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Subject: New Magnum "Mauser" Actions
From: Robert Bastow <"teenut"@>
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2000 21:52:23 GMT

I made the following general announcement today....

As some of you are aware I have been investigating the possibility of building
an oversized Magnum Mauser type action. 

This is now much closer to reality than I ever dreamed when I began the
investigation process. Yesterday I plunked down several hundred
thousand dollars and bought a complete, working, Machine/Tool and Die shop!!
7000 square feet, ten employees and a bank of CNC
machining and turning centers plus Sinker EDM, wire cut EDM, plasma
cutting,welding and heat treatment facilities. 

Obviously, my main priority will be to sustain and increase the current work
load on the shop...My Family and Employees do like to eat
regular meals. 

However, this is a golden opportunity to put my dreams to work. When machinery
like that is standing idle between jobs..anything you can
put on them gets machined, virtually for FREE!! 

So I intend to tool up and produce my Super Magnum fact a whole
range of custom actions!! 

First will come a Double Square Bridge, solid side wall, Mauser "Clone" with a
bolt diameter of .750" and a magazine length of 4". This will
take care of the Gibbs 505 and wildcats based on that basic case. I plan to
contract with a brass maker, to produce a Gibbs Basic cylindrical
case, 3 1/4" 1/8" longer than the standard Gibbs. It will have a
"Generic" headstamp. 

Next will come a larger version, slightly bigger all round, with a 800" diameter
bolt and a box length of 4.25"!! This should satisfy the
masochists among us!!! This will be suitable for the standard RIMMED 3 1/4" .577
Nitro Express. A suitable magazine box for the rimmed
round will be available. 

The traditional Mauser "Inner Ring" breeching will be standard, as, of course,
will the mauser third safety lug, guide rib and long "Controlled
Feed" claw extractor. One variation will be the ejector, which will be of the
Pre 64 Model 70 style, angled BENEATH the left hand locking
lug..instead of passing through it. Bolt stop will be traditional Mauser, but
the underside of the action will be reinforced for rigidity...a la Model
70. Triggers will also be Model 70 style "over-ride" type. 

For the experimenters among us, I will be marketing, at reasonable cost, a basic
rimless case, based on a 50BMG case redrawn to a .700"
rim diameter (from .800" ( I have the punch presses, the toolmakers and the
expertise to be able to do this. I hope to offer these cases at
$1.50 each!!! 

I will also be developing, along with a well known quality bullet maker and a
maker of high grade CUT rifled barrels, a NEW CALIBER..the
550" 3 1/4" Rimless Nitro Express. Arrangements are already in hand for the
first barrels and full patch, steel jacketed bullets in a grain
weight of 650. 

Finally I intend to produce Custom Quality STANDARD sizes of Mauser
clones..Double square bridge, solid side wall etc. Single square
bridge and thumbcuts, with clip slots will be an option. These will come
initially in Magnum and Kurtz lengths. Solid bottom, single shot
"Bench Rest" actions will be available too. 

Additionally I plan to manufacture and sell a range of Mauser type bottom metal
with hinged, straddle, floor plates. These will be suitable, for
instance for those who want to build a .500 Jeffery on a standard 98
action..without needing to have the ugly and persnickety single column
magazine. I have already made several of these for myself and the staggered box
works perfectly!! 

Other products will include TAKEDOWN versions of the above actions. Plus, custom
grade, folding leaf express sights, barrel swivel bands,
and front sight ramped bands, side swing safety shrouds for mausers etc. 

Eventually I will supply complete barrelled and headspaced actions, they will
come with the option of being "In the White, unpolished", ready
for you or your gunsmith to do the finishing work. This will keep the prices
down enormously!! 


Not finalised yet..but I see no reason why they should not be held to a
seasonable level. The custom action makers have been gouging us
too long!!! 

I would welcome any constructive comments and ideas..Nothing is set in stone
yet...EXCEPT the fact that this IS going to happen!!! 

No I am NOT taking orders yet..I will let you all know when THAT happy day
comes..Hopefully within the next three months. I would welcome
though, on a direct email basis any expressions of interest 

Robert Bastow, The Express Rifle Company/ER Tool and Die, Atlanta, GA

From: Robert Bastow <"teenut"@>
Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Re: New Magnum "Mauser" Actions
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2000 08:45:56 GMT

The original "Nitro Express" refered to a whole group of calibers some as smal
as 240" or 275", but ranging up to the big .577" and .600" used primarily for
elephant hunting.

Believe it or not, there are probably more elephant being shot now than ever
before..most, by Game Control Officers, in areas where they have reached pest
proportions!!  Having been to Africa a few times, I have seen the damage a herd
of elephants can do to the countryside..It is just like the aftermath of a B52
carpet bombing run!

As more and more afluent "Baby Boomers" reach retirement and/or financial
independence they are starting to want to fulfil some of the dreams of their
youth..expensive Harleys, etc.  One of those dreams, for many is an African
Safari.  More people than ever before are going there and it is an important
part of the economy of some countries.

