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Old 01-07-2010, 03:21 PM
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Rapier Rapier is offline
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Swedish Mauser Maximum Pressures

"I set up a pressure barrel and fired a round. "Errr, sir, better not fire another." came from the technician. Pressure was a rather enthusiastic 81,000 psi. The equipment is only rated up to 65,200 psi! It says a lot for the old 1896 Swedish Mauser action that the pressure barrel was screwed into that it didn't let go and there was only a little stickiness when I opened the bolt."

The above statement was attributed to:

Dr. John Heath
D. Sc. Technical Support
Norma Precision

It's refrence to the incident was printed in the Dec ***8211; Jan, 2010 issue of Handloader Ammunition Reloading Journal

The M-96 Swedish Mauser action was screwed onto a pressure barrel chambered for a 300 Winchester Magnum. The reloader had sent in some of his regular reloads that were by the ***8220;book***8221; but giving him trouble. Turns out he was at max loads for a 150 gr bullet but loading 180 gr bullets.

So if you are told that the Swede is an inferior action, keep this little story in mind.
Best,
Ed
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Old 01-08-2010, 02:28 PM
Adam Helmer Adam Helmer is offline
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Rapier,

The Swed was a two-lug Mauser action and rated to 45,000 psi. IF you want to go higher, "May the Lord be with you."

Adam
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:33 AM
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Adam,
The SAMMI specs for many non-US produced rifles are purposely under rated. SAMMI is subject to the politics of the firearms and ammunition producers within this country. The 6.5x55 and the 7x57 Mauser are but two cartridges that are under loaded and under rated in the US and so badly so that the Europeans consider our factory loadings to be a joke and the entire SAMMI rating process to be anti-European and another form of protectionism. Who do you think pays the freight at SAMMI and also for the Gun Magazines?

The fact that Norma uses the M-96 action for its pressure barrels and rates the action at 65K should tell you just how wrong the 45K rating is in the US. The idea that the action was blue pilled to 81K is even for me, quite amazing.

Adam, the repeating of the data put out by SAMMI is not of help, it only continues the erroneous information spread about a fine rifle and thus a very fine cartridge that, that rifle was chambered for in it's original form. Frankly you should know better.

Best,
Ed
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Old 01-09-2010, 04:05 PM
Adam Helmer Adam Helmer is offline
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Rapier,

The 8x57MM Mauser is also under loaded by American ammo companies. That aside, I think you need to understand the Pre-M1898 actions are NOT up to the pressures you stated. If you think the M1896 action is as strong as the M1898, then I suggest you should know better.

A 6.5x55MM or 7x57MM in a Ruger 77 action is stronger than any M1896 action you care to put your face behind on firing. Well, maybe you will take a M1896 to the bench with those HOT loads. If so, "May the Lord be with you" despite SAAMI data.

Adam
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Last edited by Adam Helmer; 01-09-2010 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:11 AM
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Adam,
You should go back and read the original post.

The statement is published in a handloading magazine of current publication as a quote made by none other than the Director of Norma's Technical Department. I did not make the statement. I simply commented on the statement based on the idea that the quote was accurate, as published and is the exact reason the post is worded as it is.

The statement demonstrates several things of interest;

1) The 96 is rated at 65,000 PSI by Norma
2) The 96 withstood an 81,000 psi load at Norma without ill effect
3) Norma uses the 96 actions on their pressure test barrels
4) At Norma this action was screwed onto a 300 Win Mag barrel
5) This entire episode was done under test facility conditions at Norma labs

This is, by my memory, the first time I have ever seen a modern Swedish pressure rating (by a Swedish Company) on the Swedish 96 style actions. I have long heard rumors of the actions being chambered in all manner of high-pressure rounds in Sweden, including the 22-250. To now see a write up by Dr. John Heath, the Director of the Technical Department of Norma is significant and important information for those who enjoy and use the 96-94-38 actions around the world.

The Swedes have long held that their Mauser actions were made of a special alloy. As evidence of that contention they point to the fact that when Obendorf was contracted to build their Mausers, the Swedes would not allow the Germans to build their rifles from German steel and insisted on furnishing their own "special" steel to be used in the manufacture of every rifle. Whether the idea was national pride or some obscure "magic" metallurgy is of course arguable.

Over the past 40 years I have built quite a few custom rifles based on the Swede, probably about half a hundred. I now own about a half dozen or so, with but one in original condition. I have written two published articles about the Swede and its potential as the base for sporting rifles. I am still learning about the Swede and have an open mind about its limitations and capabilities.

I can relate one story of my own experience. I bought a lot of Yugoslavian ammo with my first Swede many, many years ago. While I was testing the barrel for use in my intended conversion, one round blew a primer. The primer pocket was blown well oversized; the firing pin blew back to a full cock and smoke poured out around the bolt. The bolt opened with a slight bit of stickiness. In measuring the headspace and examining the lugs there was no permanent damage to the gun at all. I converted the gun and it still is in service today and has taken many deer.

The idea here is not to have folks run out and load up to 65K ammo or disregard the loading manuals. It is to let the reloader know that he or she has a substantial safety margin when reloading the Swede by the manual. Many people in this country have been told that the Swedes are inferior and nothing could be further from the truth.

