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Old March 8, 2012, 04:51 PM   #1
theyeag1
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FN M98 243 Is this a collector

I have inherited a FN rifle with 243win. Made in Belguim FN crest the number 4450 on the barrel. The barrell is xtra long like 26" and is a bull barrell. The rifle has an UNERTL 20" varment scope sn 496XX. I called FN and they think the 4450 is the SN but have no records for that time period. Said it was probably made in mid to late 50s. Does anyone have any info on this combo as to the value. I can't find anything like this for sale on the web. see attached pic.
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File Type: jpg #4450 on barrel.jpg (219.2 KB, 128 views)
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Old March 8, 2012, 05:04 PM   #2
Jim Watson
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The stock is typical US gunsmith or DIY of the 1950s-60s.
Does it have Belgian proof marks?
If so, it was likely imported as a barrelled action and stocked up here.
If not, it is a complete gunsmith assembly on an FN action.
Either way, done by somebody in a local market who did not see any point in putting his name on his work.

Is it a single shot or repeater?
My FLG was working in those days and considered the FN single shot action to be the tops for a target or varmint rifle.

There is a lot of rust on the poor neglected old Unertl and some on the rifle. Resale value is not high.
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Old March 8, 2012, 08:28 PM   #3
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Resale value is not very high. With the heavy barrel, it indicates a re-barrel or possibly a conversion.

What you will find with custom or converted rifles is that they cost a lot to do, but resale isnt worth much. If it fires accurately, keep it and drop on a new scope. You might even consider a reblue.

I do all this work myself, but I have had training. I dont do it for anyone else either. For me, its a hobby and a great way to save smith charges. I must give credit to those who do it for a living because my nerves just couldnt take it.
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Old March 8, 2012, 08:50 PM   #4
taylorce1
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That scope is more collectable than the rifle. Do you have the original box for the scope? Ironsight Inc can fix the scope back up for you and make it almost like newly.

A little tlc and you can clean the rust up pretty well o
n the metal with a little oil and a copper pad or 0000 steel wool. Then I'd take it to a gun Smith have him run a bore scope down the tube if it looks good I'd be heading to the range. Trust me all the old timers will be lining up to talk to you and ask to handle your rifle.
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Old March 9, 2012, 08:49 AM   #5
theyeag1
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Rifle

This rifle was in a closet for years and yes dirty and rusty. I did a light cleaning but didnot want to damage either. The barrel doesn't have the typical belguim markings but says Made In Belguim and has the circle with the FN logo. I really don't think this rifle has been altered for orginal assemble but I might not know what to look for. . And yes it has a mag with a drop down release for ejection. The trigger has an extra wide attachment see pic
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File Type: jpg extra wide trigger.jpg (221.3 KB, 42 views)
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Old March 9, 2012, 08:56 AM   #6
theyeag1
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Scope

No I don't have the box for the scope. The rifle came with the scope attached and of course is mounted on the UNERTL ring mounts
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File Type: jpg 243.jpg (230.7 KB, 31 views)
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Old March 9, 2012, 09:06 AM   #7
theyeag1
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My conversation with FN Rep

When I called FN he said FN made this a lot this type rifle in mid to late 50s and he called it a Safari rifle. Does that mean anything to anyone?
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Old March 9, 2012, 09:43 AM   #8
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The FN "Safari Rifle" was imported to the US by Browning. However never in a bull barrel configuration that I can find.

So what you have is a sporterized commercial Mauser rifle. Estimated value between 350 and 650 US unless you find someone who absolutely has to have it.

The Unertl Scope is worth a bit more, so you could probably sell it as a package for 1,200 on the bottom end.

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Old March 9, 2012, 12:19 PM   #9
theyeag1
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Wow

It may not be the Safari but it difinitly has a heavy barrell, also the length of the barrel is 27 1/4 from chamber to tip.
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Old March 9, 2012, 03:57 PM   #10
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Strike 1- The barrel profile tells me that barrel was replaced with an aftermarket barrel. Doesn't have an FN barrel, not an FN. Period.

Strike 2- The stock is an aftermarket stock. It may be attractive, it may be functional, but it is not an FN stock, so the rifle is not an FN.

