Best value sniper rifle - probably milsurp


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Dr_2_B
February 7, 2012, 11:48 PM
I have a buddy who enjoys the long range shooting more than I do. He's also a prepper. What I mean by that is he believes a time will come in which civilized society goes south. I'm making no statement on that view.

What I am interested in, though, is your thoughts on the best value in a sniper rifle for him, a poor college student. Obviously a Mosin comes to mind - and they can be had very cheap.

What else though? Something that, along with a decent scope, would allow this guy to reach out several hundred yards.

Yes, I am deliberately being vague here because I'm interested in a variety of responses.

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jpwilly
February 7, 2012, 11:51 PM
Not many here will care much for the "Sniper" rifle lingo. A good starting point for a decent long range boom stick is the used gun rack at the local pawn shop or gun store. Maybe even browsing Backpage etc.

I believe a used 30-06 with a scope is a very capable weapon in the right hands. You don't have to have a M-40 to make long range hits once you learn your rifle, ammo and of course practice. I don't think a Mosin will fit the bill either to scope one can cost as much as said used hunting rifle.

denton
February 7, 2012, 11:59 PM
There is no free lunch.

Russian Mosins are generally 4 MOA machines, which is minute of person at 250 yards or more. That's not very good.

Finnish Mosins tend to run around 2 MOA or better. That's a very useful improvement.

Either flavor Mosin is awkward to scope. Mojo sights are cheap to install and will give you about as much accuracy as you're going to get out of a Mosin.

So you don't see many people who are interested in long range shooting going the Mosin route.

Mausers tend to be pretty accurate. I just picked up a Yugo 8x57 that shoots 2" groups at 100 with Mojo sights. Yugos don't command very high prices [$200 for mine] because you can't rebarrel them to a 30-06 length cartridge. The receiver is too short. But for a reliable firearm that is much better looking than the Mosin, they're good. Mine is my loaner gun for teenage grandkids that want to hunt. There is just about no way they can bust it, and it's probably good for deer or elk at 300 yards.

Lee Enfields can be had for around $200 and up. I think they are a good rifle.

With a little shopping you can get a good used commercial rifle at a reasonable price. With patience, you might land a good 30-06 or 270 for $300-350. There is no telling in advance how accurate that might be but recent vintage Savage rifles are fairly often 1 MOA. That's probably the best bet by far. Something like a 270 would be fun to take to the range and would make a very good hunting rifle. And when he's done with it, it has good resale value.

Anybody that thinks he's going to feed and defend his family with a Mosin in case of EOWAWKI has chosen a difficult path. Better to prepare for the common adversities: flood, drought, earthquake, blizzard. A well chosen 72 hour kit with food, a tarp, a couple of blankets, $100 in small bills, and a especially a roll of TP is going to be a lot more commonly useful. It doesn't hurt to have a little 38 or 9mm in the kit. You're not going to feed your family on deer, but you might need to defend what you have.

WardenWolf
February 8, 2012, 12:18 AM
It depends on the Mosin, Denton. If you handpick one, you can get 2 MOA or, in rare circumstances, sub-1 MOA.

From a survivalist standpoint, there's a couple of different schools of thought. One is that you should choose a rifle in a common caliber, since you will more likely be able to scrounge supplies in the event you run out. The other is that you should choose a rifle in a less common caliber. That way the caliber will be less in demand, and will be more likely to be available when the stores are otherwise cleaned out. An added reason for the latter choice is that it makes it much harder for someone else to use your ammo if they somehow gain access to it (have to leave some behind, or they steal your stuff).

Personally, I like 8mm Mauser. Hard-hitting, long range, accurate. The guns that shoot it are often rugged and cheap. My sporterized German Mauser can hit approximately 1 MOA with PRVI Partizan soft points, and only cost me $250. Ammo is relatively easy to find, but not overly popular so there's not too huge a demand. Recoil is also very acceptable, despite being 33% more powerful than .30-06.

denton
February 8, 2012, 12:32 AM
It depends on the Mosin, Denton. If you handpick one, you can get 2 MOA or, in rare circumstances, sub-1 MOA.


Some guys have all the luck! :)

firesky101
February 8, 2012, 12:36 AM
many modern bolt actions are capable of sub MOA for not a whole lotta $$$. Should be able to get a NIB rifle in .308 or .30'06 for under $400. For really reaching out there the glass is going to be your value doom.

WardenWolf
February 8, 2012, 12:37 AM
Some guys have all the luck! :)
Bought mine of a 5'3" ex-Marine who had handpicked it and was only selling it because of a shoulder injury. No, I'm not joking. Short guy with a 4-foot rifle.

gotboostvr
February 8, 2012, 12:46 AM
I'd recommend a Stevens in either 30-06 (long action) or .308 (short action).

They're very accurate and pretty affordable in stock form, and serve as a great platform for upgrading. they cost a bit more than your standard mosin, but not unattainablely so. For most people it's just a few more weeks of saving at around 250 dollars. They're also drilled and tapped for scopes so you save paying a gunsmith for that, and you don't need to buy a scope mount, just rings.

Being said, there is NOTHING wrong with the old Mosin, I just think for a few more dollars up front you save alot of time, work and cash over trying to accurize and scope a nearing 100 year old battle rifle. They have their place, but long range precision shooting is not it.

nathan
February 8, 2012, 12:47 AM
That be simply my Finn M 39 with lots of ammo. Cost me $ 100 at most for a 440rd tin to my door. Lots of stripper clips and you are good to go. M 39 is rugged , reliable and accurate. In a SHTF scenario you need that accurate fire for opportunists who wants to rob, kill and maim.

