Mauser project: The beginning

Even though the course require that I build a minimum of three rifles, an additional requirement is that one of these must use a military surplus Mauser action. There is many options available that can be used and the one I chose was M48A Mauser. These were built in Yugoslavia by Zastava and is a version of the FN designed Mauser Model 1924. Thank you to Matt for selling me the rifle for this project. I hope you like what I am doing with it. The rifle was in good condition and as I started working on it, realized that it had been refinished by an arsenal and had not seen much use since then. The only part of the old rifle that I need is the action and the bolt. I am building this rifle as a hunting rifle and when finished, will be chambered in .257 Roberts and have a one-piece wood stock made by me.

Please note that this work took place earlier this semester.

I started by disassembling the old rifle.

Action, old barrel and bolt

Then the action was mounted in a lathe and trued.

Truing the action

On the M48A action there is a bump on the rear of the receiver. It has a slot where cartridges on stripper clips can be inserted. However, this just does not look good. I removed the hump and smoothed the metal work.

Milling out the stripper clip slot

Although the stripper clip slot can still be seen, I am leaving it as such for the time being.

Action with hump removed

My attention then turned to the bolt. I started by heating the bolt handle and forging it into a new, more graceful shape. The picture also shows two tools I made in the first semester. Screwed in the back of the bolt is a bolt mandrel which (in this case) helps to draw heat away from the bolt body. The bolt sits inside a bolt bending block.

Forging the bolt handle

The next picture was taken during the process. I still needed to sweep the handle backwards a little.

Straight bolt handle

The next three pictures show the bolt handle after I swept the handle back, the receiver and how they fit together. I had to cut a small notch in the receiver body to allow the bolt to fully close.

Bolt and receiver

 

Action open

 

Action closed

 

 

So far, so good!

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