First Gun Show - New 1891 ARG - Ooops
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Thread: First Gun Show - New 1891 ARG - Ooops

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    264

    Default First Gun Show - New 1891 ARG - Ooops

    Well, the trip to my first gun show was a bit disappointing. The name was "antique arms show." It was small, about 30 tables and mostly old rusty black power firearms and civil war stuff. I saw one "funny looking Mauser", which I later found out was a Springfield 1903.

    So, I headed home and was working on taking pictures of one of my rifles and lubing it with RIG grease, since I probably will not be shooting it. The phone rang and it was my friend, an FFL-01, who was running a table at the show. He knows that I am focusing on Argentine and Chilean Mausers. He told me that some guy had just walked in with an Argentine 1891 Mauser and wanted to sell it.

    The crest was scrubbed and I had just finished telling myself that I don't want any rifles in the collection without crests. He said that all the numbers matched and it looked to be in good shape. He asked me what I thought it was worth. I told him that from what I learned on this forum, a really nice one would be worth about $400, but most of the guys would probably want to pay $200 or $250. The phone kept breaking up, and he was itchy to get it for me, so he said "If I can get it for $250, I'll grab it for you." Then the phone cut out. We got connected again and I started asking questions trying to find out what it was like. E-series serial number. Seemed to have all the proper marks on the wood. Had an original barrel with firing proofs. Had the AG-shield on the stock, so probably a replacement. I asked to make sure serials on the magazine and cleaning rod also matched.

    So, he calls me back and says "Good news. I got it for you for $250. You're gonna like this one."

    Well, I go to pick it up. You can decide if the glass is half empty or half full.

    I look at the stock and it is one those light colored ones, with a few dark spots from cleaning solvent spills or something. It does have all the marks, but some marks are dented.

    The numbers all match, until I look at the bolt. It is a C-series. "The bolt is supposed to match? You did not ask me about the bolt." I had also forgot to ask whether the stock had been chopped and worried about that, but I figured if there was a cleaning rod it was probably OK.

    I look at the bolt and notice that it has the star instead of the cap and has the extractor in the middle of the bolt body, so it seems to be one of the original unmodified bolts.

    Then I look at the side of the receiver and notice a hole in the ejector housing. There is no ejector blade or screw.

    All this being said, I imagine you guys would not pay more than $150 for something like this.

    I am happy to have acquired an old style bolt, but it is not a perfect match for the picture in the Colin Webster book. The locking lug is small like the new style bolt, but the extractor is not close to the locking lug. It seems to be some sort of intermediate variant where they just trimmed down the locking lug. There is a supporting pin inside the receiver, but I have not figured out if it is properly placed to support the old position extractor.

    The other silver lining is that it has the correct short hand guard, but it is a very dark color and does not match the stock at all. However, my other 1891 has a long hand guard, which is not correct for A-series and it does not really match the color and texture of the lower stock. This short one seems to pretty much match the finish on my first one, so I might be able to return it to correct configuration.

    I guess it will be nice to have an 1891 that I can take apart without worrying about messing up my nice one.

    Since I know you like pictures, I will attach some.

    You can let me have it for paying so much for a rifle I did not even see pictures of. If anyone has thoughts on the short locking lug on the bolt, please comment.

    Oh, and if you have seen my other thread obsessing over the crest and tiny hands mark on my 1891, this new one seems to have another variant of the hands mark on the bolt sleeve. At this point I am convinced that there must have been quite a bit of variation back then.

