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Old November 16, 2006, 11:54 PM   #1
Hedley
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What are my 7.62x54R choices?-Found it! *pics*

Ok, the fiance is letting me buy one more rifle this weekend at Saxet. I think I want to go with something bolt action in 7.62x54R for two reasons; cost and cost. I don't hunt, and I only use my rifles for range time. My budget is somewhere around $200 for rifle and ammo. You guys were a great help a few months back on my K31 purchase, and maybe you could steer me in the right direction again.

What other milsurps other than the Mosin are chambered in this round and available at the same price range? I guess I need a traditional bolt action to round out the blooming collection. Despite their ugliness, I'm leaning towards a 91/30 or an M44. What do you guys think, and what should I look for in these rifles? Any problem areas or things to avoid?

Thanks

Last edited by Hedley; November 17, 2006 at 03:34 PM.
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Old November 17, 2006, 12:08 AM   #2
Limeyfellow
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You can probrobly find a great condition Russian 91/30 and get a 1000 rounds of surplus ammo for it for that price. It has less of a recoil than a m44 and many are in better condition. M44s are generally cheaper but can kick like a mule though they and the M38s without the bayonet make nice scout carbines.

For $200 you can pick up one of the fine Finnish Mosins. They tend to be the best built and quite desirable.
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Old November 17, 2006, 12:41 AM   #3
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I was thinking about the M44. Is it true about the muzzle flash? And is it like Russian SKS's, where laminated stocks are a sign of refurbishing? I personally like the laminated look, and collectibility isn't an issue for me at this point in time.
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Old November 17, 2006, 12:56 AM   #4
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I really don't know any other 7.62 x54Rs in that price range, Mosin-Nagant was pretty much it, the rimmed cartridge was almost "obsolete" when the gun came out in 1891, so nobody else adopted it. Still survives to the present day, however! The only other gun in that caliber I can think of is the Dragunov-type sniper rifle, a semi-auto around $500-600 for a Romanian variant, as I recall. The Finnish Mosin variants are supposed to be the best.

I have owned two 91/30s and still own an M44. Bought the first 91/30 for $89.95, the second for $79, both at Big 5 sporting goods, and the M44 for $69 at a Crossroads of the West gun show from J&G Sales of Prescott, AZ (they have a web site).

I would recommend getting one of the arsenal-refinished Russian Mosins imported by Century Arms (will say C.A.I., Georgia Vt. on the side of the receiver), as I did, they all came complete and properly headspaced in good condition ( I let one of my friends "test" the headspace while standing some distance away!). J&G sells these Century guns; they advertise them in Shotgun News every week.

Make sure you work the bolt to see if you like the action; one of the 91/30s I got had a raspy bolt with tool marks on it; the other I just sold had a "sticky" bolt which is a known issue on these guns--I had no success cleaning it and lacked the skill to polish the chamber, so I effectively traded it (and a Beretta .25) for an unissued SKS. Someone skilled in metal polishing probably could have fixed both problem bolts.

Just for a range gun, the 91/30s will be more comfortable to shoot and easier to shoot accurately because of the longer sight radius. The M44 is "fun", literally a "blast" to shoot with LOTS of noise and muzzle flash and a stiff kick, which I've gotten used to. The 91/30s have a probable battle history, depending on the date of manufacture (both mine were 1939s, before wartime stress cut the quality).

Check out Surplusrifle.com which has lots of good posted articles on surplus rifles, including a detailed one on the "sticky bolt" problem; or maybe that article is found at 7.62x54r.net, another good site. I liked the Mojo sight I put on one of my 91/30s; it is discussed on surplusrifle.com.

Plus I never understand why people think Mosins are ugly. The 91/30 is a bit long, but that's it. Mausers look ugly to me.....
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Old November 17, 2006, 01:14 AM   #5
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Plus I never understand why people think Mosins are ugly. The 91/30 is a bit long, but that's it. Mausers look ugly to me.....
They just seem too busy for me, the bolt looks cheap, the mag looks awkward, and the dog collar style sling mounts look goofy, but the looks have grown on me. And the comb does have a pretty sexy silhouette.

Thanks for the input. I think I'm going to go for the M44, as I've heard many others talk of it's impressive fireball spewing abilities. I saw a realy clean one at a local pawn shop, but it was listed as a Mauser with a $200+ price tag. I asked if it was Stalin's personal hunting rifle and the only response I got was, "Is military gun. Good gun."
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Old November 17, 2006, 01:38 AM   #6
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Save your money and get a PKM.

http://www.vltor.com/projects.htm

http://www.militarygunsupply.com/sho...itemid=FIRUPKM

It's a good 7.62R choice.

