98k Mauser: The safety lever is "stuck"

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by Packard, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. Packard

    Packard New Member

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    Hello,

    I recently purchased my first 98k Mauser. Everything is in great condition, but the safety lever is "stuck" in the fire position (full left). I have found instructions on disassembly of the bolt to see what is wrong, but they require I move the safety lever to the "safe and unlocked" position (vertical) to do so. Are there any suggestions/insight as to what is wrong, and what I can do to fix it? Your help is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!
  2. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    For the Mauser bolt and safety to work right the bolt has to be cocked.

    If the bolt is out of the gun then grab the bolt body and the bolt sleeve. Twist the bolt sleeve clockwise when viewed from the rear to slide the bolt sleeve up the cam surface on the rear of the bolt body to the flat spot where it should stay. The cocking piece, which has the firing pin screwed into it, will move to the rear forcing the firing pin to the rear. That should allow the safety to be able to be moved freely.

    The bolt is normally cocked as the bot handle is raised when the bolt is in the gun. That leaves the bolt sleeve and the cocking piece full rearward along with the firing pin. Don't be moving the cocking piece from that cocked position unless you intend to disassemble the bolt.

    There are many good books on assembly/disassembly of rifles, and handguns in the market place. Some just give you an exploded view of the parts whereas others give you step by step instructions with pictures. Shop around and get one of those latter books but be sure it covers the 98 and the K98 (basically the same gun when it comes to assembly/disassembly).

    If cocking the bolt doesn't work then its time to take the gun to a gunsmith. I would add it takes a lot of hand power to move the cocking sleeve up the cam surface of the bolt body. It may be necessary to put the cocking sleeve in a padded vice and use the bolt handle to lever the bolt cocked.

    LDBennett
  3. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR New Member

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    Scrap it, your done....Kidding

    LD beat me to it but also many times the safety wont move because the cocking piece is binding to it. Simply on a wooden bench with the bolt face downward hook the cocking piece on the edge of the bench and then push the bolt body down. This will pull the cocking piece back and off of the safety enough for you to move it to the center position.
  4. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    That advice is correct as regards the immediate problem, but the question is why the safety doesn't move. It could be frozen in place by grease, dirt, or rust, in which case soaking the bolt in a penetrant should free it up. But inability of the safety to move out of the fire position can indicate improper work on the sear, safety, or cocking piece, and could mean the gun is dangerous.

    But the safety on a 98 Mauser performs two functions. It keeps the firing pin from going forward, but it also cams the cocking piece back off the sear. If the latter does not happen, the rifle is dangerous.

    Once you get the bolt out, and if the safety is not frozen (as mentioned above), put the bolt back in the rifle and cock it (make sure the gun is not loaded). Then if the safety still will not engage, take it to a gunsmith or come back here for more information. If the safety engages, set it to the right (on) and pull the trigger. Then move the safety to the left (off). If the firing pin drops when the safety is moved (without again touching the trigger), the gun is dangerous and need the attention of a gunsmith.

    Jim
  5. Packard

    Packard New Member

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    Thank you everyone. Using Helix's advice, I managed to get the safety into the vertical position and took the bolt apart-mainly to learn how it works. It appears that the cocking mechanism is too far forward for the safety lever to be able to move. I can move the safety between the left and vertical postions, but it does not want to go to the right. Nothing appears to be "worn down" or missing. I'm assuming that I need a gunsmith at this point, unless anyone else has any ideas.

    Paul
  6. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    Yup, I would say a trip to your local smith is next on the list.

    It sounds to me (like JimK mentioned) that it's possible that someone tried to rework the sear to "clean up" the trigger pull. if too much metal gets removed, it doesn't let the cocking piece stay pulled back far enough for the safety to engage the cocking piece to pull it back off of the sear.
  7. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    parts are more than likely mismatched. Chances are the smith will have to rework the firing mechanism, this could cost more than the rifle is worth.
  8. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    The problem probably lies in the sear and/or the cocking piece. Neither is expensive and replacing them should be a few minute DIY job for anyone with a little mechanical ability. If that ability is not present, I suggest that it is gunsmith time.

