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Any input? Question on sportsterizing a WWII bolt action rifle.

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flamin lib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-10 01:22 PM
Original message
Any input? Question on sportsterizing a WWII bolt action rifle.
I've got several inexpensive WWII bolt action rifles in my collection. Some better examples than others. So if I wanted to convert one to a sportster, how short could I make the barrel and still expect a 2-3 inch group at 100 yards?

Here's the deal. I occasionally hunt Ferraro pigs. Most shots will be relatively close in; 50-75 yards. For pigs the kill zone is about 4 inches in diameter. For deer it's more like 9 inches. With the loads I'm shooting anything that even nicks the zone will do the job. So, allowing for less than bench shooting conditions I figure I need at least half that size group.

I see the AR series offered with less than 20 inch barrels. Most .30 cal rifles have 26 inch but are accurate to 400 yards. The rifles I own are accurate to beyond 500 yards and beyond (three out of five hitting an 18 inch target at 1000 yards).

So, for brush shooting and reliable performance at, say 125 yards max, how much can I cut of the end of the barrel?

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ejbrush Donating Member (186 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-10 09:57 PM
Response to Original message
1. Not going to try and talk you out of anything.
I'm ambivilant about sporterizing old rifles. On one hand, they are historical pieces, and they're never going to be any more made. On the other hand, they are your property and you can do as you see fit. If you've got the tinkering bug, you've got the bug. Just try and whittle away at the least rare and most decrepit one of the bunch.

That being said, in my experience the potential accuracy for a rifle has little to do with the barrel length. I have a K31 Swiss carbine that started life with a 26" barrel. Of the bench, it was good for about 2" @ 100yds. After trimming it back to 20" and glass-bedding the stock, the group size remains 2". That's with iron sights, too. Never really took to needing a scope for hunting under 150 yards.

More important than the barrel length is the condition of the muzzle crown. I have a M1896 Krag-Jorgerson rifle that I picked up with practically no rifling at all left in the barrel, could maybe get a 8" group at 50 yards. I recut the crown and the group dropped to about 4" - not great, but definately minute-of-whitetail.

As an aside, if you every come upon a Krag rifle of any sort, I highly recommend them. The action is like clarified butter on glass - not enough o's in smoooooooth.
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flamin lib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thanks for the reply.
I've got four examples of MN and one has a counter bore barrel and a spliced stock. Among other places I hunt from a 3x3 stand with a roof on it. Kinda hard to maneuver a 49" rifle in there. I've been known to run through the thicket to get ahead of the pigs when they move through the property, also difficult with a 49 inch gun.

Like I said, the AR comes with barrels as short as 14 inches but I wonder if the twist rate etc would be different or if there were other factors to preclude shortening the MN to 20 inches.

Now, the really clean samples are safe and secure and my K31 arrives Wednesday.
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oneshooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-18-10 08:54 PM
Response to Reply #2
3.  Federal law says that the shortest barrel allowed on a rifle
is 18". That being said, a shorter barrel can be had by permanently affixing a 4" flash hider. You can also conceder a M38 or a M44 carbine. They come with a 18"barrel and a folding bayonet to boot! Ya know thats just in case the porker gets too close!
Add a drop in sporter stock,either wood or injection molded,and better low light sights, and your o0ff to the races!!

Boyds gunstocks: http://www.boydsgunstocks.com/RIA-Replacement-Stocks-fo...

Country Shed: http://www.thecountryshed.com/mosin_nagant_stocks_and_a...

CombatHunting: http://www.combathunting.com/Products-MOSIN_NAGANT.html

Good luck, and happy hunting!

Oneshooter
Armed and Livin in Texas
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flamin lib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-21-10 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. Good links. I've bookmarked them.
I've got the AT stock and scope mount/scope. It didn't require any modification so I can put it back in the collection when I feel like it.
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benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-10 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. Actually it's 16" for rifles, 18" for shotguns. (n/t)
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Naked_Ape Donating Member (89 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-19-10 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. 7.62X54r has slow powder
the shorter 44 and 39 carbines make a big flash as unburned powder exits. Don't cut too much (just past the counter-bore) and get a good crown. Those porkers can be mean and you don't want to give up too much stopping power.
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flamin lib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-21-10 09:40 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Thanks, that's the kind of input I'm looking for. nt
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ejbrush Donating Member (186 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-23-10 11:24 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. A Mosin?
Break out the hacksaw and let the chips fly! Shortest legal *rifle* barrel is 16" (shotguns are 18"), so you can make a right handy carbine if you want. As pointed out above, you will have one hellacious fireball when you touch it off, but it will be fun. I recommend the Silver Bear 203gr. softpoints for a Mosin, they are plenty accurate and will still pack a real whallop out of a short barrel.
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old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-10 08:03 AM
Response to Original message
8. I have been interested in surplus WWII rifles for over 40 years - DON'T
DO IT! You will be spending much more money than it will be worth when finished.
If you want a handy woods rifle for hogs, just get a shorter Mosin and use it as is...you probably won't need a scope for it anyway. Also, any old Mauser or Lee Enfield would be a good brush rifle, but the shorter the better. I would not cut down barrels, re-stock, etc - you will spend more just on parts than the cost of a very good used commercial rifle, and if you ever sold it, you will find you won't get any money for it - the military collector interest in modified rifles is zero.
You can still find some OLD previously sportered military rifles around for very little money, and that would be my suggestion if you really want something like that. I have a 1943 Kar98 Mauser that was sporterized in the 1960's. It has a .308 Win barrel, turned down and polished bolt handle, jeweled bolt and new safety and it was drilled and tapped for scope mounts. It is a very classy rifle, shoots very well and cost me about $275. I have installed a fiberglass stock and improved the trigger, and it is my favorite rifle...BUT-to do that to a 98 Mauser these days would probably cost well over a thousand dollars.

Save your money and buy a used Savage.

mark
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krispos42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-04-10 02:04 AM
Response to Original message
10. How about a lever-action gun instead?
Marlin makes lever-action carbines in hard-hitters like .45-70 Gov't. Those are almost as powerful as a 30-06 at the muzzle, with more momentum (about 15% more) and a larger wound cavity to boot.

The .450 Marlin is even more powerful.

Or you can get a regular-length one in .44 Magnum, which has a muzzle energy of about 1,600 ft-lbs when fired from a rifle. 240 grains at 1,750 ft/s isn't anything to laugh at. And those rifles hold 10 rounds, instead of 4.

Just an idea...
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