Question for "gun experts" (Uncle Jacque?)

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Tom C
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Question for "gun experts" (Uncle Jacque?)

I like to collect old military guns. It is a weird hobby, if I was just to show one to someone not familiar with them and what to look for, they would just look like dirty wood and metal sticks. However, for us "milsurp" guys, each type has a little story to tell and little piece of history attached to it.

Anyway, now that the French are our friends again I am looking at major French pieces. The Mle16 is a WWI type, equivalent to the Austrian M95. [url=http://gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=71060606] I saw one advertised on gunbroker here.[/url] The wood is rough, but could be refinished. The metal is described as " HAS ABOUT GOOD BORE WITH BRIGHTNESS AND FROSTING IN THE GROOVES. THE METAL SURFACES ARE A THIN PLUM BLUE". It was from a guy in Whitfield, Maine who has a lot of sales on gunbroker.

I received the gun and stripped it, and here is what the metal looked like (it's a big picture, so you might have a long download, but the detail is good):

Note the deep pitting along the barrel and the receiver. I think this gun is a "wallhanger," and was misrepresnted.

NRA grading standard for "modern" guns (guns manufactured after 1899) are as follows:

---------------------

MODERN CONDITIONS

New -- not previously sold at retail, in same condition as current factory production.

Perfect -- in new condition in every respect.

Excellent -- new condition, used but little, no noticeable marring of wood or metal, bluing perfect (except at muzzle or sharp edges).

Very Good -- in perfect working condition, no appreciable wear on working surfaces, no corrosion or pitting, only minor surface dents and scratches.

Good -- in safe working condition, minor wear on working surfaces, no broken parts, no corrosion or pitting that will interfere with proper functioning.

Fair --in safe working condition, but well worn, perhaps requiring replacement of minor parts or adjustments which should be indicated in advertisement, no rust, but may have corrosion pits which do not render article unsafe or inoperable.

------------------------------

I note that in "fair" condition material deficiencies should be "indicated in advertisement." I don't even think this is "fair" - I think the pitting is deep enough to render the gun unsafe, and therefore should have been indicated in the advertisment. I can't imagine a gunsmith would take a chance on getting sued by recommending the gun be fired.

So, I think it is "poor" condition, and I think his description of the metal was wildly misleading.

So I felt the gun was misrepresented - and I thought therefore I should be refunded not only the purchase price - but also refunded shipping both ways.

Seller says "tough noogies - that's not my policy, I will refund price only - NOT shipping." Note how his shipping costs were an incredible $35 - although he did ship in a nice $12 hard case. If I keep the case I am going to be out $23 on the original shipping plus about another $15 to ship it back - I think I will be out almost $40 because HE misrepresented the gun.

Am I out of line here? What recourse - small claims court, maybe?

Bigshooter
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Question for "gun experts" (Uncle Jacque?)

Let me see what I can do. I will make a few calls on your behalf if you would like.

Bigshooter
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Question for "gun experts" (Uncle Jacque?)

Dupe. Sorry.

pmh
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Question for "gun experts" (Uncle Jacque?)

It happens I have a .303 British that quite literally might have seen the evacuation at Dunkirk.......

Tom C
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Question for "gun experts" (Uncle Jacque?)

Thanks, I'd appreciate that.

I'll send you the email file if you like, (the tone is "civil but firm" on both sides!) but the info is in the above post.

If I am all wet, somebody let me know!

:-)

Brent Dickey
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Question for "gun experts" (Uncle Jacque?)

Your profile says "Brunswick" and it's 30 miles to Whitefield. Why didn't you just drive over and pick it up? :?

Country
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Question for "gun experts" (Uncle Jacque?)

From the link to the seller at Gunbroker...

[quote]RETURN POLICY:
All firearms come with a 3-day (M-F) inspection/return privilege. The inspection period begins at the time of delivery to your dealer or if antique, delivery to you. It is the buyer's responsibility to inspect the gun in this time frame. In case of a return, the buyer pays all shipping costs. This does not cover items damaged in shipment; you must save the damaged shipping box and file a claim with the appropriate shipping company. All returned items must be in the exact condition that they left us. Inspection does not include firing of the firearm, if the buyer does fire the firearm at any time during the inspection period, the sale is considered final.
. Please ask questions or ask for more pictures before bidding if you are unsure of anything about this item.[/quote]

I'd say the seller laid things out pretty well. And, like BrentD says, why didn't you just drive over to Whitefield? Doesn't seem like it would cost 35 bucks worth of gas.

Tom C
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Question for "gun experts" (Uncle Jacque?)

I am in Brunswick only on weekends, and that is my time with the kids. I am in Bridgton during the week, and can't really get out of town. I didn't know Whitfield was 30 miles from there, maybe I could have managed something on a Saturday, though last weekend I was taking care of a family member who was in an accident. I suppose I could have done something, but I didn't know it was that close.

