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View Full Version : a "what to look for" guide for C&R rifles?


zfields
12-22-2010, 7:30 PM
anyone seen something like thist posted? Im looking to get into C&R hording...er collecting, but want to know what to look for to be sure it will be a decent shooter.

Dr.Mauser
12-22-2010, 8:13 PM
Make sure that there isnt to much bore erosion and that it isnt to dark, with some C&Rs they should be checked by a competent gun smith to make sure that headspace is good etc. It also depends on what your looking for, USGI weapons ( for a few check out thecmp.org), foreign military rifles, the era your looking for etc. I know I didnt cover everything, so if someone has more to add to help out our new friend please help his in quest for C&R collecting.

zfields
12-22-2010, 8:18 PM
First rifle I want to sporterize (yes I know, boo hiss) just since I like to tinker and modify things. Possibly off of a clean mosin action, or mauser.

Also want to put a few mosins in the safe, then move on to USGI rifles when the funds open up.

morrcarr67
12-23-2010, 5:47 PM
Mausers - Made from 1898 to ? These have been made in so many different countries and with so many different models you could spend years just trying to find out how many there are :)

I like Mausers', Mosin's, USGI and modern rifles and pistols.

Check out the C&R Vendor thread, send your C&R to everyone, get access to their websites and start to check out what the different companies have to offer. If you see something you like do a little research on that model and then buy if it feels right. :D

Anchors
12-23-2010, 6:15 PM
Mausers - Made from 1898 to ? These have been made in so many different countries and with so many different models you could spend years just trying to find out how many there are :)

I like Mausers', Mosin's, USGI and modern rifles and pistols.

Check out the C&R Vendor thread, send your C&R to everyone, get access to their websites and start to check out what the different companies have to offer. If you see something you like do a little research on that model and then buy if it feels right. :D

OP, do you have a C&R??

dogolden
12-23-2010, 7:14 PM
My experience as a collector, shooter, and FFL is that no matter what you buy always, always, always - take the bolt out and look down the tube. A great looking rifle at a great price really doesn't mean much if you can't even shoot it, right?


Headspace gauges are nice, no they are a necessity that will keep you from buying someone else's worn out junk!

morrcarr67
12-23-2010, 8:15 PM
OP, do you have a C&R??

If he doesn't have one he needs to get one if he plans on hording C&R rifles otherwise he will be spending way to much money.

Bukowski
12-23-2010, 9:16 PM
Sporterize???

Look for one of the many that come up on Gunbroker.

Many of the ones done in the 1950's-1960's are done better than the modern Bubba's.

If you plan on "tinkering" pick one that's already been messed with. Cheaper, and you won't be destroying history in the process. :D

rojocorsa
12-23-2010, 9:17 PM
Mausers - Made from 1898 to ?

Try 1871, I think... Hell, 7.9x57 didn't exist back then...

zfields
12-23-2010, 10:00 PM
Mausers - Made from 1898 to ? These have been made in so many different countries and with so many different models you could spend years just trying to find out how many there are :)

I like Mausers', Mosin's, USGI and modern rifles and pistols.

Check out the C&R Vendor thread, send your C&R to everyone, get access to their websites and start to check out what the different companies have to offer. If you see something you like do a little research on that model and then buy if it feels right. :D

Ill check it out, Ive been checking on mausers since I hear they tend to be more accurcurate.

OP, do you have a C&R??
No, not yet. Im moving in 6 months and decided to wait untill then to get it, since I will be living in texas for a few years might as well do the paperwork once I get down there.

My experience as a collector, shooter, and FFL is that no matter what you buy always, always, always - take the bolt out and look down the tube. A great looking rifle at a great price really doesn't mean much if you can't even shoot it, right?


Headspace gauges are nice, no they are a necessity that will keep you from buying someone else's worn out junk!
Thanks, Im looking more for a shooter since im going to tear it apart anyways
Ill have to look into headspace guages, whats the average cost for aset>?

Sporterize???

Look for one of the many that come up on Gunbroker.

