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Thread: Is an amateur capable of changing barrels on a Mauser?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Is an amateur capable of changing barrels on a Mauser?

    I have a Yugoslavian Mauser with a wiped out barrel. I also have a barrel coming that is new old stock military but chambered, threaded and finished in 7.52x51. I have a barrel vise, action wrench, go-no-go gaiges and the best of intentions. Am I capable of changing barrels? Or do I need a lathe and somone who knows what to do with it?
    The good thing about science is that it's true no matter if you believe it or not. (Neil DeGrasse Tyson)

    I was scolding my 5-year old for her and her friends making a giant mess in her room. She said they all did it. So I asked her: If all her friends jumped off a cliff, would she do it too? She said, "Oh no daddy! I would go to the bottom and try to catch them! They're my friends." Man, either I have a great kid or she has a stupid father.

  2. #2
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    Yes, you can. With some YouTube help and encouragement from folks here, this is possible. The tough parts are getting the old barrel off - gruntwork and much foul language, and setting headspace with new barrel, finesse work and much foul language.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    You might need a finish reamer(rent) but you may not. I've done several with home made tooling so you are already ahead of the game. Go for it; we are here if you need us.
    Best, Thomas.
    PS- a relief cut to loosen the tension of the old barrel is your friend.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I have an infinite amount of foul language at my disposal. I've been youtubing the subject for techniques and I'm now confident enough to try it.

    Once I get it off is when the fun begins...I have a couple of switch barrel Savages so I know the go-no-go gauge ritual but man it's a worry.
    The good thing about science is that it's true no matter if you believe it or not. (Neil DeGrasse Tyson)

    I was scolding my 5-year old for her and her friends making a giant mess in her room. She said they all did it. So I asked her: If all her friends jumped off a cliff, would she do it too? She said, "Oh no daddy! I would go to the bottom and try to catch them! They're my friends." Man, either I have a great kid or she has a stupid father.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    Every rifle builder was an amateur once.

    A lathe might be very useful for getting the sights to the top, and the chamber the correct length.
    To lazy to chase arrows.
    Clodhopper

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Here's a couple of pictures of the the new 7.62x51 Israeli barrel
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    Last edited by AbitNutz; 11-23-2017 at 12:41 PM.
    The good thing about science is that it's true no matter if you believe it or not. (Neil DeGrasse Tyson)

    I was scolding my 5-year old for her and her friends making a giant mess in her room. She said they all did it. So I asked her: If all her friends jumped off a cliff, would she do it too? She said, "Oh no daddy! I would go to the bottom and try to catch them! They're my friends." Man, either I have a great kid or she has a stupid father.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Mauser 98K's Avatar
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    when using the reamer take your time and check the go and no go frequently as it is very easy to go too far. all shavings must be out of the chamber when checking.. when reaming you also must keep the shavings clear and if you ever let the reamer back up off the face of the chamber you must clean the shavings out or a shaving can get caught between the reamer flute and the chamber and it can cut a grove in the chamber which will allow the brass to flow into when firing and can mess up your brass or make ejection and extraction problematic. i always chambered mine to where the go gauge would just go with a little drag for extra tightness and on the final few turns of the reamer i would just allow the reamer to spin with the weight of the reamer or very little pressure so as to not remove any metal but to remove any burrs that might develop in the chamber that might mess with the gauge accuracy..

    but the only time i think you would need a lathe to change the barrel is if the chamber is too deep and the no go gauge goes. when this happens you need to lightly skin the face of the barrel till the chamber tightens up..

    is this going to be the old military sights or is it going to get a scope? if it is the old iron sights then it is no big deal, if it is getting a scope this brings in a whole new set of problems that can arise as the barrel, receiver, and scope rail must be perfectly in line..

