SOLD FOR: $6225
Make: Griffin & Howe
Model: Custom Sporting Rifle
Serial Number: 1714
Year of Manufacture: Ca. 1920s-1930s
Caliber: .30-06 Springfield
Action Type: Internal Magazine Fed Bolt Action Rifle
Barrel Length: 24″
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a brass beaded blade in-line dovetailed to a banded base at the front of the barrel. The base has a textured ramp and is grooved for a hood, but none is present. The right-rear of the receiver is drilled and tapped with a Lyman 48 receiver sight installed. The sight has matching assembly numbers (T39) on the mount, lock and arm.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stock is one-piece checkered walnut with a horn nosecap, steel-capped pistol grip, straight comb with shadow-line cheekpiece, checkered steel buttplate and a sling stud in the belly (there is another sling mounting point integral to a band on the barrel in front of the forend. The belly has an initial plate which is smartly engraved with “A.W.C.”. The stock has light wear with some small nicks and scratches. There are some spots of discoloration and residue from handling. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. The LOP measures approximately 13 1/4″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has some wear around the edges, more notable at the heel, light scratches and some spots of surface oxidation. The checkering is well defined. Overall, the stock is in Very Good-plus condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Surplus Mauser 98 parts were used by Griffin & Howe to build the rifle. We see nothing to indicate it has been refinished since leaving Griffin & Howe.
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright with sharp rifling. There is some minor erosion at the muzzle-end. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 8 out of 10.
Many military and C&R-eligible weapons have bores that will show erosion. This is not only due to age but to the fact that corrosive primers were commonly used in ammunition worldwide.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 96% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at some edges. Most of the balance is normal operational wear. There is a spot of erosion on the trigger guard and infrequent spots of minor oxidation. There are a few scattered light marks. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle is in Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions properly. The rifle has a Mauser-style safety which can be used to lock the trigger or both the trigger and the bolt. The trigger is two-stage with a smooth takeup followed by a crisp break. We have not fired this rifle. As with all previously owned firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This rifle comes with a brown leather military-style sling mounted to the rifle with Winchester Super-Grade quick-detach sling swivels.
Our Assessment: Griffin & Howe started their company in 1923 to produce custom sporting rifles based on Springfield actions. Inspired by Theodore Roosevelt’s exploits in Africa with a sporterized 1903 Springfield, custom cabinet-maker Seymour Griffin re-stocked his own rifle and began to offer this service for others. In 1923, none other than Col. Townsend Whelen, commander of the Franklin Arsenal, suggested James V. Howe, the foreman of the Arsenal, would greatly improve Griffin’s budding custom rifle business. They later made custom rifles based on other actions and enjoyed a reputation for making products of the finest quality with Gary Cooper, Ernest Hemingway, Clark Gable and Jack O’Connor among their customers.
This is a beautiful example of a Griffin & Howe sporting rifle built on a Mauser 98 receiver. Based on markings, many of the action parts were harvested from surplus guns, but the build is all Griffin & Howe with subtle, but classy upgrades such as checkering on the bolt knob and trigger, jeweling on the bolt and matting on the chamber ring. The receiver has been equipped with a nice Lyman receiver sight to go along with a brass beaded blade front sight. The gun is mounted in a nice walnut stock with horn nosecap and shadow-line cheekpiece. It’s even equipped with Winchester Super-Grade swivels (the buttplate looks distinctly Winchester-y, too). Chambered for .30-06, it is suitable for just about anything in North America. This was a fine sporting rifle in the 1920s and it is a testament to Griffin & Howe that it would still be a fine rifle to this day!
The rifle is in Fine condition with about 96% of its metal finish, light wear in the stock, a good bore and strong mechanics. This rifle still has more trips in the field left, and would make a great hunting rifle. It would also take a prized place in any collection, whether you’re looking for a great sporting rifle or simply a wonderful example of a Griffin & Howe. Please see our photos and good luck!
Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud