As my readers know, I’m a big fan of the K98 Mauser large ring action. I bought a stripped receiver with the IDF crest for just $50, so that someday I could build it out into some sort of target/sporting rifle, but at the moment I have no specific plans. Old K98 actions, Israeli and otherwise, are very popular actions for building so-called “sporter” or “scout” rifles, which are basically carry-around rifles for general hunting and target shooting. There are quite a few after-market stocks made for the Mauser action, and all kinds of barrels, even pre-threaded and chambered barrels the amateur gunsmith can install and head space with hand tools (although most of us would benefit from having a gunsmith with a lathe install the barrel). Almost always a scope is mounted, which eliminates the ability for fast reloads with stripper clips, so each round is fed one at a time into the internal magazine.
However, there is a company here in Florida that has begun making the “bottom metal”, i.e. a replacement for the internal magazine that instead accepts external, AI patterned magazines. I don’t know anything about the quality of the product or the company, I’m just letting readers know it is out there. So if you really just *have* to build a Mauser sporter out of an old Israeli Mauser action, this bottom metal could really open up the possibilities. If you know anything about this new system, please leave comments and share your experience.
Now that all said, Ruger has a .308 Scout rifle out now that also takes magazines and is getting great reviews, and Mossberg and of course Remmington make some very nice, and very affordable general purpose “sporter” rifles as well. To build a Mauser sporter you’ll spend quite a bit more unless you’re a serious DIYer (you can install and headspace a pre-threaded barrel, bed an action, etc.), but you can end up with a rifle that is exactly what you want, and perhaps with deeper meaning to you than something off the shelf. Also there are a number of companies making really beautiful wood stocks that take Mauser actions. Personally, I am hoping someone will manufacture some sort of aluminum chassis system that will accept Mauser actions, so I could just drop it in and use it for NRA High Power and dabble in some tactical matches some day. Unfortunately, right now there doesn’t seem to be much interest, so as far as I know nobody is making one…yet.