sofrep.com wants you to know Why everyone should own military surplus weapons. Strangely, it’s got nothing to do with defending freedom against government tyranny. Which is why the author makes no mention of the modern AR-15 or the A10 Warthog. Nope. It’s all about milsurp rifles.
Before getting to the fun part — recommending his fave historical military-issue rifles (above) — the author presents two reason why you should buy into his obsession: milsurp rifles connect you to hand-fitted, battle worn history, and they ain’t getting any cheaper.
Do you own any vintage milsurp rifles? Are you planning on buying one/more? What’s the appeal?
Two M1 Garands, 3 SKS, one Mosin Nagant, an M1 Carbine, and a mint condition Enfield SMLE .303. Not a rifle, but an old functional and accurate Colt Government Model 1911.
You are living the dream.
No doubt, color me green with envy! Only thing missing is a Mauser or two, and I’d be in heaven…
Well… that and an M1918 BAR. Now THAT’s milsurp… too bad I’ll never be able to afford one!
All I own currently is an M91/30 Mosin-Nagant, and an M59 Yugoslavian SKS. (The original Russian pattern M59 with a blade bayonet, not the M59/66 grenade launcher version.) Love them both.
I had planned to add a Mosin M44 and a Yugo M48 Mauser-pattern rifle, when suddenly the prices went through the roof. Now I’m kicking myself for ignoring those $89 M44s and $180 M48s while there were still thousands of them available…
Years ago I had an M1 Garand, but for some reason it wouldn’t shoot without ejecting full clips right in my face, so like an idiot I sold it. Then the prices of Garands more than doubled (seeing a pattern here?), and now I’m kicking myself again for that…
Buy milsurp guns. Don’t sell them if they’re not perfect, get ’em fixed. You won’t regret it.
3 M1 Garands, 2 M1 Carbines, M1903, M1917, Savage 620 Trench,10+ mosins, 1891, 91/30s, M44s, M38s, 2 No. 4 Mk1s, 2 No. 1 Mk IIIs, 2 98k’s, Type 99s and 38s and the list keeps going…I love my milsurps
Is that an Argentine 1891? I had one made in the Loews factory, Berlin.
What’s good? A Garand at a buck a shot? One of those goofy 20 foot long Mosin Nagants? Maybe an M1 carbine would be fun [and smart]… (that was the choice of the most decorated U.S. soldier of WW2…Audie Murphy), or a better bolt action like a M1903 or Gewehr 98. I cant think of much I’d want outside of those 3.
Mr. Murphy may have preferred to carry an M1 Carbine, but he got a lot of his decorations through liberal application of Ma Deuce firepower.
For sure; a long Mosin Nagant is long….. as the multitude of gouges in many livingroom ceilings can attest.
But the once-neglected M38 I traded some spare marine binos for was a very handy blaster that served well as a truck-gun (Minute-of-Nazi out to 100ft!), until traded for an excellent condition N.A.-import & modified Norinco SKS. Navy Arms removed the bayonet & lug, cleanly filled in the blade cut-out with wood instead of acrylic, epoxy, or just a gaping chasm like many SKS’s stripped of their boomstick spear.
But if you need/want a historic (“few left, millions made, act now!”) bolt-gun that’ll blast holes in a target the size of Zhukov’s right nut; set them on fire if within 25m, ruin everyone’s night vision within 500m, and savor having a shoulder repeatedly pummeled by a 7lb dead-blow…… the carbine-length Mosin is the way to go. Pass on the M44m, unless the added inertia of a floppy steel stabby thing up front is worth just the stabbyness.
A Polish TT-33 was my first self-bought handgun. Followed by a Chicom 9mm version. And a Romanian. And a Zastava. And….
I don’t know what it is about the Tokarev, but something about it just aggravates my collector-itch. Maybe it’s because they’re a simplified & svelte 1911?….. that doesn’t jam? (*grin*)
What I do know that they fit my hand better than almost any pistol I’ve hefted, new or old; disappear comfortably IWB while I’m in the back 40, and I know it will fire, every time I pull the trigger.
But most treasured is the non-op last-ditch Jinsen Arsenal Arisaka my grandfather shipped home before the war ended. As such, it’s got the ‘mum (albeit a haggard & lightly stamped one), but is missing all the magazine guts and has a small .25″ hairline crack in the bolt at the firing-pin sear notch (which looks as old as the rifle).
But I’d never fire it even if it was safe; the last time it did was shortly before Opa picked it up off a dead Jap on Okinawa, who had was a live Jap until shooting at Opa three times (and missing);
“First he told me I was an idiot for standing there. Second, he told me he was upset about me being there. Third, told me he was really upset about missing twice before.”
“Then I told him I can shoot better, only needed to tell it once. Then found out I killed probably the only Jap officer on Okinawa who didn’t have a sword, all he had was one of those garbage Jap pistols that looked like a Luger crossed with a caulk-gun.”
I could’ve told him that he’d likely killed an NCO, or that Nambu’s were often worth more than officer swords. But he wouldn’t have believed me anyhow; he always emphasised how ugly that junk pistol was, and as an old non-com he knew even a Jap NCO wouldn’t have missed.
Got a mosin, planning on getting an M1 soon and always wanted an 1903, probably buy a Mauser and Enfield eventually and I’d be interested in one of those M31 straight pulls. I love any historic rifle (or firearm for that matter), love the history and stories they could tell. Always gives me perspective on history and some of our greatest struggles
Bought the Mosin when I was near broke in college and needed something that shot cheap bulk ammo and could still take deer.
