Who sells sporterized milsurps?


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fistful
February 7, 2006, 01:05 AM
I have a VZ24 (Mauser clone) that was turned into a .30-06 sporter by Century International, but I never see ads for guns like that. Do any importers still sporter-up their mil-surp rifles?

Not that I'm looking to buy, just curious.

Also, does anybody know a good Mauser-smith in the Saint Louis area? Or would that be a Mauserschmitt?

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Radagast
February 7, 2006, 01:22 AM
I don't know if the Gibbs Rifle co is still in business, if they are then they probably still chop up old lee enfields to make fake jungle carbines. They also made a 45-70 variant IIRC.

Sunray
February 7, 2006, 02:23 AM
"...Do any importers still sporter-up their mil-surp rifles?..." A non-bubba'd milsurp is worth far more than a bubba'd milsurp. Check the headspace on anything assembled by Century. They don't know what QC means.
Gibbs Rifle Co is gone. Their web page is too.

LAK
February 7, 2006, 05:26 AM
Alot of companies have sporterized surplus bolt actions of various types, but I do not know of any doing it now.

These used to be a cheaper alternative to a factory sporter. Now, for a number of reasons, factory sporters are available comparatively very cheap - while sporterizing ex military bolt actions has become more of a garage hobby or a pricey custom shop sporter.
--------------------------------------------

http://ussliberty.org
http://ssunitedstates.org

fistful
February 7, 2006, 08:33 AM
A non-bubba'd milsurp is worth far more than a bubba'd milsurp. Check the headspace on anything assembled by Century.

1. I think that would depend on your point of view, Bubba.

2. Thank you, i've never heard that about Century. This one has been operating just fine for years. Are there any signs of bad headspacing I can look for, as I don't have guages?

The Real Hawkeye
February 7, 2006, 08:59 AM
This was a booming industry in the 1940s and '50s, but has pretty much completely disappeared. I have one made in the 1940s. A truly beautiful piece of work. Nothing particularly fancy, but everything was done right. Bore is still bright and clean, everything works like it's supposed to. Here's a picture.

cracked butt
February 7, 2006, 09:15 AM
Go to any gunshop that sells on consignment and you will find a whole slew of frankenrifles created in Dr. Bubbastein's basement laboratory.

The Real Hawkeye
February 7, 2006, 09:32 AM
Go to any gunshop that sells on consignment and you will find a whole slew of frankenrifles created in Dr. Bubbastein's basement laboratory.This is not what the poster was asking about. He was asking about legit shops that convert Mausers into good functional, affordable and worthy sporters. There was a time when there were such shops, the guns were widely available, and they were not "Bubba" guns, but worthy sporting arms BETTER than your average Remchester or Winington. Peerless was one such company, and the rifles that came out of their shops were far superior to anything made today by Remington or Winchester.

Cosmoline
February 7, 2006, 01:48 PM
I have a VZ24 (Mauser clone) that was turned into a .30-06 sporter by Century International, but I never see ads for guns like that. Do any importers still sporter-up their mil-surp rifles?


The importers rarely did a very good job with sporter projects, and their efforts along these lines have had mixed results. You don't see them doing it too much these days.

The best early sporters were turned out by gunsmiths as true custom rifles. You can tell the difference between these vintage rifles and bubba's jobs by the quality of the stock's woodworking and the cleanliness of the metal modifications. Bubba's work tends to have a lot of hacksaw marks and substandard welds.

If you want to do something like this now, the best way is to shop around and buy a cleaned up action, rather than trying to pull apart an existing surplus rifle. You can then select your barrel, stock and so on from the many aftermarket retailers.

Thefabulousfink
February 7, 2006, 05:33 PM
Allong those lines, does anyone have any leads on where to look for surplus actions; mauser, enfield, 1903, or 1917? All my internet searches have turned up very little, I need some fresh trees to bark up.

davek
February 7, 2006, 05:48 PM
This was a booming industry in the 1940s and '50s, but has pretty much completely disappeared. I have one made in the 1940s. A truly beautiful piece of work. Nothing particularly fancy, but everything was done right. Bore is still bright and clean, everything works like it's supposed to. Here's a picture.

This sporterized '98 Krag is my favorite rifle of all I own. My Grandma bought it for my Grandad as a birthday present back in the fifties.

I don't know who did it, but it's a perfect job. Shiney bore and improved chamber. It shoots quarter inch groups at 100 yds with handloads.

fistful
February 7, 2006, 08:04 PM
does anyone have any leads on where to look for surplus actions?
Seems like Shotgun News would have plenty of them; if you have time to pore over every page.

