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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Restored Mosin Nagant 91/30



    Check out my new Mosin Nagant 91/30, that I recently restored.



    The Finished Product



















    The Process

    -When I first purchased this rifle for $130 USD, It was in rough shape. The stock was so beaten up, and covered in so much Cosmoline that I became tired of it looking like rubbish, and this being my first Mosin, I figured that I had to experiment with it a bit.

    -When the stock was removed, I used Stripper to remove the low grade Soviet shellac, and Cosmoline build up.

    -I then went over the stock roughly with 180 grit sand paper.

    -After reaching the base wood, I was baffled when the stock was almost all the way black!

    -I decided to get abrasive, and I fashioned a large soaking tank, and I filled it with bleach.

    -I allowed the gun to soak for about 4 hours.

    -This removed some of the black, but I was still worried that it would not look very well.

    -I then stained the stock with an antique Walnut stain. (It was created for antique guns.)

    -The stain made the stock fairly dark, and hid some of the black oily sections.

    - I then began to apply Tru Oil to the entire rifle.

    -The first 8-10th coats were not doing much.

    -After the 15-16th coat, the Tru Oil lightened dark stains, and brought out the natural grain of the wood.

    The 17-18th added a slick, smooth shine to the stock. I used steel wool, and a tack cloth in between Tru Oil applications.


    -I then focused on the bore, removing rust, and tarnish from the barrel.

    - I used chalk to fill in the serial marks, and the stamp on the receiver.
    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/688/img1254so.jpg/ [Click to enlarge]

    -Then I wiped the whole gun down, and just cleaned it up a bit.

    What do you guys think? What else could I do? Rate my work. I would like to know some more history on this rifle, Is it special? Was it a Finnish capture? How would I tell? I know it's not an ex-Sniper.
    Thanks. -Austin

  2. #2
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    You have a 1930 Tula in a prewar stock
    It does not appear to be a Finn capture.
    Finn weapons will have [SA] ob the side of the action.
    While your rifle and workmanship are beautiful, I prefer the original finish.
    I sound like Fiveshot.

    Edit: your workmanship is beautiful. I can tell it took a great deal of tipe to achive these results. Fair warning though, some people will be critical of the refinish and may or may not be diplomatic about it.

  3. #3
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    nice job. a labor of love, i am shure. nice brick work too.

  4. #4
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    It looks nice and flashy ! !

    manygunsmike
    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingleo View Post
    You have a 1930 Tula in a prewar stock
    It does not appear to be a Finn capture.
    Finn weapons will have [SA] ob the side of the action.
    While your rifle and workmanship are beautiful, I prefer the original finish.
    I sound like Fiveshot.

    Edit: your workmanship is beautiful. I can tell it took a great deal of tipe to achive these results. Fair warning though, some people will be critical of the refinish and may or may not be diplomatic about it.
    Thanks for you're input. I have a question about a small diamond on the bottom, behind the trigger guard. What could that be? Man! there are tons of letters, and numbers all over this thing.


    Quote Originally Posted by shjoe View Post
    nice job. a labor of love, i am shure. nice brick work too.
    Thank you.

  6. #6
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    The diamond you see is most likely an inspector's mark. And yes there are many stamps on these rifles. Mosin nagant.net and 7.62x54r both have a pictoral catalog of the known markings.

  7. #7
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    Although she looks good, generally speaking, you lower the collector value when you refinish a firearm, especially when sanding with anything more than steel wool (much less 180 grit). Not sure what a soaking in bleach will do to the stock in the long-run (perhaps soften it or otherwise alter its strength characteristics). Also, any residual bleach could cause corrosion issues beneath the woodline.
    For less money and time, an arsenal refinished one in excellent condition could have been bought.
    Take these comments with a grain of salt, as it is your rifle and your labor of love.
    Just remember, unlike classic cars, old firearms are best left un-restored.