Now, to kill an elephant costs big bucks in trophy fees alone ($10-15000)  Add
to that the cost of a once in a lifetime safari and it starts to add up.  These
people do NOT want to face an elephant or Cape Buffalo with a 30-06..that would
just p**s it off!  They need a BIG BORE rifle..some countries dictate a minimum
.416 caliber..I personally wouldn't want to face down a wounded buff with
anything less than a .500 caliber.

Backing up our intrepid "hunter" is a Professional Hunter..who's primary
objective is to keep the tyro's hide in one piece..especially considering the
liability insurance he must carry.  So the PH's back-up gun is a
CANNON..something that will not just kill an elephant but will knock it flat on
its butt! Only a .577 or .600 will do that with absolute reliability!

Now the old Nitro Express doubles never were made in huge quantities, but to buy
a GOOD used English double of large caliber, today, is going to set you back
from $25000 to over $100,000 !!!!!

Even our affluent Baby boomer balks at does the PH especially with
ammo at $15 to $40.00 a pop!

So, there is a growing demand for a cheaper, but dead reliable, rifle with the
knock-down power of the big doubles.  The old Mauser 98 action has NEVER been
bettered in the reliability field, but though Magnum Mauser actions were built
before the war (and since by other manufacturers), no one has EVER built a
Mauser Action big enough for the big Nitro Express rounds.

Until Now!!

The Mauser action is a very complex bit of machining...In excess of 600
different operations the way they used to be made.  Each one jigged and tooled
on a seperate machine with special gages and inspections to verify every stage.
Small wonder that manufacturers started to look for different ways to produce
bolt action rifles.

But that meant simplifying, "Dumbing down" the action itself...loosing step by
step many of the features that made the 'ole 98 such an
absolutely perfect design.  In many cases the manufacturers went back to
features patented by Mauser in the 1880's and discarded by him in the 1890's.
These features pop up on modern rifles and are sold by the spin merchants as the
"Latest and greatest"...Baloney!...They are just cheaper to make that way.

Arms manufacture has always been a "Mass Market" still is for the
market that the Winchester 70, the Remington 700 and the Ruger 77 are aimed at.
Up until recently the custom market has been largely ignored, or catered to by a
few, highly skilled, gunmakers, content to turn out a couple of actions a year
that people pay up to $15000 each for!!

And then along came CNC Machining and EDM and CAD/CAM and the game is different!

All those myriad separate cuts on the Original Mauser action can now be done in
a half a dozen setups on a CNC Mill, Lathe and EDM even tighter
tolerances than the originals.  Not that the annual production would justify the
purchase of machines especially to do that...Nowhere close.  But when the
machines are there..bought and paid for...loaded with other paying work for 80%
of their time!  THEN it becomes possible to DO this thing.  And make money!!

THAT is the beauty of CNC!

More than you ever wanted to know..Huh!


Simon wrote:

> I'm not all that knowledgeable about guns, but wasn't the original Nitro
> Express intended for shooting elephants?  And would I be correct in
> thinking that you are going to make something bigger?
> I am jealous of those who can afford such a thing (and justify the cost
> to their wife).
> I am even more jealous of those who know where there are carnivorous
> dinosaurs they can go and hunt.
> Simon

From: Robert Bastow <"teenut"@>
Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Re: New Magnum "Mauser" Actions
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2000 09:35:11 GMT

pablo wrote:
>    What you have described would be any true GUN NUTS  dream, access to
> such a shop would have limitless possiblities.  first
> let me say i'm not a fan of the Remington action (40x/700
> series) is designed to be cheaply manufactured.However there
> are some good features to be preferred over the traditional Mauser, the
> faster lock time specfically,

Absolutely no reason why the Mauser lock time can't be as fast as the
Remington.  It is simply a question of reducing the cocking lift cam to shorten
the fall..Reduce the weight of the fireing pin assembly and strengthen the
spring to compensate for the lack of Ooomph.  But this speed lock feature, so
beloved of benchresters, is NOT A GOOD THING when the target is likely to shoot
back, stomp you into mush or turn you into a pile of predator skat.  In
situations like that (Military and Dangerous Game hunting) the first requirement
is not 1/4 minute of angle accuracy..It is ABSOLUTE RELIABILITY..The Mauser lock
time might be a bit slow..but it giveth a mighty smack on that primer!

>coupled with the mauser claw extractor and controlled feed.

Rightly said, the long claw extractor is expensive to make but it does have a
couple of indispensible attributes for the above mentioned applications to War
and Dangerous game.  The first you mentioned..controlled round feeding.  The
fresh round from the magazine is held immediately by the extractor, to the bolt
face before being fed into the chamber.  This makes it possible to reload the
rifle in any position...perhaps upside down between the front legs of an
elephant who is shaking his head from side to side, trying to focus on you so he
can tear bits off!!

It also ensures that if you "Short Stroke" the bolt..easy to do under stress.
you cannot leave a loaded round in the chamber and try to load another one right
behind it.  That leads to a monumental jam or the chambered round being fired,
with the bolt open, by the point of the following bullet!

