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Old August 15, 2013, 10:50 PM   #26
Bezoar
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Some purity is needed. Customization can be good.

but its easier to sell that original condition 1903a1 as is to a collector, and take the proceeds to make the gun you want. to paraphrase someone else,

why take that nice eagle marked 98k with ss markings, simply to put a 100 dollar plastic stock on, 100 dollar sight base, 200 dollar scope? when you can sell that rifle as is, and buy a 'mitchells mauser" that comes with a period style scope on it/

I remember people paying 300 to turn a 140 dollar 91/30 into a sniper, when an actual sniper with scope and mount was only 500 online...
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Old August 16, 2013, 09:03 AM   #27
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Rescued? “I rescued etc., etc..” If not for someone hanging it in a barn, attic, back of the closet, what ever and where ever, it would not have been there to rescue. I went to the Smithsonian thinking I would donate, then I saw what they did to the Enola Gay, I decided then I would rather allow someone to rescue the Junque.

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Old August 16, 2013, 12:01 PM   #28
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Do we have some obligation to history not to destroy future collectibles just for history's sake?
Now there's a question....

and here's an answer (and not the only answer, just an answer),

That's how they get to be future collectables, until most of them are destroyed (lost, worn out, used up etc...) they aren't collectable, they are common (and usually cheap).

Back when I was a lad, young men with a desire to tinker, most often tinkered with cars and guns. Today they tinker with programs and video games....

Custom sporterized rifles were both high utility tools and works of art. Bubba was around back then, too. We didn't call him by that name in those days, but his hack job work was just as obvious then as it is today.

What's sad is the more and more common belief that any change to the original is "Bubba" at work. And the belief that appearance (original issue condition) has more value than function (a lightened, accurized, scoped rifle).

I'm proud to have been a part in "destroying the history" of many rifles.

because to me, while I do enjoy having and collecting military issue condition guns, I ALSO enjoy using my guns for things, and having my guns be as best suited for their use as practical.

Which gun would you choose to shoot woodchucks with, the 8mm Kar98k in stock condition, or the 98 action .22-250 with a 26" Douglas barrel, Bishop stock, Timmney target trigger and Weaver K-8 with fine crosshairs?

I've got a 1903 Springfield, reworked into a gorgeous .25-06, with a semi target stock and a 12oz trigger. It currently wears a high power variable scope. Shoots amazingly well. The only thing it won't do better than the GI original is take a bayonet, and survive beating someone to death without noticeable damage...(neither of which I have any likelihood of needing to do)

That gun, at a gunshow, scope included cost me just over half of what the stock GI gun was selling for.

I can see not altering a pristine (or good condition) milsurp today, its both economically impractical, and foolish, where there are so many guns already "Bubba'd" that can be worked on. But don't you dare think me a criminal destroyer of historical artifacts because 40 years ago I improved something that was nearly as common as, and as cheap as dirt.

I'm now wondering if somewhere on some auto forum there is some guy getting chastised by some other guy for wanting to turn a beat up 68 VW Beetle into a dune buggy..........or because in 68 he did it to a 63?
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Old August 16, 2013, 10:44 PM   #29
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its cheaper to get a good out of the box 22-250 with modern scope on it at cabelas or gander mountain than it is to turn a milsurp rifle into one.

handloading lets you tune down a cartridge alot anyways.


not everybody wants or likes a butt heavy rifle. military stock just seem to have perfect balance.
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Old August 16, 2013, 11:26 PM   #30
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Bubbas VS Purists.

I like to tinker and I like history. I bought 2 SKSs this year. One to tinker with and one to keep original. It is nice to be able to afford to buy 2 of the same platform and tinker with one and keep a bit of history with another.

How many of the "hate bubba crowd" cringes when they see a glock altered? Who knows, in 200 years we may have people setting on Mars debating weather it should be a crime to deface the historic glock 19 with the new heat seeking phaser sight
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Old August 17, 2013, 12:01 AM   #31
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the sks isnt a relic by a wide margin. Sure its military surplus, millions have been made in every communist country with metal working implements. but it doesnt have the pizazz or elegance of a korean war or earlier military weapon.

you cant pick one up, read the markings on it and say "hey made in 1942, used by someone in the big red one, and this marking here designates it was carried by someone who was half frozen to death during the buldge".

at best you get "hmm peoples army of china, what fun". at worst "hmmm carried by charlie, used on american gis"
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Old August 17, 2013, 09:04 AM   #32
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I usualy for the sake of being lazy leave stock rifles that are unaltered alone. Besides there are too many cheaper rifles that someone else already sporterised. If I am going to alter one I get one that someone else already did so to. Then I do something to it.

