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Old 01-21-2010, 05:03 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
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Mannlicher Schoenauer? Model? Value?

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I would appreciate any help on my Mannlicher 1903 rifle. I think at least to me there are special factory extras on this rifle. It has a popup tang sight and a rear sight with five folding leaf sights. The front sight has a spring cover that folds over and with a finger nail you lift up the sight post. The stock shows quite a bit of wear but no cracks. The stock and barrel have the same 4 diget serial number. The bore shows strong rifleing. If I have the stock refinished does the rifle lose value? If I decide to sell it what would the range of value be.

Link to the Mannlicher photos is included here

Thanks for your help. Booba
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Old 01-21-2010, 05:23 PM
The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Location: Mesa, Arizona
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Please review the last "sticky" at the top of this forum regarding firearm values.

If the rifle is a classic model, any refrubrishing will detract from value.

Resell value is what the buyer is willing to pay and the seller willing to accept.
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Old 01-21-2010, 05:43 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Rolla Missouri
Posts: 858
I would not refinish the rifle....leave it alone just clean it up and do that carefully...what caliber is this one? If it is 6.5 x54mm then brass will have to either be fabricated or you will have to pay big bucks for it. Buying 6.5 x54mm loaded ammo is next to impossible in the US. Of course, it could be anyone of a dozen other chamberings. I have seen several rifles of this vintage and all had similar accessories...In addition to the flip up tang sight, there was a striker sight that was common.
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Old 01-21-2010, 06:34 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2009
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Without a doubt, I would not re-finish the stock. Use all the tricks including steam to clean up the wood as best you can. When finished, wipe it down with Birchwood-Casey Stock Sheen. A friend of mine drove some 400 miles up to up to Maine to buy a 4-digit M-S like yours. He knew the seller but didn't want to take the chance on losing it. He paid a handsome amount of money for it. This is one of those rifles you should keep.
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Old 01-22-2010, 02:00 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 4
Hi Booba

I have a rifle that is very similar to yours although without as many extras. As far as I'm aware, it is the take-down version of the Model 1903 M-S rifle. Mine is in 6.5x54. When I've worked out how to post pictures I'll show it to you. I can't tell from the photos but I assume the front sight on your rifle can be switched between a standard post and the ivory insert, which is intended for dim light or night shooting. I don't have that feature on mine , or the multi-leaf express sights (just two), or the opening horn cap on the pistol grip. I do however have the retractable peep and the trap in the butt stock etc.

I would think long and hard before I launched into a serious clean-up operation. If you decide to steam some of the dents and gouges from the stock you will have to completely refinish it. The steaming will raise the grain so the surrounding wood will have to be sanded back to get a smooth finish. If you decide to do that I'd just hand rub it with linseed oil. This has to be done slowly using very small amounts of oil each time, and rubbed into the wood until it completely disappears. However, although very labour intensive, the end result is very attractive. A proper job would take months to complete. If you have a competent firearms restorer in your area it may be a good idea to discuss your options with him. If you do refinish the stock you will probably have to get the checkering re-cut (otherwise it will look odd). Don't attempt this yourself unless you really know what you're doing. Generally speaking its a job for a professional. Although I understand the reservations expressed by some, I dont think these rifles are so rare that they shouldn't be restored and shot. The important thing is that any work is done properly! So, think about the options carefully before you take the plunge.
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Old 01-22-2010, 04:34 AM
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Posts: 168
A nice little trick is to use a very damp rag and a steam iron to raise any dents in the wood. You will not have to refinish the stock after doing this. They're only original once, so my vote is still to avoid refinishing.
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