Mauser 98 feeding problem


Active Member
Sep 12, 2009
Edwall, Wa
I just built a 338 win mag with a spanish mauser 98 action and a Pac Nor barrel. Periodically when you extract the first round the picking up the second round the second round will be extracted also. Apparently it is not slideing up the bolt face and being locked into extractor. I extractor is brand new. Any thoughts
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I just built a 338 win mag with a spanish mauser 98 action and a Pac Nor barrel. Periodically when you extract the first round the picking up the second round the second round will be extracted also. Apparently it is not slideing up the bolt face and being locked into extractor. I extractor is brand new. Any thoughts

It sounds like the rails are to open allowing the second round to move forward enough
to ride up and when you extract the fired round the second round pops out of the rails.

Belted cases sometimes scrape the case under the one you load forward if they are not
pushed all the way back in the magazine when loaded.(The loaded rounds should sit belt
to belt)to prevent this from happening if bullets are seated deep.

Thanks. I will check that out. The problem occurs more often if you bring back bolt slow rather than racking it. Hey thanks again this is my first build.
Did you mean the second round would actually eject with the fired hull, or just pop up and lay in the action?

My limited experience with military Mauser actions feeding std belted magnums is that it's a combination of things, starting with the mag box maxxing out at approx 3.3" C.O.A.L. A .338 Win can be short loaded to fit, but the round is still fatter than the the Mauser round. If you don't grind the rib down on the follower, it should hold the magnum case far enough over to the side of the well to keep it from popping up, and the rails should be holding the body of the round down long enough to let the bullet ramp up into the back of the chamber. Relieving the rails gets tricky, but may have to be done to allow the case to ride up and angle over to let the bullet nose start into the chamber and the base start riding up under the extractor at the same time. If you can push a loaded round straight down into the well, you have enough clearance for the round to feed, but you've got to prevent it from trying to single-stack. Three rounds is all you should load. The first round should ride naturally over under the right side rail, and then it should hold the second round over under the left side rail, then the top round over to the right again. The second round may be prone to popping up and harder to get to reliably feed, the first and third rounds should be more consistent. Sounds like that may be what's happening to your gun since you can chamber the first round O.K. I assume that the bolt face is opened up to about .535-.540", and the lip of the extractor has been worked back just enough to allow the round to ride up the bolt face and under the extractor with just enough snap to hold it on the bolt. It should snap lightly and cleanly under the extractor or it may just cock up and angle over and jam. What makes the Mauser scary to me is removing metal from the rails. If you mess up, you can't put it back. Working the follower and the extractor are low stress because you can replace them if you mess up. If you have a commercial large ring action or a military 98 action that feeds belted magnums, it's good to use them as a template for modifying the follower, rails, and extractor on a conversion, or to figure out why one is not feeding right.

I'm not recommending it, but you might try grinding the front end of the bullet follower rib down lower than the back to allow the front of the round to shift left and right easier. Also, chamfering the top inside edge of the mag box might let the fatter case get a little further under the side rails. I'm guessing on this, because I haven't tried either one.

I don't know if any of this helps, but maybe something will. My personal opinion is that a Mauser is a tough first project.

Good luck, Tom

Thanks a lot the more I use this site the better I like it the people are great. The second round pops up and falls out on extraction of first round. Interesting note not every time. If you rack the bolt quickly than less chance of that happening. Thanks again I will look into what you said and take incremental steps.
I've gotten a lot of help and info on this site also.

If you do something that makes the 2nd round feed reliably, let us know what it is.

Good hunting, Tom
I have checked all the suggestions that were given me and it seems to be the problem of the belts on the case catching on each other and than moving the bottom one out of place. I made sure with some dummy rounds to push each shell to back of the box and it seems to work better. I looked at the box and the rails as well as the follower and nothing seems to be wrong. As I said earlier it does not do it every time. I plan to shoot it for awhile and see if all is well. Thanks to everyone for thier input. Just a note I have another Charles Daly Mauser action it has a .308 bolt face and I plan to build a 260 Remington with it using a Pac Nor Barrel and one of the Laminated Stocks by Richards Microfit Stocks.
As JE said, the sharp edged belts do try to push each other around, (back and forth). Recoil tries to shift the rounds to the front of the mag well, making them less secure under the rails. When you extract and eject forcefully, it may be that the belt on the fired round catches the fresh round underneath and pulls it back to the back wall of the mag well before it can pop up. Just a possibility.

The .260 is a fine cartridge. The Mauser action is designed for a longer round, but years ago, I had a Mauser actioned .308 match gun that fed flawlessly. The .260 should work as well. Good project.

Good shooting, Tom
Thanks for the info. I played with the action loading and pressing and releaseing the cartridge that is under left hand rail. I note if you press it down and quickly release it will pop up out of the rail. I wonder if the problem can be the rail is not wide enough? When I put two cartridges in and try to have it pop out it does not. What would the follower have to do with that. Are you saying in your earlier posting to file it flatter or what.
I have a 45-70 that does exactly what your experiencing, very frustrating. Don't over look the spring and follower, they have to come up just right to hold the case in tention against the lip if these relationships get out of wack they spit cases on you toes. I have heard and read there are some smiths that specialize in fixing feeding issues with the Mauser 98.
Alas Alas I found out the problem. After looking over eyerthing several times I finally discoved someone who had the action before me ground down the left rail and went to far. I took the rifle to a gunsmith to day and he verified my observation. The solution is to use a carbide mill and mill the underside of the rail side to give it a larger surface again so cartridge will stay in position. Again thanks to all who gave me suggestions and solutions to problem.
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