Remember that gunsmith-counterbored Venezuelan mauser?

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professrh
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Remember that gunsmith-counterbored Venezuelan mauser?

Post by professrh »

Here it comes. . . .
Last edited by professrh on Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

professrh
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Re: Remember that gunsmith-counterbored Venezuelan mauser?

Post by professrh »

My apologies for the trouble I had getting this thread up and running. . . .
Last edited by professrh on Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Remember that gunsmith-counterbored Venezuelan mauser?

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I posted about this back in the day: a junk gun I bought as a side purchase from some liar on gunbroker. Mind you, I didn't know it was a junk gun, or that he was a liar. Oh, well. . . . The story does get more interesting. You can find the original thread on the Wayback Machine. I tried to import it here, and, well, that didn't work.

The Venezuelan 24/30 heartbreaker came to me in a Spanish stock. Here are some recent pictures:
venezuelan.l..jpg
venezuelan.l..jpg (650.99 KiB) Viewed 10986 times
venezuelan.r..jpg
venezuelan.r..jpg (415.81 KiB) Viewed 10986 times
crest.jpg
crest.jpg (289.44 KiB) Viewed 10986 times
Next up, a pretty typical target from back in the day, and a pretty crazy attempt to make it better. . . .

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Re: Remember that gunsmith-counterbored Venezuelan mauser?

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Turns out the bore was badly worn. I played around with brass screws and grinding compound (which together have produced amazing results elsewhere in my collection) and with different loads and even bullet diameters (trying the .287" diameter, 154-grain SPs from Buffalo Arms) to no real advantage. A typical target:
Range report 6-18-13 010.jpg
Range report 6-18-13 010.jpg (547.01 KiB) Viewed 10995 times
Yikes, right?

Realizing I'd never sell it for what I had into it without becoming yet another liar on Gunbroker, I found a gunsmith who agreed to counterbore it and create a workable crown. Cost me, I think, $45. Came back looking kind of funny:
counterbore 010.jpg
counterbore 010.jpg (164.42 KiB) Viewed 10995 times

However, when I took it out and shot it (at 25 yards), I saw signs of improvement:
20130908_164510.jpg
20130908_164510.jpg (247.69 KiB) Viewed 10995 times

Next up, the surprising results of a failure to sell the rifle (without lying about it) on Gunbroker.

professrh
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Re: Remember that gunsmith-counterbored Venezuelan mauser?

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I played around some more with different loads and different bullets, but the Vene--although much improved--remained about my least interesting rifle (at least, according to Col. Whelen's dictum that "only accurate rifles are interesting"). The m24/30 Venezuelan heartbreaker eventually got relegated to the back of the safe.

This spring, I decided I needed more room in the safe, so I wrote an honest advert and took a bunch of pictures, and put the Vene up on Gunbroker at a starting price that stripped away every penny I could stand to lose on the transaction.

And there it sat. Eventually, I let the listing run its course, and didn't re-renew it.

So I had an inaccurate, uninteresting, incorrect, disappointing Venezuelan Mauser with a counterbore like no one's ever seen, and a beat-up eyesore of a replacement stock, and nowhere to sell it. What to do, what to do?

In the end, I started reading up on epoxy bedding. I had a donor stock, an orphaned Steyr m1912 short rifle stock I'd bought for a different project a few years back. And I had the Internet. And I had some JB Weld. What's not to love?

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Re: Remember that gunsmith-counterbored Venezuelan mauser?

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I don't have pictures of this process. Maybe next time (if there is one).

That said, first I hogged out a fair amount of wood from around the action inlet in the donor stock. I also masked off the top and outside of the stock (where I wanted it to stay glue free).

I bedded the action out to about the front end of the rear sight base, using the slow-to-set, high-strength JB Weld. For release agent, I used two applications of Hornady One-Shot Case Lube, and high-temperature automotive grease on the screws. I laid down the epoxy, put the barreled action in place (less bolt, ejector box and trigger assembly), and screwed everything down pretty tight.

Then commenced the waiting. (This was not a worry-free operation, but I did my best not to fret for the next 24 hours or so).

The next day, much to my relief, I was able to separate the stock from the barreled action. It took some effort, but nothing was permanently glued where it shouldn't have been.

Time to take it to the range.

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Re: Remember that gunsmith-counterbored Venezuelan mauser?

