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Mmm ... Wow! Well at least he likes the rifle.
I understand that everyone is on a budget and I like the make it from scratch thinking.
But to each his own ... I'm glad that its his rifle and not mine.
So much visual fail there - but if it works for him and hes keeping the rifle, good for him.
Personally I like Mosin's how they come stock. I can see the benefit in a longer bolt, maybe angled down a bit more (not 90 degrees like this BUbba gun) for more leverage and use with scope.
As for the finish choice - not my first choice either. Were I to refinish the varnished stock of a Mosin, I'd sand it well, give it a few coats of a good dark walnut stain, then matte clear coat, then wax to protect it all. But that's just my preference. I've got some wood projects I made 20 years ago in junior high that we did hand rubbed BLO on that have lasted and still get used - and it's OK but not my preferred finish by far.
My idea of "improving" a gun would be to make it better functionally, and aesthetically - not make it uglier. To each his own.
Ohboy - I went down the rabbit hole and clicked some other projects on the OP site - he has a version of a Mosin with a red dot on it. That must be one hell of a red dot to handle the recoil, but then again - probably not...
For years these rifles were $79.99 @ Big5, so anybody could own one and clearly did. They sure did go fully retard tacticool on a few. . .
I want to say I got my M38 from big5 and a couple of cases of ammo from either sportsmansguide or CTD for 69.99$ a case (which was a wooden crate with a galvanized liner and a tuna can key that had to be rolled along a seam to open). Now Sportsmansguide and CTD are on the gougewagon I havent ordered from them in years.