Disassemble and Clean the Bolt

The preservative grease inside the bolt will cause the rifle to fail to fire. To clean the bolt, you must become knowledgeable about its disassembly and reassembly. You may require some help here as this is somewhat difficult (it requires some strength in your hands and you are dealing with a very powerful firing pin spring, so pay careful attention).

a. Check the position of the safety lever. It should be in the vertical (upright) position. If it isn't, put the bolt back in the rifle and close it. Swing the safety lever up to the vertical position. Then remove the bolt from the rifle and proceed.

b. Separate the firing pin assembly from the bolt body as follows. Observe the small spring loaded plunger on the rear of the bolt opposite the bolt handle. It is the Bolt Sleeve Lock Plunger. Grasp the bolt in your left hand and with your left thumb, push in the plunger. With your right hand, grasp and turn the whole rear assembly counter clockwise. After one or two complete turns, the rear assembly will turn easily without pressure on the locking plunger. Unscrew the assembly and lift the firing pin assembly out of the bolt body. You will likely find it covered with protective grease, which would likely cause a failure to fire. Soak both the entire empty bolt body and the firing pin assembly in solvent.

c. Notice that the bolt body has two gas vents in the bottom of the bolt body. These serve two purposes. First, they serve as the primary gas escape holes in case of a cartridge failure and second, they are two lubrication ports giving you access to the whole bolt internally because you won't want to take it apart very often.

d. Clean the bolt body:

i. Swab the interior of the bolt body. Make sure there is no dried grease left inside.

Bolt Sleeve with Gas Shield

Third Lug

Full Length Claw Extractor

Bolt Sleeve with Gas Shield

Third Lug

Full Length Claw Extractor

Take Apart Mauser Bolt

Cocking Piece

Sleeve Lock Plunger

Gas Vents

Cocking Piece

Sleeve Lock Plunger

Gas Vents

Fig 3. Bolt Assembly, Bottom View.

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ii. Clean all of the little nooks and crannies. A tooth brush is handy. Carefully inspect everything.

ii. Observe the long claw extractor. It should easily rotate around the bolt through the full range of its guide slot. Do not remove the extractor. Simply clean it. Restore it to its original position in line with the locking lug, otherwise you won't be able to get the bolt back into the rifle.

e. Clean the Firing Pin Assembly:

Notice that the firing pin is in cocked position, the very powerful firing pin spring being compressed and held in position by the safety lever. Do not attempt to release the safety. Normally this assembly can be cleaned without further disassembly. Soak the assembly in solvent and then wipe, brush, and blow it clean.

Further disassembly is difficult and not normally necessary. Also there is some risk of bending the firing pin. Skip the following italicized steps unless you have a real reason to completely disassemble the Firing Pin Assembly.

f Disassemble the Firing Pin Assembly, which consists of the Firing Pin, the highly compressed Firing Pin Spring, the Bolt Sleeve, and the Cocking Piece.

i. Caution: Notice that the firing pin protrudes about 2" beyond the front of the compressed spring. Be careful not to bend it when compressing the spring. Do not apply force to the tip of the firing pin. It is best if you ha ve a work table or a block of wood with a small hole into which the front of the firing pin will fit, right up to the squared off enlarged portion just in front of the spring. (If this is not available to you, do not proceed.)

Safety Lever

Safety Lever

Mauser Bolt Cocking Sleeve

Cocking Piece in cocked position

To compress spring, apply force here

Firing Pin

Cocking Piece in cocked position

Firing Pin Spring

NEVER Apply Force Here ii. Caution: From this point on you will be dealing with a highly compressed and powerful spring. You must wear eye protection. If you don't have it, stop the procedure until you get eye protection because you will be decompressing and compressing the spring (in the re-assembly process).

iii. Compress the spring: With the firing pin inserted into the work table hole, firmly grasp the bolt sleeve while leaving the cocking piece free to move. This takes considerable pressure and strength. Exert downward pressure on the bolt sleeve, compressing the spring until the cocking piece can be freely turned 90 degrees in either direction (you may well need some help here).

iv. Remove the cocking piece: With the cocking piece turned 90 degrees, you can slowly relax your downward pressure on the spring tension and the whole assembly will come apart. Note which side of the firing pin is up, so you can reassemble it the same way. The firing pin and its spring will come apart (you can see how powerful it is) as well as the bolt sleeve and safety lever. Swing the safety lever over to full right (otherwise it won't come off) and then pull it straight back. It will come right out.

v. Now you can clean everything in detail. You won't want to disassemble the bolt too often (for obvious reasons). You can see that the firing pin and its spring live deep inside the bolt body so you want a light film of oil over the entire surface of all parts; especially inside the bolt body. Never use grease inside the bolt, it could cause a failure to fire.

g. Re-assemble the firing pin assembly.

i. Insert the safety lever into the bolt sleeve with the lever going in at the full right position (otherwise it won't go) and then swing it up to the vertical position and keep it there during bolt assembly. The vertical safety position is necessary for bolt assembly, and in that position it can be used as an additional surface to apply force when compressing the firing pin spring in the next step.

ii. Put the firing pin spring back onto the firing pin and put the firing pin tip into the worktable hole. Slide the bolt sleeve assembly over the rear of the firing pin. It can go on only two ways, because the firing pin has flat sides. We suggest that you should always reassemble it with the same side up.

iii. While you hold the spring almost fully compressed, install the cocking piece over the firing pin. It too will slide on two different ways, but after you rotate it to lock it on, the sear must be oriented so that it slides into the corresponding slot in the bolt sleeve.

iv. Make sure the safety lever is in the vertical position. If it is not, compress the spring again and turn the safety lever to the vertical position. The bolt is now cocked' because the spring is compressed and ready for installation into the bolt body.

Now that you have seen some of the internal parts, you can appreciate the superior engineering and extra strength built into your rifle. Now you can begin the reassembly process.

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