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1895 Chilean Mauser Scrap Parts Resurrection Project

This project here throws out all rules with regards to how to build a gun from the ground up.  All the procedures used in making this gun are not recommended unless you choose to run the risks associated with doing such unorthodox things like this.  Enjoy!!

This gun is a very unique piece indeed.  This gun originally started its life in my possession as an 1895 7mm Chilean Mauser rifle that I picked up from a sporting company over 10 years ago.  For a while I didn't have any problem with the 7mm mauser cartridge until I kept trying to find boxer primed brass, fired or otherwise, for this cartridge.  Finally, sometime in 2001, I decided that I wanted to convert this gun to a more common caliber.  I decided on the .308 cartridge. 
 
Well, this is where the real fun began.  First of all, replacement barrels didn't come cheap, the company that I seen that had mauser barrels in .308 were somewhere in the field of $200.  There was only one problem however; for this freshman in the world of Mausers, I wasn't totally sure what the difference between small ring and large ring receivers was.  I guess it was blind ambition that made me go ahead and buy the .308 large ring mauser barrel for what I later discovered was a small ring mauser receiver.  OOPS!!!
 
Well, once the barrel came in, eager as I was, I had to form a game plan, I hadn't the slightest idea how to unscrew a barrel out of a receiver, especially one that was over 100 years old.  Well now it was dumb ass ambition that took over and pulled out the pipe wrenches and tried to unscrew the barrel from the receiver (in vain of course). 
 
Once I seen that the stubborn barrel wasn't going to budge, I then took out the die grinder (dumb ass mistake #2) and hacked the barrel off at the edge of the receiver.  It was at this point that I did find out that the receiver was a small ring receiver.  Now totally thrown for a wallop, I had to do something, ANYTHING, to save this seemingly doomed antique rifle.  I pulled out some more tools and bored out the remnants of the old barrel from the threads of the receiver, then took a cutting disc and put it in the dremel tool and commenced to cutting my own threads for the large ring barrel.  I started along and even though it seemed to be going along fairly well, this seemed to be taking a long, long, long time.  Am I ever gonna save this rifle??  This sucks.....
 
Well, fast forward to 2007, and a new, more enlightened ambition grew to try and resurrect this doomed rifle from the scrap pile of history.  I tried to take the barrel and receiver to a couple of gunsmiths and they didn't want anything to do with it due to liability concerns, etc.  I guess its understandable, so...
 
Out came the good ole dremel again, with some more cutting discs, a little wider, for cutting the wide threads that were required of this barrel.  I then went to cutting the threads in the receiver and every few moments taking the barrel and covering the threads in oil and used pipe wrenches to screw the barrel into the receiver more and more.  Well after only one night and a few cutting discs, I was finally able to muscle the barrel into my cut threads in the receiver (probably screwed up the threads on the barrel some, but who cares at this point). 
 
Well now that I did get the barrel into the receiver, I had to screw the barrel in a certain amount so I can load in a shell and close the bolt on the shell with it fitting in the breech as tight as it can.  I obviously didnt have any tools to do the finish reaming or headspacing measurements but I didn't need that at this point.  Obviously this gun was NEVER going to fire full power factory/military loaded .308 cartridges, but this would be just fine for some of my homeloaded ammo where the cartridges aren't fully loaded in the first place. 
 
I decided to load up a few shells with pyrodex rifle musket powder and  150 grain slug.  I took a table vise I had and some light chain and secured the action in the vise and hooked the length of chain to the trigger.  I stood behind the door of my shed with the chain and remote fired a few rounds.  From what I noticed, action didn't kick as bad, wasn't as loud, and best of all, didn't blow up the action.  At this point it looked as if I would have to stick with black powder loads to safely use this rifle.  But still, a 150 grain slug travelling at whatever a half charge equivalent of propellant can deliver was still impressive enough to keep right on working on this project. 
 
Now, the next thing was a stock.  Since I sold off the original stock that the gun was in, I had to find an alternative.  Finding a small ring stock was next to impossible so I ended up going for a generic sporter stock on gunbroker that was for the 98 Mauser rifle.  At this point it wasn't going to matter because I figured that I would be butchering the stock to fit the action into.  When I did get the stock, I had to carve around the barrel channel to accomodate the barrel, while carving out the channels for the receiver mounting bolts and magazine well, since 98's and 95's are different in their dimensions. 
 
