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Spanish Model 93 Mauser 7x57 Part 7: Bedding Action, Fitting and Finishing Stock

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Beginning Stock Work - Barrel Channel and Initial Fit
The fit of the action to the stock was not perfect, and needed some work.

This shows the fit of the barreled action in the stock, before fitting and bedding. Obviously the barrel channel was cut for a different barrel profile. I had to remove wood from the area contacting the barrel (roughly the portion between the arrows).

Photo © Russ Chastain
I'd been working on the Spanish Model 1893 Mauser for some time, and it was time to begin work on the stock.

Although I initially intended to slap this rifle into a synthetic stock - I had been contentedly hunting with synthetic-stocked rifles for several years - the Ram-Line stock I ordered had turned out to be a real piece of junk. Other synthetic stocks for the small ring Mauser got poor reviews, wouldn't work with a trigger-mounted safety, and/or cost far too much. I decided to take a chance on a laminated wood stock, and Boyds' was a natural choice.

Not only does Boyds' Gunstock Industries have a wide variety of stocks available, they enjoy a good reputation for quality. I settled on an unfinished laminated wood stock of their "pepper" coloration, which is an attractive black and gray. Perhaps best of all, this wood stock cost less than the Ram-Line piece of junk that I sent back. I ordered direct from Boyds' and paid less than I saw their stocks selling for elsewhere.

When my new stock arrived, it looked great. A note on the invoice sensibly advised to carefully check fit before modifying the stock, to ensure that you can return it if it doesn't work out. Good advice.

Laminated wood has a reputation for heavy weight, so I was concerned, as I wanted this to be a hunting rifle, and thus fairly compact and light. I was pleased when I checked the weight of the stock; although it wasn't exactly light, it was much lighter than I'd expected - and at 2.48 pounds, it weighed less than the Ram-Line stock I'd had to return (2.63).

The stock had a good fit and feel to it, also. Unnecessary wood had been routed from the forend, which helped lighten the stock. I noted that the pistol grip would be wonderful with some good checkering, but since I hadn't yet acquired the tools and skill to do that, it would have to wait. The shape of the forend was excellent, offering a nice wide base with a very comfortable gripping groove along the top edge. Boyds' calls it a flat oval; I call it a modified beavertail design.

The first thing I noted when I tried the gun in the stock was this: "Barrel channel sucks. It will be too wide up front and I'll have to remove wood farther back. But it won't look too horrible when I'm done." As you can see in the photo above, the barrel channel was cut for a much different barrel profile, and the wood touched the barrel quite firmly on both sides in the area between the arrows.

My first step in fitting this stock and action together was to open up the barrel channel in that area, which I did using some sandpaper.

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