled and tapped the receiver for a scope, and modified the Bolt. It wasn't until just a few weeks ago. I found out the issues that people were having with the Small ring Modified Spanish Mausers in .308!
    That was my only rifle for much of that 30+ years. I shot everything from Mule and whitetail deer, antelope Black bear Jack rabbits and coyotes with it. I put a thousand (+) rounds through it. Mostly I shot Factory ammo (it was partial to 150Gr Winchester SP) However there was a time I had put 200 rnds of "Hot" loads through it (Loaded for me by a friend to shoot Elk with), all being said it has been a trusted rifle.

    I never had any reason to think it may be unsafe until I was chatting with an old Gunsmith buddy and happened to mention possibly upgrading the stock on my trusted Mauser. He about Blew a gasket when I told him what I had! He made me swear to never shoot it again! So I started researching the issues (got to Love the internet).

    I thought the research on my particular Action would be easy, but what I found was perplexing... My Mauser was stamped "Fabrique De Armas Oviedo 1xx4" (the tapped scope mount hole is in the middle of the date) with a seral number of 2419 Which tells me it was made in Spain in (1894,1904, 1914, etc.) but it looks different than any of the Spanish Mausers I was able to find

    1st: it didn't have a Thumb groove in the receiver.
    2nd. it doesn't have the stripper clip guide.
    3rd. there is no gas port on the receiver.

    Any Help in Identifying this receiver would be appreciated.

    20201201_122509.jpg 20201216_115617.jpg 20201216_115827.jpg 20201202_123158.jpg DSCF0227.JPG

    FYI...
    I have had the Head spacing checked and it is good with no creep, I also inspected the locking lugs for signs of dimpling or wear and they look really clean and there is no "ridging" in the Lug recess either. a few years ago ( while living in VA) I was having rust issues and since I was owed some shop time by another gunsmith so I had him Cere cote the rifle. I could have done a better job with a rattle can of krylon!!! so some areas were wire brushed to remove the coating so that I could see the markings. once I have a new plan for the receiver I will have it refinished by a Competent Professional.
     
  2. kBob

    kBob Member

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    Sure looks like "04" to me.

    wonder if it may have started life as a Carbine....

    -kBob
     
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  3. J1mdog

    J1mdog Member

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    I was thinking a 1904 but that half circle could be the back of a 9 also. (not sure why I typed the 1914) as for the carbine it is possible I just can't find any that don't have a thumb groove or the stripper clip guides . (FN made a version that fits my profile and was fitted with a rear Peep) but Mine was made in Spain.
    My rifle was also drilled and tapped for a peep sight on the right side of the receiver prior to being bedded in the sporter stock... may have been during it's service life? may have been a training rifle not a infantry issue.


    20201202_123228.jpg
     

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  4. js8588

    js8588 Member

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  5. J1mdog

    J1mdog Member

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    Just guesses at this point
     
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  6. J1mdog

    J1mdog Member

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    More markings

    20201216_115948.jpg 20201216_115750.jpg 20201216_115651.jpg
     
  7. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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  8. J1mdog

    J1mdog Member

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    Copy- 93 spanish mauser small ring chambered in .308......
     
  9. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    I'd like to see the underside of the rear receiver ring. Under where the clip guide was.
     
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  10. J1mdog

    J1mdog Member

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  11. J1mdog

    J1mdog Member

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    20201216_115848.jpg
     

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  12. retDAC

    retDAC Member

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    There is a book Bolt Action Rifles by Frank de Haas (several editions). In it he covers most of the bolt actions from the 1870s into the 1970s? Anyway he makes an interesting point that with proper ammunition, clear bores, and proper operating condition, almost all actions are strong enough. It's just that, if a primer pierces, a case head lets go, or there are body splits, some actions don't have adequate provision to divert gas from reaching the operator's eyes. That might be what that particular 'smith was concerned about. Unless he simply has no faith in Spanish actions. De Haas mentioned the Mauser M93/95 actions would give him such concern.

    I read an anecdote where such did happen in an M95? action, albeit with super OLD poorly stored milsurp ammo. Ken Warner related an instance where he had purchased a large quantity of several decades old 7x57 at a great price. When he got it, it looked terrible. He decided to fire it anyway finding some normal, some low power, some hangfires, some duds, and finally he was 'gassed'. In other words, a lot of gas hit his face, but he was wearing glasses. Upon examination, he found splits in the case body, apparently due to some kind of internal corrosion. He said he pulled the bullets from the remaining rounds.
     
