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New Mil-Surp Rifle

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Redneck Revolver, Mar 17, 2005.

  1. Redneck Revolver

    Redneck Revolver Well-Known Member

    ok i wanted to hear some opinions on a selection of new rifle choices. i dont have a steady income so i can only get one. wanted to hear what other thought of these rifles since i am still relativly inexperianced. thanks!
    1. swiss k-31
    2. yugo m-48
    3. SMLE
    4. french MAS-49
    5. steyr m95
    6. m1903 springfield
    7. russian sks (not yugo)

    thanks again!
  2. captain obvious

    captain obvious Well-Known Member

    Gee, hard choice. I would have to say get an SMLE (No. 1 Mk. III) if you don't aready have one - hands down the finest battle rifle ever made, IMHO.

    That being said, K31s won't be as cheap as they are now for too much longer, and to say they are excellent rifles is ans understatement. Ditto the M1903s, (from CMP) but they cost a lot more and aren't in as good condition.
  3. Redneck Revolver

    Redneck Revolver Well-Known Member

    perhaps i should explainw ehre im gettin it from. a close friend of mine (former devil dog) owns a military surplus sotre which is where all these amazing rifles are. its really low key and he has over 1000 in stock so i dont have to worry about him running out of anything. personally id like his svt-40 but i cant afford it right now. in a couple of months though... :evil: oh and the rifles purpose would be general. hunting, plinking, maybe a lil local cometition nothing to serrious.
  4. SpookyPistolero

    SpookyPistolero Well-Known Member

    For the purposes you list, I would consider either the Springfield or the K31. Both are full-power and quite accurate, enough for those local competitions or to put some meat on the table. They are also both about as cheap as they will ever be. I might suggest the Springfield since you can probably find cheaper ammo for it than for the swede. Just a thought.
  5. Chipperman

    Chipperman Well-Known Member

    I'd narrow it further to the Springfield.

    --SKS not enough for hunting
    --K31 ammo too expensive, (but now is the time if you want one)
    --Mas and Steyr are not as desirable as the others
    --Yugo and SMLE are both great guns, but prob will not go up much in price any time soon.

    The Springfield will go up in price soon, is a great gun, will do anything you need.
    Make sure it's a nice example. If it's not so nice, then get the K31 if you ultimately want one.
  6. albanian

    albanian member

    1. swiss k-31
    2. yugo m-48
    3. SMLE
    4. french MAS-49
    5. steyr m95
    6. m1903 springfield
    7. russian sks (not yugo)

    I have or have had all of those except for #4 and #5.

    It really depends on how much you intend to shoot it and how accurate you need it to be.

    The K-31 is probably going to be the most accurate out of the bunch. Ammo is expensive and hard to find but the rifle itself is one hech of a great deal. I got mine for less than $100 and it is like new on the metal and the stock is not as beat up as some I have seen. It is a very accurate rifle even with open sights.

    The Yugo M-48 may be the best all around rifle for the money. It is cheap to shoot with 8mm. It is made very well and can be had in great condition for little money. They are solid as a vise and will probably outlast you and your grandkids.

    The Enfield is a great rifle as well. It has a super fast and slick bolt throw and comes with a 10rd detachable box mag. The caliber is not unpleasent to shoot yet is still a full power rifle cartridge. Ammo price is mid range and is hit or miss on where you can find it.

    The 1903 Springfield may be a little over hyped in my opinion. It is a great rifle but really not better than a Swiss K-31 and it cost several times as much and will be in much worse conditon. I would say that you get the least for your money with this rifle out of your list. It is a good gun but considering what else you can have for the same amount of money or much less, it is not a great buy.