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The first target shows the baseline accuracy I'd managed (at 50 yards) with the Vene in its Spanish stock (full dress), with my best-to-date handloads, which used the BA 154-grain, .287" SPs. Nothing fancy here, just a counterbored rifle in the stock it came to me in.
vene spanish stock before.jpg
vene spanish stock before.jpg (611.09 KiB) Viewed 11207 times

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Re: Remember that gunsmith-counterbored Venezuelan mauser?

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Here are a couple of targets shot with the epoxy bedded Chileno stock. Note that I shot these without the handguard attached (more on this to follow):
bedded chileno 3.jpg
bedded chileno 3.jpg (198.73 KiB) Viewed 11206 times
chileno bedded 2.jpg
chileno bedded 2.jpg (499.22 KiB) Viewed 11206 times

My hope was to get the rifle into this nicer-looking stock complete with handguard and barrel bands, like this:
counterbore 009.jpg
counterbore 009.jpg (130.92 KiB) Viewed 11206 times

However, the stock was warped a bit downward and to the right, which made for a rather tight fit when completely assembled. Sure enough, the added tension on the barrel seems to have had a negative effect on accuracy:
chileno bedded full dress.jpg
chileno bedded full dress.jpg (244.56 KiB) Viewed 11206 times
At this point, I had completely lost track of steps forward v. steps back, but was pretty sure that 1) I'd made some significant gains in accuracy, and 2) the chileno stock probably wasn't a candidate for full-dress precision shooting.
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bedded chileno 1.jpg
bedded chileno 1.jpg (208.98 KiB) Viewed 11206 times

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Re: Remember that gunsmith-counterbored Venezuelan mauser?

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Oops

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Re: Remember that gunsmith-counterbored Venezuelan mauser?

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I still had the Spanish stock, of course. And in my reading around the web, I had found this interesting article about bedding a Mauser action-- using metal shims--to improve stock fit and rifle accuracy: http://www.mausershooters.org/k98k/SC_tips2.html

I had some brass plates that Felix Mophandle gave me a few years ago, so I spent some time cutting shims to fit the Vene more solidly into the Spanish stock. Most notably, I put a shim between the recoil lug and the crossbolt.

When I took the Venezuelan 24/30, newly brass-bedded in the (full dress) Spanish stock, back to the range, I shot these two targets:
brass-bedded spanish.1.jpg
brass-bedded spanish.1.jpg (269.14 KiB) Viewed 11201 times
brass-bedded Spanish.2.jpg
brass-bedded Spanish.2.jpg (632.42 KiB) Viewed 11201 times
Both have my signature flier, but that aside, the groups are both tighter than what I shot with the same (full dress) stock, un-shimmed. And whatever else is true, it's a whole lot easier to cut and fit some brass shims than it is to epoxy bed a barreled action into a stock.

So what are my takeaways from this project? One is that stock fit is hugely important to accuracy. And an important corollary: Stock fit is easy to adjust with some patience, some tin snips, and some shim stock of some kind.

Now, I think, I have some more load development to do.

--Prof

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Re: Remember that gunsmith-counterbored Venezuelan mauser?

Post by DWM »

You've put a lot of time into that project, the (accuracy) gains seem worth it.
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Re: Remember that gunsmith-counterbored Venezuelan mauser?

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Just goes to show what you can do with a lemon. I bet the lemonade tastes mighty fine now :)

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Re: Remember that gunsmith-counterbored Venezuelan mauser?

Post by professrh »

Thanks, gents.

I'll be taking it out again soon. I want to try it out with the .284" RNSPs. If it'll shoot standard-diameter bullets it'll be a lot cheaper to feed.

Add to which, I'm not sure I can really trust those swaged-up Hornady 154-grain bullets for hunting; I'd hate to have a terminal-ballistics failure on a deer or a hog.

Watch this space. And thanks again!

--Prof

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Re: Remember that gunsmith-counterbored Venezuelan mauser?

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Interesting thread - thanks for sharing. The amount of improvement you've made is amazing.

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Re: Remember that gunsmith-counterbored Venezuelan mauser?

Post by professrh »

steamer wrote:
Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:34 pm
Interesting thread - thanks for sharing. The amount of improvement you've made is amazing.
Thank you, steamer.

In retrospect, I think my biggest takeaway here is the importance of good stock fit (which, of course, I thought I already knew). Over the summer I'll be checking the rest of my rifles and adding shims as needed. Here it is one more time: http://www.mausershooters.org/k98k/SC_tips2.html

--Prof

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