How to identify mauser 98 action.

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by Prairie Dog50, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. Prairie Dog50

    Prairie Dog50 Active Member

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    I am thinking about buying a mauser 98 action, but I do not know how to identify what type it is or where it is from. I plan to use this action to build a rifle. A close family friend who has built numerous custom rifles based off of the 98 mauser action will help me through the build, but before I purchase the action I would like to be able to identify it, just in case parts scarcity could be an issue before we start the build.
     
  2. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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  3. specweldtom

    specweldtom Well-Known Member

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    Prairie Dog50, Some things to look for are cock-on-opening, action screw spacing, and whether or not it's thumb-notched and has a stripper clip guide on the front of the receiver bridge. If it does, it's a 99% probability that it's military. In my opinion, I would stay away from the WW I actions, and any of the German WW II actions dated 1944 or later.

    Yugo 48's are good large ring 98 actions, but they're shorter than the std length large ring. The commercial FN actions and the commercial Zastava Yugoslav actions are good ones too. Most are standard length and the rest are magnum length. The Remington 798 is a Yugo action, and would be a good choice too, but I don't know if it's std length or 48 length.

    The military actions will need quite a bit of work on them to make a scoped sporter rifle. The commercials don't need much at all.

    Small rings are O.K. for lower pressure 7 x 57 size cartridges, 45,000 psi max. (also my opinion). I think the best of them are the Swedes, even the old '96's, but they are shorter than the std 98 and all of them I've seen are cock-on-closing.

    I recommend that you check out the link rscott posted. I'm going to.

    Mausers can be difficult to sort out. There are so many different versions, makers, etc. Be careful.

    Good luck, Tom
     
  4. Prairie Dog50

    Prairie Dog50 Active Member

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    Did a little research and found that the action is from the city of BRNO of Czechoslovakia, I also found that it was for a model vz 24 mauser rifle. It said this rifle is a shorter than normal rifle; the though process behind this design was that little would be lost balistically and it would allow for easier handling. The mauser
    7mm and the 7x57 were both chambered for this rifle. With all that said will this action be compatible for most mauser 98 parts? For example the claw extractor does not have the piece that attaches it to the bolt body, so I will need to buy a new one, will any mauser 98 part fit on it?
     
  5. specweldtom

    specweldtom Well-Known Member

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    PD, I just now saw your post. It's late here and I going out of town for a few days. Will check out the VZ 24 action length and bolt diameter when I get back. I believe that any 98 extractor collar wil work, and I also think that they are standard length actions, but need to check to be sure. I know where there's a VZ 24 rifle that I can measure.

    If you need to know quickly, P/M shortgrass and ask him. He'll know off the top of his head.

    Later, Tom
     
  6. benchracer

    benchracer Well-Known Member

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    The VZ-24 is the Czech equivalent of the German 98K. It is of standard 98 action length and compatible with standard 98 parts. Handguards are different from the 98K, but that is about the only difference that I am aware of.
     
  7. outofayr

    outofayr Well-Known Member

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    The VZ24 is a great action for building a custom on the 98 Mauser platform - I have four of them myself (6.5-06AI, 338WM, 22-250Rem, and one bare action waiting on a 22-6mm barrel) :) I built the 22-250 myself, and just finished a 7X57 on a small-ring Kar98a action. Be careful - it gets addictive!

    The VZ24 is a standard large-ring 98 action so you'll have no problems going forward with your project. Aftermarket stocks, triggers, safeties, and bottom metal are all readily available, as are prethreaded, short-chambered barrels.

    As another poster mentioned, they'll require some work to turn into a sporter. The bolt handle will either need to be forged down or replaced (preferred) to clear the scope objective, and the action will need to be drilled and tapped. Be sure that the front ring is D&T'd in the proper location - Kimber ruined a lot of actions by drilling too far back...Many builders will also true the primary and secondary torque shoulders, lap the lugs in, and lap the bolt face (if needed).

    For your first build, I'd recommend also getting Jerry Kuhnhausen's book on Mausers - it'll help identify some common issues/pitfalls and also does a great job of walking you through the steps involved in sporterizing one of these fine old actions.

    Have fun with your build!

    Brian
     
  8. Prairie Dog50

    Prairie Dog50 Active Member

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    Outofayr:

    The particular caliber I'm thinking of using for the build will be the .22-250 Rem, mainly because I would love to have a bad ass prairie dog gun. My dad had his friend, a very qualified and experienced custom rifle builder, help him with his which was built around a Yugo 48. The Yugo 48 is a short action which to the best of knowledge makes it a great canidate for a short action caliber like the .22-250 Rem. Because the VZ 24 is a standard lenth action will I be able to get it to shoot like my dads yugo, which consistently shoots .4 inch groups or smaller?
     