The big claw is very wide and takes a good grip of the rim...far less likely to
tear through the rim when a shell case sticks..a frequent enough event on the
narrow "Modern" extractors (actually patented by Mauser for the 1888 rifle and
discarded on the 1893 for that very reason)

Lastly the claw doesn't rotate on closing or opening..this not only reduces
friction..but prevents the shaving of minute brass particles from the rim.
These eventually build up..usually inside the bolt..and can lead to misfires.
OK on the bench...not good in a tight corner!!

>I don't think the angled ejector would be worth
> the extra effort over the spring loaded pin of the rem.

Problem is..with a plunger ejector, you can't have controlled round feeding!!
The Ruger 77 MkI had a was changed to an inertia blade on the Mk II
so that the rounds could be fed under the extractor hook.

> As for square
> bridges, they should be machined ala Maynard Buelers design, maybe a
> little larger as there would be more room on your larger actions.

I am not familiar with the Mayard Buelers design.  Is it for a telescope
mount?   Bear in mind that rifles of this caliber are never fitted with a iron "Express" sights only.......

A) Because at fifty yards, down to fifty inches it just gets in the
way...remember that these rifles are designed to handle and point like a quail
or skeet shotgun.  A wounded buff. can flush like a quail, from cover twenty
feet or less in front of you...Except that instead of flying away, he comes
right at you!!

B) The scope sight has yet to be built that can withstand the recoil of these
cannons for more than a couple of rounds. (30-06 = 20 ft lbs of recoil.  .577
Nyati = 120 to 150 ft lbs !!!)

C) The scope eyepiece would probably take your eye out anyway!

Just like bench rest or long range target shooting, these rifles are very
specialised, for a specific set of circumstances.


From: Robert Bastow <"teenut"@>
Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Re: New Magnum "Mauser" Actions
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 03:33:09 GMT

Thanks for your words of encouragement.

Yes I do intend to retain the solid left wall of the original mauser.  This has,
as you say been slowly eroded by other manufacturers due to the difficulty of
"modern Manufacturing"  ie Broaching etc.

In actual fact, the methods used by Springfield armory to plane the slots (They
called it "shaving") would have produced the inner ring with a solid left wall
just as easily as the ringless springfield design!!

Firstly a lot of the waste was removed by a series of milling cuts.
Then they used five separate HAND OPERATED "Shaving machines" to cut the front
and rear left hand races plus the front and rear right hand races and the safety
lug race in the top of the bridge.  The cutting tool was similar to a large pull
type hook rifling cutter,  It was not full width but about 1/8" wide.  As the
handle moved it back and forth a ratchet device started to sweep it about an
arc(once it reached full depth) so as to shave the raceway to full width.

I intend to remove as much waste as possible during the milling operations and
then SINKER EDM the raceways to final shape.

teenut wrote:

> teenut.
> Congratulations on your recent acquisition of the T&D  shop.  I wish
> you good fortune in both enterprises.  With your tooling expertise and
> savvy about things in general,  I expect both ventures will be roaring
> successes,
> I do have a question about your Mauser action machining.  In the
> referred post (and subsequent posts) you have talked about CNC mills,
> lathes, and various EDM  equipment  but I saw no mention of linear
> stroke type machines (planer, shaper, slotter, broaching machine, die
> filer).  So how are you going to machine the lug raceways?
> Particularly, if you are going to produce Paul Mauser's design with the
> inner collar pierced by only one slot for the extractor  (rather than 2
> slots in the weakened design modification by FN etal), how do you
> machine the left lug raceway that properly ends at the locking lug
> recess?
> Bill

From: Robert Bastow <"teenut"@>
Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Re: New Magnum "Mauser" Actions
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 09:41:09 GMT

I surely do!!

I recently paid $250.00 for a book entitled "US Rifles and Machine Guns" by
Colvin and Viall, McGraw Hill, 1917.

This was published by request of the US government as as complete manufacturing
guide for the M0del 1903 Springfield Rifle.  There plan the event of
war, to enable other contracters to set up and manufacture the rifle at short
notice..Springfield Armory being unable to keep up with even peace time demand.

In the event, they turned to the Enfield Model 1917..The rest is history!!

This book details every single manufacturing step of the 03 Rifle..including the
furniture, stock, oilers and bayonet!! Thousands of different custom machines,
tools, jigs, fixtures, gauges etc are detailed...All you could ever hope for if
you wanted to build an 03 from scratch..including dimensioned drawings,
tolerances, materials heat-treatment and finishing specs.

The Mauser and Enfields were built by identical methods and equipment.

I hasten to add that hardly ANY of the toolong and processes are relevant to my
project...Built the old way the actions would cost THOUSANDS of dollars reason why commercial actions designed since these classics have been
"Dumbed Down" for cheaper manufacturing.

However, modern CNC machining makes it possible to reproduce these actions..AND
improve on the tolerances, materials and heat treatment.  They will never be
produced for the same prices though.  IIRC the complete Springfield was produced
for about $16.00!!!

