why sporterize?


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coosbaycreep
January 2, 2010, 09:37 PM
I now own three sporterized milsurps, and after checking prices and finding out that all three of them would cost more to return to original condition (although finding some of the parts is not only expensive, but almost impossible too), I can't help but wonder why everyone bubba'd up so many cool guns way back when.

I can understand someone drilling/tapping for a scope. I can even understand some of them being cut down to make "carbines", because a lot of those old school guns are more like logs than rifles. What I can't understand though, is why so many people have butchered up the stocks.

Of the three I have, all of them are just as ugly sporterized as they would have been if original. Unless you put a really nice custom stock on one, then you're probably not doing anything to improve ergonomics either, because pretty much all of the milsurps I own or have handled had less than stellar ergonomics before or after bubba'ing. The weight savings from cutting off part of the stock, removing steel bands, etc., is probably negligible too.

Same thing with removing parts of the sights. What's the benefit to grinding the ears (or whatever you call them) off of the front sight? I thought that was there to protect it?

Why grind off a bayonet lug? I think bayo lugs should be mandatory on all long guns, so why remove something that weighs basically nothing, especially when it's not going to help the gun look or perform any better? That's like trying to polish a turd.

I know commercial hunting rifles use to be too expensive for most folks, and since milsurps were everywhere and dirt cheap, that's what led to most of the sporterizing, but judging from a lot of the guns I've seen, I can't for the life of me see how they thought they were making an improvement.

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sumpnz
January 2, 2010, 09:49 PM
Sporterizing includes all of the changes you listed, not just hacking away at the stock. Shortening the barrel makes it a lot easier to walk through the woods as the shorter tube won't catch on as many branches, etc. It also, of course lightens the gun. Hacking the stock not only reduces the weight it can make the stock a bit more functional if done right. That many weren't done well just means they weren't done well. Most good sporterizing jobs involve an entirely new sporting style stock though. Removing steel barrell bands reduces weight and can improve accuracy by alllowing the barrell to be floated. Add all of those small things up and you can take a couple pounds off some guns.

Some sporterizing also involved turning down the profile of the barrell. This would significantly reduce the weight in addition to removing corroded areas.

SaxonPig
January 2, 2010, 10:29 PM
The key words you used are "way back when." As one of those guys around back then I can explain.

In the 1960s surplus military rifles were everywhere. There were tons of them and every gun shop and sporting goods store had what seemed like an endless supply. Few were thinking about preserving historical rifles, all we wanted were cheap guns to shoot... or guns to play with as amateur gunsmiths.

Fast forward 45 years and things have changed. The once plentiful rifles are becoming scarce and the cost of customizing one makes little sense when a ready made rifle from any of the name manufactures will be much cheaper than chopping a 98 or an '03. But in the old days it could be done on the cheap. Numrich and others sold kits to sporterize the Mauser or Springfield, with stock, triggers, bolt handles, etc. Cutting up the old military arms was encouraged by parts suppliers.

Some dealers did it for you. I bought a cut down 1903 from Woolworth's for $69.

Times have changed, and so have our sensibilities. It is no longer economically feasible to modify a Mauser or Springfield given the high cost of the starter rifle. It made sense back when a 98 could be purchased for $29 in any gun shop, and a complete sporter kit cost $60, but not now.

But I have to admit that I still appreciate a nicely done conversion.


http://www.fototime.com/5CEEF8D30C654A5/standard.jpg

madcratebuilder
January 3, 2010, 06:38 AM
Most mil-surp rifles cost under $20 back in the late 50's early 60's. They made cheap reliable hunting rifles, all you needed was a hack saw.

earlthegoat2
January 3, 2010, 08:43 AM
The stock on a sporterization is what sets the rifle apart. Most do not do much with the stock. They either cut off the front portion to make it into some semblance of a sporter stock or it gets "custom built" really horribly.

dirtyjim
January 3, 2010, 10:05 AM
most of the botched stocks are simply because the person who did it doesn't have any woodworking skills. right now i think at least 75% of the population would butcher the stock on a new remchester if they tried to improve it.

most of the people who bought milusurps from the 40-70's to use as a hunting rifle wanted it to at least look somewhat like a remington or winchester rifle so they cut the forearm down, some of them also tried to reshape the pistol grip and most of them failed miserably in that area. then they had the bolt takedown sleeve in the buttstock that had to be dealt with. here's where we get into inlaying all sorts of stuff from white plasic to silver dollars. inlays were cool at that time thanks to roy weatherby. everyone say thank you mister roy for those god awful inlays.

if you had a WWI era rifle with a 29" barrel you had to cut it down so it wouldn't look funny sticking way out past the shortened forearm. then you had to remove the rear sight base leaving a big step in the barrel & a big gap in the stock.
now since the average person cant checker so he carves deer into the side of the stock on his new fangled hunting rifle. all it needs now is a thick coat of varnish.

now comes the scope. they clamped the barrel in a vise just in front of the action then eyeballed a redfield base on the receiver then clamped it down & drilled the holes using the base for a guide. then tapped them & low & behold your bubba rifle was complete.

now i've also seen some very nice rifles built from the 40's-70's on milsurps & i've built a few of them myself.

jimmyraythomason
January 3, 2010, 03:14 PM
That is one of those "you hadta be there" situations.

dirtyjim
January 3, 2010, 03:51 PM
here is a butchered spanish 93 that i picked up for $41.00 with the intention of saving it.
the only thing things it had going for it was the sights, hinged triggergaurd & the price.
if it couldn't be saved i could at least use the sights on something else & sell the triggergaurd for around what i paid for the whole rifle.
as it started out.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v36/dirtyjim/1916%20sporter/36sporterstart.jpg
the stock was already shortened to around 12 1/2" lop so it will mostly be used by my nephews & neices for plinking at the deer lease. i added a curved metal buttplate & slightly scalloped the comb.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v36/dirtyjim/1916%20sporter/36sporter4.jpg

reworked the fore end to a small schnable.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v36/dirtyjim/1916%20sporter/36sporter2.jpg

trimmed down the grip area & sides of the stock. welded a shotgun trigger to the upper half of the military trigger to make it resemble a single set trigger.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v36/dirtyjim/1916%20sporter/36sporter10.jpg
then added a talley style bolt handle that pushed the price of the rifle up a whopping $5.00
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v36/dirtyjim/1916%20sporter/36sporter8.jpg

i still need to finish the stock, re-crown the barrel & rust blue.
when i recrown the barrel i'm also going to move the step back about 4" so it will be right at the end of the forearm

rcmodel
January 3, 2010, 04:02 PM
Yep! You had to be there.
Nobody even guessed in 1960 that all the great old mil-sups would one day be worth as much as a Model 70 Winchester if left unmolested.

Kind of like Mossys are today.
Can you imagine a $79 dollar Mossy ever being scarce, or costing nearly a grand if left alone?

Back then, 98 Mauser's were $20-$25 bucks a pop, and gun-shops had wooden barrels full of them setting in the aisles.

And the DCM was selling un-fired 03A3 Springfield's for $17.50!
Cheap platform for making a $100 sporter you wanted but could not afford on $1.25 an hour.

rc

skidooman603
January 3, 2010, 04:07 PM
Well put RC....Ahhh for a time machine :mad:

d2wing
January 4, 2010, 06:16 PM
Also do-it-yourself was a big deal back then. If you can think of it someone tryed to make it at home. Airplanes, campers, and "customizing" anything.
Having stuff that wasn't functional wasn't very manly either. It's hard to remember how different things were even if you were there.

Dr.Mall Ninja
January 4, 2010, 06:19 PM
I wouldn't buy a sporterized milsurp.

SaxonPig
January 4, 2010, 06:41 PM
Good. Leaves more for me.

Dr. SaxonPig (really)

jimmyraythomason
January 4, 2010, 06:48 PM
Don't forget that most commercial hunting/target rifles are the result of sporterized military designs.

Ohio Gun Guy
January 4, 2010, 06:55 PM
I bought a half done sporterized swedish mauser and had fun finishing it. I have about 150 in it +/-.

Rembrandt
January 4, 2010, 07:35 PM
Back in the day, these rifles were so cheap they were nearly throw away guns.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/Oldmagazineads.jpg

GunsBeerFreedom
January 4, 2010, 07:50 PM
I'm all for historical preservation, but the sporterized milsuprs represent one such instance in history. As previously mentioned, they're from a time when an old military bolt gun was as common a gun that you could find. That's just as worth a history as some major war. It ALL represents a chapter of our freedom.

So in short, good or bad, I'm not against the idea of sporterizing a old milsurp.

TCB in TN
January 4, 2010, 08:13 PM
During my youth, a combination of un-sported and sporterized milsurps were what I cut my centerfire teeth on. The first rifles of my broke @ss young adulthood were more of the sporterized variety. Have a couple now, and wish I had many of the ones I used to have back.

elmerfudd
January 5, 2010, 01:19 AM
I think you've got to put this in a little perspective. Back during the 50's and 60's, it was just a decade or two after the greatest war ever fought and it had been mostly fought by tens of millions of troops armed with bolt action rifles. Ten years later however, all those rifles were completely obsolete, having been totally outclassed by M1's, FAL's, AK's, SKS's and many other self loading rifles. That was back in the days when they sold military surplus and because there were so many these rifles were dirt cheap.