    I also found some strange numbers on the front edge of the upper barrel band.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails locking lug - a on top c on bottom.jpg   my two - new on bottom.jpg   new tiny hands variant.jpg   new tiny hands variant on bottom.jpg   normal clasping hands.jpg   numbers on upper band.jpg  

    old style bolt picture from book.jpg   short handguard color matching.jpg  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Anchorage Ak
    Posts
    141

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    The short locking lug is fine it is the same as my c series Ive never seen one like in that picture you posted that must be what they looked like before they converted them and added the support pin for the extractor . Just have to see if the support pin is in the right spot, it seems like it would be because it still has early magazine style as it is a E series , you can get ejector box parts from springfield sporters still. I will tell you I have never paid more than 225.00 for any of my argies, most of them were around 100.00 to 150.00 everyone in ak wants bear blasters not these old guns. Main thing I look for is really nice bores and I will buy sported ones for cheap for parts. Aaron

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Manitoba,Canada
    Posts
    369

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    if there are some interesting aspects for you,then you shouldn't feel bad about the purchase. the most important lesson from this situation is about the third party purchasing something for you. a well-meaning friend thinks they are doing you a favour but really don't know what they are looking at or describing;a recipe for problems. cheers.

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  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    264

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    This may not be a prize for my collection, but I have had some fun with it. Today I took it apart and determined that all I need is the ejector blade and screw. It has the ejector spring, which you seem to have to buy the entire assembly to get. I guess I will have to make another $65 parts order, since $12 shipping on $13 worth of parts seems silly. But at least I know how to take apart the ejector. On the receiver, underneath the ejector I found an "E.N" mark to the right of the Ludwig Loewe manufacture markings.

    I also took apart the magazine, which I had been afraid to do on my other one. The number of tiny markings, even on the internal parts is amazing. This rifle has some markings not mentioned in the Webster book, i.e. markings where expected but different symbols. I am starting to think that there was a lot of variation in the early days.

    You are right about the third party recipe for disaster. This friend sees a lot of guns since he is starting to handle estate sales. I think I will ask if he would be willing to give me 20 minutes to train him on how to look at Argentine Mausers.

    I am going crazy with my digital camera. I am taking each of my rifles and basically doing an autopsy, taking pictures up and down each side in 6 inch increments and lots of pictures of each little detail. Before, when I would discover a crack or a scratch, I would drive myself crazy wondering if it just happened or if I had just not noticed it. This way I can check the original pictures to see. A bit obsessive, but if I had pictures of my beater Turk, I could know if the crack behind the receiver is because I shot 120 rounds through it or not.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    464

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    Its a good find. Now you have a decent rifle to shoot, a rifle that you are not worried about damaging or messing up. And at a fraction of the cost of your other. I look at it this way. Ground crests are a part of their history. It stinks, I wish all my rifles of one origin or another had their crests intact, but they don't. That is part of their history. That being said, the last 1891 I picked up was a crest ground rifle, with a chopped stock for $150. It came with several hundred rounds of ammo, most of it corroded junk I found after pulling bullets, and a set of dies. Maybe too much for $150, but I was happy to pick up a decent plinking rifle. I did not have a 91 to take to the range.

    A recommendation about your friend. I guess this depends on whether it IS a friend or not. Let this one go, it'll come out in the wash. He was genuinely trying to do you a favor. Chances are, he doesn't care about mausers, and doesn't really want to learn. Coach him a little as you go, but just tell him you want MAUSERS. Over time he is going to find all sorts of neat things, and you do NOT want to burn that bridge. I have an ex-coworker that used to tell me all the time when I came across guns to let him know. The first few times I did. Every time it was a hassle. Every time he asked a million questions. These were not rare collector pieces. Think factory Remington 700 or Winchester Model 12. I have another friend that wouldn't know the difference between an SVT-40 and a Argentine 1891. But he calls me whenever he comes across a gun. Regardless of the gun. I have gotten some gems because of him. He is supposed to be dropping off a Walther 22 trainer from pre-WWII. Haven't seen it yet, but looking forward to it. He had an elderly woman give him a P38 w/ the holster. Her husband, supposedly, shot down the pilot and captured him somewhere between D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge. Just gave it to him. Thought he would like it.