I also have a copy of Stuart Otteson's two volume work, "The Bolt Action"..THE
absolute definitive engineering study of bolt actions from the 98 Mauser through
to the present.  Beside it, Frank Haas' book, "Bolt Action Rifles" is an
amateurish and error riddled joke! In effect the 98 sets the standards by which
ALL others are judged..the vast majority come up SEVERELY short in many
important areas. None are judged to be better!!

If you can find a copy of Ottesons books it will set you back close to $200.00!!

Other than that I think I have every book on bolt actions, particularly Mausers,
that has ever been printed in English. Plus a lot more on Gunsmithing and
related subjects.

So this project is not going ahead in blind faith..I DO know a little bit about
the subject!!

By the way...It took a LOOOONG time to find these books.  I also put in a search
request at my local library for the 03 Springfield book,and,after three months,
they obtained it on InterLibrary Loan, from the Pittsburgh State University,
Pittsburg, Kansas 66762.  The cost was THREE DOLLARS!!!!..But it does have to go

I may well be the only person on the face of the earth with TWO copies of this
TOME (8 1/2" x 11" x 332pp) in my possession at this very moment!!

Ask your local Library to get it for you..It should be easier now its
whereabouts are located.


Robert Fahey wrote:

>   I have a suspicion you have access to references most of us have never
> seen. Care to educate us on the sources for this info? Particularly the
> comments previously on the number of operations in making the Mauser
> originally?
>   PS = you really know how to start a thread!!

Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Re: 1/2" 16 TPI thread form answer to earlier query
From: Robert Bastow <"teenut"@>
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2000 08:22:35 GMT

Notwithstanding that it has a lesser theoretical "shear" area my "Gut" feel (And
that is all it is..absent hard evidence" is that the whitworth form is less
prone to shear ..if only due to the radiused root and crest.

After all..when you look at a sectioned view through a MATING male and female
thread...both have the same area in shear resistance through the pitch line
diameter..Ie. 100% metal.  Thus the only real differenciating factor becomes the
reistance to fatigue and shear at the point of greatest stress..logically the
thread root.

Square threads?  Frankly I find them easier to cut than vee..grind to pitch
width by micrometer..and it is a simple, helical "parting" cut..until you hit
the minor peeing around with pitch diameter measurements, vee
angles, root or crest forms...In and out like Flynn!


Jack Erbes wrote:
> Robert Bastow wrote:
> >
> > One thing that continues to amaze me Jack, is that even the most
> > meticulous, top flight, Rifle Smiths and Barrel Makers, continue to
> > assert that 1.10"-12 tpi, 60 deg "American" thread is "Fine" for use
> > in the 1.10" 12 tpi 55 deg Whitworth Form thread used in the 98 Mauser
> > receiver!
> Yep, I heard that same story.  I will begrudgingly admit that it can be
> made to work "okay" but it was not in my shop.  It only takes a few
> minutes to turn a 60 degree threading tool into a 55, can't understand
> why some smiths couldn't take the time.  They must have been the guys
> with bigger wrenches or lots of Loctite :>).
> > Mauser was a METICULOUS designer..He didn't choose the Whitworth form
> > over the Metric/American 60 deg form, without a damn good
> > being, that it is, overall, a STRONGER thread form.
> It that stronger in shear?  I think there is more metal to shear with a
> 60.
> I wonder how V and square threads compare for strength?  As much of a
> PITA as they are to cut, I have always had an inordinate fondness for
> the square threads in the Springfield, Enfield, and old rolling blocks.
> A lot less advance and crush in those once the barrel hits the action
> face.
> --
> Jack in Sonoma, CA, USA (

Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Re: 1/2" 16 TPI thread form answer to earlier query
From: Robert Bastow <"teenut"@>
Date: Wed, 08 Mar 2000 05:05:28 GMT

SFAIA the thread pitch IS 12 tpi Whitworth form. Not unusual in that the Germans
stuck to Inch standard threads for many years..even into present times.  For
instance the Din 477 standard pipe threads are simply metricised BSP threads 
25.4mm diameter and all that!

Remember too that in 1898 Germany was not the Industrial Powerhouse she was to
become a few years later..Britain may well have been the nearest, reliable,
source for standardised cutting tools.


From: Robert Bastow <"teenut"@>
Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Express Rifle Company-Update
Date: Wed, 08 Mar 2000 10:20:18 GMT

Great news today..The local FADAL dealer told me that delivery of my new
$74000.00, 4 axis, machining center is brought forward to Friday THIS WEEK!!
Frantic floor clearing going on to make room for this puppy, which is two weeks
ahead of schedule. (Let's hear it for American Manufacturers!!)

We are still waiting for the BATF to issue our manufacturer's licence..Bit of
Local and State Political power being brought to bear.."Jobs at stake" and all

Demand for the "regular" magnum size is such that this will take priority..bolt
WILL be larger than the .700" of the old 98s.and it will be long enough to throw
any 505 Gibbs based round into it. That bit of extra margin on bolt diameter
won't hurt with other big bore rounds..even down as far as the 375 HH based

Standard receiver ring diameter will be 1.420" with regular sized Mauser
threads..1.10" x 12 TPI (60Deg VEE form) My own feeling is that a slightly
larger thread should be used for the 505 and this will be an available option.

