Don’t automatically pass on one of those old sporterized military rifles just because the bore isn’t shiny and new. You may be surprised in the value and accuracy they can deliver.
by Paul Mazan
The venerable M98 Mauser has never really gone away in its military dress and there is tremendous interest in collecting prime examples. What I am addressing in this article are those 98s that came home from the wars with returning GIs and were turned into “sporters” in the 50s and 60s. With the upcoming centennial of World War One I’ve seen interest – and prices – of vintage military firearms of that conflict spiraling upward. I’ve also noticed more of the “economy sporters” appearing at gun shows and they have really captured my interest. Originally I was looking for uncut examples of WWI guns that could be returned to their military configuration as I expect they will be going up in price during the centennial much as Civil War firearms did in the 1960s. I thought that if I could put a few aside before then I’d be able to make a little money on them in a couple of years. Still a good thought but, as usual, I have been sidetracked by some of the work I’ve seen that was put into those “Barracks Bag Specials.”
The first question I expect you’re asking is with so many great hunting rifles available, why would anyone want to bother with one of these old warhorses? My answer to is economics! Have you priced one of those great hunting rifles lately?
Read more in our July 2014 issue. Back issues are available.