Advice on what rifle I should get


March 20, 2008, 08:21 PM
I'm looking for a rifle to add to my 12 ga and .22LR. I want to stay under $200. I'm looking at the following:

Mosin Nagant M44
Mosin Nagant 91/30
Yugo SKS
Swiss K31

I want something that is fun, accurate, and cheap to shoot. I want the best condition rifle I can get for the money. I really don't want cracked stocks or worn out bores or have to put any work into it. I just want this rifle to shoot "out of the box" with no problems. I'm open to other suggestions. What rifle is right for me?

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March 20, 2008, 08:26 PM
Well not all military rifles shoot with "no problems" right out of the box, and if you would like a stock that is not cracked or a bore that is in good condition, you need to go hand pick one yourelf, don't let an internet dealer pick one for you.

March 20, 2008, 08:36 PM
The Swiss K31 would probably have the best accuracy, provided you select one that is in favorable condition. The SKS is a fun gun, I have one of th yugos myself. On the other hand, both Mosins use 7.62x54R which is comparatively cheap at the moment.

March 20, 2008, 10:20 PM
I like how both Mosins use the same ammo, but are they really different from eachother? To me the M44 seems to have a shorter barrel while the 91/30 has a longer barrel.

I like the Swiss K31 because of the reports on how good the accuracy is. The bolt is also very cool. However, I have seen some bad cracks in the stocks people recieved from internet dealers. I plan on buying online...

I like the SKS because I heard how reliable it is. There are plenty of accessories for it, but how is the accuracy? I like how it uses the same round as the AK becuase I plan on buying one down the road.

I wish I could get all, but I am forced to go with one.

March 20, 2008, 11:43 PM
My Russian SKS will do 3moa pretty reliably, with wolf ammo. For practical use that is about all you'll need.

March 21, 2008, 12:02 AM
Well, MN are going for around 75$ and ammo is about 18 cents/round (plus shipping).

A K31 is mighty nice, but at 50 cents/round (plus shipping) there's only so much fun to go around. I'm in the market to buy one, but i can't afford to shoot it very much.

March 21, 2008, 12:19 AM
"...are they really different from each other..." Mostly in the felt recoil and muzzle blast. Carbines using the same ammo as the full size PBI rifle will do that. There's about 1 pound difference in weight, but 8.75" difference in barrel length. That move the muzzle blast away from you. Even a pound makes a difference in felt recoil.
Look into a Swedish M38 Mauser too. 6.5 x 55. Don't know what they're worth Stateside, but most of 'em will drive tacks with good ammo. And you'll still have a deer/bear/moose rifle with less felt recoil and muzzle blast. There's no milsurp ammo around, but there's lots of commercial ammo and brass available.
You'll want to be reloading for whatever you opt to buy.

March 21, 2008, 12:31 AM
Get the SKS. You will love it.

You will have the most fun and the least "out of the box" problems with it.

Good luck!

March 21, 2008, 01:17 AM
For your use I agree that the SKS is a pretty good choice.
A Saiga might also be worth a look.

I've had some great military surplus rifles and can't really say anything bad about the Mosin.
But I agree that military surplus doesn't always mean trouble free. There are some bad ones out there. You'll have to make sure personally that you're picking a good one or deal with a company that has really good customer service.
Even beyond that, the Mosin just as it is kind of archaic. They are durable and they will work, but they're not really user friendly. The safety is hard to manipulate and you can also get rimlock if the cartridge interruptor isn't working right (I've only ever seen one Mosin that did have a working interruptor).
The K-31 is known to be bloody accurate but ammo isn't common in my area. I've never even seen it at any gun store.
The Yugo SKS's seem to work pretty well but I'd look for a 59 rather than the 59/66. They don't have the gas cutoff and that means less that can go wrong.

For my uses anymore, I've basically decided that the only Mil-surp that does anything for me would be an Enfield, probably a No. 4.
For a GP rifle though, a lever action 30-30 really will do so much better (for me).

