For more information on Mauser rifles, there are two classic "must read" books on the subject; see Ludwig Olson’s Mauser Bolt Rifles (#108-004-000) and The Mauser Bolt Action: A Shop Manual by Jerry Kuhnhausen (#924-400-098). If you are more of a visual learner, there’s Building the Custom Mauser Rifle (#050-120-306) on DVD, which contains a step by step demonstration of the sporterizing process. And be sure to read Brownells Gun Tech Steve Ostrem’s Mauser sporterizing journey.
Another thing to think about when choosing a rifle to sporterize is the price and availability of ammo. If you pick a gun that requires expensive or scarce ammo, consider having it rechambered or rebarreled to something more common like a .270, .308, or .30-06. Ammo for the 8mm Mauser, .303 British, and .30-06 Springfield is available, though prices have increased due to the current ammunition shortage. Rounds for the 7.62x54R Mosin-Nagant remain plentiful and relatively cheap, as long as the supplies from former East Bloc nations hold out.
After selecting a rifle to sporterize, have it checked by a qualified gunsmith. These old guns may have seen plenty of use - even abuse - over the years and may have fired thousands of rounds with corrosive powder. Therefore, it is wise to have the headspace and overall safety inspected.
Next is deciding what kind of stock you want, wood or synthetic. Brownell’s offers a variety of traditional wood and composite stocks for sporterizing your rifle.
Some military rifles had crude sights, others were more refined. If your rifle falls into the former category, you can replace the iron sights or even mount a scope. Brownells has a wide selection of aftermarket sights and scopes to choose from.
Another thing to be aware of: many military rifles have straight bolt handles that will hit a scope when you operate them. To remedy this, Brownells has an assortment of replacement bolt knobs, including some that are angled to clear the scope. If you have a Mauser, check out the Brownells bolt forging blocks (#080-941-500) to shape the Mauser handle to your specifications.
Looking for more modifications that can sporterize your rifle? You can shorten the barrel, install a new trigger, adjust the trigger weight, alter the length of pull, upgrade the safety, or do just about anything that will improve your shooting experience with the gun. Sporterized military rifles are essentially custom built, and the modifications are only limited by the owner’s imagination.