Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Northwest Indiana
Tale of Two Mausers a M93 to 45 ACP and M95 to 35 Rem
I was looking for a suitable mauser to convert to 45 ACP using the Rhineland Arms kit. In my search I came across a Spanish Ovieado 1923 marked mauser in pretty sad shape at the Indy 1500 gun show. So after some haggling I walked out with it.
It was really rough. Safety would not move. I managed to remove bolt, but bolt stop would not close after bolt removal. The original barrel was badly pitted at the wood line and the stock itself had a nice gash in it. However, it had one thing that did not lend itself to the 45 ACP project, a hinged trigger guard. It was rusted shut and I could not drop the mag well plate with no amount of force on the mag release button. But I was positive I could get that working with some patience, heat and PB Blaster. The rest of the action was in really good shape with some minor pitting and it was otherwise an unmolested action. Since the 45 ACP kit requires you to do away with the bottom mag plate and would negate the advantages of the hinged trigger guard I decided to get a Rhineland Arms 35 Remington barrel and rebarrel this action to take advantage of the mag button release feature the hinged trigger guard offers.
I completely dis-assembled the rifle. Everything. What a pain. I discovered the safety was not rusted shut, but the preservative (I guess it is cosmo) had completely dried and actually was acting like an adhesive. I finally got it removed after a lot of penetrating oil and heat. I got the bolt broken down and cleaned up too. It works good and is loosening up. The rest of the parts broke down fairly easily. I even got the trigger guard release working well. Repeated heat gun and PB Blaster treatments got everything freed up and it now works the way it should. Needs positive force to push the mag release, but it does open as it should and releases the mag plate. The plate now swings freely on the hinge.
The real pain was getting the barrel off the action. I have had some real tough barrels on mauser before, but man this one took the cake. First, I had to make new wood barrel blocks has my old ones were shot. I did not have any white oak, but I have lots of scape walnut so I made three blocks from that. Then I got out my barrels vice and flat bottom action wrench. I use a cheater bar to tighten down the vice. The blocks actually compress about an inch before I cannot turn the tightening screws any more. I thought that would do the trick... Nope. The barrel just spun in the blocks. I was looking to keep the barrel intact. It was pitted, but had crisp rifling and the sights were in great shape. Would make a decent barrel for a restore. Though about selling it to recover some of my project funds. Well that did not happen. Over the course of the day I tried all the tricks. I tried several applications of heat and PB Blaster. I filed flats where the pitting was to put another wrench on to pull the barrel in the opposite direction. That did not work. I finally broke down and cut relief cuts into the chamber next to to action to try and relieve some of the stress to get the barrel moving and get it spun off. Nope. I could not get it budge no matter what I tried. Exhausted, I gave up and put it in my WD40 tank to soak. Over the course of the week I would repeate the Heat and PB Blaster treatments and set back in the tank. I let sit for a week. Finally yesterday with the last good barrel block set, a pipe wrench which is now in addition to the crescent wrench, attached to the barrel. I arranged it so that the barrel cannot move even if the blocks fail to grip. I still could not get the action to budge. But at least now it is not slipping. So I grab a 5 lb short handled maul and give the action wench handle a couple of real hard hits and finally the action breaks free. Upon inspection the oil had completely penetrated into the threads, but the same dried black grease or preservative had dried up and was actually acting like a glue. It was caked up in there pretty good and took a bronze brush and more cleaning to get the
threads cleaned up.
Onto the next steps. I am going to add open sights and optics. The optic is going to be a scope with low power. So the first thing is to file down the rear bridge charging hump to install a scope mount. There is an excellent Midway - Larry Potterfield video on how to do this. I used a dremel drum sander, file, wet stone, and finally emery cloth to grind down, shape and polish to accomplish this. It turned out pretty good. I am going slow to keep the shape and lines distinct and crisp or at least as much as I can while also removing any pitting. I have not decided on a 2 piece or single piece mount yet. I will need to drill and tap the receiver one way or the other.
Other upcoming steps. I have ordered a Wisner 2 position side swing safety. Will need to machine the bolt shroud and fit. I also ordered the 35 Remington barrel kit from Rhineland. I am going to set the barrel up after I work the action for scope mounts.
This is a long term project. So hopefully I can get it finished before deer season next year. I will post some pics when I can.
Cartridges for My Entertainment: 22lr, .223 Rem, 30-06, 380 ACP, 38 spcl, 357 mag/max, , 35 Remington, 35 Whelen, 358 Norma Mag, 10mm Auto, 45 ACP. Mmmmkay what project can I do next... oh, I can't right now I am going hunting!
Last edited by 8uck5nort; 12-27-2018 at 12:47 PM.
Reason: Change Title