View Full Version : Grading Surplus Rifles

January 16, 2006, 04:10 PM
What standards do you use for grading surplus firearms?

I recently purchased one that the seller described as in excellent condition. When I recieved the weapon the stock and furniture were in excellent condition. The reciever had light rust pitting and the barrel was in good to fair conditon with the bore having some pitting. I put some elbow grease on it to remove the rust and the barrel to get the grunk out.

Dont get me wrong I am not expecting a prisitne surplus firearm. I have purchased surplus firearms before form companies like J&G Sales. They would have only rated this firearm as good.

If I would have sold this firearm I would have rated it as overall good with a fair bore. I assume most reasonable people if they rated the conditon as excellent would have advertised it as being in excellent condition except for the bore which is in fair condition due to pitting and the receiver which is in good to very good for a surplus arm due to light pittng and rust.

This surplus firearm is about 55 years old

am I being unreasonable?

Bud Helms
January 16, 2006, 05:27 PM
This could be moved to Art of the Rifle, but I think we'll move it to the Institute for Firearms Research Forum and see what kind of response you get.

January 16, 2006, 05:37 PM

January 16, 2006, 07:36 PM
Well I guess that the criteria for rating antiques must be different than for modern guns, but from the description, I would not call it more than very good? Should at least have a nice shootable bore for "excellent". That is one reason that I let my C&R expire and quit buying sight unseen. Would rather go to the gun show and pick thru the pile and grab the best one, even if you pay a little markup. Lot less hassle justifies paying for the convenience. The NRA has standards for rating gun condition. If they use that criteria, they would probably rate it lower. If you have the gun value "Bluebook" it has the NRA condition definitions in the front somewhere. Hope you did not pay for EX and get only GD!

January 16, 2006, 08:32 PM
Keep in mind the following:

The people selling surplus rifles don't have a lot of time to sit around agonizing over the EXACT condition of rifles.
They take a good look and call it as they see it.

Always remember, when you look at a rifle you're thinking "very good to excellent". They're thinking "good to very good".
In other words, you always expect the rifle to be better than their take on it.
They tend to over-rate the gun, we tend to hope for more.

Last, remember that rating a firearm is TOTALLY a matter of how each individual sees it.
Your "good" is my "very good", and someone else's "Fair to good".

January 17, 2006, 09:03 AM
but we do have NRA grading standards for new and antique rifles. That specifically states the condition of each. Im not talking about a company that gets several hundred rifles. Talking about the sale of a single surplus rifle.

I can understand in a large company that gets several hundred at a time. However I buy surplus stuff from J&G sales and there grading is either on the mark or exceeds it. So somebody there knows their business.