I picked up a 91/30 that the owner did not take the stock off when spraying with brake parts cleaner. It stripped off the finish. He sold it to me for uber cheap. I refininshed it with some stain, and TruOil. As far as if I do anything else it would be to put a Mojo, or Smith sight set on it. If I do that I will keep the stock ones for being able to return it to its near original conditon.

Note I have seen some wonderful work that was done to milsurp rifles. Some of those old sporter rifles are true works of a craftsman's art work. I have also seen some that looked like somone took a hacksaw, and ball peen hammer to as well.
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Old August 17, 2013, 10:33 AM   #33
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its cheaper to get a good out of the box 22-250 with modern scope on it at cabelas or gander mountain than it is to turn a milsurp rifle into one.
Today, that is true. In 1971, it wasn't true. In 1961, it wasn't even possible, there were no "out of the box" .22-250s. (or .25-06, for that matter).
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Old August 17, 2013, 11:53 AM   #34
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Bubbas VS Purists.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bezoar View Post
the sks isnt a relic by a wide margin. Sure its military surplus, millions have been made in every communist country with metal working implements. but it doesnt have the pizazz or elegance of a korean war or earlier military weapon.

you cant pick one up, read the markings on it and say "hey made in 1942, used by someone in the big red one, and this marking here designates it was carried by someone who was half frozen to death during the buldge".

at best you get "hmm peoples army of china, what fun". at worst "hmmm carried by charlie, used on american gis"
No where did I claim for it to be a relic (although this exact topic is big in the ska world) but you missed the whole point of my post

If you are a purist then you better be a purist about every gun. The Pocket guns coming off the assembly line today may be to relics in future generations. I have seen too many "history buffs" that act like history stopped at some point. History is still happening. If you are against altering a Mosin you need to be against altering a Ruger 10/22.

For me, it is your gun. Guns should be enjoyed. Do what you want
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Old August 17, 2013, 03:32 PM   #35
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Quote:
the sks isnt a relic by a wide margin. Sure its military surplus, millions have been made in every communist country with metal working implements. but it doesnt have the pizazz or elegance of a korean war or earlier military weapon.

you cant pick one up, read the markings on it and say "hey made in 1942, used by someone in the big red one, and this marking here designates it was carried by someone who was half frozen to death during the buldge".

at best you get "hmm peoples army of china, what fun". at worst "hmmm carried by charlie, used on american gis"
there is not a gun on God's green earth that you can pick up and read it's entire history from. that is plain idiotic and facetious. I can pick up an SKS and tell from the factory code and serial number just as much information as I can by picking up a springfield and looking at the serial number and manufacturer.

an SKS is a C&R just as much as any other military surplus rifle manufactured prior to 1963.also, in case you didn't know, the SKS is a korean war era weapon.
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Old August 17, 2013, 03:59 PM   #36
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LOL, I'm glad I didn't have to be the one to say that.


Anyway, I'm a purist. I thoroughly believe all my milsurps were designed by people with infinitely more intelligence than myself. Any changes I make will only turn it into a disgusting mutant bastardized version of its previously glorious execution of design.
If it was good enough for a Russian conscript, Panzer troop, Commie guerrilla, or an American kid to trust his life to, it's good enough for me.
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Old August 18, 2013, 07:32 AM   #37
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Rescued? “I rescued etc., etc..” If not for someone hanging it in a barn, attic, back of the closet, what ever and where ever, it would not have been there to rescue.
Well, in the case of the '03 Remington that I posted about, it was stored under a bed in a house that was literally 50 feet from the ocean. It had been there for around twenty years and while the dust that was coating it might have been protecting the outside, the barrel had a bit of rust in it. Fortunately, the rust hadn't had enough time to really screw up the bore.

I am glad that it had been forgotten under that bed. I am also glad that there hadn't been any more customizing done on it. At least now it gets used in vintage rifle matches and is worth three times what it was as a cut up military rifle.

I realize that there are a great many old military rifles that are not rare or unusual and probably will never be worth very much. I have seen and owned some beautiful hunting rifles that were made from former military arms, I don't consider them to be Bubba'd at all. I have also seen some work that the perpetrator should have had their tools taken away and their fingers broken so they couldn't do it again.
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Old August 19, 2013, 02:23 PM   #38
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thought I just toss out a couple lines...