Many of the ones done in the 1950's-1960's are done better than the modern Bubba's.

If you plan on "tinkering" pick one that's already been messed with. Cheaper, and you won't be destroying history in the process. :D\]

Ill check it out, im always weary of gunbroker/ebay type sites. never like the auction BS and bad vendors.

thanks everyone!

Crunch130
12-23-2010, 10:28 PM
Advice to a new C&R collector/shooter:

1. Choose rifles that have ammo you can at least mail order for or easily get reloading components for. Examples - .303 Brit, 6.5X55 Swede, 8X57, 7X57, 30.06, 7.62 NATO, 7.62X54R, easy. 8X56, 6.5 Italian or Japanese, 7.35 Italian, 11.whatever mm Swiss Vetterli, not so easy.

2. Study the history of an entire group of rifles - you will learn, for example, that Czech VZ-24 Mausers were mostly used by Romania, and used up. Most of them are too worn to shoot well. But Czech 98/22's were mostly sold to Turkey, and can be found in great shape. Czech 98/29's were sold to Persia, and are considered to be the crown jewels of Czechs. Some Turks are worn out, some are just fine. Most Yugo Mausers brought here are in great shape. Most Russian Capture K98s are in great (refinished) condition. All shoot 8 mm Mauser, but condition and prices vary widely.

3. Buy the rifle, not the story. Unless they have capture paperwork, that might not be the same Gewehr 98 that great-grandpa brought back from WWI. Oh, wait, are those Turkish overhaul marks?

4. If you want an M-1 Garand, buy a service grade rifle from the CMP. Don't even bother looking anywhere else.

5. Learn to identify manufacturer and overhaul markings. For example, my 1917 Enfield was overhauled in 1953. Learn what to expect from each rifle type that you're considering - i.e. just about all M-1 Garands, Enfields, and Mosin Nagant 91/30's have been overhauled at a military arsenal.

6. Leave the snipers, the rare, original & matching (& very expensive) K98's or M1903's, and all other high-dollar C&R's to the advanced collectors. Some, like K98 snipers, are estimated to have more fakes floating around than real ones.

7. If you must sporterize, start with something that's already been Bubba'd. There are plenty of older Enfields, Mausers, M1917's, etc that have already been Bubba'd that you can get, even in this state, for about $150. You can fit them into a nicer stock, install a Timney or Bold trigger, scope, recrown, & reblue. Most military rifles are expensive enough now that buying them, and then paying for the parts to do all this work, just ends up costing more than buying a new entry-level Savage or Remington bolt action sporter from Big 5 in the first place.

8. You will earn the deepest respect from C&R shooters if you buy a Bubba'd rifle and RESTORE it back to military configuration. That's what I did with my Enfield and my Swede Mauser, and that represents 1/3 of my collection.

Regards,
Crunch

morrcarr67
12-24-2010, 7:43 AM
Try 1871, I think... Hell, 7.9x57 didn't exist back then...

See I told you it would take years just to find out how many were made. :)

morrcarr67
12-24-2010, 7:47 AM
Advice to a new C&R collector/shooter:

1. Choose rifles that have ammo you can at least mail order for or easily get reloading components for. Examples - .303 Brit, 6.5X55 Swede, 8X57, 7X57, 30.06, 7.62 NATO, 7.62X54R, easy. 8X56, 6.5 Italian or Japanese, 7.35 Italian, 11.whatever mm Swiss Vetterli, not so easy.

2. Study the history of an entire group of rifles - you will learn, for example, that Czech VZ-24 Mausers were mostly used by Romania, and used up. Most of them are too worn to shoot well. But Czech 98/22's were mostly sold to Turkey, and can be found in great shape. Czech 98/29's were sold to Persia, and are considered to be the crown jewels of Czechs. Some Turks are worn out, some are just fine. Most Yugo Mausers brought here are in great shape. Most Russian Capture K98s are in great (refinished) condition. All shoot 8 mm Mauser, but condition and prices vary widely.

