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A Model 8 in 7.62 x 39mm

Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:13 pm
by Jbbear
Hello fellow members,
I just recently finished a project I hope will be of interest. I re-barreled a Model 8 manufactured in 1908 to 7.62 x 39mm. Original caliber was .35 Rem.

Before any collectors send Guido and Vinnie after me let me assure them the rifle was not of collector quality. Someone had reblued it using cold blue. It was really horrible looking! The stock had been heavily sanded and refinished also. The barrel jacket had been crunched in a vise. I replaced the jacket with a well used but servicible one I had on hand .Mechanically the rifle was sound and safe to shoot. I have read other forum members concerns about the safety of shooting a Model 8 or 81 in .300 Savage. Remington would not have made several thousand of them if they were not safe. Remember the Model 81 is mechanically identical to the Model 8. Many Model 8,s have been re-barreled to .300 Savage, which has a maximum chamber pressure of 46,000 lbs. The 7.62 x 39mm has a chamber pressure of around 44,000 lbs.

According to a 1940,s vintage parts list, the .35 Rem. and .300 Savage use the same recoil spring, recoil spring case, and buffer spring. The lighter caliber (.25,.30,.32) should not be used for this conversion! The barrel I used is a Yugoslavian SKS 59/66, 22 inches long, that I purchased from Gun Parts Inc. The SKS barrel is much larger in diameter at the chamber end than the original .35 Rem. barrel. I turned down the SKS barrel to the same diameter. This also removes all traces of the original threads. I then threaded it to 18 TPI to accept a Model 81 .300 Savage barrel extension. And yes there is plenty of chamber wall thickness left

The SKS barrel is already threaded at the muzzle end for a M14 x 1 metric thread. I suppose this was for the original front sight. It is a simple turning operation on a lathe to make a barrel nut for the SKS barrel. I used the original barrel nut from the rifle as a model. Next drill the barrel nut with a 13mm drill and tap with the M14 x 1 tap and this part is done. The threads at the muzzle must have a slot cut for the tab on the barrel nut washer.

Next you must cut a recess in the breech end of the barrel for the extractor. The .35 Rem. extractor works fine for the 7.62 x 39mm. Make a feed ramp and the barrel is done. I almost forgot to mention the 7.62 x 39 fed perfectly with the original .35 Rem. magazine on the rifle. 10 shots were fired using Chinese Norinco ammunition. No malfunctions, and most importantly, the cases show no signs of stretching or other indicators of excessive pressure. Recoil is light due to the 123 grain bullet. I welcome any comments.

Re: A Model 8 in 7.62 x 39mm

Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:21 pm
by 81police

Welcome to the Great 8! You mean to tell us you did this project without uploading any photographs for us all to see?! Don't worry about getting flamed, I don't know who would think it's not a cool idea :D Very creative thinking, what brought up the idea?

Re: A Model 8 in 7.62 x 39mm

Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:25 pm
by Jbbear
81 Police;

I have always been interested in firearms on all types and especially the Model 8 after seeing actor Jimmy Stewart shoot David M. Wlliams modified Model 8 in the movie "Carbine Williams". I built a short barreled Model 81 about 1995, very similiar to Packmules carbine Model 8. I am always looking for "junker" type guns I can experiment with and have built a number of "Frankenstein guns".

As for sending pictures with my posts, I must admit to being computer illiterate, but I will try to do this when I can get a buddy over to help me with this. Thank you for the welcome to the forum.

Re: A Model 8 in 7.62 x 39mm

Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:49 pm
by DWalt
As I've posted previously, the 7.62 X 39mm is one of the two recent calibers I would like to see new M8/81 barrels for. The second is the 6.8 Remington SPC. I think both are ideal for modernizing this rifle. I don't believe there would be any problem whatsoever using .30 or .32 Rem components with the 7.62 X 39mm, as it's not a hot, high-pressure caliber - it is very much comparable to the .30 Remington in energy. It has a higher velocity, but also a much lighter bullet weight, than the .30 Remington. Big benefits are availability and cost of ammunition.

Re: A Model 8 in 7.62 x 39mm

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:12 am
by Sarge756
As if I didn`t have enough projects on the bench now, along comes this great one. Have a couple cases of 7.62x39 that was purchased during the Clinton panic time. The entertainment with the SKS`s is done, was considering selling it off. Here is another way to go and really enjoy shooting that ammo up.Thanks for the information. Photos would be great .If you need help posting them will be glad to do it for you. Joe

Re: A Model 8 in 7.62 x 39mm

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:58 am
by Jbbear
I just remembered a very important part I left out of my original post on the Model 8 7.62x39 re-barrel. If you use the Yugo 59/66 SKS barrel (or any other with a gas port) the gas port must be plugged or welded closed. I also got a bunch of 7.62 x 39 ammo back in the good old days when it was cheap, and look forward to shooting the Model 8. Thanks much for everyones comments.

Re: A Model 8 in 7.62 x 39mm

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:20 am
by Sarge756
Thanks for the additional re gasport.You realize you have started what we all live for "the quest for the part that is hard to come by". E-gunparts is sold out and a search at other sites are also negative.E-gunparts is currently without power due to the hurricane and can`t put it on wish list till it is restored in a week or so. Of course the search is the thing and the finding just means the fun is over. Joe

Re: A Model 8 in 7.62 x 39mm

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:33 am
by Jbbear

Did you try SARCO or Apex gun parts? Other types of SKS barrels besides the Yugo I used should work. I will let you know if I find a source for the barrels.

Re: AK-8

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:51 pm
by imfuncity
OK! Flame time!! No pics!! :o (Foot tapping....)

Now - what does a non-lathe owner, non-machinist do? Can an original barrel be send away to (______??) and machined to make the AK8? Or, can all this be done so butter-fingers-me can just do an assembly with the new barrel?

Oh. Welcome - great project.

Sacrilege! Heresy! Now make one in .401 WSL...

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:59 pm
by Hardrada55
Would it be possible to re-chamber a Model 8 to fire .401 WSL?

Re: A Model 8 in 7.62 x 39mm

Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:31 pm
by DWalt
As they say in the hot rod conversion business you can convert anything to anything as long as you have enough money.

The major problem is whether the .401 Win would have enough recoil impulse to function the mechanism. I don't know that it wouldn't, but if so, that problem might be overcome with lighter springs, or maybe not. Would have to try it to see. Other problems: (1) Ammo availability is poor, and what you find is expensive; (2) What modifications would be needed for the magazine to achieve proper feeding; (3) boring the barrel to .40 wouldn't leave much metal for the sidewalls of the bore. However, the .401 chamber pressure is fairly low, so that might or might not be a problem.

All in all, not a caliber conversion I would consider even if it were possible. Would be cheaper and better to find a M1910 Winchester if you are in love with the .401 Win. They are out there, I've seen two at gun shows over the last year or so.

I sure would like to see someone try the 6.8 SPC. I figure it would work fine with 130 grain bullets, or maybe even 140 or 150 (would have to be handloaded to use those bullet weights as the bullets can easily be seated out further and still fit into the magazine). A long throated chamber would probably be needed on a new barrel.

Re: A Model 8 in 7.62 x 39mm

Posted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 4:28 pm
by jc4x4s10
its funny that you rechamberd in 7.62x39 because that was the 1st thing i thought of when i got my 8 home. i even feed some dummy rounds by hand in mine. do sks stripperclips work in this conversion. The 8 reminds me alot of the sks i own. the trigger of an ak also looks very simular to an 8 as well as the saefty.