Go for it... I did.
I took a 98k and rebarreled it...basically you could say I turned the action into a bench/ varmint gun. Went with a stainless steel Douglas premium in 8x57 with 1 in 10 twist, trued action, floated barrel, alum. block bedded stock, tmney trig, faster spring, and scoped it with an 8-32x40. That way I can see FAR.
As for shooting, handloads only...200gr sie HPBT match, with varget powder, etc, etc. I say handload only because while there is some good ammo out there by winchester and hornady (the best IMO), it is 20 a box [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]. handloads can get you at 8-9 a box [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]. Plus you dont have to rely on mail order for the ammo because the best deals on factory are on the web (midway, natches, etc).
Accuracy is interesting..... I can do about 1/3 MOA at 100 meters, and about 1/4 MOA at 500 meters. The bullets need time to stabilize I suppose.
what else....hmmm....its a good long range cartridge, IMO.
I would have loved to be at whatever range you were when your friend shot a 960 yard group!!!!
Best I can get around here...within decent driving distance is 550 yards (500m). I am just dying to see what my rifle would do at 1000m.
One last thing...get yourself a good mauser action...a 98k made earlier or before the war... anything after 43 can be suspect in terms of action rigidity. I have a byf 43, I have heard that se, dou, and a few others are excellent.
Ask around on surplusrifle.com in their mauser section for more info on getting a good one...
Hope this helps.