Kachok
February 8, 2012, 12:49 AM
If you want to reach out several hundred yards a modern rifle might be better for your needs. Just about any Savage 110 or Tikka T3 should be good for sub-MOA accuracy on a tight budget, I have owned many of these rifles and they have all been shooters. If you want to push the boundries of accuracy even further a heavy barrel Savage 12 series, Tikka Varmiter, or Remington Tactical combined with premium handloads can deliver amazing accuracy, some have even been proven 1/4 MOA shooters, but they cost a good bit more. I highly doubt you will get anything close to that with a mil-surp rifle and off the shelf ammo.
For the extream budget minded a Savage Axis costs less then $300 while it does not have some of the frills the 110s do it is still fully capable of very good accuracy, get a 223 or 308 to keep ammo costs down if you don't reload. Nikon Prostaff and Bushnell Banner scopes are a great value, I have owned several of them without a glitch.
If you are stuck on mil-surp and want accuracy get a quality Mauser (prefrably a 98 or Sweed), they will deliver MUCH better accuracy then any cheap Russian Mosin.....honestly there is a reason they are so cheap.

Manny
February 8, 2012, 12:49 AM
I'd be mighty interested in seeing your data showing an 8x57 being 33 percent more powerful than a .30-06 WardenWolf..... sounds like propaganda left over from the third reich.

As to a bargain long range gun, if he gets a good US milsurp such as a Garand, Springfield, M1917 Enfield or even an AR he can compete in CMP shoots nearly anywhere in the US and get some first rate training and regular practice to become a truly competant shooter. Beats learning everything the hard way by a longshoot in my book.

Kachok
February 8, 2012, 12:54 AM
According to Nosler #6 the 8x57 can drive a 200gr bullet slightly faster then an 06, but not 33% more powerful by any stretch of the imagination, not unless you subscribe to the TKO formula anyway :)

lloydkristmas
February 8, 2012, 12:54 AM
I dont think I'd want a scoped anything for SHTF go-to gun. Then again I'm in a mostly urban area where the likes of an AR/AK serve me better

What happens when your gun takes a hard knock and the scope gets bumped off zero? Ammo shortages, discretion, and other factors may not allow you to easily re zero it.

I'd direct him toward one of the compact, light iron sighted rifles like a Jungle Enfield or maybe even one of the SPanish FR8's in 308.

Just a personal opinion

35 Whelen
February 8, 2012, 01:07 AM
This is do-able:

Swiss K-31- shop carefully and you can find them for $200, in rare cases a little less.
Clamp-on scope mount $70 +/-
Cheap scope- pick one
Ammunition- GP-11 (http://www.samcoglobal.com/Ammo-75-swiss.html)from Samco Global about 50 per round, and this ammunition is in every way match grade.

If you buy a $150 scope, you have less than $500 in a really, really tough, accurate rifle

Now proof:

Some 100 yd. targets:
http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h6/308Scout/Targets/53K31Group1.jpg

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h6/308Scout/Targets/39K-31Groups.jpg

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h6/308Scout/Targets/53K31withGP-11.jpg


A target fired with my Swiss K-31 at 600 yds. prone with receiver sights, only support being a sling. Eight of the ten final shots, after sight adjustment, grouped about 18". In shooting this group I made NO attempt to allow for the variable wind. Of the total eleven shots fired, eight of them penetrated the target which is 1/4" diamond plate steel. (In the picture, these appear as bright white dots on the target):

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h6/308Scout/Targets/600ydgongtest-labeled.jpg



Sorry guys. Your Mosin might shoot like this occassionally, (it's called a fluke) but not consistently, plus the surplus ammunition is by and large, fecal matter. I know because I've owned almost as many Mosins as I have K-31's. And in doing so, purchased 4 cases of different milsuro 7.62x54r ammunition.

35W

WardenWolf
February 8, 2012, 01:36 AM
I'd be mighty interested in seeing your data showing an 8x57 being 33 percent more powerful than a .30-06 WardenWolf..... sounds like propaganda left over from the third reich.

Wikipedia info comparing muzzle energy. 4000 joules versus 3000 joules.

dldbrandon
February 8, 2012, 01:40 AM
Buy a Savage Model 16FXP3 in .308 ,and when you can put 5 rounds touching at 100 yards, buy a better scope and move up to 300. when you can shoot 6 inch groups every time at 300, get a better barrel and move up to 500.

Then, if you want to shoot like a sniper, set up a target inside of 1000 yards.

Get a buddy, preferably that guy that gets on your nerves after a while, load up with 3 rifles and all your gear, and about 250 lbs of stuff. Pack along a few Oscar Meyer Lunchables.

Get on a bus, and ride it 12 miles out of town. Get off, and hide in the ditch till dark. walk back into town, hiding in the ditch every time a car passes.

If you don't make it to the range before sunup, hide in a dumpster the next day till dark.

when you get within 2000 yards of the range, crawl the rest of the way. If you have to pee, do it right where you are lying. Get to the line, and build a pillow fort. Hide in it with your buddy all the next day and night. Argue over who gets to take the shot, who's the better shot, the range to target, the wind speed and direction, and who ate the last lunchable.

Next morning, have your buddy call your girlfriend, and ask if you can take the shot. she'll tell you to call back a few times, then tell you no. pack up all your stuff (including your feces) and crawl all the way home.

While Precision Long Range Marksmanship is an important skill for a sniper, it's not the most important. Lots of excellent shots wash out of SSBC becuase they can't hack Mapmaking, stalking, Fieldcraft. Making the shot is the last worry- if you can't burn and hide, and wait and wait, you'll never get a chance to make the shot.

4895
February 8, 2012, 05:06 AM
Mil-surp rifles are not where its at. That stuff is, sadly enough, junk. You need 1 rifle and 1 rifleman to have any chance at less than 1MOA at 1000 yards. Good luck with a $100 piece of junk with that proposition. Get a real rifle (338 Lapua, etc.), $2500 or so. Then spend another $2000 on optics. Buy lots of ammunition and shoot every day. Anything else and you are wasting time.


P.S. Sorry to sound so cynical. After all, snipers don't shoot for groups do they.

P.P.S. If "a few hundred yards" is all you are going for, any hunting rifle at Walmart will do that for you. Build an AR for $600.

BTW, What are all those "preppers" going to do when their vehicle runs out of fuel and they have 500 lbs. of gear in the back seat?

35 Whelen
February 8, 2012, 06:33 AM
BTW, What are all those "preppers" going to do when their vehicle runs out of fuel and they have 500 lbs. of gear in the back seat?