I have 2 custom rifles ( they were my FIL's ) both are 60's - 70's customs built on nice actions... one was what I can honestly say is "Bubba'd" one was skillfully done... at 1st glance, the Bubba gun catches your eye more than the skillfully done rifle... the bought, professionally shaped, light colored, birdseye maple stock is quick to catch your eye, until you start looking at the inletting, & Etc. it's been glass bedded, & shoots good, but it will never get away from the looks of Bubba, because of the quality of wood work done ( I'd love to try my hands at this kind of work, & have experimented some, with Rohm revolvers & other scourge... ) trouble is, if I wanted to "play" today, all those economical guns are worth too much now ( well maybe a Mosin or two )

anyway the other, has a dark colored tiger stripe walnut stock, the dark color hides the perfect inletting... this 2nd gun was a very quality build, & I'm sure the gun was "economical" to have professionally built...

a couple years ago, I picked up a '93 Mauser, that had been built "professionally" back when it was a cheap rifle... I added to it, by barreling with a nice tight 7mm barrel ( still chambered in 7 X 57 ) I also added a cock on open kit, the rifle had everything else it could need, Timminy Trigger, jeweled bolt, bent bolt handle new safety, etc.& the rifle is as good a hunting rifle as any today...

I remember watching a car show, where Jay Leno was talking about fixing up a car, restore or custom, he thought better to start with a rare high dollar car, so when you went to sell it, you could get your money back out of it... I think with rifles, it's totally opposite, if you can't "Bubba" up a cheap rifle, so you can make it more functional, & get your money back out of it, you are better off leaving them alone...

but do agree with the statement, that if millions were made, & enough of them aren't destroyed, there are too many to be collectable... my buddy has the sailor handbook, that the Navy gives out to new recruits... this one is the 11th edition, from 1943... I told him... better wait to see what it's worth, since it's from 1943 ( before he gave it to me )... well there are tons of them for sale on E-Bay, for $10.00 OBO... because they printed them by the millions, & no one bubba'd them, they aren't worth anything...

GO... BUBBA GO... but let me get mine 1st
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Old August 19, 2013, 05:00 PM   #39
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1000 deaths to bubbafi'n. keep the dang things as they were designed to be.
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Old August 20, 2013, 04:10 AM   #40
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I have never chopped a complete Springfield,Mauser,Krag,etc.

But I have bought receivers,barreled receivers,complete milsurp actions,etc from $25 on up.

One project leaning in the corner is based on a beautiful 1909 Argentine Mauser action I bought.If I sought far and wide,bought one screw and band at a time,I could have restored it to a military trim rifle.But,it would still be a cigar box gun and a purist would accuse me of making a fraud gun.

It has a Garrett Accralite fwt M-70 ish pattern schnabeled stock,a #2 Lothar Walther barrel,Timney trigger,Gentry sideswing M-70 type safety,and an Italian made commercial bolt(I bought 3 from Alex Imports long ago).It also has a steel commercial 30-06 length mag box/guard assy.

Its going to be a nice hunting rifle.Very light.

At the same time,I recently completed a FRAUD 1903A4 based on a Rem 03a3 receiver and a B+S bolt I altered.I bought a NOS ""C" stock from Northridge,a Criterion Barrel,an Aftermarket clone of bases and rings from New Zealand(which required rework)and a Lyman Alaskan.I think it came out rather well,and I had the pleasure of watching a 300 yd piece of steel get smacked as Mr Kraigwy helped break it in.

I took a stripped Mexican Mauser receiver,a Yugo bolt,another aforementioned Garrett stock(I like them),a Rem 700 ADL guard,timney trigger,Douglas fwt bbl,Weaver rings/bases,and a 6x by 42 Leupold and made my 257AI.20 + years ago.It will still shoot under 4 in at 300 yds.Inside one of those orange diamonds.Scope and all it weighs 7 lbs.

As I built this stuff,I learned to fit a barrel,chamber,fit wood or glass to metal.etc,

And,I got to envision a tool and build it.

If I get another 1903A3 receiver...I have Sarco "C" stock...warped ahead of the lower band pretty badly.I was thinking a clone of an old school target rifle..A bit like an NRA DCM Sporter cut stock,maybe a medium target Obermeyer cut rifled bbl,Lyman 48,a bbl band/sling swivel resembling a Krag,in my junk I have a new Morgan buttplate I bought long ago...

I don't care what they are worth..I don't plan on selling .

Oh,my 513T build is near done,I had a boltless receiver.

