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Most Accurate Vintage Rifle?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by andrewshogun, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. andrewshogun

    andrewshogun New Member

    Sep 15, 2007
    Northern California
    I'm fairly new to 'vintage rifles' (K31, Mauser, SKS, etc) and wanted to get a better idea for some of the more desirable vintage rifles that can shoot sub moa without much work needing to be done. Price range would be helpful, and pictures welcomes :)
  2. Slamfire

    Slamfire Mentor

    Dec 29, 2006
    Any service rifle, given enough ammo through the barrel, just by statistical variance, will shoot one sub MOA cluster.

    We see these targets and claims all the time by guys who don't show us the huge target spreads they normally get.

    Service rifles are not sub MOA. They were never built to that standard. The M14 had to shoot ball ammo within 3.5 inches. The 50’s NM Garands were acceptable if they shot within 3.5 inches at 100 yards. An M1 Carbine won’t stay on a pie pan at 100 yards.

    What I have read is that the average service rifle accuracy requirement was close to 3 MOA. The military looked at average engagement distances, the size of the target, how long the target was visible, and 3 MOA is reasonable.

    My AK and SKS’s are 8 moa at best.

    You will not find a sub MOA rifle for the price of a military surplus rifle. Sorry.

    Of the military surplus rifles I have owned, pre WWI Mauser 98's in 7 mm Mauser were very accurate, the Swedish service rifles are very good, and the K31 is very good. A M1903A3 is very good, given a good barrel and bedding.

    You take any one of these relics to a 100 yard high power match and the best you will do is win Marksman class.

    You are not going to shoot a HM score.
  3. lopezni

    lopezni member

    Dec 5, 2009
    New York
    K31 or 1903 Springfield period. No other military surplus rifles come close to them in accuracy. Oh yeah, the M1 Garrand, K31 is your best bet, 1903 and M1 are up there in cost and good samples can be hard to find.
  4. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Elder

    Oct 14, 2005
    Northwest Arkansas
  5. jkingrph

    jkingrph Participating Member

    Jun 30, 2005
    E. Texas

    You are being rather absolute. I have to agree the K-31 is up there but I think the earlier models, 96/11 and 1911 Schmidt Rubins are a bit more accurate, probably because of longer sight radius. The model 96 Swedish Mauser is being overlooked, It has been outshooting the K-31 in some of the Camp Perry matches over the last few years. Personally I like both.

    I have never had the opportunity to try one of the Springfields and do not think a stock M-1 will match a stock K-31 or M 96 Swede on average. Turn some of the accuracy specialists on the M-1 loose and it would be interesting.

    There were plenty of fine military rifles out there that should be up there in the accuracy dept if you compare apples to apples. The Swiss and Swedes were never used in combat so were well maintained. Were the Springfields used in competition reworked for better accuracy. What would happen with a properly treated Mauser 98 or some of the other earlier Mausers had most examples not seen extensive combat or poor handling and storage in some third world countries.
  6. nathan

    nathan Mentor

    Feb 4, 2003
    When i first shot my K 31, it gave me one rugged hole at 15 yds. Then at 100 yds, it was an inch . I didnt waste my GP 11 bullets after a few rounds. Packed up and left with a smile on my face.

    Id say get u a blonde and a walnut stock of these super accurate mlsurp rifles. They are still quite available today and hard to beat .
  7. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

    Feb 18, 2007
    NE Ohio
    Jed Clampett's percussion rifle. HE could shoot a fly on the wall across his courtyard.
  8. rizbunk77

    rizbunk77 Member

    Nov 25, 2005
    I tend to disagree that the K31 and the 1903 are the alpha and the omega when it comes to military surplus accuracy. Ever heard of the Whitworth rifle?
    "Most of the men in the Army of Northern Virginia's sharpshooter battalions used Enfields, and only one or two men per battalion carried Whitworths. Thus in the approximately thirty-six infantry brigades of the Army of Northern Virginia, there were most likely between thirty-six and seventy-two of these rifles in service. Although some claims of its accuracy are no doubt exaggerated, the fact remains that the Whitworth could and did strike at a thousand yards and beyond. "The claim of 'fatal results at 1,500 yards,'" concluded one modern expert, "was no foolish boast." Overall, it was a deadly weapon that, in the right hands, repaid its high cost many times over. "I do not believe a harder-shooting, harder-kicking, longer-range gun was ever made than the Whitworth rifle," asserted sharpshooter veteran Isaac Shannon. (courtesy West Point Museum)"
  9. browningguy

    browningguy Senior Member

    Jul 21, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Since most of us will never see, much less afford, a Whitworth, I'd go with the Swiss milsurps first, then the Swede Mauser as the best chance for finding one that shoots MOA on a regular basis, but even that will be a matter of luck.

