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  #21  
Old 09-20-2019, 10:04 AM
cplnorton cplnorton is online now
 
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There are several documented ones. But those I remain very quiet about and I instruct the owners to do the same.

Because it is a 100x easier to fake the documents for one than it would be to fake a real rifle. All original rifles are nearly identical. So it's extremely hard to clone one and get it to pass.

One just sold for 40k that had poorly faked paperwork. They had taken real paperwork and photoshopped the serial with a computer. The rifle wasn't remotely real.

That was one of the hardest phone calls I have made as the guy bought it because he thought it was documented. But when I showed him an original document compared to the one he bought the rifle with, it was easy to see.
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  #22  
Old 09-20-2019, 10:09 AM
Roadkingtrax Roadkingtrax is offline
 
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What documents were faked?

Marine sales or transfer documents? If so, it demonstrates the importance, or the level of documentation that should required to trace the rifle by serial number back to its origin.

Instruct is an interesting word.
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  #23  
Old 09-20-2019, 10:32 AM
cplnorton cplnorton is online now
 
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Cash sales tickets are the absolute easiest to fake. I know 3 or 4 guys that have boxes of unused pads from back then.

On a computer they are super easy to fake as well. But then you would have a printed copy and you won't have an original ticket which should be a red flag.

This one he had faked an actual USMC document. It was easy to spot it was a fake. But I had found originals at the Archives. So when I showed him both he saw it right away as well.

I dont really like talking about this in open forums because the documents are way easier to fake then the rifles. Especially since fakers usually miss one key trait.

We know enough on the Unertls now that faking a real rifle would be extremely hard.

Last edited by cplnorton; 09-20-2019 at 01:42 PM.
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  #24  
Old 09-20-2019, 01:20 PM
Roadkingtrax Roadkingtrax is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cplnorton View Post
Cash sales tickets are the absolute easiest to fake. I know 3 or 4 guys that have boxes of unused pads from back then.

On a computer they are super easy to fake as well. But then you would have a printed copy and you won't have an original ticket which should be a red flag.

This one he had faked an actual USMC document. It was easy to spot it was a fake. But I had found the original at the Archives. So when I showed him both he saw it right away as well.

I dont really like talking about this in open forums because the documents are way easier to fake then the rifles. Especially since fakers usually miss one key trait.

We know enough on the Unertls now that faking a real rifle would be extremely hard.
Unfortunately if people are knowingly faking various multitudes of archival documents, attempting to add provenance where there isn't any, and we know people are certainly faking rifle traits, we can't indisputably alone trust the traits, where then does that leave us? What a quandary.

Fake documents aren't a surprise when there's money to be made. Unused pads, if DOD stationary, would carry a document number and year that the military branch started using them. Thankfully you have eyes on these unused pads to see if they enter the market in an attempt to enhance a rifle's story.

This again is another example of where primary sourced, independently confirmed documentation is so crucial when it can be verified by serial number to an individual, organization, DCM, etc. This is a bar that should be reached when a rifle is lifted out of the ordinary, and expected to withstand the academic and historical peer review that those rare and special rifles do.

P.S. The rifle with plagiarized documentation, what was the serial number and auction lot?

Last edited by Roadkingtrax; 09-20-2019 at 01:23 PM.
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  #25  
Old 09-20-2019, 01:32 PM
cplnorton cplnorton is online now
 
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https://www.proxibid.com/Firearms-Mi...ation/44690130
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  #26  
Old 09-20-2019, 02:32 PM
S99VG S99VG is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadkingtrax View Post
I didn't know you made one. Sorry for missing it.
I did, after all what else were you responding too? However its time to move on with things.
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  #27  
Old 09-20-2019, 02:55 PM
cplnorton cplnorton is online now
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S99VG View Post
A friend jokingly stated he heard somebody say there appears to be many more USMC and 03A4 sniper rifles floating around today than were ever produced for the Marines and Army. Hmmm, I wonder how that happened......
To your point, the amount of fakes on the USMC Unertl snipers is staggering. In the about 7 years I've been tracking them, I have only seen maybe 6 or 7 sell out in the open at a big name auction house or on Gunbroker. The real ones that I have seen sell, I think every one except for one, they didn't even know it was a Legit USMC sniper. So almost everyone you see is a clone.

Most of the real known rifles never see the open market as there is a waiting list of guys looking for them. The Sniper collector community is actually really small, and most of this stuff is passed back and forth among them quietly.

Most of these guys know each other pretty well, so usually if someone wants to sell one, it only takes a few emails and it's sold.
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  #28  
Old 09-20-2019, 06:49 PM
S99VG S99VG is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cplnorton View Post
To your point, the amount of fakes on the USMC Unertl snipers is staggering. In the about 7 years I've been tracking them, I have only seen maybe 6 or 7 sell out in the open at a big name auction house or on Gunbroker. The real ones that I have seen sell, I think every one except for one, they didn't even know it was a Legit USMC sniper. So almost everyone you see is a clone.

Most of the real known rifles never see the open market as there is a waiting list of guys looking for them. The Sniper collector community is actually really small, and most of this stuff is passed back and forth among them quietly.

Most of these guys know each other pretty well, so usually if someone wants to sell one, it only takes a few emails and it's sold.
I didn't intend to slam or slander anyone, however if one is to seriously immerse himself in the world of 03 collecting then I think it is important to know the frequency of "DIY" snipers floating around, less you run the risk of being taken to the cleaners in a bad purchase. Thank you for presenting your research. Your posts are always educational and interesting.
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  #29  
Old 09-20-2019, 09:26 PM
cplnorton cplnorton is online now
 
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Thank you for the kind words sir. It really means a lot.

Yeah the sniper field can be very muddy waters. You can loose a substantial amount of money really quickly if you aren't careful...
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  #30  
Old 09-21-2019, 07:13 AM
LS6man LS6man is offline
 
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To Steve's point the faking of the documents is relatively easy, especially in light of the simplicity of original documents in the first place. It has been going on in the German collecting community for years and many collectors over time have diluted the premium placed on "capture papers." Personally I wouldn't pay a premium for any US martial arm unless the documents were pulled from the archives.

What is extremely hard to fake are the known (and some unknown or closely held) traits and then do it in a consistent way to known rifles. Contrary to what has often been stated in books or on the 'net...these rifles really do follow the same patterns. There isn't a lot of variance with them, especially when looking at the details.

The details are the difference maker.

I maintain a database of reported 1903 USMC Unertl rifles and share it on a FB group Steve, Andrew, Tim, Matt, and others are members of. We try to study these rifles and keep accurate records for present and future use. Any reported rifle we try to track and can give possible insights on if asked..Needless to say...there are MANY more clones than real rifles...

It pays to ask before buying..

As many know my collecting interest flip flop between US/German WW2 weapons and solid lifter GM muscle (Z's, L78's, LS6's) cars...and while not an expert I've unfortunately been asked to look at cars and give my opinion...and had to tell people bad news...try telling someone they didn't buy a LS6...despite the $150k they spent...
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