Now also keep in mind that most hunters weren't using scopes back then either and a new Remchester cost a pretty penny and you can see why so many of these rifles were sporterized.

Float Pilot
January 5, 2010, 01:41 AM
While I collect milsurps, I do have a few very nice hunting rifles that started their lives as either Springfields or Mausers.

There are instances where a milsurp is basically worthless shoot and a re-birth is better than the junk pile.

I have one Custom Mauser (a Brazilian 1935) that I bought back in 1973 for $35.
It was the most inaccurate rifle I had seen until then. The chamber was so over sized that the brass could not be re-sized for hand loading. So it became my first rifle rebuild while working in a gun shop during high school. While not perfect, it was OK for a 16-year-old's first try. It has been hunted with for over 30 years now and still will shoot some ammo at half minute of angle groups.

Now I am finishing another milsurp conversion. In this case a very worn out 7x57mm Brazilian VZ24 that had a totally rusted barrel. Plus the parts were not number matched.
I re-barreled it to 416 Taylor and set it up as a classic safari type rifle . I will have photos here soon. The barrel action is currently off at the Bluer's shop...

Clipper
January 5, 2010, 08:07 AM
I sporterize them for three reasons:
1) Because I can.
2) Because it makes my rifle different from every other rifle.
3) Because of the pain it gives milsurp snobs.

That being said, I usually do something irreversible to my factory guns too, since I can't afford to own guns I don't use, and I won't use a gun that's 'sorta right' for me, which usually requires modification of something...

mcdonl
January 5, 2010, 08:23 AM
I have no issues with sportsterizing, unless of course you happen to come upon an 1895 Mosin... in the following condition:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v210/mcdonl/GUNS/DSCF1747.jpg

In which case de-sportsterizing was in order:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v210/mcdonl/GUNS/DSCF1793.jpg

garyhan
January 5, 2010, 08:29 AM
Another reason we sporterized back in the 60's when I started shooting, was that many more rifles were bought for the sole purpose of hunting than are now. The most basic of sporterizing jobs included lightening the rifle for easy field carry, and replacing the sights, which are frequently rather difficult to adjust to a satisfactory zero for hunting. Moreso in those days when front sight adjustment tools were practically unknown, These, at the time, seemed likeprac tical improvement to the hunter, Few thought about future collector value of these plentiful rifles, Gunwriters of the time often said that anything but a Springfield or 98 Mausers were junk, and expressed a dim view of anyone taking even these to the field unmodified. I certainly wish now I hadn't had the two "03's I aquired in my teens sporterized. but at least they were sporterized professionally and completely, and still hold prize positions in my collection.

gary

dogngun
January 5, 2010, 11:58 AM
You could buy a 98 Mauser for a few bucks, even less for a barrelled action, and have a very good craftsman make you a one of a kind sporter out of it. I have a 43 Mauser with a commercial sporter barrel in .308 Win. It has machine turning-jeweling-on the bolt and other parts, has a turned down swept back bolt handle, a low safety and a nice walnut sporter stock. It looks like nothing commercial, and is a light handy rifle. It was probably done in the mid 1960's, by someone who was pretty good - the blue and the workmanship is very well done.

I have no idea how much doing all this to a military rifle would cost now, but it would certainly be way too expensive compared to a new commercial rifle.

I have had a few of these sporters, ranging from those done in a home garage to quality rifles, and have never paid much for any of them - there are some very good ones still out there.

I see no point in doing all this work to a military rifle in good condition today.If you really want to build a rifle you can still find Mauser actions on sale from time to time, so you don't have to buy the whole rifle and throw most of it away.

mark

B yond
January 5, 2010, 12:40 PM
I bought a $90 Mosin M44 with the intent of sporterizing it. I picked one with a decent bore, drilled and tapped for a scope rail, hacked off the bolt and welded on a bent one for scope clearance, blued everything I could, and added a synthetic monte carlo stock (the raised portion of the stock provided for a better fit and superior cheek weld for me).

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=44710&d=1158000974

I think it came out well. It's a tack driver at 100 yards, and produces tight groups at 200.

I couldn't afford a modern bolt gun, and am more of a DIY kind of guy anyway, so a project gun was a perfect fit for me.

One of these days I plan to pickup another M44 to keep in original condition just for the historical value. I'm still very happy with my bubba'd sporter.

Cosmoline
January 5, 2010, 12:41 PM
There are sporters done right and there are the other ones.

Actual, real, highly skilled smiths had been "sporterizing" military surplus rifles since the 19th century. Their work ranges from solid to stunningly beautiful. I've seen Commission Mausers so ornately engraved they would have been proud in an art gallery. With absolutely perfect balance, too.

This tradition continued into the 20th century. There were few makers of commercial non-military bolt actions back then, and a high demand. I've seen reasonably good quality sporters dating to about the 60's and 70's. After that, not so much.

CONTRASTING with this tradition there have been a plethora of garage gunsmiths (aka Bubba) who read an article about "modernizing that old rifle" in the magazine and decided to do it themselves. Sometimes this made sense, esp. back when surplus rifles from WWII were knee-deep on the ground and cost almost nothing but a new Winchester was a month's pay. But the days when any of this made economic sense are long gone. You can buy an inexpensive and dead accurate Savage, ready for a scope, for a few hundred dollars. In contrast, the collector's market for a lot of surplus arms has really taken off. So you could not only be wasting money on the sporterization, you may be destroying a rifle worth many times what you paid for it. I've seen a lot of garage tragedies over the years, so the danger isn't just theoretical. A Greek Mannlicher-Schoenauer with an unusal proof and very short SN hacked so badly virtually nothing was left untouched. A Mosin M27 cut and hammered into an abomination and rendered worthless. A Polish M44 with what had been a lovely blond stock turned into something I'd rather not talk about. All of these guys and many, many more lost a lot of money from their hackery. I can only guess as to the Greek rifle.

The bottom line is I *LIKE* rifles. I don't like seeing them hacked up for no good reason. If you want to do it yourself, build your own rifle from scratch. It's a ton of fun and if the results are iffy the first few times, you've hurt nothing.

jimmyraythomason
January 5, 2010, 12:46 PM
I'd say that sums it up pretty good,Cosmoline. I build my sporters on receivers and barrelled receivers,not complete rifles so I bear no guilty feelings.

B yond
January 5, 2010, 01:07 PM
Oh puh-lease.

If you want a project gun go get a project gun. If you want a collectible go get a collectible.

No one needs to feel bad for sporterizing their milsurp unless they're not happy with the way it came out.

If it was worth more in original condition, fine. The owner has to decide whether it's worth more to them as an original or as a sporter.

My m44 was worth $90. If I hadn't sporterized it it would still be worth $90. I'd also probably never shoot it (have other iron-sighted bolt action milsurps that are more fun to shoot).

It's worth more TO ME as a sporter.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
January 5, 2010, 01:11 PM
There IS NO reason - now. The economics don't support it. The economics are drastically different then they were in the 40s, 50s, 60s, and even 70s.

That's when they were done (mostly).

jimmyraythomason
January 5, 2010, 01:19 PM
I built 2 Mauser 98 sporters this past year. Neither was built for economic reasons. Both were built from parts collected for that purpose and the total costs have NOT been tallied. It just doesn't matter.

Cosmoline
January 5, 2010, 01:40 PM
On top of value issues, there's the problem with a narrow mind. Most of the Bubba projects involve beating and hacking a "foreign" looking rifle into something approximating the standard American hunting rifle. No iron sights, no stripper clip guide, no bayonet, reliance on receiver-mounted scope, bent bolt handle etc etc. Why not learn to shoot it as it was intended to be shot, instead of bashing it into your preconceived notions of what a "good hunting rifle" has to be?

mcdonl
January 5, 2010, 01:43 PM
On top of value issues, there's the problem with a narrow mind. Most of the Bubba projects involve beating and hacking a "foreign" looking rifle into something approximating the standard American hunting rifle. No iron sights, no stripper clip guide, no bayonet, reliance on receiver-mounted scope, bent bolt handle etc etc. Why not learn to shoot it as it was intended to be shot, instead of bashing it into your preconceived notions of what a "good hunting rifle" has to be?

Mr Cosmoline... that is why I reversed ONE of my millsurps... as shown above. I have others that I enjoy sportsterizing, but I think some guns are better off "natural"....

And... one more thing...

STAY THE HE11 OUT OF MY GAS TUBES!! :)

B yond
January 5, 2010, 06:36 PM
There IS NO reason - now. The economics don't support it.

No reason? Seriously? What about "because it's fun" or "because I wanted to" or "because I wanted to make it exactly what I wanted" and all the other similar reasons?

Heck, Bill Ruger said there was NO REASON any responsible gun owner needed more than 10 rounds in a magazine. Most of us would disagree with that.

You may not see a reason, but that doesn't mean the rest of us don't see one.

