03 February 2016

More On Bubba

"I must be the odd one out, but I actually like my two [M]osins in Archangel stocks. I kept the original wood in case I ever have a hankering to carry a two by four that shoots again, and have not changed anything but the stock. They balance nice, shoot well and the magazines mean less loading time at the range."
"And I like how they look."

SimperFido from comments.

It's your gun, and go for it!

Odds are, though, that one of the next two owners will not save the wood.

What make and model were those two?  Izhevsk?  Tula?  Setsroryesk?  Chatellerault?  Could you have mistaken a Dragoon or Cossack for a 91/30?  Was it an arsenal refinish (common) or an all original unrefinished gun (rare)?  Is that wood actually Finnish?  DO YOU KNOW HOW TO TELL?

The "it's just a..." is the problem.  Especially when the people most likely to utter the phrase have no idea how to tell the rare from the common just because they're the ostensibly the same model rifle.

The problem isn't TODAY, the problem is in 20 years or in 40 years or 100 years.  I am asking you to look past your own nose.

M-1898 Krag rifles were $5 a barrel shipped to your door in 1905 (literally 20¢ a gun or $5.41 adjusted for inflation).  Now they're running around a grand apiece unmodified in good shape.  There was some real talent applied to converting Krags to deer assassination devices, and a well done conversion is around $500 today.  The dross is about $300...

Another reason to hate on Bubba is, once converted, they were neglected and abused to death.  Bubba is the harbinger that a future collector gun is doomed.  Whether Bubba knows he's cast sentence and signed the warrant or not.  The only thing that has killed more guns than Bubba is corrosive ammunition, and even here he's still not absent.

People don't spend money on good ammo for a cheap rifle.  Lots and lots of old surplus ammo is corrosive and lots and lots of people think you don't need to clean your guns right away thanks to modern ammo.  Forgetting that modern ammo isn't surplus ammo...

Surplus military ammunition is not match grade stuff and it's FMJ, so not ideal for hunting or target shooting (serviceable perhaps?).  Sitting in a warehouse for decades often does it no good either.  A disappointing outing leads to the gun being tossed into the corner, uncleaned, and forgotten until the children grow up and one of them asks if Dad still wants the old bolt gun in the closet.

By then it's too late.

1 comment:

  1. Low serial number Winchester 1917, perfect cartouches still visible, pristine condition... Except... It had been cut down into a carbine length and the forestock had been mangled all to hell trying to cut it back from the barrel... sigh


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