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.