Thanks for the tip, Cosmoline, I'd like to try that sometime. Send donations to the Bubba Rifle fund.

Hawkeye, that was indeed the question. I don't know if mine is, practically, better than a current-production sporter. Mine just has a new barrel, Butler Creek black plastic stock and a bent handle. It also has a poorly executed, two-position "Winchester" safety, but I don't know who did that job.

I had the barrel cut down to 19", installed aperture sights, and had a gunsmith turn the trigger into a single-stage. He did a fine job with the trigger. Anyway, it's my kinda-sorta scout rifle with no scope.

fistful
February 7, 2006, 08:11 PM
A non-bubba'd milsurp is worth far more than a bubba'd milsurp.

You may be right if you're talking about historical interest, but costwise, I think you're just wrong. There are plenty of mil-surps out there for 150 dollars or less. You would spend more than that just for a new stock and barrel, so once you add in scope mounts and the rest, it seems to me you've doubled the value of the piece. Then again, I've never priced that kind of gun; the one I had was a trade.

Clemson
February 7, 2006, 08:34 PM
Allong those lines, does anyone have any leads on where to look for surplus actions; mauser, enfield, 1903, or 1917? All my internet searches have turned up very little, I need some fresh trees to bark up.
Get on the mailing list for Southern Ohio Guns (SOG). Their website is normally not up to date, but their monthly flier is. They are currently selling 98/22 Mausers which make a fine base for a sporter.

Clemson

R.W.Dale
February 7, 2006, 08:46 PM
You may be right if you're talking about historical interest, but costwise, I think you're just wrong. There are plenty of mil-surps out there for 150 dollars or less. You would spend more than that just for a new stock and barrel, so once you add in scope mounts and the rest, it seems to me you've doubled the value of the piece. Then again, I've never priced that kind of gun; the one I had was a trade.

BUT as a used rifle the sporter is still only worth maby $200 so you've just flushed all of your cost in parts down the toilet. Shure there are exceptions but they are just that exceptions.
The last sporter I bought is a spanish civil war moisin nagant. Fajen stock Lyman sights , high polish blue , turned down spoon shaped bolt handle. i paid a wopping $160 dollars for it at a pawn shop

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/krochus/moisin2.jpg

kaferhaus
February 7, 2006, 08:50 PM
Building anything on a surplus action is an economic mistake IF you ever want to recover anything close to what you'll have in it.

No matter what the "faithful" say, modern actions are far superior to anything made during the wars.

A decent stock is going to cost $100 not a good stock, a decent one.

A decent barrel is going to cost that or more, plus the cost of having gunsmith finish chamber and fit it which can be $100 or more.

Then it's going to have to be drilled and tapped for a scope, another 40-50 bucks

Then it's going to have to be refinished, $100+

Add the price of the action and you could have bought a nice new modern rifle that will bring a good percentage of it's cost back to you when you end up selling it.

If you just like spending money on projects then it's something to do.

What you'll end up with is a bunch of money tied up in something that won't shoot as well as an off the rack modern sporter that will be problematic when mounted with a scope (safety will require modification or you'll have to leave it off) etc. and you'll take a huge beating when you sell it.

Cosmoline
February 7, 2006, 09:37 PM
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/krochus/moisin2.jpg

I recently picked up a Mosin with very similar cuts made for next to nothing. It's a great object lesson in why not to bubba. Under all the hack and slash, the thing was an early date M-27 worth $300 or more if intact.

fistful
February 7, 2006, 10:18 PM
BUT as a used rifle the sporter is still only worth maby $200 so you've just flushed all of your cost in parts down the toilet. Shure there are exceptions but they are just that exceptions.
Then I stand corrected, partly. Like I said, I've never seen what a surp-sporter would sell for, so I was wrong about that. On the other hand, I said you've doubled the value of the piece which in my case is true. Value does not always correspond to market price, and to me a mil-surp reconfigured to my tastes is well worth the investment. I'd gladly pay $400 for such a gun.

Thanks for your thoughts, everybody.

R.W.Dale
February 7, 2006, 11:03 PM
I recently picked up a Mosin with very similar cuts made for next to nothing. It's a great object lesson in why not to bubba. Under all the hack and slash, the thing was an early date M-27 worth $300 or more if intact.