    Following up closely some of the 1891 and 1893 Mausers are very accurate with mild loads in them. And of course some of the Model 98's were accurate as well, a particular Persian model comes to mind that used to outshoot me and my 1891 on a regular basis.
  10. rangerruck

    rangerruck Mentor

    Jan 12, 2006
    Texas, baby!
    Andrew; are you talking about milsurp rifles only, or just vintage rifles in general?
    I think a nice mk 4 enfield can be pretty accurate, as well a 1917 eddystone, and yes even Garands. But I also agree, if you get the right rifle, and the right load, it depends more on the shooter. I have a m38 mosin, that with the 205 grainers, is pretty darn impressive. I shoot a lot, so I know how well it performs, compared to my other rifles.
  11. BruceB

    BruceB Active Member

    Jun 26, 2004
    We tend to forget that for a military formation, the rifle is part of a SYSTEM, along with its ammunition. Most military ammunition is far from "optimal" for the thousands of rifles that fire it. Some of it is frankly horrible....I wonder how a Pakistani or Indian trooper can have any confidence in his armament whatever.

    When we as individuals obtain a military rifle, it can be a different story.

    I've owned dozens of military rifles over several decades, including virtually all the major types from the dawn of the cartridge era onwards. Having handloaded for all of them, I can safely say that an "average" military rifle will usually deliver better accuracy with loads tuned to that rifle, than it ever will when firing the issued ammunition.

    It's no great trick to easily better the "acceptance standards". M14 and M1 rifles have given me very decent accuracy, down in the 2"/five rounds/100 yards area with their issued iron sights....and often smaller than that.

    Yeah, this is a plug for handloading, but as stocks of military ammo continue to dry up, we shouldn't think that we're bereft. We can make BETTER ammo, and our rifles will do better for us.
  12. andrewstorm

    andrewstorm member

    Oct 5, 2009
    land of the free,because of the brave
    most accurate military rifle

    the old modle 700 winchester used in viet nam was a tac driver,as far as ww2 the 03a3 was no sloutch ither,see saving private ryan,and the myth busters a:Dre wrong,with a armour piercing round to shoot thru a scope and into an eyeball is possible,and did happen.8 mm mauser k98 was very accurate,as was the mosin nagant,7.62 x54.
  13. Dr.Mall Ninja

    Dr.Mall Ninja Active Member

    Jul 15, 2008
    Saint Louis. MO
    what do you guys think is a better rifle the k-31 or the Swedish masuer
  14. rojocorsa

    rojocorsa Member

    Oct 9, 2008
    PRK, People's Republic of **********
    Count my vote for the Schmidt Rubin too.

    Perhaps a Mauser 96 in good condition in 6.5x55 might also be a contender...
  15. skidooman603

    skidooman603 Active Member

    Dec 13, 2008
    Northern Michigan
    Slam Fire said it all in my opinion
  16. qajaq59

    qajaq59 Senior Member

    Dec 7, 2005
    S. C. Florida
    That's easy.....K31.
  17. Ohio Gun Guy

    Ohio Gun Guy Senior Member

    Apr 29, 2008
    Central Ohio
    Many WW2 era rifles can shoot 2"-3" @ 100yds if in good condition.
    Granted this is not below the 1" standard that most new bolt guns can easily accomplish, but when standing at 100 yds looking down the iron sights....2-3 inches gets pretty small (IE. the gun may be better than the average shooter). Plus most of the WW2 rifles shoot a round very similar in size to 30-06 which means they are virtually shoulder fired cannons :D....(Kind of)

    If your looking to scope it...well for 300 +/- get a new savage, Mossberg ATR, or the like.

    The K31 rifles use ammunition that was essentially made to match grade. It is available in surplus but is more expensive, not as plentiful. THe K31 is more accurate due to the rifles generally being very well made and in great condition, plus shooting match grade ammunition.(IMO)
  18. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Mentor

    Jul 15, 2007
    Northern Orygun
    The K-31 Karabiner, you may find an individual rifle in other platforms that shoot as well, but just about any K-31 you pick up well shoot extremely well. There are some very simple tweaks you can apply to the k-31 to make them shoot even better. Add quality hand loads and sub moa is not out of the question.
  19. RUT

    RUT Participating Member

    Mar 29, 2003
    New Hampshire, USA
    K31, or perhaps any of the Swedish Mausers in 6.5x55.
  20. buttrap

    buttrap Participating Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    1903 national match rifle or a AR and then swiss 6.5 but then its all ammo and shooter not the gun though as the gun is limited by the shooter and the ammo at that point.

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