Headspace on genuine Mausers is always held to very close tolerances. The cartridge case head protrudes about 2.8 mm past the face of the chamber into the lug well when seated with the action open. The barrel and the recessed face of the bolt surround the cartridge completely on all sides except at the extractor cut, thereby reducing the danger of blown cartridge case heads to an absolute minimum.
A ring shaped groove machined into the receiver between the chamber and the locking lug, is provided to receive the cylindrical bolt head to make a particularly close fit. Any amount of gas which might eventually get through this opening past the bolt head is allowed to escape through openings in the bolt which prevents the flame from spurting to the rear and injuring the shooter.
Two gas vents in the front part of the Mauser bolt permit the safe escape of gas in the event of a blown or punctured primer. The vents are in front of the firing pin plates which prevent the gases from reaching the spring. They are lateral slits 10 x 5 mm (.39 x .195 inch). These are comparatively large, and are so designed intentionally to permit immediate diffusion of any escaping gas.
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