This rifle would have been worth considerably mor than I paid for it had it not been "inprooved" But hey someone elses loss is my gain. but hey I kinda enjoy collecting the things and they shure can shoot good


http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/krochus/moisin1.jpg

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/krochus/Moisintarget3.jpg

Gewehr98
February 7, 2006, 11:18 PM
Building anything on a surplus action is an economic mistake IF you ever want to recover anything close to what you'll have in it.

That really depends on the quality of the conversion, and who did it.

Tell me the aforementioned Peerless, as well as Sedgely, Griffin & Howe, Surkamer, and P.O. Ackley conversions don't command a premium these days.

Likewise, this isn't exactly true, either:

What you'll end up with is a bunch of money tied up in something that won't shoot as well as an off the rack modern sporter that will be problematic when mounted with a scope (safety will require modification or you'll have to leave it off) etc. and you'll take a huge beating when you sell it.

My Krieger-barreled 98 Mauser conversion below in 6.5-06 will outshoot anything off the rack, save for maybe the high-dollar pieces that can go 1/4 MOA straight from the box. For the money, I did just fine building it and not buying a Sako TRG or Accuracy International. Plus, I have the satisfaction that I built it to my specifications, it puts 10 rounds into 8" at 1000 yards, has cold-bore centerpunched a golf ball at a documented 500 meters, and it will remain a thing of joy for my personal use. Regarding the resale value - pfffttt. It ain't for sale (as a crime novelist wanting a ballistically untraceable rifle and extending several thousand in cash found out), and my coffin will be large enough for the both of us when I take my dirt nap. ;)

http://mauser98.com/interdiction-3.jpg

Realistically, nobody builds a sporter rifle from a milsurp action these days to save money, get rich selling the finished product, or compete against Wally World. They do so because they want something unique, something that serves a specific purpose, or because the gun is so badly abused it's no longer economically feasible to restore it back to full military condition. That 1916 Haenel action above was an example of a Gewehr98 that was so badly butchered by Bubba with a hacksaw that it became the basis for my 1000+ yard precision rifle. So don't arbitrarily poo-poo somebody's desire to build a quality rifle from a milsurp action. Or am I just insane to hang a Krieger barrel, Canjar trigger, and Vais muzzle brake on a magnafluxed and trued 98 Mauser action?

Keep an eye open for massacred Bubba jobs in pawn shops and gun shows. If you find a standard-length 98 Large Ring Mauser with a bolt and receiver in clean condition for a reasonable price, by all means, grab it. Or tell me where it is, so I can grab it. I have a drawer full of Large Ring 98 Mauser actions already, but I've always got room for more. :D

LAK
February 8, 2006, 04:55 AM
This was a booming industry in the 1940s and '50s, but has pretty much completely disappeared. I have one made in the 1940s. A truly beautiful piece of work. Nothing particularly fancy, but everything was done right. Bore is still bright and clean, everything works like it's supposed to. Here's a picture.
That is my kind of rifle! Very nicely proportioned - and no doubt finished - indeed.
--------------------------------------
http://ussliberty.org
http://ssunitedstates.org

LAK
February 8, 2006, 04:59 AM
Allong those lines, does anyone have any leads on where to look for surplus actions; mauser, enfield, 1903, or 1917? All my internet searches have turned up very little, I need some fresh trees to bark up.
Loopho ... I mean gunshows.
-------------------------------------

http://ussliberty.org
http://ssunitedstates.org

mrmeval
February 8, 2006, 07:55 AM
I don't trust many of the recent sporterized one's I've seen where any welding or cutting has been done. All of that ruins it's C&R status.

http://www.gibbsrifle.com/
This site was up but it's now blank.
You can find one of theirs on guns america from time to time for a reasonable cost.

I have a VZ24 (Mauser clone) that was turned into a .30-06 sporter by Century International, but I never see ads for guns like that. Do any importers still sporter-up their mil-surp rifles?
Not that I'm looking to buy, just curious.
Also, does anybody know a good Mauser-smith in the Saint Louis area? Or would that be a Mauserschmitt?

seeker_two
February 8, 2006, 08:16 AM
You may also want to contact Military Gun Supply (http://www.mgsdfw.com) in Ft. Worth, TX. I've noticed that they often carry "Bubba-ed" milsurps at about 1/2 to 3/4 the cost of an un-Bubba-ed one.

I've thought about getting a #1MkIII* to use as spare parts for my own sporterized #1MkIII*. If I find one in good shape, I may even buy one as a shooter/project rifle.

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