On top of value issues, there's the problem with a narrow mind. Most of the Bubba projects involve beating and hacking a "foreign" looking rifle into something approximating the standard American hunting rifle. No iron sights, no stripper clip guide, no bayonet, reliance on receiver-mounted scope, bent bolt handle etc etc. Why not learn to shoot it as it was intended to be shot, instead of bashing it into your preconceived notions of what a "good hunting rifle" has to be?

Narrow mind? Reading that made me throw up a little in my mouth. :barf:

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

How is it narrow-minded to see an old beat up milsurp and think of all the great things it could be?

No, narrow-minded is thinking that these old weapons should *only* be enjoyed the way they were originally configured.

Cosmoline
January 5, 2010, 06:57 PM
How is it narrow-minded to see an old beat up milsurp and think of all the great things it could be?

I don't have as big an issue with those who do unusual or creative things with surplus rifles. But most of what gets churned out of the garage shops are attempts to make a rifle unfamiliar to the owner more familiar. The straight bolt is replaced with a bent bolt, the barrel is shortened, the stock is shortened, the hand guard tossed, the receiver is drilled and tapped for a scope, etc. There's no imagination there. Just destruction. It's a violent attack on history for no good reason. The subtext is clear--the old military rifles are "junk" not worth saving unless they can be made to resemble a Remchester. I object strongly to that whole philosophy.

Throwing Bill Ruger's quote at me is absurd. Nowhere have I suggested that sporterizing should be illegal. But if you do it you I don't have to like it.

jimmyraythomason
January 5, 2010, 06:59 PM
Sorry but change doesn't equal destruction in all cases.

Cosmoline
January 5, 2010, 07:02 PM
I never said it did. Did you read my post?

ArmedBear
January 5, 2010, 07:04 PM
The straight bolt is replaced with a bent bolt, the barrel is shortened, the stock is shortened, the hand guard tossed, the receiver is drilled and tapped for a scope, etc.

Uh, yeah. These are all the changes required to turn an old military rifle into a useful modern hunting rifle. The execution might be poor, but the highest-end Mauser-based custom has exactly the same general specs.

It's not worth it to hack up an old rifle now, but when most of this stuff was done, it was when the surplus rifles in question were very cheap and more than plentiful. And Bubba didn't do a good job. But what "imagination" do you expect? A scope mounted perpendicular to the bore? A pink paisley finish on the barrel? Three extra bayonet lugs?

Would it make sense to hack up a '32 Ford Coupe in good original condition today? No. But in the late 1950s and early 1960s, they were junkyard cars, and turning them into dragsters was just good fun.

jimmyraythomason
January 5, 2010, 07:05 PM
Yes I did and yes you did. "The straight bolt is replaced with a bent bolt, the barrel is shortened, the stock is shortened, the hand guard tossed, the receiver is drilled and tapped for a scope, etc. There's no imagination there. Just destruction. It's a violent attack on history for no good reason."

B yond
January 5, 2010, 07:20 PM
The subtext is clear--the old military rifles are "junk" not worth saving unless they can be made to resemble a Remchester.

Oddly enough, you're the only person I've heard that from.

These old military rifles served their purpose very well. They were made for fighting wars. I don't see any problem with modifying one to serve another purpose.

If you're not a collector, and you have a milsurp with little or no collector value, and you want to make a sporter...why not?

I'm more likely to go hunting with my m44 than I am to fight WWII with it. It does me no good just sitting in the safe looking old.

Maj Dad
January 5, 2010, 07:29 PM
In 1968 I bought a nice VZ-24 action at New Orleans Arms Co. for $20. Then I ordered a 308 bbl from E.R. Shaw for $25-$30 or so, sent it to Ernest Hurt in Muscogee, OK, who installed & headspaced it, forged & turned down the bolt & jeweled it for around $25-$30 (package deal ;) ), added a Sile walnut stock I found in some shop in New Orleans for $15 and Voila! Sporter! I installed Williams front & rear sites (3 holes at $2 a hole), and later on drilled & tapped & scoped it. Staff Sergeant Jacoby, USA, had to sell it at Ft Bragg after the second child showed up, but no regrets. Had a million bucks worth of fun with it, and I'm on the verge of doing it again with a 308 Yugo M24 that was rebarrelled with a re-cut and chambered 03-A3 bbl back in the 60's, also replete with Williams front & rear sights (3 holes!!). Beats watching the boob tube and it's worth $6 million in therapy.

I also have a lot of pristine milsurp weapons which will remain thus. I am a shooter first, collector second, and museum owner/operator not in the least... :cool:

B yond
January 5, 2010, 07:34 PM
I am a shooter first, collector second, and museum owner/operator not in the least...

Quote of the day!

Well put, sir.

earlthegoat2
January 5, 2010, 07:40 PM
I'm more likely to go hunting with my m44 than I am to fight WWII with it.

Here is my vote for Quote of the day!

Cosmoline
January 5, 2010, 07:54 PM
These are all the changes required to turn an old military rifle into a useful modern hunting rifle.

ORLY? Lots of people hunt with intact surplus rifles. There is no need to hack them up to make them "useful." Absolutely none.

These old military rifles served their purpose very well. They were made for fighting wars. I don't see any problem with modifying one to serve another purpose.


This is the subtext I was talking about--the very one you claim to have never heard. The subtext is that these are "war rifles" for fighting wars, and if you want to use them for hunting you have to make them look like a modern scoped hunting rifle. It's a load of bravo sierra. You'll have better luck leaving your Mosin intact as a hunting rifle. It's stronger and the tangent sight, used properly, will give you whatever zero you need.

What we're really talking about here is DEMILITARIZING a rifle to make it "suitable" for civilian use. All other arguments aside, I really do not like that idea. Not one bit. It stinks to high heaven in fact.

Cosmoline
January 5, 2010, 08:02 PM
Yes I did and yes you did

Read Post No. 26.

Clipper
January 5, 2010, 08:03 PM
I just LOVE the way Cosmo goes berserk about this subject... He's so narrow-minded about it I bet his scratch pads are an inch wide.

jimmyraythomason
January 5, 2010, 08:06 PM
I agreed with post #26. Post #34 was what I was responding to.

Cosmoline
January 5, 2010, 08:06 PM
This isn't berserk. You should see me when I go berserk.

REAPER4206969
January 5, 2010, 08:11 PM
"Sporterizing " threads make me cry. http://www.ar15.com/images/smilies/icon_smile_dissapprove.gif

AirplaneDoc
January 5, 2010, 08:23 PM
Back in the day, my grandfather picked up 4 1903 springfields at the rock island arsenal. He hand selected them, and sporterized 2 of them. I have 1 uncut, and 1 sporterized of the original 4. He paid $25 each at the time.

ArmedBear
January 5, 2010, 08:30 PM
You'll have better luck leaving your Mosin intact as a hunting rifle.

Well, yeah. And I think that someone has to be heavily intoxicated to use one at all.:D

An open iron sight might let you hit a 55-gallon drum at 600 yards, but it won't work any better for making an ethical shot on deer at 600 yards now than it did 100 years ago.

I've never "bubba'd" a rifle. But when some people look at a rifle with a cracked stock, a shot-out barrel with a dark bore, and a decent Mauser action, they think, "Oh neat! A Mauser action!" There's nothing wrong with that. Of course, a junk sporter is a junk sporter, regardless.

Of course, nobody with a BAL below .2% ever looked at a MOSIN with a cracked stock, a shot-out barrel with a dark bore, and thought, "Wow! I can use that action to make a fine custom hunting rifle!"

WRT "demilitarizing" a rifle, that's no different from stripping off all the unnecessary stuff from a Harley back in the day, to make a much sportier bike. That was about the same time that people were bubba'ing cheap surplus rifles, and chopping up junked '32 Fords, too.

The real "demilitarizing" happened automatically, when guns like the Mosin and even the Mauser became irrelevant to military use.:)

Don't get me wrong. I appreciate historic firearms, and I don't want to trash a good one. However, if I get a Swedish Mauser barreled action in 6.5x55, I wouldn't have any qualms about putting it in a stock that I like, drilling and tapping it, etc. It's no longer a pristine military relic -- which I have a few of, BTW, and wouldn't modify. I also wouldn't take them hunting as-is. We don't get a grocery bag full of tags like you do in Alaska, so I will take any edge I can, including a rifle best suited to hunting instead of bayonet charges.

Cosmoline
January 5, 2010, 08:45 PM
You should check out some of Caribou's posts to see what an intact Mosin can do in the right hands!

You don't need a bent bolt or a scope to bring down game. This assumption that such modifications are required is just the sort of narrow-mindedness I object to.

ArmedBear
January 5, 2010, 09:00 PM
You don't need a rifle to bring down game, either, Cosmo. Hell, you could just take your whole tribe and run it to death like a Kudu on the African plains.

Ohio Gun Guy
January 5, 2010, 09:35 PM
FIX............!


Bayonet.



Just fix bayonet and charge.

CZguy
January 5, 2010, 09:44 PM
"Sporterizing " threads make me cry.

I don't think that they are near as bad as cleaning threads. :D

TCB in TN
January 5, 2010, 10:03 PM
You don't need a bent bolt or a scope to bring down game. This assumption that such modifications are required is just the sort of narrow-mindedness I object to.

