I've inherited a rifle (photo attached) that is either an Oesterr Waffenfabr or a Mannlicher Schoenaur (or both?) manufactured in Austria. The rifle is in horrible shape, but I'm planning on restoring it as I think it could be a beautiful piece. I had a few questions I'm hoping someone can help me answer:
- I'm confused as to the two names stamped on the receiver - is one the make (Oesterr Waffenfabr) and the other the manufacturer (Mannilicher Schoenaur)?
- According to the patent mark, it looks like it was originally a 7x64, but may have been modified to shoot Rem 280? Is a casting the only way to confirm this?
- Stamped on the barrel and on the receiver is a "3500" - what does this number signify? Is this a model or lot number?
- I've seen a lot of postings about 1910 and 1908 models, but there is nothing to indicate the actual year of manufacture of this gun. Is there any way to tell when it was originally made and/or imported? I did find something on-line that indicated the 7x64 was manufactured around 1925, but would like to confirm, if possible.
- Again, I think this could be a beautiful piece of craftsmanship, and am not interested in selling it at this point. However, is there anything I should keep in mind while I'm restoring it, so as not to affect its value any more than the existing modification(s), i.e. should I fill chips in the stock? Any finish options other than re-bluing (durakote?). I think a gloss finish on the stock would be really nice, but maybe a hand-rubbed finish would be more historically accurate? Should I leave it with open sights, or would it be ok to mount a scope?
- How might the caliber modification and barrel stamp affect the collectability of this gun?
- On each side of the fore stock, there are two retractable tines. Someone PLEASE tell me these were used as spikes to anchor to a tree to stabilize the gun for long shots! What a simple, neat, and elegant advancement!