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Old August 13, 2013, 10:38 PM   #1
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Bubbas VS Purists.

hello all,
just figured I'd start a nice, controversial thread that'll likely get closed just to get my thoughts on a certain matter out in the open.

to modify or not to modify, that is the question. on another forum there is a thread running about a fellow that heavily modified a mosin nagant, I personally didn't care for the setup but the original poster's idea of utility may be a lot different than mine. however it did not take long for another member to hijack the thread because the OP 'destroyed yet another valuable piece of history'.

I am kindof on the fence when it comes to bubbaing. I've done it to a mosin nagant, there's 18 million of them between all variants, over 6 times the number of springfields and at least 10 times the numbers of arisakas(I don't know the total off the top of my head). I see a gun as a tool, a gun used in combat has no more historical value than a shovel used to dig a trench in bastogne. monetarily of course they aren't in the same zip code but the shovel saved lives and helped take them just as much as the gun did.

I believe that if you choose to chop up a Krag then that is your prerogative, it is your gun after all, you spent the money on it. I may not agree with it and may let out a disappointed moan but I will respect your decision to do so but it appears that some believe it is their obligation to chastise others over their decision to modify their guns and destroy collect ability regardless of how mediocre of a design and what numbers they were made in.

to me, bubbaing a 91/30 mosin nagant is about like taking a GEO metro to pimp my ride. they are a cheap car that costs very little to keep gas in and they were made by the millions, crude and cheaply but they serve their purpose. I'm not going to shed a tear if you strip it down and enter it in a demolition derby(well maybe laughing so hard I cry but that's different).

am I the only one that finds such a hard stance on modifying C&Rs just a little absurd?
ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
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Old August 14, 2013, 03:00 AM   #2
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Not every modification/sporterizing project is bubbification, just the poorly done ones.
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Old August 14, 2013, 05:17 AM   #3
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We all have our own ideas about what we choose to cherish. I look at firearms as recreation and just plain fun. If a guy wants to bend a barrel 90 degrees to see if it will shoot around a corner,'s his barrel.
People can be very quick to judge others.
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Old August 14, 2013, 06:21 AM   #4
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Personally I have no real problem with modifying a rifle like a Mosin. There are millions and millions of them out there and even if a million of them are cut and up and gooned, so what?

Now, cutting up a 1903 Springfield or a Krag (or a unmolested K98) is just stupid. They have become very valuable and chopping one up is like taking $100 dollar bills and burning them. I know that there will probably be some knucklehead that will respond with either the "it's my gun and I can do with it as I want" statement or those that will say "I wanted a hunting rifle so I cut it down to make it 'better'".

I guess it's their money, but rarely have I seen a hack and cut job that looked good. Most of them look like what they are; amateur work by someone that lacks the proper tools and knowledge to do what they are attempting.

I have been restoring various military rifles for years and the best thing I can say is that it has given me an opportunity to acquire some rare guns very cheap.

Here is a Remington 1903 (M) that I rescued last year.

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Old August 14, 2013, 06:46 AM   #5
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Actually, a very good topic to bring up. I see no reason for it to be closed unless someone gets out of hand.
Modifying or doing a bubba job on any firearm, C&R or not, is up to the firearm owner.
I have a couple of sporterized former military rifles and I use them for hunting. I bought both when I was younger simply because they were cheap and accurate enough to put meat in the freezer.
Do I condone this behavior now that I'm older? To a point, yes. I had a No4 Mk1* Long Branch parts gun that is now a 7.62x39mm Russian bolt action. It's being refinished at this time.
The question I have is "Should we encourage modifying C&R firearms in a C&R forum?".
On that one, I say "No". That type of assistance, encouragement and opinion should be handled in another forum. The experience here regarding C&R firearms (And I say C&R because not all are military types) is amazing. And no one should be deprived of the decades of experience and knowledge.
But if modifying the firearm is the goal, then they should get the assistance and pats on the back outside the Curios and Relics forum.