My accumulation of leftover 1911 parts and a few new ones is near ready to shoot,decided a pretty much mil-spec would match the 1903A4

Oh,here is one of my bubba hack jobs,you know those Browning 92 Miroku .44 Carbines?.Took a Douglas unturned blank and cut a tapered octagon rifle barrel,a 92 crescent buttplate,an English walnut board,some other goodies and made a rifle..I can look at a target close my eyes,shoulder the rifle,open my eyes,and have sight picture on target.

Just call me Bubba.

You learn by doing.Yeah,buying a rifle is OK,but I'd rather build.

There were some famous Milsurp Bubba hackers...Sedgley,Jefferies...Husqvarna,Al Beisen,PO Ackley...
Remember the custom rifle spreads on the old John T Amber Gun Digest?

Last edited by HiBC; August 20, 2013 at 04:26 AM.
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Old August 20, 2013, 08:47 AM   #41
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"Do we have some obligation to history not to destroy future collectibles just for history's sake?"

Not everything is, should be, can be, or even will be a collectible.
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Old August 20, 2013, 10:34 AM   #42
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And you can pretty well bet that whatever people think WILL be collectible will be something that ISN'T collectible because everyone will keep it and there will be too many.

Think Sacagawea dollars and, even better, Hess trucks. Hess trucks WERE collectible until everybody realized they were and started buying them by the dozen. Now they're cheap scrap... except the ones from before everyone collected them.
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Old August 21, 2013, 02:20 AM   #43
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I gotta go with HiBc on this. Most of the builds I ever did were on "Parts Guns" and that is usually the case. I once reworked a Type "I" Arisaka into a 7-30 Waters. The gun had no stock. Good luck ever finding one. Replace a stock on a M98 ? Yeah, right. The "Collectors" would go anal on you and pull out their magnifying glasses. A lot of guys on this forum can tell you that anything that went to war sure would not look like a "Collector" gun. If it is that clean, it probably spent the war on a rack somewhere, unless it was refinished as most of the Russian scrap coming in is. Oh, wait a minute. A gun can't be refinished and collectable, can it?
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Old August 21, 2013, 12:56 PM   #44
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Oh, wait a minute. A gun can't be refinished and collectable, can it?
Sure it can.

Collectable depends on what the gun is (and the collector). Value of the gun, as a collectable, depends on its condition.

Top dollar goes to the pristine, all original ones. Guns with documented history (not just a story) are the next level down, generally. Guns of famous people, are a whole different thing.

I've got a 1936 Luger. I think most would consider any Luger collectable, but a pre WWII Nazi marked Luger? I think that would qualify as collectable.

The gun looks new. Its not all matching numbers. All the markings are crisp and clear (and as well as I can tell from research, fully correct, and no import marks).

The story I got told when I got it was that, yes, the gun had been reblued, but it was done during the war (WWII, by the Germans). This, of course, may or may not be true, there's no proof, either way. It was priced at about half of what a original finish gun would bring. So, I bought it. Always wanted a Luger of my own, anyway.

I also have a Broomhandle Mauser, a Bolo. Gun looks new, and is in 9mm Luger. That gun was made in the 1920s. Obviously refinished at some time, but professionally done, (all the markings are clear), possibly when it was converted to 9mm. Its cost was about the same as an original finish gun of the same vintage, with no finish left (and a worn out bore). An original finish gun with a good remaining finish was much more expensive.

I think these are collectables, just not the top end of the value scale, because they have been refinished.

Collectors are a funny breed, some are nit pickers, others are just happy to be able to get some example of what they are looking for. A rusted battlefield pick up with a bullet hole in the stock might be worth more to one collector than a pristine example of the same gun. The next collector might have just the opposite feeling, showing it with their wallet.
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Old August 21, 2013, 01:48 PM   #45
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I would have to say that I fall into the not normal group... I prefer to not pay top dollar for a gun with everything right ( sure I would, if I were a lottery winner ) but being on a limited budget, I have to be more thrifty... that said, I don't want an ugly worn out gun, & for some models, having a decent looking, working example is good enough... even if it has been refinished... & if I can buy that nicely refinished example, for the same price as something that looks like it was dug up on a battlefield ( without documentation that it was actually dug up from a battlefield ) I'd go that route
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Old August 22, 2013, 03:57 PM   #46
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I'd like to submit that most of us fall in between the "Bubba vs Purist" extremes. Obviously there are weapons that, were we to get hold of, we'd never think to modify or restore, others we might be inclined to, and finally some that we'd have no problem with rebuilding/refurbishing.
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Old August 23, 2013, 08:13 PM   #47
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My very seasoned gun buddies and I never give permanently modified milsurps a second glance. A friend has thirty excellent-mint milsurps in his vault.

