Here is a tale that should serve as a warning to .............

orchidmanorchidman Senior MemberPosts: 7,702 Senior Member
......even those who are totally familiar with firearms.

Some of you may remember my first post when I joined up ( a few forum versions and about 4-5 years ago) which involved the 'gift' to me of the 10.75X68 1908 Model B Mauser.

Before I posted up the pics and story here, I also posted up on another website specialising in Sporting rifles.
Following the advice I got from this 'other' site I gave the Mauser to my LGS to have it checked to ensure it was safe to fire. The 'gunsmith' said it was in great order and was safe. Although the serial numbers of the bolt and action did not match, the LGS/gunsmith said that was not unusual as maybe the original bolt was lost.

Accordingly, 'armed' with a packet of what we thought were the original 347gr Kynoch cartridges I went up to Bloodhounds place to fire a couple of rounds through it. The rifle performed well, although the action in closing the bolt was a bit stiff and needed some pressure to close. Bloodhound and I both came to the conclusion that it was possibly due to the shells being reloads and not sized correctly.

The 10.75 has been a safe queen ever since.

Fast forward to today.

I called in and picked up the 4 firearms I mentioned in the thread posted up earlier today about 'selling the farm' and brought them home this afternoon.
While messing around with them and taking pics to post up I noticed that the 8X57J mauser also didnt have matching bolt/action numbers. When Bloodhound called in I showed him the rifle and we both agreed that the value of it was not great as the numbers didnt match up. We also noted that the bolt ( which was given to me separately when I picked up the rifles) couldnt be fitted to the rifle as the bolt handle wouldnt clear the scope. The scope had been mounted in what appeared to be a 'botched ' manner. I pulled the scope and rings off and the bolt fitted perfectly.

While I had the gun cabinet open I pulled out the 10.75 to compare the rifles and when I removed the bolt I noticed that the 2 numbers on the butterknife bolt were the same as the last 2 numbers on the 8X57..................

Yes folks, when My friend brought the 10.75 over and gave it to me he had put the 8X57J bolt in the 10.75X68 Mauser.

And that was the bolt used when I testfired the 10.75X68!!!!!

I feel sick in my stomach.

A number of mistakes led to this

1. The owner supplying the wrong bolt with the original gift. ( He never mentioned that he had another Mauser in 8X57 at the time)
2. The gunsmith/lgs not picking up the difference in the bolt head where the extractor fits over the case rim
3. My assumption that the reason for the 'stiffness' of the action was due to the cartridges being reloads and not being sized correctly.

I thought I knew about guns................I obviously dont know enough.......did I mention I feel sick in my stomach!!!!

The only good thing about this story is that the correct bolts have now been placed with the correct rifles......but the 10.75 doesnt look right without the butterknife bolt handle. However the 8X57 does look good with both the butterknife and the double triggers that came with it I guess......

I will be saying some prayers tonight and thanking God for looking out for me.

I shudder to think of what could possibly have happened when I test fired the 10.75. And I think someone needs to give me a big kick where it might do some good...........

Alec.
Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....

Replies

  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,803 Senior Member
    Don't be so hard on yourself. You survived. Now you learned a big lesson and you spread that lesson across two countries. That's worth something in itself. Besides, if you like the butter knife bolt handle I'm sure you can find a good smith to make one out of the 10.75's handle. Now you have two great Mausers, And you've lived to tell about it.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • TugarTugar Senior Member Posts: 1,825 Senior Member
    WOW! Hair raising experience. Glad you're unhurt. That would scare a few weeks of life out of anyone.
    Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.
    Winston Churchill
  • JeeperJeeper Senior Member Posts: 2,952 Senior Member
    Tugar wrote: »
    WOW! Hair raising experience. Glad you're unhurt. That would scare a few weeks of life out of anyone.

    AGREED. Thank goodness nothing happened.

    Luis
    Wielding the Hammer of Thor first requires you to lift and carry the Hammer of Thor. - Bigslug
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 14,836 Senior Member
    That there is some scary stuff...I mean, REALLY scary...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 3,248 Senior Member
    A good lesson in attention to details for sure.
    Now I don't profess to know anything about gunsmithing but if a guy hires a smith to evaluate a rifle and judge it to be sound, would that not include some sort of test to see the cartridge chambers properly? Perhaps a go-no gage if one were available.
    Looking at cartridge dimmensions the 10.75 appears to have a rim dia of .495 vs the .470 of the 8mm, the 25/1000ths difference apparently was not enough to prevent the bolt from grasping the case head and allowing it to chamber, albeit a bit stiff. Once closed, would the integrity of the bolt actually be compromised by the slightly oversized case head to the point of being a dangerous situation? I should probably know the answer to this but I honestly don't.
    To that end I am very glad nothing bad happened and the rifles now contain thier proper bolts.

    Sako
  • shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior Member Posts: 5,378 Senior Member
    I can't say that I would have done any different. Very unnerving though. Glad you are okay.

