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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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Hey Family,

I wanted to post some pix here of a rifle that my father gave me a few weeks ago. He has had this as long as I can remember being alive and this is what he first taught me to shoot at the ripe old age of 8. Needless to say, it has a lot of sentimental value to me in the form of memories with my dad. As you can see from the pictures, it is in need of a lot of TLC and a seriously good cleaning. Improper storage, and lack of cleaning over the years has taken it's toll on this firearm.

I wanted to post the question to the group and find out your opinion of what my next move should be with this piece. Several things to take into consideration:

  1. I have no intention of selling this weapon and would one day like to pass it to either my son or daughter if they are genuinely interested in it.
  2. Ammunition is becoming scarce but there is always reloading to provide hunting rounds or target ammo. Any guidance on that would also be appreciated.
  3. Before I just start disassembling, are there any pitfalls that I may run into that would stop my restoration efforts, and...
  4. Should I restore this weapon at all? What is the value and will it destroy that value by doing a full stock off restoration complete with refinishing?
Let me know if you have any other questions that you need me to answer before you can give your opinion. I love guns (as is apparent by just being on this forum), but am not well versed in specifics of guns and I welcome your input.

J. Luke
 

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I can't give you a value. If it were mine, the only thing I might do to it is replace that buggered up front sight and maybe replace the twisted rear "swivel". It has a lot of character!
 

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I know little about these, but there are members here that will certainly help. Thanks for posting good pics. Good luck and welcome to TFF.
 

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While my S>L>O>W computer was whirring and buzzing, I read your comments about the rifle and expected to see a beaten-up Spanish '98. That is a pretty darn nice rifle as it is. A tad 'rough around the edges', but in great shape.

George is right about replacing the front sight blade and the rear sling swivel (that can be removed and carefully straightened). More importantly the sight blade. The metal looks very good. There are some old dried cosmoline stains on the bolt - but that will clean up nicely. There isn't much bluing wear, and the screw heads have not been buggered.

There are some mild dents in the wood, and the old finish is getting pretty thin. If it were mine I'd give it a good rub-down with several coats of linseed oil to preserve the wood.

Those '98 Mausers are pretty simple to take down. The very first thing you need to do is read up on the disassembly procedure. The second - and very important thing - is to get CORRECT gunsmith grade screw drivers so YOU don't bugger the screw heads. An ordinary, common flat tip screw driver is not a gunsmith tool. You need 'drivers that properly fit the screw heads.

If the bore looks as good as the outside - you are golden. A lot of these were shot with corrosive ammo and not properly cleaned afterwards - and ended up with pitted bores.

As far as ammo -there is a lot of old military surplus 8X57 ammo still on the market. A lot of this stuff is corrosive primed. What I do is buy this cheap foreign milsurp ammo and reload it round-for-round with U.S. commercial brass and modern non-corrosive primers. I pull the old ammo down with a kinetic puller and use the components (except the old brass case and primers).
 

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I think the front sight is original. It just has a lot of garbage on it. ( white paint?)
Can you give us a close up pic of the front sight taken from the muzzle end.
You are quite correct. My ancient computer finally caught up with the pictures. Yes, it looks like white paint not only on the front sight blade, but also on the rear sight as wello_O. I don't have any idea why it is there. Good thing is that it should be easy to clean off.

The only other item was that rear sling swivel. Once the steel butt plate is removed, it is only one of two things: Either one of the butt plate screws is very long and extends thru that swivel - OR there could be a wood screw hidden under the steel butt plate that retains that swivel. Either way - remove the swivel. Pad it well with 2 hard wood flat boards (to protect the swivel metal from being marred by the vice jaws) - put it in a vice and squeeze the bend out of it. Won't be perfect - but unless you know about it you'll likely never notice.
 

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Thanks guys, after I enlarged it and looked again, I see that it is just white paint. JUst get that paint off and straighten out that swivel and you are good to go. It truly is in great shape.
 

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It looks like some type of white was used to make the sights easier to see. The rear has it too.
 
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Hey Guys,

Thanks for all the great responses. Hey GRSCAT, here is a pic of the front sight. I removed the bolt and focused down the barrel so you could kind of see the bore. Not great light so it's the best I can do I'm afraid. I'm thinking that dad put that white paint on it so he could see it better in the woods while hunting. I tried to scrape it off with my thumb nail and it started coming right off. Maybe some denatured alcohol would take it off? Please advise. Sorry bout the big pictures. I took them with my iPad and don't have any compression software on it (yet). I'll get some linseed oil after the stock and take your advice on straightening the rear sling mount Jim Brady. I'll post some pics after I clean it up so you can see the results. It may take a few weeks so please be patient with me. Also, Jim, I may be back in touch w/ you once I can get a reloading setup into my shop. I need to learn more about that before I attempt to build my own bullets. ;)

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