First time rifle owner. Could use some help.


May 4, 2007, 03:29 AM
Hi everyone! After a long time thinking about it I decided to buy my first gun. Now before anyone gets mad at me I do realize I should have done a lot more research before buying one. But after a long talk with the sales man (who seemed very knowledgeable) I decided to just go for it mostly based on the price but I did really like the look and feel. I got a Century m95/34 8x56R for $99. I thought this was so cheap because it was old, used, and had hard to find or expensive ammo. But the sales man assured me that even though the stock looked a little used the rest was new from the factory and showed me a box of new ammo (50 rounds for $25) and said I had a few different choices for types and its was easy to find at any gun store. So I got it. I have a few days left to pick it up and I've started to do some research on it. I can't find anything about new m95/34s only people talking about buying used ones in various conditions? Also it seems like everyone online is having trouble getting 8x56R ammo? Am I just ignorant or was this not the best idea?
All I wanted was a inexpensive rifle for some fun plinking. As long as the rifle works and I can get ammo I don't really care to much about quality.

Any ideas or comments?

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May 4, 2007, 03:54 AM
Umm, can you return it? If you want an inexpensive rifle for fun plinking, that is not the caliber for it.

You want something in .22 Long Rifle. You can get a Ruger 10/22 brand new for like $225, and it'll be just fine for what you want. 50 rounds for $25 is NOT CHEAP. I bought a brick of 400 rounds of .22LR for $12 just yesterday.

If you want bolt action, a CZ 513 is also in that price range.


Edit: Sorry to say this, but if you told the salesman you wanted some for inexpensive plinking, then he ripped you off and took full advantage of your lack of information. In short, he sold you some piece of crap he had in the store that he just wanted to get rid of.

May 4, 2007, 04:11 AM
I realize it's a large caliber and a .22 would be cheaper and more suited for plinking. But having used .22 rifles many times before I did really want to go for something bigger (even though this is a lot bigger than I had imagined). I like bolt action and as long as the rifle works and I can get ammo around that price I think I'll like it as I won't be shooting often only when I get time for a trip to a shooting range or out to the wilderness.
I guess I'm worried that the ammo isn't as readily available as the sales man said (according to people posting about it in forums) and the rifle being used crap.
Does anyone have any experience with this rifle?

chris in va
May 4, 2007, 04:18 AM
To me, inexpensive plinking ammo would be 7.62x39, $4/20rds. That's why I got my CZ carbine in that caliber. Available at most gun stores and Gander Mountain.

Even an old Mosin would fit the bill at about $100. I paid $80 for two tins of 7.62x54R at the last gun show, which is 880 rounds. Plinking isn't really the right word though, more like demolishing.:p

May 4, 2007, 04:33 AM
I did only see the price for one kind of 8x56R and the sales man was talking like this was the good stuff. Is there a good chance the other brands or types he told me about are cheaper? Also why is it I can't seem to find anything online about new 8x56R ammo? I only see old surplus ammo which makes me a bit nervous to use. Is there any names other than 8x56R I should be looking under for this caliber?

May 4, 2007, 05:01 AM
Although they don't have it listed on their website (it's listed in their current dealer flyer though), Soutern Ohio Guns has 8x56R ammo for sale at $2.49 per 10rds, which is half the price you are saying you've seen (they have very fast and affodrable shipping IMHO). NOTE:this is surplus ammo and is VERY likely corrosive.Not a big deal though ("corrosive" SOUNDS like a WAY bigger deal than it really is).I've fired TONS of surpus ammo in many calibers, and never had 1 single problem of any kind.There really isnt anything to be nervous about IMHO.Hope that helped

ammo is item # AMO-8x56
Thier phone is:1-800-944-GUNS

FYI-I am in NO WAY affiliated with them, just a satisfied customer on my many purcheses from them.

May 4, 2007, 05:18 AM
Thanks good to know cheaper ammo is available. I was just reading up on cleaning after corrosive ammo and it seems easy enough. I still wonder where these new boxes of ammo he was showing me are sold I can only find surplus?

May 4, 2007, 05:49 AM
I can't find anything about new m95/34s only people talking about buying used ones in various conditions? Also it seems like everyone online is having trouble getting 8x56R ammo?

