Restoring A Mauser 1910
Over summer, while high of the income of a new job fresh out of college, I was looking at various pocket pistols in 25 Auto from the last turn of the century (no not the Y2K one). The first thing you will notice about these old guns is that they often go for well above $400 here in the states. Sure, you could settle for a cheap one from the last 40 years (why you would do that with your money is beyond me) but I wasn’t going to. Thus, I browsed Broke Gunner until I came across a Mauser 1910 for $230. My first thought being “what’s wrong with it?” Looking further into the description, the seller said that pulling the trigger would not always drop the striker to fire the gun. Me, hoping to get a good project at that price, bought it.
After a few days and the tedium of setting up the online purchase, I found myself at a local FFL picking it up (amazing to think I had to undergo a background check for an online sale, liberals told me I didn’t). After 15min and $20 for the transfer, I was able to take it home, but not before exploring the controls of it at the FFL.
Once home, I decided to strip the gun to take a look inside, and I was in for a surprise. The last guy to own this gun clearly didn’t understand what cleaning was at all. The internals of the weapon were caked and blackened by what I assumed was decades worth of spent powder, oil, and dust. The first detail strip brought to light an issue with the trigger group not resetting the firing pin. Upon checking for fixes online, I knew this problem wasn’t a broken pin assembly.
I detail stripped it a second time, this time (basically) bathing the parts in Hoppe’s No9 (somehow without gassing myself in the laundry room). Once again, I had no luck. However I was starting to get the metal to shine (well, in some cases) through on each part. After a third detail and a bath of PB Blast, I managed to get the pistol working and the cleanest it had been in decades.
Fast forward about a week and a half, I got it out to the range to fire at steel targets roughly 10 yards out. However, of the 9 rounds in the mag, only 2 hit. Being that was strange to me, I took it apart to find that the barrel was shot-out. Something I really didn’t think about. However, that wasn’t the worst of it. This Texan bubba, in his infinite wisdom, decided to take just enough material out of the chamber right before the barrel in such a manner that it caused the spent casings to expand. Which meant the extractor wasn’t pulling them and I had to use pliers to pull them.
After getting back from the range, it was time to see if there were any barrels left for these handguns. I checked Numrich to find that barrels were not only $109 but also out of stock. This was a frustrating setback, so I decided from there to start asking my friends if they had any idea of who might have one. Only a few days later and I had an answer and ordered a new barrel for $50.
This was not the end of my efforts. Once the barrel arrived, I discovered I would need to do a little hand fitting to get it installed properly. For when I got it, the pin hole in the post of the new barrel didn’t like up with the pin hole in the frame. Secondly, the post on the barrel sat just a bit high.
With no good tools around to start, I began to shave down the post with a whetstone to get the barrel lined up and called up a buddy to see what tools he has available. Once at his place, we began to work on the pin hole with a file and an electric drill. All that needed to be done was to widen the pin hole on the post of the new barrel just enough to allow the original pin through. The pin was rather smug on the new barrel, but I’ll take a fresh bore on a tightly locked barrel over a shot-out and violated one any day.
My Grandfather once said that any man can build or fix things, and that needing “proper tools” was an excuse for being lazy. Something along those lines. It’s hearsay and he’s long gone at this point. My point here is, my gun runs perfectly now, and I didn’t use the “right” tools. Though at $280 for what is now catching $500, I’m not regretting anything. Building and repairing things brings me satisfaction. Hope you liked having me take up your time.