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Can I use a Santa Barbara action #15934849 03/24/21
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Texas_Ed Offline OP
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I have a SB action and was wondering if you have/could or would build a 338 Lapua or 30 Nosler on it.
1. Will these calibers fit into the action magazine area?
2. Will the action handle the pressures of these calibers.
3. Is this something that would be safe?

Any help would be appreciated.


Re: Can I use a Santa Barbara action [Re: Texas_Ed] #15934894 03/24/21
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I don't know of any specific flaws in the SB actions, but I wouldn't try to shoe-horn a .338 lapua into a mauser 98. Even if you could do it safely (which I doubt you could) I don't think you'd be happy with the 98 as a long range precision rifle. You'd end up spending more in custom work for an inferior action than the cost of a good modern action.

Re: Can I use a Santa Barbara action [Re: Texas_Ed] #15935275 03/24/21
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MTDan,,, says it like it is.

Re: Can I use a Santa Barbara action [Re: Texas_Ed] #15935486 03/24/21
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agree, you can but why would you? I have put 330 Dakota in a pre 64 70 action but without a drop magazine you get one round in chamber and two in magazine. the rifle and the cartridge are vary accurate, as are the 300 dakotas. The only challenge with the dakota's now is finding brass if you did not stock up when it was available. Someone on the fire was looking for 330 dakota brass last weekend.

Re: Can I use a Santa Barbara action [Re: Texas_Ed] #15935650 03/24/21
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The Santa Barbara mauser actions have a mixed reputation. There have been claims/issues with them being "soft"; improperly hardened receiver metal. The claim relating to bolt set-back issues, I'd not use one for any purpose. Potentially 'unsafe at any speed'; my opinion. The Winchester pre '64 receiver & bolt body are fabricated of Chromium Molybdenum alloy steel. Not to comment on dimensional considerations, but to date a highly successful super-strength steel, if something in the manner of 'over kill'. Perhaps in the application of "target arm", a push-feed action system might better suit such needs. Superior breech sealing in PF as opposed to ultimately reliable feeding in CRF.
Good luck with your project and...
Just my take.
John

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Re: Can I use a Santa Barbara action [Re: Texas_Ed] #15935811 03/25/21
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I built a .338 Win. Magnum on a Santa Barbara, no problem with any of the concerns you cite.

Re: Can I use a Santa Barbara action [Re: Texas_Ed] #15937087 03/25/21
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MTDan Offline
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I think the stories about SB actions being softer steel are urban legend. No personal experience with them, but I've never seen documentation of a failure from inferior metallurgy. Posters on other forums have checked rockwell hardness and they seem to check out.

I think the limiting factor here is the action design is from 1898 and intended to be used with rounds in the 7x57 pressure range. Sure, they've fit bigger rounds in them safely, but if I were building high-pressure magnum from the ground up, I'd pick something else.

Re: Can I use a Santa Barbara action [Re: MTDan] #15937515 03/25/21
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Originally Posted by MTDan
I think the stories about SB actions being softer steel are urban legend. No personal experience with them, but I've never seen documentation of a failure from inferior metallurgy. Posters on other forums have checked rockwell hardness and they seem to check out.

I think the limiting factor here is the action design is from 1898 and intended to be used with rounds in the 7x57 pressure range. Sure, they've fit bigger rounds in them safely, but if I were building high-pressure magnum from the ground up, I'd pick something else.


Primary reason not to build the rifle in the OP's cartridge choices are that the action is too small for the cartridges. the 1898 action being designed around a cartridge with max length of 3.230" or so with a mag box length of 3.310". The .338 WM and other "short magnums" can be easily fitted to the actions with minimal effort. Opening the action to accommodate cartridges that exceed 3.400" in length is much more involved and, in the mind of some, a questionable practice.

With regards to metallurgy and heat treatment, I often gear that the actions were soft yet have never seen evidence of such. I think many confuse these actions with the Spanish made military actions. In fact, the SB commercial actions were sometimes found to be too hard as early heat treatment consisted of flame hardening in much the same manner as early 1903 Springfields. As a result some suffered from the same malady of being to hard/brittle. this condition most often exhibited in receivers with a purple hue.

