Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Bubba guns, I guess

Head brought up a point today that I have been stewing on for quite awhile.

Any fool who will take a vintage rifle and degredate it to improve its "tactical value" or "I'm just a dumb fuck, who wants to fuck up a rifle", will sizzle in Hell, at least for a little while.

The egregious actions taken by the previous generation (THAT MEANS BABYBOOMERS), have led to an entire class of rifle that, while accurate, are worthless and without historical value. In the last 2 years I've either handled or been in possission of 5 sporterized Mausers. One actually had 5 eagle stamps, signifying that a German plant had retooled the rifle.

In the same time frame, I have not seen an authentic Mauser.

This is indicative of a general trend towards spending a lot of money on gunsmiths to modernize rifles that had a specific purpose the populace wants to modify.

If you want a varmint rifle, buy one. If you want a CQB, buy one. If you want to hunt, buy an appropriate hunting rifle. Don't fuck with history.

HeartlessLibertarian has an especially heinous post with links.

Something like a WWII Mauser, agreed; they should not be messed up.

What would you consider to be a line between something to be preserved, and something to modify without worry?
I would agree with you if we are talking about an original rifle in very good or excellent condition. But if we're talking about a Russian Capture, or a rusty old fright pig with a cracked stock, who cares? What are you [not] preserving? The things were made by the millions. It's like hot rods. Sure they're bastardizations, but if you start with a basket case, so what? If there aren't enough original parts around to do a proper restoration, and what you're starting with isn't a good or useable example, then rebuilding it into something different is no big deal. Who cares if all that's left is the chassis plate/receiver?
If nothing else, look at the bright side: for every one destroyed, the remaining ones get that much more valuable.
Sorry, but I've sporterized one, and I'm in the (slow, halting, stuttering) process of doing another. The first was a 1918-manufactured 1896 Swedish Mauser. I bought it as a $100 milsurp piece - no bluing, barrel only fair, stock beat up. I put a new medium-weight target barrel, a new stock, and a Timney trigger on it, had it polished & blued and drilled & tapped for scope mounts.

The second is an NOS 48 Yugo Mauser. It's in the process of being restocked and set up in "Scout rifle" form. As far as I'm concerned, the Yugos aren't "collectable."

If you've got a pristine version of a classic collectable military arm, then I agree with you, but a beat-up, shot out one? No. They're fine for sporterizing.
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