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.”
Rock Island has a Winchester 1892 with a curiously short barrel up for grabs at auction this month. The particular M92 is chambered in .44-40 WCF and has seen some hard use over the past century or so and surely has some stories to tell. The saddle ring carbine, SN#746457, was made in 1914, according to Winchester, and is specifically listed by the ATF by serial number as a curio and relic, which makes its 15-inch Trapper barrel a very interesting exception to National Firearms Act regulations on short-barreled rifles adopted some 20 years after it was made.
Just a small number of Winchester lever guns with 14-, 15- and 16-inch barrels were produced at the factory. Intended for use as handy brush guns for outdoorsmen such as sustenance hunters in heavy scrub or trappers checking lines, such models picked up the Trapper moniker. Most were exported overseas as they were especially popular in South America, making those still in the states even more collectible. Like five-figure collectible if in great shape with a good provenance. RIA is valuing this one, in OF-fair condition, at between $3,000 and $4,500.
About 20 years ago I filed for my first Type 03 FFL, the humble $30 “Collector of Curios and Relic” license. The easy to get FFL allows you to purchase “C&R” eligible guns from both regular FFLs (shipped right to your door) and private individuals as well as get a discount from some firearms wholesalers (J&G, etc) who specialize in such vintage weaponry. Over the years I’ve used it to expand my collection and about half of the FFLs in the country are C&R licenses. It’s a no-brainer.
And in California, when coupled with a $71 COE, you can get around a few roadblocks, such as still be able to have ammo shipped to your house instead of going to a storefront and paying a processing fee for it.
And it looks like there just popped up another reason to get a “Cruffer”
California’s 3rd District Court of Appeals last Thursday ruled that holders of one are not bound by the state’s once-a-month handgun purchase limit.
The ruling reversed a Sacramento Superior Court decision and held that the California Department of Justice’s interpretation of state law was flawed when it came to those with a C&R type federal firearms license. The $30 three-year license allows collectors to buy some old and rare guns without going into the business of selling firearms. Last week’s ruling holds that those with such a license can purchase more than one non-curio or relic handgun in a 30-day period.
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.
I had a really interesting interview last week with Mae from C&Rsenal, primarily about their massive Mauser M1918 T-Geweher anti-tank rifle, but also about curios and relics in general.
On making friends and influencing people through a collector’s license…..from my column at Firearms Talk