The M96 I got in pieces. It was the beginning of a sporterization by someone who died not long after he started. His wife gave the parts to a buddy, who set it in a closet for years, who then gave it to me. Many of the parts still hadn't been 100% cleaned of cosmoline.
The barrel had already been cut off to 24" and the military iron sights had been removed.
I'm keeping the original barrel and looking for irons suitable to retrofit. The original barrel cut off at 24" is pretty much a medium bull barrel in it's thickness. It should be extremely rigid at that length.
The weapon was date stamped "1900" so the rifle is 104 years old. The parts and bore are in almost pristine condition. The rifle, when done, should be sub MOA.
I need to mount irons, do a cut, reweld, and shaping of the bolt handle; crown the muzzle, install a Timney or other suitable trigger; drill and tap the receiver for mounts, probably Leopold; and get a new stock. I might forego the cock on open kit, as I'm don't think it's really that much of an improvement, if at all.