There's my 2 cents.
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Old August 14, 2013, 08:05 AM   #6
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I know an WWII vet that owned several rifles made with 98 Mauser action. The actions were original made in Nazi Germany actions with codes. The actions were left original but reblued. His rifles were restocked and rebarreled to popular calibers like 270. They were all good looking rifles.

Some of you may remember building a custom rifle on a 98 action was the rage back in the 50s & 60s. Custom Mauser 98 rifles were as popular as AR platfoms are today. Many thousands of Mauser 98 rifles were stripped and actions sold outright.

A couple of years ago the Vet tried to sell the rifles at local gun shows and no one was interested. he even put them up for sale on GunBroker. Still no one wanted any of them. He went down to$4-500 and still no sell. He was real dissappointed.
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Old August 14, 2013, 08:34 AM   #7
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A dirt-common, un-loved military rifle of today, is a much-sought-after military antique of tomorrow. I remember when there was a wooden barrel full of un-used 03-A3's for the price of $70 a piece in my local sporting goods shop. Also, remember all the Krags and 1903's that were sold off a surplus years ago. Only the originals are sought by collectors today...the bubba'ed ones are not. Therefore, the question seems to be: Do we have some obligation to history not to destroy future collectibles just for history's sake?
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Old August 14, 2013, 08:41 AM   #8
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just figured I'd start a nice, controversial thread that'll likely get closed just to get my thoughts on a certain matter out in the open.
It's more likely to be closed because it's been beat to death than from any "controversy"...
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Old August 14, 2013, 09:31 AM   #9
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I can see the argument that what's dirt cheap today will be tomorrow's collectable but on rifles such as mosin nagants there are 12 million 91/30s alone, 18 million total. the sheer numbers that would have to be cut down to make any noticeable difference in availability is staggering. I know back in the day(before my time) M98s and 1903s were cut and stripped by the millions but they were taken from a much smaller sample size and were likely to eventually have issues with availability in the first place.
ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
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Old August 14, 2013, 10:15 AM   #10
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I'm a big fan of personal property rights.

I don't care if you own the Mona Lisa and you wonder what the paint fumes would smell like in a bonfire. You bought it, you own it, you want to, you burn it.

Is that wise? No, not really, but since when does freedom predicate on wisdom?

The argument with most any firearm is just silly. It's not like there's ONE. There are (typically and in this example) millions. I don't care if somebody destroys 17 million. There's still an entire million left. Not one or two or ten or even 10 thousand, a million.

Worrying about what somebody does with something of which there are millions of examples is just plain silly.
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Old August 14, 2013, 10:18 AM   #11
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While I might not understand someone else's ideas about what to do with his firearm, I don't think I would be outraged to the point of calling him "stupid".
People that build hot rods have the same problems with purists that want everything in pristine original condition.
I personally don't want to sporterize any military firearms, but I will defend someone's decision to do so. If it's theirs, they should be able to sporterize it, make it into a fence post, lamp, jack handle or whatever they wish.
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Old August 14, 2013, 11:03 AM   #12
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If it's in any kind of original shape, sporterizing really doesn't make much sense anymore. All arsenaled government surplus WWII era rifles have been sold off, so the collectors market value is only going to increase. You can buy a decent hunting gun for $300, and you probably spend as much for a typical bubba job on anything but a 91/30.
To me the fun base for "bubba" projects now are the sporters made 50 years ago, those 8mm-06 98k etc that are ripe for an overhaul without losing any historical value.
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Old August 14, 2013, 02:53 PM   #13
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One man's trash is another man's treasure (sic).

They are what they are..................