  13. Archie

    Archie Member

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    The major difference between the 1898 Mauser and preceding Mauser actions is the third 'safety' lug, normally underneath the bolt and not prominent. It's duty is to prevent the bolt from violently moving to the rear IF both front lugs completely shear off when fired. Please note, the forward locking lugs on the 1892 and forward and the 1898 lugs are the same, and are therefore the same strength (within manufacturing tolerances).

    However, there is more to the distinction than that third lug. The '98 Mauser has the gas port, which directs gas from a ruptured case away from the shooter's face. The '98 also has the cams and surfaces to 'cock on opening'.

    It is the third lug and gas director that make the '98 Mauser considered the 'stronger' action. It is some what safer from failure.

    In all likelihood, your Spanish made (Oveido is or was an arms manufacturing plant in Spain and manufactured the rifles under license from Mauser) rifle will never fail. However, if it does, there is no back up system. Others - such as the gunsmith you mentioned - will disagree.

     
  14. J1mdog

    J1mdog Member

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    retDAC-
    I also read of such an occurrence in my many hours of Internet searching. as for the gunsmith... he says they were only designed for the 7x57 with an operating pressure of 42,000 PSI where the modern .308 is rated at 60, 000 psi. He has no faith in the Spanish 93 actions to hold up against that pressure difference. says they were made with softer steel and are more prone to split.
     
  15. J1mdog

    J1mdog Member

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    Archie-
    I have been doing a lot of reading... Ackley did studies on these very issues and discovered that the operating pressures would have to be astronomical for the receivers to split ( not taking into account Pierced primers or head separations etc.). there is another Forum on "Castboolets" where a guy in Alaska had a gross of Mauser actions that were un-sat for use so he set out to "blow them Up" by overloading cartridges. Although very unscientific and only using pressure calculations from Powder load data, he was only able to reach 100,000 PSI (+) before achieving bolt Lug sheer and 120K+ before receiver separation. the thread is 18 pages long and an interesting read.

    After reading the Ackley studies and the other threads I am confident I won't have issues as long as I keep a close eye on what I am doing. Although I have considered not using factory ammo and Loading down my .308. Possibly putting a lug on the barrel and going subsonic suppressed. or even barreling for a .450 Bushmaster with a much lower chamber pressure which would allow me to hunt Iowa with a rifle vs my 12 GA and slugs.
     
  16. J1mdog

    J1mdog Member

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    Troy-
    the more I look at the missing clip guides I feel as though who ever sporter-ized the rifle must have removed those. and if they did they put some time into contouring the edges to match the edge design extremely close. I realized this after posting the photos and taking a closer look. I noticed my rear receiver ring is shorter than those in any of the photos on the internet.
     
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  17. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Member

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    Check with go - no-go gauges. If still in specs then it is still safe to use with mild loads.
    The 1893/1916 Mauser rifle is not chambered in .308 or 7.62 NATO. it is designed to fire 7.62 CETME, which is externally identical but loaded to a lower pressure.
    If you stay within the pressure limitations of the round and the rifle is not over-stressed by the previous use of your old 'hot' loads then you should have no problems.
    I have a similar rifle that I still use - hand-loading at 7mm Mauser pressure levels... .
     
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  18. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    It's more about gas mitigation then action strength, tho they are soft there still pretty strong by design. Many 98s are about as soft even the beloved 1909 Argentine, it's nice to have the 3rd safety lug but really if it ever needs to use it something really wrong went bad.

    The Spanish mausers are none for setting lugs back but even then you don't see many blown up and the ones that have there's no telling what would have happened in a stronger action. My worries with all action that are not virgin is what condition was it in before sporterized, many mausers suffer from very bad corrosion under the wood line.

    keep the pressure were it should be and keep an eye on the bolt and lugs and you will be fine. Oh don't wrap your thumb around the grip when shooting these, if it does need to vent some gas they often will cock the bolt. It's not a pleasant feeling having the cocking peace jump over your thumb.
     
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  19. J1mdog

    J1mdog Member

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    I ran the Go - No Go gauges was still in specs, I also inspected the locking lugs for signs of dimpling or wear and they look really clean and there is no "ridging" in the Lug recess either. The "hot" loads I had were used up back in 1993-4. have only ran Factory .308 in it since. Once I get settled in a new house I will get back to loading for this rifle at lower pressures
     
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  20. Archie

    Archie Member

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    One last comment. The 1892 Mauser action was the initial home of the 7x57mm Mauser. Even at lower pressures and velocities, the 7x57mm has always been a potent round. A dead Scotsman named "Bell" killed elephants (800 or so as I recall) with the thing. Mr. Bell died of a heart attack in the 1950s after a long retirement.
     
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