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Thoughts on a millsurp rifle

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by mhdishere, Mar 2, 2005.

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  1. mhdishere

    mhdishere Member

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    As I so often do, I'm looking for information from my fellow THRer's, this time on the topic of millsurp rifles. Here's my wish list:

    1) Bolt action, full sized battle rifle

    2) Fires a full-power, 30-ish caliber cartridge

    3) Reasonably accurate (minute of pie-plate)

    4) Moderately cheap (under $200)

    5) Available ammo

    I'd originally planned on a Mosin Nagant 91/30, but I've been wondering if I'd get better service from something else. I've heard that accuracy on the Mosin's can be problematic unless you go for a Finn, and once you do that you're in a similar price range to a Mauser or Enfield. I've also heard that if you loop up in a sling on a Mosin you can mess up accuracy, thereby defeating the purpose of looping up in the first place.

    The rifle will be used mostly for range-use.

    I'm not looking to fill a room with rifles either, I want a good, shootable rifle that I can learn on and that I won't outgrow anytime soon if ever. I'd rather have one good rifle than six so-so rifles.

    So, great THR gurus, what do you think?
     
  2. George S.

    George S. Member

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    MY 1931 Izzy 91/30 will shoot 6-8" groups at 200 yards. That was the standard for Russian battle rifles. It's a fun rifle to shoot and the 7.62.54R cartridge is widely available for cheap. I usually buy Czech 147gr silvertip ammo for around $3.00 per box.

    Another Mosin example would be an M44 or M38 but these are more of a carbine size and accuracy may not be too good out to long distances. I just got an M38 and it appears to be a rearsenaled rifle as the barrel looks to be new or near-new. Any of the Mosins can be had for under $100.

    Enfields and Turkish Mausers run around $175-200 at the local Big 5 Sporting Goods stores when on sale. The ones I have seen don't look to be in very good condition.

    IF your budget would allow for around $400, look at a Remington 1903A3 or a rack grade M1 Garand from the CMP. The 03A3 I just bought looked like it had been completely rebuilt and then simply put away. Using milsurp Korean 30-06 ammo, the first range outing got me between 2" and 3" groups at 100 yards.
     
  3. Ash

    Ash Member

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    Been into Mosins for 10 years now and never have heard about looping up causing any accuracy problems on Finnish M39's. The M39 was held to a higher accuracy standard than Russian Mosins and can certainly compete well against any other service rifle, period.

    Ash
     
  4. dghboy315

    dghboy315 Member

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    i got a Swiss K31 Schmidt Rubin rifle from AIM surplus for under $100. it's a great rifle and is very accurate. very well made and preserved. from what i hear, this is the reputation of the rifle. ammo is a little more expensive than of a MN.
     
  5. Clean97GTI

    Clean97GTI Member

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    My M44 will put them all in a pie plate at 300 yards if I'm at a bench. Could probably do better if I'd shoot something other than commie mil-surp. Wolf makes new ammo for these things that is supposed to be better.

    Check the rifle over before you buy it, but most Mosin-Nagants will provide hours of fun as well as decent accuracy. You won't tear one ragged hole at 600 yards, but you'll have fun trying. Center of Mass size groupings at a few hundred yards are not out of the question...and thats what a battle rifle is for. Did we mention Mosin's are cheap and so is the ammo?



    Before anyone jumps all over me for the ragged hole at 600 yards line, I was posting my own expierience with MNs and it should in no way reflect on anyones own or Russian grandfathers ability to down a sparrow from 700 yards with mil-surp ammo and a rusty barrel. ;)
     
  6. mainmech48

    mainmech48 Member

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    Swiss K-31 is a great bargain. Ammo is starting to become more widely available and less pricey. Dies and components are no problem. Beautifully built and can be extremely accurate in the right hands.

    The Ishapore-made SMLE 2A in 7.62x51 NATO (.308 Win.) is worth looking around for at the shows. Surplus ammo abounds and is inexpensive. Quite accurate with good ammo. IMO, the SMLEs of whatever caliber or vintage represent perhaps the best BA battle rifle design ever made. A nice No.4 in .303 would meet your criteria as well. Components and factory ammo are no problem, but surplus is drying-up fast.

    Don't have much experience with Mosins. There are folks at our club who swear by them, and those who swear at them. Personally, it's the rather awkward action that puts me off. As a southpaw, I have enough tsouris operating RHBAs as it is without adding ninety-degree throws and poorly located handles into the equation.
     
  7. Clean97GTI

    Clean97GTI Member

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    aw shucks, the action aint awkward.
    Not the rifles fault yer parents wired ya backwards. ;)

    The bolt does take a little getting used to though. Easy enough to operate quickly with a little practice.
     
  8. ocabj

    ocabj Member

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    K98 Mauser and other 8mm Mauser variants
    1. Yes
    2. Yes
    3. Yes
    4. Yes
    5. Yes

    K31 Swiss
    1. Yes
    2. Yes (7.5, but uses .308 bullets)
    3. Yes
    4. Yes
    5. Not really (match surplus is expensive comparable to surplus 54R and 8mm).

    Enfield
    1. Yes
    2. Yes
    3. Yes
    4. Borderline. You should be able to get a decent Enfield for under $200, but a good condition Enfield may cost $200 or a little more.
    5. Not really. Surplus .303 is about as rare as 7.5x55 Swiss, but modern production ammo is readily available.
     
  9. jem375

    jem375 Member

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    I bought a M/N 91/30 and ended up giving it away, have a M44 which also is not accurate.........now the Swede M96 and British Enfield are a little different story, both nice rifles and accurate and fun to shoot............
     
