Mosin M38, to modify or keep stock?
Ok, so here's the deal. I acquired a 70 percent finish, 70pct barrel, all parts matched Mosin M38 (1942 Izzy) for around 200 and change. Some people will scoff at that, but the price has gone up markedly on all mosins of any type of quality, and this one had all matching parts as well as the original WWII hardwood stock.
For the mosin nerds, the serial numbers on the barrel shank, bolt, and mag base all match, down to a blemish in the 5 that is present in all stampings. Markings on the stock and lower barrel shank indicate usage in Ukranian and possibly Chinese arsenals, and this is backed up by a fairly deep counterbore, about 3/4 of an inch. The odd thing is a lone Tula star on the bottom part of the reciever, near the front screw, which could also be a Czech symbol. The things a damn mystery, which makes it difficult for me to even consider what I am about to ask. The chamber seems to be in good condition, better after I hit it with a wire brush and drill, and got the cosmoline out.
New and dirty it shot about 3 inches off center at 100 yds with iron sights (and no spotter scope for shot placement info, all was just about 20 rounds at a time, off the cuff.) From a semi-supported bench position, (elbows on the bench, no sandbags) I was able to keep groups of ten shots within about a one inch average and two inch extreme group, albeit about 3 inches to the right of target center and aim point. Whether this is the gun, being a mosin, or me, as I'm not trying to front like any sort of crackshot, I'm not sure, but I digress.
The value in this gun to me lies in the practical value, but the fact that it's all matching and in relatively good condition, with a beautiful stock, I hesitate to do anything but tap the rear sight for a scope. But, for the purpose of barrel harmonics and the cool safari-gun look it would create, I was considering cutting down the stock right around where the rearmost barrel band ends, and possibly shimming or bedding the stock. If it shoots as well as it does with a cumbersome and possibly accuracy hindering stock with many contact points, I do wonder if this would help it be more maneuverable as well as possibly be more consistent/accurate.
Pic included - 1942 Mosin, P95, and CZ75, imported from Israeli Police, for 350 at same gun show.