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Discussion Starter #1
I picked up a "sporterized" No1, MkI today for $75. It's a 1906 BSA that someone cut the last few inches of barrel off of, and mounted a lyman front and rear sight set. The action is unblemished and it wasn't reblued. It has Fajen wood. Sad, sad, sad. ~Andy
 

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Worth restoring?

My first SMLE was a bubba'd 1906 BSA MkI. Many years later now, I'm finally restoring it.

$75 is a good price. You could fit a MkIII barrel on it and eventually rebuild it to spec. The MkI (*, **,***) was only in production for a few years; it's a nice model that is worth restoring. I'd buy the Fajen wood from you if it's in decent shape.

Does the bolthead still have the charger guide on it? That alone makes the $75 a bargain.

Personally, if a finish is in bad shape I thnk reblueing is a valid part of restoration. But if your original finish is good, that's great. "Unblemeshed" is indeed best.
 

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It is heartbreaking seeing how people hack up the old character. Just wondering was the mk1 sliding bolt head intact? I paid $80 a while back for a 1905 mk1*** that had the old bone rear sight but the bolt head slider and volleys were ground for deer hunting. Also you may not realize but if you check the magazine, you may have a rare # 1 mag with a curved bottom. Most of the mk1's I came across had these. Although many were upgraded to no.3 configuration with the loop ground off.
 

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Yes. The bolt/charger is intact. The magazine is a replacement, though. I don't know which irritates me more: A bubba'd rifle where the guy went whole hog and sporterized it, or one where he did just enough damage to ruin the value! I have a little more respect for the former, I think.

I was at a gun show a few years back and a fellow had two No1, Mk V's that had only 8" of the foreends cut off and discarded. His dad had bought the rifles as "loaner" deer guns and decided to pretty them up by sawing off the foreends. They ended up shooting corrosive ammo through them and not cleaning them, rusting the bores shut. If they'd been reasonably priced I'd have bought them. As it was, he wanted $900 for the pair because they were "rare".

As to this MkI, I'll probably shoot this rifle for the time being. The bore is great (another thorn) and it will probably be fun to shoot. Years ago I bought a few No1, MkIII "new in the grease" barrels from one of the distributors. I may install one of these this winter and go from there. I won't be able to get it back into original shape too easily but I can piece meal it, I guess. Any suggestions as to sources?? ~Andy
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Found another interesting Lee today. A No I Mk III* 1945 date and again, with the bloody wood sawn off 6" behind the front sight. (but ahead of the front band.) This one also sported an Aussie buttstock that looked somewhat out of place. It was $200 so I didn't pursue it. I have some nice, whole, Lees. Seems like a waste to buy the cripples...~Andy
 

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I'm gonna make a reel valubal sportin rifle outen this ole piece of junk, an then I'm gonna git lots of muney fer it at the next gun show.
Waaddya mean it ain't wurth nuttin????? Its a reel gud deer rifle!
 

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Met a fella 2 deer seasons ago who said he has a really rare Jungle Carbine "sniper" rifle , inwhich he had a prob getting the mag out...." huummm , I gotta see this " I told him , so he pulled it out to show me this work of art.
{ All this took place after dinner and we were invited for a few brew at their deercamp.}

Turned out to be a hacked up Savage No4 , drilled and tapped ( Leupold scope no less ), barrel cut back to about 20" , with a No1 mag.
I told him what he had , his prob with the mag and that his scope is worth 5 times what the rifle is...
He got all pouty ,and quite vocally, told me I was full of it , that the square Savage S was actually a 5 and went on about how other Enfields were too heavy for the bush .
Couldn't help myself any longer and basically told him to lose 50lb off his fat arse and do some push-ups .
The fella really blew his cork and I was asked to leave thier camp. I thought I'd better leave before he ruptured a blood vessel or something.

