Guns & Ammo Network

Collapse bottom bar
Ask the Gunsmith Gunsmithing

Mauser Bent Bolt Handle

by Reid Coffield   |  August 29th, 2011 16

Mauser Bent Bolt Handle

To bend a straight Mauser bolt handle with minimal risk of damage, the bolt handle shank will need to be heated with a torch to almost 1000∞ or until it is a glowing red color.

Question: I am working on a Mauser rifle and want to bend the bolt handle. Right now it sticks straight out to the right. Can I bend the handle without using any heat? I don’t have a welding outfit and it would be a lot easier if I could just do it myself.

Answer: If you try to bend the bolt handle cold, it will probably break or crack. I would strongly encourage you to take the bolt to a gunsmith so the handle shank can be heated and bent safely. Also, youíll want to make sure there is no heat damage to the locking lugs or the cammning surface of the bolt body when heat is applied to the bolt handle.


  • Robert Pelfrey

    Hi: Having done several Mausers, it is a good idea to cut a V in the bolt handle where you wish the bend to be, bend and reweld. Makes a super looking and functioning job.

  • Jeremiah Landry

    ive done alot of mausers in my time, and i've never heard of "cutting" the bolt handle. as far as my knowledge goes, you never "cut" into a billet piece of metal then try to reweld, it compromises the structure of the metal. heat and bend method is the best way to accomplish the desired bend to the bolt, just remember to put some kind of padding in the vice you plan to use, you dont want to mare the finish on your bolt when bending.

    • Jim Barber

      I have done number of tem cutting and welding a new bolt handle blank with a welding jig. and reheat treating the ares that show color. They look beautiful when fnished rather than a hashed uplooking bend job.
      Jim Barber

  • Dave Rooney

    this link will give you most of the info you need to do it right.

  • Jim Barber

    How can I get a copy of your , article; Part 1 "Modernizing the SKS" !0-17 Issue.

    Thank You.

    JIm Barber

  • Paul Casterline

    I let my 10 – 10 copy of SGN get away from me. How can I get a copy of your article, Part 1 "Modernizing the SKS"???
    Thank You.
    Paul Casterline

  • bhupinder.sandhu

    well thats interesting like cutting and then rewelding i personaly see no harm in doing that many done aestheticaly can get appreciation but there are lines that have to remain like the smooth action of the bolt should not be compromised

  • Jim

    Can this be done with the Mosin Nagant 91/30? The bolts are almost identical, except the Mosins handle shaft is a little shorter.

  • MKG

    It is your Mauser, you can do what you like with it. I own a Czech Mauser and I think the straight bolt handle gives it character. The only trouble I have with the straight bolt is loosing the sight picture when cycling the next round. Not an issue for me, but can be quite annoying to some folks. Besides as an antique gun collector I like to keep the firearm to original design for posterity. If you insist on bending the bolt handle, I agree with the comments posted above, take it to a gunsmith. It probably won't cost you much, and it will be done right. In any event enjoy your Mauser, they are awesome pieces.

  • gunsmithdad

    jim,yes it can be done on your gun. go to brownells and get the bolt bending jig. read and follow instructions.

  • stevyn

    If you feel confident that you can do it, do it. BUT, I would get a spare bolt to practice on and not the matching ser# from your gun. Lots of places you can get bolts from. Sarco, Numrich, Lee's gun parts in Dallas just to name a few. or save the original bolt for collector value and use the spare. Most Milsurp bolts headspace just fine, but get a Smith to check it. Have fun.

  • Ray Molina

    I have purchased several Yugo SKS, and would love to get the full article on the modifications that were done by the"Gunsmith" Reid Coffield, I happen to purchase the Volume 65 issue 35, and love to have the first two parts..
    Thanks …Ray

  • Clark Magnuson

    I have been sporterizing Mausers for 46 years.
    I have bent the bolt with forging blocks and Oxyacetylene.
    I have TIG welded the bolt handle and handle extension.

    I have bent the bolt and then TIG welded the extension. That is probably the strongest for jumping on a stuck case like a pogo stick, but when you consider Rem700 bolt handles are soldered on in a few spots, anything is better.

  • RW Hunnicutt

    For those of you with questions about past Coffield articles, get the SGN Gunsmithing Projects book from the store section.

  • Ross

    Another solution might be to buy a bent bolt. Many of the Mausers I've seen have mismatched numbers on the bolt anyway. I bought a new stripped M38 bent carbine bolt from Sarco for my M96 mauser straight bolt. I took them to a gunsmith who swapped the parts from the straight bolt to the bent bolt. I only have to notch the stock for clearance and then take it back to have the headspace checked. Sarco also sells M98 bent bolts.

  • Jeremy P

    I have a mosin nagant carbine its a little shorter and I want to use ATI's synthetic stock plus put a scope on and the famous question is my bolt ,its straight and cant put a scope on. My friend is a very good welder and i'm confident that he could either, cut, bend, and weld it back. Or heat and bend it but i'm afraid he could mess up the springs and other functioning pieces in it. Could I just cut and weld it and make it functional to shoot. Plus is there a mount that flips to the side when I cycle a round then flip it back or is this a myth I've been hearing .Thanks for your time and please respond when its possible and again thank you

back to top