After much soul searching I must go with the angled ejector of the Model
70..with its solid left locking lug it is definitely one of the few
"improvements" ever made to the old 98 is the forward recoil lug and
"Girder" underside of the Winchester. Bolt stop will be pure "Mauser" though.

Along with this goes the double rail trigger group mounting. The standard
trigger will be a pre-64 over-ride type but ANY after market trigger made for
the Winchester 70 will fit, and can be provided.

Double square bridge, solid left rail of course..though, for the purists (like
me) the thumb cut and clip slots will be available,(Clips even!!) as will a
round top option.

Bottom metal..solid steel! Magazine release in bow, fully contoured bow
available or we can leave that for you or your Riflesmith to do. The box will be
straight sided for ease of inletting, with a narrow 5 deg. tapered flange around
the bottom for crisp, tight, final fitting. Inside the box will be special
shoulders to engage the cartidge rim, so as to protect soft bullet noses from
the battering of heavy recoil..a device first patented by Mauser and used on the
big Heym Express action.

Three different safety arrangements will be offered..The Classic up and over
Mauser three position..A side swing modification of this..which some people
prefer to see on a Custom Mauser...and a Model 70 style, 3 position side swing.
Of course the low swing Traister Mk II can be fitted to the Classic pattern by
those that prefer it.

Bolt handle will be classic "straight down" tear drop knob, Mauser Magnum
style..but a lower profile contour, for scope clearance will be an option. I
advise AGAINST asking for too much in the way of back sweep on these heavy

Left hand versions will follow right on the heels of the first batch of right
hand models!! AND they will have their own series of serial numbers....Yehh!!

Order taking is still in the lap of the Gods (BATF!!) but work is proceeding
with protoyping, tooling, fixturing and please be patient.

Meanwhile, those who are SERIOUS about eventually placing an order in the first
run (To the above specs) should contact me directly, (Send NO money!!) as I need
to start formulating production and materials procurement planning. Final specs
will be announced BEFORE orders are taken.

Before you ask..Serial Numbers P1 to P10 will be reserved for field tests and
publicity purposes...Number 100001 is MINE!! When orders and deposits are in we
will allocate numbers by lot..but, on the first batch, will include the owners
initials at no extra cost. (CNC Engraving is WONDERFUL!!)

Thanks for your patience and support guys..but we ARE getting there!!


Robert Bastow,
The Express Rifle Company,
Express Tool & Die
5390 Oakdale Rd.
Smyrna GA. 30082.
Fax 404 792 2668.

Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Re: 1/2" 16 TPI thread form answer to earlier query
From: Robert Bastow <"teenut"@>
Date: Thu, 09 Mar 2000 04:32:52 GMT

Yes, I have a copy of it..and find it too full of holes and repeated "old saws"
to take very seriously!


Randy O'Brian wrote:

> The late great Frank DeHaas in his book "Bolt Action Rifles"
> has a few paragraphs discussing the 98 Mauser barrel thread and indicates
> that it is metric but that all the smiths he knew used 12 TPI.   Harold E.
> McFarland in the "NRA Gunsmithing Guide" indicates that it is "Approx.
> 12TPI".  Anybody have a copy of Jerry Kuhnhausen's "Mauser Bolt Actions" ? I
> have found his pistol manuals very detailed and well researched.

From: Robert Bastow <"teenut"@>
Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Re: Express Rifle Company-Update
Date: Thu, 09 Mar 2000 06:27:48 GMT

Bray Haven wrote:

> > Inside the box will be special
> >shoulders to engage the cartidge rim, so as to protect soft bullet noses from
> >the battering of heavy recoil..a device first patented by Mauser and used on
> >the
> >big Heym Express action.
> Hmmm hadn't seen this one.  been working on Mausers for 30 years or so.

You could probably work on Mausers a coupla lifetimes and never see one!

It was patented late in the regime and used very rarely..mostly I believe, on
the high velocity Vom Hofs

> What
> will you do for the rimless cartridges?

This IS for rimless cartridges! OR Rimmed!

> Or did you mean to say "shoulder".
> Which would also need different configuration for different shoulder
> placement.

If I had MEANT "shoulder..I would have SAID "shoulder"

In the Original Mausers it took the form of a shaped strip of steel, riveted
inside the magazine box,one on each side... in such a position as to engage with
the extractor groove of each cartridge and hold it to the rear of the box under
heavy recoil. This rib, which necessarily engages only one side of any shell in
a staggered box, is relieved and blended out towards the top of the as
not to interfere with the easy loading of the top round...and its subsequent
feeding to the chamber.

In the Heym Express, and in my design, these ribs are machined, integrally,
right into (or rather ONto) the steel wall of the magazine box.  The DIFFERENCE
between the that the Heym ribs were broached and could not be made
suitable for RIMMED SHELLS..such as the .577 and .600 NE.  My design is CNC wire
EDM cut and the ribs, indeed the whole BOX can be properly angled for rimmed

Additionally, because these ARE custom actions..and through the magic of modern
production machinery..the magazine boxes will indeed have a custom shoulder for
each case of both worlds!