The same thing they're going to do when they realize their "1000 yd." .338 Lapua sniper rifle weighs twice as much as most typical bolt rifles and doesn't have sling loops or for that matter sights for when their scope inevitably gets banged up or damaged.

I find it ironic that you mention the .223 and the 338 Lapua in the same subject as both suitable for the same job at only slightly different ranges.:rolleyes:

And to top it all off you're recommending $4500 worth of equipment when in the OP (that I find so few people read) he states clearly that he's a college student and has not much money to spend.

35W

buckhorn_cortez
February 8, 2012, 07:02 AM
The same thing they're going to do when they realize their "1000 yd." .338 Lapua sniper rifle weighs twice as much as most typical bolt rifles and doesn't have sling loops or for that matter sights for when their scope inevitably gets banged up or damaged.

Then they've purchased the wrong Lapua + scope. If you get the right setup, you can make the Lapua (http://www.onlylongrange.com/badnews.asp) into a reasonable package that's only 3-4 lbs (or less) heavier than a magnum bolt action rifle. Tactical scopes are suprisingly robust and will take everything from nearby explosions to being dropped 10-feet onto the ground and still work fine.

To the OP - look for a used, quality bolt action in .308. Any of the major manufacturers will do: Remington, Winchester, Sako, Savage, Tikka, Kimber, etc. - just make sure it's a high quality action/barrel. You and your friend can tweak it over time if you want to - bed the barrel / action, new trigger, etc.

The .308 ammunition is found everywhere from the military to hunting and target shooting at this point which is why I'd choose that caliber. But, if he's truly a SHTF'anner he'll need a reloading setup - won't he?

madcratebuilder
February 8, 2012, 07:22 AM
This is do-able:

Swiss K-31- shop carefully and you can find them for $200, in rare cases a little less.
Clamp-on scope mount $70 +/-
Cheap scope- pick one
Ammunition- GP-11 (http://www.samcoglobal.com/Ammo-75-swiss.html)from Samco Global about 50 per round, and this ammunition is in every way match grade.

If you buy a $150 scope, you have less than $500 in a really, really tough, accurate rifle

Now proof:



A target fired with my Swiss K-31 at 600 yds. prone with receiver sights, only support being a sling. Eight of the ten final shots, after sight adjustment, grouped about 18". In shooting this group I made NO attempt to allow for the variable wind. Of the total eleven shots fired, eight of them penetrated the target which is 1/4" diamond plate steel. (In the picture, these appear as bright white dots on the target):



Sorry guys. Your Mosin might shoot like this occassionally, (it's called a fluke) but not consistently, plus the surplus ammunition is by and large, fecal matter. I know because I've owned almost as many Mosins as I have K-31's. And in doing so, purchased 4 cases of different milsuro 7.62x54r ammunition.

35W
+1 for the K31.

Rifle-$250+/-
scope mount-$100
Scope-$100
GP-11 ammo-$$$

This K31 has under five hundred total invested, cheek pad, brake included. it's an easy moa rifle with GP-11 surplus ammo.

Only draw back for a survivalist situation is ammo availability. The K is about as bullet proof as it gets. Only one I have worked on is one bubba tried to do a trigger job on. Ordered one part graf's and a ok.

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d37/madcratebuilder/Swiss%20K-31/K2501.jpg

fallout mike
February 8, 2012, 07:26 AM
A mosin sniper is $800-$900+. Where are you guys getting $100? And 4moa? That is probably a you problem. His best bet is to just look for a used hunting rifle. Now is a good time to get a deal at the end of deer season. I'm about to pick up a ruger M77 in .270 with a leupold vx ii in 3-9x40 for $350.

35 Whelen
February 8, 2012, 07:35 AM
A mosin sniper is $800-$900+.
Read the OP again.

35W

fallout mike
February 8, 2012, 08:15 AM
He said best value SNIPER RIFLE. A $100 mosin is not what I would call a sniper rifle. And he specified "sniper rifle". Madcratebuilder, that cheekpad is freakin awesome. Where did you get it?

.45Guy
February 8, 2012, 08:15 AM
BTW, What are all those "preppers" going to do when their vehicle runs out of fuel and they have 500 lbs. of gear in the back seat?
Run their carbureted vehicles on wood derived hydrocarbons. If you're willing to be ridiculed as a, "prepper," you may as well go whole hog.

troutfisherman1200
February 8, 2012, 08:48 AM
I just picked up a savage axis over the weekend let me tell you, it shoots better than i can.The whole rig cost me $250 out the door with a simmons 3-9 scope.The one i picked up was in 223 Im very suprised with this one.If I wanted a cheap long range shooter a .308 savage would get my vote.why would someone want to spend $ 200 on a surplus rifle then set up a scope on it and still shoot 5 inch-100 yard groups is beyond me.Also if the <deleted> hit the fan I would not want to be stuck looting gun shops for uncommon surplus ammo,Get the savage .308 ammo is everywhere!

Tempest 455
February 8, 2012, 08:50 AM
Ditto on the K31.

The Sarge
February 8, 2012, 11:20 AM
K31 or a modern day Savage.

TexasPatriot.308
February 8, 2012, 11:49 AM
if you got a mil surp rifle for ammo that is not real common, after a while your sniper rifle better have a bayonet on it cause it will be a club then. I stick to rifles in .308 for the scenario your friend asks about. I own a variety of rifles that would fit what he is looking for and they are all in .308, a common round found anywhere.

MJ
February 8, 2012, 12:01 PM
Don't forget the 110 Savage in .308

Steel at 300+ yards
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v130/montereyjack/ee4212f2.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v130/montereyjack/498864ec.jpg

100 yards on small air rifle targets

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v130/montereyjack/24416e2a.jpg

TexasPatriot.308
February 8, 2012, 12:09 PM
Savage is probably the most accurate rifles out there for the price.

Babarsac
February 8, 2012, 12:23 PM
I would love the K-31 if I weren't left-handed and left-eye dominant. Personally I'll take my scoped 1903-A3. I've de-bubba'd it and turned it into a repro 1903-A4.