(no I don't have one but one day...)
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Old November 17, 2006, 01:39 AM   #7
Limeyfellow
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The M44 certainly does have an impressive muzzle flash. About a 6 foot fireball comes out the end and it recoil is a stout kick. However they are dirt cheap and thats well over a hundred dollars more than a M44 is worth. Good side is most gunshows are full of them right now. I never cared that they were usually sighted in to shoot with the bayonet extended and so you probrobly want to resight it. One of the advantages of the M38 not having one.

Of course its not so nice on your shoulder if you going to be firing alot of rounds.
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Old November 17, 2006, 02:09 AM   #8
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Save your money and get a PKM.

http://www.vltor.com/projects.htm

http://www.militarygunsupply.com/sho...itemid=FIRUPKM

It's a good 7.62R choice.

(no I don't have one but one day...)
As much as I'd like to have two, it's about $4700 above my budget.

And Limey, why are the Mosins so cheap? High production or poor quality?
And forgive me for the amount of questions, but what's the story with hex/regular receivers?
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Old November 17, 2006, 04:40 AM   #9
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OK Hedley, because it's you I'm going to spill the beans on this one... There is a place in my home state that has some pretty amazing looking M44's right now, they are all crome,, yup,,, all crome.. Man do they look good.. I've been keeping mum about it here cause I want one, but I have to wait a few more weeks to raise the cash... Check this out buddy, http://classicarms.us/
I've held a few of them in person, and let me tell you they did a great job....
I could spend all day chatting with you about the differances of the 91/30 and other mosins, but this link will get you right up to speed...http://7.62x54r.net/
I've been collecting different types of mosin nagent rifles since the 80's.... I still get pretty stoked over a good find these days as well. I'm in it for the history, these rifles just fascinate me.
Mosin44az has some great advice for you there is little I can add to what he said except to agree, if you want a shooter, get an M44 or M38..... But I'm kind of biased, I want a few more of them all. There are quite a few...
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Old November 17, 2006, 04:47 AM   #10
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Yea, I lurk around classic arms a lot, and saw those Mosins a while back. I have to admit, the chromed/laminated setup is the bee's knees.
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Old November 17, 2006, 04:48 AM   #11
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I'll be posting a pic of mine in a few weeks, when I finish paying for this wedding....
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Old November 17, 2006, 05:56 AM   #12
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The earlier rifles had hex receivers, the changover was in dthe early to mid 1930's. With the wartime pressure on, some later rifles were made with older hex receivers, the rarity of these brings a premium. The Finns seemed to favor the hex receiver, almost all of their rifles are built on them.
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Old November 17, 2006, 06:55 AM   #13
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Remember surplus ammo is corrosive so clean accordingly( I use windex then clean normally). Also on the m44 if you are shooting with the bayo extended the corrosive gases will get on it too so you have to clean it too. Mark
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Old November 17, 2006, 08:16 AM   #14
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My father has a M91/30 and I have a M38, and they are great rifles. I prefer the smaller, lighter M38 - really a gem in every way - but I wouldn't pass either one down. For $200 you could easily get either plus 800-1000 rounds.
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Old November 17, 2006, 08:59 AM   #15
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another vote here for the finnish mosin, in particular the m39 with the pistol-grip stock. i owned all the other variants, and wish i wouldn't have wasted all that time and bought the best one to start with! accuracy, trigger, and sights don't come any better on a mosin, at least in my experience.
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Old November 17, 2006, 11:34 AM   #16
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Hedley, are you in Austin? I'm assuming so since you're going to Saxet this weekend.

I was at Heritage Firearms on 183 yesterday and they have 2 M44's in there for $125 each. One of them is beautiful, the wood looks laminate, bluing perfect, it is definitely arsenal refurbed. I think it is a 1944 Tula. The second one is just as nice metal wise, but the wood is not quite as pretty. It's a '43 Tula. You might want to check them out.

I have seen M44's at Saxet for $125-$150 the last few months. Prices are slowly rising. Look for a refurb that is perfect, don't settle for a beat up one. There's one guy there that sells them for $125, and usually has about 8-10 of them. Some are super nice, others beat to heck, but they are all the same price. Look close. Take a bore light with you and look at the bore before buying, don't be fooled by the wood or bluing condition.

I bought an M38 last year at Saxet for $80. The guy had 7 or 8 of them. I went down the line with my bore light and looked at every one, and picked the one with the best bore. It didn't have the best wood by any means, but the bore was perfect, and it shoots great.

Personally, I like the M38 better because it doesn't have the bayonet attached permanently like the M44, and it's a little lighter and handier because of it. You might be able to find an M38 at Saxet for $125-$150, but you'll have to get there early and look hard. M44's are much more common now.