I usually agree with most of what you have to say, but this is one thread where I think you are off base. Since the Mosin has been brought up I will focus on it. I have shot a stock Mosin and honestly I HATE the straight bolt. Shot a bubba'd Mosin with a bent bolt and I personally felt more comfortable. Same thing about the scope. I pride myself on my ability to shoot open sights well, but when it comes to REALLY shooting well, a scope, or a set of target sights make a huge difference. (Even on a mosin). If you want to keep yours the way you like them, well fine! But I just don't see the crime in others doing the same!

B yond
January 5, 2010, 10:08 PM
I just LOVE the way Cosmo goes berserk about this subject... He's so narrow-minded about it I bet his scratch pads are an inch wide.

This all feels too familiar (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=220809)...

:rolleyes:

Nicodemus38
January 5, 2010, 10:29 PM
sporterizing can be summed up with one simple definition.

Sport-er-riz-ing: the act of modyfying a weapon from the configuration it was designed for into a configuration it was never meant for.

ie, dont cut down the stock and barrel of a 1903 or mosin nagant to 18 inches so its "easier' for little suzy or johnny or drunken uncle billy to carry through the woods while deer hunting, when you could have gotten a 16 inch barreled lever gun that would give the same accuracy and general power on deer at 150 yards.

B yond
January 5, 2010, 11:42 PM
dont cut down the stock and barrel of a 1903 or mosin nagant to 18 inches so its "easier' for little suzy or johnny or drunken uncle billy to carry through the woods while deer hunting, when you could have gotten a 16 inch barreled lever gun that would give the same accuracy and general power on deer at 150 yards.

Why not?

I still don't see the problem.

Cosmoline
January 6, 2010, 12:12 AM
The problem is there's a finite number of these rifles, and the folks who tend to do the hacking are also the least likely to know one from 'tother. A lot of us love the old war rifles, so why not leave them to us and get the rifle you really want, which is a modern sporter? I keep hearing how people never hurt the rare ones, but I've seen and held the ruined disasters left when a rare one gets crosswise of Bubba. An anti with a blowtorch couldn't do more damage. It's horrific.

As was noted earlier, if you want to do a home build that's fantastic. The best way is to get a receiver in the white and a premium barrel. You can make yourself a wildcat tackdriver or anything you want. It's a load of fun. And in the end you have put one more rifle into circulation which is a good thing.

earlthegoat2
January 6, 2010, 07:52 AM
I would not qualify Cosmoline as going berserk. Seems to me like he is just passionate about old military rifles. Something I can relate to. I do not tend to criticize a sporterization IF it is well done. There are too many hack jobs out there. These guns are uglier and less funcional than if they were left stock. And in my experience the majority of them are like that.

As one posted earlier, it one finds a Swedish Mauser barrelled action and wants to put a sporter style stock on it then that is just chipper. If one wants to use a Mosin action go right ahead with that as well.

ArmedBear
January 6, 2010, 07:59 AM
How many of those old rifles do you own, Cosmoline? Thousands? Hundreds?

I've seen an amazing historic Western gun collection -- with a big book tracking provenance and specific historical significance -- in a modest rural home in a Western state. I don't know of a museum with a collection like what I saw, short of the Smithsonian, perhaps. There's nothing saying that you couldn't do that, especially with rifles that are worth a tiny fraction of the price of a Colt Navy in VG condition with significant provenance, or a well-preserved 1874 Sharps that belonged to a well-known buffalo hunter. He had several long walls of close-spaced racks of such.

Expecting bubba to buy rifles YOU are passionate about, and preserve them for YOU because YOU want him to is well, as we used to put it in the schoolyard, LAME, Cosmoline. Go and buy all the rifles you can get your hands on, put them in a climate-controlled warehouse, and keep them pristine. Or take schoolkids out and let them shoot a few. Whatever you want.

Otherwise, while it's fine for you to try to influence others to share your values, Bubba's gun is NOT YOURS. And ultimately, if you're not willing to spend YOUR money to buy it off of him, it's none of your damned business what he does with it -- even if you and I both don't like it.

shootr
January 6, 2010, 08:11 AM
As others have noted, it was a different day and age. Many were tinkerers and such projects were fun. These days, it's different and the economics don't make sense. However, for some economics aren't an issue - having a fun project is. Regardless, it's their money and business. Ditto re someone hacking up an old, valuable gun.

Not taking a shot at anypne's position, but perhaps this issue is one the NRA or someone could take up as an educational effort - IE, produce a simple primer: "The do's / don't's and considerations to make before altering a potentially historically significant firearm."

Publicize it, put it on the website and otherwisde make the info available. I imagine many would check it out before taking on "projects."

That said - IMO some of the older sporterized arms DO have historical significance, as they represent an American shooting era. In that "golden age" after WWII, people tinkered with projects, experimented with wildcats, new loads, and really pushed the envelope in a lot of ways. Many "everyday guys" could contribute and participate solely because the low cost of these milsurps allowed them to. A lot of the work they did was done very well and a lot was done "okay." IMO, the truly nasty hack jobs are a minority.

I own a couple sporterized milsurps and am always on the look out for ones that are nicely done, unfinished or otherwise just need TLC to be shooting again. They become projects.

One I got as a gift from a WWII vet and dear family friend is a great example of the "golden era." It was a matching numbered bring back K98. My friend was a lifelong shooter and a machinist by trade. He cut the stock, turned down the bolt, mounted an old Weaver 4X, varnished the stock and used it as his "meat / loaner gun." I'll be passing a decent-looking, fine-shooting 8mm and its history on to my grandson.

It's all how we look at such things IMHO.

Sam1911
January 6, 2010, 08:39 AM
Otherwise, while it's fine for you to try to influence others to share your values, Bubba's gun is NOT YOURS. And ultimately, if you're not willing to spend YOUR money to buy it off of him, it's none of your damned business what he does with it -- even if you and I both don't like it.

A.B., you have valid points. It is Bubba's gun to do with as he pleases, and neither Cosmo (nor I, nor you) have a right to impose our wishes upon him.

However, there is nothing wrong with -- and everything right with -- making a strenuous effort to educate and guide other gun folks about such matters. No, we can't make their decisions for them, but we can try to help them see the value in what they have, the potential loss in value likely to happen because of their planned modifications, and even the simple (usually disadvantagous) economics of trying to build a modern Remlinchester out of a classic piece of militaria.

There are plenty of folks who will say, "yes, I hear you saying that I shouldn't, but I don't care. This is my grandpappy's 1941 Johnson rifle and I want to hunt with it, and all I need to do is cut down the barrel so I don't keep whacking it when I get out of the truck, and add a set of fiber optic sights to help out my bad eyes, and it would look really good with a Krylon camoflage job." And, that's their right. Cosmo, or any of us, can rant and rave until we're weaping, but nothing we do can infringe on his right to fire up the acetylene torch and belt sander.

On the other hand, I've seen quite a few people, here on THR, come and ask about cutting their old mil-surp and leave here with a completely new appreciation for what they have, or at least having seen that they'd be better off selling it to an interested collector and purchasing something closer to what they think they need.

Why not at least try? In stating the facts, we can harm no one -- can infringe on the rights of no one -- and we may keep a few more pristine classics in circulation. That is a goal we should strive for.

-Sam

madcratebuilder
January 6, 2010, 08:41 AM
The current popularity of over restoring military surplus rifles is in my opinion no different than sporterizing the rifle. It is far removed from it's original configuration, smooth shiny stocks, perfect metal finish. Blasphemy. Hand me that hacksaw.

jimmyraythomason
January 6, 2010, 08:43 AM
FWIW, if you want the garage sporterizer to even listen to your opinion of what he should do with his own propery,maybe you should first stop calling him "Bubba".

Art Eatman
January 6, 2010, 08:45 AM
I come from a time when the DCM sold milsurps for less than ten bucks, while a Model 70 was upwards of sixty bucks. Gunsmith labor was couple of bucks an hour. That oughta tell folks something, right there.

I agree that educating folks about our changed times is a Good Thing. But a bunch of snark in griping against "Bubba" modifications doesn't educate, it angers. It gets a reaction of, "Up yours, I'll do what I want, not what you want."

ArmedBear
January 6, 2010, 09:00 AM
"Up yours, I'll do what I want, not what you want."


If you ask me, the real history of America is summed up in that sentence.

I'd rather have an America full of people who believe that deep in their hearts, with not a single Mosin left intact, than an America full of Downtown Historical Preservation Society biddies (with your money, not theirs, of course) and all the military rifles ever made, left pristine.

For what it's worth, much as I'd hate to see those old rifles get trashed, you can hack up every Garand, every Civil War rifled musket, every 1866 Winchester, before I want to see you hack up the spirit of this country.

The fact is, the post-war "sporterized" rifle, for better or worse, represents the spirit that built modern America. The guns produced by Stalinist Russia do not.

I still remember the small machine shops and garage innovators that my dad took me to see. I remember when boys played with chemistry sets and built go-karts, dreaming of inventing something and becoming a titan of industry, not going to law school and helping to chase American productivity overseas.

There's my rant. Worrying more about preserving the relics of the Soviet past than preserving the crumbling foundations of America's future is a sickness.