>  Probably be about as easy (and more effective) to just put a nylon buffer
> strip in the front of the mag box.  I used med rubber which work fine and
> didn't interfere with feeding.

Nylon would NOT protect the delicate lead tips under HEAVY recoil..It certainly
won't prevent the MAJOR problem, which is the battering of bullets down the
neck, compressing the load of powder.  This is a very real complaint from Game
Conservation Officers in Africa! During culls, when firing is often fast and
furious, they, very wisely, take the opportunity to top up the magazine at every
lull in firing..Not a Good Idea to be caught in the middle of an angry and
terrified mele' of pachyderms..with only one shell in the box!!

This means that the very first round to be loaded..early in the fray, often
stays in the bottom of the box while thirty or forty of its fellows are loaded
and fired above it.  That last shell may then be dumped out, popped in a pocket,
and reloaded the next day for another foray!

Bullets (Solids) that have been pounded deep into the neck, turning the powder
charge into a rock-like mass have been reported too frequently for comfort.  The
result, if the round is fired, before discovery, is usually a combination of
squib and hangfire.  Disconcerting and dangerous at the best of times..REALLY
NOT A GOOD THING when Mr Jumbo is trying to make you a rapidly drying stain on
the landscape!!

This problem is particularly prevelant in the straight cased 458 Winchester
Magnum..and one of the many reasons why Professional Hunters, Game Conservation
Officers and discerning amateurs, are turning to more powerful and reliable

So far as putting soft rubber in the end of the magazine is concerned..A) there
ain't room for it in these cannons. B) Anything that introduces friction into
what needs to be the worlds slickest rifle action is likely to get you C)
suddenly DEAD!..or D) laughed out of Africa!

> As for locking lugs you really don't have a
> high pressure problem on any of the cartridges you are talking about.  In fact
> the big bores generally run lower pressures than the
> "eargensplittenloudenboomers" as PO called them like the small cal, big cases.

Ah BUT!  The inevitable modern tendency is to load UP those old boomers to
magnum pressures!  505 Gibbs pushing 600 grain solids at 2600 fps (Rather than
the original cordite load of 525 grains at 2300 fps.

How so?  Well in the first place..people just like to try and get the best
performance possible out of them...Secondly, the Cordite rounds were
"down-loaded" to give initially low pressures..A) because cordite has a marked
tendency to give much higher pressures when the loads reached their tropical
destinations.  B)Many of the rifle designs of the day, the gunsmithing that
shoehorned "African Calibers" into said rifles, and the metallurgy then
available, made it prudent for the ammunition manufacturers to set their own,
lower, safety margins. Modern powders are much more stable, and modern
metallurgy is light years advanced on that available at the turn of the last

> Good ejection at the end of the stroke is more important (IMO).

The ejection of the angled, none intrusive, blade of the pre-64 Model 70, is in
fact just as positive and somewhat better positioned in the bolt face to flip
the empty shell clear of the receiver port.

On the other hand..the split locking lug of the 98 is one of the design's,
acknowledged, weaker links.  This is not so much because of reduced shear
strength of the lug..but a definite cause of reduced bearing area and subsequent
set-back of the bolt lug in the receiver shoulder.  This leads to head space
problems, increase effort on bolt lift..and the inevitable scrapping of the

The ONLY objection I have ever seen..even from Mauser "Purists" is that the
Model 70 style is more difficult to field change than the Mauser 98 style.
Having said that..the gentleman agreed that the Model 70 had a sronger blade,
pin and coil spring, and was far more reliable than the Mauser ejector with its
leaf spring. Indeed, he had changed several Mausers out in the field..but never
needed to do it with a Model 70!


Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Re: Mauser Bolt Facing? primary torque shoulder facing?
From: Robert Bastow <"teenut"@>
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2000 04:41:59 GMT

I have Kuhnhausen's it to see what all the fuss was about..can't say I
agree with a lot of his methodology..bit anal for me.

However, not being able to imagine, even after racking my brains..what on earth
a "cartridge recess" was or where it could be on a mauser action (I am fairly
familiar with them!!!) I reached for and dusted off Kuhnhausen's tome...

Waddya know, his "Cartridge Recess" is what every one else calls a "Bolt Face" 
and his special tool far as I am aware, still sold by Brownell's as a
"Bolt Facing tool"

That said, I have looked at his tool design and his description of its use, and
for the life of me I can't see what he means or how that curious dogleg design
is supposed to be set up and used.

I have "opened up" and refaced plenty of Mauser bolt faces..always used a short,
stiff carbide boring tool.  Cut from firing pin hole outwards.

On some REALLY hard bolt faces I have used a tool post mounted, high speed
grinding spindle with an end cutting carbide or even diamond burr about 1/8"
diameter.  Then, with the lathe spindle locked I can face out the cut away
portion of the bolt face to the same level..befor hand finishing with stones and
hand laps.

