View Full Version : WWII bolt action rifles

September 16, 2004, 12:10 AM
Does anyone have pictures of WWII era bolt action rifles? I'm keeping an eye out for a used or military surplus rifle for a shooter, collectability isn't really an issue.

September 16, 2004, 12:36 AM
Well pics aside, I can give you some advice (have a bunch of WWI and WWII rifles.

no4 mkII Enfields, in general are nice, awesome quick action, even for leftys. Expensive ammo (relatively, 9 bucks for 48 rounds). fairly accurate, my favorite trigger on any gun (predictable, repeatable two stage) and well ballanced gun, with possably the best iron sights in existence on a military rifle. Jungle carbines (no5mkI are light and nice, but recoil is amplified by the wierd hard rubber butstock and i believe the conical flash hider (hard kicking, cary often, shoot little gun) Reliability of my enfields is fairly poor on the last rounds from the magazine. not a big issue on a plinker, but jams happen.

Mausers Jam when old and beat up, newer ones work flawlessly. 8mm mauser(turkish surplus) is the cheapest centerfire ammo in existence. you couldn't reload squib cast bullets for as cheap as this stuff is. plus it is hot, 150 grain at 2900 fps. Mausers have fairly poor sights. they are heavy and unballanced. Accuracy is good though, even for shot out dark bored surplus guns. the guns are tough, though a bit tight when newer. Stock is a bit too long for me. If you cut down a mauser to 17" and file out the rear sight to a healthy half peep, you get a well ballanced, if not light rifle that shoots a soccer ball sized flame out the front when you shoot. Accruacy is coffee can good at least at 200 yards, and power is still enough to send bits of watermelon back at you if you shoot one at 30 yards.

91/30 Nagants are in my opinon the best of the bunch. They aren't pretty, they have a really crappy safety, but they are simple, Extremely accurate for what they are, well ballanced, action as slick as any custom rifle. Ammo is about the same price as 7.62x39, which is about the 2nd cheapest centerfire ammo. Downside, if you load the magazine wrong, it will tell you about it. M39 finnish nagants, are unweildy and nose heavy, but probably the most accurate non sniper rifle ever issued to troops(perhaps tied with 6.5x55 swedish mausers. M44 carbines do NOT have heavy recoil as everyone says, however they are loud, unballanced and overall i prefer the 91/30 to them. 91 long rifles are fine, no real advantage over the 91/30 except the cool octogon reciever and imperial markings.

Avoid spanish mausers like the plague( I hate em) Steyr .308 mausers kick like mules, Sweeds are accurate and light kicking, but expensive to feed. Turkish ammo is your friend. 7mm mausers are expensive to feed. Matchin numbers isn't always critical. always put five rounds through a gun via tied to the bench and a long string to pull the trigger(you don't want to be holding it if that first round tells the gun to do it's best impression of a frag grenade)
Other than that, have fun, don't let the gun snobs (those that look down on anything that costs less than 300 bucks.) get you down. Post any questions, and may i suggest you search for sarco's web sight or Aim's websight for lots of pictures of the aformentioned rifles.

September 16, 2004, 08:06 AM
How about an '03 A3?

September 16, 2004, 08:20 AM
How about a WWII 1903A4 Sniper?


September 16, 2004, 10:30 AM
thanks for the tips bullfrog, and those are two beautiful guns there :D

what would be your suggestion for a good all around shooter, something cheap to buy, cheap to shoot too, though not as important. Honestly I've never heard of most of the weapons you named, the enfield and k98 are about the extent of my knowledge and that is dodgy at best. I'll check out those sites too.

September 16, 2004, 11:01 AM
The current heavyweight champeens of the "Cheap to Buy and Shoot" category are Yugo M48 Mausers and the bazillion-and-one variants of the Mosin-Nagant.

September 16, 2004, 11:06 AM
Dontcha just love how *some* people use such a question to rub salt in the wounds of those of us who have NO '03s, let alone those beee-yooots? ;)

Go here:


September 16, 2004, 11:18 AM
This page has a whole bunch of Enfield pics....


Also, here is one with the 5 wartime manufacturers of the No4 rifle:


From top to bottom:

1) 1941 ROF Maltby No.4Mk1/2 FTR 1950 at Faz.
2) 1944 Savage No.4Mk1* with button cocking piece and Savage Mk1 sight, no FTR.
3) 1942 BSA No.4Mk1, no FTR.
4) 1943 Faz No.4Mk1 1944 FTR, Faz.
5) 1942 Longbranch No.4Mk1 NZD contract with milled Mk1 LB sight, no FTR.