Sam1911
January 6, 2010, 09:42 AM
Art, I certainly agree with you. I cringe at "Bubba" and "Fudd" because labeling folks like that just insults them -- and insulting someone is the first step in convincing them to DISAGREE with you. If you can't create empathy and convey the message that your advice will benefit someone, how will you teach them anything?

A.B., I don't think the spirit of America is "Up Yours." That's pretty poor. A spirit of individualism, certainly. A willingness to take a chance, and go against the conventional wisdom in the pursuit of a dream, absolutely. But pure, crass, self-defeating contrarianism? No way. There's lots of folks who are stupid, ornery cusses who will jump into a wood chipper just 'cause someone else told them not to. But idiots like that didn't make America great, and embody few, if any, of the principles that will keep it that way.

What made America great is an ability to learn from each other and from history, and build on and improve upon those lessons, and to give a leg up to those who will follow them. Those who will go on to continue the cycle of learning and enlightenment.

If we're too mean to teach, and to ornery or stupid to learn, we'll have nothing left of value and no way to appreciate or create things of value for ourselves. How is that the spirit of America?

I work every day on projects that are affected by those "Historic(al) [SIC] Preservation Society biddies" -- sometimes I work with them and sometimes to oppose them. But I've seen almost universally that the best things they (and the SHIPOs, and the DOI) accomplish are not through coersion, but through enlightening and educating people to value treasures they'd not had the discernment to comprehend on their own. Some times those organizations can bring the rule of law into play to prevent folks from destroying irreplacable things. When the government forces people to handle their private property in a certain way, that troubles me greatly. But such things are far less common than you'd believe. MUCH more is irretrivably lost than is ever saved.

In this case, we're not talking about coersion, or any claims of authority over what a person does with their belongings. We simply want to educate and enlighten. If we do it so ham-fistedly that we insult them, then we've failed our goals. If they are too stubborn and closed minded to listen to friendly voices of advice, that's just too bad.

But to suggest that offering advice -- and HELPING our friends and aquaintances to a greater appreciation of the treasures they own -- is contrary to the "spirit of this country" is way out of line.

-Sam

Sam1911
January 6, 2010, 10:09 AM
Worrying more about preserving the relics of the Soviet past than preserving the crumbling foundations of America's future is a sickness.

So ... if you'd seek to advance the preservation of historic artifacts (from all parts of the world) then you're actively working to undermine America's future? Surely your enthusiasm for the hyperbole with which you're entertaining us has stolen the logic out from under your argument!

The innovation and small-scale striving to invent and develop things has not left our culture! The successful innovators that seem to pepper our recollections of history were ALWAYS a precious few bright sparks among the masses who just strugged day-to-day to draw a paycheck. I'd wager the vast increases in disposable wealth in the last four or five decades have greatly expanded the numbers of brave (and/or crazy) inventers and tinkerers over anything the 19th or early 20th centuries could have mustered.

Just because the innovation of today might look a bit different -- and branch into tech sectors that us old-school wood & iron guys don't quite comprehend -- doesn't mean it doesn't exist. And just because some of us would suggest that there are better avenues for innovation than unenlightened destruction of historic artifacts, doesn't mean we stand in the way of individual initiative and contributions to progress.

-Sam

jimmyraythomason
January 6, 2010, 10:26 AM
I have no problem with those who want to keep THEIR mil-surps all original(I have some kept that way too). I seriously doubt that MOST sporterized mil-surps were ever involved in anything historic. A GEW.98 made after 1918 probably never saw any warfare as neither did a Yugo 1948(small non-world changing scirmishes don't count) nor tons of SMLEs. So a sporterized Mauser isn't (necessarily)history being cut up. I have a hard time when I put together a Mauser 98 from a stripped receiver with non-military parts,sporter barrel,adjustable trigger,aftermarket trigger guard/magazine,Parker Hale commercial bolt and internals and the first thing someone says is "Yeah,it's nice but I wish you hadn't BUBBA'ed it "??????

Sam1911
January 6, 2010, 10:40 AM
I have a hard time when I put together a Mauser 98 from a stripped receiver with non-military parts,sporter barrel,adjustable trigger,aftermarket trigger guard/magazine,Parker Hale commercial bolt and internals and the first thing someone says is "Yeah,it's nice but I wish you hadn't BUBBA'ed it "??????

Does that actually happen to you a lot? I mean, you explain that you're pulling together unassembled parts to make something you want and people give you grief because you didn't build a replica of the original pattern gun? If so, that's kind of sad. I'd have a hard time taking their complaint seriously, too.

On the other hand, I don't think that a weapon had to actually be used in a "significant" battle somewhere to be considered a valuable historic artifact. If you do have a parts-matching K98 or SMLE from whenever, you don't have to check it's provenance and battle record to find out whether or not it should be cut up. (Of course, valid records of use may INCREASE it's value...)

As you kind of alluded to, there are many tens of thousands of already chopped "sporterized" guns out there for very little money if you've got an itchy hacksaw finger. Or, as you did, just contact any of the supply houses that stock stripped receivers and such parts.

That's part of what I'm getting at with the "education" and "enlightenment" comments. There are ways to do this which are both less destructive to the dwindling numbers of pristine original artifacts -- AND -- easier and cheaper for the builders. We can help both causes by sharing that information.

-Sam

jimmyraythomason
January 6, 2010, 11:13 AM
I understand your points Sam1911 and largely agree with you. I don't usually tell someone right off the bat that my sporters were built from left over gun parts. They seem to automatically assume that I cut up a valuable piece if history. As for mil-surps monetary value (which is only a concern for a buyer or seller) a K98 used in the battle of Stalingrad or a Garand used at Bastone is certain more prized by collectors than a Colombian 1950 M98(my personal favorite) just as an Indian arrowhead picked up at Little Bighorn is going to be more prized than an identical arrowhead picked up from a cottonfield in Alabama. Also note that Mil-surps in pristine condition likely saw little or no use in actual battle hence the excellent condition. Each person should try to please themselves in their firearms collecting and not worry about what others are doing with their's.

Mr_Pale_Horse
January 6, 2010, 11:38 AM
Treasure and Trash:

I spend my days on a 110 square mile graveyard. It says Naval Surface Warfare Center at the gates, but we, the grave diggers, know better. Some 4000 magazines here (bunkers are for Army folk, Navy folk call them magazines). Once upon a time, we made things here, stored them a while, them sent them out to be used. Still do some of that, but only a piddlin' amount.

Nowadays, we keep a good number of magazines turned over (empty, or ready to be emptied). Always getting rail car loads or truck loads of this or that. The Navy does not use it anymore, but can't quite part with it just yet. Keep it around as spare, or parts, or reserve. Scrap or DRMO it in a few years.

About 15 years back, we had a Garand problems. 2 dozen magazines full of them, and the CMP was not calling us very often. So we studied the problem, and came up with a solution, a program, a plan. Remove them from storage. Clean and degrease in an environmentally sound way. Disassemble them; send the wood to a local furniture manufacturer who would grind it and use it to make fake wood. Chop the rest, put it in rail cars, and send it to a foundry to be made into auto steel.

Bubba was thwarted; so were the collectors.

jimmyraythomason
January 6, 2010, 11:58 AM
Mr Pale Horse,what can I say? I'm sick. As my grand daughter would say,"my heart hurts". Excuse me now as I go..do something else.....anything else...

CZguy
January 6, 2010, 12:02 PM
Bubba was thwarted; so were the collectors.

Government :banghead:

Sam1911
January 6, 2010, 12:02 PM
Mr Pale Horse,what can I say? I'm sick. As my grand daughter would say,"my heart hurts". Excuse me now as I go..do something else.....anything else...

Wow. Couldn't have said that better, myself.

-Sam

B yond
January 6, 2010, 12:03 PM
I'm a tinkerer and a problem-solver by trade and by instinct.

I have a modest collection of firearms, and only a few of them haven't been modified in any way since I acquired them.

It is rare that I see an off-the-shelf firearm that I can't improve upon at least a little bit to better suit my desires for it.

One of the weapons I've never modified is a milsurp vz-24. The stock is beat up and it doesn't look very good, but it shoots wonderfully and fits me well, so I'm keeping it stock. It's my iron-sighted bolt gun.

The m44 I bought had a horrible front sight, but shot straight. The rifle was capable of putting holes in things that I couldn't even see clearly at range using iron sights. So I scoped it. Then the bolt needed to be bent for clearance, so i bent it. Then the cheek weld was wrong, so I monte-carlo'd it. I slapped on a bipod and now I can put holes in paper that i couldn't see with iron sights.

It's not that the rifle wasn't capable of making the shots before, it's that I wasn't capable of seeing the target clearly at range. Before cosmo tells me it's because I don't know how to shoot these rifles the way they were intended, I'm going to go ahead and declare that B.S.. I don't know how to see the bullseye at 200 yards without optics. If there's some trick to making your eyes work like telescopes someone please let me know.

The way these were meant to be used was aim, fire, repeat at enemy soldiers who were shooting back. That's not how I use them, and hopefully I'll never use them that way.

