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Bad rust pitting on old Mauser #5408187 04/19/20 08:09 PM
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nwjones18 Offline OP
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A couple years ago I bought a 'gunsmith special' 1916 spanish mauser in 7x57 from JG sales to play with. The gun I got was ROUGH, but complete. Its sat in the box since then because I just didn't feel like cleaning it up and one of the screws attaching the floorplate to the receiver was mangled to the point of me having to drill it to get the gun apart. I finally did it today and as I suspected its got some very deep pitting under the wood. Some on the receiver some on the barrel but the chamber area is pretty clean, and the inside of the chamber/bore is in shockingly good condition. Would you all shoot this thing? The pitt look awful, but I don't think any of them go beyond 10-15% of the way through the metal. I've got plenty of old mausers in good condition to shoot, but was curious what the group opinion would be on this one..
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Last edited by wwillson; 04/19/20 08:26 PM. Reason: fix pictures

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Re: Bad rust pitting on old Mauser [Re: nwjones18] #5408207 04/19/20 08:29 PM
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JBinTX30 Offline
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just surface rust u can clean up and re-blu. That pitting I don't think you can do anything too. Maybe just keep it from getting worse.

best bet is to get the rust and old bluing off and just reblue or whatever coating over the pitting.


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Re: Bad rust pitting on old Mauser [Re: nwjones18] #5408364 04/20/20 05:17 AM
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demarpaint Offline
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Without knowing the condition of the bore itself it would be hard to advise for or against shooting the weapon. The bore might be in better or worse condition than the exterior of the barrel.


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Re: Bad rust pitting on old Mauser [Re: demarpaint] #5408395 04/20/20 06:47 AM
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nwjones18 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by JBinTX30
just surface rust u can clean up and re-blu. That pitting I don't think you can do anything too. Maybe just keep it from getting worse.

best bet is to get the rust and old bluing off and just reblue or whatever coating over the pitting.


I'm not trying to make this one look good.. Just curious if its safe to shoot..

Originally Posted by demarpaint
Without knowing the condition of the bore itself it would be hard to advise for or against shooting the weapon. The bore might be in better or worse condition than the exterior of the barrel.


I briefly mentioned it in the OP, but the bore/chamber is bright and shiney with no rust.. This gun is the opposite of what i'm used to with surplus, which is normally decent looking on the outside and a rough bore from corrosive ammo..


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Re: Bad rust pitting on old Mauser [Re: nwjones18] #5408446 04/20/20 08:28 AM
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IMSA_Racing_Fan Offline
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Do you have another gun such as a .30-06 to compare it by? It may be overbuilt at the chamber.

Now the disclaimer: NO DON'T SHOOT IT

Re: Bad rust pitting on old Mauser [Re: nwjones18] #5408564 04/20/20 10:22 AM
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Astro14 Offline
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I wouldn't shoot it.

Too hard to tell, without magnaflux or some other NDI testing, if the corrosion goes deeper or has cause a crack or flaw in the metal. A bit of surface pitting, OK, but that's awfully deep...

A shame. I love old rifles like that - a piece of history and craftsmanship that you hold in your hands.

Last edited by Astro14; 04/20/20 10:23 AM.

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Re: Bad rust pitting on old Mauser [Re: nwjones18] #5408794 04/20/20 04:05 PM
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emg Offline
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The obvious answer is: ask a gunsmith.

I've fired a Lee-Enfield with similar or worse pitting, which the local gunsmith had passed as safe. So while I'd be wary of shooting it without getting a second opinion from someone who knows what they're doing, it may well be safe to do so.

As others have said, the bigger risk would be if there's a crack or other damage hidden beneath the pitting.

Re: Bad rust pitting on old Mauser [Re: nwjones18] #5409668 04/21/20 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by nwjones18


I'm not trying to make this one look good.. Just curious if its safe to shoot..


That pitting on the receiver looks pretty deep and shiny bores can be deceptive ( makes me wonder what they were trying to hide)

I will err on the extreme side of caution because of the injury potential and recommend you call an NDT firm close to you and see if they will X ray or UT it. ( should cost around $100 for a drive by item and they might cut you some slack in the south)

The only other option is a proof load but that runs the risk of destroying the weapon and often a shock load can "create" cracks that were not previously there thus giving a false sense of security.

You would need to break the barrel from the receiver and test both

If you wanted to repair those pits on the receiver- you could TIG them then dress/finish and it would blue beautifully ( but that's work and would exceed the value of the weapon unless you had access to the stuff and wanted a project)

Personally, I would re barrel to a different caliber for that part but that's just me.

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