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Resident Curmudgeon
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The regulars here know I'm a collector. I've come into a little money, and in light of what is going on in Bedlam-on-the-Potomac, I think I'd like to spend it on another rifle. I went to the gun shop to do some scouting. (I was actually thinking of adding a pistol to the collection, but there were no military pistols there I did not already have -- and I note Scotty wanted $450 for a 1928 Tula Model 1895 Nagant, which I think is at least 3 times more than it was worth.) So I looked in the rifle racks. Here are the ones I am thinking about, pro and con.

Sporterized M1903A3 Rifle. $400. This is an example of a gunshop conversion, not a bubba job. Probably converted in the 1930s. The GI barrel has been replaced by a tapered civilian style barrel with a civilian set of irons on it. Has a curious side mount intended to take a scope, though how I could mount one beats me, as I have never seen a side mount like this one. The stock is a half-stock with a schnabel fore-end. The receiver, bolt, and trigger group appear to be US GI. I'd have to add .30-06 to the inventory. It's a nice hunting rifle, and it handles well, but it's not an issue Springfield and it could not be brought back to military configuration.

1953 Type 53 ChiCom Mosin Nagant. $500. Stock is correct and a little battered, bayonet is attached, bore is filthy but the rifling looks solid. I already have a Type 53, but it's been fiddled with and it doesn't group; I think the rifling is shot out. I already have 7.62x54R ammo in inventory.

Spanish FR-7 transitional rifle. $600. This is the reworked Modelo 93 Mauser that was issued to Spanish Army units to ready them for the CETME rifles that were coming in as the new Spanish battle rifle in the 1950s. 7.62 NATO. I already have 7.62 in inventory. Frankly, it's the one I am leaning towards. It's a handy rifle and I have always liked its look.

M1892 Krag-Jorgensen rifle. $800. It appears to be unaltered and uncut. No bayonet provided. It's in the original .30-40 Krag. I would have to add that caliber to the inventory, and .30-40 Krag is neither cheap nor easy to find. I'd be getting it strictly for collector value rather than as a shooter.

Thoughts, folks?
 
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the springfield is what it is, do you want a shooter or a collector?

the moisin is well? over priced, maybe they'll stay there who knows?

FR-7 probably seen enough 60-K 308 ammo in a rifle made for the X51 Nato 45-50K round
[shrug,,, ya know?]

the Krag is where my eye would go.
but only if i could look the barrel over real well, most of them were fired with cupro-nickle bullets when the CMP dumped the ammo on the market back in the day.
you'll probably end up running an outers foul-out through it a couple of times to see the metal down in the grooves.
they hold their value even when their barrels look like that even though they shoot 5-6" groups.
 

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Given the environment and the offerings I would likely hold off and wait if I could. If the Springfield were in an original configuration that would have been an option. If your local shop has a decent turnover rate of used rifles I would bide my time. I know there is one near me that does a lot of estate type sales etc. and that's were I go though not as often as I should, and if they know you well enough you might be able to give them your number if there are certain things you are interested in and they might give you a shout when something good comes in. Just my thoughts.
 

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Man I can see the prices are sure up there these days!! Be a tough decision for me. Used to be bargain basement prices for these. Not anymore!
 

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If you get the Spanish FR-7, best be sure the rifling is still good. When I was looking for one in my search, many articles I read had the same thing, that the rifling was terrible in some of them.
For me, after many pros and cons, I went with a customized franken rifle of my own design, a kit from Numrich, and with help from my brother-in-law's father. Turned out pretty nice over all. Its a 1916 Spanish Mauser rebarreled and reconfigured to look like an FR-7 but in 7.62x39.
It suit me fine, and one of a kind, and goes well pairing with my Star Super in 9mm Largo.

my fr7-6.jpg
 

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First thing I'd do is check the bore's.
Second thing is that at this present moment in time I'd be considering ease of selling it in a couple years. I'd buy a rifle that I could get ammo more easily for as well (the 30-06 or 7.62 you listed). In a couple years the reasoning of what makes that rifle more desireable may be because of it's usability instead of collectability. We are in strange times friend.
 

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Head space in used Milsurp is always an issue. The Krag has a weak action. In order to correct this reload .303 SMLE Ctg cases to fire in the Krag. The .303 SMLE Ctg has a thicker rim.
 

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I am in the waiting group.

Just my opinion as a long time collector. I pay top dollar for the nicest ones with no issues. I don't want the 85% or less guns when I already have a number of "collector" guns. Again, JMO, and some small detail that I like may change my mind on any purchase.

It's only a fun hobby to me.
 

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Another vote for the Krag. A lot of history. Any important "first" weapon is always going to be desirable for collectors, IMHO. I don't know how hard it would be to find a bayonet for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
If you get the Spanish FR-7, best be sure the rifling is still good. When I was looking for one in my search, many articles I read had the same thing, that the rifling was terrible in some of them.
For me, after many pros and cons, I went with a customized franken rifle of my own design, a kit from Numrich, and with help from my brother-in-law's father. Turned out pretty nice over all. Its a 1916 Spanish Mauser rebarreled and reconfigured to look like an FR-7 but in 7.62x39.
It suit me fine, and one of a kind, and goes well pairing with my Star Super in 9mm Largo.

View attachment 161402
I'd like to hear more of what you did to convert that Modelo 1916 to 7,62x39 ComBloc.
 

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I'd like to hear more of what you did to convert that Modelo 1916 to 7,62x39 ComBloc.
Well, it started with getting a scrubbed 1916 Spanish Mauser in 7mm Mauser. I had always wanted an FR-7 or FR-8, but where I am at, they are very far and few inbetween, and always very expensive. I saw that Numrich has/had kits to convert Spanish Mausers into 7.62x39, along with a barrel. So, I ordered this kit, and other CETME pieces like the flash hider and the tube below the barrel for the cleaning kit. The rear sight is a custom piece, as they are non -existent on the used market. The sighting disk dial is, but the rear post it goes into is not. So, I had that milled by my brother in law's father in his shop. He also put together the kit and converted the existent stock it came with, as a FR-7 stock didn't quite work out. The other thing that had to be modified was the extractor. It had to be made longer to go over the rim of the 7.62x39 then the standard one for the 7x57 round.

I cannot use 5 round stripper clips in this rifle, but it does hold 5 rounds of 7.62x39 in the magazine. Has a grey phosphorus like finish on the gun parts. Trigger is very smooth, crisp. I have only fired brass 7.62x39 rounds in it, as I want the modified extractor to last as long as possible. Its definately a one of a kind rifle. (Image is from above, showing the plastic block on the rear to shorten the chamber.)

mauser 1.jpg

mauser 3.jpg
 
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