4895
February 8, 2012, 12:33 PM
The reason I brought the .338 Lapua, as an example, is that is a real sniper caliber/rifle. All the mil-surp rifles are only glorified clubs capable of, as some have said, inconsistent accuracy. I don't know about all of you, but I have yet to find ONE surplus rifle that fits my shoulder well and has a natural grip angle. When you add that most of those rifles will not scope easily you are already in a losing proposition. When that is taken into account, I stated a hunting rifle at Walmart would suffice for "a few hundred yards" as indicated by the OP and further more, as a prepper, he would be better off to go AR15 for an inexpesive, lightweight rifle with great accuracy out to 500 yards. There are tons of options for anyone who wants a "sniper rifle," just don't call a $500 hunting rifle a "sniper rifle." Bottom line is $400 plus for an old nostalgic WWII trench rifle that may shoot ok, has a horrible stock configuration, no place to mount a scope, and lots of surplus fmj corrosive ammo, or get a high power rifle with a spare parts kit, multi-position pistol grip stock, easy mount optic, and easy to find inexpensive, non-corrosive ammo that isn't older than your grandfather's corns. As a plus side, none of the "black weapons" are used by other nations to kill americans. Makes me feel better than that com-block junk that has been threatening and/or killing americans for generations.

Kachok
February 8, 2012, 12:50 PM
Savage= cheap, ugly, stupid reliable, and HIGHLY ACCURATE! As much as I wish Savage would pretty up their guns, I cannot justify spending twice as much on another rifle that won't shoot as well, just bought my sixth Savage yesterday (30-06) I'll try to give you a range report once I cook up some handloads. If it is anything like the last five I have shot expect tiny little groups.
If I wanted a super sniper setup on the cheap a Savae 110 or Axis is the only way to go, Tikka makes a hella good shooter too, but they have gone up over the last few years.

HOOfan_1
February 8, 2012, 12:54 PM
Wikipedia info comparing muzzle energy. 4000 joules versus 3000 joules.

looking at the articles myself of the 4 different configurations they show
the 8mm averages 2980 ft-lb

of 5 different configurations the .30-06 averages 2903 ft-lb

that is closer to 3% than 33%

That of course is muzzle energy. The .30-06 is going to have better ballistic coefficient and retain its energy further than the 8mm.

Then compare the Prvi 196gr. 8x57 listed at 2082 ft-lb...(highest energy round listed on Midway is S&B at 2922ft-lb)
to the .30-06 168 gr Prvi .30-06 listed at 2883 ft-lb (180gr. at 2913)

All in all the two rounds are pretty close...there certainly is no 33% difference in them. In over the shelf ammo...you are going to find the .30-06 to be more powerful though...Hornady Superformance 165gr. SST is 3209 ft-lb

Tempest 455
February 8, 2012, 01:44 PM
Swiss K31 1,000 yards w/ iron sights.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZ-Lcvyrifw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1HJP3QQv1w

TexasPatriot.308
February 8, 2012, 01:46 PM
the .338 Lapua is a great round. the military will have plenty of ammo and trained snipers used to the recoil. your average Joe waiting on the SHTF scenario will not be prepred to use this caliber and doubt he will have access to enough ammo.

Teachu2
February 8, 2012, 02:29 PM
For a poor college student contemplating doomsday, a used Marlin 60 with a decent scope is probably the best idea. Who really thinks they will have the need to make a 1000 (or even 500) yard shot if/when society as we know it collapses? Much higher likelihood (still far-fetched) of needing to repel a small group of thugs in the neighborhood or needing to strike out on foot for some distance in search of food, water, and isolation. Get the Marlin and a few bricks of ammo, and practice, practice, practice. Rapid head shots at 50 yards will win the day. Also get some running shoes, and again practice, practice, practice...

Ignition Override
February 8, 2012, 03:00 PM
Has your friend read about the actual Finnish Mosin-Nagants? They are reported to be the best MNs. A very nice example might cost more than a similar Swiss K-31.

Both rifles certainly have plenty of power, though extra Swiss GP-11 ammo would be even more difficult to locate if we lost our electrical, food, gas supply systems for a long time ("WROL").

Whichever type rifle helps somebody obtain vital pharmaceuticals and fresh fruit/veggies (scurvy) would be my choice. Meat won't prevent scurvy etc.
There is a solid reason why the British were called "Limeys".

Phaethon
February 8, 2012, 03:51 PM
I agree with the K31. I've never actually used one yet but I've got a nice one in the mail as I speak.

I've done some reading on reloading, and I understand that cases can be resized from fairly common .284 Winchester or 7.62x54mmR Russian. Coupled with the fact that these utilize .308 bullets (which are in very high supply, since 7.62x51 NATO is a standard-issue round for forces all around the globe) and you have a very flexible cartridge that lends itself to reloading, which I imagine your friend might undertake when the armament factories stop churning out bullets :P

Recoil is also very acceptable, despite being 33% more powerful than .30-06.

I don't know what Wikipedia you're reading, but the 7.92x57 Mauser round is not 33% stronger than the .30-06. Both pages indicate that each round is capable of up to around 4,000 joules, but typically the aught-six is the stronger of the two. It has a higher case capacity, retains the ability to use similar-weight bullets, and on average has higher velocity than the Mauser round. The .30-06 is in fact larger, as its European designation immediately demonstrates: 7.62x63mm.

denton
February 8, 2012, 05:49 PM
We're probably carrying the discussion far beyond what the OP had in mind. The original question was what inexpensive rifle to get for all-around use. As I said earlier, I agree that a good new or used hunting rifle is a better bet than a milsurp. A good used Savage is probably one of the best choices. I also think this is the wrong question.

If the economy and social order collapse, there isn't any real need to be able to hit targets at 500 yards. Your adversaries are much more likely to be in the same room with you, and a rifle isn't the right tool. You aren't going to go deer hunting to feed your family.

I would stay the heck away from the 30-06 or 308 (both outstanding hunting cartridges). They will do what the OP asked, but what the OP asked isn't what is going to be useful.

A few days worth of food, an extra roll of TP and a clean change of clothes are sure to be useful. I'd start with that.

