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Sporterised 98

Article about: Normally I wouldn't waste your time with a sporterised rifle but this one is a little special. I bought it 27 years ago to quite frankly harvest the scope and Lyman rear sight to put on a hu

  1. #1

    Default Sporterised 98

    Normally I wouldn't waste your time with a sporterised rifle but this one is a little special. I bought it 27 years ago to quite frankly harvest the scope and Lyman rear sight to put on a hunting rifle I was building at the time. I had allways wanted a Lyman Alaskan and this one while a little rusty was internally perfect. The whole package cost the princly sum of 50 bucks which is what the Lyman sight alone was worth so I was getting a good deal.

    Being me however I decided to see how it would shoot so up to the Winchester Canyon Gun club I went and found to my annoyance that they were shooting a Running Deer competition and if I wanted to shoot that day I would have to pay my money and do the shoot. I got them to at least hold the target at one end so I could adjust the scope and then run back and hopefully shoot for record on the section back.

    What is funny is I zeroed the rifle on the outgoing run and won the match on the way back! I decided to leave it as it is and have used it on several hunts including a hunt in New Zealand about 10 years ago.

    Whoever put the rifle together was a true master gunsmith. You would swear that it has a 5 oz trigger but in fact it breaks cleanly at 3 pounds with zero creep and other than the stock damage it is in 100% mechanical condition.
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  2. #2
    Seanpmc1
    ?

    Default Re: Sporterised 98

    I've been gunsmithing for about 20 years, and you are right. Whoever built that Rifle was a Master Smith.

    Back before they made it so difficult to get a FFL, I built a lot of PPC style Pistols and Revolvers. Never did much rifle work other than Glass bedding and trigger jobs, but I have seen many sporterized Mausers and yours is definitely among the finest I've ever seen.

    I see the date on the scope mount, but the european style cheekpiece, the style of checkering, and the finish on the stock alone tells me that Rifle was built well before WWII, or very shortly after. The checkering style looks similar to what was in style in the early 20th century.

    Every sporterized Mauser, or '03-A3 that I have seen that was built in the 50's or 60's were gaudy compared to yours. High-combed Monte Carlo stocks and either Birds-eye, or Curly Maple were used on ost that I've seen from that era, and the few that had Walnut stocks were made from highly figured Walnut. I think all that gaudiness was inpired by Weatherby's influence on the market.

    Regardless of when it was made, I would keep it in my collection simply as an example of true craftsmanship.

  3. #3
    Seanpmc1
    ?

    Default Re: Sporterised 98

    Looking at the pics again, it also looks like it had "Express" style rear sights at one time. That filled dovetail under the objective lens on the scope is too long to have been a regular style rear sight.

    The presence of the express sight dovetail makes me wonder if the rifle wasn't sporterized in England. Or it could have been built in the English style specifically for an American hunter as a "light" rifle for an African hunt.

  4. #4
    ?

    Default Re: Sporterised 98

    Beautiful rifle,wish it was mine.
    JEDEM DAS SEINE

  5. #5
    Seanpmc1
    ?

    Default Re: Sporterised 98

    I thought about that Rifle some more last night, and with the "US 1908" import stamp on the reciever, plus the European Lines and Schnabel fore-end, I did some searching.

    I believe that Rifle of yours is a Factory built sporter, not a converted military model. And although I didn't see any hard prices listed, its worth far more money than you think it is.

    Look at this one.

    Photos of my Model M Mauser Oberndorf Factory Sporting Rifle - The C&R Sporting Arms Forum - General Gun Collecting - ParallaxBill's Curio & Relic and Military Surplus Firearms Forums - Message Board - Yuku

    Although it has a full length stock instead of the 3/4 "schnabel" stock that yours has, the express rear sight is still extant, and in the same place as yours. This one also has Double "set" triggers, and a "Spoon" style bolt handle, but those were, and still are an option with Mauser and Steyr sporting rifles.