After getting the action fitted (as best as I can) into the stock, I then had to figure what I was going to do about sighting.  I figured that I would do a scout rifle configuration, since this type of gun would fit the best as a scout rifle; short range, light duty.  In order to do this I had to get some type of scope mounting setup on the barrel.  The barrel didn't have a rear sight so I had to start from scratch.  Here's where one of the unorthodox things comes in to play:  I took a couple of scope rail halves for a Remington 700 and JB welded them to the top of the barrel.  After letting that stuff cure, I took the pistol scope I will be using on the gun and installed the scope rings in place.   At this point the scope was mounted onto the rails. 

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The base junker Mauser after its initial transformation

At this point, with the completed gun, it was time to test fire the gun to see where the scope stands.  When I tested the gun at 10 yards, the scope was right on target, hit every CD I had hanging.  When I tried going out to about 50 yards, I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn.  Looks like time to do some sighting in.  I had this generic laser bore sighter tool that consisted of a laser emitter and some adapters and a special target that allows you to sight in the rifle at 25 feet and supposedly be accurate out to 100 yards.  I did the sighting in with this tool and took a few more test shots and still couldn't hit a damned thing.  After a few attempts, I finally borrowed this other boresighter that consists of a special scope with a grid on it that allows you to adjust the scope based on where the crosshairs are relative to the grid lines.  After doing my sighting in with this tool, I was then knicking CDs at 50 yards with the rifle.  At this point the gun was ready for advanced sighting in. 
 
Nonetheless I had to improve on this project more.  I figured that if the gun can fire cartridges full of black powder, then they should be very well able to fire cartridges that are partially filled with smokeless powder, to get the similar pressures.  After some minor testing, I settled on the amount of smokeless powder to be approximately 3/5 a cartridge's worth.  And this is what I've been sticking with to this present day.  I still stick with the 150 grain generic slugs and all is shooting well. 
 
Later on down the timeline, I acquired an 1893 Turkish Mauser rifle from Gunbroker.com.  This gun is chambered in 8mm Mauser.  The thing I like about this rifle is that it has a stock that is similar to the 98 Mauser, where it has a pistol grip rifle stock compared to the Chilean Mauser's straight stock.  I ended up cutting down the stock and barrel on the Turk Mauser and trimming the wood to make the stock look like it was still original, just shorter.    I used the good ole Dremel tool with a lot of sanding discs, plus some sandpaper to sand the wood down as smooth as possible.  I also stripped the varnish off the stock and restained the wood in order to make the overall stock look as unaltered as possible.

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The shortened 1893 Turkish Mauser

Even though I didn't totally have a problem with the first stock, it was really a slipshod job, since the parts didn't fit perfectly enough as they would've if the stock was intended for small ring actions.  Besides, in my opinion, there is a certain appeal to the original military look that these stocks give an overall rifle.  So it's settled, I'm switching the 1895 action over to the Turk's stock.

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Closeup of how the action and parts didn't fit perfectly in the sporter stock

I recently picked up a .223 barrel for this rifle so this project will soon be posted when it gets complete.  The .223 barrel is MUCH fatter than the 8mm barrel so I won't be able to use the original stock on this rifle when everything is done.  That is the main reason why I decided to use this stock to fix the 1895 Mauser up to look like an original military rifle set up as a pseudo-scout rifle.  I had to use the Dremel to carve out the barrel channel to accomodate the tapered breech of the barrel, as well as a few other small differences that the 1895 Chilean and 1893 Turkish Mauser had physically.  After doing the carving and fitting, I was able to get the 1895 action fitted into the Turk's stock with a good fit.  In order to retain the front barrel band, I had to drill a hole through the band to allow for a screw to be put in through the front stock plate that goes inside the barrel band.  Yeah, it looks ugly to those of you who are antique rifle gurus, but it works, deal with it, HA! 

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1895 Mauser action installed in Turk stock

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Front barrel band with retaining screw in place

I still had to address the scope rail issue, since the JB welded scope rails did not line up with the barrel shield  rear sight opening.  I had to break the bond on the front most scope rail and move it back closer to the rear scope rail, then use the Dremel to trim the opening in the barrel shield in order to fit the two scope rails.  I glued the scope rail back down again with JB weld and let it set overnight with a rubber band to hold it in place better. 

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Scope rail JB welded in place and secured with rubber band, note widened opening in barrel shield

After the JB weld cured, I mounted the scope back in place once again and immediately took the grid scope boresighter tool and re did the adjustments on the pistol scope so before I even try to shoot any rounds.  At this point the 1895 Mauser scout rifle is completed and ready to shoot.  There may be future improvements, like a better scope mount that doesn't use JB weld to hold it in place.  But until then, this will all work out just fine now, like it did before I did this extra work. 

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The completed 1895 Mauser scout rifle

When you want something built right, build it yourself.