    The Russian SKS is my favorite SKS with the Yugo SKS comming in a close second. I feel the Russian is the highest quality SKS and the Yugo is second, the Albanian is 3rd, the Romanian is 4 and the Chinese is last. That being said, even the Chinese will probably never jam or break on you. I think the SKS is the most reliable semi-auto rifle ever made, even more reliable than the AK. The Russian SKS will be the most fun gun to shoot and it will be the cheapest with the exception of corrosive 8mm surplus ammo that become a pain in the butt after a while. You can get the ammo anywhere that sells rifle ammo. You will not have the range with this gun but if you are interested in plinking, it may the one. It holds 10rds but can be recharged quite fast with the use of stripper clips. I consider it the poor man's M1 Garand. If you want all the experience of the M1 but want to stay on a budget, the SKS can be very fun.
  7. rbernie

    rbernie Well-Known Member

    Enfield No4Mk1 - it's not on the list, but should be at the top.....
  8. Lonestar.45

    Lonestar.45 Well-Known Member

    I'd go with the SKS. The Russians are nice. You said no Yugo though, and I'm not sure why. The unissued Yugos out right now are very very nice. The one I got from Aim Surplus http://www.aimsurplus.com/acatalog/Rifles.html looks brand new. They're all milled, durable, and just a blast to shoot. Ammo is cheap, and I think they're the best deals in milsurps out there. A good Russian will cost $250 or more, an unissued Yugo $150 or so. Ammo for the SKS is going to be cheaper than for any of the other rifles you mentioned.

    If you want to research some SKS's, go here http://www.sksboards.com/forum/index.php Tons of info on that board.
  9. cracked butt

    cracked butt Well-Known Member

    1. K-31, these rifles are grossly underpriced for what you get. You'll need to reload for it however, but then again, with any surplus rifle, if you wnt to shoot better than ~moa, you'll need to reload.
    2. 03A3- this is the exception to the reloading rule above- factory ammo will shoot just fine, though reloading for it will still be cheaper if you are going to shoot it alot. Great guns, has some of the best milsurp sights other than the M1. Only downside is that they cost $400 and up.
    3. Czech 98/29 or 98/22- You might be able to still find the former for around $200-250 the latter for around $100. Both models are very simimal, but the 98/22s will have a lot more wear and tear and might need a taller sight as many of them (including mine) are zeroed for a minimum of 400 yards. These are the finest surplus 8mm mausers out there. I have one of each and they both shoot cheap suplus more accurately than they have any right to.

    4. Yugo M24, 24/47, or M48A- cheap to shoot and fairly accurate with the right milsurp load. can be improved with handloading. I favor the 24/47 over both the M48 and 24/47.

    5. Yugo59/66 sks- cheap, in almost new condition, and of all the rifles I own, the yUgo sks is the most fun and cheapest to shoot.

    I don't own an enfield so I can't comment on them.

    The Mas-49 and steyr M95, I would stay far away from unless you are an experienced reloader. Surplus ammo for the Steyr can be found, though it won't be around forever and it uses a odd sized .329" bullet, I don't know of any available ammo for the Mas, but it can be formed and reloaded, though there may be commercial brass availabel at a fairly steep price.
  10. jobu07

    jobu07 Well-Known Member

    Based on your non-fixed income (I feel ya brother!) and that alone, I recommend the M48. It's a fine rifle, well built, and a great shooter. It's not the cheapest gun on the list, but, it is the cheapest to shoot in my experience. So you'll be able to get the most practice in and probably have the most fun with this rifle. As time goes on and your income goes up, move on to the more and more expensive calibers. There are millions of these rifles out there, don't worry about it too much. THey may dry up someday, but there will be really nice examples out there of each one.
  11. jefnvk

    jefnvk Well-Known Member

    If you don't mind me asking, where is it? I haven't found a decent gunstore for milsurps yet. And I don't mind driving a few hours for thousands of guns to choose from. Having it be a Surplus store makes the deal even better.

    From you list, I'd do the M48. I had three shots touching at 50 yards every once in a while, with Turk Surplus. It is probably the cheapest, and cheapest to shoot.

    I'd stay away from the M95 if I were you. Not the best rifle to shoot, and I couldn't get rid of mine with 240 rds for $150. Sat in the gunstore for 4 months before I pulled it out. Crappy trigger, HARD hitting recoil (tiny little gun) and expensive ammo. The only plus is (At least mine) had an extremely clean stock and bright shiny bluing. That, and it PING's like the Garand :D

    1903 isn't a bad choice, but as mentioned, wil cost more. If you don't care about it being original, I see them for $200 sporterized every now and then.

