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Best value sniper rifle - probably milsurp

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Dr_2_B, Feb 7, 2012.

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  1. Dr_2_B

    Dr_2_B Member

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    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.
     
  2. jpwilly

    jpwilly Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012
  3. denton

    denton Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012
  4. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    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.
     
  5. denton

    denton Member

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    Some guys have all the luck! :)
     
  6. firesky101

    firesky101 Member

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    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.
     
  7. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    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.
     
  8. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    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.
     
  9. nathan

    nathan Member

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    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.
     
  10. Kachok

    Kachok Member

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    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.
     
  11. Manny

    Manny Member

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    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.
     
  12. Kachok

    Kachok Member

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    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 :)
     
  13. lloydkristmas

    lloydkristmas Member

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    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
     
  14. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    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-11from 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:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    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):

    [​IMG]



    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
     
  15. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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

    dldbrandon Member

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    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.
     
  17. 4895

    4895 Member

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    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?
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012
  18. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    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
     
  19. buckhorn_cortez

    buckhorn_cortez Member

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    Then they've purchased the wrong Lapua + scope. If you get the right setup, you can make the Lapua 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?
     
  20. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Member

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    +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.

    [​IMG]
     
  21. fallout mike

    fallout mike Member

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    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.
     
  22. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    Read the OP again.

    35W
     
  23. fallout mike

    fallout mike Member

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    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?
     
  24. .45Guy

    .45Guy Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012
  25. troutfisherman1200

    troutfisherman1200 Member

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    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!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2012
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