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    Member splicenut's Avatar
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    Chilean M1895 Mauser rifle

    I just picked up a beautiful M 1895 Chileanicon Mauser rifle manufactured by Ludwig Lowe for an insanely low price, far less than the parts are worth. Or maybe I'm insane for buying it, as it's missing the bolt. I found an 1895 bolt at SARCO for $100 and am waiting on delivery. I realize that I'll have to find a gunsmith with a 7x57 field gauge to do a safety check. Any other issues I should be looking out for?
    Cheers!
    Splice

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    Really Senior Member Calif-Steve's Avatar
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    Spanish bolt? Germanicon bolt? It will make a difference.

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    Member splicenut's Avatar
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    Thread Starter

    bolt

    From the photo, it has the round bolt face, not the flat-bottom bolt face. So, I'm hoping Germanicon.
    With fingers crossed,
    Splice

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    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by splicenut View Post
    I realize that I'll have to find a gunsmith with a 7x57 field gauge to do a safety check.
    I'm not sure that that is going to be particularly helpful. You are talking about an old ex-service rifle made decades before CIP and SAAMI standards were established. So expecting any pre-WW1 rifle to meet modern tolerances is IMHO unrealistic. And if you do give a gunsmith a load of cash to stick a modern gauge into a rifle that is 120 years old, then a positive result is NO guarantee of safety, and a negative result does NOT prove that the rifle is unsafe, merely that it does not conform to modern standards - surprise, surprise!

    I suggest you read around on the forum before doing anything. You will find plenty of posts on the topic of headspace and how to check it without needing gauges, but none of it has much to do with safety. The condition of the locking lugs is more important. Check that they are not scored or galled (indicating that the pressure-bearing surface is ruined) or distorted. Use micrometer blue to see how they mate with the locking recesses in the receiver.

    If it all looks plausible, use a commercial case to check the head clearance in the rifle. I.e the "slop" when you load a real cartridge, not the gauged headspace. After all, you are going to be firing modern cartridges, not gauges! Search the forum for "head clearance" and you will find some tips.

    As to "other issues"? Well I have a friend who has fitted his Chileicon Mauser barrelled system with a scope, and uses a turned-down bolt from another Mauser - because he didn't want to spoil the original bolt - and it works splendidly. So if your replacement bolt is of the correct type and also from Loewe OR DWM (it was in the end the same company, i.e. Mauser) then the fit will quite possibly be very good.

    The biggest safety "issue" with all old rifles is: they are old. So use mild loads and check primer indentation, case expansion etc for any troubling signs.
    Last edited by Patrick Chadwick; 03-30-2018 at 08:27 AM.

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    Member splicenut's Avatar
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    Thread Starter

    Bolt

    Well, I got the bolt! It's a bit of a mixmaster, with not all numbers matching. I cleaned it up a bit with some gunscrubber, toothbrush, breakfree, and elbow grease. It works smoothly, safety functions properly, and will chamber a round effortlessly with the striker already cocked and safety in vertical position to relieve spring tension. Don't worry, I did that last bit at the range where only the berm would get the worst of it if anything went wrong. Now, to find a gunsmith who has the proper field gauge. If that goes well, I'll strip it down for a thorough cleaning and maybe just a little cosmetic polish on the spotting with some 0000 steel wool. Fingers still crossed here.
    Cheers!
    Splice

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    Member splicenut's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Mr. Chadwick,
    Thank you for sharing your technique. That is both simple and ingenious! One question, though. Could I not use a digital or dial caliper to measure the distance between the two bolts to determine the head clearance? Thanks!
    Cheers!
    Splice


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