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possible rifle build

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by interlock, Nov 14, 2008.

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  1. interlock

    interlock Member

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    Guys,
    I have not tried anything like it before but i think i can get my hands on a decent FN mauser action. I quite fancy building a .243 win rifle. What are your thoughts on this action. Is this worth doing? I am in the UK not in the states so unfortunately i can't just get Brownells to mail me out a barrel.


    interlock
     
  2. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    An FN actioned sporting rifle is certainly "worth doing" IF you can do it yourself or are willing to pay a professional. There are parts, tools and skills required for the job. Assembling an AR15 out of commodity parts with a few hand tools is feasible (in the USA as long as it remains legal here) but a Mauser is a different proposition.

    Let's assume you have the action in hand and want to fit a barrel first.
    Border Barrels in Scotland is the only barrelmaker in the British Isles that I know of:
    http://www.border-barrels.com/
    They get 388 pounds sterling for a cut rifled barrel blank, assuming you have the lathe and tooling to contour, thread, chamber, headspace and install it. If you don't, it is 577 sterling for a fitted barrel and another 112 for proofing, which I expect is mandatory there.
    Their less expensive button rifled Archer brand barrel is "only" 216 but the labor to get it on the action does not change so a fitted barrel is 385 and the proof test still to be done at 112.

    Perhaps you can find a shop which fits less expensive Continental or US barrels. I once saw a website for a small operator there but do not have a link.

    Any road, with a barrel in place, you should then consider sights. Is the FN in question drilled and tapped for scope mounts or is it a military action which will require not only that work but bending the bolt handle and changing the safety to clear?
    Or will you use open or receiver sights? Those must be mounted to the barrel and/or the action themselves.

    Next think of stocking up. Will you carve a nice stock out of a blank of fine old walnut? Or bolt the barrelled action into a plastic affair? Does the FN action include bottom metal; the trigger guard, magazine box, and floorplate?

    Finish is required. The action and bottom metal should be blacked, along with a chrome moly barrel. If a stainless barrel is selected, it can be bead blasted to cut glare and will have a fair appearance next to a blacked action. Or the whole lot can be coated with a modern high technology heat cured polymeric resin... which I call by an old name, paint.

    A wood stock has its own finish, there is a thread here about the World's Finest French Polish that you can study to see what is involved.

    And that is just what I recall being required. There is probably more, as I am not a gunsmith, professional or amateur.

    Best luck.
     
  3. interlock

    interlock Member

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    thanks

    Jim,
    Thanks for the input on this. you have givem me plenty to think about and work on.

    I will keep the thread going if i decide to do this project.

    interlock
     
  4. uk roe hunter

    uk roe hunter Member

    Joined:
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    fn rifle build up

    Jim,
    I have just been to look at the action. it is an FN it is in good order. as for sights i will use a telescopic sight and drill and tap for blocks.

    I have found a Laminated stock, it is currently around a parkerhale mauser action.... this means it has inletting for a modern trigger mechanism. looks good.

    i have decided .30-06 is the chambering.

    as for the barrel.... well i am not too sure what to do here. i have a perfectly good and accurate barrell on my parker hale .30-06. they were a brittish made barrell mated to a spanish action. the barrels are not normally where the rifle falls down... i might have that recrowned and threaded for a moderator and just use that. or i might just put it on until i can afford a new barrel, or i might find a friend in america who can post me a short chambered barrel.

    I have the floor metal from both rifles, i have to say the 50 yr old fn stuff is better.

    i will give the metal a good coating of duracoat. (now available in one of our leading DIY stores)

    i will true up the bolt face if i can find the tool here.
    then i am going to put it all together, it will shoot like a dream, look great and kill deer like crazy

    uk roe hunter / interlock when at home
     
  5. interlock

    interlock Member

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    Agi mauser build up

    I have just got my hands on the mauser customising video from AGI, it is a great video. Very helpful. I thouroughly recomend it
     
  6. interlock

    interlock Member

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    mauser, it's here!

    ok guys i have the rifle home! it is slightly uglier than sin. the numbers don't match and the bolt body is really pitted :uhoh::uhoh: it is not the original bolt for this action.

    I expect i will use the bolt body from the santa barbara, with the shroud and safety from the mauser. after watching the AGI video and looking at the new action i will use the factory trigger.

    i have made a barrel clamp and action spanner and tomorrow i will try to get the parker hale barrel off of the action.

    but i also will put a few rounds through it like it is first!

    interlock

    ;)
     
  7. uk roe hunter

    uk roe hunter Member

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    got it home

    here it is,
    i picked it up yesterday morning, it is a beauty! who could fail to agree. the sad thing is i have had not had the chance to shoot it like this.

    100_2896.jpg

    100_2897.jpg

    Tomorrow i will have the barrel off the action and then the work can begin

    uk interlock
     
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I'm not exactly sure a Santa-Barbara commercial bolt will work in a 98 military action.

    I'm thinking there are some minor internal differences that prevent a direct swap, but I could be wrong.

    rcmodel
     
  9. interlock

    interlock Member

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    bolts

    RC,
    the bolt fits and works. no problem. However i had hoped to swap the internals and use the original shroud, safety, firing pin and spring. however there is a collar on the firing pin which is larger on the original so it doesn't fit into the santa barbaras bolt. when i get a bit more itime i will see if i can mix and match and make it work.

    the old barrel came off easily. I am not keeping it so i eas able to grind 2 flats into it and put it in a vice (vise). the barrell removal from the santa barbara is proving a far more challenging proposal

    interlock
     
  10. interlock

    interlock Member

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    pictures of the build and end result

    Hi Guys,
    The story that goes with this is mega long so we won't cover it all here. i will show you some of the steps.

    100_2899.jpg

    columbian crest

    DSCF2578.jpg

    pitted action

    DSCF2575.jpg

    full action

    DSCF2582.jpg

    santa barbara bolt body with shroud from original

    DSCF2572.jpg

    part of the action spanner

    DSCF2580.jpg

    a piece of action body needed removing to get the bolt to close properly

    DSCF2608.jpg

    the crown of the barrell.

    DSCF2579.jpg

    hump removed from rear of the action.

    DSCF2607.jpg

    home made bolt lapping tool

    DSCF2628.jpg

    lapping the bolt

    DSCF2629.jpg

    bolt faced trued up

    DSCF2638.jpg

    barrel fitted

    DSCF2652.jpg

    painted with blocks fitted

    DSCF2654.jpg

    trigger


    proofing?

    DSCF2940.jpg

    laminated stock and low rise safety fitted.

    I have learned so much from this project. I think i will build my son a rifle when he starts hunting in 7 x 57.

    interlock
     
  11. interlock

    interlock Member

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  12. krs

    krs Member

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    Well then, you haven't blown yourself to smithereens? Good job.
     
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