How strong are the action/chamber of Brazilian 30-06 Mausers?
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Old 02-25-2010, 01:26 AM   #1
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Default How strong are the action/chamber of Brazilian 30-06 Mausers?

A buddy is going to give me his this weekend, and scanty Internet info states that the 50's conversions resulted in either 'hard but brittle metal', or strong metal.
It is impossible for me to determine whether any of the info is reliable.
I've read claims and heard about the Spanish/Latin. American 7mm conversions to .308 (NATO 7.62), in that this stretched the pressure design to its limit.

What is the truth about these rifles? My buddy (in another city) was told some seemingly far-fetched story that they had been built in the 1880s as muzzle-loaders, then converted to 30-06 in the 30s or early 40s because Germany would not ship the correct ammo to a US ally. The story he either read or was told seems a bit bizarre. Too many Internet reports list no sources.

Were the chambers completely replaced by components from an actual 30-06, and were they designed/produced in Brazil, another Latin American country, or all done in the US, and shipped right back to Brazil?

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Old 02-25-2010, 03:10 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laufer View Post
A buddy is going to give me his this weekend, and scanty Internet info states that either the 50's conversions resulted in either 'hard but brittle metal', or strong metal.
It is impossible for me to determine whether any of the info is reliable.
I've read claims and heard about the Spanish/Latin. American 7mm conversions to .308 (NATO 7.62), in that this stretched the pressure design to its limit.

What is the truth about these rifles? My buddy (in another city) was told some seemingly far-fetched story that they had been built in the 1880s as muzzle-loaders, then converted to 30-06 in the 30s or early 40s because Germany would not ship the correct ammo to a US ally. The story he either read or was told seems a bit bizarre. Too many Internet reports list no sources.

Were the chambers completely replaced by components from an actual 30-06, and were they designed/produced in Brazil, another Latin American country, or all done in the US, and shipped right back to Brazil?
Most were built buy Mauser in Germany and converted to .30-06 in by Brazil.
It is reported that Brazil bought Modelo 1894 Mausers from FN again in 1919, and in 1922 they purchased some very light, short '98 type carbines with straight gripped stock from FN in Belgium, the Modelo 1922. In the 1930's a quantity VZ24 rifles in 7x57mm were purchased by elements seeking to stage a coup, but these were taken over by the Army. These do not bear the National Crest on the receiver ring as do other Mausers. A few years later Brazil bought Modelo 08/34 short rifle from CZ at Brno with the Crest of Brazil on the receiver ring.
At this time a program began to rebuild the original Modelo 1908 rifles. Many long rifles were cut down and the bolt handles bent down to match the carbine configuration, except these retain the long rifle rear sight. These are also called Modelo 08/34. They differ in detail from the Brno 08/34 and the front sight guard on the CZ Mausers is the easiest recognition factor from a distance. Brazil also reportedly purchased some small ring VZ33 type carbines in 7x57mm but I have never seen one of these, if they exist.

In 1935, new long rifles were purchased from Mauser Werke in Oberndorf as the Modelo 1935 in7x57mm. Reports that about 15,000 of this type, which is essentially similar to the Modelo 1908, were acquired. Some Standard Model 7x57mm carbines were also purchased at this time, also said to be called Modelo 1935.

During WW2, the U.S. supplied .30 Garand M1 rifles and .30 M1 Carbines to Brazilian troops serving in Italy with the Allies. They kept these weapons when they returned home in 1945.

By the early fifties, rifle production and rehabilitation seems to have become centered on Fabrica de Itajubáááááááá located in Minas Gerais State. From 1948 into the 1950's this arsenal produced completely new Mauser rifles. In 1953, using a captured German Walther K43 in 7.9x57mm as a basis, Brazil developed a .30-06 semi-auto rifle which was made in limited numbers, as the Mq S/Auto .30 M954, at the Fáábrica de Itajubáá.

They also began producing a new Mauser variant known as the Mauser Mq .30 M954 in .30-06. This used reworked 1908 receivers, had a stamped cup shaped Mauser 98k type butt plate with a trap for a cleaning kit in it, an extra reinforcing bolt in the stock and the barrel was threaded for a muzzle break. It is reported that at least some of these have brittle receivers as in the case of the low numbered M1903 Springfields. The original 1908 receivers were made on the soft side with a high grade steel of the period. Rockwell hardness could range as low as c10-c14. Over years of hard use they tended to stretch, as headspace grew beyond tolerance and they became unserviceable, but they did not shatter. The ordnance people felt that the .30M2 cartridge pressure curve was too much for these actions to maintain headspace within specification for a reasonable period in issue. They decided to reheat-treat them before rebuild and this made some, at least, overly hard and brittle.
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Old 02-25-2010, 05:14 PM   #3
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Personally, I would try and avoid shooting the modern 30-06 loads in your Brazilian Mauser. As the same applies to the M1's. the preasures of todays commercial loads just may be a bit too powerful. There are several sources for surplus ammunition as well as reduced preasure load data for your -06. I've got an M954 Mauser that is in beautiful shape (but missing the muzzle brake). I shoot only surplus (non-corrosive) through it with great success.

Just my opinion..

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Old 02-25-2010, 05:58 PM   #4
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Thanks very much for the informative history etc.

