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Old October 9, 2009, 10:08 PM   #13
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Join Date: January 5, 2009
Posts: 904
There was about zero "collector" interest in these things back in the 1950's and 1960's when they were so plentiful that they were a drug on the gun market. But beacoup of them were sold for a pittance to guys who wanted a hunting rifle but couldn't afford a fine new gun. So, they'd spend a few bucks to buy one of these heavy-as-lead surplus Lee-Enfields or Mausers or whatever, and then "sporterize" it, which usually meant either completely restocking it or cutting the military stock down like was done to this one. Once the gun was a few pounds lighter, that .303. got tough on the shoulder, so a lot of these guns had recoil pads added. I agree with Jim Keenan that the result was usually a reasonably effective, very inexpensive hunting gun. There's not much interest in these homely "sporterized" military surplus guns today. The long, uninterrupted, ever-growing economic prosperity that this country enjoyed for about 50 or 60 years after WWII (until it ended in the recent downturn) put a chicken or two in most of our pots, and now most of us are affluent enough that we can afford hunting rifles that were actually built to be hunting rifles. It wasn't always that way though, and it's a cheap shot today for someone to sneer at an earlier and less prosperous generaton for "sporterizing" surplus military weapons into practical and effective hunters. That's adding arrogance to ignorance. Nevertheless, it is true that the"sporterization" work that was done on this gun and others just like it, has, in fact, greatly depreciated "collector" value. Since there isn't much hunter interest anymore in these "sporterized" military surplus guns either, the result is that they are not worth much to anyone anymore. I'd say $50 to $75 would be top dollar for the OP's gun today. That's still probably $30 to $50 more than the gun was purchased for in the 1950's or $60's. (Yeah, yeah, I know that the dollar's worth a lot less now than it was then.)
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