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Restoring a Rare Schmidt & Habermann Model 21 8mm Kurtz

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by Larenegade, Jun 26, 2013.

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  1. Larenegade

    Larenegade Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
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    Back home in da Bayou's of Louisiana.
    Hello there all,

    I have a rare Schmidt & Habermann Model 21 in 8x51mm Short (Kurtz) that does not have a scope mounted and the base of the receiver has never had any adaptation for mounting a scope. The rifle was just recently recovered & it was not taken care of by the “thief” (SICKENING JUST MENTIONING THIS) & will have to be re-blued. Luckily no major pitting occurred on outside & hopefully with the right master bluer doing the job needed; the rifle will turn out as beautiful as it was, though we all know the real value has been destroyed when this occurs. Hopefully not completely and with that in mind I'm thinking if re-blueing anyway that I should have scope mounting system installed. Fact is though installing scope & mounts on this rifle, which is unlike any other rifle I have as all my other rifles have modern mounts/scopes etc. is unfamiliar to me so I need advice please. Do I go old style scope & mounts for the rifle to look correct on this rifle like an old Zeiss 2.5 from that era? Will mounting a modern scope on this rifle match or just look out of place completely? Can anyone recommend a smith that can mount the period correct scope & mounts? What are the choices of mount types or styles when mounting a scope on a rifle like this S&H md 21? From the pictures I’ve seen of this type action, mounts requires 2 slots opened up in the base. Any advice about the mounts & scope is appreciated just need to know the options available & what looks & works best.

    Just remembered the rear fixed sight base for dovetail insert (sight leaves) is there on the barrel but the sight leaves are missing. Anyone know where I might find replacement leaves that dovetail into the rear sight base? Any idea who made the rear sights put on the rifles built by S&H/others or if there is anyone that can make similar matching rear sight leaves today?

    Does anyone know who can restore this rifle? It was built in 1923, and when I last had it the appearance was NRA Excellent with a fantastic blued finish all over the rifle. Now, that has been destroyed on the bolt shroud, cocking piece, ejector and more. Don't know if it is possible to only re-blue the bolt & bolt parts only and try to blend or match close with the original finish that is still there on the barrel & most of the rifles action. "Probably wishful dreaming?" Just hope to find someone that can do the blueing job correct and bring back the beautiful lightweight rifle I had!

    Last issue to cover, the caliber! As it is in the hard to find 8x51 Kurtz what caliber could it be rechambered into that is a short action caliber. What is larger than the 8mm that would be a good caliber for this lightweight rifle and not kick like a mule and give good results with medium game? 338 Federal?

    Any help is most graciously appreciated!
     
  2. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Joined:
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    22,582
    Never heard of it but found discussion at
    http://www.germanguns.com/upload/sh...%23971%3Bbner-Rifle-%96-Questions-for-Experts
    That one has a small Zeiss in what looks like claw mounts. Very expensive.
    The only American setup I would consider is the Griffin & Howe side mount and maybe an Alaskan. Expensive.

    NEGC makes express sights. Unlikely to fit an obscure 90 year old rifle, but could be machined as required.

    Turnbull's would be the first stop for restoration of finish and I saw a thread with a very nice job by Ron's Gun Shop. There are likely other conscientious refinishers if somebody will recommend them.

    I cannot think of a satisfactory rebore. .338 Fed might fit, but it is a hotter round than 8x51 and I do not know how the M21 compares in strength with a Kurtz Mauser.
    The cost of a rebore would set you up to reload 8x51 with no loss in originality.
     
  3. BBBBill

    BBBBill Member

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    Alabama and Florida
    I've never understood how a proper refinish decreases value (assuming that there was significant finish loss/rust/etc). We restore cars, homes, furniture, etc, but everyone has a hemorrhage about refinishing a gun. That said, if you are trying to return it to its former glory why would you want to drill holes in it for scope mounts or rechamber. Those will definitely reduce the value unless you can find a period correct scope and mount that actually would have been used on that gun. I second Jim's suggestions on Turnbull. There are others less well known who could do as well. Just have to find 'em. The folding sight leaves can be reproduced. Good photos will help get them done right.
     
  4. Larenegade

    Larenegade Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Back home in da Bayou's of Louisiana.
    Thanks for replying Jim & BBBBill. I had found the thread mentioned and the second rifle down in the thread is the same action, trigger bolt & parts I have. That thread stated pretty much what I was told in a thread @ Shooting World forum by 'cztrouba' http://www.shootingworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=3868&p=33814#p33814 and another shooter. The rifle was just left uncared for after it was stolen & upon recovery the problems must be taken care of before use. It is recoverable I believe, just takes $$$ right, so I'm just needing opinions on the issue. Never had claw mounts or used anything like the old Lyman & Zeiss scopes that use those mounting systems. There was a Lyman peep installed prior to my purchasing the rifle so there are two screw holes on the right side for mounting the peep. I can always find another peep sight & use it. Just thinking my eyesight is not great & shooting with a scope has advantages.

    Appreciate your input. Also BBBBill I tend to agree that refinishing a firearm should not change value much if it is done correctly with a master blue job that appears like it should, not a cheap quick blue that doesn't look right. I don't think Doug Turnbull's blueing jobs appear cheaply done on any rifle I have seen after he has refinished one! Hopefully I am correct in believing this rifle will return to its former glory without too much financing.

    Thanks again.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2013
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