Monday, October 24, 2005

Boomsticks: Silk purses from sow's ears..

There's something especially rewarding about taking a complete basket case of a firearm, and making it into something useful again.

At a shop I used to work at, we received a Turkish Mauser that had pretty much reached the end of the trail. Not one of Ankara's better re-arsenaling efforts to begin with, the gun was pitted, the bore looked like a mineshaft in coal country, the stock had more dings than the lunar surface, and, to top it all off, it didn't even remotely headspace. I was about to condemn it to life as a tomato stake, when I realized that I just couldn't pass up a chance at a good Oberndorf-made Mauser 98 action for only $35. With the addition of a Lilja barrel, Timney trigger, Boyd's stock, Leupold bases & rings, a Millett illuminated reticle scope, a few other odds and sods, and lots and lots of expert work by Shannon Jennings, the old Turk became a slick new sporter in .300 Whisper, complete with threaded muzzle, just waiting on me to spring for a suppressor. Although the gun you see in the picture below is still in the white, it has since been matte blued.

Making my rounds of area gun shops once upon a time, I stumbled across a real find: a pre-Series 70 Colt that was mechanically sound but cosmetically trashed by some guy's kitchen-table customization job, and therefore available cheap. Oh, well, you can't un-ring a bell, as they say...
Both Shannon Jennings and my friend Kaylee turned wrenches on this project, while I assisted with fretting, nagging, and making unreasonable demands. The replacement parts list is as follows:
Sights: Trijicon.
Slide stop: Wilson Bulletproof. (Not pictured.)
Thumb safety: Chip McCormick.
Hammer: Dlask.
Trigger: STI.
Grip safety: Ed Brown.
Mainspring housing: Smith & Alexander.
Sear & Disconnector: Ed Brown.
Teflon finish: Predator Custom.
The Springfield cocobolo stocks in the picture have since been replaced by a set of cordia wood stocks from Ahrends.
The result is a fine, unique pistol, that fits my hand and my needs like no other, and comes with a certain pride of ownership that "off the rack" just doesn't provide.


NotClauswitz said...

Sweeeeet Colt!

Anonymous said...


Wish there were some before pics tho, to see how much you accomplished!

I revitalized an Israeli Mauser 98K in 308 last year, wish I had some before pics from that.

New mil-spec Israeli stock with tung oil finish. Blonde wood!

Replaced ejector/bolt stop with one not worn to a nub.

Replaced all springs.

Replaced Mil-spec sights with Mojo peeps.

Stripped barrel and action, polished and deburred and then cold reblued with Oxpho. The glossy blue may not look original, but it is quite handsome, and I swear it's harder to damage than the factory bluing I have on my hunting guns.

Replaced Front band with one that has under-barrel swivel, so I can use a mil-spec sling for shooting, modified band spring from G98 to fit.

Future mods will likely include a new trigger, modified 20rnd magazine with spacer, and a new follower to push up the next round just a bit more.