The Austro-Hungarian Empire made the M95 rifles, and it doesn't exist anymore. So you'll have problems finding a new M95 carbine :D The one you have was surplus from WWII, when they were used as police and rear guard rifles in the remnant nations of the old empire.

Some of that surplus ball is *incredibly* hot and will really smack your shoulder. For some reason they loaded it to light magnum levels. If you handload you'll be able to construct more rational loads. Graf & Sons has brass and bullets for it. Though called "8mm", it does not use standard .323" bullets, but considerably wider ones. Graf also has these.

May 4, 2007, 06:25 AM
Yea, I've been hearing they have a good kick. I read you can also buy low recoil bullets for it. Is that true?

May 4, 2007, 08:29 PM
More choices in rifles and ammunition if you stick to a Moisin Nagant (7.62x54R) or a Mauser K98, M24/47. or M48 in 8x57.

Essex County
May 5, 2007, 12:50 PM
I have one and I like mine. Unique and good quality and yes it does have a tad of recoil. A M-N would be more practical, however I would keep it rather than return it. Pick up a 91-30 when you get a chance. Have Fun! Essex

May 5, 2007, 02:52 PM
I'd try to dump it. If you want a centerfire, get either a Mosin 91/30, a Mauser K98 or M48, or an Enfield bolt rifle in .303 or .308.

The Mosin has the cheapest ammo, and probably the cheapest gun. The Mauser can be a little pricey, but the ammo is still reasonable, and there are commercial loads aplenty. As for the Enfield, while the gun is reasonable, the ammo can be a little pricey. You'll have to search abit to find the milsurp.

But, if it's your first, I'd suggest getting a .22 lr rifle. A Marlin or a Ruger. Either 10/22, or some sort of bolt gun.

May 5, 2007, 05:59 PM
But after a long talk with the sales man (who seemed very knowledgeable)

He sounds slicker than a used cars salesmen. This guy probably sensed your lack of firearms knowledge, talked rings around you, and persuaded you to buy a very random rifle.

Is it too late to return It? You might have learned caveat emptor the hard way.

May 5, 2007, 07:24 PM
Can't beat a Marlin model 60 for a cheap plinking gun. Exp the old ones with the 18round tube. I picked mine up for $85 at a local pawn shop. Just keep it clean and it will be very reliable and fun. Its fun to load her up and see how fast you can squeeze of all 18 rounds. The 22lr is very cheap also, around here its anywhere from $10-$13 for a brick of 500 rounds.

May 5, 2007, 08:28 PM
I would not ditch it. They're not actually all that common, though the market has quite a few now. Just hold onto it and turn to it later on when you know more about rifles and handloading.

May 6, 2007, 05:46 PM
Thanks for all the advice. I think I'll be holding onto it, even if I don't like shooting it. Still 2 days till pick up and we'll see what I think of it then.

May 6, 2007, 09:12 PM
I dunno your financial situation but it is only $100!! how can you go wrong with a rifle for that kind of money? Buy surplus ammo in as large a quantity as you can afford.

I agree with others who said a .22LR rifle is the way to go.

Get the one you have on hold and then get a .22 like a Savage Mark2 bolt action or a Glenfield Model 60. Buy a load of ammo and go shooting with both.

May 7, 2007, 11:32 AM
This cartridge has not been factory loaded since 1945, therefore all surplus stocks are a diminishing asset. Factory loadings will tend to kick hard, especially in the carbines, and will be corrosive. The bullet is an unusual size, not likely to be encountered on the reloading shelf in the gunstore. The case will have to be reformed out of something else, probably 7.62x54. None of these are, in themselves, reasons for rejecting it, but there are better choices for a first gun.
May 7, 2007, 03:41 PM
If you decide to go ahead with buying it, I would heartily recommend that you look into reloading. The initial setup seems a bit daunting but once done, you'll be able to shop for your next gun confident that you can reload for 90% of the cartridges you'll encounter. As an added plus you'll develop an idea of performance/ ballistics of your cartridge which is incredibly useful when evaluating other cartridges. Very few folks will admit that rifle cartridges can be "classified" by nominal velocities and bullet weights. Which is tantamount to saying that there are literally hundreds of "roughly equivalent" cartridges for each individual purpose/ application. The "8mm Mauser" as your cartridge is commonly known has been referred to as a "poor mans magnum" because it's heavy bullet coupled with brisk velocity makes it a formidable cartridge. Expect lots of folks to compare it to the 30-06 springfield loaded heavy, or the .338 Win mag loaded light, or the .35 Whelen loaded standard. Any of which are adequate/ideal for all large game in North America. Another thing to consider is that your rifles age. Should you decide to handload for it, you might look into casting lead bullets for it. By doing so, you can make bullets that are the ideal diameter for your bore. As an added plus, lead bullets don't wear the rifling on barrels nearly as much as their copper counterparts. Given the large diameter of your bore, a solid lead bullet will expand enough in most game to render the desired effect so you won't lose much in transition. Casting lead bullets is pretty easy and you'll likely find lots of wheel weights available for free from local tire shops. Although they aren't a consistent alloy, they make fine plinking bullets.

