So I'm loitering back in gunsmithing the other day when one of the sales crew brings a customer's rifle back. Seems the customer got a laser boresighter stuck in the chamber.
The rifle in question is a crudely-sporterized 1916-dated Mauser 98, still with the stepped military barrel and a pre-WWII-looking European sporter stock, with something halfway between a Schnabel forend and a tumor, cross-hatching in the wood to approximate checkering, and a wrist so thin that it's a wonder it didn't blow into splinters when the trigger was pulled.
Gunsmith Bob heaved and tugged on the bolt handle, but it wouldn't budge, and so out came the plastic hammer. A couple good whacks and the bolt flew open, sending a little shiny brass fingernail shaving of the boresighter's cartridge rim flying through the air.
Next was an oak dowel down the bore, but the Mauser is known for its rather vigorous camming action on closing, and that boresighter was wedged in but good. The dowel splintered impressively enough to hit me in the neck with shrapnel.
Finally, repeated blows to a fiberglass shotgun rod managed to dislodge the thing.
What do you think fell out?
That's right, Cletus had a .243 boresighter in his 8x57mm chamber. It was burnished real shiny around the shoulder, too, where he'd grunted and strained in closing the bolt.
Here's the kicker: The rifle did not have pre-war Euro claw-type scope mounts on it, nor either was it drilled and tapped for regular mounts. The sight on the gun consisted of a blade up front and a fixed sheet-metal aperture silver-soldered to the receiver bridge. So what in the name of Paul Mauser was he boresighting in the first place?