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Back in 1987 when Century was offering M 96’s for sale a friend with an FFL offered to let me go in with him on a batch of I think 20 rifles.
I could only afford 3.
The deal was he would get first pick, then me, then him……..
When they arrived 19 of them were excellent condition rifles. About the only thing to choose from was year of production (from the teens to the 20’s), how much figure in the walnut stock and if the cleaning rod matched all the other numbers.

I think he was very pleasantly surprised (probably shocked) that my first choice was the one pictured below. He probably would have picked all 19 before selecting this one.
It is a 1900 by Mauser with a replacememt stock.

The wood was a little dirty looking from use, had a splice in the toe and the metal had some blemishes unlike the other nearly new looking rifles.
My dad’s grandparents were from Sweden and Germany so a Swedish rifle made in Germany looked like a great buy and the SA indicating it had been sold/loaned to Finland to shoot communists was icing on the cake.
It was without a doubt the ugly duckling of the bunch but it appealed to me.
 
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