M--48 Mauser in .308/.358 Win - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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Default M--48 Mauser in .308/.358 Win

Friend is thinking of re barreling an M-48 Yugo (intermediate length) Mauser in either .308 or .358 Win. Just wondering how the 308 length rounds will function in the intermediate length magazine?

I have no experience with this. I have read about people chambering regular 30-06 length actions for the .350 Rem Mag and they worked just fine. I don't know why a slightly shorter magazine in an intermediate length mauser should be any different.

Would love to hear from people with experience on this issue. Many thanks.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 07:28 PM
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No experience here, but with a shorter receiver, you have a steeper angle at which the round in the box magazine has to be "pushed" up the feed ramp into the chamber of the barrel. This steep angle, plus a shorter shell round (.304 Win), may cause the nose of the round to tip upward, catching at the top of the chamber mouth.'

Very experienced gunsmiths probably know how to deal with or fix this, but I wouldn't try to do it myself.

Something to think about.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-01-2018, 09:33 AM
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The rebarrel work is pretty straight forward. Go to ER Shaws website. They still do some mauser sporterizing at reasonable prices.

Are you or is the friend going to do the work?

Mannyrock is right the challenge will be the feeding of the cartridges from the mag into the chamber. You might get lucky and have no issues or it may be a royal pain. I am currently doing a M95 mauser conversion from 7x57 to 35 Remington and feeding the rounds from the mag to the chamber is not as smooth as I had hoped. I am working in it.

ER Shaw may get it to work better if you buy the barrel and have them do the work. I don't know that for sure, but it may be worth the call.

358 Winchester would be an excellent choice if your taking votes.

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!
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-01-2018, 01:29 PM
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Twenty years ago, I was building my "dream" rifle. I had an FN Supreme 98 Mauser in .30-06 converted to .308.

It took the gunsmith 8 months of work, on and off, to get it to feed right.

First, he had to solder shoulder rails inside of the magazine box, so that that they would hold the loaded .308 rounds against the back of the box, instead of sliding forward under recoil and getting out of kilter. Then he had to keep bending and rebending the metal of the box and the feed lips to get it to feed right.

He finally got it to feed flawlessly, but taking it back and forth to the gunsmith, and his very overt frustration and anger at the project, ruined the whole experience for me.

Here is my advice: Take your time, and keep checking the gun auction sites (G-broker) until you find a commercial FN 98 Mauser in .308 Winchester, such as the FN Supreme, the Sears J.C. Higgins, or the Interarms Mark X. These are high quality rifles, that have a built in "block" in the box magazine so that the .308 rounds will not jam, and they feed to perfection. You may also find a Husqvarna, although this is an upgraded Mauser 96 design.

Yes, these rifles will cost you some money, but they will appreciate in value, and you will happy with them from the get-go. If you sell your Yugo, and add to that cash the cash that you will have to spend on rebarreling and follow-up work, then you should have the $550 or so that it would cost you to buy a Mark X, which is the least expensive of the choices but still an excellent rifle.

Modifying any military 98 to a shorter caliber is a total crap-shoot, and can be very unsatisfactory, expensive, and sometimes you end up with a rifle that will NEVER feed right. And, if you get it to work, then what? You have an altered military 98 with crummy sights, no scope mounts, no altered bolt handle, and a lousy safety. Yes, you can fix all of that, for about another $200 to $400, and you may end up with a rifle that shoots 6 inch groups. Then what?

Another alternative? Take the money you are going to spend on the .308 conversion, and just go buy an entire case or two of high quality 8mm Mauser ammo. Then, every time you load your rifle, just "pretend" it is a .308. The 8mm is an excellent round in and of itself. If you decide to sell the rifle later, you will get all of your money back on the unaltered M-48 rifle and the spare ammo.

Hope this helps your analysis.

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-01-2018, 02:54 PM

Its really all about "Timing". If the 308/358 cartridges are compatible with the feed rails of the Y48 action, and pop up under the claw extractor properly, then between the control of the extractor and the coned barrel, they should feed well.

Being the Yugo 48 action is originally chambered in 8mm Mauser, same as the M98, I would guess it to be closer to a full length action than a true short action. It may need a magazine block and possibly feed rail work, but most commericial long action 98's work fine with short action rounds with just a mag block, so I guess I'm saying I'm not sure.

