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What to do with Yugo M48 Mauser?

 
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  #1  
Old 06-30-2010, 06:53 AM
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What to do with Yugo M48 Mauser?

I have an M48 mauser with a rusty barrel. I've seen some info in sporterizing and I would probably go with something in the 308 family. I know starting with another type of action may be cheaper/easier. I would like to know what all should be done to the action itself other than drill and tap for scope mounts.

Considering the parts available and the nature of the action, would it be better suited for a lighter/shorter walking around rifle, or heavy varmint type?
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  #2  
Old 07-01-2010, 11:27 AM
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Re: What to do with Yugo M48 Mauser?

In addition to drill and tap for scope mounts, I would recommend the following:

1. Lap the bolt lugs.

2. Lightly true the bolt face.

3. Square the barrel mating surfaces on the front of the action (there are two).

4. Have the stripper clip charging hump milled off (this makes it easier to find scope mounts that will fit your action).

5. Either have the existing bolt handle re-shaped for scope clearance or have a new bolt handle welded on. Even though the existing bolt handle is of the bent type, it was not designed for scope clearance and will not clear the ocular bell of most scopes unless the scope is mounted excessively high.

6. Install low swing safety for scope clearance.

7. Glass bed the action into the stock (pillar bed optional).

8. Install aftermarket trigger.

The M48 actions are slightly more complicated to re-barrel than a standard '98 mauser because the M48 design incorporates an extractor cut in the breechface of the barrel. The difference in cost is generally pretty minor.

The mauser actions are considered to be less rigid than the tube type actions common among rifles of more recent design (ex. Remington 700, Savage 110, etc.). It is my understanding that the mauser actions tend to flex excessively when fitted with the large "stovepipe" bull barrels of the type common to benchrest competition.

That said, I have experience with sporterized mausers that have varmint contour barrels (similar in profile and weight to a factory Remington Sendero barrel). The varmint contour barrels work very well with mauser actions. Of course, the thinner sporter barrels work well also. Finding a varmint type stock for an M48 might be a bit of a challenge, but there are ways to work around that.

I am a big fan of the mauser type actions. Though they may have their limitations where benchrest type shooting is concerned, in my opinion, the mausers are without peer in a sporting/hunting rifle. The M48, in particular, deserves a lot more respect than it gets.

Good luck with your project rifle!
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Old 07-02-2010, 08:32 AM
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Re: What to do with Yugo M48 Mauser?

Quote:
Originally Posted by benchracer View Post
In addition to drill and tap for scope mounts, I would recommend the following:

1. Lap the bolt lugs.

2. Lightly true the bolt face.

3. Square the barrel mating surfaces on the front of the action (there are two).

4. Have the stripper clip charging hump milled off (this makes it easier to find scope mounts that will fit your action).



Good luck with your project rifle!
Do not lap the lugs and be extra careful if you true the bolt face! Mausers are made of LOW CARBON STEEL and are 'case' hardened. The 'Case Hardening' is at the most .015" thick, sometimes considerably less! If you lap the lugs you could lap thru the Case Hardening to the low carbon steel or make the 'hard' steel too thin and the bolt lugs will "set back" when the rifle is fired, ruining the receiver. Leupld makes a two piece base set that doesn't require the clip charger to be removed. Mausers make fine huntin' rifles and are "Classic" for that purpose.
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  #4  
Old 07-02-2010, 12:33 PM
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Re: What to do with Yugo M48 Mauser?

While the point that shortgrass makes regarding case hardening is well taken, I believe it is going overboard to advise against lapping the bolt lugs. There are many reputable gunsmiths who perform that very task on a routine basis.

Though I am but a rank amateur, I have lapped the lugs and lightly polished the bolt face on several mauser actions with excellent results. Fifteen thousandths of case hardening doesn't sound like a lot, but is actually quite a lot of material to remove with nothing but abrasives and hand tools. Even using a carbide bit and a drill (as I have done while drilling and tapping for scope mounts), it takes a bit of work to get through the case hardening. By comparison, it generally takes very little material removal to get 75% contact on both locking lugs or to square the bolt face to the barrel threads.

No gunsmithing task should be taken lightly or approached in a ham handed manner. The shooting sports in general, and gunsmithing in particular, pose inherent risks that must be managed by the application of common sense. If one does the homework necessary to understand the subject matter at hand, proceeds slowly and cautiously, and pays attention to what is being done quite a lot can be safely accomplished.

Where the mauser actions are concerned, it pays to be cautious. There are indeed some mauser variants that have a reputation for being "soft" or for having very thin case hardening. Some of the WWI and earlier mausers and some of the 1943-45 German produced K98's are especially known for quality control problems related to metallurgy and heat treating.

The M48's however, were never manufactured in factories being pressured by allied bombing or by slave labor. They are of high quality and are likely to be in much better condition than their wartime brethren.

Having said all that, we must all act within our personal comfort zones. I would never advise pushing a gunsmith to perform work with which he is uncomfortable. I would, however, not hesitate to search for a gunsmith with whom I see eye-to-eye.

In conversations like this, I am often reminded of something once said by late NASCAR great, Smokey Yunick, to the effect that many engineering "facts" turn out to be just someone's opinion when they are boiled down far enough.

Last edited by benchracer; 07-02-2010 at 12:42 PM. Reason: mistyped a word
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  #5  
Old 07-02-2010, 06:29 PM
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Re: What to do with Yugo M48 Mauser?

I've seen enough different Mauser actions with lugs set back or locking lugs beat out of shape that I won't even go there. And not just those made under 'war time pressure' or with a reputation for being soft. No sense in trying to turn a 'work horse' into a 'race horse'. If you check lug to surface contact before you lap you may find there is already 75% contact there. You just never really know how thick the case is. I've never known a Mauser '98 to fail to the point of being dangerous (like blowing a bolt out of a reaceiver) but I've seen many that are no longer useable. I've got quit a few sporters of my own built on '98s, they'll shoot 5/8" to 3/4" groups and the lugs were not lapped. That is quit good enough for a sporter IMO. If you need better accuracy than that, use a modern action made of alloy or stainless steel. just my 2 cents P.S. Hobbyists can do things that a business won't. Its called 'liability'.
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  #6  
Old 07-02-2010, 07:00 PM
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Re: What to do with Yugo M48 Mauser?

Keep in mind that the Yugo 48 is not a true 98 Mauser action. It is a little shorter than the 98 Mauser action and it will not fit into a stock for the 98 Mauser. Boyds' does make a "JRS Cassic Stock" it is a laminated wood stock for the Yugo M48. They are the only ones I have see though.
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  #7  
Old 07-02-2010, 07:14 PM
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Re: What to do with Yugo M48 Mauser?

Do You duck hunt?






























They make excellent decoy weights
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