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I think I want to convert a milsurp into a Scout Rifle

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by SouthronBoy, Dec 21, 2007.

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  1. SouthronBoy

    SouthronBoy Member

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    I can't justify spending a whole lot of money on this project, but I'd like to build a scout rifle.

    My initial thought was to get a Mosin Nagant M38 to work on. (I already have an M44 that I like well enough). I then got the bright idea to buy a 91/30, and cut the barrel down to about 20". 91/30s are about $50 cheaper than M38s, and since I'll probably have to get the barrel crowned anyway, why not?

    Since I've been doing some research, I wonder if I wouldn't be better off with an Enfield, a Mauser clone or a Swiss K31. The Enfields and the Mausers can be found in .308, and I think the Swiss 7.5 might be acceptable.

    I don't know anybody with any of these rifles, so a test drive is unlikely.

    An argument in favor of the Swiss rifle is that since these never saw combat, it wouldn't be like I was destroying an historical artifact or something. I'd feel the same way about a MN 91/59 as well--the Soviets ruined their historical value and turned them into novelties.

    FWIW, I'm left-handed.

    I plan on doing as much of the work as I can myself.

    I appreciate any input or suggestions.
     
  2. Mr_Pale_Horse

    Mr_Pale_Horse Member

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    www.scopemounts.com

    Their insta-mount bases will allow forward mounting of an IER scope on almost any milsurp. Before doing any permanent mods, I recommend getting used to an IER setup first. Many people do not like it. It is certainly not a LONG RANGE setup. I can shoot my M48A Yugo mauser with 2x out to 300 yards, but target resolution is all but impossible beyond that with the low magnification.

    I also have a Turk M1938 K'kale mauser in this config, albeit with a B-Square mount.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  3. elmerfudd

    elmerfudd Member

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    If you're going to butcher one, I'd either go with a Mosin Nagant or a rifle that's already been hacked up. Another good choice might be one of the beater Enfield 2A's that were being sold for $99 not too long ago or a Turk or Yugo Mauser. You can usually pick up sporterized milsurps for dirt cheap at gunshows, particularly if the work was done poorly. Other stock milsurps are just too expensive do this with and the Swiss rifles are just too damn nice to cut up. The hell with history, they're just some beautifully crafted rifles and taking a hacksaw to one is like cutting up a nice Browning. Just add a St. Marie mount and leave it as is.

    A Mosin Nagant with a scout mount has one major problem IMO. The scopes end up being way too high. So long as you plan on chopping the gun up, I'd remove the rear mount and drill and tap it to fit a picatinny rail as close to the barrel as possible.
     
  4. Dr. Peter Venkman

    Dr. Peter Venkman Member

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    Every military is a historical piece, some more than others. I suggest using a non-permanent method on milsurps and trying to keep them as original as possible. Why butcher a milsurp when the results you get will only come after devaluing and putting hard work into a project and not even end up working as intended? By a nice, new rifle and make it a scout.
     
  5. SouthronBoy

    SouthronBoy Member

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    "...and not even end up working as intended?"

    What do you mean, Doc?
     
  6. bamabluesman

    bamabluesman Member

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    Buy yourself that K-31 and inspect it carefully. If after that you want to cut it up. Go quickly to the nearest mental hospital and have yourself fitted for a straight jacket, take your pills, and go to your rubber room.
     
  7. Dr. Peter Venkman

    Dr. Peter Venkman Member

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    What I mean is don't be expecting 'great' results after cutting down a run-of-the-mill 91/30 to a shorter length and putting a scope on the thing. I suggest trying out a K31 with a scout setup or w/ a no-drill/tap clamp-on mount.
     
  8. SouthronBoy

    SouthronBoy Member

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    After lugging my M1 through some WV mountains earlier this month, I'm trying to find a lighter rifle that I can use in the woods with my 50+ year old eyes. I don't think an unmodified K31 will suit me. Sadly, I'm not the man I was 25 years ago when I could lug my M16 and rucksack through German mountains all day and all night.
     
  9. Dr. Peter Venkman

    Dr. Peter Venkman Member

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    You can get a clamp-on mount for the K31 and put a big scope on it.
     
  10. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

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    He's looking for lighter, not heavier, Dr. Venkman.

    My advice would be to find an already butchered and/or sporterized (not the same thing, though the line is fuzzy at times) example of a milsurp and work from there. Why?

    1. You're not destroying history.

    2. It will be cheaper, since the value of the rifle is already reduced.

    3. Some of the work you intend to do may already be done for you.

    The real problem you're going to run into is that you might drop some money, time and effort into this project and still come out with a gun that looks like crap and/or shoots like crap, and is worth less than it was before you started cutting on it and dropping money into it.

    your best bet, IMO, is to find a carbine version of a milsurp you want to shoot and buy a IER mount that replaces the rear sight. The M38 would be a good option in this regard provided the base rifle shoots well enough for the task. It's a light, handy carbine, and adding the scope will not butcher the rifle. if it's still too heavy, I believe there are several fiberglass stocks out there that are drop-in replacements for the wood stock. Not as cheap as just hacking the wood, but probably a money-saver in the long term and a more practial alternative in the short term.

    Are you sure you want to remove more weight from a 7.62x54R rifle, though? Make sure you have a good pad, or a good masseuse.

    Mike ;)
     
  11. mudslinging79

    mudslinging79 Member

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  12. Kipling79

    Kipling79 Member

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    I personally have no problem with modifications to old firearms, as long as they are not very rare.

    But, If you wanted less work, you could find a premade military carbine, as mentioned above. I have been drooling over those Jungle Carbine Enfields.... they are beautiful guns. I have never shot or handled one though, so this is just a neutral suggestion, but enfields have always been good to me.
     
