So I ended up with a FLAIG'S rifle!


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Clint C
March 17, 2013, 04:51 PM
I was searching one of the gun sale sights ( gunlistings.org ) and I see a guy selling a Browning made in Belgium .243 win rifle. I have always wanted a .243, and have been iching for a new firearm. I sent the seller a text message offering him a trade, he told me he wasn't interested. So I offered him some ammo for it, and he said he didn't have a firearm chambered in the cartridge, dang struck out again. I asked him how much he wanted for the rifle, and he said he didn't know the value of it, not knowing the value of it myself I said $300.00 sounded like a good starting point. He felt that was to low. In his add he said it had been modified, and I was worried it wasn't going to be up to par so I didn't offer him more ( didn't really have more ). After I told him I couldn't add more he told me he already had an trade offer in the process for a 10/22, and another gun, and that he was trying to see if he could get a better deal out of me. The conversation was left at that.
Two weeks later I see he had relisted it. The title said "FT made in Belgium Browning F.L.A.I.G.'S. 243 RIFLE", and in the add it said he had taken it in on a trade, and that the other guy said it was a modified Browning action rifle, and the barrel said FLAIG'S on it. It also said it had a Balfor scope. I had not heard of either before, and so my boss and I did a quick search on them. The scope is made by Bausch and Lomb ( I knew they made good stuff, but had never used it before). A quick search on the Flaigs, and someone was claiming they are worth $300.00.
I really liked the looks of the rifle, and decided to offer the guy a shotgun for trade along with some .22lr ammo. He said he was interested, but wanted alittle more in the trade. I did some more research on Flaig's and come to find out they were a custom rifle maker in Pennsylvania. They used Mauser actions, and a few different barrels ( sounds like they used a lot of Douglas barrels ). I don't know much in the custom gun world ( still don't ) but I was really drawn to this rifle. I offered him another shotgun, and we agreed on trading two shotguns, and 1000 rounds of .22lr for his Mystery rifle assuming everything looked good.
I have really gotten attatched to my firearms lately, and when I got home I was having second thoughts on the trade, my wife wanted me to stay home, and not drive into town. I almost text the guy saying I wasn't coming due to traders remorse that hadn't even happened yet. I thought well I'll at least go look at it, and I don't have to trade. Another thing holding me back was in the picture the scope rings, and bases were something I had never seen before, the rear base looked like it had a metal angle attatched to it.
I drove to town to meet the seller at a random spot, and when I got there he opened up his trunk, and I knew right away before I even touched it that it was quality. Then when I picked it up it just had that feel of a great rifle, just solid You guys know what I'm talking about. I asked the guy if he had shot it, and he said he had, and that it was a good shooter, very accurate. So I then showed him the two shotguns, then I asked him if he was legal to own firearms, he said he was, and we showed each other our permits to carry. We decided to trade, and before i knew it he was loaded up and gone before I could even get into my car.
I drove home very excited over this quality gun in my trunk, and spent the rest of the night with my family untill they went to bed, and started to research it. One thing I noticed was the scope bases, and the rings didn't seem to fit right. They had a rear base, a front base, and a middle piece that attached onto the scope. The scope wasn't completlly into the rings, and the front of the middle piece had a rod on the front of it that was under the front base, everything seemed solid. The scope is a fixed power, and has no adjustments on it. The way you adjust the point of impact is in the bases. It has elevation, and side to side adjustments in the bases. I read up on the system, and everyone kept talking about quick detatch, and a plunger. I unscrewed the front base, and when I did the middle part came off. I could tell the front base should be screwed down to the rifle so I cleaned under it, and did so. The scope was loose in the rings, and notice the two of the screws were nowhere near screwed in all the way, and wouldn't go in anymore so I took the scope off. Inspecting the middle piece the rod in the front of it would slowly push in, that was the plunger everyone was talking about. I put the plunger in where it is supose to go on the front base, and the rear of the middle piece locked into the rear base. I had found out how it was suppose to go in. Then it dawned on me why the seller had gotten rid of it. he had taken it out to shoot it, and couldn't adjust the point of impact so he must have thought the barrel was burned out, and traded it off to me thinking it was a junk rifle. When in reality he just couldn't figure out the system. He had messed up two holes on the rings, and three screws total, Thank God he hadn't hurt the taped holes on the rifle at all.