3. Buy the rifle, not the story. Unless they have capture paperwork, that might not be the same Gewehr 98 that great-grandpa brought back from WWI. Oh, wait, are those Turkish overhaul marks?

4. If you want an M-1 Garand, buy a service grade rifle from the CMP. Don't even bother looking anywhere else.

5. Learn to identify manufacturer and overhaul markings. For example, my 1917 Enfield was overhauled in 1953. Learn what to expect from each rifle type that you're considering - i.e. just about all M-1 Garands, Enfields, and Mosin Nagant 91/30's have been overhauled at a military arsenal.

6. Leave the snipers, the rare, original & matching (& very expensive) K98's or M1903's, and all other high-dollar C&R's to the advanced collectors. Some, like K98 snipers, are estimated to have more fakes floating around than real ones.

7. If you must sporterize, start with something that's already been Bubba'd. There are plenty of older Enfields, Mausers, M1917's, etc that have already been Bubba'd that you can get, even in this state, for about $150. You can fit them into a nicer stock, install a Timney or Bold trigger, scope, recrown, & reblue. Most military rifles are expensive enough now that buying them, and then paying for the parts to do all this work, just ends up costing more than buying a new entry-level Savage or Remington bolt action sporter from Big 5 in the first place.

8. You will earn the deepest respect from C&R shooters if you buy a Bubba'd rifle and RESTORE it back to military configuration. That's what I did with my Enfield and my Swede Mauser, and that represents 1/3 of my collection.

Regards,
Crunch

All great advise! :D

SVT_Fox
12-24-2010, 8:21 AM
go get a nice nagant with a nice bore, thats all you need to know, like the boys said the all matching battlefield pickups are high end items and sometimes faked, dont drop a G on a nazi gun without asking us first.

SVT_Fox
12-24-2010, 8:24 AM
oh ya and barreled actions are CHEAP like 40 bucks max, i got two actions for 50 a year ago

Interloper
12-24-2010, 12:41 PM
I'm not sure why you would care about details if you just plan to sporterize. Look for something with a bright bore and good rifling. Then hack away.

SVT_Fox
12-25-2010, 9:27 AM
Please don't hack anything up, buy a hacked rifle and tacticool it out

johnthomas
12-25-2010, 10:22 AM
Civilian Marksmanship program sells American C&R guns. Here is a warning from CMP.
WARNING ON “LOW-NUMBER” SPRINGFIELDS
M1903 rifles made before February 1918 utilized receivers and bolts which were single heat-treated by a method that rendered some of them brittle and liable to fracture when fired, exposing the shooter to a risk of serious injury. It proved impossible to determine, without destructive testing, which receivers and bolts were so affected and therefore potentially dangerous.

To solve this problem, the Ordnance Department commenced double heat treatment of receivers and bolts. This was commenced at Springfield Armory at approximately serial number 800,000, and at Rock Island Arsenal at exactly serial number 285,507. All Springfields made after this change are commonly called “high number” rifles. Those Springfields made before this change are commonly called “low-number” rifles.

In view of the safety risk the Ordnance Department withdrew from active service all “low-number” Springfields. During WWII, however, the urgent need for rifles resulted in the rebuilding and reissuing of many “low-number” as well as “high-number” Springfields. The bolts from such rifles were often mixed during rebuilding, and did not necessarily remain with the original receiver.

Generally speaking, “low number” bolts can be distinguished from “high-number” bolts by the angle at which the bolt handle is bent down. All “low number” bolts have the bolt handle bent straight down, perpendicular to the axis of the bolt body. High number bolts have “swept-back” (or slightly rearward curved) bolt handles.

A few straight-bent bolts are of the double heat-treat type, but these are not easily identified, and until positively proved otherwise ANY straight-bent bolt should be assumed to be “low number”. All original swept-back bolts are definitely “high number”. In addition, any bolt marked “N.S.” (for nickel steel) can be safely regarded as “high number” if obtained directly from CMP (beware of re-marked fakes).