  13. Vaarok

    Vaarok Member

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    M-38, sporter stock, scout mount. Nonpermanent modifications and very little weight.
     
  14. pccraig

    pccraig Member

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    As a lefty, you may struggle with the straight-pull mechanism as it's set up on the right side of the K31.
     
  15. cracked butt

    cracked butt Member

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    You can find left handed bolt handle adaptors for K-31s, but they cost more than the rifle itself. K-31s are fairly heavy especially with a scope mounted to it. Chopping the stock will probably diminish accuracy, but it willstill be better than 99.9% of mosin nagants.

    I wouldn't bother with a M-38, they are usually shot out and I've never heard of anyone proving them to be accurate- mine might be good enough to hit a sheet of typing paper most of the time at 50 yards, but not any better.

    M44s are as heavy as a 91/30. If you can find a 91/59 (basicly a cut down 91/30) you might have a lightweight rifle that will give you acceptable accuracy.

    Probably the lightest carbine out there is the Swedish M94- but these are very scarce and you'd spend less money taking a hacksaw to a brand new remchester.

    A carcano would be light too, and it isn't very hard to find onethat is already hacked up- they seem to be everywhere.
     
  16. SouthronBoy

    SouthronBoy Member

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    I've got a Chinese T53 barrelled reciever on the way. Let's see how it looks.
     
  17. Mike 56

    Mike 56 Member

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    If you want to make a sporter out of a milsurp a 91/30 would be a good choice. A lot of Mosins have a lot muzzle were from cleaning with steel cleaning rods so cutting the barrel nice new rifling at the muzzle. You can mark the barrel with a tubing cutter and cut it with a hack saw. Smooth out the saw cut with a file. Buy a bullet shaped dremel stone to clean up the burs at the muzzle. You do not need a scout mount with a 91/30 remove the rear sight base and you will find a 3/8 dove tail that 22cal rings will fit on.

    Mike
     
  18. MyRoad

    MyRoad Member

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    If you are just looking for a fun project, and will be satisfied to end out with a gun that's fun to play with at the range, then I'd say go for it. I made a "scout" rifle out of an M44 (that was already hacked up), with the intention of possibly brush hunting with it. Bottom line, its not a practical hunting rifle. It's too heavy, the trigger (even after a trigger job!) is not made for precision shooting, and the bolt (in my experience) is not as light and fluid as modern bolts and does not lend itself to quick follow up shots, should one be necessary.

    In the end, for me, it was kind of a waste of time and money. Granted, one could hunt with it, I just wouldn't. I would sell it, but I probably couldn't even get what I paid for the scope and scope mount. Don't mean to pee in your Cherios, just sharing my experience.
     
  19. SouthronBoy

    SouthronBoy Member

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    My cheerios aren't offended. I came here for advice.

    My M44 is my first bolt action rifle. As I said earlier, I'm left-handed, so most of my weapons have been autos. I learned to shoot with a single shot .22 lever action Ithaca M49.

    Since I'm a lefty, quick follow up shots with a bolt action are a daydream anyway. Well, not optimal at least. As a lefty, you learn to adjust to the right handed world, so I'd probably be quicker than most of you would trying to get a second shot with a left handed bolt action, but you know what I mean.

    I like the idea of building something. If the T53 scout stinks, so be it. I will have learned something that I can use on the next project.

    Heck, I don't even know if the barrell on the T53's got any rifling left. I bought it on gunbroker for $10+shipping.
     
  20. MyRoad

    MyRoad Member

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    By the way, I'm left-handed also. Oddly, I'm right-eyed... so I shoot handguns with my left hand, but like hitting a golf ball, playing guitar, or tying a trout fly -- I shoot rifles right handed. If its the only way you know, its awkward at first but quickly seems natural enough.
     
  21. K3

    K3 Member

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    An S&K scout mount fits on the rear sight of an M38/M44 with no permanent modification and only a little work. If it doesn't work, you can always put the rear sight spring back and the rifle is back to original form.

    I did it on an M38 just for giggles with a 4X Simmons pistol scope. It works OK, though it took forever to get it on paper even at 25 yards. Stupid me, I left my laser boresighter at home that day. :banghead: Would have saved me 40 rouonds and an hour of fuss. Still, once I got it zeroed at 25, it worked well enough. I'm not sure I'd hunt with it. I'd have to see how accurate handloads would be out to 100 yards, as all I've shot through it is Hungarian mil-surp.

    As for the K-31...DON'T! Those should never be bubba'd or sporterized IMO. They are just too nice and accurate to mess with. Of course, a man can do what he wants with one if he owns it.
     
  22. Matt-J2

    Matt-J2 Member

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    Lately, I've been hard pressed to find milsurps(ok, mosins mostly, since that's my thing) without vividly ugly import markings all over the receiver. IMO, the historical value of these rifles is already gone, so find one with good working parts and bubba away.
    If the T53 receiver doesn't work out for you, that is.
     
  23. dogrunner

    dogrunner Member

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    Any scope recommendations for a 44 scout project? And no, I don't want to stick a 400 buck piece of glass on a less than 100 dollar rifle.
     
  24. QUICK_DRAW_McGRAW

    QUICK_DRAW_McGRAW Member

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    tasco 3-9X40, with rings it was $45 at wallyworld, im gonna sport a 91/30 for 200yard target/hunting. but in the meen time i put it on my marlin .22lr and loved it at the range today, high viz and quick target aqqusition.
     
  25. Javelin

    Javelin Member

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    It will be difficult to find a milsurp that accomodates a left handed shooter. The only one that is *mostly* amedextrous is an AR style firearm and not really milsurp (at least for another 30 years). I would honestly have to tell you that a scout rifle for both right and left handed individuals is the .45-70 lever action shorty. Technically a .45-70 is a milsurp round so maybe that would work :D

    :)
     
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