The concensus pretty much is to avoid .308 factory ammo.Use known 7.62/.308 reloads that are loaded to below 45,000 PSI.There might be other opinions to follow.
Hi all, I know this subject has been discussed several times, but all I need is a yes or no.
Are surplus 7.62 NATO (non-commerical) loads safe to fire in these conversions? Are there any loads to watch out for?
Also are the loads by Prvi Partizan OK in these rifles?
Lastly, what's your opinion on rifles converted done by Gov't arsenals, good, bad or what?
Thanks so much!!!!
The concensus pretty much is to avoid .308 factory ammo.Use known 7.62/.308 reloads that are loaded to below 45,000 PSI.There might be other opinions to follow.
You might want to read this:
Firstly, the Spanish and Latin American Converted Rifles ARE NOT ".308" rifles--- they are 7,62x51 Rifles, for use with Military ammo. Some importers simply stamped ".308" on (Spanish) converts, to facilitate sales in the "non-metric" USA. Notice I did NOT say "7,62 Nato", as Spain originally converted these rifles to use their own 7,62x51 Cetme Cartridge, and the Latin Users did not belong to the "NATO" circle, even though their ammo followed "NATO" Spec for the most part.
Now the actual metallurgy of the various conversions:
Israel... New Barrels to Mauser Kar98k profile, some made by FN, majority made by IMI. NO problems with either Military 7,62 or Commercial .308 Winchester.
Spain: Original Barrels ( M95 and M1916) Bored out, and a complete Liner fitted ( including chamber) and soldered in place. Some barrels show "flaking" of the outer tube from the inner sleeve; but otherwise, the "Tubing" ( Tubado) conversion is Sound, if used with proper Spanish 7,62x51 Ammo.
Any use of US Commercial .308 can lead to Barrel splits, receiver locking shoulder set back, and even cracked bolt lugs in the long term. This includes the FR-7 trainer made from M93/95/16 actions
Advice: use lower pressure Military ammo in Spanish converted rifles, or 80-90% Handloads of Military loads. Avoid commercial .308 ammo if you value your rifle and your physical integrity.
Spanish FR-8 short training rifles: made from M43 (98) Actions, so will be stronger than the M95 and M16 conversions. But originally made to be a "training substitute" in the 1950s, for the newly introduced 7,62 Cetme Assault rifle
( same cartridge, same sighting system, same bayonet and slinging arrangement, same OAL.)
Latin American Conversions: This refers mostly to Chile, but Peru, Brazil, and some other LA countiures converted some Mauser to 7,62mm in the 1950s-60s.
Chile: two types of conversion: For the M95 type Mausers, barrel sleeved by the Spanish method, but with this difference: barrel sleeve only takes up Part of the chamber, the rear being the original &mm chamber; the Joint between sleeve and chamber is soldered, and may become rough enough to cause case extraction problems with heavy use. Otherwise, normal 7,62 Ammo is ok.
For the M1912 Steyr Mausers ( marked "M1912/61" or simply "NATO") the Barrels have been replaced with re-cut Springfield Barrels ( 30/06 chamber shortened and recxut to 7,62x51, and rethreaded to fit Mauser receiver. THis is for the "Short Rifle" version. The rarer "Long rifle" ( 29inch Brl.) Conversion is also a "sleeve" type conversion. (AFAIK).
As these rifles were converted for use as Trainers and Police rifles, they were not made to fire on a heavy basis...more than likely a couple of clips a year, for Qualification, and that's it.
Advice: again, given the diverse nature of the Receiver types ( two lug and three-lug) and the age of the Actions...use low power 7,62 ammo, preferabl;ey 80% handloads.
Brazil: the M968 Mosquete "MosqueFal" 7,62 was made up using new or almost new DWM 1909 Actions, with New-made Barrels in 7,62mm...so any ammo can be used.
Peru: Peru converted a lot of its 7,65 rifles to .30/06, post-WW II...and some of its Short Rifles (FN M32) can also be found in 7.62mm..I have one, and the barrel looks like it has bveen rechambered and slightly set back (ie from 7,65 to 7,62)..the Bore is still 7,65 specs, so any shooting with BT bullets is likely to be less than accurate. Again, these rifles were made of "internal" Training and Policing work, and so would not have had large amounts of ammo through them. IN fact my example ( an FN32) has a bore that is almost brand new. Being a M98 design action, with a "solid" barrel, I would not have any problems with using .308 Commercial, but would prefer not to ( Rifle condition, value etc.).