    oh. one more thing... after you install the barrel and get the chamber where you need it then put a small witness line on the face of the receiver and the barrel and keep an eye on it the first few times you fire it and see if it moves. you want that bugger tighter than hell or it will try to move and if you sights are already on it it causes problems.. the way most barrels are set up the torque of the bullet being fired wants to tighten the barrel as a safety measure but you still want it tight to begin with..
    Last edited by Mauser 98K; 11-22-2017 at 07:49 PM.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I was am Amature Many Many Years ago when I changed my first Mauser barrel.
    I still have it and still shoot it.
    And that was Years before we even Had Computers or cell phones to watch Youtube Videos.
    Back then we had BOOKS.
    But you too also have friends on this or other forums that can help you and advise you.
    But if you have a Question, please wait for the answer before you try things out of your comfort zone.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    If you are not going to put sights on barrel, installation is simpler. Install new barrel, check head space. If correct no further chamber work needed. If short, a finish reamer will be required. If long, some lathe work may be required. Do not forget the crown on muzzle end. A bad crown or lack of one will most certainly cause accuracy issues. As for removing old barrel, try soaking action in a 50/50 mix of atf and kerosene. Let soak for several days. This may help removing old barrel. Bear in mind, original barrel has been there for a long time and was pet on Tight. You will need to firmly secure your barrel vice. Place barrel so as to be able to hit the handle of your action wrench with a 4 lb. hammer. Hit it hard, as the impact will help loosen the barrel. Hope this is a little help to you. If not sure ask question before you do it. Someone will be glad to help.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Clark's Avatar
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    When I did my first surplus Mauser rebarreling job 17 years ago, I had a hard time getting the barrel off.
    Before I made my own action wrench and barrel vise with bushing, I broke two bench vises.
    If you don't care what happens to the old barrel, it can be gripped with a pipe wrench for removal.
    The highest torque I have measured when removing an old rusty surplus barrel was 560 foot pounds.
    While pulling the barrels from groups of Mausers, I would demonstrate before and after putting Kroil in the barrel receiver junction.
    Everyone that watched my demonstration bought Kroil.
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  11. #11
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    What you have should enable you to do the job, except possibly for a reamer. There are earlier Yugoslav Mausers which probably tighten up with the barrel shoulder against the receiver face, and for these a shallow saw-cut into the barrel, just as close to the receiver as you can get it, will loosen it up nicely. But this appears to be a Mauser 98 rifle, probably the 24, in which the tightening is of the rear of the barrel against the internal stop-ring. The barrel illustrated has a flange, and many gunsmiths fitting barrels regard perfection as both that flange and the rear of the barrel being tight fits. But it does no harm if there is an almost undetectably slight gap between that flange and the receiver face. A relief cut into that flange will do nothing at all.

    I've never measured the torque necessary to unscrew a barrel, but I think I've encountered quite a bit more than 560ft./lb. If your equipment isn't up to that, you could cut off the barrel flush with the receiver face, and drill or counterbore out enough to release the tightness - even to the roots of the threads, till you can pick out the V-shaped pieces. Even a Dremel tool and cylindrical carbide burr would do, worked slowly enough to avoid over-taxing it.

    If you have a barrel from the same arsenal that made the rifles, there is a good chance that it will tighten up with the sights on top, and headspace within acceptable limits. It needs some kind of checking before you fire it, though. I would do that while the barrel can still be screwed in and out by hand, and the bolt closed with the extractor removed. Now please understand that the following isn't a means of achieving perfect headspace (for which you need gunsmith gauges), but of keeping you out of trouble.

    The Mauser 98 has a 12 TPI thread, and therefore turns about 4.32 degrees per thousandth of an inch it advances. Well that is your micrometer. Stick a piece of metal shim, say .008in. thick, with superglue or grease to a new, unfired case-head, or one full-length sized in your sizing die. If the barrel hand-tightens noticeably less far with that case in the chamber, than it does with none, your headspace is going to be something less than .008in. over the length of that case.

    People like Brownells supply barrels which people will use in any Mauser 98 on the market, and for this reason they offer short-chambered barrels, as the Yuguslav arsenals are less likely to do, but might. This is the kind where you have to adjust the headspace by deepening the chamber with a reamer. They also at one time offered long-chambered barrels, for the 98 alone, since with that rifle you could set the headspace by removing metal from the rear surface of the barrel. (I think they discontinued them because the occasional child of nature would fit a barrel the way came.) But with sights to line up, an arsenal is very unlikely to make military barrels that way.

    If the old barrel is to be scrapped, you can do all sorts of things to get a grip on it on the cheap. You can weld on a tab, grind flats on it, or even forge it L-shaped. I haven't done any of those things, but I have bored out a large nut and silver soldered it in place, and bored a fifteen-inch hole in a piece of oak, into which I have epoxied it.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    The old barrel is useless so I don't care what damage I do to it...so my big pipe wrench, medium sledge and a good soaking in kroil should do it...no?
    The good thing about science is that it's true no matter if you believe it or not. (Neil DeGrasse Tyson)

    I was scolding my 5-year old for her and her friends making a giant mess in her room. She said they all did it. So I asked her: If all her friends jumped off a cliff, would she do it too? She said, "Oh no daddy! I would go to the bottom and try to catch them! They're my friends." Man, either I have a great kid or she has a stupid father.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Artful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AbitNutz View Post
    The old barrel is useless so I don't care what damage I do to it...so my big pipe wrench, medium sledge and a good soaking in kroil should do it...no?
    Probably but be careful to grip the action by the threaded portion so you don't tweak it.

