Monday, January 19, 2009

Ghetto Gewehr, MKI

(Yes, in case you're wondering, this is old)

A few years ago, Old Western Scrounger and some other places were selling complete Gewehr 1888 Commission Rifles (minus the bolt and the ever more elusive bolt head) for quite a bargain.  For $65 you could get 7 junk rifles that were most likely serviceable.  They had been sitting in piles in South American warehouses for about 70+ years.  As you got closer to the bottom of the pile, the quality of the rifles got junkier and rustier.  This is one of the last ones.  No stock, no metal shroud.  Pretty worthless.  In fact, you can still get these barreled receivers for approximately $10 at UPDATE: they only sell M71's now which are in the worst possible condition.  Parts are quite rare for the M71, so don't bother!  Additionally, there are too many moving parts on the M71 compared to the G88 that trying to derustify the M71 is impossible.  The G88 has very few moving parts on the reciever so all you need is a working bolt.

When I received the barreled action, the thing was quite nasty.  It was covered orange with rust.  After applying liberal amounts of machine oil (didn't wanna waste any of that fancy WD40) and scrubbing the hell out of it with metal scouring pads (steel wool) the metal started to turn a dark black. Buffing up pitted spots with more oil + stainless dremel tool, there was some white metal starting to come through that 70 years of rust.  I lopped off the the barrel to the legal minimum of 16.25 inches, scrubbed the bore with a brush wrapped in steel wool (the roughest grade possible), and drowned the entire thing in Casey's Cold Blue.  The stock is just a 2x4 of pine.  I scrawled a half-assed shape that vaguely resembled a rifle stock, carved it out with a hacksaw, carved a rectangular hole inside the stock for where the barreled-action would go, sanded it down, and plashed some red varnish on it.  Hmmm... Pretty hideous!  I used a super hardening epoxy to match the reciever to the wood and let it sit.  After that I wrapped the barrel in some twine just for the hell of it..  Finally, I added a cartridge holder for laughs.  Holy crap, is this thing hideous or what?

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