Other L-A 7,62 conversions...Depends on who did the conversions, and how, and on whjat actions (see above details)
General considerations: on all "7,62" Conversions, whether new Barrel, completely rebored and rechambered barrel, or "Tubada" barrels, I would only use 7,62 Milsurp or Reduced charge Handloads, to the 45,000 CUP level, to match the early 7mm Actions (M93 and 95 types); Only the Israeli and the Brazilian and Spanish FR-8 would I even venture the use of "commercial" .308 ammo.
Last edited by DocAV; 05-23-2012 at 06:33 PM.
Jeez,didn't I say that in two sentences?
Yes, Gremlin, you did, but sometimes generalities cause more questions about specifics...that's why the long winded answer ( to cover A** and all bases as well)
And I suppose there will still be more questions about the differences between ".308" and 7,62mm, and also SAAMI and CIP and Nato specs, and so on ad infinitum.
Hmmmm, now just where did that nice Peruvian FN '32 come from eh?
It was STILL registered to me 5 years after I sold it to you Doc... total Weap Lic screw up, despite me telling them numerous times including a copy of the Form 10!
I'm Lewie the Fly...
Peruvian Mauser conversions were made in 2 different moments.
After WWII the US sold or gave a lot of 30-06 weaponry to many SA countries, so a batch of 1st line rifles were converted so a single caliber would be employed. In the early '50s the FN-1935 short rifles & carbines were the MBRs employed, while 1909s, VZ-32s & 24s still in 7.65x53mm were either stored, used by other units (Such as Air Force or Navy infantry), or detached to non-combatants such as Police, firemen, customs and State-sponsored civilian shooting clubs.
Thousands of FN-1935 short rifles (Still can't find a trusted source stating how many, but could be around 10,000 or so) along with a handful of 1909s were sent to Belgium probably in the early '50s to be "upgraded" by the manufacturer with new 30-06 barrels and related modifications (Receiver cut, ".30" stamp, etc.).
But then only a few years later the then-new FAL rifle in 7.62 NATO was adopted, so it was decided to send a 2nd. batch of FN-1935 short rifles & carbines along with VERY few 1909s (So far I've only seen one with shortened stock & 24" barrel) back to FN for the same modification, this time including a refinishing job (Dark grey parkerization) along with brand-new 7.62 NATO barrels, a magazine block to avoid loading the gun with the longer 7.65 or 30-06, and the "7.62" stamp. Once back, those guns (Probably another 10,000 or so) were either stored as reserve weapons or used in troop training; shooting clubs and Police kept the 7.65 Mausers 'till ammo supply got low and then switched to 7.62 FN35s (Last year the last remaining stock of around 200 of those still in Police depots was destroyed) while the firemen were not armed anymore.
The remaining FN35s along with most Mausers still in 7.65 or in 30-06 were sold as surplus to the US in the mid-60s, and only very few remained here in private hands, gun collections and Army depots that weren't able to delivery rifles on time for the surplus sale.
Either in 30-06 or 7.62NATO, both factory-made conversion jobs were excellent. My FN1935 works like a dream and shoots accurately even with the crappy local production or Chinese-made ammo the Army gives us registered shooters for the State-sponsored matches.
I had a Krag that was re-barreled to 7.62X51. I shot it until someone informed me that it wasn't a good idea. I've had several guns blow up on me, and never got much more than a scratch. This is all good info, BB
Not to reopen a can of worms, but if you think that a particular rifle is unsafe to shoot with commercial .308 because of high pressure, it is also unsafe to shoot with 7.62 NATO. The idea that they are loaded to different pressures is a net rumor that has been debunked and was based on different pressure gauges used to measure the pressure. The new STANAG standard pressure specs use the same gauge as the CIP standard and the pressure values for 7.62 NATO and commercial .308 are the same when you measure them with the same gauge. Err on the side of safety.
You can follow the links in the Wikipedia entry for 7.62 NATO to the original literature for the STANAG and CIP specs.
There is also the February 2008 issue of American Rifleman, page 20, where the editors deal with the ".308 vs 7.62, what's the difference" question. They say:
"Unlike using 5.56 x 45 mm NATO ammunnition in .223-chambered guns, which the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute (SAAMI) lists in its "Unsafe Arms and Ammunition Combinations" there is no such blanket prohibition on using .308 factory ammunition in 7.62 x 51 mm rifles or visa versa"
They also state:
"Also, military 7.62 x 51 loads can be encountered that exceed SAAMI's .308 Win maximum pressure of 62,000 psi."
