Now I am sure that some of you folks out there are thinking of some of the clunkers we have all seen out there.
Like this poor puppy. (Sorry if this is your rifle It’s nothing personal)
Now granted that some of us are not really flush with cash. Hey! I get it as I have been there & done that.
So I shall not inflict upon you some of the horrors that I have bought and shot.
Now here is what I figured out a few years ago. As since todays the prices for your basic rifle is frankly just ridiculous. Just take a look one of these days at this!
Granted that steel is a lot more expensive and so is the other things needed to build a gun. Plus the folks involved need to ate. So I accept that. As this is just the way the world is now.
For Example this should give one a clue.
So here is what I do. I generally make a circuit of the local gun shops.
The reason why is two fold.
In that the Owners learn to know me and what I like. Also to see what is up for sale and what the general prices are.
I also try hard to go to the local gun shows. Where it’s hard to concentrate due to the usual sensory overload of the place.
As there usually someone wanting to sell dear old (who ever) departed guns.
What to look for in buying one.
Now I am a sucker for good wood stocks.
If the rifle has it. Then usually it means somebody has put a lot of love and effort into this piece. I can overlook the usually dings caused by use in the field if they are not too bad.
Also if the lines of the rifle looks good is another good sign. That & if no serious signs of abuse is a good thing.
(Yes I like thumb holes. Since they work for me!)
If you have followed me this far. Then ask nicely to pick it up and check it out. Manners by the way are very important in a gun show. Remember that a lot of folks are armed here. (An Armed Society is a Polite Society)
Usually the Show will have the gun in a inoperative manner by a plastic ban put on by the staff. If you are really interested ask to have it taken of. Then check the action and the internal condition.
One must also consider the caliber of the gun. Especially considering the availability and price of it. I bought a Winchester 43 in 218 Bee really cheap.
But then found out how hard it and expensive the ammo was. By the by, it was very accurate but finding ammo was too much effort. So I sadly sold it for a handsome profit.
Models that I have the most luck with
Mauser 98’s – I have about a dozen of these in various calibers. From 22-250 thru 30-06 and each of them are great additions to my humble collection.
(I wish that I owned this one)
1903 Springfield- I think that I am on very safe ground here. A the Famous Griffin & Howe use to make a lot of rifles from the action of the 03’s for the great and famous. Teddy Roosevelt took one on his African Safari.
(This one became TR’s Son Kermit’s 1903)
My stance on this is that if its good enough for him. I think that I would be a fool not to have a couple also one time or another. In 22-250, 243 Win, 25-06, 308. 35 Whelen and of course 30-06.
Like this one (Not Mine either but it comes close)
As it use to be before we became a major Arms Dealer. Our country was always under equipped when it came to our military. This was true in WWI or as some called it. The War to end all wars. Please stop laughing as I am not kidding! They actually thought that until Hitler & **TRIGGER WARNING** The Japs showed up
So what we did was to take the Enfield rifles that we were making for the **TRIGGER WARNING*** British Empire.
Where upon the US Army just changed the caliber to 30-06. The amazing thing was that it was the primary battle rifle for the Dough boys. After the war serious thought was made of making it the primary rifle for the peacetime Army. But the forces backing the 1903 prevailed instead.
Now the good news for you & I. This was one of the strongest actions ever made by Winchester and Remington. So eventually a lot of them were converted to various Dangerous Game Calibers. I.E. 300 H&H , 300 Win Mag and even up to 458 Win Magnum. **TRIGGER WARNING*** (I owned a 458 a long time ago and turned a squirrel into pink mist once with it.)
Another interesting item about them. Was that I was told by a gunsmith that the barrels were screwed in with the pressure of one ton. So that the only way to re-barrel one is to carefully cut off the GI barrel. I was also told a lot of foolish folks got hurt by this over time.
None the less it is a very solid if not ugly looking rifle. That can still really shoot well if it has been taken care of over the years. They are also usually very priced to sell also.
Once upon a time. I was over in Phoenix as the Wife is a rabid Chicago Cubs fan. So while she is at the Spring Training games. I get to check out the local gun shops.
While doing so I spied a very strange looking rifle . It turning out to be a Martini Cadet Rifle that had be done over as a very heavy 22 LR Target / Bench Rest Rifle.
Looking like this one.
Now I have been a huge fan of the Movie Zulu since I was a young snot. I was very intrigued by it. Needless to say I paid a huge price for it. (The Son & Heir thought that I had finally & totally lost it.)
But when it finally got home to the Peoples Republic and on the range. Where upon it turned out to be a tack driver of a rifle. So as the Aussies would say “Keep Her!”
Some day I am going to build me a another one in 357 Magnum. But right now I am vastly too broke to proceed.
As a side note. Back in the Old Queens day.
Some body had the really bright idea to reduce the Martini Henry Rifle to a smaller 22 caliber rifle . To be used as a training rifle out in the ***Trigger Warning*** White Colonies. So as to help train the youngsters in rifle marksmanship.
I could not even think of having a youngster shhot the fear some old 577/450 round. Since it kicks like a mule!
It was also then a hell of a lot cheaper to too as 22 LR back then was dirt cheap. Compared to the standard 577/450 Martini Henry round.
Here is a small a scene from the Movie Zulu. Hopefully you will enjoy it as much as I do.