Spanish Mauser 308?
I recently acquired a Spanish Mauser which after a little research turns out to be a Model 1916. The person I bought it from said it is a 308. Underneath the front sight just sort of the barrel is stamped
Oviedo Spain M1916
SAMCO MIA FL 308W
I have read a great deal of opinions discussing commercial 308 Winchester as being too hot for these rifles. Others claim they have been shooting 308 Winchester in theirs for years. It is a very good looking gun and I want to keep it that way. Anybody have any experience with these rifles?
02-23-2009 06:46 AM
Friends and Sponsors
If it's an FR-7, generally, use reduced loads. If it's an FR-8, normal NATO 7.62 spec is fine. If it's a Guardia Civil rifle, it would depend if it's a large ring or a small ring. Also, if the bolt is mismatched, or even if it is not, good idea to have the headspace checked before firing it.
Pics of the receiver might prove useful to help you out.
Союз нерушимый республик свободных Сплотила навеки Великая Русь. Да здравствует созданный волей народов Единый, могучий Советский Союз!
Yes, it's a Guardia Civil small ring. From what I can tell from my research, it is called a Model 1916 "OT" series (referring to the prefix in the serial #) At one time it was most likely a 7x57mm which was rebarreled at the Oviedo arsenal into a 308. It seems Spain did that with a great deal of rifles during the '50s and '60s. I just can't get a definitive answer as to just what this 308 cartridge is I believe there is a similar controversy in regard to one of the Enfields..... A 2a or Ishapore which fires 308 cartridges rather than the usual 303 British.
If it's a Guardia Civil rifle, it would depend if it's a large ring or a small ring.
"Spanish" 308 cartridge
...was actually termed the CETME cartridge. Dimensionally the same as 308 but apparently not the same pressure rating as 7.62x51 NATO (which is alos , for thenitpickers, not quite the same as 308 Win). You will have to dig out the CETME info yourself, but the advice to use light 308 loads is prudent.
P.S. try the Spanish site MUNICION.ORG
Really Senior Member
The Model 1916 is a modified version of the old Model 1893. The Spanish intended the FR-7 (converted from 7mm) and FR-8 (converted from the 8mm Model 1943) to be training rifles for the CETME and to fire the same cartridge. The FR-8 uses a Model 98 Mauser action and is more than adequately strong for any 7.62 NATO or .308 Winchester load.
The FR-7 was designed for the 40,000 to 45,000 pressure level and I recommend that not be exceeded, which means handloading the 7.62 NATO/.308 Winchester. The guns will not "blow up" in a few shots, but the higher pressures will gradually batter locking lug and lug seats and eventually cause excess headspace.
Really Senior Member
Do yourself a favour and go visit some primary research (ie not internet rumour ...) Colin's Ballistics . I know the author quite well, and trust his work.
A nice bit of history you have there. I lived in Spain in the 60's when Franco was still in power. I remember seeing him drive by in a black Rolls Royce. People there said Hitler gave it to him.
You might be interested in this article, .308 Winchester VS. 7.62 NATO written by Mark Trope. He says he has "fired NATO equivalent handloads with no problems", but warns against using commercially produced .308 Winchester as the maximum pressure could be too high.
BTW, I have been using surplus 7.62x51 in a converted Enfield No. 4 for almost 30 years without a problem. The action is still smooth as silk.