Gun build off a Belgian Mauser

Lilhowie83

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So I am reaching out to all of you experienced gun builders. I've never built a gun before and am completely ignorant on the subject. My question is this, I was going through my dad's guns, he passed away a year ago, and I came across his old model 1935 Belgian Mauser chambered in 30-06. It is actually the gun that I shot my first couple of deer with. The gun is in really good shape except for the barrel, it is so worn out that you can barely get 2 shots in a row to hit a paper plate. I've been toying with idea of turning it into a .280 AI and was wondering if this was worth it or not at this point? What say all you gun build experts?
 

cahunter805

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Have you gave the barrel a good cleaning? Using a dedicated copper cleaner to remove it all?
Most 06 barrels will last thousands of rounds.
Also nothing wrong with rebarreling the rifle and using it especially if it was your dads.
 

Lilhowie83

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Have you gave the barrel a good cleaning? Using a dedicated copper cleaner to remove it all?
Most 06 barrels will last thousands of rounds.
Also nothing wrong with rebarreling the rifle and using it especially if it was your dads.
I haven't used a dedicated copper cleaner, I could try that. Thanks for that idea. I'll bet it has had several thousand rounds through it, dad used to go to gun shows and buy surplus ammo by the thousands and I know none of that is still around.
 

S-3 Ranch

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I haven't used a dedicated copper cleaner, I could try that. Thanks for that idea. I'll bet it has had several thousand rounds through it, dad used to go to gun shows and buy surplus ammo by the thousands and I know none of that is still around.
Get it rebarreled , surplus ammo used corrosive primers and components, its probably toasted ?
 

OntarioHunter

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Is it a pre-war sporting model Mauser? Weren't some of those built by FN? A pre-war sporting Mauser from the factory is quite collectable. Attach a photo.

Personally, if rebarrelled I would put another 30-06 barrel on it. The barrel on the late WWII Springfield my dad built for me was also kaput due to corrosion. I chose to put another good WWII barrel on it because 1) it was briefly my dad's gun before he finished building a second one and 2) that caliber is really hard to beat. And 3) I found a good bore barrel at a great price in the middle of a pandemic when not much was available.

Also, are you sure the barrel is the problem? Is the barrel free floating? I strongly suspect not since that was pretty much unknown back then. Try to slide a piece of paper between the barrel and wood. It should move freely down to about 2" ahead of the receiver-barrel junction. If it's bedded to the end of the fore end (often the case for vintage sporterized rifles) use a round rasp to remove enough wood or glass to float the barrel. Then go back to the range. If it is already free floating, you might try adding a pressure point. Some rifles just don't like free floating. Loosen the action and slip a thick plastic tie down the muzzle to about an inch below the wood, retighten the action (tie should be stuck), and see if it will group that way. If it does, go on line to see how to add a permanent pressure point. Also, check to make sure the action is properly anchored to the stock. Is it even glass bedded? If not, that is almost certainly your problem. After I rebarrelled mine last year, I hurriedly rebedded the gun three days before flying out to hunt Africa. Got it zeroed before leaving but then it went wonky shooting at the first animal. Back at the range it was all over the paper. I switched to a loaner rifle from the lodge. Later I discovered the Springfield's bedding epoxy shrank as it cured and the action and barrel wiggled ever so slightly in the stock. 20211213_130101.jpg
 
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Lilhowie83

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Is it a pre-war sporting model Mauser? Weren't some of those built by FN? A pre-war sporting Mauser from the factory is quite collectable. Attach a photo.

Personally, if rebarrelled I would put another 30-06 barrel on it. The barrel on the late WWII Springfield my dad built for me was also kaput due to corrosion. I chose to put another good WWII barrel on it because 1) it was briefly my dad's gun before he finished building a second one and 2) that caliber is really hard to beat.

