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Old March 8, 2009, 11:18 PM   #1
TheHighlander
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My First Real Rifle! But Which One!?

As the title implies, I'm in a little bit of trouble. I have long been shooting .22, but ever since turning 18 last year (yeah, I know, I'm still quite a youngster) I have been feeling the urge to buy myself my very own real rifle. And nothing screams "REAL RIFLE!" like an 80 year old rifle that was last shot by someone 70 years ago and then packed into crates of cosmo.

I made the decision to buy one, but then came the real question. Mosin Nagant 91/30 or Mauser??

What do you think would be best for someone who is an experienced shooter, but has little experience with more powerful cartridges? My price rage is anywhere from $1 to $300 (preferably on the somewhat lower to midrange level). I would like one with some historical value, but that would also be at least somewhat accurate and a consistent shooter. Things like counterboring aren't really an issue for me as long as she shoots straight.

Are there any significant differences between 7.62x54r and 8mm mauser? Is surplus drying up? What about the commercial prices for each? And what about ease of reloading for once surplus does dry up and for keeping costs low?

If mauser, which one? Turkish? RC Kar98k? Gew 98? Spanish? Czech? Brazilian? Other?

I would most likely not refinish the stock unless I had to for either one and I have no problem doing so, but would rather not just to preserve the history caked on in layers of crud. I'm a bit of a history person, haha. Also, I have no problem with cosmoline. In fact, I look forward to purchasing a rifle covered in the stuff. I actually enjoy spiffing things up with quite a lot of work required.

Finally, when making your decisions, keep in mind that I reside in the wonderful utopia of NJ; the proverbial rancid lunchmeat between the gun-hating sandwich of Philly-NJ-NYC. This means that in order to buy online with a C&R, I would have to have a class 1 FFL. Not class 3 like every other sane state, which makes it not even worth it to go through a local FFL and pay a handling fee because for the same price i could hand pick one at a gun show. (I will be going to one next weekend at valley forge, PA btw)

Phew, sorry that was long, but i hope you all can help me pick out my first real rifle! Thanks!

ps- and as long as that ordering onine thing goes, I cant order ammo online either due to nj laws
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Old March 9, 2009, 01:37 AM   #2
Calfed
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You don't say exactly what is most important to you. Assuming that accuracy and craftsmanship are important, I suggest a Swedish Mauser or a Swiss K31.

Both are beautifully crafted and superbly accurate. Both will be more expensive to shoot than 7.62 x 54R or 8mm rifles, but likewise will be more accurate.
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Old March 9, 2009, 07:38 AM   #3
jsmaye
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A $300 budget will get you a nice K31 Swiss straight pull, which is a match rifle disguised as a milsurp, with some money left over for ammo. The GP11 ammo is also match grade, but getting scarce.

The various Mausers will run from $170 - $300, based on country of origin and grade - classic WWII German K98's will pretty much eat that $300 with little left ever for ammo. Yugoslavian Mausers are everything the K98's are without the colorful history and are nearly half the price. Surplus 8mm ammo for the various Mausers is still fairly cheap and easy to find, but there are signs it may be drying up. The 6.5mm ammo for the Swedish Mauser is still harder to find.

Now to the Mosin Nagants - considering you can get one for around $100 and ammo is plentiful, they are a good choice. The 91/30's are easier to find and have less perceived recoil, though, as full-length battle rifle, can be unwieldy. The M38 and M44 carbines are getting harder to find and will cost a little more, and, of course, there are price grades based on quality, uniqueness, etc. There are also "boutique" Finnish Mosins, which are allegedly more accurate, but, again, there goes your budget.

As far as recoil, these are all full-figured battle cartridges hurling a 30 caliber 150+ grain bullet up to 600 meters. There will be some recoil. There will be a bunch of recoil. It really depends on how recoil-sensitive you turn out to be.
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Old March 9, 2009, 01:52 PM   #4
TheHighlander
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I do like the swiss k31's, but it seems that in my area at least, they are making themselves rather scarce lately, and although they have never seen corrosive ammo and usually have pristine bores, the ammo that you can still buy is a bit expensive for my taste.

I'm just looking for a good shooter that is relatively accurate, has a good stock of avail. ammo, and that wont break the bank. Historical significance is definitely an added bonus, but not necessary.

And as far as recoil goes, I cant wait . I shot .22 for the first time when I was around 10 or 11 and never developed any bad habits that I can think of or that my more experienced father has been able to notice. (eg: flinch) And if at first it's a bit extreme, then thats what $10 recoil pads are for until I get used to it.

I guess I'm saying, at current prices and availability, what would you get as a first milsurp and why?
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Old March 9, 2009, 02:50 PM   #5
jsmaye
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1. Schmidt Rubin K31
2. Czech vz.24 or Yugoslavian Mauser M24/47 (pretty much the same gun)
3. K98 German Mauser
4. M91/30 Mosin Nagant
5. Austrian or Hungarian Mannlicher Steyr M95
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Old March 9, 2009, 04:05 PM   #6
simonkenton
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You can get a nice Swedish Mauser for $250.
Regarded as the most accurate military Mauser ever made.
Certainly one of the most beautiful rifles ever made.
These tend to be in real good shape, because the Swedes took a pass on WW1 and WW2.

You can get this Swede milsurp ammo for 37 cents a shot:

http://www.samcoglobal.com/Ammunition.html#6.5

That is rather high for milsurp, but, it is very accurate, and, unlike most milsurp ammo, it is non corrosive.

Great deer rifle.
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Old March 9, 2009, 07:53 PM   #7
trippingpara
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My first milsurp was a beat up Enfield No 1 Mk III*. Looks like crap but shoots a grouping tighter than a witch's crack. It appears that money is a large concern for you. I would then go with the 91/30 Mosin Nagant. They are often available for $100. They're pretty accurate and the 7.62x54R is still pretty plentiful and cheap. Once you get into milsurp, then you can start scouting out the K31s, Swedish Mausers and Finnish Nagants.
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Old March 10, 2009, 10:50 AM   #8
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K31 and forget the GP11 ammo. Use the balance for a basic RCBS reloading kit. 7.5 Swiss brass is available all over the place. Reloading is going to become very necessary for everything before too much longer.

Basic k31




With all the fun stuff attatched.



And it takes scopes.



An incredible accurate rifle that you'll pass on to your own kid.

Latigo
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Old March 10, 2009, 11:13 AM   #9
jsmaye
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Quote:
K31 and forget the GP11 ammo. Use the balance for a basic RCBS reloading kit.
That's stretching his $300 a bit far - K31, 7.5 mm dies, press, brass, primers, powder, bullets, scale, load manual...probably some things I haven't thought of...
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Old March 10, 2009, 11:31 AM   #10
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I guess maybe you're right. The k31s have always been here in the weapons room and I actually don't know what the costs are now. The last ones my dad bought were quite a while ago and maybe $100 each.
Mine were given to me, but I sure do like them.

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