Yes, his policy is that the buyer ALWAYS pay shipping regardless of whose "fault" it is. And that is to prevent folks from retuening items in the case of buyer's remorse, etc, which isn't the case here - I would like an excuse to keep this gun, but not if I can't shoot it.

I's say by misrepresenting that description, he voided any "policies" he might have. Why should he be able to truthful with some items, (the return policy) but not truthful with others (the description) ? His descripion should have as much "weight" as his return policy.

I agreed to buy the gun as fairly described - so by not following the generally accepted NRA grading guidelines with respect to disclosure,the entire agreement is therfore void, and I think he should take responsibility for his misrepresentation.

Brent Dickey
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Question for "gun experts" (Uncle Jacque?)

Tom..in your opinion he misrepresented the gun. The guy has 1140 feedbacks with 2 negative and 2 neutral. You don't get those kind of numbers by not giving a fair representation of condition nearly every time. The return policy was black & white and it has nothing to do with buyer's remorse. Some people are just hard to please, others just grade things differently.

I bought a gun off GB that was clearly not as described and I wasn't happy. I cleaned it up a bit and relisted it on GB with an honest description and sold it for $20 more than I paid. When I buy online I figure I own it. Getting into a p*ssing contest with a seller and paying return shipping fees just isn't worth it, especially if you have to pay a dealer transfer fee when the gun ships.

If you call him and drive over to Whitefield he'll probably refund your money. Probably sell you another gun too :D

LarryB
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Question for "gun experts" (Uncle Jacque?)

For what it's worth, it looks as if most of the pitted areas are in spots that are covered by the stock. Perhaps the seller was unaware of the pitting?

Tom C
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Question for "gun experts" (Uncle Jacque?)

Thanks for your note. He does have good feedback, and I think he just didn't look at the gun carefully. But then again, I have better feedback, in as far as I have perfect feedback. But that doesn't change the facts of this particular case. I held up my end, I expect that he should hold up his end - which is deliver the gun described, or take responsibility. It's very simple.

Basically, I think the gun is NRA "poor" and should not have been held out as he held it out. I am not going to pass this turkey off to the next guy, and if this is not resolved I will post feedback accordingly.

If you think I am wrong about the his misrepresentation of the gun, then tell me. I really don't care how the other 1100 folks made out. I am dealing with one transaction only and I just don't see where I am wrong here.

Brent Dickey
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Question for "gun experts" (Uncle Jacque?)

If you think he misreprepresented the condition then you're not wrong but he offered you a refund according to the terms of his auction. You give him a negative and your perfect feedback is history.

Hope this turns out well for you and remember...caveat emptor!

UncleJaque
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Buyer Beware!

Whenever you buy a mail - order gun, you are taking a bit of a gamble - especially when dealing with these old relics.

Frequently most of the serious pitting is under the stock wood where you can't see it without dismounting the barrel / receiver assembly. But if you've got much more than about 1/16" deep pits in there, (use a dental pick to poke out loose rust, dirt etc.) then structural integrity is probably compromised enough so that firing the piece is not recommended. There well may be invisible cracks or flaws in the steel at that point that could render a weapon patently unsafe.

If the Seller did not pull the action, he may not have known how badly pitted it really was - so I might give him a little benefit of the doubt on that.

About your only recourse in this case is to eat the shipping costs (or drive it back up to him if you're in the Whitefield area) in a return or keep it for parts / display / make a floor lamp out of it and consider it a lesson learned. And if GunBroker has a "feedback" feature like e-bay does (I think they do) render unto the seller accordingly. That at least might help a future buyer think twice before dealing with this bloke.

In dealing with various Importers and suppliers of guns on my "Curio and Relic" FFL (you might want to look into getting one if you don't have one already) I have learned - usually the hard way - which ones to patronize and which ones to avoid.

One of the better ones IMHO is AIM;

http://www.aimsurplus.com/

I do a lot of business with

http://www.centuryarms.com/

...and have gotten some really good bargains on their monthly specials and "U-Fix-Ems". Now those are really a goody grab bag; no returns. You pays yo money and takes yo chances - but I've been really lucky so far. One thing to remember about Century is that they sometimes - although not always - can be a little "optimistic" about their grading.

"Inter - Ordnance" is one that I steer clear of; I bought a couple of K-98 Mausers from them once advertised as "good", and they were real rustbuckets. The bores looked like stovepipes after a hard winter and lots of softwood, they looked like they'd been dipped in tar, and the barrels & receivers were pitted about like your old Mdl. 16 there.
They gave me a bunch of guff about return, so I ended up cleaning them up best I could and sold 'em to about break even. Live and learn.

