A Rifle We Passed on – Ross 1905 Sporterzied

Occasionally. Not Often. But occasionally I get an email or private message that goes something like this, “I wish I could find the deals you guys do”. Or…”It must be nice to have the hook-up for all these guns”.

The truth is, we don’t have any “hook-ups”. And frankly, we really don’t know that many people in the firearms business. We don’t get any special treatment at the gun stores. And as far as most FFL’s are concerned, we’re just schlubs like everyone else.

Ross 1905. Checking the sight. Does it work? It is all there? Correct version for this model?

And that is the way we like it.

How do you do we find interesting or cool guns to add to the armory? It’s simple logic and math. Or more specifically statistics. We always have a list of, “to-buy” with us on our phones when we travel. And most importantly, we take the time to look in every… nook…cranny…and dusty corner… of every… gun store… we visit.


Check the markings. Do they match the “story”? Many times rifles don’t.

Sometimes you just need to step back from the, “buy-me-now-tactical-counter” and just spend 10 minutes deliberately looking at the back-wall racks. Ditto for the, “They are so cheap we put them out in the middle of the floor because if someone steals one it’s no big deal” rack. C’mon! You know some shops have those. Often times, “there be gold in them-there hills!”.

What is the stock? After market? Or cut down military? Can we part it out?

But it’s always good to have a partner. A wingman. Someone you can call for help if you see something you are not sure about. Obviously in my case, it’s the ubiquitous Freeze. I know modern stuff very well. But military surplus or “old” guns? Not my bag. I learn more everyday. But Freeze is our resident, go-to, mil-surp guru. Especially when evaluating the economic or logistical viability “de-sporterizing” or repairing old guns.

Ross 1905 Sporterized straight-pull

The images you see strung about this article may seem incomplete or not quite professional enough to merit publication. And you would be correct. These images I took about 16 months ago before we acquired the US Property marked Ross rifle.

How is the action? Correct for rifle? Matching numbers? Parts missing? Put together? Goes into battery? Dangerous?

This particular rifle had been sporterized and may have been missing a few parts. The rifle was rough and automatically was going to be a rehab project. What I was doing was sending Freeze cell phone shots trying to determine if we should buy it.

Listed price? Plus parts? Will final project be cheaper than buying unmolested to begin with? Is this the “real” price? How long has it been sitting here? Maybe shops have date codes on tags only they can read. I bet they would take less. Point out flaws. Maybe bundle with multiple guns? Options are endless. But is it worth it?

Ultimately, we didn’t end up acquiring the rifle. But…for every cool gun you see over here, there are countless text message threads and photos discussing gun shop finds. That’s the hook-up: putting in the work
“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”

Marky Mark

Marky Mark

Writer at John1911.com
Writer for john1911.com. Co-Host of the John1911 Podcast. Video content provider for John1911-TV.

Areas of focus: Defense and National Security, Modern Light Weapons, Analysis of the Geo-political / Military Relationship in the Context of Strategic Goals.
Marky Mark

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  • Do you hunt for project guns? Have any stories to share? Bad or good experiences? Home-runs or money pits?

    Post them here.


  • Jon Layman

    Got a model 15 S&W that had a broken rear sight, and a model 17 that had the barrel cut and no front sight. Got a little deeper in the pocket on both of those than I would have liked. But I got them both fixed up and they are two of my favorite wheelguns now. Also have a Bubba model FR-8 Mauser with a broken ejector that I keep behind the gun safe. Didn’t know what it was when I bought it. Just that it was 7.62, bolt action, and it had a flash hider!! I will get to that one eventually.

    • Freeze

      Project guns can be fun and if bought right cane a great deal. If one is handy and can do the work themselves it save a ton of cash and can give you a nice return. If you have the time, they can be awesome winter projects. Don’t let nasty weather hinder your gun fun.

      • Or you could find a friend to do it for you….


    • I would jump all over a “broken” FR-8 to save a few bucks!!


      • Jon Layman

        I think I gave Just over $100 for it, but as I said, it has seen a good bit of kitchen table monkeying. Handguard is gone, cleaning kit holder ground off, stock cut down. For the price I paid, I figured it for a tractor/truck gun. Need to get on finding an ejector though.

        • Would any standard Mauser ejector work?


          • Jon Layman

            Thanks for the advice guys. Really enjoy what you do!

          • Freeze

            Not a problem, we enjoy talking shop. Let us know how the repair works out.

        • Freeze

          Jon, double check the ejector to see if its not stuck or gummed up. Mauser ejectors are pretty tough and are not prone to breaking. Not saying that they can’t but they usually don’t. With that said, if it is broken and K98 mauser ejector should work. Let us know how it goes.

          • Jon Layman

            It doesn’t need to be from a Spanish Mauser? It is broke, I have looked at it closely.

          • Freeze

            Jon, On the FR-8 the bolt system was made by Mauser and the barrels were made by CETME or H&K. A k98 ejector should work just fine. It may need a little tweaking but that shouldn’t be an issue.