I think PO Ackley hit the nail square on the head when he stated in his book that the Swede was the best of all the 95 style actions.
Best,
Ed
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:14 PM
Larryjk Larryjk is offline
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Rapier, I have rebarreled a few Swedish 96 Mausers. I know for a fact they are "softer" than I would use for a high pressure cartridge (50.000 psi). Maybe the Swedes use them for 65,000 psi, but that is stupid. And as Ackley said the 96 Swede was the best of the 95 type Mausers. I wouldn't use a 95 type for anything if a 98 is available. I will only rebaarrel a 96 to calibers that have below 50,000 SAMMI ratings... They do know what they are taling about most of the time.
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:13 PM
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Rapier Rapier is offline
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Larry,
Why don't you write to Dr. Heath at Norma I am sure he would be interested in your observations, your facts and your opinion.

Dr. John Heath
D. Sc. Technical Support
Norma Precision

Again, I did not make the statement, Dr Heath is reported to have made the statement. But I certinly would not call the head of Norma's technical department stupid. I do not know the man but I do know Norma products and consider the company to be of of the finest of its type in the world.

Best,
Ed
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Old 01-12-2010, 04:04 PM
Adam Helmer Adam Helmer is offline
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Rapier,

IF you go back to your initial post, the technician told Dr. Heath "Not to fire another round as it was 81.000 psi." Ok, the 1896 action held together for that shot, BUT even the technician said, "No more!" Even those Norma folks knew they were in dangerous territory.

Does Norma sell 6.5X55MM ammo rated at 81,000 psi? Of course not and your thread here really does not mean much except a Mauser action can go to the "Red Line" and we all knew that. What pressures does Norma recommend for the M1896 Swedish Mauser? I bet factory 6.5mm loads from Norma are FAR below 81,000 psi and even 65,000 psi!

Adam
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Old 01-12-2010, 06:34 PM
skeet skeet is offline
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You know this is interesting

And i do get the point Ed. Norma uses 96 actions in their testing. I think that is all you really said. And it was done under lab conditions. And the pressure testing equipment there is usually used under 65000 lbs of pressure. Adam..I don't think he was telling anyone to use a 96 action instead of a "stronger" action. Just commenting on the strength of the action. Heck I saw a Krag that held together with a load that had to be over 65000 lbs...well over and it isn't known to be that strong either. This is a probably more common an occurance that we think. The mistake was 150 gr loads with 180 gr bullets. How many times do you think that has happened. Says a lot about the Swede action though..or any action that holds together with over loads such as this. I wouldn't want to do that even with the strongest action out there. Reminds me of the guy that came into the shop for some Red Dot powder so he could load up some more 3 inch 12 ga loads...And he really had loaded some with Red Dot..and shot 'em..in his 870. I,of course, did not sell him the Red Dot. Boy was he POd at me..
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Old 01-12-2010, 06:37 PM
jplonghunter jplonghunter is offline
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Rapier

Interesting post. I love the Swede,the 6.5 x 55 and Norma brass for loading. Don"t know that I would load to 65,000 even with Dr. Heath,s statement,but I do load above Saami .

jplonghunter
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Old 01-13-2010, 06:16 PM
Larryjk Larryjk is offline
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Rapier, I am sorry I have pi---- you off. Please reread my thread. I didn't call anyone stupid; only that using the 96 for loads up to 65,000 is "stupid", as in a stupid act. I do stand by that. I have not seen a 96 that is not relatively soft. It is necessary to leave the bolt in the receiver so the front ring isn't crushed when an action wrench is tightened over the front ring. That is "soft". There is a very good reason the 98 was made and heat treated differently. It is much stronger. I wish the best of luck, and a good medical plan, to those that use the 96 action on a regular basis with ammunition that peaks out at 65,000 PSI. Even some 98 actions are fairly soft and should be re-heat treated before they are rebarreled to calibers that go to 65,000 psi.
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Old 02-02-2010, 05:03 AM
Brithunter Brithunter is offline
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Well I am very glad that my own Swedish Mauser, a Gustav one from about 1903-1905, proved so tough. I was shooting on Bisleys Running Deer Range using some factory 140 grain PMC ammunition when a vastly over pressure round blew the primer pocket with such force it broke the firing pin in half and allowed the rear of it complete with shroud and safety to crash into my glasses denting the metal frame before going over my right shoulder and landing on the concrete firing point.

Apart from the case not wanted to eject form the bolt face due to the firing pin tip being through the flash hole and the rear of the bolt being missing there was no sign of anything untoward .

The rifle was taken to Fultons of Bisley for inspection and checking over and a replacement firing pin fitted. They said it has slightly excessive headspace but then they checked it with a SAAMI guage for some reason and as we know the Swedish specs are different from SAAMI ones. They then fired a few rounds of Norma factory ammunition and it came out perfectly and the rifle has been in use ever since.

After a particularly wet stalking outing with it, yes it's sporterised and is a commercially done job, I needed to strip the rifle and dry it out. It was then that I found that they had not fitted the firing pin nut and firing pin correctly and just forced it on. So much for qualified gunsmiths so I cleaned up the slots on the firing pin with a Swiss needle file so the nut fits smoothly.

Now what pressures were involved in that factory round I have no idea but the primer pocket was well enlarged and the bolt ejector slot swaged it's imprint on the the cartridge head. I have avoided PMC ammunition ever since.

The experience was a learning one in which I lost faith in the old established firm at Bisley and in PMC something I retain to this day some 10 years later. Since then i had one job done at Fultons and that was to replace the new beech furniture on a No4T and replace it with period walnut and make sure it was bedded correctly. As the Lee Enfield is and always has been one of their speciality fields it was a fairly safe bet however other jobs I have found other gunsmiths for so they actually lost custom over this.
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