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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

There's good news and bad news. The Bad news:
6" cut off the barrel
3" cut off the butt
Overall layer of old rust and probably soot.

The good news:
It works
There's shine and rifling in the barrel
It was cheap

I can't imagine why someone would modify this this way. Any ideas? Based on the even patina/soot I suspect it hung over someone's fireplace for at least 50 years.
 

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I have seen similar carnage done by owners to get the gun to fit over the fireplace where the fireplace is close to a wall. It does not have to work just look pretty and balanced.
 

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Why did you even buy it? It is not restorable and it isn't rare.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Why did you even buy it? It is not restorable and it isn't rare.
While I've come up with a nice piece now and again I'm not a particularly affluent collector. If I can replace this missing butt and front sight I'll have a shootable example of the Wernl action as a placeholder until I the money and gun intersect for a proper Werndl rifle. Then I'll sell this to someone else who can't afford a decent Werndl yet. I call it "Buying Up". I'm pretty confident I can do the woodwork, I'm not so sure if I can match the finish though. Checking with the usual subjects for a buttplate and front sight.

The top of the barrel says "St70" is that 1870? Would that make this a '67 or '77 and how can you tell? Also is there something missing in front of the "Wurzinger" and serial number? It looks worn.
 

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Judging by the rear sight yours is M67/77. The number 869 is the year of lock manufacture, 1869.

See a comparison of M67 and M67/77:
 

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Yours is another one with a similar "patina" seen in last 10 years. Can recall at least 5-6 in this condition and think they are all from same "cache". If i were to guess i'd lean toward asia or SA as source. Many seen had firing pin damage from excessive dry firing. Sure many were sold to 3rd world by ALFA and are shown in their 1911 catalog for a few marks.
 

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The "St70" means the Barrel was "accepted" at the Steyr Works of J.Werndl &Co. ( as it was then). The Lock number "869" is the Manufacturing Date of the Lock (1869) There may also be the Lockmaker's Name there as well ( "Greiner" is one name I have seen).

My two Werndls came from Ethiopia, in varying conditions of upkeep ( riveted bands, stock decorations (primer caps, Large Berdan) etc.) My firing pins were worn, one broken ( replaced with my Lathe). The Bores were reasonably good.

Photos from the 35-36 Italian Invasion of Abyssinia show large numbers of both Gras and Werndl Rifles in Captured Positions. Most of the Native Clan troops were armed with BP single shots (Gras, Werndl, Remington, Mauser 71, etc) whilst only some picked units had European advisors and Modern Mausers and MGs.

Regards,
Doc AV
 

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Photos from the 35-36 Italian Invasion of Abyssinia show large numbers of both Gras and Werndl Rifles in Captured Positions. Most of the Native Clan troops were armed with BP single shots (Gras, Werndl, Remington, Mauser 71, etc) whilst only some picked units had European advisors and Modern Mausers and MGs.
would love to see some of those photos
 

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You bought it because you wanted it David. Enough reason in itself. My old (sold) Werndl, Beaumont and Comblain are in a similar class and it lets me shoot things I could not otherwise afford. At least it does not seem to have the obligatory cracked wrist. I would buy it at the right price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Now It's a Shootable Train Wreck

I couldn't find a Werndl buttplate, so I installed a Gras buttplate I had lying around. It's not perfect, but I'm not going to try again until I get a real Werndl buttplate. In the meantime if anyone complains I'm going to say that it feels more natural on your shoulder this way;). Derusted the whole thing with more or less success, replaced the front sight (actually came out pretty nice) and a friend made one screw, so now I can shoot it if I can make the ammo. That'll be the next project...
 

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I think that like so many of us, you just like rescuing old MILSURPs when it's affordable. It looks good, I'd shoot it just to say I have.
Dan in Texas
 
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