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Hey folks,

I have a Turkish M38 chambered for 6.5 Sweed. It's a shooter; .274" bug holes using 120 NBT and Varget. I would love to hunt with this gun, thing is if I load the magazine up with four rounds, the round is not picked up by the bolt head. Hence the round is pushed into battery and the bolt will not close. There is no problem if I single feed the round, even from the magazine.

I don't know if it's the bolt head or magazine spring. Some have recommended opening up the bolt face and turn it into a push feed. Others have warned that if they mess up the bolt there is not fixing that and it becomes a show piece.

I'm looking for options? Is there anyone else experiencing this issue? How did you fix it? Is there a smith(s) you'd recommend that specializes in Mauser rifles.

Thanks in advance


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About any Mauser bolt will work for a turk. Don't sweat it. Try a new spring.

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Explain to me how you open up the boltface and make it a push feed?

The 6,5x55 case is larger in diameter than the 8x57 the M38 was made to feed. Chances are, the mag box is too narrow or the feed rails need attending to. Could be that the extractor is too tight as well since the rim is also larger. So as you can see, it could be any number of things or a combination of things.

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You don’t actually have to open up the bolt face, just reshape the extractor. It requires that the extractor doesn’t have as much engagement length as well as changing the angle of the extractor face and polishing it to make it easier to snap over the cartridge rim similar to what Ruger did on the tang safety M-77. I am not recommending it, just saying it is possible.
The problem is possibly in the feed lips since the Swede cartridge is slightly fatter than the 7.92. Unfortunately altering the feed lips is a non reversible alteration. Proceed carefully. Try a new mag spring first.

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Originally Posted by z1r
Explain to me how you open up the boltface and make it a push feed?

The 6,5x55 case is larger in diameter than the 8x57 the M38 was made to feed. Chances are, the mag box is too narrow or the feed rails need attending to. Could be that the extractor is too tight as well since the rim is also larger. So as you can see, it could be any number of things or a combination of things.

z1r is right on ! As usual grin

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You could try different magazine springs and followers.


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How does it feed with three in the magazine? If it feeds fine, do you really need three as a back-up or could you be comfortable with two?


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Mausers are pretty precise and can be finicky. I had one one time with the exact same issue. The problem I found was that the collar/ring that goes around the bolt to attach the extractor was a bit proud and extended a fraction above the recess in the bolt. When the magazine was full the collar would catch on the rim, presumably going back, and then it would mess up coming forward so that the cartridge would ride into the chamber in front of the extractor.

I fixed it by stoning that collar so that it was no longer proud. But a weaker magazine spring might have worked too.

I couldn’t even figure out exactly how it was causing that particular problem. I just went looking for something that looked slightly wrong, found that, stoned it a bit, and it started working perfectly. Oh, and I believe it was a 6.5 too.

Last edited by JoeBob; 08/12/22.
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Pull the bolt and see if a round slides up under the extractor or if you really have to force it. Does it feed with three? Does it feed from both sides of the rail, except with 4? Might just be the mag spring is not pushing the back end of the follower up.

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I have had Turks in 7mm-08, 6.5x55, 260 Rem and 6mm Rem and all have fed slick as snot. Yours sounds like it has a spring issue. The 6.5x55 is close enough to standard size that it should make no difference. GD

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Originally Posted by TX35W
Pull the bolt and see if a round slides up under the extractor or if you really have to force it. Does it feed with three? Does it feed from both sides of the rail, except with 4? Might just be the mag spring is not pushing the back end of the follower up.

Those ideas seem sensible, especially checking for rim clearance between the extractor and boltface.

I’m not a Swede guy; does some brass have thicker rims than others? There’s some nugget in my poor old brain about dimensional issues with it, but I can’t locate it. Maybe another brand of brass will work better.


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Originally Posted by kennymauser
Originally Posted by z1r
Explain to me how you open up the boltface and make it a push feed?

The 6,5x55 case is larger in diameter than the 8x57 the M38 was made to feed. Chances are, the mag box is too narrow or the feed rails need attending to. Could be that the extractor is too tight as well since the rim is also larger. So as you can see, it could be any number of things or a combination of things.

z1r is right on ! As usual grin

kennymauser;
Good morning to you sir, I hope that this Labor Day Weekend had been good to you so far and you're well.

In my experience, the suggestions offered by z1r and greydog are spot on. I'll note that I do know greydog both through chatting on the phone and from his reputation as a very fine gunsmith.

Off the top of my head, issues with feeding with 98 actions were what they suggested as well as sometimes the shape of the magazine follower.

While it wasn't a Mauser, a Ruger 77 Liberty Model tanger in .338 refused to feed reliably for me. When a wonderfully crusty gunsmith in Tonasket described his usual fix to me for what he called, "those jammers", it worked most of the time, but not 100%. Later on I had it rebarreled to .308 Norma which is nearly an identical case shape as far as the degree of body taper and the same as when it was a .338 Win Mag, it didn't always feed.

Fast forward a few years and I was tearing my little remaining hair out trying to get a 98 barreled to .22-250AI 40° to feed reliably and it resisted my best efforts.

I had on the bench, about 5 followers from different rifles and at least that many magazine springs. As I was playing with the .22-250AI anyways, I also pulled out that 77 and began swapping parts to see what I could learn.

Strange as it might seem to relate, a follower out of a 96 Swede with a modified brand new Ruger magazine spring made the Ruger 77 feed perfectly! Weird as it might seem too, along with fooling with the feed rails a wee bit at a time, the magnum follower out of the Ruger 77 along with a fairly fresh surplus Mauser mag spring worked in the .22-250AI.

As z1r says, it's mostly a combination of things.

Lastly Pappy 348 asked about Swede rims - that is if they had thicker rims. In the Swede brass that we've played with, "usually" the European stuff is slightly larger in diameter - usually. They seem to have the same thickness as say '06 or .270 brass though. It'll depend upon a few things though I'm guessing. My usual walking around rifle made from a Mauser roll marked action fed .30-06 brass from many sources, then about that many varieties of .270 brass with that barrel and when I had a 6.5x55 barrel put on it fed even better than the previous two.

Another sample of one bolt face and how it gets along with the extractor, which is a commercial FN one that lightly polished before installing it when I first made the '06.

Hopefully that's useful to someone out there.

All the best to you and everyone this Labor Day Long Weekend.

Dwayne


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