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Thread: Mauser Modelo Argentino 1909 in .30-06?

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    Member Seamus's Avatar
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    Mauser Modelo Argentino 1909 in .30-06?

    Hi There,

    Looking for help from the experts again.

    On another web forum I frequent, somebody posted a "wanted to buy" for an 8mm Mauser, explaining he wanted it to build-up a .300 Win. Mag. Well, as it happened, I had purchased a ".30-06" years and years ago. A few years ago I took it to a local custom rifle maker to find out if I could have anything interesting built of it. They told me it wasn't worth much, except for the receiver, which, they told me, was so strong they could chamber it for literally anything. They told me it was an 8mm that had been re-chambered for .30-06, but it'd never been re-barreled.

    Well, I took pictures and pointed this guy to them. He got very interested. That got me to wondering: Maybe this rifle is worth more than that builder had thought? I did a bit of research today, and it looks like these rifles go for anywhere from $350 to $650?



    Here are the pictures: Index of /misc/guns/broomstick The -sm ones are re-sized and bandwidth-friendly. The -lg ones are, well, large .

    There appears to be a bit of rust here and there. I just finished examining the chamber and bore. The bore looks clean and bright, with strong rifling. Inside the receiver, just outside the chamber, however, looks like it had once rusted, but it doesn't look like dry, active rusting. Curiously, there was no rust on any of the shiny bits--incl. the chamber itself. (Maybe all the rusting, if that's what it is/was, was from before it was re-chambered?) There's no pitting anywhere.

    Wish I had better lighting so I could take super-macro pictures with good depth-of-field and colour rendition of the chamber area.

    The stock (is that original?) has no dings, scrapes, nicks, etc. Except for that bit of rust on the bottom, by the screw forward of the magazine floor plate, the finish appears to be in good condition.

    My potential buyer, as I said, seems very interested, and is asking me to give him a number. Heck, I've no idea .

    Thanks in advance for any guidance

    Seamus

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    Really Senior Member Jim K's Avatar
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    The Modelo 1909 was originally chambered for 7.65x54. The barrel is oversize for .30, (it is .303" bore, .311" groove, vs .300" bore, .308" groove for the .30) but many thousands were re-chambered for .30-'06 by importers.

    The rear of the chamber is also a bit oversize so .30-'06 cases might swell a bit, but not to the danger point. Accuracy can range from fairly good to poor, depending on bullet and barrel tolerances. It is sometimes suggested to load .30-'06 cases with .303" bullets, but that is a bad idea as the chamber neck is cut with a .30-'06 reamer and won't allow case neck expansion. The result is excessive pressure.

    In the original caliber, with the crest, and in top condition, those guns can go for $800 or more. Rechambered, even if not sporterized, they usually run about $250-300, mostly for the action, which is an excellent one to use for a sporter.

    If you don't want to make an enemy, best tell the guy who wants to make it into a .300 Win Mag that the rifle will probably need a new barrel, not just rechambering.

    Jim

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    Senior Member Bill H's Avatar
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    I would agree, the action is worth $150 or so, and the rest of the gun not much.

    These .30-06 conversions done by re-chambering the original barrel were post WWII shortcuts, and not worth much.

    Some South American countries converted Mausers to .30-06 by reboring
    7mm or replacing 8mm barrels, and these are far better foundations for sporters, as the chamber and barrel dimensions are correct.

    The action is ok, but in this day and time, it is more economical to purchase a used model 700 or something like that, resulting in less investment and a far better gun in the end.

    I know this from experience, having several sporterized model 1909s, and several model 700s.

    Sell it to the guy for whatever he will pay, but please let him know he will not be getting a proper .308 barrel.

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    Thread Starter
    Thanks for the feedback, gentlemen.

    Trying to reconcile the "$250 - $300" vs. "$150" estimates--that's quite a difference. TBH: At $150 it's not worth my time to haul it back out of the safe and either drive half-way across the state or ship it.

    As for the barrel: I'm assuming he'll know what he's buying, but I'll be sure to caution him as per your recommendations. (I'll likely just point him toward this thread.) I've sold few things in my life, but I've always been up-front, some that know me say too up-front, regarding the things I've sold.