Kuhnhausen says you don't need to bother doing this..true but it looks like S**t
if you don't..not the trademark of a Master!

His inner collar facing tool is simply a lapping disc running on a guide spindle
through a long bushing that is threaded to fit the receiver ring.

This is all well and good..except NONE of his methodology first ensures that the
receiver threads are true to the receiver bolt bore.  After all, the whole point
of all this laborious, often anally retentive, "Truing" to ensure that the
barrel/chamber axis is truly aligned with the BOLT axis and face.

As I said...I ain't impressed by Kuhnhausen!


(Proprietor of The Express Rifle Company, Atlanta..Soon to be in full production
with "True" Mauser Action Replicas!!) ( which won't need "Truing"!!

Clark Magnuson wrote:
> Jerry Kuhnhausen's book on Mausers on page 171 figure 208 has a
> cartridge recess spot facing tool. It is designed by the author and I
> don't see one offered in Brownell's catalogue.
> Does someone sell these?
> How do I make one?
>  Likewise how about facing the primary [inner] torque shoulder of the
> receiver on page 163 figure 193?
> TIA Clark

From: Robert Bastow <>
Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Magnum action update
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2000 08:28:45 GMT

Hi List,

The "Mauser" program is forging I have got my
health problems sorted.

The first pre-production prototype will be "the
Biggie"..bolt diameter .750 with a box length of 4.00"

This first example will be made up into a custom rifle in
.577-3 1/4" (ouch) purely for press release and
publicity purposes. This rimless round is based on the
.585 Nyati, full length basic case without the rebated rim.

This size of action is suitable for 505 Gibbs and any other
cartridge of this or larger size..up to .577-3 1/4" rimmed.

The production models will be sized, according to market
demand, in this and a shorter .375 HH "regular"
magnum length..still with the .750" bolt and
receiver ring diameter of 1.450"

I will shortly be asking for firm orders for BARRELLED
actions only..This so that I have control over quality
of breeching and chambering (to be done by Pac-nor)
and so that the complete actions can be proof tested by Pac-nor.

Price for the finished barrelled action will be in the
$1000 to $1200 range, depending on caliber and options
(DOUBLE square bridge is standard.. SINGLE square bridge
with thumb cut and clip loading, timney trigger, and three way
side swing safety will be extras.

Receiver design is such that rigidity will NOT be
compromised by the thumb cut (an essential mauser feature in my book)
a solid steel bedding plate will be provided along with the
Three screw bottom metal

the receiver will be case hardened 8620 steel with a
locking lug insert incorporating the inner "c" ring made from
A2 steel at 60 Rockwell C. Tis feature will facilitate a
"Takedown" construction if desired with a GUARANTEED return to
zero WITHOUT a bedding shot being required (a la Dakota
takedown) The bolt is also case hardened to 60C..NO
setback anticipated!!

Standard bolt shroud and cocking piece will be regular
Mauser type with military style three way safety. for
those requiring a side swing type..for low scope
mounting..the Gentry or Dakota style can be specified..along with a
cutaway bolt handle (NOT swept back will break
your finger!!)

Trigger guard will be the larger Original Oberndorf bow
with internal floorplate release

I will be asking for deposits of the order of 30% with
deliveries in 8 to ten weeks from order.

please email me directly with enquiries and


Robert Bastow, The Express Rifle Company, Atlanta Ga, Fax #
404 792 2668 Ph 404 799 6304.

Visitors and rubberneckers welcome!

From: Robert Bastow <>
Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Re: Magnum action update
Date: Sun, 13 Aug 2000 15:05:36 GMT

"David R. Birch" wrote:

> Robert Bastow wrote:
> > Receiver design is such that rigidity will NOT be
> > compromised by the thumb cut (an essential mauser feature in my book)
> Is stripper clip loading intended in your design, or is there another
> function of the thumb cut?
> David

I consider stripper clip loading as an essential feature of any Dangerous Game
Rifle..and the thumb cut is an essential feature of that design.


From: Robert Bastow <>
Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Express Rifle actions
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2000 04:11:27 GMT

This project is rapidly coming to fruition..I have firm orders in house for a
twelve week delivery for 12 barrelled actions..ranging from 375 H&H (for a gent
in OZ) through 416 Rigby, several 505 Gibbs and a couple in .585 Nyati caliber
for a Gunsmith in South Africa.

I tried to order a Cogsdill Tool "Shefcut" reamer today..the precision and
finish of the 3/4" bolt raceway through the length (10") of the receiver is

Jeez!  They (eventually..a whole differnt thread!) quoted me almost $800.00 and
12 weeks delivery!  They must be real proud of them!

I settled for a carbide tipped, oil fed reamer in a RH Cut, RH helix
persuasion..I just finnished making a coolant line adaptor with a built in
floating reamer holder to guide it on its way.

I have opted to use 8620 for the be case hardened after finishing,
with a locking lug insert of A2 air hardening steel.  The bolt is an assembly of
a length of 3/4" Thompson "60 case" shafting with a head of A2 and the bolt
handle plug welded in place.

