I've yet to hit the pawn shops, even though I keep reading all these great finds in them. Guess I need to make a stop at some once in a while.
Some of my 2005 pawn shop finds.
All early feature Underwood M1 carbine: $350 (not reworked, not import marked)
1915 Mexican-contract 7mm Arisaka carbine..a very rare and very valuable rife: $79
1961 Belgian Hi Power made for the Buenos Aires Police: $250
1947 license-build Colt Sistema 1927 1911A1: $250
1895 Chilean Mauser: $50
1875 French cavalry pistol: $200
M1895 Austrian Steyr long rifle: $95
Probably at least a dozen more really good finds.
1942 Lithogow #1 Mk3 Enfield, all matching, no FTR: $95
All I can say is stay out of pawn shops. It will leave much more for me.
I guess I shouldn't say it, but I hate you!!! Most of that has to do with the $79 Mexican Arisaka. I would love to see pictures of that. I've heard about them in a couple books, but that's about it. Good scores.
I should have pointed out that the Mex Arisaka was sporterized. So far I have spend an additional $200 for a correct early carbine stock, $35 to have the matchingbolt straightened, and another $35 to have the scope mount holes Tigged up. Right now it is at the gun engravers having the lower part of the Republica Mexicana repaired.
When it is all said and done, I will have about $400-500 in the rifle. Even so, it is so rare that I felt that was worth it. Very few of the carbines were made, only about 2k made it to Mexico. Most of the remainder were sold to Russian early in WWI where they were consumed in short order. Keep in mind that the Russians were losing about 250k rifles a month once the fighting started. Doesn't take long to run through huge numbers.
Also, as an oddball rifle to the Russians (7mm), they would have had few reasons to save any leftovers from the smelters.
During the Spanish Civil War, Stalin sold (for hard cash...gold) thousands of oddball and non-standard rifles and machine guns to his commie brothers. The sales of these weapons is detailed in considerable depth in the book Arms for Spain. IFAICR, he did not sell any Arisakas to the Republican commie forces.
What few we have are survivors of the Mexican Revolution that came across the river, examples found in Japan by our occupation forces and brought home, and possibly a few in Russian and other European collections.
Interestingly enough, the bore is in very good shape. I am guessing that it is chrome-lined as the Japs did on many of their rifles.
I rarely buy a sporterized rifle. Seldom is it worth the effort. However, after I saw the carbine and did some on-line research, I knew it had to be rescued.
And thank you for your kind words.
damn I think from now on I'm gonna start hitting them up once a week.