One last thing, lots of folks complain about lead deposits in the bore from shooting lead bullets. A brass brush with a few pieces of a copper "chore boy" scouring pad woven in the bristles will literally scrape out the lead in a few passes. Copper fouling requires bore solvents that are all painfully slow, stinky, and expensive (relatively speaking). Even if it fouls after twenty shots, it'll take three passes to clean!

May 7, 2007, 03:46 PM
Since no one has come right out and told you, I will. After you pick up the gun, do not give the guy anymore of your money. If you came to him and told him you wanted something bigger then a .22lr and cheap to shoot, and he pointed you to a 8x56R, then he did not provide you with the right information. Stay away for this guy from now on!

Like someone else said though, do not feel bad about picking up a $100 serviceable rifle. It will shoot, and if you do not mind paying half a dollar per shot, then it will probably be just fine. However, I would look around for a Mosin Nagant if you truly want something that is cheap to shoot. You can find them for around $90 at a retail store and cheaper if you hunt around for them.

One trick that I have found out about seeing if someone is taking advantage of you is to research something about a rifle or pistol and then ask the sales guy a question that you already know the answer to.

Here is an example of a made up exchange:
"I would like a rifle that is not very expensive and cheap to shoot, what do you have that will fit my needs?"

Since you already looked up some of the cheaper rifles and the price of feeding them, you will know that some of the expectable answers would be, "Well I have this used Savage for $150 in .22lr, which you can shoot for less then 3 cents a shot."

" That might be ok, but I was really looking for something in a larger diameter," you reply.

"Okay then, we have a large selection of Mosin Nagants for around $100, and surplus ammo for it is really cheap."

Okay, this guy seems to be pretty good. But lets go to another store just to see if he can blow us away with his knowledge and expertise...

"I would like a rifle that is not very expensive, cheap to shoot, and is larger then a .22lr, what do you have that will fit my needs?"

"Well it is very lucky that you came in when you did. I have a cheap but rare (notice the oxymoron) Century m95/34 8x56R for $99 that just came in. They are cheap to shoot. See only 50 cents a shot. How could you afford not too!?!?"

See in this case you need to start slowly backing away from the seller, and when out of grabbing distance, turn around and run for the door. Clearly the first seller is the one you want to do business with.

[note: Researching a question in-depth before going to so called experts can help you in many different areas, not just when buying guns (auto mechs, insurance seller, investment advisors, and anyone that is trying to help you spend your hard earned cash).]

May 7, 2007, 04:04 PM
Very definitely reload! A Lee anniversary kit that has everything you need except dies is about $90. Dies are $25.00 for Lee dies. Case length gage and trimmer, $4.00. You can get all that from MidwayUSA online. About $25 for a pound of powder. Brass is $36.00 for 100 from Grafs and Sons, bullets are $26.00 per 100. I assume large rifle primers and you're all set. This would be a great platform to learn to reload on.

I recently obtained a 8mm Lebel French Berthier rifle and I love reloading and shooting it. Kicks like a mad mule and what a fireball out the front!

For inexpensive plinking, I would go with .223 - probably the cheapest "real" rifle ammo you will find.

Also, those who have said to get a .22LR in addition - absolutely CORRECT! No gun owner should be without a .22 for cheap fun/practice!

One last thing.... don't go back to that particular gun dealer - he wanted to sell you that rifle and didn't care what lies he told. But that does not mean you can't thoroughly enjoy that rifle and making the ammo for it. My 8mm Lebel is my favorite rifle now, but I knew what I was getting before I bought it.

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