    Whoever sold that Rifle to you for $50 was either a fool, or simply didn't realize that Mauser built factory Sporters.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Sporterised 98

    Hello seanpmc,

    Wow, that is the beast for sure. Because of the way the Lyman was placed I assumed it was a sporterised rifle but clearly I was very wrong! What is amusing is I bought it from a gunshop in Santa Barbara and they were going to junk it for parts! Now I just need to find a replacement set of express sights!


    Cheers
    Gary

  7. #7

    Default Re: Sporterised 98

    I did some searching on the web and you are correct, I was able to find 3 other rifles that were matches for this one in the way they were set up with the stock etc. and you were doubly correct, they are bloody expensive!
    Quote by Gary Cain View Post
    Hello seanpmc,

    Wow, that is the beast for sure. Because of the way the Lyman was placed I assumed it was a sporterised rifle but clearly I was very wrong! What is amusing is I bought it from a gunshop in Santa Barbara and they were going to junk it for parts! Now I just need to find a replacement set of express sights!


    Cheers
    Gary

  8. #8
    Seanpmc1
    ?

    Default Re: Sporterised 98

    Quote by Gary Cain View Post
    they are bloody expensive!

    Thats why it always pays to look in Pawn Shops and places like that. Sporterized Military Mausers are a dime-a-dozen, but there are a whole lot of people that don't even associate Mauser with Factory built hunting rifles, and the few that do think of the modern ones.

    One of my cousins just bought a Savage Model 99 in .250 Savage built around 1920. His was a standard grade, but in nearly NIB condition. He wouldn't tell me what he gave for it, but he did say it was over $1000, and that was after a lot of shopping around.

    I would imagine that with plenty of competition from Remington, Winchester, and Savage at the time, there probably weren't a whole lot of those factory Mausers imported to the US. Hard telling what its worth to the right collector.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Sporterised 98

    Yes I hit the pan shops pretty frequently but the two best gun finds I've ever had were at gunshops, this one (and a big thank you for doing the research to find out what exactly this was BTW!) and a very early military Mauser K98k that was duffel cut in the consignment barrel for 165 bucks.


    Cheers
    Gary
    Quote by Seanpmc1 View Post
    Thats why it always pays to look in Pawn Shops and places like that. Sporterized Military Mausers are a dime-a-dozen, but there are a whole lot of people that don't even associate Mauser with Factory built hunting rifles, and the few that do think of the modern ones.

    One of my cousins just bought a Savage Model 99 in .250 Savage built around 1920. His was a standard grade, but in nearly NIB condition. He wouldn't tell me what he gave for it, but he did say it was over $1000, and that was after a lot of shopping around.

    I would imagine that with plenty of competition from Remington, Winchester, and Savage at the time, there probably weren't a whole lot of those factory Mausers imported to the US. Hard telling what its worth to the right collector.

  10. #10
    Seanpmc1
    ?

    Default Re: Sporterised 98

    Quote by Gary Cain View Post
    (and a big thank you for doing the research to find out what exactly this was BTW!)

    Not so much research, more like a tickle of recognition in the back of my brain.

    I've been immersed in firearms literally all my life. My entire family collects rare, or very high quality firearms. And since my family has stuck to their Irish roots, I have a very large and extended family. We still keep in touch with cousins that are so far removed that most people wouldn't even consider them relatives.

    Some of the family members have more money than others, and everybody seems to have their own particular flavor of firearms that they favor. One (rich) cousin happens to prefer the old Safari Rifles, and along with a couple of H&H Doubles, he also has several early 1900's Bolt rifles in lighter calibers. Thats why I recognized the Express Sight dovetail. The checkering style was the first thing that made me think it was pre-WWII, but noticing the dovetail made me realize what that Rifle was likely to be.

    As for thanking me, thats no problem. I would have hated to see you sell that Rifle without knowing what it was, and what it was likely to be worth.

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