The perm. modified examples lost their character, much of the value, and other than with a limited number of MNs, simply increases the prices of those Enfields, Mausers etc which survived in the original configuration.

A friend has a beautiful pre-WW2 Czech Mauser in excellent condition (Orlando gun show, two years ago), which had already been re-blued with a nice reddish stain on the wood, but in the original configuration.
So many guns already had parts cut off and have nothing to lose. As for the better examples, y'all are free to grind down, drill and cut anything out there.

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Old August 23, 2013, 11:00 PM   #48
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"modified examples lost their character"
If by "character" we mean it looks like it belongs on a movie set . At the end of the day, collectors are about collectability, and not history, and that means marketing. Otherwise they'd seek out Bubba and Bubba Sr. and demand tall tales of bygone hunting seasons, and young'uns brought up on the chop-job. Let's not kid ourselves about "history" here, unless we are speaking of guns with providence --anything else is just puffery. If the guns are more an investment, it makes since to fret over such things, if more a tool, it does not, and if they are merely a diversion (novelty, look cool, "historical relevance," etc) I don't think it really matters beyond personal preference. Most of us are in the last group I imagine--not really serious horse-trading collectors, but not completely immune to the wiles of interesting firearms. It's all a balance.

I've been chastised for rebarrelling my Steyr M95. A gun that was first rechambered to 8x56R, then chopped down (stock, too), had the sling swivels moved around and ugly fillers left in their place, new emblems stamped over old, parts replaced in the bolt assembly, new units stamped over the schritt-measured sight, and alternately beat upon or dipped in cosmoline --all by governments and therefore "correct." And I'm the bad guy for making something truly unique and (to the extent of my ability) well made

Most people who denounce Bubba will claim he destroys value blah blah blah as if it's any skin off their own nose or any of their business whatsoever. It was worth it to Bubba, or he wouldn't do it. My M95 was cheap because none of the concerned collector's wanted it, and ammo is unavailable. I chalk this stuff up to petty jealousy from people who, unlike Bubba, were too cheap to shell out for a comparable rifle, and are now annoyed the rate just went up another tick because he destroyed their chance. In all but very few circumstances, the guns are still available that you can find modified, you just have to want them enough to shell out for them. If anything, I wish there were more bubba'ed guns around, since it'd make it a lot easier for me to buy a used Python or SVT400 without having to pay a ridiculous collector's premium that has nothing to do with my intended use.

Maybe collectors are just mad that, if all else fails, Bubba can always make a gun he doesn't have, while they cannot create anything that interests them (with the possible exception of Mitchell's Mausers Historical Firearm Mass-Production Works )

I have a theory that in a few decades, Bubba guns that have not been re-modified into faux-military configurations, as is the fad right now, will be worth far more due to their "closer" proximity to their "correct grade" origins and because nearly none of these reconversions are particularly high quality from a collection point of view. Now fraudsters, on the other hand, will have a field day with today's bogus SMLEs and Sniper Mosins and Mitchell Mausers (as if they aren't already)

I'm someone will also give me hell about replacing the crummy rotted bore of my Steyr Hahn with something chambered in a round you can actually find

TCB
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Old August 24, 2013, 12:59 AM   #49
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Purist here. If you want a hunting rifle, please go and buy one. Thanks. If you want a military rifle, buy one of those. Very good. But PUHLEEEZE don't bubba a nice milsurp rifle. No, I don't want to hear your side of it.

I look at anyone (and everyone) who would destroy the originality of a nice rifle, even a Mosin, as I look at kids covered with tattoos, facial piercings and black nail polish. Yeah, it's your body and your gun, and it's a free country, but that doesn't mean you can rub 2 brain cells together.

Sorry for the harsh rant, but you only have to go to half a dozen gun shows, see the tragedies on the tables, to realize why "sporterizing" causes most normal people to gag. Spend hundreds of dollars customizing a $75 military rifle with nice wood, refinishing, etc., and you have, well, a $50 rifle when it's done. Because the heart and soul of your "sporter" is still just a rack-grade, half-century old (or older) action made by the lowest bidder. Sorry 'bout that.
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Old August 24, 2013, 02:41 AM   #50
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A nice gun no but there are a lot of junk not worth a tank of fuel on cost guns out there and it wont be worth what my springfeilds or mausers will be in my life time so why the heck not. People even think made in Italy cap and ball guns that cost less than new smith 29s are colector guns just like SKS guns so stupidity is the key.
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