    TOM

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingleo View Post
    The diamond you see is most likely an inspector's mark. And yes there are many stamps on these rifles. Mosin nagant.net and 7.62x54r both have a pictoral catalog of the known markings.
    Thanks Kingleo. I am on 7.62x54r.net, but I do not see what you are speaking of. Could you send me a link? Thanks. (: You've been a great help to me.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tombstone View Post
    Although she looks good, generally speaking, you lower the collector value when you refinish a firearm, especially when sanding with anything more than steel wool (much less 180 grit). Not sure what a soaking in bleach will do to the stock in the long-run. Also, any residual bleach could cause corrosion issues beneath the woodline.
    For less money and time, an arsenal refinished one in excellent condition could have been bought.
    Take these comments with a grain of salt, as it is your rifle and your labor of love.
    Just remember, unlike classic cars, old firearms are best left un-restored.

    TOM
    I understand, I only payed $130 for the rifle, so I wanted to experiment. I really didn't do much to it, I just made it look, and smell cleaner. It was just a fun restore job.
    I have another M44 Carbine that is in mint condition, and I haven't touched anything on it, and I'm not going to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingleo View Post
    Thanks. It's strange most of my marks are just random Cyrillic letters all over the stock. Like the one pictured around the Tru Oil commentary. Thanks for your help.
    All of my serials match. Accept my bolt has a Izhevsk mark on it. Haha this is strange.

  11. #11
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    After WWII the Soviet Union took all the rifles, took them apart refinished all the parts, replaced wear items and put them back together. When they did that, they did not put everything back together as the rifles were originally constructed. So you had a big box of triggers, a big box of floorplates etc. So what yo will find on these is that the stampings you see, are a marking that denotes that this or that part is good for use on a rebuilt weapon. And you will have a mixture of parts. Your rifle reflects this.

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    Oh I see. My rifle must have been pretty lucky to keep all of the serials matching.

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    I think you did a fine job of refinishing the gun. You did erase any and all of the refurbishment process of the Soviets. The rifle as was before, not a very valuable piece - The danger lies within the newbies who read this thread and decide that their battered great grandpappy's WWII bring back, needs a new coat of tru oil.....Only to find they have ruined a potential very valuable rifle..........

    I have refinished a few rifles back in the day(regret it now...), I have restored a few bubba'd Finn/ed pieces(bubba'd before I bought them...)

    The shooter collector does not mind such things. The collector learns to usually reject such projects.

    Pahtu.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pahtu View Post
    I think you did a fine job of refinishing the gun. You did erase any and all of the refurbishment process of the Soviets. The rifle as was before, not a very valuable piece - The danger lies within the newbies who read this thread and decide that their battered great grandpappy's WWII bring back, needs a new coat of tru oil.....Only to find they have ruined a potential very valuable rifle..........

    I have refinished a few rifles back in the day(regret it now...), I have restored a few bubba'd Finn/ed pieces(bubba'd before I bought them...)

    The shooter collector does not mind such things. The collector learns to usually reject such projects.

    Pahtu.
    Thank you. Eh, Oh well, low grade shellac, and Cosmoline is not much of a refurbishment. I agree, it is not a very valuable piece, that is the only reason that I refinished it. Now if anyone is dumb enough to refinish a true collectible, such as an M1 Garand, Carbine, K98 Mauser, Luger, etc. They do not deserve the right to have such a piece! I love finding cheap, and beat up (bubba'd) weapons, and giving them a new life. Although I'm not someone who buys a Mosin, and puts a $500 scope, Muzzle brake, composite stock, and other insane things on such a piece. Oh people on Youtube, you disappoint me...


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    Quote Originally Posted by The Mosin Man View Post
    Thank you. Eh, Oh well, low grade shellac, and Cosmoline is not much of a refurbishment. I agree, it is not a very valuable piece, that is the only reason that I refinished it. Now if anyone is dumb enough to refinish a true collectible, such as an M1 Garand, Carbine, K98 Mauser, Luger, etc.
    Ahhh grasshopper there lies the dilemma!!

    What is the definition of a true collectible! There are folks here on this forum who collect only refurb Mosins(as they are generally the only affordable one's....) They all have low grade shellac and cosmoline......
    They would never consider refinishing a refurb!

