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Is it wrong to modify a common military surplus rifle?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by B yond, Nov 5, 2006.

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Is is wrong to modify a common, plentiful, and inexpensive military surplus rifle?

  1. yes

    114 vote(s)
    26.5%
  2. no

    317 vote(s)
    73.5%
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  1. B yond

    B yond Member

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    I've noticed in a few threads that some people feel very strongly that common military surplus rifles like Mosin-Nagants and Mausers should not be modified from their original configuration. I would like to know how the THR community as a whole feels about this so here's the poll.

    Conditions are as follows:

    1. The rifle is common and plentiful, something you could get at Big 5.
    2. The rifle is in working condition and fairly accurate.
    4. Serial numbers on the rifle match.
    3. The unmodified rifle costs less than $200.
    4. Restoration to original condition and configuration is not considered a modification.
    5. The modified rifle is no more accurate than the original, but may have features some shooters to use it more effectively.
    6. Modifications include modifying the stock or replacing it with a sporter stock, modifications to the bolt handle, and adding anything to the gun (scope, sights, flash suppressor, bipod, etc) that is not part of the original military configuration.
    7. Bubba-izing and Sporterizing are both modifications.
    8. The rifle will be permanently altered.

    I'm just looking for yes and no answers here, I don't need reasons. Please don't turn this thread into another argument. :)
     
  2. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    There are many grades of sporterizing. Bubba-ized misurps are universally frowned upon by THR folks, but tasteful done custom sporters are often highly regarded.

    I myself am looking for a good small ring Spanish M93 7x57 to put an international-style full length dark walnut stock on and give it the deepest, shiniest blue possible.
     
  3. Jackal

    Jackal Member

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    No. And you should make this a poll.
     
  4. B yond

    B yond Member

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    The difference between bubbafication and sporterization is a subjective one, so for the purpose of this poll I will consider them the same.
     
  5. carpediem

    carpediem Member

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    Common is a relative term...it's doubtful that today's "common" milsurps will be that way in the future... I think non-restorability is a good litmus test. If you're just switching stocks or performing other reversible hardware mods that's one thing...if you're hacking down the barrel, tapping in 20 locations, and painting it bright green...that's a shame.
     
  6. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 Member

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    Yeah, they're always common and plentiful...

    Until they dry up. Think about it. :scrutiny:
     
  7. B yond

    B yond Member

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    Good point carpediem, the rifle will be permanently altered. I'll add that to the original post.
     
  8. dispatch55126

    dispatch55126 Member

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    Would stripping down a stock to the bare wood, sanding and refinishing be considered modifying?
     
  9. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    I voted no but with one condition... You start with a rifle that's already been monkeyed with. Examples of sombody elses handiwork can be found by the thousands in pawnshops and online for little cash.
     
  10. db_tanker

    db_tanker Member

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    I wish to add my own asterisk...


    I answered no it isn't wrong. I have done it on two occasions...


    on BOTH occasions, however, they were shall we say basket-cases...stock was beyond repair on one, and the second was already bubba'd.

    D
     
  11. hksw

    hksw Member

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    It's your rifle, do with it what you like. Who cares what others think?
     
  12. PirateJoe

    PirateJoe Member

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    military surplus rifles should not be permanently altered in any way. what happens in 50 years when all the supply of yugo mausers or m44's have dried up? you're going to be glad you kept that gun in original military config.
     
  13. Low-Sci

    Low-Sci Member

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    Its your rifle, do what you like with it. Its not like it costs a great deal, its not like there aren't a couple million more.

    Sure, the supply could dry up, but on a sub-$200 rifle, honestly, nobody is losing out on much.

    Go ahead and bubba-ize it. If people give you crap about it, out-shoot them and shut them up.
     
  14. rugbyer81

    rugbyer81 Member

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    In my opinion if you bought and paid for the rifle then it is entirely your business on what you do with it. Personally, I don't see myself modifying my milsurps, but that is because I like them in their original configuration for the historical value. Someone else who doesn't find that as appealing may get just as much satisfaction from modifying it in a way they see fit.
     