March 21, 2008, 01:42 AM
Does the SKS feel "smooth" when shot or does it have a notchy type feel (if that makes sense)?

March 21, 2008, 01:50 AM
The triggering varies, I have shot SKS's that had rough triggers (mostly from not being cleaned thoroughly) and others that were pretty darn smooth at what felt like to me between 6-7.5 lbs pull. If you go with an SKS, clean it well inside and you shouldnt have a problem at all.

March 21, 2008, 01:55 AM
goon is a stronger man than I am. I literally cannot work the safety on my Mosin. I have a Mosin and a Mauser. Both are fun to own and shoot. Both kick like mules. Both are pretty cheap to buy (the gun and the ammo).

None of these options will ever win at Camp Perry. If accuracy is a really big thing to you, then save another $150 and get a Stevens 200 in whatever cal. you like. Mine is so accurate that I was upset with it for a while. It is quite a bit more accurate than another rifle I have that cost over twice as much.

March 21, 2008, 02:04 AM
Those are all good choices, but you'll probably come closest to what you want with an SKS in VG or unissued condition.

K31's are very accurate, reasonably priced and I've never heard of any quality issues with them. Ammo's not cheap however.

Mosin Nagants are very cheap, reliable and have very affordable ammo. You might have to clean the chamber out however with a 28 gauge shotgun brush and a power drill to remove hardened cosmoline. If you don't do this the bolts will often stick and don't want to rotate after firing a shot. Accuracy is also hit and miss with MN's. Some will shoot 2 MOA or better and some couldn't hit the side of a barn. If you can find one, I'd get a post war MN. They tend to be better made and to have had little use. I've got 1943 and 1945 Ishvesk rifles and the difference between them is night and day. The 43 looks like it was made in a hurry by a drunk machinist. It's got tooling marks all over it and the finish looks like hell, (although it's all there). The 45 on the other hand has perfectly polished and blued metal and it shoots much much better.

I like Yugo SKS's, but they didn't use chrome lined bores and some are black and fuzzy. Fortunately there are lots of them out there in very good condition. They're reliable, reasonably accurate, (about 3-4 MOA), and ammo is reasonably cheap.

March 21, 2008, 02:12 AM
If you go with the SKS, talk to some folks who own them before you shoot too much. I recall hearing that they can "go auto" if there's crap built up around the firing pin. I don't have experience with this, but I've heard it enough times to consider it.

March 21, 2008, 02:39 AM
have you considered a new rifle? i have a nef in 280rem that will put food on the table anywhere in america,make lots of noise and punch paper at about $250. mine had a mint bore and fresh wood stocks when i bought it.

March 21, 2008, 03:23 AM
Does the SKS feel "smooth" when shot or does it have a notchy type feel (if that makes sense)?

I have 2,a Yugo and a Russian,and both of them fire smooth (to me).I would say an SKS for a reasonably inexpensive but good rifle!I have an M91/30 and an M44 both have nice firepower but the 54R's have a bit of a 'kick' to them.(not that im complaining) but the 39's are a smoother shoot.

March 21, 2008, 12:23 PM
The SKS's I owned worked reliably and the triggers were smooth, but a little heavy and stagey. This is common with military rifles - many have a first stage where you take up some slack and a second stage where the round is fired.

Again, the best way is to pick one for yourself.

If I were looking for an SKS I'd try to find a chinese or romanian. But I wouldn't shed tears over a Yugo M-59.

Rifleman 173
March 21, 2008, 09:33 PM
Gradually get ALL those rifles. I would go with the SKS first. Second would be the Swiss rifle and the Mosins would be last. The SKS is semi-automatic and lets you get a follow-up shot off pretty quick if you need to do one. The others are all bolt-action and slower than the SKS. In some states, it is also legal to hunt deer with an SKS so that says something right there too.

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