Surplus or new


June 11, 2011, 10:32 PM
When buying a rifle, would you prefer a surplus rifle (WW2, pre 1960s, coldwar era, etc) or a new rifle.

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June 11, 2011, 10:56 PM
A surplus. A New rifle almost always needs break in and a new gun is rarely a good deal. A surplus rifle, in the case of a Mosin at least, the arsenal refurbs are perfectly good and practically new, at a fraction of the cost.

June 11, 2011, 11:01 PM
There are many things to like about about WWII era rifles, features that have been lost. However modern M700's, Savages, M77 Rugers, M70's are just fine.

I consider WW1 stuff risky due to the metallurgy.

Pre 1900 is very old. You really have to know what you are doing, and even then, those things can break real easy.

June 12, 2011, 06:35 AM
Depends on what I'm doing with it. If I'm buying a milsurp, it's because I want that milsurp. I want the history, I want the cosmoline. I *may* want it as a shooter, too, but I'm primarily buying a physical piece of history.

If I'm buying a rifle to shoot a lot, I may still get a milsurp, but I'm more likely to buy new/ish. If I'm buying one to hunt with, I'm probably buying new/ish.

June 12, 2011, 07:27 AM
lets add another option ,USED. not long ago when surplus rifles and cheap ammo were flooding the shelves it was a no brainer. but now supplies are low and and much of the ammunition is special order.

June 12, 2011, 10:36 AM
"Modern" rifles bore me. I'll take a pre '64 Model 70 or a finely made sporter based on a Mauser 98 or Springfield '03 action any day over the current crop of investment cast, plastic stocked, "Star War" guns. Any of the aforementioned will safely accommodate any modern cartridge and have the "feel" only to be had by fine machining and workmanship. They're a thing of beauty from a bygone era.

June 12, 2011, 10:50 AM
Modern guns are boring and expensive, it's the same thing as buying a new anything else- you take a huge depreciation hit on something going from new to used that doesn't correspond at all to the wear and tear deterioration rate.

I buy used, and prefer surplus- surplus was built to a much higher standard of durability, and then took a much higher depreciation hit than anything available commercially.

June 12, 2011, 10:52 AM
I also would only by a milsurp rifle if I was looking specifically for a particular model of rifle.

I buy rifles to shoot, and I'm very much of the opinion that only accurate rifles are interesting. Buying a Mosin is a total crap-shoot in that regard and even the "accurate" ones are only accurate when compared to the crappy ones. Of course the other problem with surplus bolt guns is the complete lack of left-handed models.

I prefer a modern production gun. If it doesn't shoot well, I have some recourse with the manufacturer or, if it's used, a simple rebarrel from a 'smith that has experience with newer rifles (lots more of those around) can take care of that. Perhaps the most important consideration keeping me with newer rifles, though, is that they actually come made for those of us in our right minds.

June 12, 2011, 11:10 AM
There's no rifle made easier to re-barrel than a 98 Mauser...

Grim Peeper
June 12, 2011, 11:13 AM
Just wondering where one would buy one of these old surplus rifles that you speak of. Like a springfield 1903

June 12, 2011, 11:15 AM
While buying a surplus can be a crap shoot in terms of accuracy, I know I can buy half a dozen Mosins versus one modern rifle. Sure some of the Mosins can be junkers, but odds are you'll get a decent shooter.

Of my rifles, only my .22 was bought new. The rest are milsurp.

June 12, 2011, 11:19 AM
When buying a rifle, would you prefer a surplus rifle (WW2, pre 1960s, coldwar era, etc) or a new rifle.

It would really depend on the intended purpose for the rifle. What is yours?

June 12, 2011, 11:23 AM
Just wondering where one would buy one of these old surplus rifles that you speak of. Like a springfield 1903

You've apparently never seen or handled a 1903 Springfield built by Sedgley or Griffin and Howe...

June 12, 2011, 12:21 PM
What is the purpose? I would pick a Garand or M14 over a M16 because they are historic and classic. I would pick a 1911 over a Beretta 92 for the same reasons. If I were selecting a hunting rifle I would have to compare. A pre 64 Model 70 is a great gun for higher performance hunting rounds. However, you might not want to expose it to damage when hunting. If you hunt extreme weather you will probably want a synthetic stock, special corrosion prevention, etc. that come with a new Ruger or Savage or what have you. I think shotguns are very iffy. I do not know if there are any great sxs and o/o guns being produced, other than very expensive models. Again if you are going to hunt the gun you will be better off with a modern gun.