    Finn 28-30's, M28's and M27's were originally sold in this country for under a hundred bucks.....Most of the Finn's are dripping with battered stock & low bluing history.....now certain variants sell for hundreds......Thus the danger of refinishing a collectible!

    I have a couple U.S. made Mosin Nagants that are in original condition.....they can easily sell for over a thousand bucks each......They could be worth less than a hundred bucks if bubba'd....

    To many new folks and a few "Educated Gun Owners" all Mosin Nagants are the same.....

    Not true!

    This is all I have to say about the subject - Have fun with your rifle, they are fun to fire and collect!

    Pahtu.
    Last edited by Pahtu; 05-29-2011 at 07:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pahtu View Post
    Ahhh grasshopper there lies the dilemma!!

    What is the definition of a true collectible! There are folks here on this forum who collect only refurb Mosins(as they are generally the only affordable one's....) They all have low grade shellac and cosmoline......
    They would never consider refinishing a refurb!

    Finn 28-30's, M28's and M27's were originally sold in this country for under a hundred bucks.....Most of the Finn's are dripping with battered stock & low bluing history.....now certain varients sell for hundreds......Thus the danger of refinishing a collectible!

    I have a couple U.S. made Mosin Nagants that are in original condition.....they can easily sell for over a thousand bucks each......They could be worth less than a hundred bucks if bubba'd....

    To many new folks and a few "Educated Gun Owners" all Mosin Nagants are the same.....

    Not true!

    This is all I have to say about the subject - Have fun with your rifle, they are fun to fire and collect!

    Pahtu.
    Ahhh I see what your getting at. Although I checked for a Finnish model, I wasn't sure. I also checked for a sniper. I found that it was a Tula but that was all I knew. I wouldn't touch a Finn, or Remington. Not even a Sniper. Do you think before I refinished it, mine was worth more than $130?
    I have the Mosin wanting disease now. D: What is it called again?

  17. #17
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    Mosinitis. There is no known cure but symptoms can be temporarily alleviated by buying more Mosin's.
    Duh! Winning!!!

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    I agree, it is not a very valuable piece, that is the only reason that I refinished it. Now if anyone is dumb enough to refinish a true collectible, such as an M1 Garand, Carbine, K98 Mauser, Luger, etc. They do not deserve the right to have such a piece!
    Around these parts, them there is fightin' words! You are on a forum dedicated to the collecting of Mosin rifles. Get ready for it, in 3....2.....1......

    John

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    That is an excellent job of restoration

    without any other regard .



    Fiveshot

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Mosin Man View Post
    Oh I see. My rifle must have been pretty lucky to keep all of the serials matching.
    The only serial you can rely on to be original to the rifle is the barrels serial. The other serials were more than likely added during one of its possible many refurbishments. The rifles original parts were lost to history.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joop View Post
    Around these parts, them there is fightin' words! You are on a forum dedicated to the collecting of Mosin rifles. Get ready for it, in 3....2.....1......

    John
    Did I just start a sh!t storm?


    FIVESHOT
    That is an excellent job of restoration

    without any other regard .



    Fiveshot
    Thank you Fiveshot.

    The only serial you can rely on to be original to the rifle is the barrels serial. The other serials were more than likely added during one of its possible many refurbishments. The rifles original parts were lost to history.
    Oh. Well it's still a excellent piece of history, I will post the results of a day at the range with it soon. Is 100 yards good? The damn sight will go two miles!

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    100 yards is fine BUT....800 is more fun. At my range we have a washing machine at 800 yards that we use for our snipers mostly but these standard rifles will hit it pretty nicely as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cruddymutt View Post
    100 yards is fine BUT....800 is more fun. At my range we have a washing machine at 800 yards that we use for our snipers mostly but these standard rifles will hit it pretty nicely as well.
    Damn! Can a Mosin shoot 800 yards?

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    There lies the other dilemma. If bubba'd Mosin Nagants are worth less to collectors then the remaining un-bubba'd ones will be worth more.
    In the end it's the same old story. Unknowing people destroy valuable things every day. With as many 91-30s there are available for such low prices there are going to be some modified. It's just a shame when a "special" one gets bubba'd.
    I think the refinished stock looks good but I would not have done it too a hex receiver rifle. I guess that's why I bought a 1933 Tula with laminated stock.
    Motor

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pahtu View Post
    Ahhh grasshopper there lies the dilemma!!

