mzmadmike (mzmadmike) wrote,

On Sporterizing Rifles

This will probably tick off a few people, notably the purist pansies who wet their pants at the sight of a replacements stock.

"Sporterizing," or "Bubba-izing" is the art/science/hobby of taking an old military rifle, and making it more modern or appropriate for hunting. Let's face it: A full-length, clamped-down stock on a 29" barrel, with a bayonet mount, is not needed for hunting, detrimental to target shooting and usually not very comfortable. Unless you plan to shoot dry then club your opponent to death, it's not really needed.

Now, no one would argue against maintaining rifles of certain value in original condition--ones with provenance, rare armory stamps, maker's marks, or all matching and original marks. Those are obviously collectors' pieces.

But when you get a milsurp with mismatched numbers, like a Russian-captured, former Weimar Nazi K98, or a re-arsenaled Turk or any Mosin Nagant M44 or such, the retail price is generally between $50 and $200. So what's the loss?

The STUPIDEST such I've seen was a bunch of nutjobs buying $25 Gew88 Commission Rifles, with no bolts and broken stocks, to "preserve" them. It's a rifle that's not well understood, not well regarded, and held in an odd mix of fear and contempt by morons in the community. I have three at this point, which I shoot with milsurp ammo all day long, and have for 22 years, ignoring the Dire Warnings about how it will explode and rip a hole in the space-time continuum if I do, such thing it has never done.

$25, and you want to "preserve" it? It's IN PIECES and being sold as scrap. This is like buying a junkyard car with no engine, missing panels and a rusted frame to "preserve" it, then never fixing it to keep it "original." It is the ultimate flag of a total redneck hick.

Let me draw a parallel here--a lot of people anthropomorphize these rifles as "Veterans" of such and such a war. And I'm cool with that. It's fascinating and awesome to know these tools have served, and hopefully saved some guy's life while someone was trying to snuff it.

But using that comparison, would you take a battle-wounded vet, refuse to give him cosmetic surgery for burns, refuse a prosthesis, and argue with him, "No, no! We want to preserve you AS YOU ARE as a hero!"

Why, I'm sure he'd be thrilled with that idea. Not.

Taken to the extreme some guys do, of not even cleaning and oiling the stock, you could refuse to allow vets to do PT and work at the gym to get fitter and healthier. After all, "better" isn't "original."

I have 16 1893 Turkish Mausers here, and I'm proud to say I've got 3 in reasonably original shape that will stay that way, and 13 who are getting therapy and dates with mills, lathes, grinders, sanders, dip tanks and buffers.

If you were a rifle, would you rather be a cosmoline-soaked, worn, tired, abused piece of crap with mismatched parts only appreciated by a tiny clique of specialists, or a sexy 2 MOA range queen with a glistening blue finish and quilted walnut stock?
Tags: parables, rifles
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