    Point is, if he is working estates, he will come across all sorts of items. Be open to what he has to offer, understand he needs to make a buck for his time, and from time to time buy a few items even if they are not REALLY what you want. It really helps towards that time that he finds some rare GEM you've only been dreaming of. I have a really close friend that we have been going to gun shows together since we were little kids. He commented that he really wanted a 98K. I told him I would keep an eye out. I called him one day and told him to stop by and to bring his wallet. I had found, in my opinion, the most beautiful ce 43 marked 98K anyone could ask for. It was a Russian capture, most of the waffenampts were struck, but it was not refinished. It had the most beautiful even wear pattern I had ever seen. Most of the metal was in the white, but not a spec of rust. Bore was excellent. We have bought and sold a lot of guns over the years. I charged him exactly what it cost me. $110. I could have put it on gunbroker and easily tripled my money..... that was about 3 years ago.

    Point is, he isn't a mauser guy. But he is a worthwhile contact to keep in good standing. I would be willing to be in the next 10 years, you get more goodies and won't remember this 1891 except when you look at it. When weighed against the other gems you got, it won't bother you a bit.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    10,427

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    Well said, Fal Grunt.

    JoeACTM, if your friend can send and receive text messages, list out the serialized parts for him to check, and teach him to send photos to you via text.

    I agree with Fal Grunt... having a friend on the lookout for you is a great blessing.
    Nothing worthwhile ever comes easily.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    264

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    My friend let me use his lathe and I built the two Argentine 1891 bolt disasembly tools shown in the shop manual book and today I took the bolt apart from the remote-control gun show purchase gun. Well, wouldn't you know it, the tip is broken off the firing pin.

    I have learned my lesson and I bet that walk-in guy at the show was laughing all the way to the bank on his way home.

  9. #8

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    Firing pins are easily repaired by a qualified gunsmith or a good machinist. Braze a new tip on, turn it to the proper diameter and length and go shoot it. Last time I had one done (about 20 years ago) the cost was under $10 for the work.

  10. #9
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    Feb 2017
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    264

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    TP,

    Good to know. I thought I had read something about that in the shop manual book. Maybe another project for me on my friend's lathe at the machine shop? I will ask him if he will put the tip on for me. He has been welding himself a massive reloading table out of some old machine he had lying around. Another friend of mine is always welding new things to turn his Audi into a rocket ship with jet engine, but he is always busy.

    Thanks.

    Joe

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    711

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    Quote Originally Posted by TP View Post
    Firing pins are easily repaired by a qualified gunsmith or a good machinist. Braze a new tip on, turn it to the proper diameter and length and go shoot it. Last time I had one done (about 20 years ago) the cost was under $10 for the work.
    Glad to hear that someone else does this too. I have a couple of rifles that had "clipped" firing pins that I repaired this way. I don't use a lathe, since trying to turn down a firing pin tip that is not supported at the end would be extremely difficult and likely result in a bent firing pin. I just use a grinder, then a file, then hardening compound on the very tip. Has the "safety first" crowd weighed in on this?

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz1255 View Post
    Glad to hear that someone else does this too. I have a couple of rifles that had "clipped" firing pins that I repaired this way. I don't use a lathe, since trying to turn down a firing pin tip that is not supported at the end would be extremely difficult and likely result in a bent firing pin.
    Not if you know what you're doing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz1255 View Post
    I just use a grinder, then a file, then hardening compound on the very tip. Has the "safety first" crowd weighed in on this?
    Not yet. Keep in mind that everyone does what works for them, your method will work too, it's just not as precise.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    711

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    TP, can you share a procedure for turning down the end of a firing pin tip? Specifics like lathe RPM and type of bit you used? Maybe there is a Youtube video?

  14. #13

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    Fritz, I have not done it myself, the work was done by a friend who was a professional gunsmith with over 40 years of experience. He did not weld it, I can say that after the work was done the only way that you could see that it was done was a small hint of braze at the seam. The repair to the pin has held up very well.

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