Not mine, borrowed from here. (http://p223.ezboard.com/fcurioandrelicfirearmsforumfrm4.showMessage?topicID=1147.topic)

September 16, 2004, 11:47 AM
Get a CMP 1903 or 1903A3. I took my chance and got one with the original barrel that was still shiney and sharp inside. Shoots too high though. Still have not taken the time to put a taller front sight on it. After a good cleaning and refinishing of the stock, she looks brand new. Here's photos of it out of the box from CMP and one of it after the first coating of BLO on the stock.

September 16, 2004, 11:50 PM
I'd disagree that the Mosin is more accurate than the Enfield. My collection contains an Enfield Mk4 No1, 91/30, Yugo M48, and Jap T38 Arisaka. haven't tried the Arisaka yet, but the Brit is my favorite. The M48 would probably come in second, but I love them all.

If you're going for a brush gun, the M48 is nice and short. Thats what I would use for a deer gun. Anyway, here are some pics:

(lemme know if they don't show, still working out my server)

One on the right is the M48, middle is 91/30 and the far left is a Yugo SKS. You give them any thought?

This is the Arisaka. Ammo is a pain to come by for this, so its still unfired. Actually, it hasn't been fired since it came back from Okinawa.

September 17, 2004, 12:56 AM
My 91/30 has a better bore than my no4 mkII probably why it is more accurate jefnvk.

Cheap to buy and cheap to shoot? Only two choices, the 91/30 mosin nagant, or one of the various mauser 8mm's running around. Make sure that the 8mm you buy cocks on opening , not on closing. The latter type generally doesn't have proper gas venting. Not really a big issue if you wear shooting glasses, but some say it could be a bad thing. As to 91/30's the ammo costs more, but they handle quite a bit better, and have better sights. Price varies with quality and condition. Persian mauser long rifles are nice and run about 230 to 260 bucks, they are pretty much the best one you can get. Yugo's and other KAR rifles may be good, my only experience with a mauser that wasn't a long barreled one was with the one I cut down,(good) and the .308 steyr and .308 spanish (bad). M44 carbines, the mosin nagant carbines with the attached side folding bayonet and a laminated wood stock can be found for less than 90 bucks brand new (or at least i found one). 91/30's can be found arsenal refinished for about the same price. I would suggest however you look for a Mosin nagant sniper that has been de "sniperised". It will have a standard, and probably beaten up stock, and two plugged holes in the side of the reciever only visable when you open the bolt. These decomissioned snipers have recievers that were polished better than the standard rifle, leading to a slicker action and nicer overall look. Most of the time places sell them right along side standard nagants without even knowing they are ex snipers. Price should be about 70 to 90 bucks. Don't let anyone price gouge you. 8mm turkish ammo looks like crap, but shoots good. It runs about less than 70 bucks for 1400 rounds. Russian 7.62x54 is cleaner looking, usually steel cased ammo which runs about 70 bucks for 1000 rounds. I prefer the latter, but both work. If I were to add a third, though it isn't a WWII rifle, the sks is a great little gun. Ammo is cheap, and they are fun to shoot, price runs about 149 dollars these days and ammo about 70 bucks per 1000.

September 17, 2004, 06:27 AM
These are abundant an really cheap, even is good condition. I bought a re-arseneled one (appeared never shot after re-arsenel) for $89 at Dunhams. They're essentially a short version of 91/30. You can even get a scope mount for a LE scope that attaches to the rear sight base, without any modification, so you don't ruin collectabilty. They make great brush guns.

Next choice would be any '98 Mauser variant, and you can find lots of very nice ones for 100-200 dollars. Not sure what Bullfrog means about 'em jamming.... Never seen one in any condition that didn't feed flawlessly.

Lee-Enfields are nice, but as noted, not much cheap ammo, and good examples somewhat more expensive. I'm restoring my first one now. (Bubba got to it, made a hunting rifle out of it, chopped up the stock, but fortunately nothing else.)

Been playing with milsurps for a few years now and have 2 additional comments:

One, in my experience the surplus ammo (and I've tried most of it) is innacurate, and even though cheap, is a waste of money for anything except banging away. If you really wanna hit something, buy commercial ammo. Sellier & Belloit makes ammo in 7.62x54R and 8mm that's both cheap and pretty accurate. (I have a sporterized Mauser, original military 8x57 barrel, that shoots 3-5" groups with surplus, 1-1.25" groups with S&B, and has shot 1/2" groups with handloads.)

