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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I bought a 1912 Chilean Mauser decades ago. I probably should not have started the restoration project but you have to bear in mind that back when I did so these things could be purchased for $59 to $79 all day long. I’m talking over 20+ years ago. It was very gouged and grimy...it literally had an indentation in the stock where another rifle had dropped on it; barrel-first. You could see the indent of the outer and inner circumference of the barrel. Lots of gouges! Anyway;
most of the numbers matched except the bolt had a different number stamp.

i took it to a gunsmith. He Inspected the barrel, checked headspacing, etc & told me that it looked to him like it had never been issued or fired.

I never considered the potential collectibility since they were practically giving them away back then so I used fine sandpaper & worked down to 0000-steel wool. I applied tung oil and actually got the stock in pretty beautiful condition but, of course, the stampings on the wood are not readable. You can still see them, but they are not real legible.

Would it be further blasphemous to sporterize given that I’ve already done what I’ve done? Would that be another “sin”? Remember; not all numbers match, if that makes a difference.

I would really appreciate feedback from the group.
thank you all in advance!
 

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Well about 25 years back I rescued a 1903A3 that bubba had worked his magic on. So new barrel, d&t for lyman 57 steel sights, redfield ramped front sight, and I polished all the metal and had it reblued.Even rescued the long suffering bishop stock. That and the Winchester Model of 1917 Enfield in 30-06 that had been rescued. Would I do that today No not on anything in at least in good or better condition. As a matter of fact the A3 initial purchase cost me $100, and the Model of 1917 cost a whopping $60 bucks. As it had the barrel cut back to 22". In my eyes the damage had already been done and turned two bubba's into two shooters. I've a couple 1891 Argentine mausers with trashed barrels. But since they can be made to take calibers other than the 7.65x53mm maybe just maybe one may get made into something else. Frank
 

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Another piece of history is destroyed.

Never been issued or fired: check.
Sandpaper: check.
Steel wool: check.
Tung oil: check.
"Would it be further blasphemous to sporterize given that I’ve already done what I’ve done?"

We can only assume that you are unaware this is a collector forum.
 

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Well... First, big Welcome to Gunboards Forums! Hope you enjoy your travels here! An important side-note that you have elected to post your "sporterization conjurings" in a Forum particularly dedicated to the collection and 'preservation' of the military mauser species. That as you speak of "sporterizing", concerning the merits. Your situation a bit like going to the Pope to discuss possible conversion to Marxism! :)
The applicability side here, is in the merits of restoration or perhaps simply preservation of the military model you now have. In that, you've found real expertise. As far as conversion to sporter... The Commercial & Military Sporting Arms Forum below perhaps a better choice for 'opinions' in that context.
I'd suggest posting some good photos of your rifle. The mauser expertise here is second to none and you might well get some good tips/advice otherwise unavailable as these folks can view your rifle. I'm something of 'in between'. I came from the era when military mauser imports were basically $25 guns unless something special. I've also seen some beautiful conversions as well as about twenty times as many 'Bubba supremes'! I have some few of perhaps an intermediary category of 'decent Bubbas', along with my purely military species. I can go either way depending on what I see in good pix. Some military mausers to me just need the hang-tag, "Do Not Resuscitate!" yet good sporting candidates.
For the novice seeking 'relatively' cheap sporting rifles, decent Bubbas continue to be 'out there' and go pretty cheaply. Often nowadays unless someone like you - doing your own work - gunsmith services simply too pricey! Great guns to emerge but owner upside down in cost to resulting value ratio.
Well, another rant moving off-subject!
Please do consider some good pix! Centerfold quality please! :)
Best & Stay Safe!
John

Just the footnote that "PT" just chimed in as I was composing this post. A great guy and definite mauser expert. But also a as notable, not taking kindly to those not of the military mauser conservation faith! :)
PT, perhaps go light here, a new member!
Best to you too Sir!
John
 

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Googling 1912 Chilean Mauser will bring up sources for both the short and long rifle stocks (I don't know which you have). That'd be the route I would go, restoration.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Another piece of history is destroyed.

Never been issued or fired: check.
Sandpaper: check.
Steel wool: check.
Tung oil: check.
"Would it be further blasphemous to sporterize given that I’ve already done what I’ve done?"

We can only assume that you are unaware this is a collector forum.
I began by admitting my ignorance and mistake that I made a couple or few decades ago
Hell, I was a dumb kid, in many ways. I can’t undo it.
“PT”; that’s just a degree of smug that really nobody wants or needs.
 

