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How old is too old in terms of accuracy?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Golden_006, Nov 20, 2009.

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  1. Golden_006

    Golden_006 Member

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    Is a Springfield 1903A3 accurate?

    How about a Swede Mauser?

    or one of the old 5 round Enfields?

    I'm thinking of getting an old military rifle like a Suede Mauser but not sure about a gun made in 1918 or whatever . . .

    By accurate I mean how does it measure up with an AK? I figuree that's a good bench mark since it's used in many modern conflicts even today and is world-renowned as a great rifle; mediocre accuracy and all.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2009
  2. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    Search up my "century" match results and decide for yourself
     
  3. alemonkey

    alemonkey Member

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    I'm not sure a Suede Mauser is such a good idea. I had a Suede jacket once and they get old and ratty looking pretty fast. I'd go for one made out of wood and steel.
     
  4. mpmax

    mpmax Member

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    At sight-in this year I had a malfunction with a 1952 Vintage Remington 760. The Gunsmith at the range with his rack of custom rifles had never worked on a 760 before but felt confident advising me to buy a new rifle, "...when they get old, they stop working." Who knew?!!!
     
  5. Golden_006

    Golden_006 Member

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    ooops fixed it to swede
     
  6. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    My short barrel, 1907 Swede shoots 120 gr Sierra bullets into 1" @ 100 yards......works for me
     
  7. rondog

    rondog Member

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    I've always heard the 03A3's were killers for accuracy. I'd love to have one. I'd go for one of those over the others.
     
  8. gunnutery

    gunnutery Member

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    My No1 Mk3 Enfield was made in 1918. It shoots, but the bore is kind of worn out. So I'd say that mine is a little worse than an AK accuracy wise. If you have a chance to check the rifling do so. Mine was packed with cosmoline when I bought it.
     
  9. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...how does it measure up with an AK?..." Every W.W. II vintage rifle, in decent condition, will shoot circles around any AK. Even with milsurp ball. Comparing an AK to a W.W. II vintage battle rifle is like comparing a Lada to a Ferrari. AK's were designed to be issued to illiterate conscripts who could be taught to use it with minimal training. Accuracy wasn't required.
    "...a great rifle..." Poor sights. Poor trigger. Poor, not mediocre, accuracy.
    "...not sure about a gun made in 1918..." Matches are shot regularly with early, mid and late 19th Century firearms.
    The accuracy of any milsurp depends on the condition of the rifle. Particularly the barrel. Then the quality of the ammo. It's age has little to do with it.
    My 1903A4 will shoot one hole groups with my handloads.
    Swedish Mausers are renowned for their accuracy. So are 1903A3's and P14/17's. You won't find inexpensive milsurp ammo for 'em though.
    When you go looking, stay away from any rifle Century Arms had anything to do with. Their prices are cheap, but they're also notorious for assembling rifles out of parts bins with zero QC. Not even checking the headspace to ensure the rifle is safe to shoot.
     
  10. Float Pilot

    Float Pilot Member

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    Swedish M/96 Mausers and Swiss K-31s are the most accurate of the older military rifles.

    While an occasional 1903 or 1917 will shoot just as well, those are exceptions and not the norm.

    US and Norwegian Krag rlfles and have a weaker action, but if you find one in good shape they are generally capable of amazing accuracy.

    The Swede rifles were continually rebarreled by army armorers up until the late 1970s.
     
  11. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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    I had a mkiv Lee Enfield once, when I first go back into shooting stuff.
    amazing accuracy for a rifle made in 1917; and bolt action was smooth as
    glass.
     
  12. shootr

    shootr Member

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    +1 What Float Plane said.
     
  13. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Military rifles are not target rifles.

    The military builds a rifle that must meet a number of criteria. Accuracy is just one of those criteria, and is generally determined by what is considered a normal engagement distance and target size.

    You will find that pre semi automatic rifles, the predicted engagement distance was hundreds of yards further than post semi automatic rifles.

    1900 designs had powerful cartridges and simple, stiff, mechanisms which were expected to engage targets out to 1000 yards. The military even had volley fire expectations at targets even further out.

    The WWII experience had a lot to do with shortening expected engagement distances. By the time you get to 1944, Officers were forbidding their troops to shoot at targets 300 yards or beyond, because skill level had deteriorated to the point that it was futile.

    I don't know the exact design accuracy distance of the AK, but I think 300 yards is about right.

    Post WWII rifles are generally less accurate and less powerful than pre WWII military rifles.

    Modern battle rifles have increased magazine capacity, fire rate, and emphasize simplicity of manufacture and are better battle rifles even if they are less accurate than their 1900 counterparts.
     
  14. Golden_006

    Golden_006 Member

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    I always thought that but since I had limited experience -- and after reading this board -- always thought that firepower in modern combat was far superior to accuracy. And that old bolt guns were great for ww1 trench warfare. But for some reason or another others here have said differently.
     
  15. shootr

    shootr Member

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    Dunno about post WWII rifles being less accurate that WWII rifles.

    My ARs and even well-used M16s I've shot do very well compared to my Garands or 03s. Based on my personal experience, the AR family will consistently outshoot all other US mil rifles and the lower the skill level of the shooter, the better he or she does with the AR. JMPO. YMMV.
     