Re: Can I use a Santa Barbara action [Re: Texas_Ed] #15940024 03/26/21
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1 No. 2maybe 3 No


there is no man more free than he who has nothing left to lose --unknown--
" If it bleeds we can kill it" Conan The Barbarian
Re: Can I use a Santa Barbara action [Re: MTDan] #15940248 03/26/21
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Originally Posted by MTDan
I think the stories about SB actions being softer steel are urban legend. No personal experience with them, but I've never seen documentation of a failure from inferior metallurgy. Posters on other forums have checked rockwell hardness and they seem to check out.

I think the limiting factor here is the action design is from 1898 and intended to be used with rounds in the 7x57 pressure range. Sure, they've fit bigger rounds in them safely, but if I were building high-pressure magnum from the ground up, I'd pick something else.


I don't care for Santa Barbara actions because they were made in Spain and I don't have enough faith in Spanish manufacturing quality to spend money and time building on any Spanish action, commercial or military. I don't really care for Yugoslav Zastavas either, but the ones imported by Interarms seem to be of higher quality, at least better fit and finish, than the current ones. That is my take on them and since we all have different life experiences, opinion and actual outcomes will necessarily be different.

IC-B

Re: Can I use a Santa Barbara action [Re: Texas_Ed] #15940846 03/26/21
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iskra Offline
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My offhand recalled reference to Santa Barbara category actions "soft", relates to the Golden State Arms branded "Centurion Mauser"; generically Santa Barbara action. The encyclopedic work "Bolt Action Rifles" by Frank de Haas, @ Page 305, references a Rockwell hardness test result reported to the author. YRead the comment at the bottom right of that page (also shown confusingly as Page 306). A generally comprehensive review of the Santa Barbara mauser occurson the following pages.

https://archive.org/details/Bolt_Action_Rifles_3rd_Edition/mode/2up

Reading hint: This reference is available free, but the navigation involved in reading & pagination, is sadly weird. Navigation clue: The cursor control for reading doesn't work as conventional "push & hold to navigate" Rather like an "on-off" switch. Push & release to engage and remaining in navigation mode until push & release to disengage!

Good Reading!
John

Re: Can I use a Santa Barbara action [Re: Texas_Ed] #15942238 03/26/21
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I built a 338 Remington ultra mag on SB mag action. No issues. The thing that hinders the lupua is the length of the cartridge technically lapua operates at lower pressure the ultra mag.

Re: Can I use a Santa Barbara action [Re: Texas_Ed] #15968050 04/03/21
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greydog Offline
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I have not heard of any which were soft but did hear, from one of the Parker Hale guys, of some which were too hard. They tried to bump up the hardness a little to make the actions a little slicker and had some issues with stress cracking. It was a short lived experiment and all those receivers were junked. The Santa Barbera were an alloy steel action. I would not use one for a 338 Lapua because I don't like the idea of opening up the mauser action for long cartridges. GD

Re: Can I use a Santa Barbara action [Re: Texas_Ed] #15981402 04/10/21
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This is one of my Santa Barbara actions. Currently has a pressure test barrel with a strain gauge mounted.

Stuck it in the Wilson Rockwell tester, came out with 26 Rockwell on the C scale. Certainly OK for most standard cartridges. I would not use it for the big cartridges as you remove too much metal from the bottom lug area. And making a lapua feed out of a Mauser would be a real nightmare.

I have seen lower hardness values for these actions. And for other Mausers, as low as 12 on the Rockwell C scale.

My advice? Have your actions tested before re barreling to a modern cartridge. One trouble with the big cases is a lot of guys tend to "tip the powder can" in search of high velocities and run the pressures up.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

The pressure test barrel in action:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

And the best way to go for a 338 Lapua: The CZ550 action. This one has a No.6 Pac Nor at 30 inches long.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Cartridges are a 308 and the 338 Lapua.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


Survivor of the 13th Original Colony, I escaped on December 17, 1968.
Re: Can I use a Santa Barbara action [Re: Texas_Ed] #15993087 04/14/21
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I'd use a Santa Barb for conventional .473 cartridges only. It's great for that (mine is a 6-250 Imp), but I'd never hog it out.


Up hills slow,
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Safety last.
Re: Can I use a Santa Barbara action [Re: Dave_Skinner] #15993676 04/14/21
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Originally Posted by Dave_Skinner
I'd use a Santa Barb for conventional .473 cartridges only. It's great for that (mine is a 6-250 Imp), but I'd never hog it out.


Yep, best answer yet.


Survivor of the 13th Original Colony, I escaped on December 17, 1968.

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