Many years back I acquired a 93 Mauser, or at least several component parts therof. The previous owner had put his hands on an octagonal muzzleloader barrel of 45 caliber and had intended to use it to make a 45-70 bolt action. Thankfully, he passed on before he could perpetrate this grenade on anyone.
As it was, the receiver is not particularly pretty, and the turned down bolt handle I have for it is not pretty either, but a little garnet blast will, I’m sure, make it good enough for my purposes.
Knowing the inherent strengths (Or, well, weaknesses) of the 93 mau, I originally thought about a quarter incher, but you can even find hot factory loads in 257 Roberts, so I cast about for a cartridge. Turns out that the 7.62 x 39 is a common rebarrel for these, the max loads well under the safety factor for the action, and Numrich had a kit!
So I saved my nickles and dimes and bought one. Pitiably, they are no longer available, because it was a nice kit. You got a new magazine spring and follower, and a magazine spacer. The spacer is a tight fit in the magazine, the follower fits in like the original, and the barrel is short chambered.
Thus was the Commie Cannon project born. A couple months ago I took it to my friend’s shop where he had collets that would hold that barrel snug, and I reamed the chamber to match the receiver. Headspace is dead on commercial spec. I wrung the receiver in place on the barrel while it was still in the lathe, and put it together. We shot a handful of rounds through it to make sure it wasn’t going to explode, and then I drilled it and tapped it for scope rings. I put a cheap scope on it, loaned to me, and a tinmey trigger, and took it out and shot it.
And then hid it in the garage for a couple months. I knew the barrel could shoot better than I was shooting, and I just naturally assumed it was me. I have been quite busy but finally last weekend I put a better scope on it (A Bushnell Buckmaster, the scope that has been on my meat gun for many years) and went back to the range.
I sighted down the barrel to get the shots on paper, and I refuse to show you what I shot with the Tulammo at 100 yards, I will not do it. I have deleted the picture from my phone, so there. Then I shot the Wolf ammo, and it seemed to get some better, but I thought I should still be able to do much better than that at 100 yards, I know these barrels are well made.
Those squares are an inch. At 100 yards, this is pathetic. I could probably throw stones. And I throw like a girl.
I checked and rechecked everything, and shot five more rounds, and they were just as disappointing. But hell, I thought, it is probably me, I’ve probably totally lost it. “Try some of this Remington” Werner says, and I load five rounds, and do this:
That group is just a tad under an inch center to center, of the widest shots. And I shot three more that looked just like it. Back to the Wolf, and it sprayed lead everywhere.
So now I’m gonna find a stock a little nicer than the bubbaed 93 original, and blue it, and make it all come together. it may end up being my new meat gun now that the law has changed. I felt a lot better knowing the ammo was the problem, and it was a solvable problem.