Red October
June 12, 2011, 12:57 PM
To echo what has been said already, it really depends on you and what you like.
I have a C&R, so I have a lot of surplus guns. I love the "feel" of the history, and the heft of an older rifle. As I like to say, 'from a time when an unloaded rifle was still a fairly decent weapon.' You can run across good deals and find a really good shooting rifle for a lot less than a new one (of course, depending on what you buy).
That being said, I also have some newer rifles, purchased new, that I really like. Many of which were not terribly expensive (both Savage and CZ make some good rifles). Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, and for any given brand someone will have had a bad experience.
Mostly, if you get a rifle that is in decent shape, use good ammo, and a good scope (if you use a scope), the results you get are primarily dependent on your ability to shoot.

June 12, 2011, 01:28 PM
Can I pick all of the above? Seriously, though, I like both older guns and newer guns.

June 12, 2011, 01:59 PM
people get the idea that metal goes bad over time. Only if it has been abused or subjected to conditions that would affect the metal, such as fire, corrosion, etc.

I have a nice Great war collection and several rifles from the late 1800s that I shoot on a regular basis and they are great shooters. I am a long time C&R shooter and that is what I prefer. New rifles are boring. The only "new" rifle I have is a Marlin 60 22. When I hunt, I use whatever old military junk that strikes the eye. I have taken deer with my 1873 Springfield trapdoor and my 1895 Mauser. If I got the chance to hunt nowadays, I would use my M1D Garand or my M39 Mosin Nagant. chris3

June 12, 2011, 10:10 PM
Mr. Barty,

If this is your first gun, go get a nice cheap Mosin Nagant. I got mine for about $75 at a gun show. I had been looking at all sorts of newer rifles, but I wasn't sure if I'd like the idea of owning a bunch of guns yet. This may sound less macho than the norm, but I feel like shooting for the fun of it should be approached like any hobby. Start slow, and ease your way in. See if you like it.
If you go out and spend $1500 on a gun, and then another $100 on ammo, another $100 on accessories (cleaning, mags, whatever), you're going to be hard pressed to feel like you got your money's worth if it's your first gun.
Grab yourself a mosin nagant, blow up some beer bottles with it, and see how many trees you can shoot through in a line before the bullet stops. It's a blast.

June 12, 2011, 10:18 PM
the old bolt actions were made to be used ALOT. they had to function regardless of weather conditions.

so many new rifles suck in smoothness. know the old saying for a mauser? " bolt feels like an oild glass rod sliding on a glass plate". mosin can have that smoothness too. so many budget rifles have that "holy crap, rusted metal rubbing on rusted metal, no oil" feel and sound.
dont get me started on locking lugs. i like BIG lugs and i cannot lie. ive seen bolt action 22 long rifles made in 1910 that have twice the locking lugs on alot of rifles now that are made for 300 winmag...

June 13, 2011, 02:21 PM
When buying a rifle, would you prefer a surplus rifle (WW2, pre 1960s, coldwar era, etc) or a new rifle.

This question isn't tremendously useful with the context in which you intend to use the rifle.

Hunting? Plinking? Historical appreciation? Competition? Personal defense?

I'm much more interested in using firearms in practical competitive settings than just about anything else. I know it's heresy for some, but frankly, I find most old milsurp guns to be obsolete to the point of being completely disinteresting.

They have bad ergonomics, the sighting systems are often times less than adequate, and neither the guns themselves nor the surplus ammunition most people shoot through them are capable of great accuracy.

Modern guns may cost more, but as long as you put some effort into your research, you'll be able to find a gun that is much more accurate straight out of the box than nearly any milsurp gun that comes out of a crate.

However, I can fully understand why someone who's more interested in, say, the historical appreciation of a gun would get a lot more excited over an Arisaka with an intact Imperial Mum than they would over a JP-CTR2.

June 13, 2011, 02:26 PM
What the similarly named moderator said. What can one learn from such a vague question?

June 13, 2011, 03:37 PM
Yeah, your answer totally depends on what you want/need a rifle FOR. I personally prefer old milsurps, because I just like to shoot paper and cans full of water, and other "reactive" targets. I'm not into hunting or precision target shooting.

Different screwdrivers for different kinds of screws, ya know.....

June 13, 2011, 04:57 PM
Precision is relative. I personally think 2-3 MOA at 300 yards is sufficient for almost anything, and that a sub-MOA rifle that costs a bundle is not worth it.

June 13, 2011, 05:14 PM
Precision isn't relative. It's a matter of buying a gun with the level of precision required by the shooter.

The more accurate the rifle is, the more range you have to be able to effectively engage targets.

Granted, most people tend not to shoot rifles much beyond 100 or 200 yards, mostly owing to a lack of ranges with sufficient distances, but given that I've got rifles (ARs, in fact) that are capable of repeatable hits to 500 yards and beyond, it's hard to argue against having that sort of inherent accuracy in your rifle, especially if you have the distances to be able to shoot that far.

"Only accurate rifles are interesting."

-Townsend Whelen

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