The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: Bolt, Lever, and Pump Action

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old October 7, 2012, 08:08 PM   #1
Nine the Ranger
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 22, 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 219
Milsurp Bolt Guns

Are they worth it?

I mean The Mosin Nagants are pretty cheap to buy and feed, but what about the Arisakas and the Enfields?

How expensive are they? And how hard is it to find ammo for them?

Is the S.M.L.E really as accurate as I keep hearing?
__________________
'A Vote is like a Rifle; It's usefulness depends upon the character of the User.'-Theodore Roosevelt

'In a Man to Man fight, the Winner is He who has one more round in his magazine.'-Erwin Rommel
Nine the Ranger is offline  
Old October 7, 2012, 08:12 PM   #2
ohen cepel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 20, 1999
Location: Where they send me
Posts: 1,013
I prefer the Yugo Mausers from what is out there now. Most people are used to the way they work (safety in particular) and ammo is easy to find for them.

I don't care for the safety on the Mosins nor the Arisakas, plus the Arisakas are much harder to find ammo for, no plinking ammo around for them since there is no surplus for those rounds.

I like the Enfields, can't speak to claims of accuracy. Still would take a Yugo Mauser over one in today's market. Also, the Yugo wins when it comes to cheap/available ammo.
__________________
He who dares wins.

NRA Life Benefactor Member
ohen cepel is offline  
Old October 7, 2012, 08:16 PM   #3
hodaka
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 23, 2006
Location: South Texas
Posts: 1,855
My order of choice would be:

1903
1903a3
Swede
K-31
Swiss 1911
K98
Ariska
SMLE
Yugo
Mosin Nagant
French junk
hodaka is offline  
Old October 7, 2012, 08:49 PM   #4
tahunua001
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 21, 2011
Location: Idaho
Posts: 6,541
many of them are quite nice but they are very different animals from the modern bolt actions that we use today. they are not refined and streamlined. many times they were rugged and cranked out in the millions. other times they were very crudely made weapons made either by desperate nations trying to keep up with a war demand or by nations that just didn't have the time or inclination to refine their designs.

the mosin nagant is one of the crudest actions out there, hard to actuate, not great accuracy and tool marks that look like they were hammered out by hand. on the other hand they are very simple to take apart and clean and they are a rugged design. ammo is also everywhere and pretty cheap.

i own a pair of enfields they are great guns and I prefer them to any other milsurp out there. they have smoother actions than most and though they aren't tack drivers they still hold minute of man accuracy out to 600 meters which is better than some. 303 ammo is pretty easy to come by but not the cheapest, usually it's about the same as 30-06 as far as hunting ammo goes, I was lucky and got about 2400 rounds of good reloadable surplus and 400 rounds of premium hunting ammo for a fraction of what it would cost in stores so I rarely look at availability though it never seems to be an issue for most.

I have been looking to add an arisaka to my collection recently and have managed to get quite a bit of information from other members here at the C&R forums. here is a thread that should shine a little more light on the arisaka for you.

springfields can have very good accuracy or very bad depending on how much they were shot and if they were rebarreled at the ends of WWI and WWII. I have a 1912 made springfield that was rebarreled at the end of WWI and shoots about 2-4 inch groups with 1940-1970s surplus ammo, I have a 1943 springfield sniper that shoots sub MOA-2" with the same stuff.
__________________
ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
I never said half the crap people said I did-Albert Einstein
You can't believe everything you read on the internet-Benjamin Franklin
Bean counters told me I couldn't fire a man for being in a wheelchair, did it anyway. Ramps are expensive.-Cave Johnson.
tahunua001 is offline  
Old October 7, 2012, 08:55 PM   #5
Screwball
Member
 
Join Date: May 16, 2012
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 31
Depends on what you are looking for...

I got a Greek M1903, which I had DGR rebuild. I was considering getting rid of it, until I moved to add a scope to mimic the USMC sniper variant. Something different than all the A4s out there, which is what I look for in regards to my collection.



I found that there is a project to make a 10 round magazine for the Mosin Nagant, so I decided to go with another sniper styled weapon...