Sure, trained soldiers could hit an enemy at long ranges with these guns and their iron sights. But they weren't getting the pinpoint accuracy I'm trying to squeeze out of the gun. They were aiming at a 6 foot tall target. I'm aiming at a dot that's a couple of inches in diameter at most. A scope makes sense for me.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
January 6, 2010, 12:17 PM
I have a modest collection of firearms, and only a few of them haven't been modified in any way since I acquired them.

It is rare that I see an off-the-shelf firearm that I can't improve upon at least a little bit to better suit my desires for it.

Hee, hee, glad I'm not the only one. It *usually* lowers the value too, or at best, adds no particular value. But it makes me happy, so... :)

B yond
January 6, 2010, 12:23 PM
It *usually* lowers the value too

That depends on how you define value.

I don't plan on ever selling a single gun. Resale value doesn't matter to me.

However, if my great grandson can go out and put a hole in the x-ring 50 years from now with a gun I 'customized' that's a part of my legacy and is more valuable to me than any sum of money.

Sam1911
January 6, 2010, 12:33 PM
However, if my great grandson can go out and put a hole in the x-ring 50 years from now with a gun I 'customized' that's a part of my legacy and is more valuable to me than any sum of money.


Yes, and hopefully your grandson does treasure that rifle, and your efforts.

Unfortunately, the "what's it worth" columns in the gun magazines, and many many posts here and on other forums often feature tales that run more like, "My grandpop left me a .30-40 Krag that he bought through an NRA program in 1938. In the 60s he cut the barrel down, changed the stock, and drilled and tapped it for a scope mount. I've got plenty of rifles that shoot more accurately, but I sure wish that old Krag was still original. It sure isn't "worth" much now..." Instead of appreciating his Grandfather's hard work, he's lamenting his short-sighted judgement.

Maybe that's a fault in the grandson's priorities, and maybe it's reality. I can't make up his mind for him.

It isn't that customizing something is ALWAYS the worst choice. But it's surely something you want to do with clarity and as much understanding as you can obtain.

-Sam

shootr
January 6, 2010, 06:51 PM
Yes, and hopefully your grandson does treasure that rifle, and your efforts.

"Unfortunately, the "what's it worth" columns in the gun magazines, and many many posts here and on other forums often feature tales that run more like, "My grandpop left me a .30-40 Krag that he bought through an NRA program in 1938. In the 60s he cut the barrel down, changed the stock, and drilled and tapped it for a scope mount. I've got plenty of rifles that shoot more accurately, but I sure wish that old Krag was still original. It sure isn't "worth" much now..." Instead of appreciating his Grandfather's hard work, he's lamenting his short-sighted judgement.

Maybe that's a fault in the grandson's priorities, and maybe it's reality. I can't make up his mind for him.

It isn't that customizing something is ALWAYS the worst choice. But it's surely something you want to do with clarity and as much understanding as you can obtain."



LOL! If that's what my grandson thinks, then he can kiss my cold, dead arse. Just sayin... :D

Cosmoline
January 6, 2010, 07:07 PM
Worrying more about preserving the relics of the Soviet past than preserving the crumbling foundations of America's future is a sickness.

OK, let me try to figure this one out. By advocating leaving surplus military rifles alone I'm not only helping to destroy the "foundations of America's future," but I'm also some kind of a traitor for trying to preserve the "relics of the Soviet past."

I wonder how D-Day would have gone with 10 million additional Wehrmacht troops waiting for our guys at Normandy. Those relics of the Soviet past you deride helped to prevent that from happening. But by all means let's hack them to bits so they're more familiar to modern American eyes.

And what about the vastly more rare Finnish Mosins I've seen hacked up beyond all recognition (HUBAR)? Are you OK with that as well?

SaxonPig
January 6, 2010, 08:34 PM
I quit planning to leave guns to heirs after the third time I saw a new member post asking the value of granddad's guns he just inherited because he wants to sell them.

Let the little bastards buy their own guns.

TCB in TN
January 6, 2010, 08:51 PM
A few weeks ago, an older guy I know (who is a mechanic) was talking with me outside Walmart. While there a 72 chevy truck came rolling by. Had been painted Neon green, with a bunch of tricked out decals, lowered with a set of flashy rims, and was shaking from both a big block, and a thumping stereo. He watched it go buy and commented on how big a shame it was to see such a great old truck ruined like that.

I happen to know the kid (25yr old) who built it, and he has won a dozen best in classes, several best sound system competitions, built the motor, did the body work, paint, and a BUNCH of inside customization that I personally think is cool, even if not to my taste. It is his baby, and he has put his heart and soul into it. In my book that is cool.

Now that said I see a lot more bad 'tricked out" vehicles than I see good, but in general the people who do it ALL think that theirs is great. I am fine with that. Same thing with bubba'd guns. I have refinished a bunch of guns over the years, and have plans to do many more. Some of what I want to do will likely not please anyone else but me! I am also fine with that.

earlthegoat2
January 6, 2010, 09:05 PM
I just want to make sure no one is missing the essence of this thread.

First, there is a responsiblity of sorts to preserve the past.
Second, there was a need in the past for cheap sporter rifles.
Third, modern sporterization is impractical.
Fourth, though it can become blurry at times when overused terms start getting thrown around, there is a difference between sporterizing an old military rifle and bubbaizing it.

B yond
January 6, 2010, 11:42 PM
Cosmo, you keep saying it's about making these guns look more American. I'm not sure where you're getting that from.

I made a sporter because i wanted to. If I wanted a Remington or a Winchester i could've saved up and bought one, but I didn't. I wanted a project. The mosin was a cheap starting point. I have another project now, but instead of starting from a milsurp I'm starting from a brand new receiver. If I could've bought a similar milsurp for the same price as my new receiver I would've started with that.

I looked into the history of my mosin a bit before I modified it. That history is still there. The rifle lives on. It just looks a little different and gets treated a little better. Its history is still being written.

I'm perplexed as to why you have such a problem with sporterizing. Is it a sentimental thing? Is it outrage over the economics of the decision to modify a milsurp? Is it because you don't think a hobbyist can do a good job of it?

What's the big deal?

gun addict
January 7, 2010, 12:18 AM
the big deal is that there is a finite amount of those old military surplus firearms in original condition. By chopping it up to your whim you are taking them out of the market and denying the collectors of their price not to mention a piece of history.

yes, you can say you're "creating your own history" with that modified Mil-sup of yours but that's not what collectors and historians look for. We want the firearms in the condition it served in whatever conflict with if that make sense?

sry, but as far as we're concerned the fact that you shot a deer with your modified rifle will never replace its original history.

Have you seen badly chrome plated Luger? Or chopped up Krag? Yeah i bet their owners thought it was cool at the time too, but all they did is take a piece of historic piece out of the circulation

gun addict
January 7, 2010, 12:22 AM
my last post might sound somewhat selffish but B Gone you must understand collectors really care about military surplus firearms as living history. How would you feel if some kid chrome plated your Grandpa's shotgun or find a piece of your family heirloom and mess around with them?

It's the feeling for me, whenever i see an old Finnish Mosin chopped badly or a K98k destroyed it feels like a slap to the face

my motto when it comes to milsup is "thou shall do no harm". I spent $100 on a no drill and tap scopemount for my $200 Yugo K98k just so i can shoot it scope. Would it be much cheaper if i just drill and tapped it? Yes. But i chose the non-drill and tap mount because if i want to return the K98k to its original confuration it would take less than 5 minutes. Although it looks tacky my Yugo Captrued K98k does everything i want it to do AND retains its originality

JohnKSa
January 7, 2010, 12:46 AM
There's a huge difference between turning a run of the mill Mosin-Nagant into an economy hunting rifle and doing a home cold blue job on an original unissued H&R M1 rifle and topping it off by handcarving the stock.

I think that there are people on both sides of this discussion who don't really see the difference, and I think that's a big part of this problem.

For example: I bought a .308 Ishapore Enfield for $75 a few years back. The first 2 inches of rifling at the muzzle were completely gone due to very poor but enthusiastic cleaning techniques. The metal was thickly covered with a black paint and the stock was so oil soaked and rotten that you could literally poke holes in it with your finger.

So I cut off the ruined part of the bbl, recrowned the muzzle, stripped all the black paint, reblued the metal, removed the rear sight, replaced the stock with a plastic one and put a forward mounted scope on it. Now, instead of being just this side of garbage it's a decent shooter even if it is still pretty ugly.

But someday, probably after I'm dead, someone will post a picture of that rifle on the internet complaining how some idiot ruined a piece of history.

Mr_Pale_Horse
January 7, 2010, 06:39 AM
'Swords into plowshares?' assuming you only intend to hunt (or hoe a garden) with your 'project' (no self defense or militia use allowed).

Clipper
January 7, 2010, 07:05 AM
But someday, probably after I'm dead, someone will post a picture of that rifle on the internet complaining how some idiot ruined a piece of history.

More likely, he'll be saying " Gee, some poor schmuck sure put a lot of love into this baby...Too bad" as he's heaving it into the same blast furnace with all the 'pristeen collector rifles'...

Call me selfish, but if the day I die, my home collapses, my truck explodes and the guvmint finally steals the last $40.00 from my checking account, I couldn't care less. Guess how much I care if some milsurp snob gets into a snit when he sees my rifle?