Secondly, the biggest problem encountered with almost any milsurp is cleaning rod wear at the muzzle (from using ths issued steel cleaning rod). Seen many that were otherwise very nice, but worn at the muzzle, meaning lousy accuracy. Can be fixed by shortening barrel (as I did with sporterized mauser) and re-crowning, but you wouldn't wanna do that if you wanna keep it "as issued"...Or you can counter bore the first inch or so of the muzzle which keeps the correct appearance. But, preferably, try to find one without any wear in the first place (many have been re-barreled/re-arsenaled, then put away, and have pristine bores, including the muzzle)

My .02

September 17, 2004, 06:52 AM
for a nice shooter i'd go m48, 91/30, or swiss k31 they are right around 100 and you can get them in very good condition. i think these 3 are a much better buy than the abundant moisins for just under 100

September 17, 2004, 07:09 AM
Did someone say Japanese Type 38? I bought dies and brass for mine from an Ebay auction.



September 17, 2004, 07:43 AM
Yep, I said T38. But, the college takes a poor view of loaded ammo in the dorm rooms, so reloading is not good until this summer.

Edited to add: That's a beautiful 38, if I may say so.

My 91/30 has a better bore than my no4 mkII probably why it is more accurate jefnvk.
Good point. The bore on my Enfield looks like it just came ou t of the factory, which probably explains the difference.

If you do get an Enfield, amke sure you don't get one with the battle sights (just two peep sights that flip for close and far), unless you plan on shooting a long ways. The lowest setting on it is 300yd., so at a 100 yd. range, it shoots way high.

September 17, 2004, 07:09 PM
I have a 7.7 very early war gun with chrome bore, in very good condx,
even though the mum is ground. Was pretty cheap and probably saw more war than most of the surplus guns. Only problem is I have to use Norma brass which is expensive. Dies are no more expensive than others. Bullets can be the same as for a British Enfield. Tried heavy roundnose bullets-very accurate but would not feed. Still get good accuracy from spitzers. Hits right at the point of aim at 100 yds. No adjustments were needed. Just the damn brass is very expensive-good thing it is reuseable. I personally would not try the reformed 30-06 brass. However, I think my Swedish Mauser is the best shooter of the foreign guns. Extremely accurate with handloads or surplus fmj ammo. And some of the cheap foreign commercial ammo for hunting is good too. 6.5x55 is a sweet round.

September 17, 2004, 07:41 PM
Hopefully..I can get these attachments posted.

She is an excellant shooter.Target is shot from 100yds.

September 17, 2004, 08:36 PM
Remington 03A3
Springfield Armory M1
Rockola M1 Carbine

and a German 98k.

Sylvilagus Aquaticus
September 18, 2004, 01:29 AM
Dang, I remember 20 years ago if you bought a case of milsurp 6.5 Arisaka they'd throw in 5 T38's in g-vg condition for free.

IIRC it was about $120/1000 rounds.

Arisakas may be homely, but they're tough actions.


September 18, 2004, 12:49 PM
Dang, I remember 20 years ago if you bought a case of milsurp 6.5 Arisaka they'd throw in 5 T38's in g-vg condition for free.

IIRC it was about $120/1000 rounds.

:eek: (we need a bang head smiley!)

September 19, 2004, 06:22 AM
:) It is mine :)


but in fact I am interested for all military rifle.

Has somebody test the MAS 36 rifle ? it's a good rifle too !

September 19, 2004, 12:38 PM
How do you like the MN sniper, I have been thinking of getting one.

September 19, 2004, 01:36 PM
If the barrel is in good condition ( it is the case for me ).
It is an accurate weapon ( normally no problems to shoot to 300 yards ), but we must accustomed to the weight of trigger.
The reglage (the parallelism) of the scope can pose problem, too. If you don't have a shooting bench for the reglage.
Finally, I am really satisfied of this rifle, in three words : I love it :)
and I am looking for the buy of standard 91/30 rifle for this year

The best you can do, is to ask a friend to lend it to you for testing ( if it's possible )

September 19, 2004, 01:42 PM
and I am looking for the buy of standard 91/30 rifle for this year
Can't believe that you don't already have one. If you can't find them for $70, you aren't looking ;)

September 19, 2004, 01:59 PM
In France a simple 91/30 cost +/- 335 US $,
and I have just bought an M1 rifle :) ( the Garand ) for 975 US$
But sure if I find a 91/30 for 70 US $ I gonna catch it ;)

September 19, 2004, 10:58 PM
Oops, didn't see you were from France :o

I'm just curious, is the increased price due to the lack of 91/30 rifles in the country, or are there fees involved in buying the gun?

(and when I bought my 91/30, I had 5 to choose from at $70/each :p )

September 24, 2004, 12:02 PM
In France, military rifles from the US Army are relatively hard to find ( US 17, Springfield 1903, M1 )
The rest of surplus rifles are quite easy to find.
In fact were only +/- 130 000 shooters in France and thus not many people can buy rifles or pistols :(