Once that requirement is met, then, if the question is, what inexpensive firearms are most useful in socially disturbed situations, I think the answers are a used inexpensive shotgun, a 22 bolt action rifle [digests everything from 22 Short to 22 LR Velocitors], a 38 Spl snubby revolver, and maybe something like the Savage bolt action 30-30 [$175] in about that order.

dprice3844444
February 8, 2012, 05:56 PM
http://www.tobystactical.com/
http://www.snipercountrypx.com/c-836-700ss-r5-mil-spec.aspx

zhyla
February 8, 2012, 07:22 PM
Just tell him to get the cheapest Mosin he can find. It will fulfill his apocalypse fantasy equally well as any other rifle and he can spend the money he saves on his education so he can become a productive part of society.

35 Whelen
February 8, 2012, 07:42 PM
I totally agree with a hunting type bolt rifle chambered for a common cartridge such as the .308. The problem with most of these rifles is that without a scope, they're absolutely worthless. In other words when (not if) your scope gets damaged (you know, you whack one of those giant turrets on something), you have no way to aim the rifle.
That's the nice thing about milsurps, they ALL have sights.

Regarding ammo availability in an EOTWAWKI, ALL ammo is going to be difficult, at best, to find. It's not like you can just fire up the ol' I-Phone, place an ammo order with Wideners, then wait under a tree for the UPS man.

K-31 ammo is plentiful though not just everyone sells it, and for it's quality is really quite cheap. A sealed case of 480 rounds runs about $250 delivered.

35W

TexasPatriot.308
February 8, 2012, 10:30 PM
I keep hearing about Mosins, I am 58, been hunting hogs for 30 years here in Texas and for the person that said forgt about 30-06 and .308, I know from long years of experiene, these 2 calibrs especially the .308 are the perfect choice. but then again i aint a novice, just a long time experienced hog hunter.

denton
February 8, 2012, 11:21 PM
been hunting hogs for 30 years here in Texas and for the person that said forgt about 30-06 and .308, I know from long years of experiene, these 2 calibrs especially the .308 are the perfect choice. but then again i aint a novice, just a long time experienced hog hunter.

I have no quarrel with the 30-06 and 308 for hogs. In fact, I think they are outstanding hunting cartridges.

My point was that in a socially disturbed situation, the OP isn't going hunting, and he doesn't need to defend himself against people 500 yards away. So the question that we have been trying to answer is the wrong question.

The suggestion to buy a Mosin to fulfill the fantasy is probably even a better answer than mine. Spend the $100 and be done with it.

4895
February 9, 2012, 02:28 AM
I'm sticking with the AR-15 style platform. Ammo is cheap, there are tons of optics for them, and the iron sights are quite adequate for long range shooting. I have seen Bushmasters on sale for about $600 lately, or buy a lower receiver at a lgs, and then mail order the rest of the rifle when money comes in. Tons of videos on YOUTUBE on how to assemble. You won't regret owning or having access to a fine piece of low-recoil hardware that is capable of hunting large game as well as personal protection at home or afield. A parts kit is a must and very inexpensive, and you can buy surplus army ammo right now for cheap $$, like $140 for 400 rounds with the ammo can! A couple mags of soft point for hunting wouldn't hurt either. That would be all I would take if I was really concerned about EOTWAWKI. Light and portable with accuracy and reliability to boot.

El General
February 9, 2012, 11:46 AM
If the SHTF, and you are talking 1000 yard shots, you are doing it wrong.

Buy a Mosin with iron sights and a few thousand rounds of ammo and shoot it until you are a sniper.

Zak Smith
February 9, 2012, 02:37 PM
Some thoughts--

Off the bat, focusing on and spending money on a "tool" that is useful in a much, much more remote possibility than many more common risks is a failure in mindset. It is a fantasy unless there is an actual application that is realized. I'll leave that there since this is a rifle question.

The original question is about a rifle, not necessarily a sniper rifle. A regular rifle is a very useful tool. Even at 3 MOA accuracy. A rifle can do a lot of things, including to kill game for food and to defend a homestead. Rifles have been doing that, even 3 and 4 MOA rifles, for over a hundred years. Rifles are good. The mil-surp rifles on the market (K98, M48, K31, M44, etc) can do this. Realistically, any rifle made in the last century can do this.

If you want to talk about precision and long-range rifles, which is a subclass of a "sniper rifle", then you get into a set of requirements that is beyond your run of the mill pedestrian rifle. None of the mil-surps are appropriate for precision/long-range applications. Much has been written about these rifles, and how to get into the class cheaply. I wrote my recommendations here (http://demigodllc.com/articles/practical-long-range-rifle-shooting-equipment/). In short, look at a Remington or Savage and get it in .308.

Archaic
February 9, 2012, 04:51 PM
Only read the OP, so I may be beating a dead horse - ANY bolt action rifle capable of harvesting a deer with a decent scope on it should be more than serviceable (which to me means hitting a pie plate) out to 400 yards or so. The thing about so-called 'sniper rifles' is that they are only sniper rifles in the hands of an actual sniper.

ns66
February 10, 2012, 01:07 AM
If you want to talk about precision and long-range rifles, which is a subclass of a "sniper rifle", then you get into a set of requirements that is beyond your run of the mill pedestrian rifle. None of the mil-surps are appropriate for precision/long-range applications. Much has been written about these rifles, and how to get into the class cheaply. I wrote my recommendations here (http://demigodllc.com/articles/practical-long-range-rifle-shooting-equipment/). In short, look at a Remington or Savage and get it in .308.
funny thing is i just read your article when searching for horus reticle earlier today, nice one and thanks (offtopic, i am sold on horus reticles, are they only on horus scopes? i'd hope to find something 3-12x32/40 with horus reticles, but they only sell higher powered and 50mm)

Zak Smith
February 10, 2012, 01:11 AM
Horus type reticles are good for large targets that have good contrast with the background. These limitations have put them out of favor with many precision/long-range shooters. For quick holds on large targets, almost any type of reticle marks will get the job done (including Horus).

Claude Clay
February 10, 2012, 01:17 AM
another vote for the K31. and if you reload it uses the same components as 308 ( not the brass of course). andother value it the Swede m96 6.5x5. its very much like our 30-30 with less recoil.
more traditionally my rem 700 has gone to 1000 yards with 3 shot 6" groups. 8" is commen. but its 3x $ the set up of a K-32 or M96.