He wasn't there last season but his buddies invited us back into their camp and a bunch of "good 'ol boys" had a "good 'ol time ".
Ahh , huntin season...good times , good stories and they just keep coming.
I wonder if I'll see him this coming season ...lol
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Twenty years ago iworked at a large gunshop that dealt in a lot of collectible guns. A fellow came in with an exceptionally rare civil war vintage breechloader (the name escaped me) that had been heavily polished/ reblued and had the brass fittings polished and the wood polyurethaned. The gun was probably 90% condition before the shoddy rework.

The shop owner told him it was a shame that the gun had been refinished as it ruined the collector interest and value -not to mention screwing up a nice bit of history. The guy looked at us dead serious and said, " Collectors only say they like them original. They really like them better then they are all clean and shiney..."

When the boss offered him one-quarter of what the old man wanted he was furious and said that if he didn't meet his price he'd just walk out of the store. The boss turned and walked away without another word. After about 5 minutes of looking around for moral support the old guy left.~Andy
 

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[whistled Greek chorus of DUELING BANJOS=John Sukey;42820]I'm gonna make a reel valubal sportin rifle outen this ole piece of junk, an then I'm gonna git lots of muney fer it at the next gun show. Waaddya mean it ain't wurth nuttin????? Its a reel gud deer rifle![/whistled Greek chorus of DUELING BANJOS]

John,
Fixed your post for ya.
 

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Gunstore three days ago. Several rifles just purchased by the store.
A Carcano in really nice condition with good wood and bluing, EXCEPT Bubba had
" ARC WELDED" a scope rail to the reciever ring.
Guess the local hardware store wuz out of the right screws.
 

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I've never understood bubba. I have a Mod98 Mauser that was sported by a professional gunsmith (I didn't do it! My Grandfather did it back in the late 40's to the one he brought back, so I think he had the right). I can understand this. It's in a beautiful Bishop stock, the rear sight was removed all together and sighting is done only with the new Weaver scope. The barrel was shortened and the bolt handle was cut and reattached to allow for clearance. It's a great example of the true craftsman's art. I also own a Kar98a that was literally attacked with a hand saw and (I'm guessing) a 12 pack of PBR. You can see where the dink actually slipped with the saw and chewed up the stock here and there. To complete the process of battle rifle to "ultimate deer killer", bubba tossed the hand guard in the trash, thus saving him that vital 7 ounces of weight. ARG!

Are you a gunsmith? No? then don't screw with a gun! Clean it? Yes. CAREFULLY! But don't add to it or cut stuff off it.

*Phew* End of rant...
 

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Well since this has digressed from SMLEs to Bubba stories, one is my brother-in-law.
The only insight I have into his mindset is that he is from rural Pennsylvania where deer hunting is king and rifles are Bubbized and reblued all the time to make them more acceptable to the owners tastes. That being said...

He received a call from his brother, a gunsmith had been working on a rifle for him and since it could not be converted to .401 Winchester, he no longer wanted it and offered to my brother-in-law. So it was kept in its original caliber.

Anyway, the glorious day came when he finally received it. The good news is that it was the most amazing and professional work I had ever seen. The bad news is that it began life as a Model 1898 Krag.

Lets see, bluing so deep you could get lost in it, wood so incredibly shaped and polished it looked like it was part of a bar (with checkering and ivory inlays). A nice ramp front sight and high-end Lyman receiver sight, jeweled bolt, Timney Trigger, wow. I don't think there was any part that was not replaced, smoothed out, or refinished. He looked like a kid at Christmas, and said exitedly to his son "This is a thousand-dollar gun!"

Okay, rather than call BS to his face, I pulled my nephew aside and like a good uncle, I showed him the reality vis-a-vis Gunbroker. The thousand-dollar Krags were all-original and unmolested carbines. Then I searched on "sporterized Krag" and found one that nearly matched feature for feature, its highest bid was $250.

If the thing had been left alone, it would've been worth about double that.

It reminds me of a saying about cars "Customization is when you spend twice the money to make a car worth half as much"
 
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