Thoughts on a millsurp rifle


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mhdishere
March 2, 2005, 10:38 AM
As I so often do, I'm looking for information from my fellow THRer's, this time on the topic of millsurp rifles. Here's my wish list:

1) Bolt action, full sized battle rifle

2) Fires a full-power, 30-ish caliber cartridge

3) Reasonably accurate (minute of pie-plate)

4) Moderately cheap (under $200)

5) Available ammo

I'd originally planned on a Mosin Nagant 91/30, but I've been wondering if I'd get better service from something else. I've heard that accuracy on the Mosin's can be problematic unless you go for a Finn, and once you do that you're in a similar price range to a Mauser or Enfield. I've also heard that if you loop up in a sling on a Mosin you can mess up accuracy, thereby defeating the purpose of looping up in the first place.

The rifle will be used mostly for range-use.

I'm not looking to fill a room with rifles either, I want a good, shootable rifle that I can learn on and that I won't outgrow anytime soon if ever. I'd rather have one good rifle than six so-so rifles.

So, great THR gurus, what do you think?

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George S.
March 2, 2005, 10:50 AM
MY 1931 Izzy 91/30 will shoot 6-8" groups at 200 yards. That was the standard for Russian battle rifles. It's a fun rifle to shoot and the 7.62.54R cartridge is widely available for cheap. I usually buy Czech 147gr silvertip ammo for around $3.00 per box.

Another Mosin example would be an M44 or M38 but these are more of a carbine size and accuracy may not be too good out to long distances. I just got an M38 and it appears to be a rearsenaled rifle as the barrel looks to be new or near-new. Any of the Mosins can be had for under $100.

Enfields and Turkish Mausers run around $175-200 at the local Big 5 Sporting Goods stores when on sale. The ones I have seen don't look to be in very good condition.

IF your budget would allow for around $400, look at a Remington 1903A3 or a rack grade M1 Garand from the CMP. The 03A3 I just bought looked like it had been completely rebuilt and then simply put away. Using milsurp Korean 30-06 ammo, the first range outing got me between 2" and 3" groups at 100 yards.

Ash
March 2, 2005, 10:54 AM
Been into Mosins for 10 years now and never have heard about looping up causing any accuracy problems on Finnish M39's. The M39 was held to a higher accuracy standard than Russian Mosins and can certainly compete well against any other service rifle, period.

Ash

dghboy315
March 2, 2005, 10:56 AM
i got a Swiss K31 Schmidt Rubin rifle from AIM surplus for under $100. it's a great rifle and is very accurate. very well made and preserved. from what i hear, this is the reputation of the rifle. ammo is a little more expensive than of a MN.

Clean97GTI
March 2, 2005, 11:26 AM
My M44 will put them all in a pie plate at 300 yards if I'm at a bench. Could probably do better if I'd shoot something other than commie mil-surp. Wolf makes new ammo for these things that is supposed to be better.

Check the rifle over before you buy it, but most Mosin-Nagants will provide hours of fun as well as decent accuracy. You won't tear one ragged hole at 600 yards, but you'll have fun trying. Center of Mass size groupings at a few hundred yards are not out of the question...and thats what a battle rifle is for. Did we mention Mosin's are cheap and so is the ammo?



Before anyone jumps all over me for the ragged hole at 600 yards line, I was posting my own expierience with MNs and it should in no way reflect on anyones own or Russian grandfathers ability to down a sparrow from 700 yards with mil-surp ammo and a rusty barrel. ;)

mainmech48
March 2, 2005, 12:13 PM
Swiss K-31 is a great bargain. Ammo is starting to become more widely available and less pricey. Dies and components are no problem. Beautifully built and can be extremely accurate in the right hands.

The Ishapore-made SMLE 2A in 7.62x51 NATO (.308 Win.) is worth looking around for at the shows. Surplus ammo abounds and is inexpensive. Quite accurate with good ammo. IMO, the SMLEs of whatever caliber or vintage represent perhaps the best BA battle rifle design ever made. A nice No.4 in .303 would meet your criteria as well. Components and factory ammo are no problem, but surplus is drying-up fast.

Don't have much experience with Mosins. There are folks at our club who swear by them, and those who swear at them. Personally, it's the rather awkward action that puts me off. As a southpaw, I have enough tsouris operating RHBAs as it is without adding ninety-degree throws and poorly located handles into the equation.