Places like Shaw's probably have some experience with this popular action, so I'd give them a call and ask what they think. Another option would be to try loading the magazine with 308's , experimenting with various placement in the magazine, and see if they feed properly. If they feed from the magazine, and start into the chamber, that will tell you if its going to work. Obviously they may not fully chamber, and shouldn't be fired, just the initial proper feed transition from the mag is all you need to see.

These days, its not really cost effective to customize a military Mauser. BUT, there is a lot to be said for the pride and uniqueness of owning a one off custom, and cost effectiveness is not the only criteria for most rifle nuts.


Personal opinion is a good thing, and everyone is entitled to one. The hard part is separating informed opinion from someone who is just blowing hot air....

Last edited by Bigeasy; 12-01-2018 at 03:00 PM.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-01-2018, 04:08 PM
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One other thing to check, the .358, having a fatter bullet, may be more prone to catching the upper edge of the chamber upon feeding than the smaller .308 Winchester bullet.

Sorry, but I just see a whole lotta heartbreak here.

"Bad Boyz Bad Boyz, whacha gonna do? Whacha gonna do when yo Mausa won't feed?"
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-01-2018, 07:33 PM
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I had a Peruvian Mauser, originally in 7.65 Argentine caliber, rebarreled to .358 Winchester years ago. The gunsmith who did the work said he had to slightly "tweaK" the feed rails to get it to feed smooth. He told me it didn't take much work. Maybe he just got lucky, I don't know. At any rate it worked just fine and I never had a problem with it feeding.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 04:41 AM
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If you have a round or two, maybe just try it - it won't fully chamber but it should feed into chamber. A friend of mine had some sort of ex-mil M98 Mauser in 8mm and he re-barrelled to 308 without any other modifications and no feeding issues. When the 98s were re-barrelled to 308 for the Israelis, sometimes a spacer was welded into the front of the magazine and follower was shortened - but not always. Seems to work either way. I have an Israeli with the spacer and the only quirk is that I have to close the action quickly. If I go too slow the rim ends up in front of the extractor and can't close the bolt - my extractor won't clip over the rim (however the extractor could be bevelled so it will).
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 04:18 PM
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Igm: I would take manny's advise and buy a couple of cases of ammo and shoot the 8mm Mauser before he makes the mistake of chambering down to a .308 or thinking he would get more from a 358. Unless the 358 or 308 burns a 200 gn round down the tube at 2500+ ft/sec., he's wasting his time, imo. In Europe the 8mm Mauser is known as a Bear and Boar cartridge and unless your friend is looking at more dangerous game than that, an unaltered 8mm Mauser is more than he would need.
The best ammo for the 8mm is Sellier and Bellot. It boasts, correctly so, a 200 gn soft nose, or fmj, at 2540'/sec from a military Mauser with a 23" barrel. Next up is PRVI with similar ballistics. Both are Yugo/Check (sp?) firms and produce quality ammunition to original European specifications. Norma is also out there but the prices were really high, even years ago.

The worst ammo out there is Winchester which is near 32 Special velocities, and is not the .323 caliber I would prefer if out looking for Boar or Bear. Hornady may or may not make decent ammo for 8 mm but I haven't checked lately.

Finally, the 8mm really responds to handloading. Bullet weights from 123 gns to 220 gns will take care of all your needs in North America, Europe and even most of Africa. However, if he is going to make either of those two mistakes, I believe Brownells sells a detachable magazine replacement kit specifically for the 308 length cartridges (51 mm) in 57 mm length actions, which is what the Yugo M48s are, and this should help with the conversion. Just sayin'...
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-08-2018, 09:26 AM
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If your friend is a reloader, he might consider a different cartridge. I recently bought a 35 cal barrel, wanting 35 rem - 358 performance in a bolt gun. I've done both chamberings in Mausers in the past but I think there is a better alternative, as long as you reload. A 35 Whelen reamer run in short gives you the body/neck/throat of the Whelen and feeds like the 7 & 8X57. Standard .35 Whelen dies are shortened. Overall, a cheap and easy conversion with a tad more powder space than .358 and a long neck which is handy with cast bullets. The .30 cal version is done the same way using a .30-06 reamer and dies. Considered a wildcat and both have been used on small and large ring actions. There has been some work with these on the Cast Boolit board under .35-57, 35XCB and 30XCB
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