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K98k Shooting Clinic "Part II"


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8mm Loading Caution!
Bore Cleaning-after use of Corrosive Ammo
Bedding a Mauser action

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8mm Loading Caution!

Here's the article. It's interesting that we may have to re-think loading for the various 8mm Mauser's. Apparently, they are not all 'the same'.

A loading caution from Dave Emary 2-15-02

While working with the 8X57 195 SP, I did some shooting in my G33/40. It has a nearly new barrel. I fired the same load as my earlier post that I fired in the 237/1940 K98. This load shot 2,530 fps in the 4.25" shorter barrel G33/40. This answers a question I have had and been trying to get to for a while. The Czechs put a totally different rifling form in their barrels than the Germans. The Czech rifling has lands about 3 times the width of the German rifling.

These much wider lands cause much higher forces to be required to engrave the bullet. This equates to a higher pressure being required to produce this force. The bottom line is that with a fixed charge weight the Czech rifling will produce substantially more pressure in the chamber than the German rifling form. A G33/40 should shoot approximately 80 - 100 fps slower than a k98 because of the shorter barrel for fixed chamber pressure. I had to drop my charge 4.5 grains to accomplish this. With the 195 SP the G33/40 with 43.5 gr N150 shot 2,362 fps, 85 fps slower than the K98, with a 48 grain charge. It shot much better groups at this velocity, 2 - 2.5" at 100.

THE MORAL OF THIS STORY IS IF YOU DEVELOP LOADS IN A GERMAN MADE 8 X 57 YOU NEED TO DROP THE CHARGE AT 4 - 5 GRAINS IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHOOT IT IN A CZECH MADE RIFLE, IF YOU WANT TO KEEP THE CHAMBER PRESSURES COMPARABLE.

Dave Emary

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Bore Cleaning-after use of Corrosive Ammo

There are a couple of very good methods for cleaning a rifle after firing corrosive surplus ammunition. In most cases, only the primers are corrosive which contain Potassium Chlorate. Some ammunition also uses corrosive powder like cordite and in some older cartridges, black powder.

The first is using hot water and dish washing liquid. Use any dishwashing liquid you prefer and some real hot water. The hotter the better and I prefer to boil the water. The main reason for using hot water is not only does it clean better than cold but also that it heats the metal and evaporates very fast.

The best way to clean with the water and soap is to place the pan of water and soap on the floor. Then take a tight patch and run it down the bore from the breech using your cleaning rod slotted tip and stop at the muzzle. I prefer to use a bore guide as well. This helps prevent water from getting into the receiver and into the stock.

Once the patch is at the muzzle stick the muzzle into the pan of water and soap. You do not have to stick the whole end of the barrel into the water/soap just the muzzle and keep in there while you clean. Then work the patch back and forth in the bore. The tight patch will work as a piston and pull the water up into the bore. The thing to remember is to keep the patch in the bore and do not pull it up into the chamber or push it out the muzzle or you will loose suction.

After a few passes you will feel the barrel heat up from the water. Keep cleaning and changing the water until the water and soap solution stay clean. You then need to rinse the bore with hot water using the same method as you did cleaning. Then dry the bore very well. After drying, you need to clean the bore with a good copper solvent like Sweets 7.62, Boretech Benchrest Blend or Boretech Copper remover.

The reason for this is to remove the copper from the bore that primer salts could be hidden under and missed by the soap and water. Just follow the directions on the solvent bottle and once the patches stop coming out green blue you are done and can oil the bore.

The next method is to use an ammonia based cleaner. The Sweets 7.62 and the Boretech products will effectively neutralize the corrosive primer salts by themselves and is my preferred method. Just clean as the directions recommend. Continue until the bore is clean and the patches do not show any fouling. Then oil the bore. You will use a bunch of patches as compared to the hot water and soap.

You can also use the old U.S.G.I bore cleaner. That is if you can find any. Its not hard to recognize .It has a black color and smells like a sewer pipe. This is a tried and trued solvent and works better than most of the new chemicals. Just use it as you would any other bore cleaner. Although it will not remove copper fouling.

