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Old 03-06-2018, 05:39 PM   #1
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Headspace on Milsurp Mausers

I have the following two Mausers purchased from two different sources;
Sauer&Sohn Mauser 98k (Russian capture)
Yugo M24/47
I bought them ostensibly to shoot them. Both in good condition for milsurps.
Brought them to a local gun club to have their headspace checked to ensure they are safe to shoot.
Their gunsmith "red-tagged" them as unsafe to shoot because neither of them would close the bolt on a "go" gauge.
I contacted the sellers of these rifles, and told me they both had been safely fired before.
Does anyone else find this highly unusual for a milsurp rifle??
Not closing on a "go" gauge...and both of them being from separate sources?
I'm tempted to get a second opinion from another gunsmith, but don't want to have to pay again for the same result.
Any opinions or suggestions...??
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Old 03-06-2018, 05:54 PM   #2
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Not closing on a GO gauge? That means too-tight headspace, right?

Shouldn't a gunsmith be able to fix that by carefully reaming the chamber, as if he were chambering a new barrel?

I have an ex-Israeli K98 that almost closes on a NO-GO or FIELD gauge (I forget which, I'd borrowed the gauges), which I'd assume would be more common (generous chambering).
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Old 03-07-2018, 07:05 AM   #3
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Do the bolts have matching numbers? If they do, they are likely safe to fire.
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Old 03-07-2018, 07:10 AM   #4
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Snakes right, if the issue is with a GO gauge, careful reamer of the chamber should cure the issue. You didn't mention if the bolt numbers matched the receiver numbers. They should. If they didn't then they got assembled from boxes of rifles (less bolt) and boxes of bolts. If that's the case, they should have been checked for proper headspace before sale. Note the word "should", doesn't mean they were. Apparently, they weren't.

I'd go back to the seller on this one, unless the charge to correct the issue is nominal.

For the recored: GO gauge-verifies the chamber is at correct headspace (at least minimum). The bolt should close on this gauge without force.

NO-GO gauge: used only for fitting new barrels/bolts, provides that when reasonable wear happens, the headspace will still be within acceptable range. Can also be used as a "wellness" gauge to check state of wear. The bolt should not close on this gauge.

FIELD gauge: limit of acceptable headspace, if the bolt closes on this gauge, the headspace is excessive and the rifle is unsafe to fire.

IMPORTANT: when checking headspace on bolt guns, the firing pin MUST must be removed. If not, it's possible that mainspring tension can be mistaken for headspace issues.

Last edited by William R. Moore; 03-10-2018 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 03-08-2018, 04:35 AM   #5
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Don't forget the basics. Clean the chamber before testing.
I would also check a second source, some "gunsmiths" have been less than perfect, amazingly enough.

Geoff
Who needs to do some work.
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Old 03-08-2018, 11:59 AM   #6
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I had a Yugo Mauser for a while it was a tight fit even with factory ammo kept it for a couple years just never cared for the feel on the bolt.I have a K98 that's matching except the stock smooth as silk with factory/surplus ammo on the bolt.I always thought the Yugo needed more time maybe on the range or the bolt needed to be lapped just never got that far.If you want to get a Mauser action in nice shape look south like South America I p/u recently an FN from Venezuela and a 1909 Argentine both in 95%+ shape for reasonable.

An interesting Vene double trigger Auction Item
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Old 03-10-2018, 05:39 AM   #7
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I'll register a caution on South American firearms. The maintenance many of them got was often somewhere between non-existent and minimal. Bolt guns need to have the barreled action removed from the stock for a check of the out of sight metal before stroking the check. I've run across examples that apparently were never out of the stock and the pits in the lower part of the barrel made them unsafe to fire. Lots of humidity and no maintenance is a bad thing.
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GunGeek View Post
Do the bolts have matching numbers? If they do, they are likely safe to fire.
Oddly enough, the Yugo does, but the Sauer being a Russian capture is a mutt. Parts from many different sources.
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Old 03-10-2018, 11:39 AM   #9
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Thanks all...I'll take all your advice, and retest with the Gauges I have ordered.

Javlin...The Yugo M24/47 that I have is the smoothest cycling Mauser I've ever felt. No slop...it's tight, and smooth as silk. SNs match on bolt and receiver. Makes my Sauer Mauser (russian capture) feel like a Mosin (grin). Understandable, since the capture guns are all mismatched components.

From what I've read the remaining Yugo M24s were re-arsenaled in the late 40s following WWII, and hence the designation M24/47, the "47" is the year they started re-arsenelling them. The original M24s were produced on machine tools provided by Fabrique Nationale so these rifles have good bloodlines.
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Old 03-10-2018, 01:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William R. Moore View Post
I'll register a caution on South American firearms. The maintenance many of them got was often somewhere between non-existent and minimal. Bolt guns need to have the barreled action removed from the stock for a check of the out of sight metal before stroking the check. I've run across examples that apparently were never out of the stock and the pits in the lower part of the barrel made them unsafe to fire. Lots of humidity and no maintenance is a bad thing.
Mr. Moore seems I have heard that before but both rifles I have not disassembled.The ring(cor/ammo) on the bolt of the Argentine is so light you have to look good and no ring on the FN so I am leaving them as such wall mounts in the case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zastava View Post
Javlin...The Yugo M24/47 that I have is the smoothest cycling Mauser I've ever felt. No slop...it's tight, and smooth as silk. SNs match on bolt and receiver. Makes my Sauer Mauser (russian capture) feel like a Mosin (grin). Understandable, since the capture guns are all mismatched components.
I wish mine was like that it was just to tight and I had a RC for a year or two till I could fill the void properly ended up giving it to friend for some A/C work on the house.Let us know how she works out.
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