Also, are you sure the barrel is the problem? Is the barrel free floating? I strongly suspect not since that was pretty much unknown back then. Try to slide a piece of paper between the barrel and wood. It should move freely down to about 2" ahead of the receiver-barrel junction. If it's bedded to the end of the fore end (often the case for vintage sporterized rifles) use a round rasp to remove enough wood or glass to float the barrel. Then go back to the range. If it is already free floating, you might try adding a pressure point. Some rifles just don't like free floating. Loosen the action and slip a thick plastic tie down the muzzle to about an inch below the wood, retighten the action (tie should be stuck), and see if it will group that way. If it does, go on line to see how to add a permanent pressure point. Also, check to make sure the action is properly anchored to the stock. Is it even glass bedded? If not, that is almost certainly your problem. After I rebarrelled mine last year, I hurriedly rebedded the gun three days before flying out to hunt Africa. Got it zeroed before leaving but then it went wonky shooting at the first animal. Back at the range it was all over the paper. I switched to a loaner rifle from the lodge. Later I discovered the Springfield's bedding epoxy shrank as it cured and the action and barrel wiggled ever so slightly in the stock. View attachment 222280
It was built by FN. I'll take some pictures of it when I get home.
 

ImBillT

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Mausers were designed to have a magazine, follower, and feed lips that mirrored the body taper of the cartridge. As such, it’s not uncommon to encounter feeding problems when you go to a cartridge with minimal body taper. I would recommend that you either find a well recommended gunsmith with experience modifying Mausers to accept cartridges with minimal taper, or choose a cartridge with the same body taper as the ‘06. 6.5-06, 7x64, and 280Rem would be the cartridges I’d look at in your situation.
 
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Lilhowie83

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Mausers were designed to have a magazine, follower, and feed lips that mirrored the body taper of the cartridge. As such, it’s not uncommon to encounter feeding problems when to go to a cartridge with minimal bossy taper. I would recommend that you either find a well recommended gunsmith with experience modifying Mausers to accept cartridges with minimal taper, or choose a cartridge with the same body taper as the ‘06. 6.5-06, 7x64, and 280Rem would be the cartridges I’d look at in your situation.
Thanks for that information. I'll look into those.
 

OntarioHunter

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It's all about uniformity. Harmony actually. Rifle barrels are solid steel but nevertheless they are flexible, some more than others depending on multiple factors. The objective is to minimize the variables so that the barrel "moves" the same way every time it's shot ... as much as possible anyway. If the barrel is in contact with the wood of the stock that can create problems. Wood expands and contracts radically different than the steel of the barrel. Heat and moisture can change the contact arrangement between the two. Then the barrel's "harmonics" (vibration pattern) changes when the gun is fired = group on target changes. So, eliminate any contact as much as possible by floating the barrel. Similarly, glass bedding the action ensures the anchor points remain the same (relatively speaking). In old guns without glass bedding the impact of recoil on the anchor points eventually crushes the grain in the wood and again it's back to barrel moving around and changing the contact points = inconsistent harmonics.
 

klampson

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I load my 280 Rem hot by book standards, but most reloading data for this cartridge is rather animic and doesn't come close to its potential. I have a 280AI as well, but if I were to do it all over, I would just go with another 280 Rem.
 

Lilhowie83

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I load my 280 Rem hot by book standards, but most reloading data for this cartridge is rather animic and doesn't come close to its potential. I have a 280AI as well, but if I were to do it all over, I would just go with another 280 Rem.
Glad to hear that. I'll have to seriously look at the 280 Rem.
 

ImBillT

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Glad to hear that. I'll have to seriously look at the 280 Rem.
Definitely don’t discount the 280Rem. It holds about 19% more powder than a 7-08. The 280AI only holds about 11.5% more powder than a 280Rem, and it’s getting into the realm where you gain less and less. I absolutely think that a 280AI is one of the best cartridges out there, but a 280Rem is quite close, and in a Mauser that’s exactly what I’d be looking at.
 

Lilhowie83

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Definitely don’t discount the 280Rem. It holds about 19% more powder than a 7-08. The 280AI only holds about 11.5% more powder than a 280Rem, and it’s getting into the realm where you gain less and less. I absolutely think that a 280AI is one of the best cartridges out there, but a 280Rem is quite close, and in a Mauser that’s exactly what I’d be looking at.
Thanks for the input. I've never been around the 280 Rem. I love my son's 7-08 and really want to build something in the 7mm range because I have enough .30 calibers. So if the 280 Rem would be a better fit in the Mauser than the 280AI I'm seriously interested. I'm waiting to hear back from the gunsmith now.
 

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