M1891 Argentine Mauser
I was cruising my regular circuit of gun
dealers on my day off, looking for a bargain, a sleeper, for cheap. My persistant routine
paid off that day at Dan's Guns in West Jefferson, Ohio. Sitting there forelorn in a rack
along side some M1 Carbines and Chinese SKS rifles was a battered M91 sporter. I examined
it. A Loewe M91, the bluing was excellent, but the empty weaver scope mounts were
chipped and scratched, the sculpted bolt handle was cracked to the verge of breaking,
there was no safety, the barrel had been hacked off to 23 1/2 inches, the front and rear
iron sights were gone, and the otherwise nice stock had a big crack in the grip area that
was held together poorly with a brass nail. A peek down the bore showed a nice shiney
tube, and I bargained the dealer down from the wishful $120 to a speculative $75. After
getting it home I found it also had a broken magazine spring. I was beginning to feel bad
about the whole gun, but I worked up some handloads and took it to the range the next day.
I fixed a cheap chinese 4x scope onto the gun and did a quick bore sighting. The initial
groups showed promise, holding all the shots into a 4" group at 100
yards, with the action shifting a bit in the stock, loose from the crack, and a gritty
trigger. (This turned out to be sand in the trigger group.) then on the next group,
the crack in the bolt handle gave way. But after all that, I felt good enough to let my
gunsmith take at rehabilitating this piece.
So the gunsmith fixed the bolt handle,
improving the angle of it in the process, installed a Buehler low scope safety, a new
magazine spring, artfully repaired the crack in the stock and then put in a new brass nail
in the nail hole and finished off the ends to an almost factory appearance. He also
installed a front ramp sight and an adjustable rear ramp sight. Other touches unasked for,
but appreciated were a replacement of the chipped aluminum scope bases w/ steel ones, a
knurling of the bolt stop (the normal tab that extended over the rear receiver bridge
having been cut off) for easy bolt removal, a knurled tab in the front magazine retaining
screw . I added sling swivels, a nice leather sling, Millet scope rings and a Simmons 3x9
scope. Now it looks and shoots like a champ. With factory ammo it will shoot 2.5 groups.
Handloads hold promise of much better accuracy.
|Note the exaggerated
pistol grip. A bit out of style, but very comfortable for my large hands.
Here the gunsmith installed a knurled tab on
the front magazine retaining screw. Now it is much easier to remove the magazine if need
Here you can see the brass stud where the grip
repair was made. The break itself is well hidden now. The Buehler low scope safely is
visible, as is the rear Millett scope site.
And for backup when the scope fails, an nice
front/rear site set.