    SKS is a great gun, a 10/22 on steroids. I have no complaints about my Yugo, quite possibly the most fun gun I own (At least till I got the M1)

    Can I throw two more in? How about a Mosin? Cheap, durable, and shoots good with cheap ammo.

    And the M1. The MAS, 1903, and Russkie SKS are going to not be much less than a Greek rack grade CMP garand, which goes for $295. Plus, US surplus rifles are never going down in price, and if ya get a good one, it'll probably sell for $500 right away, if you ever get into a situtation that you need the money.
  12. Redneck Revolver

    Redneck Revolver Well-Known Member

    thank you all for the suggestions above. right now ive narrowed it down to the SKS, m-48, or the enfield. and i already have a beautiful mosin 91/30 sniper (bought the scope and mount seperatly) the gun store i speak of is in michigan. as i siad they are low key, but their name is east-west military. definatly worth it ifyou enjoy military relics rifles or otherwise. they have something i never thought id see (from a young mans perspective) a german officers uniform from ww2, possibly a generals though i do not know enough to be sure. anyways thank you all again for your help. personally i cannot afford the equipment needed for reloding at least with the prices ive seen around here. keep posting!
  13. rbernie

    rbernie Well-Known Member

    Of your finalists - the SKS (with the addition of a TechSight) will be the cheapest to shoot, the easiest to shoot, and will be par with the Enfield in terms of giving you a good set of sights that will make it easier for you to hit what you're aiming at. Having said that, the M48 and/or Enfield will be more useful for hunting and such, if you decide to do such things with the rifle.

    I have all three, and I would place the SKS (Chinese or Russian preferred) in first place, the Enfield in second place, and the M48 last in terms of which would I give to a relatively inexperienced shooter for range work.
  14. jefnvk

    jefnvk Well-Known Member

    I may just have to give that a try one of these days.
  15. Darkmind

    Darkmind Well-Known Member

    Please do share this info, where do I need to go to see a fellow brother in arms. :D
  16. mainmech48

    mainmech48 Well-Known Member

    If your buddy's store has an Ishapore SMLE 2A, take a real close look at it. All of the virtues of the clan (except the much-superior sights found on the #4) chambered for the inexpensive and readily available 7.62x51 NATO (.308 Win.) round.

    No-gunsmithing scope mounts can be had which allow you to take better advantage of the accuracy potential of the rifle. In some states you might have to dig up a five-round mag to be legal for hunting, but they're out there.

    Typically found with average-looking exteriors and near-pristine bores. I paid $130 for mine in 85-90% overall several years ago. They've gone up, but you should still be able to get one for under $200.

    The Russian-made SKS is another option, but you'll likely have to pay a good deal more than $200 for a nice one. The only thing that I have against the nicely made and currently inexpensive Yugo models is the lack of chrome plating in the chamber and bore. Arguably, it's a moot point for the recreational/civilian shooter as it would still take far more rounds to wear out a barrel than they're liable to put through one. Personally, I prefer to have the plating anyway because it makes cleaning a bit easier and I don't have to worry about whether that surplus ammo that I got such a great deal on is really non-corrosive or has a mild steel jacket under that plating.

    FWIW, my Chinese SKS is the best shooter of my four models. It wasn't surplus; it was made for commercial sale and the quality of its fit/assembly is markedly superior to my military issue examples. Groups are typically 2/3 or less the size of the others with any ammo, and it will hold 2 1/2" at 100 yds with Norinco FMJ. Worth looking for, IMO.

    The K-31 is one of the most finely-made military rifles ever issued. Capable of a high order of accuracy with Match ammo, and what has to be the the most consistently good trigger pull on any general issue rifle. Surplus ammo is relatively expensive, but what there is generally gives outstanding accuracy. Factory ammo choices are still very limited, but that seems to be changing now that there are so many more of these excellent rifles in circulation. Handloading components and data are readily available.

