When you say different piece do you mean a replacement or just different from the stock but same type of wood? I’m trying to determine if it’s original to the rifle. I’ve asked the owner to check for the serial number on the handguard but he refuses to disassemble.
Also how can you tell it’s been “cleaned and stripped?”
The wood has been stripped & sanded . See the rounded edges of the finger grooves . Rounded groove on top of the handguard as well . The Swedes refinished the stocks as needed during rebuilds , but this one looks to new to be an arsenal finish . Two different wood types as well . It is common to see replacement handguards of different wood types & mismatched serial numbers or unnumbered . It may be a great shooter , but not as collectable as an original finish . It all depends on the price & what it is worth to you . Since the seller will not disassemble the rifle , it is probably a mismatched handguard ? We cannot see the rest of the rifle , so value is in question ? I would not be interested it myself . Maybe a $250 shooter ? Not much to go on with the photos shown .
Thank you. I didn’t notice the finger grooves. It’s an 1899 M96 I saw on gunbroker. I liked the color and striping of the stock. The price is very high at $900 and it’d have to be all original for me to consider it.
here are a few pics from the posting:
I also question the fit of the handguard as seen here:
That looks like an original stock . Being in service for so many years , the stock probably had plenty of dents & dings in it . So , the guy got all the ugly marks out with some heavy sanding & it looked much better to him .
Best to look for condition , condition , condition , first . Then sort out anything else that appeals to you ! There are plenty m/96's on gunbroker in the same price range or less and in much better condition than what you were looking at .
Not so much that the guy did serious damage to the wood, the price he is asking is absolutely nuts. You can find much better for much less. Go to Simpsons LTD and I betcha you can find something that will tickle your bippy in a hurry. Much much nicer and couple hundred dollars less. Win, win.
I picked up an M96 in similar condition, and to top it all off the stock had a lousy polyurethane job on it. BUT I got it for way less than even half of this listing price...
Anyway, when I stripped the poly off the stock and oiled it, the final handguard color does not perfectly match the stock. But the numbering on the stock and handguard match each other and the rifle; and the font looks correct on both. So while I am no "expert" on the Swede rifles, I would say that I am 99.9% confident mine are original & matching. Even if they did not come from the same piece of wood, when they're made.
FWIW, this is an often-overlooked issue, I think, when folks think about "surplus" firearms. A lot of times it can be very hard to find stocks and handguards which match; and you have to either embrace the appearance, or, if it's a new-manufacture replacement stock or - like mine, sanded beyond all value - apply a dark enough stain to force a match.
A lot of Swedish stocks, especially the beech ones had a stain applied. Perhaps your stripper took this off. You can add a drop or two of 844 industrial colorant to your linseed oil to make a toner to bring the color closer.
Stocks & handguards may have been cut from the same piece of wood when originally made in the wood shop , but once in service I do not think color matching was a priority for replacement handguards . We see matching , mismatched , unnumbered & different color handguards over the years . Handguards were easily broken by a careless soldier . With so many years in service , it is common to see replacement handguards . Matching is better , but not a factor on a really nice condition rifle . Of course , that depends on the collector . Consider the price & value to you ?
When I discovered the Swede Mauser as a fine, affordable, military collectable I fell in love with every dent, ding and scratch on mine. All matching, including wood, 1902 vintage M 96/38. There's a story in those those little imperfections. Same goes for a BSA 1918 SMLE No1 MK III* With a much more tortured story to tell.