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1888 custom project ideas?
Weaponeer Forums : 1888 Commission Rifle

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  MNguncollector

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Posted: September 22 2010 at 6:07pm | IP Logged Quote MNguncollector

A lot of us are familiar with the beat up old Gew 88 rifles that where for sale a while back. Many of these rifles are really beyond the point of doing a complete restoration and I'm just curious what kind of ideas people have for building something based on one of these old rifles. Has anyone already made any interesting projects out of one of these?

The action is pretty smooth but the barrel jacket and the whole enblock clip system are features we could probably afford to lose. Most of these also have incomplete bolts as well.

Lets hear some ideas! Caliber conversions, etc. I know there are some very technical and machanically inclined guys on here but I'm not one of them so some simple explanations of how to do things would be appreciated! lol

I personally got some random parts together a few years ago and went about trying to make a Mannlicher style sporter type rifle out of one of these like those from the late 19th century. I cut down and refinished the stock, cut down the rusted barrel jacket so just the very front part for the forward action screw was preserved, and cut down and recrowned the barrel. Unfortuantly the project stalled when I ran into some problems (barrel jacket from different rifle doesn't screw all the way onto the reciever, missing bolt face/extractor/ejector, got too expensive, etc). Plus with the thin barrel underneath the barrel jacket and the loose fit inside the stock (with barrel jacket removed) and enblock clip feeding it seemed far from an ideal sporter rifle. And I don't think I'd feel comfortable with modern 8x57 ammo in it but perhaps this project can be salvaged into a fun shooter. I'm open to any ideas!

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  tommerr

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Posted: September 22 2010 at 9:14pm | IP Logged Quote tommerr

I just put three of these kits up for sale. Included was a new bolt face. I bought it a couple of years ago on another web site but I do not remember which one. That means parts are being made again for these rifles.
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  midmichigun

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Posted: September 22 2010 at 9:59pm | IP Logged Quote midmichigun

MNGUN,

Well, I am a purist (mostly)... so I am more of a restoration at all costs.  Honest... look at some of my posts on the G88!

That being said, I know of people doing the barrel swap to other calibers. If my memory is correct, the G88 is a "small ring mauser" type rifle. Hence you can in theory grab pretty much any barrel that fits them, and go forward. The small ring mauser designation also allows you to approach barrel makers for custom caliber (non military) conversions.

As to the strength of the receiver, I hear alot of "stuff" but personally haven't encountered any problems. However... beware of over pressuring an antique rifle.

The bolt heads are actually made NEW by someone.... But I warn you... he "ain't cheap": http://www.gunloads.com/fam/swedenelson/album2.htm

Obviously you can get stuff on Gunbroker... OWS has stuff on occasion on GB.

Of further interest is: http://www.lothar-walther.de/277.php

Lothar builds barrels for the G88... and I am sure custom cals can be had.

As to shooting the rifle, most people slug the bore regardless the markings or what they "feel". You can then cast bullets for the "8mm".

There has been discussion on mounting scopes to these rifles. Historically I don't think there is a precedence... however, I think I remember someone on a site doing it. Sorry, no link.

Tommerr is offering an excellent deal for anyone who wants the G88! After visiting Mr. Nelson's site, you will agree that Tommerr is offering a real sweet deal.

BTW, I visit: http://www.gew88.com/gew_88_forum/ often. These guys mostly do restorations of the G88, but there are some guys who post custom rifles (from last century) and also do some custom rifles themselves. Weaponeer however has the most inventive people in comparison to the two sites.

Post some pics of where you are... and I am sure people will chime in with helpful hints and ideas.

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  Viper Dude

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Posted: July 31 2011 at 1:48am | IP Logged Quote Viper Dude

My M-88 parts consist of only a receiver and a headless bolt.  No stock, no trigger guard, no barrel jacket or hardware either to expedite things.  But... I plan to scratch out a Manlicher style carbine in .45 ACP.  This will take some time and crafting.  My current limitation is that my Atlas 618 lathe is too small for barrel work (18 inch centers but only a 1/2 inch bore through the headstock.

That little lathe is also being rebuilt and will hopefully be swapped or sold toward a larger machine.  Tooling for the 618 is rather spendy as too many old farts like these small lathes for making brass model steam engines or clock stuff.  Oh well... each to his own.

The M-88 trigger guard-mag housing can be eliminated in my project and replaced with a a 1911 pistol magezine and a simple trigger guard like on a Krag rifle.