  16. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    I know of two Springfields and one 1917 Enfield which with scopes were all sub-MOA with handloads. My father sporterized the Springfields in the late 1940s, and I sporterized the Enfield in 1950. Nothing done internally insofar as "improving" anything.

    If the leade is not burned from lots of usage, there's no reason an old military rifle won't shoot tight groups. Scopes help, of course, since the sights are generally rather coarse for precision shooting.
     
  17. Slimjim

    Slimjim Member

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    Are you sure you know what you're talking about? The swedes built their rifles to a very high standard and the swede mauser is one of the most accurate surplus guns you will find. All their ammo was match grade and non corrosive. They ended up with a bullet that has a very high sectional density So they hit alot harder than it should for its size. IT all depends on the country of origin of your military surplus rifle.
     
  18. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I regularly shoot in highpower competition. I got my Distinguished and a Regional Gold with the M1a. My name is on one trophy in the CMP trophy room. I have been squadded with the Worlds best at Camp Perry.

    I have never seen anyone use a full military Swedish Mauser, in Highpower competition, except in the Old Bolt Gun match at Perry.

    Had one bud who loved M96's, he would drag it out to our local 100 yard reduced matches. I don't think he ever broke an expert score with the thing.

    True, but it is not a target rifle.


    I have never seen anyone using Swedish ball ammo in a highpower rifle match. I am aware of guys shooting in vintage rifle matches, maybe the stuff is used there. I have shot Swedish ball, it is better than most surplus ammunition. I would not waste my time using the stuff in a match. I would use SMK's instead.
     
  19. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    If it was built in the 18th century, it is likely too old to be sufficiently accurate (due to the uncommon use of rifling during that time period)...anything else is fair game. Accuracy has improved over the years, but if you stick with a rifle that was built in the late 19th century (when Mausers were introduced) or newer, you will find that accuracy *can* be quite good depending upon the make and condition. The Swedes and Swiss K91s in particular are very accurate surplus rifles, but if you are looking for a tack driver, l would look elsewhere (a modern target rifle, not surplus).

    :)
     
  20. Mauserguy

    Mauserguy Member

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    The age of a rifle is irrelevant for accuracy. The condition of the individual rifles is paramount in assessing the potential for good accuracy. Having said that, unfortunately many older surplus guns have been well used and abused. Choose your guns carefully.
    Mauserguy
     
  21. Float Pilot

    Float Pilot Member

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    At one time there were international military rifle matches where all the contestants from various countries would meet in one country and use the rifles and ammo from the host country. When you review the scores of those matches they were always much higher when held in Sweden or Switzerland.
    Of course those were the days of classic long range shooters.

    Any military rifle will shoot much better with finely tuned hand-loaded ammo.
    Much of what supposedly passes for Swede issue ammo is really mass reloaded practice ammo. Then there is stuff like PMC which has undersized brass and huge variations in bullet weight.

    It may indeed be difficult to compete with a Douglas barreled M1A in a 600 yard match using a Swede bolt action m/96 Mauser. But if you are competing in a bolt action military match then you should be able to hold your own.

    If you want a 600 yard open sight rifle based on a military rifle, then get a Swede CG-63 military target rifle.

    Let me see if I can get some group photos to show up.
     

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  22. Shadow Man

    Shadow Man Member

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    I'll warrant that the AK-47 with poor sights, trigger, and accuracy will perform better under fire than you will...don't sell the gun short because it does not punch match-grade holes in a paper target. It does what it was designed to do, and it does that very, very well.

    As for the AK-47 being handed to untrained recruits...look into how much training the average G.I. was recieving at the end of WWII. And while generally the M1 Garand is a great weapon, I've met more than a few that couldn't hit a thing, at any range. Also, I'd put my AK-47 clone up against an M1 carbine in a combat-like training course any day...in fact, I have. And the differences are negligible. Not enough to cast serious doubts about either weapon in the hands of an even remotely trained shooter.

    "Accuracy wasn't required." Accuracy was not a main issue concerning the AK-47, but it still had to pass certain requirements, based upon the Red Army's experiences of WWII. Please refrain from broad, sweeping generalizations...someone might mistakenly think you know something.
     
  23. dmb

    dmb Member

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    I have a Swede M96-38 that was the first rifle I purchased years ago. It was made in 1899 my Mauser for the Swede's. It will out shoot my M-1 Garand, Enfields and K98's. The 6.5x55 round is a awesome round out to about 400 yards then it's lighter mass starts to petter out. Up here in Ontario, you rarely take a shot at game at that distance anyway.
     
  24. Shadow Man

    Shadow Man Member

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    As a reply to the OP: a gun cannot be "too old" to be accurate as long as it has been properly maintained and is in good shape. That is like saying that a car is "too old to be driveable." My next-door-neighbor owns a meticulously maintained Model T, and goes driving with it all the time. The same goes for my two M1903A3's sitting in the gun cabinet. Despite having been manufactured in the 1940's, they are both excellent shooters, despite their 60+ year old age.
     
  25. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    My 1943 No4Mk1* shoots MOA occaisionally with one handload, it works for me.
     
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