Today I took the barrel and action out of the stock, and did some research. The action is an FN Mauser action with a jewelled bolt ( didn't have to take it apart to know that, lol ) made in Belgium, the barrel is stamped 4 9 63b I'm assuming this means it was done in April 9 1963. That's pretty cool to me.
I then started to put it back together, and the light hit the inside of the floor plate just right, and I seen what I thought was a name. Looking alittle closer it was a name, first and last, then it said a town, and state. It was from here in Iowa. I looked the name up, and the town (I knew the town, and is only about an hour drive from me). The search brought up an obituary of a man that had died in 2012, it said he liked to hunt, fish, and shoot skeet. he had died at the age of 82. I'm guessing his firearms were sold at auction, or giving to family, and nobody could figure out how the scope system worked so they all thought it was burned out so they all kept trading it. I'm guessing the original owner stored this rifle without the scope attached to it to preserve the plunger, and people could never figure out the right way to attach it ( thank God for me ). I haven't shot the rifle yet, I have only had it a couple days, but my work just received forty boxes of .243 so I'll have plenty of ammo to buy for it, and try it out. I'm guessing it is a tack driver! If I get any interest in this thread I'll add photos or I might do it anyway. I'm sure I left out details on this little story, but I haven't done any kind of revue in a long time, and felt pretty good to tell a story here.

Ug, I copied, and pasted this for spell check, and when I did I lost about 4-5 paragraphs. I had originally talked a bit about Flaig's store from what I have learned on the internet, but it had taken me over an hour to write the original story. I added back in some of the important stuff, but don't have the energy now to rewrite it all. From what I have learned Flaig's mode their own stock, polished and blued everything themselves, and was a high end shop of it's day. I think my rifle has the original sling as well. So since everything got deleted I am not respell checking ( I'm a horrible speller so sorry for that) Thanks, and good day.

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Edarnold
March 17, 2013, 05:39 PM
Flaigs in the day (1950's onward) had a good reputation as a supplier of barrels and inletted or finished stocks. They came up with some items that probably still puzzle people today, like ribbed semi-octagon rifle barrels in American calibers made for them in Europe. If they did this entire rifle it should be a very nice piece indeed. Although it's an oddball by today's standards, that Bausch & Lomb Balfor scope has optics way sharper than most of it's contemporaries. You did good, please post some photos.

Liberty1776
March 17, 2013, 05:48 PM
pictures, Pictures, pictures, Pictures, pictures...

Clint C
March 17, 2013, 09:52 PM
http://i117.photobucket.com/albums/o76/cacyhupp/IMG_0065.jpg

Clint C
March 17, 2013, 09:54 PM
http://i117.photobucket.com/albums/o76/cacyhupp/IMG_0067.jpg

Clint C
March 17, 2013, 09:57 PM
http://i117.photobucket.com/albums/o76/cacyhupp/IMG_0068.jpg

Clint C
March 17, 2013, 09:59 PM
http://i117.photobucket.com/albums/o76/cacyhupp/IMG_0071.jpg

Clint C
March 17, 2013, 10:01 PM
http://i117.photobucket.com/albums/o76/cacyhupp/IMG_0072.jpg

Clint C
March 17, 2013, 10:06 PM
Sorry for the larger pictures guys. It's been awhile since I have posted pictures of a firearm, and was having problems figuring out how to shrink them. This rifle has a high gloss guys, I need to clean it. I wish I was better at taking pictures because these don't show how nice this rifle really is.

Clint C
March 17, 2013, 10:18 PM
Thanks Edarnold.

Sam1911
March 17, 2013, 10:21 PM
How cool is THAT! That looks like a beautiful bit of gunsmith's art. I'd be proud to have it and know you are!

Clint C
March 17, 2013, 10:55 PM
Thanks Sam1911. It is nice, and I am proud of it. It's my first custom rifle even though it's fifty years old next month, lol. My first car was a 1957 Chevrolet at the age of 13 that I had bought for $100.00, lol. I'll be 33 this year, I guess I just like older quality stuff. I'll let you guys know how it shoots when I get a chance to take it out.

Fremmer
March 17, 2013, 11:03 PM
Dude that's a sharp rifle!

Gordon
March 17, 2013, 11:11 PM
The scope set up is better than you probably think! If the 4x is not enough they made B&L 3x9s you can find on ebay that would fit. The mauser is, well what can one say (bad) about a well worked 98 Mauser

NCsmitty
March 17, 2013, 11:29 PM
Fine looking rifle, Clint C, as I remember seeing Flaig's ads in the gun magazines back in the day. The B&L scopes were good quality and you should end up with a good shooting custom Mauser.