I have chosen Lothar Walther, just up the road from here, to supply the barrels
and to fit and chamber them.  They do beautiful work, so I am not concerned
about the rifle being accurate as well as hard hitting.

For my own use I am currently hand building an even bigger action..this one with
a bolt 20MM diameter (,787") to accomodate the big, rimmed, Kynoch cases of the
.577-3 1/4" Nitro Express.  Developing a magazine box to succesfully accomodate
three of these cigar sized shells and to smoothly and reliably feed the fat
buggers, is my next challenge!

I am planning on a Safari trip to Africa in 2003..I hope to knock my very own
"Buff" flat on his ass! With trophy fees hovering around 20 grand for a Bull
Elephant, I may pass up THAT opportunity!

I am also going to be manufacturing, on a larger scale I hope, a "Blueprinted"
copy of the 1878 Sharps-Borchardt single shot, falling block action..The
interest shown in these..even at this early stage.has been phenominal.   Maybe
next the big Sharps 1874 0r 1875 action (the one Quigley used in the movie)

There are a couple of companies in the USA that already have them in
production..but their prices are DAFT!!  ($3000.00 and up) even so they are
backlogged on orders up to four years.

Room for a little Entrepreneurial Competition here methinks!

Dear Lord, Thank you for my Health, CNC...and the Good 'Ole US of A!!

Living every day to the full.


Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Furnace brazing
From: Robert Bastow <>
Date: Fri, 08 Sep 2000 01:37:15 GMT

I am looking into the possibilities of furnace brazing..with copper
joint the bolt handle (4140) to the bolt body (Thompson 60 case shafting, 3/4"
diameter) for the new range of Mauser actions we are building.

I have talked to my Heat Treating Company, who will be Gas Carburising the
Receivers (8620) at a very reasonable cost..and they do this process for several
customers.  It involves fixturing and heating in a closed atmosphere to braze
the joint, then reheating and oil quenching to re-harden. This will give enough
hardness to the bolt handle extraction cam to serve the purpose. Copper melts at
a high enough temperature not to let go at heat treatment temp.

Do any of our listers have sources of information, suppliers etc for the copper
foil and fluxes.  We can do this processing in out own shop, wrapping the
components in stainless steel foil for both operations...It DO get a bit spendy
to shop it out!!



Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Re: Furnace brazing
From: Robert Bastow <>
Date: Sat, 09 Sep 2000 00:45:54 GMT

eberlein wrote:

> Welding is possible, as I'm sure you know, but the choice of filler
> material and compatibllity with the blueing process is important, also.

I thought about plug welding in a couple of places through countersunk holes. 
However, the bolt material is 60Case Thompson shafting with a thick, carburised
outer layer.  I would expect that the resultant weld would be brittle because of
it's resulting high carbon content. 

African temperatures tend to produce higher pressures and the resulting sticky
extraction.  I would hate to see the bolt handle pop off, in the middle of the
Veldt, because some white hunter was whaling on it with an ironwood branch!

I just got a confirmed order in from a custom rifle maker in Las Vegas, for TEN
of my actions.  I am making plans to exhibit at the upcoming Safari Club show,
there in Jan 2001.  He has been asked to contribute one of two rifles,
commissioned by the Safari Club, annually, and auctioned off to members, and
plans to use one of my actions for it.  The last such rifle, a Mauser actioned
416 Rigby caliber DGR, fetched $140,000, and is considered the top honor
bestowed by the industry.

Fame and fortune are just around the corner!


Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Re: Furnace brazing
From: Robert Bastow <>
Date: Sat, 09 Sep 2000 14:38:39 GMT

Gary Coffman wrote:
> On Sat, 09 Sep 2000 00:45:54 GMT, Robert Bastow
> <> wrote:
> >I thought about plug welding in a couple of places through countersunk
> >holes. However, the bolt material is 60Case Thompson shafting with a
> >thick, carburised outer layer.  I would expect that the resultant weld
> >would be brittle because of it's resulting high carbon content.
> Well, whether you braze or weld, you're going to need to grind a flat on the
> bolt to get a good joint. That should cut through the case. You don't want to
> weld or braze directly to a case hardened surface. That would be a brittle
> joint because the case itself is brittle. If you TIG weld the handle on, you
> can make a satisfactory butt joint by Veeing out the handle where it meets
> the bolt and filling with weld. But if you braze, you need the tightest capillary
> fit up you can get. A brazed joint is strongest when the braze has to span
> the smallest gap. A pure butt braze still isn't the best idea. If you can give
> the joint mechanical support, IE a shoulder, it'll be lots stronger.

The bolt handle and it's sleeve are in one piece..joint geometry would not allow
an undercut deep enough to eliminate the very thick case on this 60case
shafting.  A very minimal gap is called for by the people who will be doing the
furnace brazing.

This method has been succesfully used to give a VERY strong joint on many
differnt rifle bolts..beginning with, IIR, the model 1917 and P1914 Enfields. 
It is succesfully used today, by Winchester on the Model 70 and Remington's
Model 700.


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