As there might be no way to verify that the action of his rifle is very strong, I'm tempted to just pick it up at his house, and avoid even using it.
In a week the ammo for my only Mauser (Yugo) will go from 1,500 to 2,800, therefore won't need to try it out. It's too bad that the Brazilians didn't keep it in 7x57, or wait to convert it to .308.

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Old 02-25-2010, 07:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laufer View Post
Thanks very much for the info.

As there might be no way to verify that the action of his rifle is very strong, I'm tempted to just pick it up at his house, and avoid even using it.
In a week the ammo for my only Mauser (Yugo) will go from 1,500 to 2,800, therefore won't need to try it out. It's too bad that the Brazilians didn't keep it in 7x57, or wait to convert it to .308.

It would be a shame not to shoot your Brazilian, in my opinion. There is not a single gun in my collection that will not be shot including my 100+ yr old Swiss Vettereli which I had converted to centerfire. If you are concerned about it's servicability, have it checked at a gunsmith.
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Old 02-25-2010, 09:07 PM   #6
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I agree w/ TOM. Your issues would be constant use, not occasional. You should take some picks of the action and bolt. You never know what you have until it is verified.

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Old 02-26-2010, 06:16 AM   #7
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Am already planning to take it to a seasoned gun smith here in Memphis, as I have zero experience doing anything with gun components, even after two years of frequent plinking.

The owner said that there are small snags or other hang-ups using his Winchester 30-06 ammo in the chamber, due to some hexagonal (?) crimping at the ammo necks. Maybe a tiny bit of rough metal in the chamber could be polished down by the gun smith at a moderate repair cost?

Being a brand-new reloader (three weeks), have done about 200 rds., only .303 caliber, but could order some 30-06 dies and let my 'guru' give a little tutoring on doing light loads with my IMR 4064 powder and relatively small bullets.

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Old 02-26-2010, 10:09 AM   #8
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Personally, I would try and avoid shooting the modern 30-06 loads in your Brazilian Mauser. As the same applies to the M1's. the preasures of todays commercial loads just may be a bit too powerful. There are several sources for surplus ammunition as well as reduced preasure load data for your -06. I've got an M954 Mauser that is in beautiful shape (but missing the muzzle brake). I shoot only surplus (non-corrosive) through it with great success.

Just my opinion..
Actually, the M1 Garand has a very strong action. In fact, there's a guy on YouTube that converted one to fire the 458Win. Mag!!!! The problem with modern ammo in an M1 Garand is not action strength, but the burn rates of the powders used. They are too slow. The gas port was designed for use with a medium burn rate powder in the IMR 4895 class. The slower powders take longer to reach peak pressure and the pressure is too high when it reaches the gas port, thus causing the op rod to slam too hard, and even to bend or break. That's why it's advised not to use some modern 30-06 ammo in a Garand. But you can install an adsjustable gas plug on an M1 Garand that allows the use of any ammo, and even any cartridge of the proper length. I've seen Garands rebarreled to all cartridges based on the 06 case, for example, 25-06, 270Win., 35 Whelen, etc. And as I've said, it can be worked over to fire a 458 Win. Mag.
I'm going to see if I can find that video and post it here.
I know this really has nothing to do with the original question, but I thought it would be interesting to know. I know it surprised me when I saw it, and it caused me to investigate the M1 Garand strength issue.
Happy shooting!!!!!
Here is the video of the 458mag.

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Old 03-03-2010, 08:51 PM   #9
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I have a M52 target rifle with a 1908 Brazilian receiver and a Schultz & Larsen barrel. It is chambered for the Swedish 6.5x55 originally chambered for the 7X57. I do know it is plenty strong enough for this round. The one thing about them or at least mine is the action is as smooth as any rifle I own. I have heard the same thing from other owners. That they are smooth actions. Like others have said, stay away from commercial loads and use good surplus or hand load and you should not have any problems. If you suspect problems definitely have a gunsmith check it out.

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Old 03-04-2010, 03:58 AM   #10
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Actually, the M1 Garand has a very strong action. In fact, there's a guy on YouTube that converted one to fire the 458Win. Mag!!!! The problem with modern ammo in an M1 Garand is not action strength, but the burn rates of the powders used. They are too slow. The gas port was designed for use with a medium burn rate powder in the IMR 4895 class. The slower powders take longer to reach peak pressure and the pressure is too high when it reaches the gas port, thus causing the op rod to slam too hard, and even to bend or break. That's why it's advised not to use some modern 30-06 ammo in a Garand. But you can install an adsjustable gas plug on an M1 Garand that allows the use of any ammo, and even any cartridge of the proper length. I've seen Garands rebarreled to all cartridges based on the 06 case, for example, 25-06, 270Win., 35 Whelen, etc. And as I've said, it can be worked over to fire a 458 Win. Mag.
I'm going to see if I can find that video and post it here.
I know this really has nothing to do with the original question, but I thought it would be interesting to know. I know it surprised me when I saw it, and it caused me to investigate the M1 Garand strength issue.
Happy shooting!!!!!
Here is the video of the 458mag.

YouTube - Tony Shoulder Fires the .458 Win Mag
Mccann Industries. Cool guns, nice guys. Custom rifle conversions by McCann
And you are spot on about the M1. Insanely strong action. The military did some crazy tests trying to get them to blow.
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