NCsmitty

bannockburn
March 17, 2013, 11:42 PM
Clint C

I just came across a photo in Frank de Haas's book "Bolt Action Rifles" of an FN Mauser that had been custom built. It has a B&L Balfour scope in the same B&L mounts as on your rifle. When I saw your photos I don't know why but I just had a feeling that I had come across those scope mounts somewhere before.

Great story and an even greater find! Thanks for sharing.

Clint C
March 18, 2013, 12:37 AM
Thanks you all!

Gordon, I think I will like those scope mounts. I can adjust them to the exact spot I want the point of impact. There are no 1/4-1/8 clicks, you just adjust it to where you want it then tighten the screw on the other side.

I reread my OP and left out that someone before me had put the mounts together wrong. The previous person had taken the front mount off, and put the plunger rod on top of the action the screwed the front mount down on top of the plunger rod. Making it so there wasn't any adjustments, the scope was pretty much bolted down to the rifle. In the process they buggered up three screws, and to holes on the rings, but didn't hurt the rifle any. I'll have a gunsmith friend of mine clean them up for me so I can use the original mount

bannockburn, in that book does it show the center piece facing the same way I have it installed? I'm not sure if I have it facing the right way. I have never seen them before, but I think it's a pretty neat set up. You can just buy several base kits, put them on your other rifles, sight them all in with the same scope, and switch the scope to what ever rifle you are using. the bases should already be zeroed where you had it set before.

Another thing I didn't add in is that the white, and red diamond is inlay not a sticker or anything like that.

sage5907
March 18, 2013, 06:24 PM
Clint C, that is a very nice rifle. I remember well when Flags was rebarreling rifles in Millvale, Pennsylvania. They had adds back in the 50's and 60's where they were installing what they called Falgs Ace barrels. People who had rifles that wanted a new barrel could send the rifle to them and they would do the job. I can't tell from your rifle stock whether the original rifle was made by FN Mauser or if the original owner bought a commercial FN Mauser action and had the rifle built by Flags. It's plain to see the original owner was an experienced rifleman for his time.

The action: At that time a company in New York named Parker Distributiors was importing commercial Mauser actions from Belgium and the action you have was called the DeLuxe action. FN Mauser started makeing them about 1947 and sometime in the late 1950's they changed the action a little and called the new version the Supreme action. At that time you could have a rifle built in Pennsylvania by Flags which was a good shooting rifle but it lacked the polish & grandeur of their competitor who was Paul Jaeger who was doing business in Jenkintown. The Flags rifle cost about half of the Jaeger rifle but in actuality their shooing ability was about the same. I had a firend who was a government hunter here in Oklahoma and he had a rifle rebarreled by Flags and it also had a Baush & Lomb scope in the same mounts that you have. It was a great shooting rifle and I was jealous.

The scope: Back in the 50's some of the cheaper scopes did not have centering reticles. If you moved the crosshairs to sight in the rifle the reticle would move inside and scope tube and look off centered. Baush & Lomb came out with their version which had adjustment in the mounts and worked very well. This solved the centering problem. Also, if I remember the retical B&L used a tapered reticle which was very inovative at the time. If you have problems with those mounts you can buy used ones very easily on eBay. I see them all the time.

The stock: If that doesn't happen to be a basic FN Mauser rifle or Browning rifle the stock was probably made by Reinhart Fajen in Warsaw, Missouri. Some of the builders like Flags were using them. The stock is made of Missouri american walnut and could be purchased either completely finished or semi finished for the individual who wanted one that way. The fish pattern of your checkering similar to a Model 70 Winchester tells me it was probably made in the U.S. Look at the grip cap on the stock and the butt plate. If you see a FN logo the stock is an FN made stock. If they are hard plastic without a logo it could be a Fajen. It could even have the Browning logo on it which was also made in the FN plant.

I personally owned rifles with the DeLuxe action and with the Supreme action. They are excellent made, smooth and have a very fast lock time. I gave my DeLuxe action rifle to a good friend but I still have the Supreme rifle that I had built by Paul Jaeger. That rifle should serve you well for a long time. By the jeweling on the extractor and bolt and the quality checkering on the stock I can tell that it was the pride and joy of it's original owner.

sage5907
March 18, 2013, 08:36 PM
Clint C, I think the bases are mounted correctly but the plunger is backwards. The picture in the book named Bolt Action Rifles by Frand deHaas that bannockburn mentioned shows the slim rod of the plunger in the rear and I think it should be in the rear because the rear mount squeezes the scope to make it higher and that puts the slim plunger between the sides that are being squeezed. My apologies to bannockburn for answering the question but I had already entered my text before I noticed his reference to the book. I had seen the picture many times over the years. It would take a special base for Mauser rifles and that rear base says Mauser on the side by the attachment holes.

