Sunday, October 9, 2011

Ugly Gun Sunday

This gun was found in a yard sale this summer. Has a ramline stock and pro-mounted scope base and scope.Scope is a Tasco 3x9x40?. Has a bi-pod,spare bullet holder on butt stock and a nice sling. SN matching #xxx281. Has a Bubba Camo painted surface. Gun was used for a few years in deer hunting and was shot very little. I have never shot the rifle but the bore is bright and rifling is strong. No rust anyplace on the gun. Has a fixed flash hider and looks to be a Ruger product.

Sure, you can say it's just another painted up rifle, and not even that bad as they go. But it was a Swedish M96 Mauser that used to look like this:



Bob said...

Bubba strikes again.

cmblake6 said...

I truly love my Swede. I bought it already sporterized, it was NOT a bubba job, gorgeous wood, new bolt handle, etc. Where did this insistence that all original military bolt actions must remain that way? Your rifle is your rifle. IMHO, the original rifle was gorgeous, true. If I had an original 96, I would leave it stock. I don't, but I've got a damn nice Swede.

MauserMedic said...


My personal opinion on changing rifles is that if someone paid for it, it's theirs to do with as they please. That said, why I think many of conversions are unfortunate is primarily that many of these older rifles represent the height of manufacturing art via skilled labor. Rifles such as the M96 in the post were mass-produced, but using skilled craftsmen who used their abilities, and literally hours of their lives, to create these rifles. While engineers and technicians still create rifles by spending the their time and abilities in designing and operating advanced machinery, the age of mass-produced but hand-fitted firearms is gone.

As you noted, many of these rifles have been altered long ago, much like a roughly altered 1903 MK I in one of my gun cabinets. While I'd love to have an unaltered example (I'd love to have the money to buy one, for what it's worth), the quality of the remaining rifle is very much worth having to me, and still enjoyable for shooting.

Shooting these rifles unaltered is more than just shooting for me. It's operating a piece of history; and it feels the same in my hands as it did in some soldier's hands in Russia, Germany, France, Britain, Korea, China in the last century, or the one before that. It seems a shame to take rifles that were great examples of skill and technology, or part of historic events, and turn them into a deer/varmint/hog rifle stripped of its identity.

And sometimes, it because someone just butchers the hell out of a fine piece of machinery.

cmblake6 said...

True enough. I agree that, if it a cherry example of original, by all means leave it that way! If somehow it was a bit buggered to start with, then make it more what you want. Sometimes you want a specific action for your dream gun, so you just find a barreled action in a bin, drag it out and make your dream gun. If it is a funky bubba job, at least try to do some sort of decent repair if not restore.