    Now, when are you planning to have the 10.75's bolt "butter-knifed?"
    - I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
    "It's far easier to start out learning to be precise and then speeding up, than it is having never "mastered" the weapon, and trying to be precise." - Dan C
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,702 Senior Member
    sakodude wrote: »
    Once closed, would the integrity of the bolt actually be compromised by the slightly oversized case head to the point of being a dangerous situation? Sako

    I hope someone on here has the answer. cos I certainly dont.

    I have often thought of taking the 10.75 out and having a play but whenever I have opened the cabinet I have always picked 'other' toys to go play with. Part of my decision was based on the fact that I only have about 34 of the original cartridges left that I was given with the gun.

    This experience has given me food for thought I can tell you!!!!
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,985 Senior Member
    Good advice for anyone to check out their rifles thoroughly. I always try and get matching SN# on my MILSURPS bolt/receiver/butt-plate/magazine floor-plate and sometimes even the stock has a SN#. If not, at least, the bolt and receiver. A couple have "Forced Matched" on the butt-plates or mag bottoms, no big deal.

    When cleaning more than one rifle laid out, it's a good idy to double check all parts to make sure. I know mixing the same caliber rifle/caliber bolts is less of an issue than mixing up bolts on different calibers like happened to you. For example I might have 3 or 4 of my 6 Mosin Nagants out cleaning of bolts removed for whatever and even though they should all interchange, it could cause some issues by mixing them up.

    One thing that happened to me on the range was an ammo mix-up. I had one caliber ammo in the mag of another caliber rifle and caught my self as I was trying to close the bolt and trying to figure out why it wouldn't work. I forget which now, but I usually take 5 different rifles (max allowed at one time on the range on Fort Hood) and only one on the firing line/shooters bench at a time. But the ammo is a different story.

    Same for reloading, too many calibers/bullets kinds of brass. So special care to make sure I have the right diameter bullets and correct brass. I use a caliper on bullets to make sure if not in their original packing. Some brass like 7.62X54R and 7.62X56R is mighty close and looks the same at a causal glance. Same for some bullets.

    None of us are perfect and an ounce of prevention goes a long way. Mistakes will happen to us all, but to keep them at a minimum and not get complacent by checking and double checking everything, however tedious helps eliminate them. We are only human, as they say. I think in your case it could be described as a "Comedy Of Errors" where three people missed seeing what should have been or later became obvious. .:guns::usa:
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 10,726 Senior Member
    Did you just give your Guardian Angel a workout that day or does that say ALOT about the strength of a Mauser action?
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,263 Senior Member
    Alec, the fortunate part of the situation was the fact you had a stiff closing effort on the bolt, indicating very tight headspace. If the 8MM had been fired with the 10.75 bolt in place, there might have been some more serious consequences. The Mauser claw extractor will hold a too-short cartridge tightly enough against the bolt face that the firing pin can still hit the primer, and things can get pretty exciting after that. Too-long headspace lets the cartridge case get a running start and slam against the boltface, and in an extreme situation, the bolt lugs could be sheared off. Fortunately, the 98 Mauser bolt has a "safety lug" that doesn't contact the receiver unless the main lugs fail. The small ring Mauser doesn't have that feature. More likely, the case will separate just ahead of the extractor groove, and lots of hot gas ends up in the shooter's face.

    Here's a situation that will grow a few gray hairs- - - -try chambering an 8X57 cartridge in a .30-06-converted Mauser sometime. In a lot of situations, the bolt will close, and the aforementioned Mauser extractor keeps the primer close to the bolt face. When that .323" bullet tries to go down that .308" bore, "recoil" gets an entirely new definition. Most Mausers will survive the experience, but it's an eye-opener for the shooter!
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • WeatherbyWeatherby Senior Member Posts: 4,741 Senior Member
    I surely hope your forwarding this to the gunsmith
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,668 Senior Member
    Glad it didn't result in any injuries to you my friend :angel:
    Your guardian angel must have repaid you for the "angel's share" of the port it has enjoyed over the years
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,702 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    Alec, the fortunate part of the situation was the fact you had a stiff closing effort on the bolt, indicating very tight headspace. If the 8MM had been fired with the 10.75 bolt in place, there might have been some more serious consequences. The Mauser claw extractor will hold a too-short cartridge tightly enough against the bolt face that the firing pin can still hit the primer, and things can get pretty exciting after that. Too-long headspace lets the cartridge case get a running start and slam against the boltface, and in an extreme situation, the bolt lugs could be sheared off. Fortunately, the 98 Mauser bolt has a "safety lug" that doesn't contact the receiver unless the main lugs fail. The small ring Mauser doesn't have that feature. More likely, the case will separate just ahead of the extractor groove, and lots of hot gas ends up in the shooter's face.

    Jerry

    Thanks for that Jerry.