Certaindeaf
February 10, 2012, 01:27 AM
I have a buddy who enjoys the long range shooting more than I do. He's also a prepper. What I mean by that is he believes a time will come in which civilized society goes south. I'm making no statement on that view.

What I am interested in, though, is your thoughts on the best value in a sniper rifle for him, a poor college student. Obviously a Mosin comes to mind - and they can be had very cheap.

What else though? Something that, along with a decent scope, would allow this guy to reach out several hundred yards.

Yes, I am deliberately being vague here because I'm interested in a variety of responses.
I appreciate being vague but has your "buddy" benefited from your efforts/ these responses?

Dr. Sandman
February 10, 2012, 09:11 AM
Mil-surp rifles are not where its at. That stuff is, sadly enough, junk. You need 1 rifle and 1 rifleman to have any chance at less than 1MOA at 1000 yards. Good luck with a $100 piece of junk with that proposition. Get a real rifle (338 Lapua, etc.), $2500 or so. Then spend another $2000 on optics. Buy lots of ammunition and shoot every day. Anything else and you are wasting time.
338 Lapua is over 50 bucks a box for the ammo now, and they don't just carry that stuff everywhere. I would think that a prepper would want a common, ubiquitous, and relativly inexpensive high powered rifle caliber. I like 7mm Rem Mag, they have it at WalMart, Meijer, Big R, etc. If you want to go another route, 30-06 in even less expensive. They don't have 338 Lapua, 50 BMG, etc at these places.

Also, I beg to differ with the opinion that Mil-surp rifles are junk. You don't have to spend $4400 to reach out and touch something at a few hundred yards. I'll betcha that most subscribers to that opinion must have a billable diagnosis in there somewhere, eh Dr. 2 B?

451 Detonics
February 10, 2012, 09:27 AM
BTW, What are all those "preppers" going to do when their vehicle runs out of fuel and they have 500 lbs. of gear in the back seat?

go diesel and keep a strainer and cheesecloth in the car...every fast food restaurant in the US has a used oil trap out back

as for the rifle a Mauser comes to mind for milsurp but honestly a used Savage will do a great job...

henschman
February 10, 2012, 04:15 PM
I wouldn't go with a mil-surp for a sniper rifle. Mil-surps are fine as battle rifles, for taking care of torso-sized targets under 500 yards (which would mean you only need to be able to shoot 4 MOA with it), but for sniping there are a lot better choices, and you can afford to have a lot higher standards than that, even on a budget.

I would say start with a commercial hunting rifle that is fairly accurate to begin with and has a good deal of after-market support for it... a Remington 700 or a Savage 110 are the best choices IMO. You could slap any old deer rifle scope on either one of those, in any of the main calibers, and with some good fundamentals and knowing your dope, you could be VERY dangerous out to 1000 yards.

If you've settled on a Remington or a Savage, you have to pick a caliber... or rather an action length... short action or long action. Short action is .308 and all the rounds based on it, like 7mm '08, .243, .260 Rem, etc., and long action is .30-06, .300 win mag, .270, etc.

I would go with a short action, and try to find a .308 to start with. Then you would have a wide selection of good factory ammo (important for SHTF considerations, since you want to be able to stockpile a good amount of ammo, and you probably won't yet be into reloading when you are buying your starter rifle). The nice thing about the Winchester or Savage is that you can upgrade as your skills get to the point where you would benefit from it... the next things you would look at are a good barrel, trigger, and stock. You will eventually want to get into hand-loading too, since that will let you tailor a load to what shoots the very best in your rifle and is a lot more cost-effective compared to good factory ammo. You might eventually want to re-barrel in a more effective long range caliber like .260 Rem, once you get into hand-loading.

However, no matter how nice of a rig you build, a sniper rifle does not a sniper make. You definitely need to get some training. I would go to an Appleseed to begin with, because they teach the fundamentals the best of anybody I've seen and are very cheap to attend. You can go with a .22 and a brick of shells, and learn more in a weekend than just about anywhere else. In fact, I would go to the Appleseed with your buddy RIGHT NOW, before you do anything else. And then once you can shoot Expert by their standards, you can get a decent base rifle as I discussed, and look into some sort of precision rifle training near you. But if you can't even shoot Expert from field positions on Appleseed's 25m Army Qualification Test, you shouldn't harbor any illusions about being a sniper when the SHTF. And Appleseed might dis-abuse your friend of some of those fantasy notions and get him more interested in fighting the "soft war" RIGHT NOW to preserve our liberties when it's relatively easy to do so, instead of sitting around waiting for the S to HTF.

Not that there's anything wrong with putting together a good sniper rifle and learning how to use it, just in case! ;)

f4t9r
February 10, 2012, 04:25 PM
Stevens model 100, made by Savage.
Is a nice bolt action for the money

Buzzard II
February 11, 2012, 06:07 PM
You may want to first consider the area you live or will operate in. NATO caliber so availability is not a problem, .223/5.56-for close in, but .308/7.62 for better penetration, better stopping power, and higher velocity at a distance. Up close, you can't beat .45 acp. (Jersey reload). Don't forget the other gear you need too!

Phaethon
February 11, 2012, 07:59 PM
Guys, I doubt that he actually expects to be running around in a Mad Max style wasteland indiscriminately shooting people at a thousand yards. The OP used the term "sniper rifle" loosely, I suspect that what his friend is looking for is just an optical-equipped rifle that would enable him to hunt and reach-out-and-touch someone if he had to. I really do not think anyone will have to shoot at someone or something else from farther away than 500 yards for any reason.

I also seriously doubt that he, a poor college student who it would seem doesn't have a rifle to begin with, is even capable of that kind of shooting.

Frankly there are several milsurps and commercial hunting rifles that will handle this role admirably. K31, Mauser, or any Savage or Remington out of your local Cabella's chambered in .308. Since it's a survival rifle and not a wall-hanger, you can give it a polymer stock, short barrel, and drilled scope mounts.