    Just for reference I had a #4 SMLE that I put a pipewrench on and 4 foot cheater pipe over the handle and put 300 pounds (me) on the end and the barrel didn't budge, Cut the barrel just in front of the receiver about 1/8" deep put the pipewrench on and tapped with a 2 pound hammer and spun right out by hand.
    je suis charlie

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    "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by AbitNutz View Post
    The old barrel is useless so I don't care what damage I do to it...so my big pipe wrench, medium sledge and a good soaking in kroil should do it...no?
    The trouble with pipe wrenches when you are hitting them with a big hammer is that they are springy. That springyness sucks up some of the hammer hit.

  15. #15
    Boolit Bub
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    Have at it. I was an amateur at one time, now most folks say I am worse than any amateur.

    Pulled my first 98 barrel back in about 1963 when I was in high school. Turned the action into a nice 257 Roberts. My instructions were in Brownells Gunsmith Kinks, Vol. 1, the article written by the machinists at the RCBS manufacturing facility. This is an excellent guide and you should obtain the book.

    About 1983 I built the barrel vise in the below photos when I started working with P-14 and P-17 Enfields. Over 200 military barrels. have seen this vise, not a one slipped!

    That ratchet on the vise is 3/4" drive with a 30 inch handle. Behind the vise, in the rack, are truing arbors for various actions. Make 'em on the lathe.





    Action wrenches.



    The truing arbors and bushings for the barrel vise.



    Various protective copper and brass "wraps" to go around the barrels when in in the lathe, to prevent marring the barrel with chuck jaws.



    Note the barrel vise and barrel tooling are close to the lathe to reduce steps taken in the shop!



    Where the rubber meets the road:



    Mauser details:



    Make a cheat sheet. This one is for a M70 but the M98 is similar. Precision measuring is the key!



    Working with minimal tools will usually get the job done, and it teaches you what to look forward to in obtaining improved tooling and equipment.

    If you lived close to my shop I would invite you over for a tutorial.

    Good luck. Measure twice and cut once!
    Last edited by Stockcarver; 11-23-2017 at 03:27 PM.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Wow...all I can say is that you are so lucky that I don't live near you...
    The good thing about science is that it's true no matter if you believe it or not. (Neil DeGrasse Tyson)

    I was scolding my 5-year old for her and her friends making a giant mess in her room. She said they all did it. So I asked her: If all her friends jumped off a cliff, would she do it too? She said, "Oh no daddy! I would go to the bottom and try to catch them! They're my friends." Man, either I have a great kid or she has a stupid father.

  17. #17
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by AbitNutz View Post
    Wow...all I can say is that you are so lucky that I don't live near you...
    'Tis addicting. Started playing with gun building in the early 60's, I am now 70 years old. Extra money along the years went into tooling and machinery.

    One thing I learned early on is most Mauser receivers are soft and are easily "Sprung". So I turned up a set of arbors to slip up into the stripped receiver prior to clamping the action wrench onto the receiver and torqueing down to remove those sometimes tight Mauser barrels. Photo below: A Husky receiver shown.




    Happiness is having more than one lathe to your disposal. The shop has three.

    Below, a receiver being trued in the front lathe, the barrel is set up in the lathe in the background for threading and chambering.

    Last edited by Stockcarver; 11-23-2017 at 04:05 PM.

  18. #18
    Boolit Bub
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    Tooling, tooling, tooling. Buying a lathe is the first step. You will forever be spending money on tooling or machining time making special tooling that is just not available at any price. Lots of fun, keeps me busy in retirement! The key to all this madness is to purchase the main machinery while you have a good job. And tools & supplies also. Then in your retirement years you will be set without having to expend precious retirement funding.
    Last edited by Stockcarver; 11-23-2017 at 04:20 PM.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    I was smart enough to be able to retire at 56 but dumb enough to not have adequately planned out what I was going to do with an extra 80 hours a week...I reload and collect but have no delusion about aquiring the skills of even an incompatent machinist. While I'd likely enjoy it, I'm more interested in the initial idea and the finished product.

    I may try and visit a gunsmith I found and ask if I can watch and/or help on this minor project...even if he charges me extra
    The good thing about science is that it's true no matter if you believe it or not. (Neil DeGrasse Tyson)

    I was scolding my 5-year old for her and her friends making a giant mess in her room. She said they all did it. So I asked her: If all her friends jumped off a cliff, would she do it too? She said, "Oh no daddy! I would go to the bottom and try to catch them! They're my friends." Man, either I have a great kid or she has a stupid father.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    You may find that the Yugoslav Mauser has an extractor cut in the barrel that you will have to duplicate with a mill or a file in the proper location. Also the tolerances on mauserscarecall overvthe place so your pre machined barrel may not just drop in due to headspace , bolt clearance, etc. The few drop in Mauser barrels i did convinced me to get a needed lathe and stop bugging the local machinist.
    Btw you’ll also need a depth micrometer .
    NRA High Master XTC
    DR# 2125

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BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
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