Century reproduction of the PU sniper rifle. Very nice rifle, with a perfect barrel. I have stain on the way, being I want to clean the wood up.
Screwball is offline  
Old October 8, 2012, 01:04 AM   #6
Buzzcook
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 29, 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 5,651
All of the bolt actions used in the Great War and later can potentially be very accurate.
Only a very few of them will shoot as well as a Stevens 200 (or other low end modern rifle) does out of the box, with out tweaking them.

The Mausers, including the 1917, and the Springfield will have a better average accuracy. Well maybe the K-31 should be in that group as well.

AFAIK the Springfield is the most accurate after it has been tuned, using match ammo.

The Enfields will average paper plate accuracy at 100yds. A fair percentage will get to 2moa. If they are set up right and have a good barrel they can get sub-moa.
Buzzcook is offline  
Old October 8, 2012, 01:16 AM   #7
Buzzcook
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 29, 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 5,651
All of the bolt actions used in the Great War and later can potentially be very accurate.
Only a very few of them will shoot as well as a Stevens 200 (or other low end modern rifle) does out of the box, with out tweaking them.

The Mausers, including the 1917, and the Springfield will have a better average accuracy. Well maybe the K-31 should be in that group as well.

AFAIK the Springfield is the most accurate after it has been tuned, using match ammo.

The Enfields will average paper plate accuracy at 100yds. A fair percentage will get to 2moa. If they are set up right and have a good barrel they can get sub-moa.
Buzzcook is offline  
Old October 8, 2012, 06:18 AM   #8
Kreyzhorse
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 12, 2006
Location: NKY
Posts: 11,518
Quote:
Are they worth it?
Yes. There are lots of good rifles out there.

If you can find one, a Swiss K-31 is a great shooter. Really accurate and well made. The straight pull bolt is really cool too.
__________________
"He who laughs last, laughs dead." Homer Simpson
Kreyzhorse is offline  
Old October 8, 2012, 02:03 PM   #9
MJ1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 10, 2008
Posts: 327
;)

Any nice 3006 will do you well.



Cheers
..MJ..
__________________
"Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading"
--Unknown Soldier--
Bravery is being the only one who knows you're afraid.
- David Hackworth -
MJ1 is offline  
Old October 8, 2012, 02:18 PM   #10
couillon
Member
 
Join Date: August 3, 2012
Posts: 57
Of the ones I have shot I would say the swedish mausers and the Swiss straight pulls are some of the most accurate if buying for shooters. My top choices of the rifles to collect and most likely to greatly increase in value over time I would say Axis and Allies WWI dated rifles, pre 1899 dated centerfire mausers, and any US military rifles.
couillon is offline  
Old October 8, 2012, 05:27 PM   #11
SIGSHR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 13, 2005
Posts: 3,167
I buy them for the history and the collection, not for shooting. When using the right ammunition-i.e. that they were designed for, and with a decent bore
they can be pretty accurate and they can benefit from careful adjustment of the screws, checking the bedding, etc. Some-the Lee Enfields, e.g.-have wide variations on bore size, careful measurement and slugging of the bore and matching the bullet to the bore can produce good accuracy. It's a good idea to remember the design philosophies of the various nations that adopted and produced them. The Mosin Nagant seens crude, but it was meant to be used by a mostly illiterate peasant army. It has been said of WWI that the Germans had the best hunting rifle, the British the best battle rifle, the US the best target rifle. French rifles have no safeties because the French felt they gave a false sense of security and the best safety was proper handling.
SIGSHR is offline  
Old October 8, 2012, 06:06 PM   #12
Chris_B
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 9, 2007
Posts: 2,841
I've only fired one Enfield, a jungle carbine. Nobody liked shooting it in my group, and I thought the sights were poor. However it had pretty good accuracy, given the fact that we call kind of pointed it at the target and pulled the trigger to get it over with. It grouped nearly as well as the M1 rifle I was shooting, but not as well as the Krag that was being fired though...

Prices vary depending on condition and collectibility of course. All the milsurps used to be cheap. Some ridiculously so.

The Arisakas are not bad rifles. The 'last ditch' rifles seem to taint the impression people have of them. Very interesting, and extremely strong actions. The ammo isn't very common though.