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Old August 14, 2013, 06:22 PM   #14
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I question the wisdom of taking a 70 year old rifle made under wartime conditions by unskilled or forced labor on worn machinery, of questionable metallurgy-with a rough bore- and spending good money to turn it into a "sporter" when so many modern top quality firearms are available at a reasonable price. And, as has been said many times, "sporterization" takes a $100 rifle, puts $2-300 worth of new parts into it and it's still a $100 rifle. IMHO buying a new action, barrel, etc. makes more sense of you really want a DIY project.
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Old August 14, 2013, 07:12 PM   #15
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Personally, the whole reason for me "bubba-ing" my Mosin was crafting something myself and the satisfaction of it. If I fubu'd it up then, it was a cheap lesson learned, but it turned out better than I could have hoped. And I did it my self. All I get are compliments and "well dones" at the range when people see it and lots of how do/did you this/that? If I sporterize another it will be even better because now I'm a Pro .

But...if I get a C&R firearm that I have even an inkling that might be rare/odd/valuable...Its going to be handled very gingerly and well preserved.
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Old August 14, 2013, 07:43 PM   #16
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Once upon a time, Trapdoor Springfield rifles were dirt cheap as well. I knew of one guy I used to do re-enactments with that didn't just have a Trapdoor, but a cadet trapdoor at that! We were in a cavalry outfit and he wanted a carbine so he went to chopping it down. Many years later when I met this guy, I told him what a cadet rifle was worth. Of course he "graciously offered" to sell me his "cadet rifle" at cadet rifle prices. You'd have thought I kicked his dog when I told him, "No, you USED to have a cadet rifle but now all you have a pile of hacked up parts! How's $20 sound to you?" Hey, it's his rifle and his right to do with it what he wants. I just hope he's satisfied with the results he will have to live with. Make good choices!
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Old August 14, 2013, 08:45 PM   #17
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I question the wisdom of taking a 70 year old rifle made under wartime conditions by unskilled or forced labor on worn machinery, of questionable metallurgy-with a rough bore- and spending good money to turn it into a "sporter" when so many modern top quality firearms are available at a reasonable price
unless you are speaking specifically about a certain model of gun that is a very broad and very incorrect blanket statement.

the M1917 is widely regarded as one of the strongest military actions around and thousands have been rechambered for 300 win mag without issue(i've run into more chambered in 300 WM than the original 30-06). arisakas are also widely regarded for their strong actions. swedish steel even at the turn of the century is held in very high regard for it's metallurgical properties. I could go on and on about other models that were made in time of war that are stronger than many civilian magnum guns but I'll leave it at that and hope my point sinks in.

back in the day it was economical to go out and buy a $15 enfield and sporterize it yourself and end up with a $25 hunting rifle instead of goign out and spending $100 on a brand new remington or winchester. nowadays though I think it's more about the joy of gunsmithing and making a gun that not everyone has. it is no longer economical at all, even with a mosin nagant as the base rifle, I've tried and a ruger american costs less than what I put into my mosin and is still more accurate, smoother action and lighter. then again I am a sorry excuse for a gunsmith and mine definitely fits the description of a bubba rifle. would I ever do such a thing with my springfield or arisakas? heck no I am an amateur collector after all but I wont begrudge any man that does do it.
ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
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Old August 15, 2013, 04:48 AM   #18
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I don't have a problem with someone altering a surplus gun as long as its well done. It only makes the originals that much harder to find and more valuable. Also, if you are going to learn to be an amateur gunsmith its better to practice on a cheap common milsurp than an expensive gun.

I never could find any logic in the purist cry of "erasing the gun's history" when the current owner IS part of the gun's history. A gun's history doesn't stop just because a government no longer owns the gun. Also, the purist belief that its ok for a government to alter their property but not a private owner sounds a little hypocritical.

I don't have a problem with someone advising against altering a milsurp gun as long as they understand the owner has the final say in the matter. The bottom line is its your property, its your right to choose what to do with it.