Clean97GTI
March 2, 2005, 12:26 PM
Don't have much experience with Mosins. There are folks at our club who swear by them, and those who swear at them. Personally, it's the rather awkward action that puts me off. As a southpaw, I have enough tsouris operating RHBAs as it is without adding ninety-degree throws and poorly located handles into the equation.

aw shucks, the action aint awkward.
Not the rifles fault yer parents wired ya backwards. ;)

The bolt does take a little getting used to though. Easy enough to operate quickly with a little practice.

ocabj
March 2, 2005, 12:35 PM
1) Bolt action, full sized battle rifle

2) Fires a full-power, 30-ish caliber cartridge

3) Reasonably accurate (minute of pie-plate)

4) Moderately cheap (under $200)

5) Available ammo


K98 Mauser and other 8mm Mauser variants
1. Yes
2. Yes
3. Yes
4. Yes
5. Yes

K31 Swiss
1. Yes
2. Yes (7.5, but uses .308 bullets)
3. Yes
4. Yes
5. Not really (match surplus is expensive comparable to surplus 54R and 8mm).

Enfield
1. Yes
2. Yes
3. Yes
4. Borderline. You should be able to get a decent Enfield for under $200, but a good condition Enfield may cost $200 or a little more.
5. Not really. Surplus .303 is about as rare as 7.5x55 Swiss, but modern production ammo is readily available.

jem375
March 2, 2005, 12:43 PM
I bought a M/N 91/30 and ended up giving it away, have a M44 which also is not accurate.........now the Swede M96 and British Enfield are a little different story, both nice rifles and accurate and fun to shoot............

R.H. Lee
March 2, 2005, 12:43 PM
How about a 1917 Enfield (P-17?). 30-06. I see them around from time to time, but they're a little more than $200. Great battle rifles, though.

Headless Thompson Gunner
March 2, 2005, 12:46 PM
Southern Ohio Gun has #4 Enfields for $100 right now. That's a screamin good deal. Dunno what kinda condition they're in, though.

The #4 Enfield is worlds better than the Mosin. Better bolt, better trigger pull, and MUCH better sights. I'd happily put up with the comparatively rare .303Brit if it meant I got to shoot such a fine rifle as the #4 Enfield.

Headless Thompson Gunner
March 2, 2005, 12:51 PM
How about a 1917 Enfield (P-17?). 30-06. I see them around from time to time, but they're a little more than $200. Great battle rifles, though.Where are you finding 1917s for $200? Cheapest I see 'em for around here is $300 or $400. I'd buy one if I coudl afford it, but at $400 for a clean one I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

jefnvk
March 2, 2005, 03:12 PM
How about a Swede? The only problem is it is not a .30 caliber cartridge, but that shouldn't worry you at all. Honestly, the Swede is probably the nicest gun I own, including new commercial rifles. And it was built in 1915. I picked mine up for $175 at a gunshow. Ammo is available, not the easiest to find surplus, but a good amount of commercial availble. Much more available than the Swiss.

Enfield would have to be my next advice. Either version, either caliber. I have a No. 4 in .303 and an Ishapore No. 1 in .308. Both shoot good, although I much more like the sights on the No. 4. .308 is widely available, and .303 is around.

8mm Mausers are the next in line, tough guns, hard hitting round (on both ends). I had a Yugo that I loved, but sold to get money for my next purchase (1903 Springfield). Cost me $80 at Dunhams. 8mm is about the cheapest thing this side of .22, last gunshow had 1400 rd crates for $70.

Last would be the 91/30. Nice, accurate rifle, I just can't like the bolt.

SMLE
March 2, 2005, 04:26 PM
Got to go with the Lee Enfield. The BEST bolt action military rifle EVER. The deals at SOG and AIM are good. .303 mil-surp ammo ain't as common as it was, :( but every commercial maker produces it, every reloading company makes dies for it and every bullet maker makes projectiles for it.

The only Ishapore I own is a .303, but my brother and several friends have the 7.62 Ishys. They are accurate and very servicable. There is plenty of cheap mil-surp 7.62 available too.

ocabj
March 2, 2005, 06:41 PM
Swedish Mausers are hard to come by at under $200. Surplus ammo isn't readily available either.

The Swede is a great rifle. Argueably the best C&R rifle to acquire, but it doesn't fit mhdishere's criteria.

Dave Markowitz
March 2, 2005, 07:06 PM
Got to go with the Lee Enfield. The BEST bolt action military rifle EVER.

