miltary arms for hunting??

Not open for further replies.
This is why I'm glad I live in Arizona. The magazine capacity limit applies exclusively to semi-automatic rifles,........

This is why I'm glad to be living in the Free Republic of Alaska. We have no nonsensical ammo capacity restrictions for hunting except for water fowl.
Plenty of game has fallen to milsurp rifles. If that's what you want to shoot, go for it. Most of the bolt action milsurps are heavier than the current available sporters as mentioned. They typically come with steel butt plates, which make them less comfortable to shoot than something with a limbsaver for example. If you want to scope it, you generally need to bend the bolt, drill & tap, and possibly rework or replace the safety. If you want a trigger with light pull and no creep, you will need to rework or replace it.
With the semi automatics, most of them with the exception of the SKS and a couple of others will cost more than a good bolt or lever rifle. Much of what I wrote about the stocks and triggers applies as well, and most of them to be D&T'd for the scope as well. They will also weigh more, and will have more moving parts than many of us are comfortable with on remote hunts.

Many of both types are becoming collectible, and are not cost competetive with factory sporters.
Some designs, like the PSL, make fine hunting rifles. Your $700 to $750 gets you an accurate scoped semi-automatic in a very good caliber. This makes it very competitive pricewise with modern bolt actions. At 9.7 pounds with the scope attached, it's also of reasonable weight. As sold, they are very well suited for hunting applications. However, the PSL is a modern design from the 1970s. As such, it shares little in common with more traditional military arms.

The previous generation of rifles typically had to be drilled and tapped to accomodate optics. While this worked fine during service, it is rarely practical to scope these rifles now that the original designs intended to be mounted on them are obsolete and no longer manufactured. And since modification destroys their collector's value, it is a financially unsound decision, as well. That said, there are still many fine Turkish Mausers available that can be had for as little as $250. These can make a fine addition to any collection, and are a very good value at their price.
I've hunted with a M1 Garand, M1A, and a Mosin. Never went with the SKS, AK, or AR but I would if I wanted to.

I use my Swede Mauser, sporterized, to hunt antelope. Privi Partisan makes a decent 6.5x55 soft point round.
works just fine, although I wasn't using surplus FMJ but wolf gold soft points.


  • deer mosin.jpg
    deer mosin.jpg
    66.5 KB · Views: 65
  • deer mosin 2.jpg
    deer mosin 2.jpg
    60.9 KB · Views: 50
When I was a young hunter back in the early 60's I can remember most hunters in Virginia used surplus military arms to hunt Deer. A few had modern rifles but not many. I can also remember so many were vets from WW2 and Korea, my Dad was also, those were friends the type of folks we hunted with.
I myself hunt with a AR-15 knock off in 6.8 SPC and love it!:)
Took my first deer with a spoterized argentine Mauser, and I just finished building a 6.8 SPC AR-15 for my go-to deer and hog rifle. It's not "technically" military, but it is so-called "military style". People that say that kind of thing are fudds that don't think very hard about much of anything. Bolt actions were standard issue "military weapons" as recently as WW2, and continue to be for sniper units. With a 5 round mag my 6.8 SPC AR-15 is functionally and ethically no different from Mr. Fudd's Remy 7400 or Browning BAR.
Military rifles were designed for - the most dangerous game.
its nice to have a 1200 dollar rifle that can put hyper velocity 60 grain bullets into an animal at a 1000 yards.
However those of us who use a milsurp rifle in 6.5x55 swede, 30-06, 7.62x51, and 7.2x54r actualy have rifles that have sufficient cartridge power to put a heavy 150-200 grain bullet through a deer or elk at that range and not have to pray you can get a head shot.

my muzzleloading rifle weighs more then a 91/30 or garand, and gets less range and muzzle energy then they do. Yet most people say a mil surp is ungainly and just to damned heavy to carry around in a blind while sipping coffee.
I thought all military rifles were made for hunting? Seems people forget that they were made to hunt up animals that had firearms as well. One of my first requirements for any firearm I buy is it must be able to be used for hunting and will be used as such. My AK47 is very deadly on javelina as is my SKS. It should be noted that not all AZ game and fish officers are real keen on the use of these firearms for hunting, though they can do nothing about it, at this time anyway.
I have been using my mosin nagant m39 and my mauser k98 to hunt with for years, they both seem to be more than capable of taking down game very easily. My only problem is that the guns arn't made for modern scopes and it seems the only way to mount a scope on them is by butchering them up. So just last elk season I bought a second hand weatherby 7mm mag. But I still prefer the way the old guns shoot.
For hunting humans, massed full auto fire is more important than MOA accuracy. AK accuracy is non-existent, but I guess it's good enough for 100 yards, woods hunting. I wouldn't use one in the New Mexico canyons on mulies, though. I'll take my Remchesters, thanks. They come in some pretty impressive calibers, like .338 Win Mag if you want power, or 7mm Rem Mag or just plain ol' .30-06. You ain't gotta shoot a military rifle to get a military caliber, ya know. :rolleyes:
Last edited:
I've hunted with Mausers, Enfields, and AR15s chambered in 7.62x39/6.8SPC.

Anything that can keep a 3" group at 100 yards is plenty accurate for most hunting.
I've killed many a deer with military arms -- primarily a '93 Mauser in 7X57 and an M1917 Enfield in .30-06. I've killed elk with Bigfoot Wallace, my custom '03 Springfield in .35 Brown-Whelen. I've also taken deer with a sporterized M96 Swedish Mauser in 6.5X55.

In general, military rifles tend to be a bit heavy and cumbersome, with less than optimum sights (with notable exceptions.) At one time, almost everyone I knew hunted with a sporterized military rifle of some kind. But the cost of sporterizing military rifles has gone way up, and the cost of those same rifles has escalated as well.

Nowadays, you can take a $600 Springfield, spend $500 sporterizing it, and wind up with a rifle that will sell for around $300 at a gun show. It's cheaper to buy a Remington, Winchester, Browning, Savage, etc.
The Romanian PSL makes a fine hunting rifle in my opinion.

AK-47 plus I picked up a 5 round mag at a local pawn shop. Finding the soft point ammo is hard in 7.62 x 39 but it seems to work fine on white tail deer.
I bought a M1917 in the 60s for $25. Spent $35 to have new sights put on it and have the barrel recrowned and another $40 for a Herter's stock blank that took me a winter to finish. Puts the cost at less than a dollar a deer over 50 years. Can't say that for my modern guns. The M1917 is still accurate and still goes hunting with me, but more outta nostalgia than anything else.
Not open for further replies.