Want something unusual? Find a USGI Mosin-Nagant 1891. Yes, they exist, US cartouched and everything. US troops carried them in the northern Russian expedition. Some were even sold through the DCM after their service life was over. US troops didn't favor them very much, they preferred the 1903s

I don't think you could go wrong with say, a K31

The ubiquitous and fairly reasonably priced 1903A3s are seemingly dried up, but they have the advantage of readily found ammunition
Chris_B is offline  
Old October 8, 2012, 08:14 PM   #13
militant
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 12, 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 507
I absolutely love my nosing nagant. It is extremely accurate open sights and is a powerful, cheap round. I got 880 rounds for. 159.99 of military ball. I would hunt anything in north America with it with confidence as well. My father had a 1903 that killed many white tail deer. If you are intersted in military firearms, all the ones listed above are all great rifles. My personal favorite is my m1 garand.
__________________
A hit with a .22 is better than a miss with a .44
militant is offline  
Old October 8, 2012, 08:38 PM   #14
Nine the Ranger
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 22, 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 219
Might be a dumb question, but is all 7.62x54R steel-cased?

I ask because I was watching Guns and Ammo TV, and there was a segment on Hornady's loads for milsurp rifles, I saw a steel cased round and assumed it was Russian.
__________________
'A Vote is like a Rifle; It's usefulness depends upon the character of the User.'-Theodore Roosevelt

'In a Man to Man fight, the Winner is He who has one more round in his magazine.'-Erwin Rommel
Nine the Ranger is offline  
Old October 8, 2012, 09:35 PM   #15
Rainbow Demon
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 27, 2012
Posts: 397
The Enfields can be accurate, but unless its already been worked on by a pro it takes quite a bit of labor to get top accuracy from a run of the mill Enfield.

The No.5 carbine can be extremely accurate if you taylor a handload to the short barrel.
Muzzle blast with most standard .303 ammo is a bit harsh.

If you want top drawer accuracy the Swedish Mausers are hard to beat. I haven't owned a 96 but I've had the pleasure of putting many rounds through a couple of these over the years. I once owned a 1895 in 7mm and it was uncannily accurate, but I can't claim that all are from that single example.
I'd intended to offer to buy that rifle back from the guy I sold it to but was told last month that he had died unexpectedly and all his stuff had already been sold off by his survivors.

The 7mm is a great classic cartridge, hard to beat even these days.
Rainbow Demon is offline  
Old October 8, 2012, 11:14 PM   #16
Bamashooter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 12, 2010
Posts: 1,711
Nine the ranger.... No. There is plenty of good quality brass cased ammo available for the mosin nagant. I have hundreds of bulgarian surplus thats brass cased but corrosive. PPU, Wolf Gold, S&B, and now Hornady make brass cased boxer primed ammo thats non corrosive and reloadable.

I have a 3-44 Remington made 1903 springfield that I put in a extremely nice birds eye maple stock. Drilled and tapped the reciever and mounted a one piece leupold base and topped it off with a Burris FFII scope. With my handloads its capable of sub-moa accuracy. I paid $100 for the rifle.

I have 3 mosin nagant's. One 91/30 made in 1929 with a hex reciever. Despite what some people say about the crudness of manufacture I dont see that on mosin's made pre or post wartime. I like shooting pumpkins with this rifle and my surplus 182gr bulgarian ammo because they literally explode when hit. Its a 3-4'' shooter @100yrds in a rest. I paid 69.99+tax and transfer.

I have a 91/59 thats well made with good rifling but dark bore. It has a beautiful laminated stock on it. It does have some chatter marks on it here and there because it was first built in 1942. Still a good shooter comperable to the 91/30 I own. That rifle cost me $169.00+tax.

The last one is a Hungarian M-44 made in 1953 and it is far and away the nicest mosin nagant Ive seen in person. Beautiful wood, nice bluing. All numbers match and the bore is pristine. I shot a huge doe several years back with it at a distance of just over 200yrds. I was using S&B 174gr. ammo that was loaded factory with sierra bullets. Even though they were match bullets I was astounded at the damage the bullet did. This rifle is also well made with no machining marks. I traded a AMT backup .380 for this rifle.

Point is there are very good examples of surplus rifles out there in various types of condition. Just because its a surplus rifle doesent mean its crappy made or shot out. Keep a keen eye out and you would be amazed at what you can find for not very much and in the case of my 1903 you can turn it into a supreme shooter for not very much at all.
Bamashooter is offline  
Old October 9, 2012, 09:18 AM   #17
tobnpr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 1, 2010
Location: Tampa Bay
Posts: 3,222
I have a 91/30 I shoot long range that's heavily "re-done" that's sub-moa with handloads..BUT...it takes a ton of work (it's a fun DIY project) to get it there.