You can even make it a project to add in iron sights yourself using some simple hand tools; I saw a youtube video from Midway USA on how to accomplish this fairly easily. Either just keep those as backups or get high-mounted scope rings with peepholes that let you use irons, and you have a well balanced rifle.

HavelockLEO
February 11, 2012, 08:05 PM
why go the mil-surp route to begin with. If you shop around and bide your time you can get an FN PBR or better for a really good price from CDNN. Then its just a matter of ammo and a good quality scope.

Beak50
February 12, 2012, 04:42 AM
I got a K-31 for Christmas this year,I absolutely love that rifle.the bottom of the stock is worn as can be expected But I'm saving for a drop-in walnut stock when my taxe's get in.All I have shot is the Mil-surp since it's non-corrosive but plan on Re-loading.Excellent Gun.I wonder why someone wont make them New again.Mine is a heck of alot more accurate then I would have ever expected from a $210.00 gun.I am still debateing putting a scope on it.

35 Whelen
February 12, 2012, 10:01 AM
I got a K-31 for Christmas this year,I absolutely love that rifle.the bottom of the stock is worn as can be expected But I'm saving for a drop-in walnut stock when my taxe's get in.All I have shot is the Mil-surp since it's non-corrosive but plan on Re-loading.Excellent Gun.I wonder why someone wont make them New again.Mine is a heck of alot more accurate then I would have ever expected from a $210.00 gun.I am still debateing putting a scope on it.

I've read more than once that due to the design and the fact that K-31's are of such high quality, (nice finish, no machining marks) it would cost in excess of $1000 to replicate these rifles.

why go the mil-surp route to begin with. If you shop around and bide your time you can get an FN PBR or better for a really good price from CDNN. Then its just a matter of ammo and a good quality scope

I guess you missed the "poor college student" portion of the OP. I don't think a $1000+ patrol rifle with a quality scope will fit into his budget.
35W

HavelockLEO
February 12, 2012, 11:20 AM
I guess you missed the "poor college student" portion of the OP. I don't think a $1000+ patrol rifle with a quality scope will fit into his budget

No I didnt miss it, I built my PBR for under 800 dollars in its first interation, timing and shopping around is all I had on my side, its not impossible

35 Whelen
February 12, 2012, 01:12 PM
No I didnt miss it, I built my PBR for under 800 dollars in its first interation, timing and shopping around is all I had on my side, its not impossible
Well, then I guess your definition of "poor college student" and mine are different. Since he specifically mentioned a Mosin in the OP, inference would lead us to believe he's looking for a rifle for $200 +/-.

35W

MJ
February 12, 2012, 01:14 PM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v130/montereyjack/ca070e6d.jpg

35 Whelen
February 12, 2012, 01:39 PM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v130/montereyjack/ca070e6d.jpg

That's what I'm talking about! Not exactly a readily available cartridge, but an infinitely more practical rifle, because of its available sights when your scope gets whacked, than rifles such as pseudo sniper rifles, etc

35W

HILLBILLY-06
February 13, 2012, 11:59 AM
Where is this collage boy going to keep all his gear and his sniper rifle and ammo?? Seem's to me like he's iether got a bit of a hike or drive to his "cashe" at least I hope so. Nobody mentioned where he resides. Hopefully, "not on campus" and if he has a long commute to his "cache" then he should spend more time learning his books and less time worrying about the zombie appocolypse.

tarosean
February 13, 2012, 12:08 PM
Pawn shop Remington 700

JimBoIHN
February 13, 2012, 01:50 PM
As to 8mm mauser being 33% more powerful than a 30.06...........ridiculous. The 30.06 case is substantially bigger! If you mean a .22 is more powerful than a 30.06 that is devoid of powder, so what? It's more accurate to suggest a high BC bullet vrs a low one will save inches in drop up to 300 yards, feet of drop up to 600, and yards of drop up to 800.

JimBoIHN
February 13, 2012, 01:58 PM
Savage seems to be a popular recommendation, I have no particular expertise. Calibre in 30.06 is hard to beat, considering performance with cost.
The .338's can run several times as much, with major recoil. You had best limit your sniping to 600 yards or so with the 30.06, but considering finances, you are limited.

P-32
February 13, 2012, 05:07 PM
If a history buff may I suggest:

http://www.creedmoorsports.com/shop/1903-A4-Sniper-Rifle.html

Yeah, yeah, yeah I know it's a repo but it's still neat.

Blue Hill
February 13, 2012, 10:20 PM
Remington 700 in 7mm RM

mljdeckard
February 13, 2012, 10:24 PM
I dunno about going WAY cheap if you're looking for accuracy. You have to really look for an accurate mil-surp, if it's me I'm going to tweak the trigger, put some glass on it, specialized mount, trial and error.....I think I would have been just as well looking in the pawn shops for a good used Savage or Remington that's already set up. Might cost a little more, but less work to do on it.

Irish51
February 17, 2012, 01:18 AM
I've only seen 2 or 3 recent posts here, but thought I'd point a few things out.

First, for you guys who seem to be stuck on the modern day sniper rifle...remember, the snipers during WWII were using the Mausers, Enfields and Mosins rifles that we call milsurps this day in age...so they were the sniper rifles back in the day. My brother-in-law did 3 tours in Nam...his 2nd was on hill 55 and the VC didn't do too badly picking off our GI's at 700 yds with a mosin 91/30 with PU scope. The Russian snipers (Red Army) dropped more nazi solders with Mosins than the Nazi sniper dropped Russian...and the K98 Mauser was a better rifle than the Mosin in most people's opinion, which I agree with, but only due to the construction of the Mauser. I have a sporterized 91/30 Mosin Nagant that I did all my own work on... I cut the barrel down to 22", bought a cheap ATI stock for it, pillared and glass bedded the stock, recrowned the muzzle, drilled and tapped a $45 ATI scope mount on it, cut/welded a sniper bolt handle on, installed a used (Ebay) 3X9 Bushnell scope on it and it will shoot 1.5-2 MOA all day long at 200 yds. One just doesn't need to learn about his rifle, he must learn about himself. In order to reach near perfect with both, it takes practice,practice and more practice. Most of us are going to react/shoot differently when shooting at paper vs. shooting at a 12 point buck moving slowly towards the cover of brush and leaving you little time to nail him before he enters the woodline and you lose sight of him...not to mention shooting at another human being who is also armed and capable of shooting back at you.That always makes for an interesting lesson as to how you will react and how it will affect your marksmenship and accuracy in a SHTF situation.