  10. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Member

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    How about a 1917 Enfield (P-17?). 30-06. I see them around from time to time, but they're a little more than $200. Great battle rifles, though.
     
  11. Headless Thompson Gunner

    Headless Thompson Gunner Member

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    Southern Ohio Gun has #4 Enfields for $100 right now. That's a screamin good deal. Dunno what kinda condition they're in, though.

    The #4 Enfield is worlds better than the Mosin. Better bolt, better trigger pull, and MUCH better sights. I'd happily put up with the comparatively rare .303Brit if it meant I got to shoot such a fine rifle as the #4 Enfield.
     
  12. Headless Thompson Gunner

    Headless Thompson Gunner Member

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    Where are you finding 1917s for $200? Cheapest I see 'em for around here is $300 or $400. I'd buy one if I coudl afford it, but at $400 for a clean one I just haven't gotten around to it yet.
     
  13. jefnvk

    jefnvk Member

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    How about a Swede? The only problem is it is not a .30 caliber cartridge, but that shouldn't worry you at all. Honestly, the Swede is probably the nicest gun I own, including new commercial rifles. And it was built in 1915. I picked mine up for $175 at a gunshow. Ammo is available, not the easiest to find surplus, but a good amount of commercial availble. Much more available than the Swiss.

    Enfield would have to be my next advice. Either version, either caliber. I have a No. 4 in .303 and an Ishapore No. 1 in .308. Both shoot good, although I much more like the sights on the No. 4. .308 is widely available, and .303 is around.

    8mm Mausers are the next in line, tough guns, hard hitting round (on both ends). I had a Yugo that I loved, but sold to get money for my next purchase (1903 Springfield). Cost me $80 at Dunhams. 8mm is about the cheapest thing this side of .22, last gunshow had 1400 rd crates for $70.

    Last would be the 91/30. Nice, accurate rifle, I just can't like the bolt.
     
  14. SMLE

    SMLE Member

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    Got to go with the Lee Enfield. The BEST bolt action military rifle EVER. The deals at SOG and AIM are good. .303 mil-surp ammo ain't as common as it was, :( but every commercial maker produces it, every reloading company makes dies for it and every bullet maker makes projectiles for it.

    The only Ishapore I own is a .303, but my brother and several friends have the 7.62 Ishys. They are accurate and very servicable. There is plenty of cheap mil-surp 7.62 available too.
     
  15. ocabj

    ocabj Member

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    Swedish Mausers are hard to come by at under $200. Surplus ammo isn't readily available either.

    The Swede is a great rifle. Argueably the best C&R rifle to acquire, but it doesn't fit mhdishere's criteria.
     
  16. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Member

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    What he said.
     
  17. cracked butt

    cracked butt Member

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    For under $200 I'd go with a:

    Yugo 24/47- Mauser 98 bolt action, accurate, cheap surplus available.

    Swiss K-31- Nearly as accurate as the Swedish rifles at 1/2 the price. Surplus ammo is relatively expensive but is match grade and will shoot better than your ability to shoot the rifle.
     
  18. gaven

    gaven Member

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    Ishapore Enfield .308 damn good rifles
     
  19. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

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    No4Mk1 Enfield. The superior action design and excellent sights more than make up the difference in ammo costs when compared to a M/N or Mauser.
     
  20. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Member

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    The local gunshop had one on consignment awhile back for $275. I already have one, so I didn't pay much attention to it. I didn't know they're worth up to $400.
     
  21. Big Man

    Big Man Member

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    What everybody says here is pretty true. But IMHO...there is nothing as fun as the Mosin fireball in broad daylight. :what:
    And I would rather do the MN bolt all day long than that POS turn down on the Yugo m48's. They suck.
    But my choice would be the k31. You can never go wrong with one. A brick of 7.55x55 GP11 is around 22.00 for 60 rounds. But it's non corrosive and reloadable.
    The price range you described will buy almost any milsurp rifle. That description fits just about all of them. The exceptions are the Garands, maybe the 03, and the Hakim.
    The best thing to do is find a range, and see what's out there. I've found that most guys will let you shoot their stuff.
     
  22. Greg L

    Greg L Member

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    Not easily reloadable. The GP11 is Berdan primed, the two holed primer which isn't easily available in the States & you need special tools - or so I've heard, I don't reload. However it is much more accurate than I am so it is a good trade off :D .

    All of the suggestions have been good but it probably boils down to what your ammo budget/# of rounds that you plan on shooting at a time is. 8mm & the 54R is available everywhere now for about $0.08/round. At the other end of the scale the Swiss GP11 is roughly $0.35/round. If you're shooting 100 rounds per range trip ( :what: your shoulder's gonna hate you :D ) the $27 difference in ammo cost will add up fairly quickly.

    But you really can't go wrong with any of the choices that have been mentioned.

    Greg
     
  23. jefnvk

    jefnvk Member

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    Oh, just to add, the trigger on my Enfield is pretty sweet for a milsurp rifle. Smooth as buttery silk.

    EDIT: No. 4 that is. THe Ishapore 308 is only so-so, nothing great.
     
  24. cracked butt

    cracked butt Member

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    Berdan primers are readily available from places like Grafs, its not at all difficult to reload berdan and special tools aren't needed, its just a bit more of a PITA than simply reloading readily available 7.5 swiss, or in a pinch, .284 winchester brass.
     
  25. Dave R

    Dave R Member

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    Just a note: if you handload, ammo is widely available for all of 'em!

    I handload for my K-31, using .284Win brass which is fairly available. Its as cheap to shoot as a .308, in that scenario.
     
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