What he said.

cracked butt
March 2, 2005, 08:02 PM
For under $200 I'd go with a:

Yugo 24/47- Mauser 98 bolt action, accurate, cheap surplus available.

Swiss K-31- Nearly as accurate as the Swedish rifles at 1/2 the price. Surplus ammo is relatively expensive but is match grade and will shoot better than your ability to shoot the rifle.

gaven
March 2, 2005, 08:07 PM
Ishapore Enfield .308 damn good rifles

rbernie
March 2, 2005, 08:56 PM
No4Mk1 Enfield. The superior action design and excellent sights more than make up the difference in ammo costs when compared to a M/N or Mauser.

R.H. Lee
March 2, 2005, 11:04 PM
Where are you finding 1917s for $200? Cheapest I see 'em for around here is $300 or $400. The local gunshop had one on consignment awhile back for $275. I already have one, so I didn't pay much attention to it. I didn't know they're worth up to $400.

Big Man
March 2, 2005, 11:53 PM
What everybody says here is pretty true. But IMHO...there is nothing as fun as the Mosin fireball in broad daylight. :what:
And I would rather do the MN bolt all day long than that POS turn down on the Yugo m48's. They suck.
But my choice would be the k31. You can never go wrong with one. A brick of 7.55x55 GP11 is around 22.00 for 60 rounds. But it's non corrosive and reloadable.
The price range you described will buy almost any milsurp rifle. That description fits just about all of them. The exceptions are the Garands, maybe the 03, and the Hakim.
The best thing to do is find a range, and see what's out there. I've found that most guys will let you shoot their stuff.

Greg L
March 3, 2005, 08:33 PM
A brick of 7.55x55 GP11 is around 22.00 for 60 rounds. But it's non corrosive and reloadable.

Not easily reloadable. The GP11 is Berdan primed, the two holed primer which isn't easily available in the States & you need special tools - or so I've heard, I don't reload. However it is much more accurate than I am so it is a good trade off :D .

All of the suggestions have been good but it probably boils down to what your ammo budget/# of rounds that you plan on shooting at a time is. 8mm & the 54R is available everywhere now for about $0.08/round. At the other end of the scale the Swiss GP11 is roughly $0.35/round. If you're shooting 100 rounds per range trip ( :what: your shoulder's gonna hate you :D ) the $27 difference in ammo cost will add up fairly quickly.

But you really can't go wrong with any of the choices that have been mentioned.

Greg

jefnvk
March 3, 2005, 08:56 PM
Oh, just to add, the trigger on my Enfield is pretty sweet for a milsurp rifle. Smooth as buttery silk.

EDIT: No. 4 that is. THe Ishapore 308 is only so-so, nothing great.

cracked butt
March 3, 2005, 09:14 PM
The GP11 is Berdan primed, the two holed primer which isn't easily available in the States & you need special tools - or so I've heard, I don't reload

Berdan primers are readily available from places like Grafs, its not at all difficult to reload berdan and special tools aren't needed, its just a bit more of a PITA than simply reloading readily available 7.5 swiss, or in a pinch, .284 winchester brass.

Dave R
March 3, 2005, 10:33 PM
Just a note: if you handload, ammo is widely available for all of 'em!

I handload for my K-31, using .284Win brass which is fairly available. Its as cheap to shoot as a .308, in that scenario.

rbernie
March 3, 2005, 11:54 PM
Just a note: if you handload, ammo is widely available for all of 'em!
Pretty much. I think that the cost of materials to make a box of 303R or 8x57 hover around $4.50/20 rounds....

english kanigit
March 4, 2005, 08:51 AM
Alright, this is from my last trip out to the local rifle range. 100 yards, bench rest, iron sights with some nasty old surplus ammo (don't know the make). If my eyes were worth a stink I'm sure I could do better. :rolleyes:
http://www.thefilebin.com/userfiles/english%20kanigit/Target.jpg

I got my finnsh mosin for $80 and I believe I will have it for a long time to come. :)

Just one more thing, these targets are friggin' awesome!! I was at Dick's Sporting Goods looking for paintball stuff and just happened to see them. The yellow and the black contrast very well on a bright, sunny kansas day.

mainmech48
March 4, 2005, 11:40 AM
FWIW, there is a real inexpensive alternative to reforming .284 Win. brass in order to reload for 7.5x55 Swiss. I bought 200 rds of Portugese-made FNM brand 7.5x55 ammo from a dealer on Gun Broker for $70/200 + Shipping. Came out to about $7.40/box.