  9. benchracer

    benchracer Well-Known Member

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    While the Yugo 48 action is shorter than the VZ24 action, it is nowhere near actually being a short action.

    That said, I have a 22-250 that I built on a BRNO 98/22 action (the immediate predecessor to the VZ24). With a cheap A&B barrel, I have tuned my handloads to produce pretty consistent sub .6" groups at 100 yards. With a better barrel, who knows what kind of accuracy potential my rifle would have?

    The 22-250 works just fine in the full length mauser action. I haven't even bothered with putting in a mag block or changing the follower. You should have no problem building an accurate 22-250 on your VZ24 action.

    I think that you will be very pleased with how your rifle performs when you have finished your build.
     
  10. outofayr

    outofayr Well-Known Member

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    +1

    The 48 is what is known as an intermediate action, and is only a little shorter than the standard 98 footprint. The Yugos are safety breached, and use a different bolt as a result. The action length difference won't matter in making them shoot. I've used an aftermarket trigger guard with an insert and shorter follower in my .22-250 Rem on the VZ-24 and it feeds like butter. Having said that, though, I didn't have any trouble getting that round to feed from the standard length mag. I just didn't like all that extra space in there :rolleyes:

    I, too, built mine using the Adams & Bennett prethreaded, short chambered barrel from Midway in an F34 contour. This is heavier than sporter, so it makes a nice walking varminter at 24" long. The only down side of this barrel is its slow twist (1-14"), so it won't stabilize some 55 gr bullets. But, the lighter bullets shoot fine, and if wind's an issue, I go to more gun anyway, so it doesn't bother me at all.

    The barrel is what makes a good shooter, along with chambering, threading, etc. concentric w/ bore. For the money, I'm very pleased with the A&B barrels. Plus, you can usually get them right away instead of waiting 3-6 months for Shilen....but Shilen will shoot at least as good if not better, and will clean up easier.

    Have fun with your build, and enjoy!

    Brian
     
  11. benchracer

    benchracer Well-Known Member

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    Yup, the F34 is what I have as well. I have been very satisfied with its price/performance ratio. Incidentally, I have fired 55 gr factory loads with Berger and Sierra Blitzking bullets as well as handloads with 60 gr Hornady Spire Point bullets in my rifle. All of those bullets stabilized with no problem. They didn't produce the kind of accuracy that I was looking for, but they did stabilize. I am getting my best accuracy with 52 gr AMAX and 50 gr VMAX bullets.

    I also have a pre-threaded short-chambered 26" Shilen #4 contour 1:12 twist barrel waiting in the wings for when I have shot my A&B out. That may be awhile, but I will be ready with another barrel when the time comes. For now, I really like the way my '98 mauser in 22-250 shoots 1:14 twist A&B barrel and all.
     
  12. Prairie Dog50

    Prairie Dog50 Active Member

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    Since were on the topic of my first build and I have a pretty good idea that alot of you guys have ample experience on these types of builds, I would like to ask several more questions.

    1. If there was an order as to what to do first and so on and so forth from there...what would it be??? Or does this really matter?

    2. Are there any common pitfalls that a new builder might run into?

    3. Were should I not sacrifice quality for price or vice a versa when it comes to this build (I want a rifle that will hold 1/2 moa out to 500 yds, and I would like to keep the overall price under $1200) Should I invest more money in a great scope, or more money into the best trigger, barrel, muzzel brake and stock that I can get my hands on for the price I'm willing to pay?
     
  13. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    The Mauser 98 excells in many areas although I think your 1/2 MOA expectation is attainable, but optimistic. If that kind of accuracy is high on your list, you should possibly look at other actions to build on such as a Savage.

    As for the scope, there's no doubt that optics are crucial as you increase precision and distance. However, it's much easier to replace/upgrade a scope than it is to replace the barrel. And, it's much easier to replace the barrel and/or stock than the action.

    So, start with a solid foundation and work up.

    - good financing
    - good action - blueprinted (receiver and bolt)
    - good barrel w/ proper twist - chambered and true with the action
    - good stock - bedded and barrel floated
    - good 20 MOA picatinny rail mounted without stress
    - good scope and rings lapped in
    - good bi-pod or shooting rest
    - ground up barrel breakin, proper cleaning regimine, and load development

    IMO - It's easier to decrease accuracy by cutting one or two corners than it is to increase accuracy.

    -- richard
     
  14. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    ...and, I should've mentioned good reloading equipment, components, and methods of procedure. But, that's a whole other forum.

    As for the guys that buy a $300 rifle and $19 box of ammo and consistently shoot 1/2 MOA, they should be playing the lottery. It never happens like that for me.

    -- richard