All I know about the conversion (and it's not much) is here: http://masterton.us/Unmarked1916 There is a link on the page to a Guns & Ammo article that cites a lab study. Not sure where the information about the barrels of the Spanish 7.62 Model 1916's being drilled out and sleeved comes from. I have heard that, but not from any original Spanish source.
I have a 1916 Spanish Mauser, Civil Guardia Rifle, thats been Rechambered and is marked on the barrel. .308.
To be safe I hand load for mine, with a very mild charge of IMR 4895. My Handoads are lower pressure than the 7MM Mauser cartridge the Rifle was originally chambered for. I use good brass, and have had no problems other than the Rifle is funny about trying to chamber soft points. With my handloads I have had very nice accuracy to point of aim out to 130 yards.
I feel that the Tula .308 is safe in your Rifle, as the chamber pressure for that round is published at 42.700 PSI. Be sure that your Headspace is acceptable because steel dosent stretch as well as brass.
I have fired this cartridge in my 1916 Spainish Mauser, and it produced mild recoil and good accuracy. It did however require that I hold low at 100 Yards. This Cartridge is dirty and lacqured, you will need to clean your rifle when you get done firing, and the first few patches will be black. Other than this Cartridge or a Managed Recoil Cartridge, I would stick to handloading. I would not recomend using standard loaded amunition in this Rifle though its just too big of a risk.
I'm a novice at this,but the early Spanish mausers were small ring originally chambered in 7mm.The conversions were made in anticipation of the use of 7.62 cetme which,from what I've read,is equivilent in power to the old 7mm loadings.Factory .308 loads are loaded well above these limits.Why would you chance a disaster by using the higher powered loads?
Doc, I think you missed that the Steyr 1912 Long Rifles used the sleeve method for the rebore and rechamber. The only ones I know of with the US barrels are Short Rifles marked 1912-61.
Last edited by LVSteve; 05-27-2012 at 07:37 PM.
Damn the expense, use your turn signals today... and as a special favour, try doing it before you have two wheels in the next lane.
LV Steve, I did mention it, as an afterword to the Chilean M1912/61 conversions (Short rifles).
That's what speed-reading does...one sometimes misses important details.
My Mauser sporter was built on a Spanish M43 action, which is a 98 Mauser action. This was fitted with a US commercial barrel chambered in .308 Win...work was done by a good smith in the 1960's, as evidenced by the quality of the work. The bolt was bent for low mount scope, and the bolt shaft jeweled. Action is beautifully re-blued, bolt is white. I installed a Timney Sportsman trigger and an old US made Redfield 2 x 7 scope on steel mounts. I also put the rifle in a new plastic stock, keeping the Bishop walnut stock aside.
The rifle is very accurate and smooth,and the sporter cost me about $250.
I have owned several South American Mauser conversions based on earlier Mauser actions, and they made me nervous, although one that used a surplus O3A3 springfield barrel chambered for 7.62 x 51 seemed to be very solid and a good rifle overall. Can't remember who made those, but it is long gone.
This thread is going nowhere fast.
please note, very early in the thread..i suggested the poster need to tell us what rifle...all else is conjecture and bs.
I hope you have a wonderfull day.
The guy simply doesn't know what he is asking. He wants a yes or no answer to I guess what he thinks is a simple question as if Spanish/S-A Mauser conversions are all the same and indeed all Mausers are the same.
With many of these conversions the answer is simple....
Do you feel lucky?
I think he fled the country.The whole thread is now moot.............................................. .....
Hi Guys, no didn't leave the country! Not yet. Sorry I kind of lost track on this one.
I really was not refering to anyone gun, just you general thoughts on the subject.
But, it seems like there are a lot of Spanish 1916's available, and 7.62 is fairly cheap.
So....what say you about this gun/cartridge combo?
Thanks again and sorry!
If you are interested in Spanish military history, you need one. Otherwise, if you want a 7.62 military rifle to shoot a lot, get an Israeli or Chilean short rifle where the conversion involved a new barrel. If you want a .308 to hunt with, get a Savage 110.
If you want an inexpensive military rifle to shoot a lot, I recommend a Yugoslav or Turkish 98 action system rifle or a Czech VZ-24. All can be found for less than $200 with good bores if you look. The 7.92 x57 is just as good as 7.62 Nato for plinking targets with a milsurp.
