I had an "itch that I couldn't scratch" to build a custom .308 Mauser out of a Mod.48 Mauser (Yugo). Started with a really cherry barrelled action and though I would get out "reasonably" cheap, since my gunsmith who built the rifle is a good friend. I had to argue with him to take more money for his labor, since he worked for almost nothing. The rifle turned out GREAT, but cost a WHOLE LOT. Just parts like a Timminy trigger, safety shroud, new barrel, stock, scope mounts, scope, etc., etc. just ATE UP MONEY. Labor would/should have been through the roof!!!!!!! If you have to pay to have the bolt handle moved or reshaped, the bolt lapped, the rifle readied for good scope mounts, inletting and bedding the stock, installing shroud, fitting the barrel, and tuning new trigger, you are in for a WHOLE LOT OF EXPENSE. If your heart is set on a custom Mauser, scout the shows for one that is close to what you want and start there. They ARE out there for a lot less than you can have the work done for. Take it from one who wouldn't listen when the same advice was given to him!!!!! I am not proud of my mistakes, but hopefully someone can learn from them.
While I do love the resulting rifle, if I had it to do over again, I would just go out and buy a Remington 700 or something similar. It would be MUCH CHEAPER, and still shoot better than I do.
Think it over carefully before you begin. Didn't mean to lecture, but hate for someone to get into it without their eyes being WIDE open. Best of luck to you and Happy Trails.......
Jeffro is right. You don't build custom rifles in order to save money. Chances are you will never get your money out of it if you have to sell it either. That being said, I'm getting started on my 4th custom Mauser. Sometimes I think I have more money than sense...
Check with the gunsmith schools. I had a M98 turned into a custom 7 X 57 many years ago by a school. First class all the way. I furnished a good Circassian Walnut blank from Turkey and a 98 bbl action. They installed a Douglas premium bbl, a Timneny trigger, d&t for Redfield bases, bolt shroud, sling swivels, blued it and finished the stock. Laped the lugs and trued the face of the action. Shoots 1 MOA easily with Federal 139 hunting loads. Cost was unbelieable by todays standard.
Listen to Jefro. Building a sporter from a military Mauser is not cost efective.
You said you wanted a 30" barrel so you would get 300 Weatherby performance from a 300 Win. You will not enhance the Win mag. by making the barrel any longer than 26" and it will never match the Weatherby. I have a little problem with Remington calling it's big magnum "ULTRA". Weatherby's magnum series has been around about 50 years and Remington has the balls to call their's "ultra".
Don't let me talk you out of the Rem. Ultra Mag. I don't have one and know little about them, but I know it is one of the "Big" magnums. I put together a .300 Weatherby about 30 years ago and have enjoyed shooting it. It hits your shoulder hard , makes a lot of noise, gets great groups and attracts a lot of attention at the range. But, as far as North American hunting goes...the "short Magnums" (300 Win, 308 Norma, 338 Win Etc.) will do as well as the "big" Magnums. I only hunted with mine twice and failed to shoot it. It is kind of an over kill for white tail. I never hunted anything larger than black bear, which also does not need the Weatherby/Ultra .
A guy came to the range the other day with a '98 Mauser re-chambered to 8mm-06. I think that is a great way to get a little more out of your Mauser with very little expense. It is a basic re-chambering with no other modifications required.
Battle, I sunk over $2000 in a Mauser conversion last year. The masses here have spoken, and they are right. Be prepared to spend some big money. If you want a .300 Ultra, be prepared to have the barrel replaced every 5000 rounds, as they eat barrels up. I had mine rebarreled to .338/06, and have not regretted it. I stayed away from the Magnums, as the barrel life is cut by a solid third with one. If you want a Magnum, do yourself a favor and buy a rifle already chambered for it. Devil Dog is right, too. The 8mm/06 is excellent, and is a lot cheaper. It's an excellent cartridge for the money, and is easier on your shoulder/wallet. Good luck.
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