That French klunker is in that odd, potbellied 8mm rimmed cartridge, isn't it? About like the 8X50mmRimmed of the original STEYR 1895 yankoutenshovinskis. Most of them were converted by the Nazis to a longer 8mm and later to the standard 7.92 X 57mm Mauser - which was pushing their luck a little at the very least.

Those straight pulls always had trouble with extraction; sometimes the only way to extract an empty was to put the butt on the ground and stomp on the bolt handle with your foot. Not something you'd want to be doing in the middle of a battle, and a good way to break an extractor and put yourself out of business.

My latest project is a "Threefer" from Century (a special where they offer 2 - a "Twofer" or 3 rifles at a discounted price) on M-24/47 8mm Mausers.

(Let's try this after editing & resizing in PhotoBucket;

.................[img]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v53/UncleJaque/ARMS/RIFLE%20-%20MAUSER...

(There; that fits a wee bit better, eh?)

I'm converting one of them into a 7.62 X 51mm (.308) 20" barrel carbine, but will probably leave the other 2 in 8mm, as they have what appear to be new, arsenal refurbished barrels with cherry bores.
My intent was to convert them all to .308, but the barrels are a real bear to wind out on these things, and it would be a shame to waste these new barrels. The old 8mm is a pretty capable round in it's own right.
I'll cast about for some other klunkers to monkey with - perhaps an M-58.

In the picture they are pretty much as I receive them via UPS at my door; all slathered in "Cosmoline", a thick, sticky preservative grease.
Plan on at least a couple of hours detail stripping the piece down and cleaning the goop off of all those itty-bitty little parts. I have cleaned two of these Mausers up while the other one - which although adv. as "Good - Cracked Stock" is at least VG to Exc. dark blued metal and VG repaired and a little dinged-up stock. The handguard and many of the parts appear to be new / unissued.

The stocks are so oil saturated that I'll have to bake it out of them (the dashboard of a car in hot weather works pretty well - with plenty of rags under the stock to keep the oil off of the dash, of course).

If any of you are interested in one of them, drop me a PM. I usually only sell to people I know (or friends of people I know who will vouch for them) or a fellow FFL holder, or a Police Officer, by the way.
I gave up doing the Uncle Henry thing with guns some time ago.
Selling guns directly to unlicensed people who I don't know is legal, I suppose, but I don't consider it to be a real safe policy.

If you really enjoy messing around with or collecting these old guns, you might enjoy:

http://www.gunboards.com/forums/

I do!

Tom C
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Question for "gun experts" (Uncle Jacque?)

Merci, mon oncle. Vous l'homme!

I came to the same conclusion you did about the thing being dangerous, and pitting usually goes deeper than you can see, and I like my face where it is, thank you very much. I think it would be plain irresponsible to try to pass this off onto someone else, and when I return it I want him to actually see the damage so he doesn't try to pass it off to the next guy. It was just a plain wrong thing to do in my opinion, and if he didn't know then he knows now.

Making it square would be a simple matter, but he doesn't seem to be interested in that. Most of my experiences with mail order have been good, but there have been a few bad ones, and this is one of them.

I have a C&R and Herb at Century sends me regular emails and even called me today. The milsurp market is drying up, Herb told me that NO MORE GUNS FROM YUGOSLAVIA due to a UN treaty. Glad I just picked up an M47 and an excellent condition SKS - I am seeing SKSs going for over $200 from the importers now. Right now there are good deals on AK-74 clones (WASR-2s, etc, in 5.45x39) and it is one of the only types of ammo you can still get for $120 a case.

What I NEED though, is a nice French MAS49 in original 7.5, preferably with the boot. I will pay up to $325 if someone has a nice one they could part with.

This is the nice MAS 36 I picked up recently:

The thing was rearsenaled and put in storage by the French, and still had the storage papers attached. It has some waxy, gunky stuff all over it, and the thing is PERFECT. I am afraid to shoot it - it is so beautiful! Countersunk bore, just a pretty gun. Bolt is a little sticky, though, for some reason the entire bolt is parkerized, and is rubbing against a parkerized receiver. A little dab of grease will do there nicely.

Ordered the 7.5 cases, and then off I will go!

Good luck with your Century "cracks". I might be interested in a Yugo M48 if you can fix the stock up nicely.

Editor
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Question for "gun experts" (Uncle Jacque?)

Gentleman -

If you're going to post [b]pics please size/resize them[/b] so they don't distort (i.e. make TOO WIDE) these threads. If you have any questions feel free to email or PM me.

Thank you.

skf

LarryB
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Re: Buyer Beware!

[quote="UncleJaque"]The stocks are so oil saturated that I'll have to bake it out of them (the dashboard of a car in hot weather works pretty well - with plenty of rags under the stock to keep the oil off of the dash, of course).[/quote]
That's exactly what I did today! The dashboard method works real well. Sometimes I use a heat gun to get rid of real heavy cosmoline. I'm working on a Type 38 Turkish Mauser.

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