If you specifically want a small ring Mauser to shoot, get a Swedish 1896 or 38. Or a Chilean 1895 if you can find one.
You asked for advice and there is mine. I have been shooting Mausers for 50 years and currently handload for 6.5, 7, 7.62, 7.65 and 7.92 bore sizes for them. I shoot a number of nice "collector" weapons with as much care as possible and often hunt with Mausers showing varying degrees of "Bubba" craftsmanship. It is a lot of fun, to me.
Disclaimer: I do not own a Spanish 1916 and the only Spanish Mausers I have owned and shot are in 7x57. I do not personally know anyone who has been killed/maimed by a 1916 7.62 conversion like I do know about with automobiles, horses, cows, wars, airplanes, wives, brother-in-laws, etc., but I would not go out and buy a converted 1916 to shoot a lot when there are simply many other, and IMO better, choices.
ok here is the link
you can forget all the "help" you got earlier and deal with FACTS.
the rifles are safe to shoot....7.62 nato and 308 win!
more internet wives tales clogging up the world
glad to see we finally got a rifle specified.
mike in co
Well now, that magazine article sounds pretty good. We all know how magazine writers get their facts 100% correct all of the time. One would expect that, the story being correct, SAMCO would feature that information in their M1916 Mauser ads. Below is what they currently have to say on their website where space is not a cost issue:
M1916 Spanish Mauser
Cal. .308 Win
Manufactured at famous Oviedo factory in Spain for the Spanish Army. Converted to use ever plentiful 7.62 Nato (.308WIN) round. Short rifle. Polished turned down bolt, 5 round magazine, fixed side support and sling swivel.
Barrel: 21" Overall: 44.3"
We can ship now. Order YOURS for the Hunting Season!
Maybe you, since you seem to be interested, can post the copy they fax to you.
naw , i dont have one.
you questioned it, go for it.
i just see humor in most of the "don't do this" post by people with no facts.
i have an fr8, an fn israeli and a parkerhale all in conversions.....
40 posts when 4/5 would have done...
first reply should have been ...WHAT RIFLE.
then facts could have followed, instead we get 30 plus posts of bs..because they do not know what rifle....
mike in co
I was right, sort of, the Man was asking about a Small Ring Spanish Mauser. A 1916 Spanish Mauser in this case.
The reason I knew this, or assumed this is because I didnt think the question would make sense if he was asking about one of the Large Ring mauser variety, because anyone who knows anything at all about firearms, knows that a Large Ring Mauser can handle the pressure of a .308 Winchester. Sometimes I make the mistake of assuming that everyone has common sense.
If it helps, I own a 1916 Spanish Mauser, that I ordered from Samco Global Arms, and shoot it fairly regularly.
It is very accurate, The Stock looks like the surface of The Moon, and the Blueing is gone, but the Rifeling is very good, there is no pitting, and the Rifle has a very good crown. I shoot handloads in it, Very Mild Handloads, and plink sometimes with Tula Steel Cased ammo. My Rifle that I recieved does not feed soft points very well at all, but cycles reliably with Full Metal Jacket Spitzers. The long pointed bullets line up in the chamber and cycle, but the soft points often jam on the breach. Anyhow, to the poster good luck and dont let the internet hype scare you away from these rifles, they are worth having, and are nice shooters.
Last edited by TX Hunter; 05-30-2012 at 06:18 PM. Reason: Made slight correction
Small Ring Spanish Mauser.
For those whose minds are not made up, I suggest a reading of the discussion in Kuhnhausen's book "The Mauser Bolt Actions, a shop manual" of Mauser receiver hardness, lug recess setback and caliber recommendations for re-barreling small ring Mausers. I have had personal experience with lug setback in the 1893 in the original 7x57. It becomes quite difficult to open the action after firing and the cases stretch.
The companies that reline barrels have definate upper limits of the cartridge pressure range that they will turn out (well below 60,000 psi) and the companies that sell pre-fit barrels for small ring Mausers generally limit cartridges to 7x57 or .35 Reminton, etc. The Swedes did all kinds of modifications to M1896 actions (9.3x62, .30/06, .270 Win) but they were working with probably the best of the small ring (pre-1898) actions. It helps that Mauser actions tend to stretch from excessive pressure rather than fragment.
In the end, Machiavelli summed up: "An unwise prince cannot be well advised".