One other item that works very well is Ballistol oil mixed 50/50 with water. This is commonly called "Moose milk" by the black powder shooters. I have tried the "moose milk" for cleaning my Mauser's and black powder guns and itís very effective in removing the fouling and neutralizing the corrosive compounds. To use it just clean the bore as you would with any other bore cleaner and dry the bore. Follow it up with one of the copper solvents. And oil the bore.

I would also recommend the following no matter which method you choose to use as your final cleaning. You need to do an initial cleaning at the range. For this you can use a mixture of ammonia and water mixed 50/50 or Windex with ammonia D. This is the most common and recommended method used for at the range cleaning. You can also use your ammonia based bore cleaners if you prefer .But the bore cleaners are expensive and if you have shooting buddies like me a bottle will go fast at the range. Once you have finished shooting for the day, wet a patch with the ammonia/water solution or Windex and run it down the bore from the breech and remove it at the muzzle. This will neutralize the corrosive primer salts instantly. With the same patch that you wet the bore with wipe the bolt face as well. Immediately dry the bolt face and bore. You will need to run several dry patches through the bore to make sure it is dry. The ammonia will instantly remove all traces of oil as well, so a coat of oil in the bore and on the bolt face should be applied immediately or rust may form.

One thing to remember is to take care and keep the ammonia off of your bluing and finished wood. The surfaces can be damaged or removed in a short time. Just remember to wipe off any of the ammonia immediately. Do not leave the ammonia or Windex in the bore for long periods of time. If the ammonia stays in the bore long enough it can frost the surface of the bore. Not to mention the water thatís in the mixture which can cause rust to form. Drying the surfaces and bore with patches or rags as soon as possible is all thatís needed to remove the ammonia and there is no need to rinse with water.

A couple other things I would note is to make sure none of the corrosive residue has made it into the front receiver ring or inside the bolt. If the bolt face shows primer residue from a leaking primer or if you by chance rupture a primer I would wipe the inside of the front receiver ring and clean the inside of the bolt. I like to use Ballistol mixed with water 50/50 or Windex for this. Wet a patch with the Windex or the Ballistol water mixture and wipe out the inside of the front ring very well, dry and oil it immediately. Just make sure you get all the fouling out that you can. I prefer the Ballistol and water mixture since its not as hard on bluing as the ammonia in the Windex.

Not to mention that although the Ballistol is mixed with water it will not allow rust to form. Iíve tested this and itís a fact.

In the case of a ruptured primer, I would clean any surface that could have been contaminated with the corrosive residues.

Then disassemble the bolt and spray the Ballistol water mix or Windex down through the inside of the bolt and dry it immediately. Donít forget to wipe off the firing pin tip or any other parts that may have been contaminated. Oil the parts immediately after cleaning and drying.

The main thing to remember is to clean the rifle the day you shoot it and as soon as possible .And if you feel like you may have missed something clean it again. I would also go back after a day or two and check the rifle and bore for rust just in case. Donít forget to run a couple of dry patches through the bore before you fire the rifle to remove any oil.

A note about the copper solvents. The Sweets 7.62 is recommended not to be left in the bore for longer than 15 minutes. I donít think it has as much to do with possible bore damage but the fact that it makes a white paste when it dries in the bore. It is a excellent product and probably one of the most popular. The Boretech bore solvents are excellent products. They use buffered ammonia and will not harm barrel steel even if they are left in the bore overnight. They also contain a rust preventative that will protect the bore from rust.

Either brand will do an excellent job.

For a very good oil I would recommend Ballistol or Breakfree CLP. The Ballistol is very effective in cleaning and removing powder residues and copper fouling. Also it is a weak copper solvent and this gives it an advantage over the Breakfree CLP. Either way you can't go wrong with either one of them.

Raymond Haines

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Bedding a Mauser action

I found this in "Mauser Bolt action Rifles" by Ludwig Olson, third edition: "PROPER BEDDING OF GERMAN CARBINE 98k (from official German Ordinance document).

