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Thread: surplus rifles

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    surplus rifles

    As the supply is basically dead, to find rifles that don't need complete rebuilds, and replacement of everything except the stock screws,

    Is it worth the risk of buying a worn out beat uo pre 1899 mauser for under 200$, and risking up to a 1,000$ in gunsmith work getting new bolt, trigger, barrel, stock parts and putting it all together?

    THe risk of Spanish mausers from 1916 and other Spanish possessions pre 1899 aren't the greatest bets in the world, but when many post ww1 rifles of the mauser pattern hit 4-600 on a daily basis and commonly need new barrels and stocsk....

    Is it better to just save that money and choke down on a cheapo savage and eventually rebarrel it..

    or just spend the same money from the get go and have a custom mauser buikt from surplus parts?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    Depends on what turns your crank.

    As far as risk goes, I suspect if a person did their due diligence there would be warning signs. Things to watch for, things to avoid. Just a matter of doing the work and being patient.

    I've been kicking myself for years that I did not buy an Enfield back when they were dirt cheap. And now the last of the swiss straight pull bolts are going the same way.

    On the other hand if you don't mind doing the work why not go for it?

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I have Built many a sporter in the past. Using, Mauser, Springfield, Krag actions. They were i various calipers. and spent a Lot a of cash. To me money well spent. Do not expect a good return On your purchase. . There is no Return Unless you find the right person.
    NRA Endowment Member
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    If you are thinking about building a military rifle into a sporter just for the fun; great. But if you are doing it for economic reasons, think about it long and hard before starting down that path. The chances are small that you will ever get your money back. Some guys enjoy the work and even buy the equipment and tools to do the job and I say more power to them. However, unless someone else is paying the bills(a customer), rebuilding a sporter is either a labor of love or money down a rat hole. I know, I've rebuilt several in the past. my experience anyway, james

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Check gun shows. There are some really nice used sporters out there for cheap. They aren't much in demand these days. I have a few that were really nicely done that I got for pennies on the dollar for what it cost to make them.

    Latest was a real nice custom on a Model 1917 action I got out the door for well under $200. The barrel cost more than that I'm sure.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    If you like to tinker or want to build your PERSONAL MASTERPIECE, then a military rifle MIGHT be something to do. If you want just want to shoot successfully and inexpensively, Walmart, Gallery of Guns, Bud's and many others have new, ready to go rifles with good triggers, ready to scope or with scopes in STANDARD CALIBERS at prices much lower than the cost of a military rifle and the fix-up. I have Mauser, SKS, Garand and Enfield military and have built Mauser sporters, but if starting out, I would not fool with them. Ruger, Savage and others make very good rifles at very low cost if you just want to shoot or hunt.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Sorry, I wasn't pining about the cost of turning a worn out Spanish 1916 into a custom long range sporter sniper thingy.

    I was talking about getting the worn out mauser rifle back into MILITARY configuration with proper caliber barrel, and getting everything installed and cleaned up.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minuteshaver View Post
    Sorry, I wasn't pining about the cost of turning a worn out Spanish 1916 into a custom long range sporter sniper thingy.

    I was talking about getting the worn out mauser rifle back into MILITARY configuration with proper caliber barrel, and getting everything installed and cleaned up.
    Then you should have said so. If a stock, barrel, and 2 or 3 small parts are all that are needed, you might be able to fake a "numbers matching" original, but it would always be a fake.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    It's a labor of love. My first gun show purchase was a gew98 that was sporterised, was a blast to shoot with mill surprised ammo ( barrel was cut to 20in ) but the old fajin stock developed a Crack at the tang sooooo I bought a cheep mouser stock set and made fraken mouser. It was a fun project . As far as getting good mil surps now expect to pay up. They have passed many hands and every time the price goes up. I buy them all and the prices will only go up. Supply and demand.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    A rusted small ring mauser, like the jg sales inventory on most need almost everything xcept trigger, bolt body, stock fittings, and sights replaced. 200$ gun needing 1000$ in rework to get infantry ready.
    Or pay 700$ for a military mauser that merely needs 400$ in rebarrelling....