BTW, my wife says to say she feels the same...

KevininPa
January 7, 2010, 10:35 AM
........the land of free will. If it's yours and you want to sporterize it, go for it. You like original condition milsurps, keep them that way. Some people like something custom that they worked on themselves to call their own. Others want the history. Either way is great, just post pics!:) All of us agree on liking gun porn!

B yond
January 7, 2010, 11:59 AM
It's the feeling for me, whenever i see an old Finnish Mosin chopped badly or a K98k destroyed it feels like a slap to the face

What if it's done well?

I really don't feel like I destroyed anything when i sporterized my m44. When I bought it I bought it out of a pile of similar guns at the LGS. I looked into its history and didn't find anything special. It didn't show enough wear to have seen much combat.

Since I don't sell guns, it went out of circulation when i bought it. at that point, what difference does it make if I keep it stock or not? I didn't cut in line in front of a bunch of collectors to buy it. If they wanted it they could have bought it or any of the others at the LGS.

These just aren't rare enough yet for me to fully understand your outrage. If anything, I did you collectors a favor by removing one more stock m44 milsurp from circulation. Now yours are rarer.

SaxonPig
January 7, 2010, 12:20 PM
Someone mention cut-up Krags?


http://www.fototime.com/74C9A3ECCFB7510/standard.jpg


Maybe I can get "carbon credits" for leaving this one GI?


http://www.fototime.com/1249CA9EC6947B4/standard.jpg

gun addict
January 7, 2010, 12:28 PM
B Yond think of all those milsups as attachment, if i collector rare stuff like Greco-Roman statue i would'nt be happy if someone smashed a few even though they're making mine more rare, that's not how it works. I guess in part i also find full stocked milsups much more pleaseing to the eyes

Well done sportarization is something most collectors can tolerate giving the circumstances. However for every well done sportarization there are nine badly chopped sporter-wannabes with badly sanded stock and poorly welded bolt handles

Sure saxon pig, you get carbon credits for keeping that one GI :) How would you feel now if i chrome plated that S&W revolver for corrosion resistenance and then chopped the barrel down to a snubbie? Maybe do a conversion so i can shoot .38 special out of it? :D:D

Sam1911
January 7, 2010, 03:22 PM
Someone mention cut-up Krags?
Oooohhh. Yeah, that's what I was talking about. Somebody's grandson's gonna be kicking dirt on his grave over that!

-Sam

USMC8541
January 7, 2010, 04:30 PM
I really think todays generation is missing out on how much fun we had creating our own riflles. I will never forget my grandfather looking over at my first mauser I buchered and pointing out my mistakes and poor craftsmanship, but thats how we learned, by doing. I learned a lot from those early attempts.I am sorry to see kids today would rather play computer than tackle sporterizing a rifle.

surfinUSA
January 7, 2010, 09:30 PM
I sporterized an M-48 as a backup huning rifle. I replaced the stock with one from Boyd's, relpaced the rear sight with a scout scope mount and installed a Burris scout scope (which cost more than the rifle).

Its still an 8mm mauser and can be converted back in less than a half hour. But it was never a real military rifle just a fall back reserve gun that never saw any military service and has no collectability as far as I'm concerned.

However, with European ammo its now a good foul weather hunting rifle for anything found in North America. No, its not exactly the scout rifle that old windbag Cooper invisioned, But it works well and going the scout scope route was alot cheaper than drilling and taping with a cut down bolt handle.

TCB in TN
January 7, 2010, 10:29 PM
I like the cut-up Krag! Need to make me one just like it! :)


http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b94/Sherwin2004/Springfield%201903/Pix1-6-10089.jpg
Would rather have a stock 1903, but wouldn't turn this down if it followed me home!

Bob58
January 7, 2010, 10:51 PM
A private property right is the exclusive authority to determine how a resource is used, rights to the services of the resource and rights of exchange or gift.

dirtyjim
January 7, 2010, 10:51 PM
I like the cut-up Krag! Need to make me one just like it!
i've been thinking the same thing but i haven't found one nice enough to cut up yet.

i've also been looking for a 1909 peruvian mauser for a project rifle but all of them i've seen that already had stuff wrong with them didn't have a nice crisp crest like i'm looking for or they had to tall charger hump ground off ruining the uniqueness of the receiver. because of the rareness of this rifle i'm going to give the hunt for a donor rifle thats already been mucked with untill the end of march. if i haven't found one by then the only way to stop me from cutting up a pristine rifle is for you collectors to outbid me on gunbroker. so bring your wallets cause i'm gonna test them!

i would also think if you wako collectors were so concerned about rifles being cut up you would try a lot harder to outbid me on gunbroker. thanks to your limp wallets i have a closet full of mausers for sporting fodder.

TCB in TN
January 7, 2010, 10:54 PM
i would also think if you wako collectors were so concerned about rifles being cut up you would try a lot harder to outbid me on gunbroker. thanks to your limp wallets i have a closet full of mausers for sporting fodder.

That is just dirty....jim! ;)

theotherwaldo
January 7, 2010, 10:58 PM
I sporterize 'cause Bubba already messed it up.

CZguy
January 7, 2010, 11:19 PM
I sporterize 'cause Bubba already messed it up.

Now there's a lot to be said for that.

Malamute
January 7, 2010, 11:27 PM
Interesting thread.


"The straight bolt is replaced with a bent bolt, the barrel is shortened, the stock is shortened, the hand guard tossed, the receiver is drilled and tapped for a scope, etc. There's no imagination there. Just destruction. It's a violent attack on history for no good reason."


Well, I totally disagree with that assesment. For the most part, all of those things improve the handling, shootabilty and usefulness of a rifle. I have several well done sporters, and feel they are a huge improvment over the originals as far as shooting, hunting and general handling, not to mention looks. I have no desire to own a modern Remington or Winchester sporter, and that's most definately not what I'm trying to accomplish with a Springfield or Mauser sporter. They are fine actions, and have history and class. Being in military form isnt the only valid incarnation of them, or their history. I do like the original '03 Springfields and 1917's, but not more than a good sporter as far as actually shooting and hunting with it. I had a military Mauser. I felt it was a chunky clunker compared to a good sporter, and sold it. I almost sporterized it. It was a mismatched mid WW2 German gun of no particular value other than a functional example of a Mauser. I had maybe $180 in it. I got my money back out of it and aquired a very nice Whitworth that I truly like, for less than it would have cost to sport the '43 gun. As far as Mosins, the first one I saw many years ago deeply impressed me. If it was a choice of using, not street value, I'd happily trade a whole boatload of mosins, in any condition, for a good Mauser or Springfield sporter. Better yet if the boat was going to be out in stormy seas. I had no idea anyone would ever actually like them when I first saw one. My opinion hasnt changed since then. They may be the new inexpensive utility guns of the day, and serve for that purpose, but if someone wants to sport one, it sure doesnt bother me. It would have to be an improvment.

Now, a clean WW1 Sht LE No1 Mk III is interesting in original condition, but I still want to build a really good early 1900's British sporter on an early LE action. It will probably mean using a complete gun to achieve. There's only about a zillion of them floating around.

The "no gunsmithing" scope mounts are generally an abomination. Poor positioning, bad cheek weld, not as stable as a good solid mount on the receiver. I prefer a proper mount. Well done scopes are fast as anything to handle and shoot if they are fit properly for the user (part of what good sporter stocks are about, making them actually fit the shooter).

There was a quote, I believe it was from McBride in WW1. He mentions a captured German that had a light sporter rifle. It was said that he laughed at the Brits and Americans rifles, as his was so much lighter and faster handling, and was a joy to see and use in comparison. That's about how I see it. Well done sporters are a joy to handle and use, heavy clunkers of military rifles are something to be endured, if nothing else better is available.

Clipper
January 7, 2010, 11:55 PM
Just for the record, My first sight of a Mosin was the Boyd's-stocked sporter I bought for $45.00 in a pawn shop in 1980 or so. It needed to be crowned, have sights installed, and the ejector replaced (another $45.00), but I thought it was one of the most striking and handsome rifles I had ever seen. I miss it every day. I still think a well done sporterized Mosin is a beautiful rifle, and will probably own more than the one I have now. Knowing the anguish it has caused the milsurp snobs to have irreversibly modified my 1942 all matching, beautifully bored Tula, I next want to do a Finn. I also am on the fence about a LE Jungle Carbine I know of for $150.00...Last one I tried shot like crap (hacksawed that miserable POS into 3 pieces and threw it in the trash), but thought I'd give 'em another chance...

wlewisiii
January 8, 2010, 12:01 AM
One or three of them are in museums, no? Then the rest of them are fair game :what:

To me, an old milsurp action is a resource to be used. And unlike a modern "military style" rifle, a Mauser bolt can be turned into something decent looking and reliable as well.

I've got a bubba'd 7x57 1893 Mauser. Not too pretty but handles really well and it's fun to shoot.

I'm buying a 1943 K.Kale Turkish Mauser. That one will be 9.3x62, a full mannlicher stock & iron sights.

