Long gun to hang over the fireplace?


November 21, 2004, 07:32 PM
I think I want a gun to display in a rack over my fireplace in my basement. I want something I can fairly easily make inoperable, at least while it's hanging there. I do want something that will actually fire if I want it to so ammo has to be available though not readily, not interested in any replicas. I really don't know anything about Mil-Surp rifles but I think the Mauser M48 looks pretty nice. I think my preference would be a bolt or lever action for asthetics, but something like an SKS doesn't look all that bad and fires a cartridge I already have on hand. Then there is always a beat up .22 lever action, that would work too. I'd like to spend between $100 and $200. Are any of the Mil-Surps in this price range actually reliable shooters? What guns are easy to make inoperable without say just removing the bolt. I guess on a bolt action I could have a bolt with the firing pin removed and another to replace it with if I wanted to fire it.

OK, starting to ramble so better summarize:
Needs to look half way decent.
Must have wood stock set.
Needs to cost no more than $200 preferably less.
Needs to be easily changed from inoperable to operable.
Fires a cartridge I already have (.308, 7.62x39, .22) nice but not required.

Any suggestions?

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November 21, 2004, 07:54 PM
An old Mauser 98 longrifle should look quite nice over the fireplace. Some can be found that really look nice, a Swede comes to mind. They are also available in your price range. Alternates would be a VZ24, the M48 you mentioned, etc. They, too, can be had cheaply.

Remove the bolt shroud/striker assembly from the bolt for safety and the ability to return it to service if desired. If you wish to make it 'look' whole, replace the bolt shroud with one without the striker assembly. Such parts are readily available.

Any old lever gun would look nice if you can find one in the price range you list. It should be easy to remove the firing pin and it still look operable and still be able to return it to original condition if desired.

Same with a pump shotgun, such as a Rem 870.

NO fireplace is complete without a 'classic' hanging over it! Good luck finding one that meets your needs.

Fudgie Ghost
November 21, 2004, 08:30 PM
How 'bout one of them Barrett .50 caliber jobs? Great conversation starter for the soccer moms!

November 21, 2004, 08:44 PM
I dunno, "fireplace" hanger to me seems to just scream for something real old-timey lookin, preferably a sidelock of some variety or another. If you're on a budget say a Cabela's/CVA Hawken, if you ain't say a Tennessee Valley Muzzleloading or Track of the Wolf flint longrifle. Now there's a conversation starter. :)

Anyhow, I've seen percussion Hawken kits even down in the $140 range, which looks pretty tempting to me, even if they aren't as properly historical as other more expensive repros. While they are reproductions, the nicer ones exude a sense of quality and history all their own... especially since you can still shoot 'em and not worry about 'em blowing up in your face and trashing a several-K piece of history in the process.

Failing that.. perhaps an old blackpowder double-barreled shotgun? I don't think they've rocketed up in price as much as others 'cause they can only take blackpowder loads, which makes 'em more unattractive to (most of) the CAS folk. For now. Here's an example, though it ain't shootable apparently:

purty though. :)

You might find a beater .30-30 in that price range, which would look pretty cool there to.

November 21, 2004, 09:09 PM
I think it's between a beater lever action and a WW-II era Mil-Surp. These are both rifles I have kinda been wanting anyway, may as well kill two birds with one stone. The Mil-Surp is probably cheaper I just don't know how shootable/reliable they really are if I decide/need to shoot it. I've been keeping my eye open for beater 30-30 for a while I just don't seem to come across them.

SOG has some rifles in the $50 to $80 range, at that price I guess it's OK if it's just a wall hanger. Would like to at least shoot it though. Does SOG only sell to dealers or can you walk in and buy a rifle?

Thanks for the replies.

November 21, 2004, 09:11 PM
I own one gun that I am planning to hang over my fireplace (when I have a fireplace, that is.)

Arsenal milled AK-47. :D

I will admit though that a muzzleloader or levergun would probably make the coolest choice.

Also, maybe instead of making it inoperable, you could find a discrete way to secure it to the fireplace. That way, you have working gun that you can grab, load, and use. I wouldn't buy a replica sword that I couldn't use and I wouldn't want to own a gun that I couldn't use either.

If you have to disable it, maybe a Mosin Nagant. I can strip one completely to peices and put it back together in about 20 minutes. Just get a spare firing pin and cut the dangerous end off short enough that it won't reach the primer. Reassemble said firing pin into the orginal bolt and you have a nonfunctional gun that can be made functional in about three minutes.

4v50 Gary
November 21, 2004, 09:49 PM
I'd go with a cheaper Moisin Nagant. The warmth of wood with the long picker stick for sticking pigs (just like the Civil War soljer :p).

Harry Tuttle
November 21, 2004, 09:53 PM
Full size, light weight foam AK-47

Jim K
November 21, 2004, 09:57 PM
I agree with Gary; the Model 91 with the bayonet would be a great choice, and easy to deactivate by removing the firing pin. I was going to suggest just removing the bolt head, but I realized that would not prevent the rifle from being fired and if it were the result would be, well, interesting.


November 21, 2004, 10:16 PM
I've got my granddad's Hopkins & Allen single shot 12ga over the door to my office. Old guns look better on the wall.

November 21, 2004, 10:58 PM
I plan to do the same thing when I have a suitable fireplace, and I decided that a Trapdoor Springfield would be about the best gun to use. Classy AND thoroughly shootable.

November 21, 2004, 11:50 PM
why not an old shotgun?

H&R 158 Topper or an old double barrel side by side

Old pump 12 gauge?

And then the venerable 30-30...

