A couple years back, one of the largest military surplus outfits since Bannermans shut its doors– SAMCO, leaving a huge cache or rare and hard to find guns, ammo, and gear up for grabs. How large? Well the auction inventory ran 475 pages.
While some of their impossible to find vintage ammo in exotic calibers made it to Old West Scrounger such as .303 Kynoch loads, 30-06 Iranian marked with the Shah’s headstamp, and Dog Bone boxed .45 ACP, other items have gone ’round the world.
OWS has since run a number of deals on surplus Spanish Mausers, including a batch of $99 sporters last year. Now it looks like they are hitting the bottom of Mauser pile and are offering 1916 Mauser 7x57mm barreled actions parts kit for just $24.99 if bought in quantity.
“This item consists of a 1916 Mauser barrelled action in 7mm Mauser (7×57), with the following parts: All parts except for recoil lug, bolt stop, bolt stop screw, magazine spring and follower, trigger guard screw, extractor, firing pin screw boltstop screw, ejector blade, dust cover pin. Short firing pins may or may not hit the primer. A stock is included but the stocks are badly damaged/broken and likely unusable and missing the metal parts and handguard. They are ONLY provided to make them C&R legal.”
In the milsurp C&R game, bolt-action military rifles have been getting more scarce over the years. When I was first collecting in the early 1990s, you could pick up a Mosin-Nagant for $49, any number of Enfield .303s for $99, and a good selection of Mausers and Arisakas for $150. Heck, I bought my first CMP M1903 Springfield for $350.
Well, all that is history by and large these days.
But, I did see this “deal” over at Old West Scrounger who has some scratch and dent M1916 Spanish Mausers they contend are shootable. Of course, they are in scratch and dent sporter stocks too, so there’s that. But hey, at $99, even a rifled action that isn’t rusted through is a good buy these days.
So, we have a number of 1916 Mauser rifles, perfect working condition, in 7×57 Mauser (7mm Mauser), that had dirt and rust, some pitting but otherwise work well and had stocks that were hopelessly broken. We also had a small quantity of small ring Mauser sporting stocks, used, some scratches, dings, etc., and cracked at the tang or heel.
We put the broken stock Mausers in the small ring sporter stocks, as-is, and the result is our “West Virginia Special”.
It ain’t pretty, but it doesn’t cost much, is repairable and shoots straight and true! Use it as-is or use it as a base to build yourself a nice sporter. All we have left have cracks or breaks at the tang that will need repair to shoot reliably. None have wood that does not need repair, so please take note of that!
We don’t have many of these babies and when they are gone, they are gone.