(1) Bayonet lug to clear barrel by 0.2mm.

(2) Forward part of stock channel to bear upward against the barrel lightly.

(3) Tapered part of stock channel forward of rear sight and shoulder on forward part of this tapered section to clear barrel all the way around by 0.5mm.

(4) Rear cylindrical section of stock channel to clear barrel by 0.5mm., except at top edge of channel where it can lightly contact barrel and sight base.

(5) Recoil lug on bottom of receiver to fit stock uniformly and tightly. Recoil lug must bear firmly against recoil shoulder (recoil crossbolt) on stock.

(6) 20mm. at bottom rear end of receiver tang to contact stock firmly.

(7) 25mm. at rear and 20mm. at front of trigger guard to contact stock tightly.

(8) Front of sight base projection which retains handguard must clear top of stock by 0.3mm."

To this I will some more criteria that I have learned at the School of Hard Knocks:

Looking at (1) and (2) above, you should note that the contact between the barrel and the stock at the forend tip should be on the wood of the stock, not the metal. As built, the wood would have been just slightly higher than the metal. Many of the Mausers I have examined will have contact between the barrel and the metal of the forend tip/bayonet lug, due to shrinkage of the wood through the years and/or wartime tolerances. The contact of the barrel here needs to be with a resilient material, as the purpose of the contact is to dampen vibrations. A piece of very thin gasket paper placed in the barrel channel just behind the bayonet lug can restore this crucial contact. Use the thinnest material you can find that will keep the barrel clear of the metal. A shim that is too thick will cause problems with the fit of the upper band.

With the barreled action set into the bare stock (trigger guard removed, no action screws), try to "rock" the barreled action on the recoil lug by applying alternate thumb pressure at the tang and the front of the barrel. If the action "rocks", or see-saws (pivots on the recoil lug), the rear of the tang must be shimmed to eliminate the rocking. This satisfies criterion No. (6) above. I use aluminum sheet or roof flashing, available at most hardware stores in various thicknesses, very easy to shape. See pic.

There should be no contact between the receiver and magazine box. If there is contact, you can be certain that the receiver is not being clamped tightly into the stock as it should be. There must be small amount of clearance: only about 1/64" is needed, certainly no more than 1/32". If the magazine box is in contact with the receiver with the rifle assembled, clearance can be created by shimming the front of the trigger guard. See pic.

If your rifle has locking guard screws, either leave the lock screws off entirely, or put them in the neutral position and leave them there, so the guard screws can be tightened snugly without interference. If the locking recesses just happen to line up with the lock screws, you are incredibly lucky. I would still leave the lock screws in neutral. If you put some linseed oil on the threads of the guard screws and the lock screws, it will congeal enough to prevent them from loosening, and you will still be able to remove them easily.

With the rifle fully assembled, you should be able to push up on the end of the barrel and see some upward movement of the barrel before it contacts the upper band. Again, it does not need to be much, only a few thousandths will do. If there is no movement, the barrel is likely "trapped", that is, clamped tightly between the stock and the upper band. This is fatal to accuracy, as it prevents the barrel from freely expanding as it heats up. The barrel will then get distorted, and shots will wander unpredictably. The "fix" involves removing some material from the inside of the upper band where it contacts the barrel. A Dremel tool with a coarse sander band works well for this. See pic.

The use of Play-Dough for estimating clearances is a variation of "taking leads", using lead wire to measure bearing clearances. I have used modeling clay to do the same thing when checking wood-metal fit, because I have it around to keep Marine Tex from flowing into places that it does not belong when bedding an action. The clay, being oil-based, is very adherent (it's a Royal PITA to remove, especially from wood), but that property is necessary when keeping the bedding material where it belongs. Play Dough, being water based, should be easier to remove from wood (and carpets, if I remember from the Dark Ages when I had kids that were "Play-Dough age"), so it would be a better material for estmating wood-metal clearances. Good idea!

Resp'y,
Bob S.

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