If I can, I'll get a DWM 1908 Brazilian one of these days & turn it into a proper Scout Rifle in .308 with a nice LER Leopold, synthetic stock & bipod. :evil:

William

B yond
January 8, 2010, 12:27 AM
Here's a question for those who say 'don't sporterize a milsurp...'

How do you feel about milsurp ammo? Do you shoot it? Do you think others should shoot it? Once it's shot it's out of circulation and one less pristine piece of history in the world.

How do you feel about modernizing milsurp ammo? If I pulled a bunch of milsurp ammo apart and added better powder or primer, have i done the world a disservice?

Mr_Pale_Horse
January 8, 2010, 01:45 PM
Sometimes, this starts to sound alot like PETA, Sierra Club, etc.

The bottom line is that some folks get emotional about a critter, or a shrub, or an old artifact, and want others to empathize or don't understand why they do not.

Just so Cosmoline don't make no "I'd rather go naked than sporterize." billboards. :what:

Sam1911
January 8, 2010, 02:03 PM
Sometimes, this starts to sound alot like PETA, Sierra Club, etc.

The bottom line is that some folks get emotional about a critter, or a shrub, or an old artifact, and want others to empathize or don't understand why they do not.


Sometimes this begins to sound like the National Trust for Historic Preservation or the Society for the Presrvation of New England Antiquities, etc.

The bottom line is that some folks get sad when they see things being torn down or destroyed -- even for relatively good reasons -- and like to try to find ways that everyone can get what they want without erasing more of our dwindling historic artifacts.

You know, Independance Hall, Ellis Island, Ford's Theater, Lyndhust, Falling Water, etc., etc. are all just builidngs. Who cares, right? I mean, it would be MIGHTY convinient to have a good-sized parking garage right there. What good is a piece of property if you can't just do anything you want to it? Might even make a buck.

You could say it's all just a difference in perspective. In some small way, it is.

-Sam

CZguy
January 8, 2010, 02:06 PM
I've read this thread with interest, and formed some conclusions. I own and enjoy several Mil-Sup rifles in original condition. That's my choice I own them. I don't feel any compunction to suggest to anyone else what they do with theirs. I believe that's what America is (or at least used to be) about.

jimmyraythomason
January 8, 2010, 02:12 PM
We are talking in generals not specifics. Those are all specific buildings. Your argument doesn't stand up in this. Nobody is advocating cutting up any specific firearm of historical significance. BIG difference,these guns being sporterized are (as a rule) run of the mill,dime a dozen, mass produced rust piles in the making being converted into something useful.

dougw47
January 8, 2010, 02:18 PM
...bought both of them bubba'd, did a little work on them to satisfy me and I shoot and hunt with them.

I have full-sized Mil-surps, I will leave them the way that they are, and I take them out from time to time, shoot and hunt hogs.

Working in the gun shop, I saw some horrible bubba's, made me a little sad, but I got over it. Life is too short to sweat the small stuff.

Cosmoline
January 8, 2010, 02:27 PM
Well done sporters are a joy to handle and use, heavy clunkers of military rifles are something to be endured, if nothing else better is available.

The operative word being "well done," and when you boil it down that's my biggest beef. The problem with bubba hack jobs is that they're NOT well done. They're done in a garage by a guy who has no more gunsmithing talent than I do. Competent to make minor repairs but not to build a quality piece.

A *QUALITY* sporter, as I noted earlier, is indeed a sight to behold. I've seem some amazingly nice ones. But almost without exception these were done generations ago by master craftsmen. They were not done in a garage with a hacksaw or a kit from Midway.

Sam1911
January 8, 2010, 02:52 PM
We are talking in generals not specifics. Those are all specific buildings. Your argument doesn't stand up in this. Nobody is advocating cutting up any specific firearm of historical significance. BIG difference,these guns being sporterized are (as a rule) run of the mill,dime a dozen, mass produced rust piles in the making being converted into something useful.

I didn't really mean to be talking in specifics, though I grant your point. However, those groups do not just seek to preserve very specific buildings, but recognize that many do represent a vanishing historic resource.

You say "BIG difference" -- I say not so. Most of the rifles that were considered "dime-a-dozen" are now passing into greater and greater scarcity. Like SaxonPig's cut-down Krag, they used to be quite common. Dime-a-dozen, even. Now try to find a complete original example in good condition. Instead of a common rifle that many people could experience for a reasonable cost, they seem to have vanished.

And the thing is, time does this to us all by itself. As these aren't being produced any more, time erases more every year through all kinds of means. But we have to go helping it along by chopping down those that are left.

And, I guess my biggest question is why? Why cut down an original whatever when you can find so very many that were already hacked, or stripped for parts, or whatever? There's nothing wrong with that.

And, again, I'm not talking about dictating to someone what they CAN or CAN'T do with their property. I'm advocating education and helping folks understand and appreciate what they have. If they do so, and still decide to break out the saw, well, that's their call.

If they decide to sell their nice old war horse to a collector and put the funds towards a cheap pre-sporterized rifle that they can turn into something they'll value, hey that's wonderful, and nobody's feelings got hurt.

-Sam

TCB in TN
January 8, 2010, 03:39 PM
Most of the rifles that were considered "dime-a-dozen" are now passing into greater and greater scarcity.

Thing is they are not. Still plenty of most of these rifles around, just now people have created a more profitable market for originals so they ain't so cheap, and many more are now in safe spread out around the country rather than in crates in a warehouse somewhere.

ArmedBear
January 8, 2010, 03:54 PM
Like SaxonPig's cut-down Krag, they used to be quite common. Dime-a-dozen, even. Now try to find a complete original example in good condition. Instead of a common rifle that many people could experience for a reasonable cost, they seem to have vanished.


The Krag was quaint, in part because it was a failure.

Like I said, I've never bubba'd a rifle. However, when you ask why Krags weren't valued as-is, that's why.

ArmedBear
January 8, 2010, 04:30 PM
OK, let me try to figure this one out. By advocating leaving surplus military rifles alone I'm not only helping to destroy the "foundations of America's future," but I'm also some kind of a traitor for trying to preserve the "relics of the Soviet past."


Nobody said you were a traitor. You made that up. Once again, good in the coutroom with a stupid jury, but not with me.

My point was clear, but let me spell it out for you.

The spirit of American garage tinkering is what brought us the airplane, the Apple II, the Ford motor car, and many other things. For every Steve Wozniak, there may be a million "bubbas". But the fact remains that the Steve Wozniaks of America are the reason we can all enjoy the lifestyles we do -- including the luxury of suing people for a living.

Clunky Soviet copies of a German invention may be neat bits of history, but if tomorrow's Steve Wozniak is a kid who wants to saw up a thousand Mosins in pursuit of the rifle he wants, then so be it.

That kid's drive to tinker, even if it seems "uncreative" right now, is worth more to me than a thousand pristine Soviet rifles. Or a million.

Capiche?

...and the fact remains, if you don't buy a rifle yourself, it's none of your damned business what he does with it. What about the rifles sitting in garages, rusting away? I've seen a good few of those, too. Is THAT better? Go! Go save those rifles for me!:rolleyes:

jimmyraythomason
January 8, 2010, 04:54 PM
I believe sporterizing mil-surp rifles is not the only reason that un-modified examples are getting more scarce. There are plenty of un-modified, all matching,pristine original specimens locked up in the safes of collectors through-out this country(and others) never to see the light of day. The niche of "truly" collectable military isn't nearly as broad as many seem to believe. For Mausers, Gew.98s used in WWI and K98s used by the Nazis are the most prized. The rest can just be run of the mill shooters. As for Mosin Nagants,yes there are some worthy of collector status but only a small percentage of those produced. They are also subject to demand,I for one,will not own one,as a collector or shooter. They are ungainly,ugly and for me undesirable. Why anyone would want one in any condition is beyond me.

gun addict
January 8, 2010, 04:55 PM
The Krag was quaint, in part because it was a failure.

Like I said, I've never bubba'd a rifle. However, when you ask why Krags weren't valued as-is, that's why.
is that why luger p08 are going for so much cash? Or how about the abysemel faliure of the German G41W and the G41 rifles, are they going for $4000 because they're such combat rifles?

how well an historic firearm performs has nothign to do with its value

Cosmoline
January 8, 2010, 05:01 PM
Clunky Soviet copies of a German invention may be neat bits of history, but if tomorrow's Steve Wozniak is a kid who wants to saw up a thousand Mosins in pursuit of the rifle he wants, then so be it.

Wozniak and Jobs built their prototypes from Mausers? That's news.

I think it's great if someone wants to build rifles. I've already said that several times. But if you're going to do it do it right. Hacking up a perfectly good surplus rifle is not the right way to do it. Hacking one up to make it look and function as much like every other Remchester as possible isn't even a creative act. It's pure destruction. I don't care as much about the few people actually doing something new and radical with surplus arms. At least that's inventive. But cutting off the bolt handle, hacking the barrel down, ripping off the irons and smacking a scope on the receiver is not creative. It's the same stupid thing people have been doing for decades now, and it produces the same lame results.

if you don't buy a rifle yourself, it's none of your damned business what he does with it.

If he posts about it, he may face critical responses.

Art Eatman
January 8, 2010, 05:31 PM
This is running in circles, which is usual after two or three pages...

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