Milsurp lovers-help me choose a rifle


June 14, 2007, 08:56 AM
So, thanks to a loving and generous wife, a bonus check from work and father's day, I have some money for yet another milsurp.I've narrowed down my choices to 3, but can't decide which one to get, so I figured you guys could help me decide by giving me some info and opinions.My choices are a German K-98 8mm with all the codes, proofs, dates, etc (includig the nazi eagle and swastica), listed as "very good" condition for $295, an Enfield-Martini pre-1898 in .303 bititish, listed as "decent shape" (may have hairline stock crack or repair),in a choice of rifle or carbine, for $295, or the same Enfield-Martini, but in .450 instead of .303 for $359.So, for those who own, have fired, or have info on these, lets hear your pick, and some pro's and cons for the choices.

Whatever I get, I plan to shoot, even if I have to handload with blackpowder (for the Martini's).I'm stumped, as I need a WWII German gun for my WWII milsurp collection, but I really love antiques also, and the Martini's are certainly that, and also are a lot more unique and seen less often, and I just think they look really cool (and .450 is a caliber I dont have).So, help me out with your info and input please....


If you enjoyed reading about "Milsurp lovers-help me choose a rifle" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
cracked butt
June 14, 2007, 09:26 AM
I'd go with the K-98.
I've heard at least horror story about a wholesaler who is selling martinis that are poorly made replicas in that price range. Atlanta Cutlery imported some Martinis, but the price is double that which you are quoting. Make sure you know exactly what you are getting before you buy.

I would choose the kar98 anyhow.

June 14, 2007, 09:31 AM
My choices are a German K-98 8mm with all the codes, proofs, dates, etc (includig the nazi eagle and swastica), listed as "very good" condition for $295,

Get it. Own a piece of history which also doubles as a good shooter/hunting rifle.

That is the kind of rifle you can show guests, even non-gun junkies, and when they see it was a German WWII rifle you get the "owww" and "ahhh" effect. When you pass it on to your kids at age 85, it will be worth much more than $295. :)

June 14, 2007, 11:08 AM
The bigger rifles are good choices so long as you don't mind recoil. I've never shot the .450 but the 8mm will lean you back a bit fruther than the .303.

All of them should be good hunting rifles but what is your intent? Just paper? Hunting? To own a piece of History? Just to have it and give to the kids? These are important considerations.

June 14, 2007, 12:01 PM
Go for the K98K Mauser. Best and most copied bolt action ever made. 8mm components commonly available and the recoil is a nice big push. Make sure the bore is in good shape. Some are and some look like a gravel road. Also have head space checked.

June 14, 2007, 12:03 PM
opps, yeah, I probly should have mentioned the gun is only for fun paper punching, nothing serious at all, and as a collectable/piece of history.Recoil is really a non-issue as I'm really not very sensitive too it, and have an 8mm Turk Mauser and a Savage Enfeild .303, and recoil on either is no issue at all.Mainly, I just want it to add to my c&r collection, but it will be fired occasionally for fun.My main reason for this thread is just to find out if there are any known "issues" with any of them, which one people seem to like the best and why, and because I really want to get a k-98 AND a Matini, and will have both at some point, but I just cant decide which one to get first, so since I cant make up my mind, I figured I'd let you guys do it for me.FWIW, it's Southern Ohio Guns that has them at the prices I listed, so if anyone has bought one of thier Martinis or the k-98 with all the proofs,marks, etc, please let me know if you were happy with it and what kind of shape it was in.I've bought about 10 milsurps from them and have been 100% pleased every time, so I'm not really worried about them selling me crap or fakes.Thanks.

June 14, 2007, 12:11 PM
All three. It's just money, and you can always make more of it;).

If I had to choose one, I'd go for the .450 cal. Enfield just because I am drawn to oddball firearms for some reason.

These guys have .577/.450 martini brass, though it is spendy.

Buffalo arms (,5733.htm)

June 14, 2007, 01:40 PM
well, we can skip the .450 Martini, I was just browsing for ammo, and found out it goes for about $110 per 20 :what:, so that narrows it down to the .303 Martini and the k-98.Bummer, that would have been cool,but I just couldn't afford to fire it but once a year at that, lets decide beween the remaining 2......

cracked butt
June 14, 2007, 02:18 PM
I haven't bought one from SOG myself, but the K98s they are selling are almost definately russian captures- the dead giveaway is the reddish color finish, lack of front sight hood and lack of cleaning rod. They will be missing their locking screws as well (the russians needed steel more than they needed frivilous gun parts). The bolts will not match. On the upside, they were rebuilt by people who knew what they were doing, were unlikely to be fired after their rebuild, and will have correct headspace.

July 3, 2007, 07:38 PM
Thanks for everyone's input.Here's a pic of the 1942 mfg, nazi marked, K98 you all helped me to decide on that showed up yesterday:

Thanks again everone.I'm VERY happy with it.Now I just need to scrounge up a sling and bayo for it and take it out for a test drive.....
I'd show some close-ups of the markings, but my camera skills make it impossble, sorry :(

July 3, 2007, 10:19 PM
Looks good. How's the bore and who's the importer?


July 4, 2007, 01:12 PM
That appears to be a nice one. Another one you should put on your list before the supply dries up is the K31 Swiss. I picked one up at Cabella's the other week. It is one of my favorite mil surplus rifles.

July 4, 2007, 02:52 PM
Like vector248 said put a K-31 on your list, the price on these fine pieces is going up fast. Two years ago I paid 70-80 each for a few, now you are probably looking at 175-250 depending on condition. Many were made by Sig to give an idea of the quality of these match/target grade milsurps.

Another fine piece is the Swedish M 96 Mauser or the short version called the M 38 here. I like them better than the '98. and the recoil is much less. Quality control remained excellent through the long production life of the M 96 as opposed to diminishing quality of the 98 as Germany entered the war and years passed.

Neither of these have the historical sigfinance of the M 98, except that they probably helped keep Switzerland and Sweden out of WWII!

July 4, 2007, 02:58 PM
Good Mausers are hard to find at a resonable price. And good 1903 Springfields are darn near impossible to find.

It's hard to go wrong with a Mosin as a first milsurp. They're cheap, widely available, and 7.62x54R surplus ammo is dirt cheap, cheaper than 9mm. With a Limbsaver slip-on recoil pad, they don't kick badly at all. It's more of a strong push than a sharp kick. Lots of fun.

And after you've build up your right arm muscles working the Mosin bolt, you'll really appreciate the Mauser bolt when you eventually buy one of those. :)

July 4, 2007, 08:38 PM
Thanks.As for the Mosin and k31 suggestions, I've had a VERY nice walnut stocked k31 for a couple years (and love it), and had and m44 even longer (total blast to shoot-pun intended.)Importer on the k98 is Century, but is obviously an older import as the electro-stencil mark is very small, and near the muzzle, on the underside of the barrel (unlike the more recent stuff with the huge, ugly import marks on the receiver, or other stupid and obvious locations :barf:).Got the gun though SOG, and am happy as always.I love those guys...

July 5, 2007, 03:51 AM
Of those, get the Mauser...but seriously for that much you could get a pair of great k31's!

If you enjoyed reading about "Milsurp lovers-help me choose a rifle" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!