November 21, 2004, 11:57 PM
I'd have to go with my grandfather's example and suggest a Kentucky long rifle. Unfortunately they don't fit into your pricing restrictions, but dang they look good over a mantle. :)

November 22, 2004, 02:05 AM
I would find an old blackpowder Hawken to put up there. An old flintlock or caplock would look great as would a pair of old ball and cap revolvers. I would still use a glass case for display to keep little one away from it. I have seen these somewhere mounted on a nice oak base. One thing to remember is never overdo it. I have been in some homes that have stuff wall to wall. Always keep the "good" stuff locked up.

November 22, 2004, 02:49 AM
Mosin 91/30. Got the classic sleek, long look of a musket. And the above reasons.

November 22, 2004, 05:00 AM
Best bet is an old Rolling Block

Hell I have one that is full military except for some ones idea of buffaloe hunting sites, some one wants it they can have it for 200 dollars.

November 22, 2004, 06:08 AM
Another vote for M91/30. I have one that is rusted out on the inside of the barrel, and so sometime soon we're gonna deactivate it, plug the barrel, and put it over our fireplace.

On a side note, anybody ever been to the Governor's Palace in Williamsburg? Talk about wall-hangers... I count no less than 96 sabers and 102 muskets in the entry room alone.

November 22, 2004, 08:20 AM
The only weapon that I can envision looking good over a fireplace would be a flinter, coupled with a powder horn and a priming horn.

lee n. field
November 22, 2004, 11:22 AM
What guns are easy to make inoperable without say just removing the bolt.

SKS sounds like the ticket. Remove the bolt assembly to pull it's teeth. The bolt carrier is what you see.

Just be careful you don't run afowl of state or local "safe storage" laws.

November 23, 2004, 05:56 PM
I used to have an old Nagant 91/30 that served that purpose, but I gave it to a friend as a going away present. It's been replaced with an old double barrel shotgun I found at a yard sale. (Definately not a shooter) You can also buy a cheap black powder kit and make youir own rifle to hang up.

Carlos Cabeza
November 23, 2004, 06:24 PM
That's what I have is an old, rustic looking double bbl shotgun with dual hammers. I plan on adding a blackpowder rifle soon, maybe hang a powder horn and find some old paper shotgun shells. My "gunrack" was made with some old barnwood then left outside for more aging effect. I'm with you on making the display firearms inoperable to a point.

November 23, 2004, 08:12 PM
The classic lines of the 1903 Springfield or Mauser 98/M48.

November 23, 2004, 08:27 PM
A couple of thoughts?

1)check your local newspapers' for sale gun ads.I've been watching the Press' like a hawk after just missing a Garand for $250...I've also seen Marlin & Winchester lever rifles in your price range in the paper.

2)Come mid-December there is a gun show in Lansing.I obviously don't know just how far you want to drive but you might find something unusual there.

The guns that I think look best over the mantel are those that are over 100 years old(or at least purport to be). :)

November 23, 2004, 10:12 PM
How about one of these?

rust collector
November 23, 2004, 10:27 PM
They're long, classic configuration, burn cheap 8mm, and may sport interesting symbols. Another classic would be a SMLE (No 1 Enfield) with bayonet. Could also use one to build a floor lamp with a little character. Easy to decommission, yet fully functional. M91/30 would also work, I guess.

Don't forget the antlers!

November 24, 2004, 10:15 PM
Been kicking myself for not going to the last Antique Arms Show (http://www.noviexpo.com/detail.php?EventID=3) that is 15 minutes from me. Now I see they added another this weekend and I have family spending the weekend from out of town. Have to figure how to get out of the house for a couple hours.

Gonna post another thread to see if anyone knows if these shows are any good.

Red Tornado
November 25, 2004, 10:36 PM
I agree with the posters who recommend a Mosin Nagent 91/30 or a Mauser, and model. They all look good, are in your price range, and are right at the top of the reliability scale. You mentioned that twice, and the WWII era bolt actions are about as tough as you can get. (I think you could hang a one of 'em outside and it would still work.) Plus they've got all that gorgeous wood. My preeeeciouuuusss. ;)

You'd have to get a new size ammo, but it's all readily available. Plus 7.62x54R or 8mm has a wonderfully satisfying kick and muzzle blast. :evil:

Let us know what you decide.

November 25, 2004, 10:42 PM
Brown Bess Musket replica with a bayonet attached.

Disable it? Just remove the flint. :)

November 25, 2004, 10:49 PM
Thanks for all the feedback. I am kinda leaning towards the M91/30.

Going to an Antique Arms Show this weekend. If I don't find anything there will check out the M91/30's and M44's that Dunhams has for $69 and then there is a gun show next weekend. Should find something at one of them and I'll post a pic of whatever I get.

November 25, 2004, 10:58 PM
As an SKS owner, I'd think someone is a bit weird or had bad taste to put one over the fireplace.

Mosin Nagant m91-30 would look nice though, or some of the other bolt actions mentioned, though the "classic" is probably some sort of muzzle loader.

December 6, 2004, 08:35 PM
I think a Spencer would be the ultimate, a la "Unforgiven"

The beauty of one of course, would be that ammo would be nearly impossible to find for it. The downer would be that it's worth stealing all by itself. :(

Now I do have a .351 M1907 Winchester with zero dot doo doo finish left on it, a result of many long years ona South Texas ranch. It too has the advantage of nearly impossible ammo availability.

I of course do have ammo fir it, and it do shoot :neener:

cracked butt
December 6, 2004, 11:09 PM
91/30- though they are kind of odd to look at, they are strangely pretty in a way.

Turk Mauser or Czech 98/22- both guns tend look good in a rugged beat up (used) kind of way.

I just don't think carbines look all that great above a fireplace, with the exception of something like a Steyr M95- just because most people won't recognize what kind of rifle they might be from their profile.

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