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Goodness. If you want a stock military Mauser you must search out and buy one. The Yugos are the best deal going now. Reconverting a sporter to as issued condition would require that the "sporter" in question is just "duffle cut" on the stock only- no other mods. You can't undrill&tap actions nor reforge bolt handles straight. I hope I've helped.

  12. #12
    The mass market supply is dead BUT there is no shortage of fine mil-sup rifles. They are not cheap anymore but do exist. Get on Proxibid.com and haunt the big auction house auctions. A fine GEW, K98, 03 will cost as much as a Rem 700. A South American 98, K31 or a primo 93/96 will cost as much as a Savage. These are rifles you plan to buy and keep original. There is no sense in building a fine sporter on a military action as long as Kimber, Cooper and the Rem. custom shop is in business.

    My K31 and one of the last SMLEs made. Close to $1500 for the two but...... primo !

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    Old eyes need scopes but both can be put back to mil-spec quickly.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    fine milsurp rifles is a misnomer.

    "fine" 1903, any variety, I spent two years trying to find one under 1100. & felt 800 was to much for something that needed a new barrel.

    I haven't seen the Mitchell 24/47 etc in ages. Last 1 I saw, the barrel was questionable ill admit but I wasn't going to pay 600$

  14. #14
    It is not a misnomer, you just don't want to open your wallet. A "fine" 03, even a WWII rebuild can be had for a grand. A really nice 20-30's rifle will bring 2 grand. People spend that for a Kimber that will only be worth less, the 03' will only be worth more.

    You have to step up !

    https://www.proxibid.com/aspr/Spring...ne%3D#topoflot

    https://www.proxibid.com/aspr/US-Spr...ne%3D#topoflot

    https://www.proxibid.com/aspr/US-190...ne%3D#topoflot

    All will sell. The third will probably be under a grand as it's a Pedersen gun and a rebuild.

  15. #15
    Boolit Mold
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    Look for an M1891 Argentine Mauser infantry rifle. Most are in like new condition, for under $500, and are excellent shooters.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master



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    finding what you describe is Luck ...blind luck ...then when you do come across something even if its not perfect but maybe close to perfect be prepared to KNOW what you are looking at.
    Have a range of options / calibers on your check list....do some homework on each option so you will be ready if luck favors you and you come across one.
    I find small hole-in-the-wall gun shops the best place to look. When I travel I make it a point to stop in towns and check out the gun shops

    good luck
    Death to every foe and traitor and hurrah, my boys, for freedom !

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    Agree with those above that say if you are looking for a hunting rifle, buy a Ruger American or similar model from the various manufacturers. But if you enjoy and appreciate owning and shooting a piece of military history have at it. Hard to put a dollar number on your enjoyment and pleasure. It's an individual thing.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Got the ruger already, issue is

    p prefer military stock set ups.

    NO ONE commercially makes a genuine military stock for modern rifles.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Almost got a no 4 mk1 enfield today. 299.00. supposedly demilitarized in England by cutting the nose off the firing pin and welding the bolt face and grinding that flat.

    Seemed a simple repair job from what ive seen, new firing pin and bolt head....

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    If you pick 2 or 3 of the on line auction sites and check them daily you will begin to see good rifles at fairly reasonable prices. I got mine long ago, but still keep up on the prices, and do see the occasional "good deal". As for the one you mentioned above, yes, that's about all a repair would involve; although be advised the No. 4's headspace can increase with extensive use, and this was remedied by the replacement by slightly longer bolt heads as needed, sizes 0-3. No. 3 size has become almost non-existent, so you'd be taking a chance on that rifle that it would still be in spec with one of the smaller sizes. So if the existing head is a size 3 it's at the max, and I'd probably pass on it. Someone already mentioned Yugos, many are still in great condition, and Argie 1891s which also are usually in good condition. An unsporterized 1891 might cost $300 or more, but the sporters are very common and often sell in the $125-$150 range. Keep looking, and you'll find some.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
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