While it isn't nearly as accurate as the Swiss match ammo referred to above, the brass is very good and it's boxer primed. Dies are available from several sources. Least expensive would probably be the two-die set from Lee at about $22.00. I can't reload it for less than what I can buy 7.62x51 NATO surplus for, but it's still a bunch cheaper than GP11 surplus or commercial 7.5 Swiss.

Speaking of triggers, the general run of K-31s have to be among the best two-stage military outfits ever fielded. Light, smooth take-up and mine breaks cleanly at 3.65# on a Lyman digital gauge.

roo_ster
March 4, 2005, 04:39 PM
The sweetest milsurps are the Swede Mausers (96, 38, 96/38) & K31 Schmidt-Rubin, IMO.

The Swede will run a little north of $200, unless you get a deal like I did last year: 96/38 for $160.

The K31 will cost ~$100 before shipping & FFL x-fer, $100 on the nose if you have a 03 C&R.

You won't outgrow the Swede or the K31. They are accurate, highest-quality milsurps, with terrific two-stage triggers. I shoot sub 2MOA with issue irons...and my marksmanship is nothing to write home about.

The only drawback of both is ammo cost. Commercial & milsurp ammmo is available, but it will cost more than milsurp 8x57. The milsurp 7.5Swiss GP11 round is match-quality.

I like blasting away as much as anybody with cheap rifles & cheap milsurps & I own other milsurps and like them all for their particular attributes.

If you really mean:

I'm not looking to fill a room with rifles either, I want a good, shootable rifle that I can learn on and that I won't outgrow anytime soon if ever. I'd rather have one good rifle than six so-so rifles.

Then a K31 or Swede is the best best, IMO. Blasting is fun, but a rifle acurate enough to hit at longer range won't lose its luster after all the milk-jugs have been blown to bits.

If I could have only two milsurps, my Swede & Swiss rifles would be them. If I could have only one...I'd probably cry. :eek:

Roadkill
March 4, 2005, 06:57 PM
I won't get into what I have cause if my wife or the feds knew I'd be in trouble, but a Finn Mod 39 is at the top of my short list for a shooter. It has the best of the Nagants with the best combined features of a 98k and 03. Mine is a 1941 VKT that most likely has a history few can imagine. The Russians mass produced guns that would shoot adequately in the hands of untrained peasants. The Finns hand crafted rifles designed to be deadly in the hands of a citizen soldier with intent to defend his homeland. They can be found under $200.



rk

Magnum88C
March 5, 2005, 12:55 PM
1) Bolt action, full sized battle rifle
2) Fires a full-power, 30-ish caliber cartridge
3) Reasonably accurate (minute of pie-plate)
4) Moderately cheap (under $200)
5) Available ammo


Getting 4.) and 5.) together kills a lot of the options.

The one rifle that really satisfies all of the conditions is the Mosin Nagant.
1) Bolt action, full sized battle rifle The 91/30 is the longest of the rifles, but consider that the M38 and M44 carbines have 20" barrels, more of a rifle than a carbine. At any rate:

2) Fires a full-power, 30-ish caliber cartridge The 7.62x54R fits the bill nicely.

3) Reasonably accurate (minute of pie-plate) If you mean at 100 yards, event he roughest of Mosins that I've seen will hold this. If you want better, don't order online, go to a store where you can inspect the rifle. Look closely at the bore if you want a shooter. Some of the best bores I have are on Mosins with really rough wood, so outside appearance is NOT soemthing you can judge it by. Also, look for a counterbored rifle.
Now, a lot of guys will laugh, but the Russians counterbored the barrel when the crown got messed up. It was cheaper and easier than recrowning, and leaves a nice crown inset into the barrel, with the end of the barrel acting as a protector. Counterbored barrels will tend to outshoot the "better" fully-rifled barrels. This was a normal rearsenaling feature and is not a Bubba job.

4) Moderately cheap (under $200) You could buy 2 or 3 NICE Mosins for $200. With the 91/30s you also usually get an accessory kit which has the bayonet (these guns were sighted in with the bayonet attached and may need to be resighted if you don't want to mount the bayonet), an ammo pouch, oiler bottle, multi-tool, cleaning rod handle for the (should be) mounted cleaning rod.

5) Available ammo Surplus ammo is dirt cheap. Commercial ammo is dirt cheap. Brand new Wolf is $8/20 here and the better, Barnaul ammo is $7/20.

That's the best deal around.