Those classic "butter knife" bolt handles are cool.  I'll see what I can find from a yard sale real butter knife handle.

Oh, gotta have that cool stock schnabel (bird beak front) like the original M-88 cav carbines.

VD

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  Viper Dude

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Posted: April 22 2012 at 7:54pm | IP Logged Quote Viper Dude

Almost one year since the above !!!!!  Still no progress.  That's exasperating.  I compared the M-88 bolt to a M-98 bolt and discovered that the M-98 is nearly identical size save for the extractor, handle, and sear block specs.  Perhaps an M-91 Argie bolt could be modified as a substitute... hmmmm.

Likely it would be simpler to make a new M-88 bolt head for my low stress .45 ACP idea.

VD

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  midmichigun

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Posted: April 23 2012 at 11:32am | IP Logged Quote midmichigun

Viper,

Hey, I was wondering where you were at on this project!

Ya, I think if you went with a chromoly (heat treated) bolt head, you would be fine for the 45acp.

Have you looked into any of the Numrich barrls in that caliber? While you may have problems with the threading since you lack in the lath department, you might be able to pin the barrel in place, somehow.

Is your lathe back in service??

Let me know what you are thinking on your stock. Are you thinking about putting a barrel jacket back on? Or eliminate that part? Obviously that will affect your stock design...

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  Viper Dude

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Posted: April 23 2012 at 3:16pm | IP Logged Quote Viper Dude

Hi midmichigan,

My little 618 Atlas is still under restoration.  I do have a 7x10 Harbor Freight which cuts threads well and has a 20mm bore through the headstock.  The M-88 barrel thread is small ring Mauser (12 V TPI x .986").  A work-around will be needed.  I have considered a .45 cal liner for the toasted old M-88 barrel (shortened).

The barrel jacket will be a small threaded sleeve coupling with a threaded boss for an action screw (Mauser 1/4 x 22 or a #16 machine screw).

Stock... I'm thinking bullpup something of wood and fiberglass.  I've built such stuff before. 

Bolt head...  A simple 4130 CMS part should do the job as the locking stress is mainly on the bolt sleeve lugs.  The head sees compression loading.   The M-88 bolt head drawings from last year are a real help.  Otherwise all quiet on the western front here in AZ.

VD in AZ

 

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  Viper Dude

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Posted: April 25 2012 at 1:28am | IP Logged Quote Viper Dude

That barrel coupling usually found on the barrel jacket that threads onto the receiver uses a 30-1.0mm thread (on my receiver at least).  I will attempt to make that part from a 1 inch bore steel shaft collar bored/threaded slightly off-set to allow max material at the setscrew part which will retain an action screw (anchor the front of the receiver). 

VD

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  Viper Dude

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Posted: April 25 2012 at 11:53pm | IP Logged Quote Viper Dude

Easier said than done.  The 1 inch bore shaft collar has lots of meat to it which is good... but it is larger than my tiny 7x10 inch Harbor Freight mini lathe 3-jaw chuck can hold.  I'll need a 4 inch diameter 4--jaw chuck for the mods to make the threaded receiver bushing w/ stock lug.  NUTS !!!  My Atlas 618 lathe isn't rebuilt yet and it doesn't have metric threading gears either.  It's always something.

For now I'll focus on carving a bolt head likely from a large ... bolt.  What an original concept.  It appears that a fat 12mm bolt can provide the needed material.  If more meat is needed I'll look at a 1/2 inch t-bolt (tie-down bolt).  Those all are forged steel.

VD

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  Viper Dude

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Posted: August 02 2014 at 3:00am | IP Logged Quote Viper Dude

It has been like 2.25 years since that old post.  My Atlas 618 lathe project has been completed and I also restored an Atlas 12xz36 lathe since then.  The poor M-88 actions still reside in the closet awaiting some TLC and inspiration.  The 12 speed HF bench mill needs a rebuild before attempting any serious work.  The .45 acp cal Manlicher cav carbine still has my attention. 

VD in AZ 

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  backbencher

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Posted: August 02 2014 at 11:21am | IP Logged Quote backbencher

Interesting project.  The 88 actions are interesting, particularly as the pre-'99 Mausers are drying up.  The thing to remember is most 88 bbls are .318", not the .323" of the 98.  The Germans did not consider the action viable for conversion to .323" ammo pressures even in the 1st WW.
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