    There are about a gazillion Mosins in various configurations and makes out there. Ammo is dirt-cheap, some of it with good reason. Consensus among afficienados seems to be that the Finns are the best of the bunch when it comes to build quality and average accuracy levels.

    The French stuff like the MAS 36 and 49 are cheap and make nice curiousities, IMO. Most of them are in very nice shape, as the majority never saw action and the rest were only dropped once :rolleyes: 7.5 MAS ammo turns up on the surplus market now and again, but it's Berdan primed and commercial ammo is almost non-existent. I think that FNM in Portugal makes some, but AFAIK no US manufacturer has ever offered it. IIWY, I'd beware of those converted to 7.62 NATO to enhance their salability. While I don't have direct experience, I've heard and read enough anecdotal reports of case splitting and headspace problems to make me wary.

    Hard to go far wrong with a Mauser, if the numbers match and the bore is good. Swede, German, Czech, Yugo, etc., etc.

    If anyone can tell me where to find an '03, '03A3, or P-17 in comparable condition and price to any of the above, I'd sure like to hear before it's gone. I haven't seen a nice example go for less than $400 in a mote of years.
  17. Sam Adams

    Sam Adams Well-Known Member

    K-31, hands down.

    It is by far the most accurate of those listed for the money (and more accurate than any, by far and regardless of price, except a good Springfield - which will be very pricey). K-31s routinely do under 2 MOA out of the box (so to speak) and with standard sights. Use match ammo/handloads and either a scope or Mojo sights (more below), and you could do 1 MOA or better.

    Yes, the ammo for it is more expensive, but the rifle is so cheap ($80-$125 for most examples) that you can afford to get a full reloading setup (i.e. a Lee Anniversary reloading kit) and the 7.5 Swiss dies plus bullets and powder for less than the cost of the Springfield. After that, you can make custom-made, match-quality ammo for it using (relatively) cheap Graf's cases and ANY .308 bullets that you want.

    Here you go:

    K-31 $100 (assumed)
    Lee kit $75
    Dies $30
    Powder $18/pound (which makes approx. 150 rounds
    Bullets $18/hundred (for Sierra Match Kings)
    Primers $2.50/hundred

    You can do better than ALL of the above if you shop, and especially if you have a C&R license and shop. You cost for 1-time things will be $205 or less, FAR less than the cost of a decent 1903 Springfield. Once you start reloading, you can make match-quality ammo for well under $0.30/round, and ordinary plinking ammo for less than $0.25 - especially if you buy in quantity and shop around.

    The best part of owning a K-31 is using an old, sub-$100 gun and homemade ammo to outshoot some jerk with a $1000 rifle and rounds costing $1.00/each.

    BTW, get a set of Mojo sights for under $65 http://www.mojosights.com/order.html which will be far cheaper, and less damaging to the appearance of your historic rifle, than a scope mount and glass - yet it will help your shooting almost as much as a scope.
  18. jefnvk

    jefnvk Well-Known Member

    Plug the magazine with a block of wood.

    I got mine for $100 last year, pristine bore, OK wood.
  19. Shane333

    Shane333 Well-Known Member

    I just put one on layaway recently. Pristine bore, very good bluing, and good stock, though it certainly shows wear. All for $100 from Big5.

    I'm already looking for my next one.
  20. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    1. swiss k-31. Good rifle, usually available at a good price. Ammo is expensive, but if your'e willing to take up reloading, that will make a difference.

    2. yugo m-48. Another good rifle -- not as desirable as a Kar 98, but a good rifle and a good cartridge. Cheap surplus ammo is available -- for now, anyway.

    3. SMLE. A good rifle. A lot that I've seen recently have been in pretty rough shape. I'd prefer a #4, with its aperture sight, but your tastes may differ.

    4. french MAS-49. I'd give this a pass.

    5. steyr m95. Another rifle I'd give a pass.

    6. m1903 springfield. Absolutely -- if you can afford it. A good condition M1903 will sell for as much as a new Model 70 Winchester these days.

    7. russian sks (not yugo). A lot of fun, but not in the same class as most of those listed above.

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