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Sporterizing a Mitchell's Mauser Yugo M48

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    Sporterizing a Mitchell's Mauser Yugo M48

    So my first high powered rifle was an old Yugoslavian M48 Mauser, distributed by Mitchell's Mausers. I have since learned that Mitchell's has a reputation for renumbering their guns to claim "numbers matching." Because of this, it seems M48s that carry the Mitchell's name are automatically devalued. On the flip side, almost all of "gun YouTube" seems to agree that the M48 will pull a Mosin and skyrocket in value as supply dwindles. I've got two opposing forces at work here.

    Well, I want to sporterize the thing. 8mm Mauser is a good round, if not obscure, and I'll probably get more use out of the gun as a field gun than a hole puncher. You guys seem to have Opinions (tm) on bastardizing collectible stuff, so I kinda wanted to get your thoughts on it.

    Think I should keep it all original (at least as far as Mitchell's go...), or should I field it up and make it a nice deer gun?

    So I was in a similar situation. My first gun was a Lee Enfield No 1 Mk 3* .303 British.

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    Partially sporterized when I got it, I carried in the woods for a number of years deer hunting. Well when that darn rear sight designed for trench warfare that's half way up the gun caused me to miss a huge 8-point buck I stuck it in the closet and went and bought a newer gun with a scope.

    Well I have a bit of a distaste for "safe queens" so after a while I had to so something with it. My choices were attempt to restore, which would have been a long slow process inevitably ending in the sale of the gun, or a full proper sporterization, Well, this is my first gun, extreme sentimental value. Yep, not going to sell it, so it would have been a waste of time to attempt to restore it. A lot of time, money, and effort for it just to sit.

    Instead I said to my self that gun owes me an 8-point buck. So a quick visit to the Boyd's website and a rather long search for a sight rail that didn't suck (well, sucked slightly less than others), and I had something a bit more practical...

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    And wouldn't you know it, opening morning the very first time I used the completed gun to go hunting a nice big 8-point buck found it's way into the crosshairs.

    So now over the years since I have gone through a couple different rifles I consider my "main" rifle for hunting, but the old .303 is sitting right along side it in the truck.


      Call it three opposing forces. Matching numbers or no, sporterizing universally kills collector's value.

      Do what you want, honestly. I like them original. But sporterizing them used to be really common, especially rebarreling or just rechambering, to the point it is (or was) exceptionally easy to find new barrels in whatever you wanted. And done well, they can be really pretty.
      I just vote to do nothing irreversible.


        Some context: I'm not a gunsmith, but I've been a shooter since I was a child, and a machinist for about 11 years now. I know what I want out of it, should I sporterize it, and I'm confident I have the ability to do it well. It wouldn't be a tacky bubba bolt-on, but I'm not certain I want to be constrained by reversibility.

        I'm a fan of nicely sporterized military rifles. It feels like a second lease on life. But, I'm also respectful of collectables, and have kicked myself on missing out on a few items in the past. So, dang.

        I like the Enfield, by the way.


          Double post for secondary thoughts!

          Well, after digging around on my gun, I'm pretty sure it's a parts box special from Mitchell's. Go figure. It's a M48 receiver, with stamped floorplate, mag follower, and trigger group, which is M48A onward fare. Also, some numbers are conspicuously absent. Numbers that match barrels to receivers to bolts. This thing probably won't be missed if I sporterize it.

          All the serials match, but assembly numbers do not. What a skeevy company.

          Edit: After MORE digging, it seems that this may be a Zastava thing, and not a Mitchell's thing. Seems recent M48 imports were bolted together from mismatched surplus specifically for the US market. Point stands. This thing won't be missed for any historical value.

          Edit 2.0: "Recent" imports? Dang, I bought this thing almost 15 years ago...
          Last edited by Magoo; 10-12-2021, 12:14 AM.


            Send it. Take a couple nice pictures of how it looks now and chop that thing up like it's a MTV show.


              I have a vz24, so sort of like you. I would never chop it up. I like to keep them original. But I also have an Enfield just like Fubarious that has been sportorized. I had intentions of bringing it back to original, but cost wise, I've learned that it would be cheaper to by an all matching rifle than it would be to have my mismatch one. I'll sell it when I get the chance. I love Mannlicher stocks, so that's what I am going for.


                sporterize it . . . there are piles of ones with more collector value than yours
                Originally posted by Carp;n73599
                Bored383 is a ruthless and cutthroat facilitator of cricket fighting.


                  I usually hunt with a 1918 swedish Mauser. It was worn to start with. I treat firearms like paintball markers. If the project will make it more field ready, then I will usually do it. I really like exposing the stepped barrel on Mausers, kind of like a Parrott gun.

                  Unaltered examples look nice and are reminders of the past, but working the actions with intent is a different experience.



                    I pulled it apart completely to get an idea of what I was up against. I think it can be done very cleanly, and I'm pretty much set on going for it.

                    I also realized I never got the cosmoline out of every orifice, so it was quite a mess under the woodwork. It was my first antique rifle, cut me some slack...