The name of the game is practice,practice,practice...with the SAME ammo, whether it is match grade ammo or milsurp ammo. Learn your rifle...learn your reaction time, notice how well you manage your adrenaline rush and breathing when you spot that trophey buck....multiple that by 10 times and switch it with fear and you might get an idea of what it is like to look down through the sites of your rifle at a human being in a SHTF situation.

If I found myself in a SHTF situation of survival, I would take my AK 47 w/improved iron sites, my 308 scoped Mauser and my 1911 Colt .45...the same one that was issued to my Dad by the USAAF in Dec of 43 when he was flying B-17 bomber missions over German. The K31 is for sure a more accurate rifle if you do your part, but I would not want to be carrying that through the woods all day long. Its one heavy firearm ! and the ammo is not as easy to get if you find yourself in a pinch and looking for ammo. Just another reason I'd take my .308 Mauser. I'd also take light weight supplies that others have suggested : food,blankets and as much ammo as I could comfortably carry.. I would hope to be with 3-4 other capable people who could help carrying provisions as well.

I don't think it is being paranoid if we find ourselves prepping for the posibility of a SHTF situation...especially after seeing the Constitution and Bill of Rights totally ignored by the present administration who flip the Executive order coin everytime it looks like his cronies in the House and Senate get out voted. I think we may very well find ourselves in an all out survival mode, not necessarily aganst our government, but because our government will not be able to protect us in the chaos it created. Look at the fiasco that took place when Katrina hit New Orleans. For the first time in US history, the local government/police were confiscating peoples firearms and leaving them defenseless against robbers, looters and desperate people.


So college boy...Bone up on your marksmenship using silhouette targets rather than bullseye tragets, so your mind does not get trained on focusing/looking for a bullseye. I take a spray can of red paint and spray a red dot at center mass on my silhouette targets when practicing. Buy as much rifle as you can afford and if that's a Mosin, well read up online as to how to accurize it...Most steps are easy and inexpensive and you can plan on spending $250 minimum to do it or spend another $100 and get a Marlin, Savage (my 1st choice) or Mossberg 308 or 30-06 from Wally World or a pawn shop and then another $100 (minimum) for the scope.Lots of wholesalers sell on Ebay cheaper than gun sites and sporting goods stores. Spend some time in the woods ALONE with barely enough supplies to survive to hone up your survival skills. Once you become one with nature, you'll learn a lot and have a much better chance at surviving.

Like I said: Just my 2 cents based on previous experiences.

My best to you all...Irish

lefteyedom
February 17, 2012, 02:07 AM
Get a heavy barrel 22LR rifle. Practice till hard boiled eggs become one shot kills at 100 yards in any and all weather. (not shooting from a bench).

If one wants a "Military Grade Sniper Rifle" then be prepared to write about a 4K check for the complete system. Plenty of Gunsmiths are able to build these clones/target/varmit rifles

There are better rifles than Mosins for less than $500 .

Other wise about $1000 can piece together a good 800 yard rifle & scope set up.
Savage 110 (308/30.06) with a good 3x9x40 scope will do this with good ammo.

The real question is when the "SHTF" what type of weapon is really going to be most useful? Likely a not a 14 pound target rifle. Something like a Scout Rifle may be much more useful.

Driftertank
February 17, 2012, 03:29 AM
Not to completely threadjack, but one thing that i often hear from novice "preppers" is a portion of their plan that either includes the phrase "...hit (store x) and stock up before heading to (location y)" or "..fight my way to..." This is a mindset/training FAILURE.

Stage 1 of any "breakdown of social services" event will be a rush to attain necessities before they become unavailable. This is likely to escalate to violence, and retail outlets will be the epicenters of possible violence. They should be avoided like the plague. If you don't have something before disaster strikes, you probably won't get it.

In an "every man for himself" environment, you are basically "behind enemy lines" all the time. Stealth, not firepower, is your greatest ally. Avoid "fighting your way" anywhere. No matter how confident you are in yourself and equipment, a lucky shot will kill you just as dead as an aimed one.

Avoidance of other desperate people, and proper prep are the keys to staying alive in a B.o.S.S. situation IMO.

Driftertank
February 17, 2012, 03:33 AM
Sorry for the rant.


Back on topic, I like my Mosin-Nagant M44, but i prefer my SKS or, especially, my G3 clone. But the G3 was a bit out of your budget range, OP.

wildchild2010
February 17, 2012, 12:01 PM
Best bet would to be to buy a cheap surplus rifle and practice, practice with iron sights. Them big shinny scopes don't do you squat if you drop the rifle on the scope, bend the tube, throw it off, break the glass. Old fashion iron sites are cheap an a great way to go. You can add a scope and mount later and have the best of both world.

What is a sniper rifle?

HILLBILLY-06
February 17, 2012, 08:57 PM
There are times when a .22cal scout rifle and (14lbs) of ammo sound like a real good bet. You can carry a lot .22lr and it's still leathal enough to get the job done if your buggin' out. So I vote with the lighter wieght rifle and more ammo. I got target rifles, and I would not like to be buggin' out with either of them, and enough ammo to stay safe a long time. One of my rifles does wiegh about 14 lbs, I dont want to be running around hell's kitchen with that thing and thats not counting ammo and magazines yet.
Yeah, I vote .22 scout rifle and plenty of ammo.

HILLBILLY-06
February 17, 2012, 09:05 PM
What is a sniper rifle?

Thats what people who can't shoot want, you know so they think they can then snipe something. Sniper, is a lot more than a rifle, and a lot more than the average shooter. It's a combined effort of skill, equipment and things most people havent seen or heard of before, so they just want a mirical rifle, one that's supposed to to the homework and the math for them I guess. Maybe one them asking for one will tell us what they think it is.

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