Originally Posted by Clark
I have been sporterizing Mausers for 48 years.
Mausers do not need heat treatment to be safe to shoot.
The strength does not come from heat treat.
They are case hardened to prevent corrosion.
The Keunhausen book on Mausers suggests sending Mausers out for heat treat. That is not a good book. Judging by the Mauser book, he was neither a bright nor organized man, yet he wrote an extremely good book on double action Colts. I suspect he had help from the Colt factory. He needed help on Mausers, and evidently did not get it.
I have tested VZ24s to the point of failing. Converted to magnum bolt face and running ~ 110,000 psi, the abutments start to constrict and the bolt body behind the lugs starts to widen. This interference can be lapped out, and the action is still good.
All this sporterizing Mausers has taught me that most people should not be sporterizing Mausers.
I do it for fun, not because it is cost effective.
Kimber rifles are as good a rifle as I can build from old surplus Mausers.
The Kuhnhausen book was one of my primary references when I first started messing with milsurp mausers about a decade ago. An experienced mauser smith such as yourself probably does know enough to recognize places where Kuhnhausen went wrong in his writings. I don't fit in that category. His work was a useful starting place for me, though it did seem to me that the book was written in a defensive, lawyered up manner.
I started doing it because I wanted to learn a bit about gunsmithing and didn't want to experiment on a $500-$700 rifle. At the time I started, I was able to get my hands on worn out 98/22's with solid actions for less than $70. I figured that if I trashed one of these while learning, I could live with the loss.
I learned a lot and developed a deep affection for the old warhorses. It ended up being a gateway drug to much more expensive pursuits. I still mess with them for fun from time to time. Once in awhile, a stray, unloved mauser will follow me home.
You are right that the mausers are probably not cost effective, especially relative to some of the very inexpensive (and surprisingly accurate) factory sporters that can be had these days. I don't pretend that there is anything rational about my gun affliction in general and my mauser addiction in particular. I just like 'em.