Last edited by candr44; August 15, 2013 at 04:59 AM.
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Old August 15, 2013, 03:58 PM   #19
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I spent a little over a year after I retired, building a 1917 Eddystone US Rifle of 1917. Used no power tools, just files, hacksaw (on the ears), sandpaper, a torch and sweat.
The rifle was re-stocked & glass bedded with a sporter type stock & a limbsaver recoil pad fitted. The barrel was shortened by 1 1/4" (by a gunsmith) & given a target crown, the flaming bomb & arsenal ID were retained. The crooked bolt was partially straightened (to suit my eye). The new stock was treated with about 15 hand rubbed coats of Minwax Old Oil finish.
Finally, I paid a smith for a high polish blue with fire blue on the extractor and bolt release.
The original '17 Enfield is a heavy, ugly battle implement. Rugged, strong and clumsy.
The rifle in my safe is accurate (1 1/4" groups @ 100 yds with its 97 year old barrel) weighs in at about 8 3/4 lbs with its 3 ~ 9 scope and is good looking. (At least to me.) It is also has been quite effective on deer, pigs, and crows (!)
Just because folks are willing to pay ridiculous prices for antiquated military arms that were produced in huge quantities does not make them beautiful nor particularly collectible or especially shootable.

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Old August 15, 2013, 04:28 PM   #20
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I don't know when or where the term "Bubba'd " came up, but it is often misused. I have heard it misused at Gunshows and auctions quite frequently. A Krag that has a peep set up on it and a cut down inlaid stock is not necessarily a hack job. Back in the day, that WAS a custom rifle to be proud of. Times change and attitudes with them. The point about retaining value when changing from original is valid. You never get your money out of a build. I really have no use for collectors. All they do is drive up the price of guns for everyone else. Most of them don't have a clue anyway. I used to do business with a dealer that dealt in war related items. We both agreed. Collectors only know what is in the books they read. Many a military weapon does not have matching numbers due to field repairs. Many military items were issued under unusual circumstances. I would think that if collectors wanted to be historical, they would want shot out, mismatched, nicked up, genuine used in a war rifle. I bought a T-99 (Out of a barrel) for $15 because the bolt was jammed. Turned out there was a bullet went through the stock and jammed in the sear area. That should have been worth a million to a collector. Same with shrapnel beat rifles, but it seems they are not clean enough for collectors. The whole line of thought is meaningless. If somebody else owns it, none of your business what he does.
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Old August 15, 2013, 04:58 PM   #21
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Who cares about the "collectors market" ! If it is my firearm I can certainly make my own decisions as to it's future. I built 55' Chevys, off the frame and back together again as original but I see one of those cars today with modern tires and wheels...still looks great and the owner is expressing his right to modify. He is not "stupid". If I have trouble finding a 1903 a3 stock for a current project maybe I will sporterize it and go hunting..better than gracing the back corner of a safe.
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Old August 15, 2013, 07:28 PM   #22
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To me and this is just my opinion but a Mosin isn't worth the purchase price let alone sporterizing. I don't care for military bolt actions at all. I have four. Two are nicely sporterized(FN Mauser and a 1903A3) and two have had the stocks Bubba'd (Spanish Mauser and a No1 MK III Enfield) The Enfield will be getting a new sporter stock one of these days and the Spanish Mauser is a great throw it in the truck or let anybody use it gun.
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Old August 15, 2013, 08:42 PM   #23
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What I find extremely tiresome are the REPEATED threads, "OMG look what bubba did"

Then follows w/ comments of "my eyes hurt" "I just threw up in my mouth",etc.

I mean c'mon, does this HAVE to suck up bandwidth on a near daily basis?
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Old August 15, 2013, 10:19 PM   #24
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I think I know which thread you are talking about. Is it the one with the Promag stock on a Mosin?

I could really care less what one does to his/her firearm. Whether its a Mosin or some collector firearm. Its your money and your gun. I've sporterized a Mosin also, and actually made it a nicer rifle than its original stock form.

Some people just get bent out of shape with these things. I understand if its a collector item that you bubbafy. but a plain Mosin/SKS/AK, no big deal. Either way, its a free country and we can do what we want with our stuff.
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Old August 15, 2013, 10:34 PM   #25
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