Good luck.
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Old November 17, 2006, 12:09 PM   #17
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if you can find a finn for $200.00 jump all over it .the finn prices have gone sky high the last year or so.
save up and buy a M39.these really shoot and put alot of remchesters to shame .

here is a pick on my 42 M-39 B barrel..and it isn't forsale .
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Old November 17, 2006, 02:08 PM   #18
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The Model 38 is an excellent weapon. No bayonet to worry about, and they have many in the original laminated stock version. Some use the M44 stocks, with the bayonet cut-out. Refurbished Russian arms generally look great on the surface. Check the bores carefully, as some are pretty "frosted, or even lightly pitted. Look at the muzzle to see if it has been step-crowned, as well. I've seen some as deep as 1/2". Try to find a combination that has the strongest rifling, with the least step-crown.

De-cosmoline the weapon thoroughly, even it it looks like somebody already did it. Pay close attention to the chamber, and examine it under a bright light to make sure that all of the cosmoline is gone. Pits there are a guarantee of sticky extraction.

It the bolt seems "sticky" after this, try a different ammunition. Some rifles hate Czech and Albanian ammunition.
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Old November 17, 2006, 03:23 PM   #19
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The main reason for Mosins being so cheap is as we saw the cold war ended, Russia finally got removed in 1996 and allowed for the import of Russian surplus onto the US market. A few firearms were banned from this agreement like the Druganov SVD so only a few hundred of these ever got in.

However the one thing Russia did have was millions upon millions of old WW2 and after firearms. They were old enough to be imported as curio and relics too which allowed for millions upon millions of them to come into the market and a whole host of cheap surplus ammo. That much supply meant the prices for them are dirt cheap.
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Old November 17, 2006, 03:33 PM   #20
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Man, you guys are terrible. I guess I should have mentioned that I'm a pretty impulsive shopper. And special thanks goes to Lonestar.45 for making Saxet come early this month. I've never heard of that store, and it instantly became my favorite. The two guys behind the counter were the nicest couple of guys I've ever met at a toy store.

And here she is. All numbers matching, 1945 Izzy still in a light coat of cosmo. I haven't looked up all the cartouches yet, but I haven't found any x-outs yet. The blueing is deep and has no handling marks, just a few small dings on the stock. The stock appears to be spliced in a few areas, but it matches my Russian SKS's stock. The crown does appear to be step-crowned quite a bit, but I was out the door before JR47's post.

Thanks again for helping me buy yet another milsurp! And what's the best way to open this sardine can?
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Old November 17, 2006, 06:41 PM   #21
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Might want to consider getting a cheap $5 slip on recoil pad .I'm normally not a wuss or anything, but OUCH! .A $5 pad makes the m44 a lot more fun to shoot.just my .02 cents though.
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Old November 17, 2006, 07:17 PM   #22
Hedley
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Do you think it's a good idea to get the headspace checked before I take it out?

And yeah, I've heard all over that they kick like a mule, so I may get a cheap slip on pad.

This is my first corrosive-shooter, so how long can I go after a good day's shooting before I should clean it? I usually clean my rifles after each outing anyways, but should I rinse the bore prior to leaving the range, or is that obsessive compulsive?
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Old November 17, 2006, 07:25 PM   #23
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Who imported your weapon? The headspace should be fine. Most of these were checked before refirbishing, and haven't been shot since.

As for corrosive ammo, yes, spray a bit of ammoniated cleaner (Like Windex w/ ammonia) down the bore after you're done for the day. Patch it dry, and wipe the breech-face down with a damp rag using the same mixture. Dry everything, and clean within a couple of hours getting home. Sweet's 7.62 solvent is rated for corrosive salts. Clean thoroughly, lube, and wipe the metal down.
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Old November 17, 2006, 07:36 PM   #24
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Hedley,

I never shoot a Russian mil-surp the first time without some sort of precautions. I have a set of headspace gauges, for 7.62x54... I think of headspace gauges like I think of haynes manuals for vehicals,,, A must have... But,,, I am constantly trading and buying, and selling these old rifles... Some gunsmiths will do it free,,, some for change...

But, I'll PM you with my "before I had Gauges" methods... Can't turn that info loose on the world....... Even if it does work....

I agree with most of JR47's advice about corrosive ammo.. But I would say pour instead of "spray".... Don't get the ammonia on the stock buddy, I know how stoked you get about that wood,, I do too......
railroader is right on the money with the advice about the bayonet getting hit with the primer salt when it's folded out...
Hedley, me and you have never talked about anything but target shooting and mil-surps,, but I have killed three deer with this one, as-is, with the 90 year old iron sights...It's the same one from the hex reciever pic above...

I paid $60.00 for it.... But it was a while ago..........
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Old November 17, 2006, 07:53 PM   #25
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Who imported your weapon? The headspace should be fine. Most of these were checked before refirbishing, and haven't been shot since.
Not really sure. The price tag reads "Century M44" in handwriting, but it doesn't have the usual CIA electropenciling on the receiver. It does have a serial number electropenciled on the left of the receiver(not same as matching #'s), and "TGI KNOX TN M44 762X44 RUSSIA" in small letters on the left of the front sight sleeve.
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