Now, if you're willing to go over on 4) Moderately cheap (under $200), a GOOD Mauser will fill all of the above, and the ammo is dirt cheap.

If you're willing to go over on 4) Moderately cheap (under $200) AND 5) Available ammo, then the No4 Mk1*, Mk1/2, Mk1/3 or Mk2 Lee Enfield is the way to go.
The Enfields out there for real cheap that I've seen are REALLY rough, I'd stay away from them. But if you're willing to throw maybe another $100 into the rifle, you can get some really fine No4 rifles. The best I have are from BDL Ltd (http:/www.BDLLTD.com) . The surplus ammo has pretty much dried up for now, and I'd recommend handloading over buying the fairly expensive commercial ammo.

Case for the additional expense of an Enfield:
1.) The slickest, quickest action of any battle rifle, better than most commercial rifles.
2.) 60 degree bolt throw rather than 90 degree.
3.) 10 round magazine capacity
4.) Stripper clips readily available.
5.) Finest battle sights of any bolt action rifle.
6.) No-drill, no-tap scope mounts are cheap.
7.) All of mine have been excellent shooters. Think pie plate at 300 yards.

But honestly, if you want an inexpensive shooter that has modest accuracy, the Mosin is your ticket. Just beware, they tend to multiply in the safe when you're not looking.

Black Snowman
March 5, 2005, 01:23 PM
My vote would be take $100 for the K31, and the other $100 to get into reloading. ;)

ReadyontheRight
March 5, 2005, 02:37 PM
My $0.02:

The two best:

K31 - Inexpensive and you can get excellent Swiss surplus ammo that's easily match grade (at least for me). Reloadable brass and commercial ammo are hard to find.

Swedish Mauser - More expensive, not sure where to get "match" grade factory ammo but you can find reloadable brass and commercial hunting ammo a lot cheaper.

Mosin Nagant - Inexpensive to buy and shoot. Probably as accuare as you need for range work, but not as accuare as the two above.

Swedish Mausers have been increasing in price. K31s will someday soon go up in price. There are a LOT of M/Ns out there right now.

My recommendation: Short-term: Order a K31 now, wait until you see a sub-$70 or even sub- $50 M/N Long-term: Keep your eyes peeled for a sub-$200 Swedish Mauser.

GD
March 6, 2005, 09:56 AM
When it comes to accuracy, inexpensive ammo and rifle under $200, you have but 2 choices. Mosin Nagant and Mauser. In each category I would recommend a Finnish M39 mosin nagant and a Yugo M48A or M24/47 or a Czech 98/22 (stay away from the Yugo M48). These rifles are known for their accuracy and the ammo can be had for under 10 cents per round. My favorite is the Finnish M39. I now have 5 of them and they all shoot under 2 MOA with surplus ammo.
Don't get me wrong, I like K31s, Enfields, and Swedes and other rifles mentioned, but ammo isn't exactly cheap for these firearms. The Russian M91/30s and carbines (M38 and M44) are a crap shoot. Some are great shooters and some are not. I have heard very good things about the Mosin M91/59 carbines as good shooters but have never had one. Allans Armory has these for sale at pretty good prices.

Sam Adams
March 7, 2005, 04:00 PM
Which ammo works best in your M39's?

Sam Adams
March 7, 2005, 04:12 PM
1) Bolt action, full sized battle rifle

2) Fires a full-power, 30-ish caliber cartridge

3) Reasonably accurate (minute of pie-plate)

4) Moderately cheap (under $200)

5) Available ammo

I have both a K31 and an M39. Both rifles:

1) Are bolties that are certainly full-sized. The Finn is a beefed-up version of the Russian M-N 91, itself not exactly a delicate piece of hardware.

2) Fire .30 caliber rounds.

3) Have a reputation as the most accurate rifles of the WW2 era. The K31 is probably more accurate, but it didn't see combat (except for maybe being used to shoot a few Krauts who occasionally crossed the border). The M39 had a lot to do with the Finns taking the Russians at a 15- or 20-to-1 ratio in the Winter War of 1940-41. Both will shoot under 2 MOA with ease (assuming one in decent condition, and that you do your part :D ), and 1.0-1.5 MOA is not unheard of.

4) My K31 cost $120, and it was hand-picked by Allan at Allan's Armory. My M39 cost $193.99, incl. shipping, from Wholesale Guns & Ammo. It cost that much because it is made on a pre-1899 receiver and is in excellent condition. I could've shaved about $40 off of the price for a gun of similar condition if it was a post-1898.