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I'd say that unless the barreled action has been altered, a Chilean M12 even with a replacement military stock with a non-matching number is a more attractive and desirable gun (and worth more) than any sporter you're liable to make it into. If you just want a sporter to go hunting I think it makes more economic sense to just buy a used Savage 110 or Remington 700; you'll spend less money than trying to convert a military Mauser.

M
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'd say that unless the barreled action has been altered, a Chilean M12 even with a replacement military stock with a non-matching number is a more attractive and desirable gun (and worth more) than any sporter you're liable to make it into. If you just want a sporter to go hunting I think it makes more economic sense to just buy a used Savage 110 or Remington 700; you'll spend less money than trying to convert a military Mauser.

M
thank you very much for that input. That is exactly what I was hoping for from folks that know a lot more about these pieces than I.
I do wish I hadn’t considered it valueless simply because it was SO ridiculously affordable way, way back when.
honestly, the fit and finish is notably finer than my modern sporting rifles.
Thank you all, (except PT) for your advise! Much appreciated
 

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thank you very much for that input. That is exactly what I was hoping for from folks that know a lot more about these pieces than I.
I do wish I hadn’t considered it valueless simply because it was SO ridiculously affordable way, way back when.
honestly, the fit and finish is notably finer than my modern sporting rifles.
Thank you all, (except PT) for your advise! Much appreciated
I think that, as long as it still retains its original military configuration, it is still collectable even if less valuable. Some collectors are pickier than others and some have greater budget restrictions.
 

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I think that, as long as it still retains its original military configuration, it is still collectible even if less valuable. Some collectors are pickier than others and some have greater budget restrictions.
What is and what is not "collectible" is a matter of (varied) opinion. Some will say that a military Mauser rifle that has one mismatched part is not "collectible". To me, that is nonsense.

All matching is nice, but not an absolute requirement for me. The more original a rifle is, the better I like it. The more rare a model is, the more I am willing to accept something like a sanded stock.

But - when I see a Mauser that has had the barrel chopped, the stock chopped, the bolt handle bent, and the receiver drilled for scope mounts, I consider that to be junk. It would not be worth $1 to me unless it had an undamaged part that I needed.

I bought my first Mauser for a deer rifle, a M1895 Chilean short rifle. I sporterized it, with Herters stock, reblued, bent bolt handle, scope, low scope safety, the whole deal. At the time I thought that was OK because it was not German used. I soon learned better; I sold it and years later bought a replacement short rifle. The point is that most collectors start off dumb. Then they begin to appreciate military guns and come around to the opinion that sporterizing is a sin.

As for the subject rifle, I would keep it in my collection. It is not that damaged. If I came across a deal on the same model of rifle, I would buy the new one and sell the old one. I have upgraded like that on multiple models. Or, if I came across an unmolested stock for a fair price, I would buy that stock. Then maybe I would make a lamp out of the old stock.
 

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Lots of good advice in the above posts. But your question should have read, Should I further modify my 1912 Chilean Mauser?? Simple answer is no. As you noted, you have gained great awareness and appreciation for it now. A little late but at last. But not let your heart be too troubled grasshopper for many of the mighty amongst us have the same checkered past, truth be told. Strip down the bolt, lube it up and after a thorough overall cleanup head to the range. Then enjoy one of the finest and smoothest Mausers made.
 

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That's a fine looking Chile still. You made it sound sorta worse, some lingering bubba guilt I suppose. The original stock with some "improvement" trumps a grunge mismatch IMHO and doesn't stink up the safe either.
I like it for what it is. Try to buy its twin for 300$? Good luck with that.
 

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Seeing the photos, I agree. The stock is not that bad. It reminds me of what I did to a Mosin M1938 carbine that I still have. I originally bought it to keep on the right front floorboard of my car. That was way back when it was illegal to keep a pistol in your car (in Texas). That would be like a truck gun but for me it was a station wagon gun. Now the carbine is a part of my collection.

Just keep your rifle like it is. The lightly sanded matching stock - in this case and in my opinion - is better than an unsanded mismatched stock would be.

Bill
 

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You did not post a close up of the front end, but if the barrel and stock are still original length and not chopped, you hardly did any damage.
 

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As it was said. Other than sanding and refinnishing the stock . You really didn't do that much. Many of us did similar things when were first started. I did a Spanish M-93 rifle in the late sixtys. Think I paid like $ 19.95. Sort of a beater. Refinnished the whole thing both stock and metal. Did it sorta right. Now would not even think of doing that. But before you were on you're own and things like that seemed a good idea at the time.
 
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