    What is the definition of a true collectible! There are folks here on this forum who collect only refurb Mosins(as they are generally the only affordable one's....) They all have low grade shellac and cosmoline......
    They would never consider refinishing a refurb!

    Finn 28-30's, M28's and M27's were originally sold in this country for under a hundred bucks.....Most of the Finn's are dripping with battered stock & low bluing history.....now certain varients sell for hundreds......Thus the danger of refinishing a collectible!

    I have a couple U.S. made Mosin Nagants that are in original condition.....they can easily sell for over a thousand bucks each......They could be worth less than a hundred bucks if bubba'd....

    To many new folks and a few "Educated Gun Owners" all Mosin Nagants are the same.....

    Not true!

    This is all I have to say about the subject - Have fun with your rifle, they are fun to fire and collect!

    Pahtu.
    Very well said, or written. I have sold most of my refurbs, and now look for the "nicer" as near to original examples. That said, I do like his work. Just need to knock that shine down a few notches And, your being honest about it. I have refinished a few rifles myself. Six I still own, the others were sold as refinished. If you have bought a rifle from me at a gun show, and I did anything to it, you knew about it before you bought it. That's all anyone here asks. Be honest about what you have, especially if you are going to sell it.

    I love the grain in that stock!
    Gary


    ***WARNING*** Mosins breed like rabbits!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Motor View Post
    There lies the other dilemma. If bubba'd Mosin Nagants are worth less to collectors then the remaining un-bubba'd ones will be worth more.
    In the end it's the same old story. Unknowing people destroy valuable things every day. With as many 91-30s there are available for such low prices there are going to be some modified. It's just a shame when a "special" one gets bubba'd.
    I think the refinished stock looks good but I would not have done it too a hex receiver rifle. I guess that's why I bought a 1933 Tula with laminated stock.
    Motor
    Oh a laminated stock would be nice. I don't think that I would refinish that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Mosin Man View Post
    Oh a laminated stock would be nice. I don't think that I would refinish that.
    Yah, if pretty stocks are what you like look for a lam. I got this one for $99.99+tax at Dunhams.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 100_2038.JPG   100_2042.JPG  

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    What do you guys think? What else could I do? Rate my work.
    Very well done, in terms of effort and workmanship. However, many collectors would opine that the end result was to turn a rifle they might pass up because it was in rough condition, into one they would be even more likely to pass up because it has been over-restored beyond its original condition, to the point of being too pretty and shiny.

    That said, you paid for it, and invested your own time and expense on it. If you're pleased with it, that's what counts, not anybody else's opinions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Motor View Post
    Yah, if pretty stocks are what you like look for a lam. I got this one for $99.99+tax at Dunhams.
    Oh snap, I'm gonna need one. :D
    Those are beautiful!

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    Shiney guns are nice. Prefer those old warhorses that have a tale to tell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blahman View Post
    Shiney guns are nice. Prefer those old warhorses that have a tale to tell.
    Oh shiny guns are nice. If need be, I can take the shine off with steel wool, and it will look some what original.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Mosin Man View Post
    Damn! Can a Mosin shoot 800 yards?
    Yep. They do. We shoot them at that distance at the Long Range Vintage Match. Note the highest graduation on the rear sight is greater than that.

    My greatest regret in collecting was to cut down the forend wood to the lower band and paint the stock green on my first Mosin Nagant - I thought that it was just a cheap old rifle. It was a Tula 91/30 1937 Viet Nam bringback - All original and matching. I was 22 years old. I still have the rifle (which I've restocked). That was in 1983. It STILL bugs me - I destroyed that rifle. It had a story and now I'm part (not a good part...)of it. They weren't even common in the US then, actually pretty rare.