    One thing that we did try yesterday was pushing a fired 10.75 case against the bolt face of the 8mm. ( the bolt was removed from the gun) With moderate hand pressure the 'rim' pushed the extractor out far enough for the extractor to spring over the rim and hold the cartridge case tight against the bolt face. There was enough tolerance to allow the bolt to grip the case, albeit tightly.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,803 Senior Member
    Another thing to be happy about is that you only did it once before you discovered this. A lot of things you can get away with once. But say you reloaded the case, the second time it may not hold up to stretching. There's lots of ways to look at this, but I say there's always some good comes from bad things. In this case, nothing happened. It's a good thing you didn't fire the 8mm. But as things worked out now several people are put on guard as to this situation. I always have a funny feeling when I shoot a rifle for the first time, especially a mil surp or even a used sporter.

    Think about this scenario. Say you bought a rifle from Academy or Wally World and the new kid in the stock room was in charge of assembling the rifles that went on display. And say he opened the boxes and took the rifles out and got the bolts mixed up. Most rifles come with the bolt not installed in the action, but rather wrapped separetly. So the guns went on display. Say they stayed on display for 6 months and management decided to rotate the stock and let these go for a slight discount. Well you come in and unbeknownst to you buy a .243, but it had a .260s bolt in it. You being excited take it home and don't look for numbers on parts. I mean this is a new gun sort of and everything should be properly matched, right?. But it isn't. That's another scary scenario. But it's not an impossible occurance.

    So your story has taught several of us to be more careful with any gun, not just a Mil Surp or even a new gun. So your potential horror story did serve a great purpose. Sorry if it made you need to change drawers in the process.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,898 Senior Member
    Well, I am certainly glad you are still here to spell words and say them funny when speaking and writing English. :wink:
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,702 Senior Member
    NN wrote: »
    Well, I am certainly glad you are still here to spell words and say them funny when speaking and writing English. :wink:

    Thanks Ned....Just imagine if the unthinkable had happened a few years ago.
    You would never have known how to spell colour properly as in

    " Your shirt at the SE was pink in colour" :yesno: :rotflmao:

    Yeah yeah, I know :punch:
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • xausaxausa New Member Posts: 1 New Member
    Years ago, in the 1960's, I was a Lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserve. One year our unit was bussed to Fort Campbell, KY for our annual requalification with the M1 rifle. The 101 Airborne Division furnished armorers to check our rifles to assure that they were safe to fire. To their astonisment, all were.

    I asked the armorers if their experience with the paratroopers was otherwise. They replied that is was standard practice among the soldiers to assign one man per squad to clean all the weapons. The soldier would disassemble all the rifles and pile barrel and receiver groups, trigger groups, bolts, op rods and stocks into separate piles to be cleaned. The op rods were "spit shined" by plunging the piston end into the sand filled cigarette urns and rotating them until all the carbon was polished off. When the other parts were clean, the rifles were reassembled with no concern for which bolt belonged to which rifle.

    As a consequence, when the armorers checked them out prior to range firing, virtually all had headspace problems and the op rods were mostly undersized and had to be replaced. And this was the unit which was our first reaction force throughout the 1950's. We Marines were horrified, but it confirmed our opinion of the "doggies".
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 25,786 Senior Member
    You're one lucky Kiwi! Like Jerry said, the tight headspace with the wrong bolt was a good thing. The 98 action has a good deal of camming force when closing the bolt and probably 'squished' the head rim into the bolt face. But shooting the 8mm with the wrong bolt could have been a bit exciting with what would have undoubtedly been excessive headspace.
    Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.


  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,492 Senior Member
    Alec, glad nothing bad happaned and you got the bolts straightened out. Quick story, a good friend and experenced handloader, hunter, and competition shooter, had 2 types of ammo on the bench, he chambered a .308 in a .300 Win mag ( ruger M-77 ) the extractor held the cartridge when he pulled the trigger, it blew off the extractor and floorplate, split the stock cut his arm, and peppered his face with brass, he did have glasses on. I had to remove the bbl. to get the bolt out, the cartridge head was welded to the bolt face.

    This was a man with over 40 years of experence. You can never be to carefull.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • SirGeorgeKillianSirGeorgeKillian Senior Member Posts: 5,458 Senior Member
    xausa wrote: »
    Years ago, in the 1960's, I was a Lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserve. One year our unit was bussed to Fort Campbell, KY for our annual requalification with the M1 rifle. The 101 Airborne Division furnished armorers to check our rifles to assure that they were safe to fire. To their astonisment, all were.

    I asked the armorers if their experience with the paratroopers was otherwise. They replied that is was standard practice among the soldiers to assign one man per squad to clean all the weapons. The soldier would disassemble all the rifles and pile barrel and receiver groups, trigger groups, bolts, op rods and stocks into separate piles to be cleaned. The op rods were "spit shined" by plunging the piston end into the sand filled cigarette urns and rotating them until all the carbon was polished off. When the other parts were clean, the rifles were reassembled with no concern for which bolt belonged to which rifle.

    As a consequence, when the armorers checked them out prior to range firing, virtually all had headspace problems and the op rods were mostly undersized and had to be replaced. And this was the unit which was our first reaction force throughout the 1950's. We Marines were horrified, but it confirmed our opinion of the "doggies".

    Welcome Aboard
    Unless life also hands you water and sugar, your lemonade is gonna suck!
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    I'm in love with a Glock
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