OTOH, the K-31 I bought for my younger son is a tack driver...outfitted it with a Bushy 10X tactical. That receiver steel was the toughest I've ever encountered- took a carbide bit to break through the case hardening on every hole for the mount... They're built like a Swiss watch, fantastic fit and finish, unlike the Mosin...

Other son got a M24/47 Mauser. Re-arsenaled, these things are like new.
After a few rounds at 100- sights were dead on- he ramped the sight to 600 meters and took aim at a large truck tire at that distance. Dead center hit with old milsurp ammo on the first try...

Fun stuff... get you some!
tobnpr is offline  
Old October 9, 2012, 09:39 AM   #18
MJ1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 10, 2008
Posts: 327
;)

Any of the Finish Mosin rifles are amazing shooters. Never found one that didn't shoot the way I received it.

Cheers
..MJ..

__________________
"Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading"
--Unknown Soldier--
Bravery is being the only one who knows you're afraid.
- David Hackworth -
MJ1 is offline  
Old October 9, 2012, 01:47 PM   #19
vba
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 26, 2008
Posts: 181
Bamashooter... Is your 3-44 Remington 03A3 a two groove barrel? The reason I ask is I have a Smith Corona with a 1944 Remington two groove barrel and it is a tack driver as well.

Just curious as some of the two grooves have excellent accuracy.
vba is offline  
Old October 9, 2012, 04:22 PM   #20
tahunua001
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 21, 2011
Location: Idaho
Posts: 6,541
I have a remington 03A4 that was rebarreled with a two groove remington A3 barrel and it shoots holes touching at 33 yards with surplus ammo.
__________________
ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
I never said half the crap people said I did-Albert Einstein
You can't believe everything you read on the internet-Benjamin Franklin
Bean counters told me I couldn't fire a man for being in a wheelchair, did it anyway. Ramps are expensive.-Cave Johnson.
tahunua001 is offline  
Old October 9, 2012, 08:38 PM   #21
highpower3006
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 30, 2011
Location: Reno NV
Posts: 449
Swede M96

As far as accuracy is concerned, the hands down winners are the Swiss and Swedish Rifles. While I have never owned one of the Swiss K31's I have owned a couple of the Swedes.

These have been the most accurate military rifle I have owned short of a matched tuned Garand or maybe the 1936 vintage '03 National Match I had once upon a time.

This one wears a rear Swedish Soderin diopter sight and a front target sight with interchangeable posts.



highpower3006 is offline  
Old October 10, 2012, 12:17 AM   #22
savage1r
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 17, 2009
Posts: 313
You could get an Ishapore Enfield. .308 ammo is much cheaper and easier to reload than .303.
__________________
Please visit my YouTube page at: www.youtube.com/user/savage1r
savage1r is offline  
Old October 10, 2012, 09:41 AM   #23
MJ1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 10, 2008
Posts: 327
;)

Don't forget the Swiss rifles that are born with accuracy.




..MJ..

__________________
"Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading"
--Unknown Soldier--
Bravery is being the only one who knows you're afraid.
- David Hackworth -
MJ1 is offline  
Old October 10, 2012, 02:54 PM   #24
shamelessinct
Junior Member
 
Join Date: December 17, 2011
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 8
Enfield

I bought a1943 Maltby Enfield No. 4 Mk. 1 about 6 years ago from an on line auction for $100.00. It came with a no gunsmithing scope mount and an inexpensive 4X scope. I had planned on returning it to it's original condition, but tried it out with the scope first. With late 1940's vintage surplus ammo it shoots 1 1/2" groups off the bench all day long. Best C note I ever spent.
shamelessinct is offline  
Old October 10, 2012, 03:54 PM   #25
Gunplummer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 11, 2010
Location: South East Pa.
Posts: 1,532
To me it seems to be a crap shoot buying a surplus rifle. I had an ugly MIII and an ugly Carcano that were really good shooters and about everything else in between too. I have a 6.5 Arisaka with a really bad looking barrel that is just great. You never know.
Gunplummer is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:32 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.14015 seconds with 7 queries