Clint C
March 18, 2013, 10:40 PM
sage5907, wow, I don't even know what to say. I could search the internet untill my fingers bled from typing, and I would never learn what you just told me or what you just told all of us. I really appreciate the information you have just added to this thread. I love hearing things like what you just said.

The stock has plastic on the butt, and on the grip cap. On the inside of the stock about four inches down the barrel from the action it has some notches in the wood, and is not stained or clear coated. I'll get some pictures on here of it.

The action has a four digit serial number on the right side of it, and on the bottom has a different four digit serial number.

The barrel: About 8 1/4 or so from the muzzle almost looks like it steps up to a larger thickness heading toward the action almost like a millitary barrel, and I can't see it looking straight at it, and I can't feel it with my bare hand. If I look down the rifle from the action I can see it, and if I have a paper towel in my hand I can feel it. Just looking at the rifle though it apears to be a tapered sporter barrel. When I first seen it I thought the barrel had a buldge in it, and almost made me sick, but the inside shines like a diamond up a goats ass, and there are no signs of a loose spot when I push a patch down the barrel. If this rifle didn't have such a high gloss I don't think I would have ever been able to see it, plus it is not odd shaped it is perfectaround the barrel all the way around it. Like I said it doesn't appear to be a ring, but a step up, and you have to have the perfect light to see it. Anything you might know on this matter would be great.

The bluing on this rifle is so fine that it looks like black ice. I can see my face in it.

Thank you for telling me about the plunger being on the wrong side. I wondered if it was as the way it is on made it difficult to take off because the front of the scope wanted to touch the barrel. Common sense told me from the rear would be a better way to remove it.

Again thank you so much for what you have shared please keep it coming if there is more.

Clint C
March 18, 2013, 10:52 PM
I should also add that the barrel is free floating, and everything else fits really tight in the stock. It fits so tight I thought I was missing something when I was trying to take everything apart.

sage5907
March 18, 2013, 11:07 PM
Clint C, the DeLuxe FN Mauser action that I had also had also had a 4 digit serial number, and the one I had was in the 5000 range and although I don't know for sure I think it was made about 1955. Since Flags was doing an economy job of installing barrels they may not have had the best equiptment like some of the other custom builders which may have led to the step up in your barrel contour. At that time many of the barrels were made by Douglas and your barrel looks like a #3 contour. The job of the re-barreler was to draw file and polish the barrel to the finish that was desired. Their equipment and gunsmith skills may have contributed to the change in barrel diameter but it shouldn't have affected accuracy. If the polish and blue job is good it shows that someone in the shop knew how to do that function. If the action was a commercial FN Mauser action it would have been delivered to Flags in the white and someone would have had to polish and blue the action and bottom metal as well as the barrel. I enjoy talking about rifles and the FN Mausers are great rifles. The one I currently have is a 25-06 and I have taken many deer with that rifle.

sage5907
March 18, 2013, 11:18 PM
Clint C, I can think of two other reasons why the barrel contour could have the step. Many of the Browning rifles from the FN factory had factory barrels with the step down feature although I thought it looked different than that. Since the barrel on your rifle says Flags I don't think that applies. It makes me wonder if the barrel originally had a front sight ramp and someone removed the ramp, had some problems, and changed the barrel contour near the muzzle to hide the change. That would have required a re-blue job on the barrel.

Clint C
March 18, 2013, 11:28 PM
Awesome! You say you enjoy talking about rifles, well I enjoy learning. There is some information about Flaigs on the internet, but to be honest nothing like I've learned in this thread. I had never heard of them until four days ago now I'm absessed with them.

My action serial number is in the mid 3000's. The barrel from what I feel I have learned is dated 1963, so I'm guessing maybe the action was one they had sitting around for awhile. I suppose they probably bought a load of them when they bought them. That's just an assumption. Or maybe the barrel was replaced in 1963. Has me thinking a bit.

You said you have a 25-06, that is a great round, and most people over look it, I'll have one someday.

Thanks again for the great info.

Clint C
March 18, 2013, 11:36 PM
Thanks to you all for the great knowledge!

