Sins commited on Antique Firearms.

Discussion in 'Curio & Relic Discussion' started by TDS92A, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. TDS92A

    TDS92A New Member Supporter

    A few odd months ago I completed a Gunsmith course (yea me!) and after spending over 20 years working with modern weapons I have decided that I want to focus my attentions antique firearms. There is nothing better than restoring an antique weapon.

    Now, do not get me wrong. When I restore them (and I have done quite a few) I only bring them back to the point of their time period. Anything above that and they loose value.

    The reason for this thread is because I accidentally (along with another) hijacked another thread briefly. The person posted a thread about a Krag Jorgensen that was "sporterized" and that got me started.

    So, if you are like me and you cannot stand it when someone abuses an antique firearms, post your rant here and let us all have fun with the discussion.
  2. jpattersonnh

    jpattersonnh Well-Known Member

    Sporterizing a real POS is not a crime. I had a 1942 Husqvarna M38 sportered for my son. It was a missmatched rifle that although it shot well was worth nothing and I wanted to give it new life.
    Hacking a true German WWII K98k is wrong, Hacking a classic Model 70 is wrong. It does not have to be an antique. I was horrorfied when they hacked a .30-40 Krag on American gun. It use to be pretty common to sporter perfect old war rifles, some folks still do. That is up to them. You can yell, scream, type anything you want, but it does not change the fact that it is their property, not yours. I agree w/ you to a point, but I'm not starting a flame war. Let it go.. JMHO.

  3. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

    I have mixed feelings on military guns. Millions were made of some, hundreds of thousands made of many models. If some are hacked to make the owners happy so be it. Commercial guns were most often less than 100,000 and not uncommonly less than 10,000. Many commercial guns have been hacked. If hacked 50 years or more ago I can maybe understand but if done recently it is a tragedy.
  4. Chainfire

    Chainfire Well-Known Member Supporter

    The problem is, what is a POS today is a valuable collector's rifle tomorrow. The K98s that were mentioned sold for about $20.00 in barrels in department stores in 1969. (I know, I bought one) A heck of a lot of these guns were "customized" and are now only good for salvagable parts. Once the hacksaw or sandpaper hits a firearm it is a POS from then on.

    To me, there is a very fine line between a "restoration" and a "customization" and a lot of people can't make the distinction.
  5. texaswoodworker

    texaswoodworker Well-Known Member

    It depends on the gun. Modifying/sporterizing a Mosin, or an SKS is one thing, but if you do that to a Krag, M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, 1903 Springfield, ect, that is just wrong.
  6. 30-30remchester

    30-30remchester New Member

    I have worked with antique guns and knives for over 4 decades. I cant count the number of guns and knives I have seen that was ruined ( in my opinion ) by well meaning people who thought were doing something worth while. It would be interesting to hear what the OP considers restoration. The greatest true story I heard was from a young gunsmith that completely reblued and refinished the stock of a run down Winchester model 1866. Seems he took a before and after pic. Years later he saw the very rifle he rebuilt in an old photo. Holding the rifle was a very famous indian chief. That well meaning but trajically misquided individual totally destroyed a piece of American history.
  7. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

    i have to agree for the most part, that many fine old firearms should never be restored, sporterized or even refinished as it usually degrades the value quite a bit. but also once someone buys a firearm, it's theirs to do what they want whether we agree or disagree with their choice. if asked for an opinion, for the most part, leave it be.
  8. Garadex

    Garadex New Member

    I say sporterize old guns as long as it is not a rare gun or rare variant and has no historic value. Meaning a gun like my 1943 round receiver Izhevsk, although I wont do any permanent modifications to mine.
  9. fupuk

    fupuk New Member

    Im the same way. I bought a mosin about a month ago for $100. Its a great shooter but i cant stand more than 50 rounds in one sitting because of the stock. So im planning on buying a synthetic stock for it to make it more of a shooter. But i have an old Gew88 that i will never change anything on it ever. Its to important to me to change. It was my grandfathers and has to much history to change. But if i wanted a mosin to keep all original i would take $100 and buy another.
  10. dteed4094

    dteed4094 Member

    I sporterized 3 or 4 relics in my youthly ignorance. I now regret each o them. It does however make the still origional guns just a little more valuable in the long run. so go ahead and make my historic remnants worth more.
  11. kfox75

    kfox75 Well-Known Member Supporter

    QFT. I feel the same way about sporterizing old guns as I do about hot rodding old cars. Whenever someone does it I think to myself:

    "Remember to send that guy a thank you card. He just raised the value of my '51 Merc\ M1 Garand by a little more!":D

    To each their own. I will keep my guns stock, or atleast keep and not butcher the original parts. That way they can be put back to the same configuration I bought them in.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2012
  12. TDS92A

    TDS92A New Member Supporter

    Since you asked.

    Case in point; I bought an 1873 Springfield Trapdoor .45-70 for $220.00. The old girl was covered from muzzle to comb in rust. All of the protectant (I will call it varnish for the sake of argument) had flaked off except for a few spots. Mechanically it was fine. I disassembled the rifle and took care of each part separately. I started with #0000 steel wool and CLP and removed the rust from the barrel and chamber slowly, inch by inch until I had exposed the original bluing and stopped there. I used a tooth brush on the parts with inlays. As for the furniture, I used a tooth brush to remove the flaking "varnish". I used a damp wash cloth and a steam iron to raise the minor dents and the grain. Then I used #0000 steel wool to polish the wood without removing any, and then put a couple of coats Truoil on it, let it cure, reassembled and the hung it on the wall. By the way, it shoots very nicely.

    All of this took just over 6 months to complete. The estimated value is over $2,500.

  13. Trez

    Trez Well-Known Member

    Turning a IHC Garand into a Tanker!!! :mad: :(
  14. TDS92A

    TDS92A New Member Supporter

    Allow me to add to this.

    If a person "sporterizes" a POS weapon (I.E. damaged beyond restoration, mixed matched parts, already modified...etc.) that is one thing, the weapon has already lost its value. But to "sporterize" an obvious antique would be like restoring the Mona Lisa with water colors.:eek:

    Good on you jpattersonnh! :D

  15. TDS92A

    TDS92A New Member Supporter

    Looking for ideas for a new project to restore. Any suggestions?:)