    Now as an advanced collector of Mosin Nagants since the 80's I leave these rifles all original other than a good cleaning.
    And the Soviet low grade shellac is still their shellac. As said by others, I appreciate your hard work and labor of love. You did a good job. Welcome to the world of Mosin Nagant collecting - You've now completed your first couple of MN experiences!
    Tiledude
    aka Russ aka Mobile Marksman

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Mosin Man View Post
    Oh shiny guns are nice. If need be, I can take the shine off with steel wool, and it will look some what original.

    http://forums.gunboards.com/showthre...out-stock-wood

    I think I pasted this correctly.....this is a thread about restoration

  34. #34
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    What was there to refinish on this rifle in the first place being it is a refurb anyway?

    Interesting you would ask the following questions after the fact.

    What do you guys think? What else could I do? Rate my work. I would like to know some more history on this rifle, Is it special? Was it a Finnish capture? How would I tell?I know it's not an ex-Sniper.
    Thanks. -Austin


    NOT ANYMORE!

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Mosin Man View Post
    Damn! Can a Mosin shoot 800 yards?
    No, but they can shoot 1,000 meters.
    Just one more Mosin and my collection will be complete!

    It takes a whole village to raise an idiot.

    Hope ...is just disappointment protracted.

    Sometimes when we cross a bridge in life we should burn it behind us so our enemies cannot follow.

    I'm looking for an SKS rear receiver cover with the sn 01822.

    Democrats!!..the original flamers of the Constitution.

    "My poor Krell !" ....yes, and I fear they are us.

    China out of USA!.....Feng Shui, no way!

  36. #36
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    Well, it was a nice, original, pre-war, screwed-in sling slot escutcheon, stepped tang stock. It's nice and shiney now.
    Just one more Mosin and my collection will be complete!

    It takes a whole village to raise an idiot.

    Hope ...is just disappointment protracted.

    Sometimes when we cross a bridge in life we should burn it behind us so our enemies cannot follow.

    I'm looking for an SKS rear receiver cover with the sn 01822.

    Democrats!!..the original flamers of the Constitution.

    "My poor Krell !" ....yes, and I fear they are us.

    China out of USA!.....Feng Shui, no way!

  37. #37
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    Default "Vibes" of an original...on restoration

    At the risk of sounding a bit too Californian, there is something sort of semi-mystical about the feeling of unrestored rifles and swords to many collectors. The Japanese believe great swords have a sort of spirit of their own and many ships and boats are thought to have individual personalities -ask any Navy man. I'm not sure how much is imagination and how much is real psychic experience, but many collectors, myself included, want to see what the weapon really was like, not what someone restored it to be -the wear, scratches and dings, to "feel" the way the rifle felt the last time it was used. Attempts to "restore" old flintlocks, polish up old swords on grinders, reblue historic Winchesters and chrome SAA Colts, cut down Mosins and restock Martinis are some of the sad results of "restoration," much as new metallic red paint and chrome rims are not what an old Rolls-Royce needs. That doesn't mean don't clean them up, but keep them original, even if that shows the wear. Those are battle scars.
    To a historian and collector a Mosin rifle first tells a story of the machinists, men, women and teenagers working in the Tula or Izhevsk facilities in desperate wartime conditions, trying to make weapons to save their country.
    I have seen pictures of the factories and have known the children and grandchildren of the Russian factory workers and steel workers -they all speak, not of the tough conditions, but of their desire to do the very best they could, to increase production, to help kill Nazis; sort of a "Rosie The Riveter" mindset . Much like the late Japanese "last ditch" rifles carry the story of exhausted resources, the Mosins carry the story of pride in workmanship, not slave labor.
    The stories of the war and of the soldiers are there, too, when you look through a scope that might have been at Stalingrad, down the barrel of a rifle that marched on some soldier's back all the way to Berlin or see the frag marks on a Tula cartouche caused by some grenade or bullet long ago.
    In classic automobiles, a field where I was very involved for years, there is a whole class of rare cars beyond the good restorations, the rarest of all, the totally unrestored, original great cars such as unrestored 1934 Alfa Romeos, racing Ferraris from the early 1960s, original Cobras with original paint and wheels and the unrestored Bugattis that come to Pebble Beach every year, valued in many cases beyond the million dollar restorations at auction. A mint original early Ferrari, for example, is generally worth far more than a repaint, even if the repaint looks newer.
    The Mosin rifles went to a variety of soldiers and many were picked up and refurbished from the dead. Zaitsev's "Notes of a Russian Sniper" is considered by many to be the best account of Stalingrad from a Russian soldier's point of view, but many histories and films give insight into the unimaginable horror and uncertainty of the Nazi invasion and the Great Patriotic War that followed. All this is somehow part of the mystique of an unrestored Mosin, at least to me, and much of it disappears when the finish is "restored" and the stock sanded down and the battle scars removed. Well, enough ghost hunting...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mosinmeister View Post
    No, but they can shoot 1,000 meters.
    I knew someone was gonna bust my cocking knob when I put yards