Dr.Rob
March 19, 2013, 12:22 AM
That is a really neat find and a fine custom rifle.

bainter1212
March 19, 2013, 12:33 AM
I have subscribed to this thread (something I do NOT do lightly) and I am enjoying this thoroughly. I don't appreciate rifles for their monetary value, so much as I do for their uniqueness and the story behind them. I have one request......will you post a range report as soon as you can get out to the range?? I have a sneaking suspicion that this rifle will be a superb shooter. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Clint C
March 19, 2013, 12:42 AM
Thank you Dr.Rob

bainter1212, I know what you mean, and appreciate what your saying, I will definitely give a range report. I'll do it as soon as I get the middle section of the scope mount repaired or replaced (threads messed up on the scope rings) shouldn't take to long.

Your welcome, it is my pleasure to share with everyone.

WardenWolf
March 19, 2013, 01:30 AM
Wow, what a beautiful rifle with exquisite craftsmanship. Far nicer than anything I own.

sage5907
March 19, 2013, 02:50 PM
Clint, there's a man in Horn Lake, Mississippi that had several plunger and ring assemblies for sale. I noticed them on GunBroker this morning. If you're unfamilian just go to Google and type in GunBroker. Look at Item #333172280. He wants $50 for this particular plunger and ring assembly and it looks like the one you have. Sometimes you can wait around and keep looking at eBay and GunBroker and find a better deal. Some of the assemblies are made differently so look for one like you have. Remember, a bird in the hand is better than one in the bush. The man's eMail ID is SpaceCowby43@yahoo.com if you want to ask him a question.

Clint C
March 19, 2013, 10:09 PM
Thanks for the heads up sage5907. I am familiar with Gunbroker, I have bought from there a few times before. There is a gunshow this weekend (smaller one) here in Iowa not to far from me that I go to every year. I think I may hold off until after this weekend to buy off the net. I just missed a set on Ebay yesterday, last time I seen them they were priced at $21.00, ooooops! They were beat up though.

I'm thinking the plunger style rings set in this auction may work, and is a little cheaper the item number is 333024831. What do you think?

Remember, a bird in the hand is better than one in the bush.

Thats a good one!

headoftheholler
March 19, 2013, 10:15 PM
Would love to see pics of it, Flaigs made some fine rifles, I picked up a Flaigs stock for my K98 project:
http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m15/larryslamps/DSCF2197_zps127ac752.jpg

Clint C
March 19, 2013, 10:35 PM
Nice rifle headoftheholler! I have some pictures of my Flaig's rifle on the first page of this thread.

sage5907
March 19, 2013, 11:05 PM
Clint, I looked at that 333024831 and I don't think it will work on your rifle. It's for sure the bases will not work because they are not for a Mauser. They appear to be one piece and for a short action rifle like a 722 Remington. I would send the seller a note and ask him to measure the distance between the adjustment knobs, and also to tell you if the plunger is round like the one on your rifle. I think the ring assembly is too short so the ends of the plunger assembly will not fit the distance between your bases. A note should answer the question.

wlewisiii
March 19, 2013, 11:20 PM
I have nothing of value to add to the thread. I simply wished to thank you for sharing your rifle with us. It's a beautiful example and I appreciated seeing it this evening.

ElPasoCounty
March 19, 2013, 11:40 PM
That is a great looking rig...

Clint C
March 19, 2013, 11:53 PM
sage5907, That is a good point, I never thught about that. I'll ask the seller about that tomorrow.

Thanks for the kind words fellas. It's my privilege to share.

Clint C
April 14, 2013, 03:05 PM
Ok guys so I finally found a set of nice rings at a local gun show. I had to pony up fifty bucks for them, but I was able to match them up, and got to pick the best one from four sets. I'll get out and shoot it as soon as I get a chance. Just wanted to give you all an update.

CAMERO79
April 9, 2014, 02:15 PM
I just picked up a custom made Rifle with a Flaig's barrel and an FN mauser Action, 4 digit serial # in the 6700 range. I know this is an old thread but just wanted to post pic and see if anybody could identify what the stock wood is. It is a 243 win and came with 2 stocks and 2 barrels. The other barrel is a Sako.

Sam1911
April 9, 2014, 02:34 PM
Hmmm...kind of hard to say on the main part of the stock. Could be lots of things. Walnut is likely, but the picture isn't very good, and lots of woods can be stained dark.

The nose cap and PG cap appear to be figured maple.

headoftheholler
April 10, 2014, 08:54 AM
Stock looks to be walnut with maple caps

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