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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Apparently, in 1916 a rather short-lived experiment had several m/96 rifles stocked with mahogany; lateron, a switch to elm was taken. By the unexperienced eye, walnut can sometimes - depending upon the stain - easily mistaken for mahogany. To be sure, collectors have frequently resorted to enlist the gracious (and free!) services of the USDA, sending them a sliver or shear from inside the handguard, and receiving a letter of confirmation (or refutation).

See also this posting on another board: http://p223.ezboard.com/Confirmed-M...earmsforumfrm8.showMessage?topicID=1261.topic

Here now is a photo series from Dutchman. Don, please help me to add further threads and photos; I may have overlooked those which were posted before 9th July 2006...

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Dutchman
Posted - 07/09/2006 : 8:19:33 PM
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Taken a few minutes ago in bright sunlight so you can see the color of the mahogany. The bands are unnumbered with tilted crowns, the bolt sleeve is unnumbered with tilted crown. Buttplate matches, all else seems to match. Cleaning rod is unnumbered. I'll have to check my book for crown/J on the wrist.

http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/Dutchman/200679192248_ma02.jpg
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http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/Dutchman/200679192356_ma03.jpg
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http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/Dutchman/200679201520_ma07.jpg
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This "flat" above the floorplate is the telltale sign that the stock has been filed, as opposed to sanding.

http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/Dutchman/200679201755_ma19.jpg
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Dutchman
 

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This rifle is featured at www.rebooty.com/~dutchman .

There are no other known examples of mahogany stocks as yet. This one pictured has been tested by US Dept. of Agriculture and is certified as mahogany. The rifle was donated into my care with the provision that it be passed on gratis to a young collector. I found and did the required act last year to Vic's Girly Man himself, Sean.

Dutchman
 

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Crown over " J " marking ?

Hi Dutch : Has anyone found the meaning of the crown over " J " marking on the wrist of the stock ?
 

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I still haven't for the life of me figured out why someone would have taken a file to the edges of the magazine well. I will likely never know. But its just absolutely puzzling.

As for the stock, as if you would need any further confession from anyone other than Dutchman himself, but I do have the letter from the USDA. I believe its still on the site?
 

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Stock files were used to refinish stocks as opposed to sanding. It usually takes some careful examination with light and different angles to see the tiny "flats" left by the file or areas around the wrist where the file work was curved around.

Many stocks have been filed to the point that they're noticeably smaller dimensionally in the wrist area. Its just faster than sanding and in the hands of a skillful man leaves little trace. Then we have those examples done by less than skillful men... and you'll have those larger "flats" and other evidence that it was done with haste.

Almost universally those stocks filed by experienced persons won't show proud bandkeepers, receiver tangs, triggerguards or buttplates. Evidence of that usually means somebody went at it with sandpaper to the extreme.

Having said that, I've seen a number of stocks right out of Sweden that were sanded to leave proud metal BUT they were almost all "prize" rifles or exceptionally pretty stocks from shooting clubs and were of above average figure or character. I have a couple of them just like that. They were refinished to "new" appearance with no dings or scratches but done a little too much.

The Eskil Anderson stock is a good example of this. This stock came directly from Sweden. I installed a matching # 1909 Gustaf m/96 that had a damaged stock. The metal, bore, everything is gorgeous, it just had a damaged stock.

The wrist has a NP (Norma Precision) cartrouche so we know it was out of military useage and was, at one time, a FSR rifle and worked on by a FSR certified gunsmith. In the side profile of the receiver you can clearly see the rear tang of the receiver and the triggerguard above the woodline. The edges of the grasping grooves on the forestock are quite sharp. Its a beautiful piece of walnut. The "disc" is a piece of paper covered in some kind of plastic. Its not coming out. Eskil Anderson and the name of his city are handwritten on the paper. Its going to stay that way. The NP cartrouche was stamped after the stock was resurfaced with a stock file. They did a very good job but the stock must've been dinged up pretty good to nessessitate removing so much wood all over. I do still have the damaged original m/96 stock for this rifle. Its pretty black streaked walnut. The lower barrel band and sling bow was damaged and the stock got gouged somehow. I got it for $145. The barreled action alone is worth more than that now. I've never fired this rifle yet. Non-threaded muzzle, non-drilled & tapped rear bridge, sharp shiney gorgeous bore.