5) The ammo is nearly being given away for the M39 - Czech silvertip (reputed to be quite accurate) cost me $2.50/box, but I only bought a couple at a gunshow. By the caseload it is around $0.07/round. The K31's GP-11 is quite available but, being match-grade ammo, runs around $0.40/round. Reloading is easy (Graf's cases are about $28/100, and it uses .308 bullets), and cheapens the rounds to about $0.20 per.

Go with either one, as they are both excellent and cheap rifles with a history.

Cosmoline
March 7, 2005, 05:11 PM
The biggest drawback of the K-31 is the expense of GP-100. It's awesome ammo, possibly the best standard grade ball ammo every made, period. But it's not being made anymore and the Portugese stuff you sometimes see is not nearly as good.

A good compromise is a Finnish Mosin, rather than a Ruskie. You can still find M-39's in near mint condition for under $200, and they will shoot far better than Russian 91/30's. An average 91/30 may give you a five or six inch group at 100 meters, but the M-39's I've owned have all done 3MOA or better. Some are as good as the Swiss or Swedes.

Abe
March 12, 2005, 03:56 PM
Great thread...and timely as well. I sent off the app for my C&R license a bit over a month ago and would be asking the same questions. Once I get it, the first item on my list is going to be a No4Mk1 Enfield. The stocks on most of the rifles that I've seen are in ok to what I would call poor condition. Are there any sources of new wood stocks or even synthetic stocks for these rifles?

Thanks,

Abe

johnrobe
March 13, 2005, 07:08 AM
FWIW, Wolf is now producing brass cased, boxer primed 7.5x55 and it should be on the market in a couple of months...it's not on their website yet, but email them if you want to confirm...I did. I don't know what the $$ will be, but it's bound to be cheaper than GP11 surplus. I doubt that it'll be as accurate, but cheap plinking ammo is always welcome in my book.

MrMurphy
March 13, 2005, 08:39 AM
In the last two days, I've handled:

Five Trapdoor Springfields
Two Rolling Blocks
Half a dozen original 1873 or 1892 Winchesters
Five or six Krag-Jorgensens (most sporterized)
Upwards of 15 Springfields or Springfield-actioned sporters
Three M1's
Two M1A's
A Valmet-made AK (which I hadn't seen in 10 years)
Four Mosin-Nagants including an M44 (Polish) which is the best-appearing M-N I've ever seen.
Three Lee-Enfields at least.
A Schmidt-Rubin
A Lebel-Berthier
A MAS49/56 7.5mm semi-auto
A couple I can't even remember right now but you don't usually see.
A half dozen WW1/WW2 or Spanish Civil War era Mausers.

Six or seven M1 carbines, including a Postal Meter.
More SKS's than you can shake a bottle of Vodka at, including a Tula Arsenal 1952 in excellent condition.


There are times when working for a gun shop with four thousand guns in it is a VERY VERY good thing. :D

GD
March 13, 2005, 09:22 AM
I have two favorites for the M39. They are Albanian and Czech silver tip. Both seem to be very consistent and cheap! The Albanian looks cheaply made with crimp marks and irregular sized rims but it doesn't affect performance. I have had good luck with the Hungarian heavy ball yellow tip but the rounds tend to shoot on average 4-5" higher at 100 yards. Most of my M39's tend to shoot a little high to begin with.

DMK
March 13, 2005, 09:31 AM
I have two favorites for the M39. They are Albanian and Czech silver tip. Both seem to be very consistent and cheap! The Albanian looks cheaply made with crimp marks and irregular sized rims but it doesn't affect performance. I have had good luck with the Hungarian heavy ball yellow tip but the rounds tend to shoot on average 4-5" higher at 100 yards. Most of my M39's tend to shoot a little high to begin with.
No doubt the Hungarian Yellow tip shoots higher. It's like 174gr, while the Czech silvertip is 147gr.

Hungarian LPZ (also silvertip sometimes, depending on the year) is 147gr. and will shoot lower and is also excellent ammo. It comes in 440 round green "spam cans".

I agree with the Czech silvertip being very accurate. I bought three 1200 round cases of this stuff just in case the supply dries up.

My best accuracy with surplus ammo in my M39s comes from Yugo 180gr. It comes in 15 round light brown cardboard boxes that have a white label on the end. The cartridges are shiny polished brass and it looks very pretty. It's very hard to find anymore, but if you come across any at a gunshow, snap it up!

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