Strike 3- Yes, Browning imported FN rifles under their name, but those rifles had some very distinctive features and were marked as Brownings, and yours is not a Browning.

Rifles with FN actions were also sold by Montgomery Wards, Sears & Roebuck, and JC Penneys, as well as private-labeled for H&R, Parker-Hale, and High Standard, and most donor rifles were of these last types. FN also imported and sold bare actions for gunsmiths to build rifles on.

If the gunsmith did not think enough of his work to mark it with his name, it is just an anonymous gunsmith, good or bad.

The "extra-wide trigger" is not something special, it is an Ace trigger shoe, sold at many sporting goods stores for under $5 at that time.

If you are interested in selling it, PM me.
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Old March 9, 2012, 04:05 PM   #11
RC20
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As for scope, I would do a lot of research before I committed to having anything done to it.

Keep very dry to prevent further rust. Get it in a box with some desiccant.

While this is general advice as you noted with the rifle, you have something done to it before you know, you can wreck the value.

Again I have no firm knowledge on scopes, but take your time and fine out.

Probably a scope group that can head you in the direction of some experts.

Use multiple sources and get what their explanation is for what they are or not recommending.

There is a huge interest in Sniper Reproductions and the value can only go up.
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Old March 10, 2012, 12:18 AM   #12
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The scope is worth restoring, it doesn't have much value in the condition it's in right now in fact I'd wager the mounts would bring more than the scope. A properly
restored scope will be worth more than a rusty one like the OP has.

As far as the rifle without scope it would bring about $300-400 depending on how bad someone wanted the action to build another rifle on. Used custom rifles can be a neat find bit are never worth the price of a used factory rifle of the same era unless a guild level Smith built it and you have proper documentation. I agree with Scorch it probably is an ace trigger shoe, or some version of it.
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Old March 10, 2012, 01:04 AM   #13
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Quote:
Rifles with FN actions were also sold by Montgomery Wards, Sears & Roebuck, and JC Penneys, as well as private-labeled for H&R, Parker-Hale, and High Standard, and most donor rifles were of these last types. FN also imported and sold bare actions for gunsmiths to build rifles on.
Firearms International was another that used FN barreled actions in this era.

To the OP, that's a neat looking rifle. Have you taken the stock off and checked the bottom of the barrel and action for markings? You might try that.
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Old March 10, 2012, 08:51 AM   #14
theyeag1
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jhgreasemonkey

I havn't taken the barrell off and checked but will do that and relate my findings, As for selling it , don't think I'll part with it righgt now. I am a retired 1SG and have two x-marine sons and we all shoot pretty well. We may try this thing on the long range and see what happens.
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Old March 10, 2012, 11:33 AM   #15
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She's a keeper for sure, Top!!
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Old March 10, 2012, 12:04 PM   #16
eastbank
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flaig,s in millvill pa sold them very cheap in the 60,s and early 70,s. action,s,barreled action,s and whole rifles. i bought a fn magnum barreled 400 action in 375 H&H with a sako trigger for 89.00 in the early 60,s. i just bought a FN with a factory barrel in 244 rem with a fajen stock and tasco 4-12 scope for 300.00 at public auction. eastbank.
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Old March 10, 2012, 12:19 PM   #17
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It'll make a decent long-range vaminter, as long as the bore's good.

It'd even be more attractive if the rust was removed & it was reblued (No, it's nothing an FN or Browning collector would want).

As viewed, it's only worth about $600 total; with scope & gunmetal restored, about 50% more to the right buyer - but with two ex-gyrene's to shoot it, I suspect it's not going anywhere else.

.
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Old March 10, 2012, 12:22 PM   #18
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I bought an FN Mauster Supreme barrelled action in the 60's and built a beautiful .243 sporter. FN also sold just the actions and many made barrels for it. They made fantastic rifles. I'd keep it and restore it but put a more conventional scope and rings on it and fix up that scope and sell it. Those scopes are worth big dollars now in good shape.
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Old March 18, 2012, 09:18 PM   #19
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I can't speak for the rifle but as for the scope the Unertl Varmint scope with the dehorned mounts would sell for $400-$800. By the looks of the condition of the finish I would say that this particular one would sell toward the low end of that range.

What is the magnification? There will be a knurled ring near the eyepiece with a number stamped on it. That will be the magnification.

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