    Thanks,
    Seamus

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    Really Senior Member Jim K's Avatar
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    It is worth whatever the buyer will pay, regardless of guesstimates on here. Presumably, a buyer and a seller will agree on a mutually acceptable price.

    I have seen M1909's bought for the action go for $250 and other nice Mausers go for $100, so it is a matter of who is buying and where. At one time, those rifles were selling for under $50, but those days are gone and high quality Mauser actions are getting scarce. As for the end product being worth the money, they seldom are. By the time the owner makes a milsurp rifle into the equivalent of a Remington 700, he will have invested more than the cost of the Remington and will never get his money back on a sale. I have repeatedly stated my definition of sporterizing - Making a $200 gun out of a $1200 gun and spending $800 to do it.

    As to 7x57 and 8x57 converted to .30-'06 by rebarreling, that is another story, but some 7x57 rifles have been converted to 7.62x51 by reboring and using a filler type chamber, so caution with conversions is advisable.

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    Senior Member RED's Avatar
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    Jim K is right...

    It can cost a lot of money to make a Milsurp into a decent sporter. But I can tell you that it is not that simple. First of all, I would never cut up an original milsurp for that purpose but there are literally millions of them out there that have already been Bubbaized. I am by nature a bottom feeder and visit every junk store and pawn shop I come across. I can sometimes buy a Bubbaized Mauser for a song. I look for one that already has aftermarket parts installed (Low scope safety, bent bolt, scope mount, aftermarket trigger, etc, etc.).

    I am very patient and it may take several years and just like Johnny Cash and his Cadillac, I take it one piece at a time. I don't often have $750 - $1,000 dollars to spend all at once but I can afford $150 - $200 every now and then. I have had some lemons but I think it is a fun thing. Go to any auction site and search "sporterized." It works both ways, sometimes you find a gun that has not been altered except for the cut down stock which may be replaceable.

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    Really Senior Member jon_norstog's Avatar
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    Seamus,

    Somebody took a pretty nice rifle and messed it up. But a lot of people like 2 things about the '09 - the pear-shaped bolt handle and the fancy magazine floorplate.

    I had an '09 for a while and sold it. Kind of wish I still had it. The 7.65 is a pretty good round, more case capacity than the .308. Pity they had to turn it into an '06 with problems. Anyway, I agree with the consensus here p- tell the guy what the score is and ask him what the rifle is worth to him.

    Red, I agree with you on sporters. There's a zillion of them out there and some are pretty nice. A few are **really** nice. Someday people will value them, but that day has not arrived yet. But they really make sense for hunting rifles. You couldn't get that same quality metal, wood and machining on a modern commercial rifle for under a grand. And talk about cheap.

    PS. There is so such a thing as a pro-gun democrat. There's me, my brothers, and (Rep.) Walt Minnick for openers.

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    Really Senior Member Calif-Steve's Avatar
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    These rifles were converted in the USAicon. Argentinaicon used the 7.65mm cartridge for years. That rifle was a very common 1950's sporter job. He really cut the value in half. Nice hunting rifle, but the rifle needs a .310 bullet now. Good luck.

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    Ok, everybody, thanks very much for the time and knowledge you invested in replying to my questions.

    I'll point the guy asking about my rifle to this thread.

    Seamus

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    1909 sporter

    I have some personal experience with these rifles. My brother purchased a nice specimen for $49.95 or so back in 1971. It was also rechambered to .30-06. He added a Leupold scope and used it quite a lot as his only big game & coyote rifle. It shot very well with "the load" of Sierra 165's (.308) and 4350 powder. After a couple of thousand rounds, accuracy went from minute of golf ball to minute of basketball. It has since been re-barreled and is going strong in the hands of my nephew.
    My advice is to keep it for yourself and barrel it to a standard caliber of .25-06, .270, 7x57, .30-06, etc. What a beautiful piece of workmanship it is and you'll truly appreciate it more as time goes on.
    Last edited by Alkali; 06-04-2009 at 06:03 PM. Reason: deleted exact loading data

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