  15. Gord

    Gord Member

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    I vote "no" - with the caveat that, for example, Finnish Mosins have been found at Big 5s occasionally.

    If there is nothing remarkable about said milsurp (the usual markings, not a rare variant of a commonly-available arm like a Remington Mosin, etc etc) then do with it as you wish, but for Mosins at least, all-matching numbers would be enough for me to leave it alone... but I'm weird like that.

    I also don't consider US-made weapons to be milsurps because the prices are moronically high simply due to the fact that they're "grandpappy's rifle". Drop Garands down to $250-300 and make them publically available outside the CMP, we'll talk.

    Why, so you can think to yourself "hmm, I'm not getting as much enjoyment or utility out of this gun as I would if I'd done what I wanted with it in the past fifty years, but at least I can sell it to a collector"?

    There are two ends of the spectrum: on the one end, you've got Joe-Bob chainsawing the stocks on rare guns to make them look like Remchesters without bothering to see if he's got a $600 milsurp that would enable him to buy a Remchester outright if sold; on the other, you've got the small subsection of Gunboards members (let's call them, collectively, "Humphrey") who buy up every Mosin they can get their hands on and entomb them in axle grease for all eternity. Joe-Bob grins with glee at every SS-stamped K98k he chops down to 14", Humphrey breaks down sobbing whenever the inch-thick "patina" on his Mosins gets scratched. Both are really dumb extremes.

    Further in on the spectrum are the normal people who don't really give a rip one way or another. I don't see anything wrong with a Mosin in original configuration, nor do I see anything wrong with one in an ATI stock with a bent bolt and scope. I own three original Mosins, and I plan to get another to bubba-ize with aforementioned stock, bolt and scope. Why? Because my guns are for me to enjoy, not for hoarding or investment; in my mind, shooting the hell out of a sporterized Mosin I enjoy and then selling it for $100 is infinitely preferable to pampering a safe queen for a few years, then selling it to a collector for $200 more than I paid for it.

    And, on the flipside of the common argument, "what if" in 50 years the Mosin still costs the equivalent of $100-200 today?
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2006
  16. dracphelan

    dracphelan Member

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    I voted no. It is your property and your choice.
     
  17. Mannlicher

    Mannlicher Member

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    nothing you do with your own firearm is 'wrong', unless it creates an unsafe condition that will have an bad effect on someone other than yourself.

    ill conceived, maybe, but not wrong.
     
  18. Harry Paget Flashman

    Harry Paget Flashman Member

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    As long as you're not painting the stock Mandarin red or in a pastel, why not? Even the milsurps turned into abominations give us something to talk about.
     
  19. Lonestar.45

    Lonestar.45 Member

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    NO, it's not wrong to modify them. It's your money, you bought it, you can do what you want to it.

    YES it is pretty stupid, however, seeing as how you can probably find an already sporterized/bubbatized version of the same gun for less $ and not have to chop up an original.
     
  20. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    It is your property. Enjoy it any way that you like.
     
  21. kungfuhippie

    kungfuhippie Member

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    your gun, your choice
    But don't expect me to say it looks nice unless it does.:)
     
  22. g56

    g56 Member

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    Keep in mind that if you bought it under a C&R FFL, you can't make permanent modifications to it, anything you do must be easily reverseable.
     
  23. CornCod

    CornCod Member

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    I don't like to do it, but it dosen't bother me that others do so.
     
  24. Gord

    Gord Member

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    Source?
     
  25. Legionnaire

    Legionnaire Member

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    Different schools of thought on this one. By analogy, there are antique dealers and collectors who believe it is sacrilege to refinish or modify old furniture in any way. Others buy old stuff explicitly to refinish it.

    I'm in the latter camp. I'm utilitarian rather than a collector. It's your rifle. If you bought it as a shooter rather than a collector's item, have at it. Just don't do anything that destroys its functionality!
     
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