    Jim
  9. Packard

    Packard New Member

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    The mechanical ability exists, would it just be as simple as replacing those parts? Where could I find them? *********.com? Anybody else out there that deals in mauser parts?
  10. Packard

    Packard New Member

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    ...and I will agree the parts are most likely mismatched. The rifle is a Russian capture.
  11. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    JLA:

    Have you priced Mauser's lately? Even Russian captures with mis-matched parts are going for $300 and up. Everyone wants a Mauser and the demand has double the prices in the last few years. The gun is worth fixing even if it takes a gunsmith to do it. They are great shooters even with less than perfect bores. I have a couple and my son-in-law is a Mauser collector. He brings a different one to the range almost every session (shooters not collectables) and we are always amazed at how well they shoot. Our range has metal targets from 100 yds to 800 yds. Animal silhouettes at 200 to 300 yards are no problem at all and at 500 yards it can be a 50-50 proposition. Now that is great shooting with open sights and surplus ammo.

    My son-in-law likes to tell the story of one range session when a very knowledgeable regular shooter (who offers advice without hesitation or request) sat down at the next bench and was complaining about his gun and the reloads he was using. My son-in-law was obviously hitting the metals. The guy was super upset when he realize the gun was a 1930's K98 shooting 1938 surplus ammo and the metal tagets were at the 400 and 500 yd ranges.

    Mausers are exceptional military guns and only surpassed in my experience by the Swiss K31's with the surplus match ammo available a few years ago.

    LDBennett
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2010
  12. Packard

    Packard New Member

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    Thank you, everyone for your help. After further inspection, it appears that the sear needs to be replaced. (It looks as though it has been filed down.) I've already found a replacement part for less than $10.00, and hopefully that will be the fix to the problem. Thanks again!

    Paul
  13. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    The only drawback I ever found for the K.98k (and the Gew. 98) is that bare barrel between the rear sight and the receiver. After 20 rounds or so of rapid fire, that is not a good place to pick up the rifle by. Do NOT ask how I know!

    Jim
  14. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    I agree LD, too bad I only have 1, and its been on the operating table for a year now;)
  15. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    A portable bacon cooker:)
  16. finloq

    finloq New Member

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    Same issue here. When the safety lever is moved to the fire position, the cocking piece moves slightly foward and prevents the safety from engaging. If I pull back on the cocking piece slightly (with effort) the safety is free to engage. The sear looks fine as does the cocking piece (I ordered new ones anyway from NUMRICH as they are cheap)?
  17. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    A general word of caution. First, understand that I buy from Numrich (Gun Parts Corp.) regularly, and normally have complete satisfaction. I recommend them.

    However, most of their parts for milsurp come from broken up guns, either ones that were scrapped or parts from confiscated guns whose receivers were destroyed. That means that some of their parts may be worn, or out of spec. They do not have the time or the resources to check each part; that is your job when you install the part. They do have a full warranty, so you can return a part if it isn't right, but just because GPC sends out a part doesn't mean it is a new or perfect one.

    Jim
  18. finloq

    finloq New Member

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    Well the issue appears to be either the cocking piece or the firing pin, because the issue occurs when the bolt is out of the gun as well. I will wait on the new cocking piece and try that before I order a new firing pin. Both pieces look fine to the naked eye.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2010
  19. finloq

    finloq New Member

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    I have had luck with NUMRICH as well, Jim. Good customer service and speedy delivery.
    There are fewer and fewer new parts for these old guns, I expect used (but usable) parts from any dealer.
  20. Contenderizer

    Contenderizer New Member

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    I've got a K98k bolt laying around here that I don't need. If one of you could use it, drop me a PM (any kind of reasonable offer and I'll pay to ship). Serial # is 1447. Click link for photo:

    http://www.thefirearmsforum.com/showthread.php?t=41854

    I travel a great deal, so be patient if it takes a couple of days for me to respond.
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