1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

What is good accuracy out of a military surplus bolt action or modern semi-auto?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by albanian, Apr 3, 2004.

  1. albanian

    albanian member

    Nov 27, 2003
    I am not big into modern scoped bolt actions but I do have older mil-surplus bolt actions and some modern and older semi-automatics. I always feel kind of sheepish when people talk about MOA and sub-MOA groups they get with their modern bolt actions.

    What is considered good for a stock semi-auto or mil-surplus rifle? I have or had: Ruger Mini-14, AR-15s, Cetmes, AKs, SKSs, Mausers, Enfields, Mosins, ect. but I have never seen MOA from any of them. I get good accuracy but not tack driving stuuf. I can hit a pie plate with any of them and pop cans with most of them at 100 yards but NOT quarters or nickels.:D

    What are people getting out of there stock SKSs, AKs, Mausers, Mosins, ect.?

    Out of the above, the AR is in a different class. I got the best groups with my AR-15s. My scoped AR would do close to 1 1/2" edge to edge if I was shooting well. I measure from the outside of the holes and not center to center.
  2. Sven

    Sven Senior Member

    Dec 20, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    Military surplus bolt action OR modern semi-auto covers a lot of territory.

    My M1A shoots 0.5-0.75 MOA off a bench rest, but it cost a lot to get it to that point.
  3. DMK

    DMK Mentor

    Dec 24, 2002
    Over the hills and far, far away
    There's a wide variation of end user quality with milsurp guns, especially those that have seen heavy use or have been refurbished/re-arsenaled.

    However, near MOA is not terribly uncommon with excellent condition Swiss K31s and Finnish M39s.

    I think the largest factor leading to innaccuracy with quality milsurp guns is cheap commercial and surplus ammo. For some reason, folks don't want to shoot a box of $15-$20 match ammo in a milsurp gun. Two of my M39s will group between 1" and 1.5" @ 100 yards with match ammo. One is a very worn and well used Sneak and the other is a B-barrel that I only shoot with open sights, so I could likely shoot it better if it had optics.

    (From what I understand Swiss GP11 milsurp ammo is almost match quality which may contribute to the K31s reputation as a tack driver.)
  4. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Elder

    Jan 1, 2003
    DFW Area
    It depends on the gun.

    You can expect submoa performance from a Swedish Model 96 or Model 38 Mauser with decent ammo. However some of the 98 Mauser variants will only do 3 moa or so.

    The M39 Finnish Moisin Nagant rifles are generally moa or better, but some of the Russian Nagants won't do nearly that well.

    The first thing you have to do is make sure you have good ammo if you're going to do this kind of testing. Some of the milsurplus stuff out there is pretty low quality.
  5. critter

    critter Senior Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    southeast AR
    In my case, the 'old eyes' I have plus the open sights of the mislurps are far more at fault than the gun! NO WAY could I shoot minute of angle or anywhere close with the open sights of, lets say, a 98 Mauser! I MIGHT, on a good day, shoot somewhere between 2-4" with my 03A3 with the peep sights and long sight radius. I have no doubt that several of my milsurps would shoot 2" groups IF I HAD A GOOD SCOPE on them. BUT that ain't what they are for.
  6. Hutch

    Hutch Participating Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    Opelika, AL
    I'm still crowing (I'm glancing at it from time to time as I post) about the MOA group I (yes, Hutch!!!) shot w/ a "sporterized" 03A3 w/ iron sights. I'm just not that good.
  7. c_yeager

    c_yeager Mentor

    Mar 14, 2003
    Also, dont confuse accurized 'target' variations of military weapons as being TRUE to military pattern. The AR can be made to be ASTOUNDINGLY accurate. But, if full military trim it is mroe of a 2moa rifle than anything (not that 2moa is BAD or anything its just not 'precision').
  8. Tomac

    Tomac Active Member

    Oct 13, 2003
    Caldwell, Idaho
    NDM-86 Dragunov in .308 will do sub-moa all day w/match ammo. With my rusty skills & using a cheap Russian 8x scope my 3-shot CTC average is .6" at 100yds w/personal best being .24".
  9. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy Participating Member

    Feb 25, 2004
    With the issue iron sights, no sling/scope/bipod/rest, sitting position only braced, my father's WW1 Mauser 98 and my WW2 Lee-Enfield No.4 Mk1 were hitting on demand any target between 80 and 950 yards on a private range. The 600+ targets were truck sized, but teh fact that one rifle was built in 1917 and the other in 1943 (older than both of us) and with factory nonmatch ammo we were hitting anything we felt like was quite nice.

    Tiny groups? Probably not. Hits? Yes. That's all I ask.

    I've seen some Mausers and Lee-Enfields bring in under 2 MOA at 100 though with a scope or even irons.
  10. Okiecruffler

    Okiecruffler Senior Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    Del City, Okla
    I've never managed MOA, not with 5 shots anyway, but I have several mosins and mausers that will do 1.5 inch 5shot groups with surplus ammo. I'm sure I could shrink that a bit with good handloads, but that surplus stuff is just this side of free. And like someone on here asked me one time, "Just how dead do you want to shoot them?"
  11. George S.

    George S. Participating Member

    Jan 11, 2004
    Western WA
    I just bought a 1931 Mosin-Nagant 91/30 and after a good cleaning (took a full day to get the gunk out of the barrel) I was able to get some 8" groupings at 100 yards using some 205gr Russian milsurp stuff. A few rounds chose to not obey the sight picture I provided for them but that was me more than the rifle. Hopefully with some practice, I can get some decent groupings without having to do "surgery" on the rifle. Right now it's more of a fun plinker/shooter than anything like a serious target rifle.

    Most WWII-era rifles were designed to hit a man-sized target at 200 yards or so. MOA hits were probably not that important to the average infantryman. If he could hit the target at COM, that took the enemy out of action. With iron sights at 200 yards, a shot in the heart or between the eyes were probably more luck than marksmanship. If you look at old newsreels of infantry action you would see individual soldiers firing at fairly high rates of fire, not aiming and squeezing off individual rounds like you would at a paper target.

Share This Page