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    Quote Originally Posted by FIVESHOT View Post
    That is an excellent job of restoration

    without any other regard .





    Fiveshot
    I'm sorry, but no, it's not. The OP did not "restore" anything. He robbed a common, but historic rifle of its lineage and past. He has the right to do so, but I do not think that "collectors" of military rifles should be joining arms and singing "Kumbaya" like they are doing here. I'm not saying the OP should be lynched or tarred and feathered, but I think that the deliberate lowering of standards in a Rodney King-like celebration of "can't we all just get along" is wrong. Look up the term, "defining deviancy down".
    Purists of the world, unite!

    “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”
    Samuel Adams

  40. #40

    Default

    I wasn't aware that refinishing a rifle that in all likelihood didn't need refinishing in the first place was a restoration....

  41. #41
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    530

    Default

    Others will parse "restoration" to precision; I'll just note that what we have here is a refinishing job. A nice one, too. But it certainly didn't "restore" the rifle to its original condition. To the contrary, it made any future restoration more difficult and less likely to be successful/accurate by obliterating cartouches and finish. The rifle is now pretty to look at, and probably no worse to shoot (shimming by trial and error could make up for the lost stock wood and altered mating of wood/steel), but I honestly wouldn't consider it for my collection for any more than $50. This is not to offend the workmanship of the refinisher; as I say, it's a nice job. But the subject of this forum is collectible Mosin rifles. The population of same is now reduced by one.

  42. #42
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    1,189

    Default

    It's your rifle, you have the right to do what you will to it...

    Myself and others here also have the right to dislike what you've done, and say so....

    And the sling is on backwards.

  43. #43
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Land of freakin' snow and ice
    Posts
    4,739

    Default

    I was wondering how long it was going to take for someone to point out the backwards sling
    "The sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament..."

    I'm starting, to suspect that I, don't know how to use commas.

  44. #44
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    NorthWest Alaska
    Posts
    2,045

    Default

    Theres many degrees of restoration and use.....

    Well, first, dealing with rust INSIDE the barrel was a 'save', good one for you.
    As well, removing cosmo pretty common, removing the varnish from the wood and oiling it is sorta common, (for folks who shoot them, and most likely to the soldiers who were issued them, they probly used vodka to remove the varnish and sunflower oil to oil the stock, ~~LOL!!~~ if at all).....but NOBODY....EVER......sands the wood. It too had cool inspector marks, just like the metal.

    I use , shoot, collect and paw over various Mosins, I make a living with a special M-39, and they definitly are cleaned and oiled........so there it is.

  45. #45
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    8,523

    Default

    The Mosin Man

    Okay, you now have the entire hysterectomy, how do you feel ? From gentle glove replies to sledge hammer purists blows.

    You can undo the entire experience by buying a refurb stock set (Rick Reich board sponsor has them) and your rifle is back

    on the planet as a common refurb post war 91/30 and all is well. Its a parts weapon like all refurb so this is not expensive nor

    a problem to accomplish. Chalk up the wood work to experience and I am sure someone will buy that shiny Tru Oiled stock

    or just use it as a range stock. All is not lost here. Original stocks (parts replacement to the purist) for refurbs are easily found.

    I would take one piece of advice offered: Before you refinish another Mosin or milsurp stock, pause and then not do it for all the reasons

    stated in the thread. $35 for a stock and your rifle is back to normal.

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