Dutchman
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Not owners, but stewards and trustees we are...

The story of this specific rifle was so beautiful that I want to transfer and conserve the original postings:

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USMCsean
Posted - 10/17/2006 : 10:48:13 PM
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Over the course of the week, a couple weeks ago, I had been in contact with Dutchman about getting ahold of a certain item that he had. I was presented with really only one option. Go and get it.

So, I jumped in the car to go to Madaryville, Indiana. After 3hrs 15mins and a wrong turn, I was knocking on the front door to Dutchman's house. Upon opening the door, I was immediately asked if I was hungry and if I wanted some eggs, bacon, and toast. I had some stuff on the drive over, so I declined.

Immediately after I declined, I had a mahagony stocked m/96 thrust in my direction with Dutchman saying "Here. Go look over this for a while." If I could have seen my own smile, I bet it was big. It was mine!

The rifle was everything that I expected it would be. The stock has an amazing color to it and, of course, is very unique. I graciously took it. I am also very honored to have received such a rifle. And I took it under the very same conditions in which Dutchman took it.

1. Never sell it.
2. Give it to a younger collector, when its time to give it away.

These conditions I am more than willing to abide to. It is strange though. I've always just considered myself to be a part-time owner of my own rifles. I realize they will be around much longer than I. But this one was different. Even more so, I am just its temporary owner. Its quite a feeling.

So, after the day of helping Dutch pack stuff away into a truck, I was able to walk away with a new rifle, and a cracked m/38 stock that he was going to throw away. I really wished there was more time to sit and B.S. like the other guys did, but I guess thats what I get by not showing up early. I also missed out the great endeavor of packing up an entire gun collection, into one safe. Sorry I missed that as well. I would have like to take a peek at his collection of stuff.

It was great meeting some members of other boards, and of course, meeting Dutchman himself. I wish I had made it to his house another occasion when he had invited me over. Now, going cross country for a meeting is definately harder to do. But who knows, maybe sometime I can make it over. I've always wanted to go to California.

And if I haven't said it enough, Thanks a bunch Dutchman, again!


mauserdoc
Posted - 10/18/2006 : 12:54:32 AM
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Congratulations! You have been given given significant honor and responsibility. I trust the decision that DM has made and must say I have always thought highly of your interest in the field of collecting--especially in our swedish forum. All I can say is congratulations--I know that Dutchman has made a good choice of temporary home for his rifle. It is strange to think that if we care for the nicer of these guns, they will outlive us by generations.... I consider all of mine to be temporary property. Just home some of my kids will express some interest someday. However, if they don't, hopefully there will be a new generation of interested godfearing collectors to pass them onto. Mauserdoc.


bones92
Posted - 10/18/2006 : 2:32:09 PM
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Sean, you are right about our "temporary ownership" status. Most of my milsurps have been in someone else's possession since import, and odds are eventually someone else will own them. I think that's why we collectors tend to get a bit testy about modifying milsurps; there aren't that many around, and any bit of originality in them must be preserved.

Hopefully you get a chance to take that M96 to the range occasionally. Someday, you'll have a chance to pass it along, as well as the story behind it.


USMCsean
Posted - 10/18/2006 : 4:05:37 PM
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I think it adds to the rifles history. I have it documented from the start of its journey here in the US. From the gentleman that Dutchman received it from, to Dutchman, and now to me.

I have the box that he sent it to Dutchman in. I also have the letter he wrote to the United States Department of Agriculture with the reply on the bottom, so again, that adds to the history. And now, Im the third person to own it. Atleast to my knowledge. Dutchman didn't indicate anyone passed it the gentleman mentioned above.


Dutchman
Posted - 10/18/2006 : 4:27:55 PM
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((no, the fellow I got it from is still kickin'))


foudufoot
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member
Posted - 10/18/2006 : 6:13:49 PM
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Congrats Sean kudos to Dutchman! I felt the same way when I was given the opportunity to purchase S.895. We are humble trustees of these fine weapons and the history that goes with them. I know you will honor that commitment, Sean, in true Marine tradition!
 
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