I got my FFL 03 just to facilitate my acquisition of milsurp rifles. As an amateur historian, I have fun holding history in my hands — and shooting it.
Was the piece penned by Brandon “we need to compromise with gun grabbers” Webb?
Follow the blue link at the top of the article…
I believe it’s reposted from thearmsguide.com, since no specific author is attributed to it.
How many milsurp rifles around the world put meat in the freezer? I am sure that the Mosin Nagant has fed many people in the old USSR for well over 100 years. Shooting them is a blast from the past, you don’t even have to follow history to enjoy these.
Bolt action rifles are not your go to choice for home protection, unless you are staking out overlooking your homestead waiting for a breech. Ammo was very cheap for Mosins, hopefully, the restrictions will be lifted for import from Russia’s stockpile of “obsolete” weapons and ammo.
There is a lot of value in these old rifles and ammo.
Well to be fair it helps that Mosin Nagants are just one of the most common surplus and cheap to feed rifles you can get. .303, .30-06, 8mm, and the like just aren’t as east to come by as good old 7.62x54r.
Gotta love soviet block supply theory. Might not be the best goods, but they’ll make a crap load of it. :p
Well they used to be, but its really starting to dry up in the past few years. Bought my first two mosins for under 100 about ten years ago, and now its hard to find a plain jane 91/30 for less than 200. 7.62x54r surplus ammo is really drying up to, locally I’m seeing people selling the 440 round spam cans for close to $1 a round. I dont think theres been any imports for the past year or two. Thats why I’m a big advocate,of reloading, 30-06 is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but I can feed my M1 Garand and Springfield 03 fairly affordably, and its great for European rounds that you don’t see much in the states. Ive worked up a fairly affordable reload for my 6.5x55mm Swedish Mauser
“… locally I’m seeing people selling the 440 round spam cans for close to $1 a round.”
So, if I purchased 440 rounds for $90, that was a good deal?
Well for one thing I’ve never once seen a place ‘locally’ that carries spam cans of any ammo. :p
I don’t know, maybe if you live in a major city I could see that. But anyway. In general it is starting to look like we’ve finally seeing those old Cold War stock piles dry up. It was bound to happen sooner or later. We’ll miss those days of $300 AKs, $180 Saiga, and $60 cases of 7.62.
I got a milsurp kick a while back and ended up with a very nice looking Norinco SKS and an old inherited sporterized Mosin Nagant. Still two of my favorites, but anymore I’m more fascinated with home made guns than anything being sold at SHOT or on the surplus market.
I have an ugly, old SKS, and a beat up M1 .30 carbine. Can’t shoot the SKS anymore (hurts old shoulders), and can’t afford to feed the carbine much, but do like to shoot it. Both were gifts from my boys. I don’t plan to buy anything else like that, but wouldn’t turn down another gift. 🙂
feel free to let me know if you want to part with that sks, got a younger set of shoulders been begging for an sks. and my answer is sadly no, only seen a couple milsurp rifles for sale in my area.
I’ll give it back to my son, soon as he can get out of California. 🙂 Wouldn’t feel right about selling it to anyone. Hope you can find what you want, of course.
Finnish M39 Circa 1942
Ditto! Although mine is from 1944. Awesome rifle for the price. And three years later I’m still working through a bulk pack of Silver Bear.
If the L1A1 SLR is already a milsurp rifle, then one is here. 😉 Along with VZ58…
K31 Swiss. Incredible accuracy, exquisite Swiss craftsmanship, match-grade milsurp ammo still available for about $0.50/round . . . and examples in great shape can still can be had for about $300-400.
Arisaka T-99 Long. Original production run of what would become the IJ standard battle rifle. Chromed barrel, poison lacquer stock, “aircraft wings” rear sight. Postwar testing indicated that the T-99 had the strongest action of any bolt action used in the war. 7.7 Jap ammo has not been used by any military for decades, so ammo is pretty much limited to commercial loading, but still a great shooter.
Would love to get my hands on a 6.5 Swede . . . and a Finnish Mosin.
Where are you finding a K31 for $400? That’s an honest question, not me contradicting you. I can’t find anything below about $700. They’re a rare find near Detroit for any price, much less $400. I’d be all over that.
Here you go: $339
Also watch Gunbroker . . . I scored a 1942 K-31 in great shape with a troop tag for under $300.
Thanks. And yes, you definitely need a 6.5 Swede. Great rifle, especially if you reload.
These have been out of stock forever and a day. When they come back in, you gotta jump on ’em. I bought my K31 last year off Gunbroker for $350 Buy It Now. I guess someone wanted to be rid of his. Mine is a 1942 manufacture with troop tag and a nice crisp shield engraving. And heck yes — accurate as David’s sling!
Love my M38 Swede Mauser! 1942 made by Husqvarna. My Garand and Springfield 03 may be worth more, but my Swede Mauser is a thing of beauty
Swedish Mauser – before 6.5 was cool in the USA. Action is smooth like a $1,000 custom action. Trigger is phenom.
Plan on reloading if you get into surplus. Cast bullets are very cheap to shoot and are nice on old shoulders. Powderpuff are pleasurable to shoot all day.
Why Yes…yes, I do indeed….
Any modern made, budget priced bolt action rifle like the Ruger American or Savage Axis is a more ergonomic, easier to customize, and likely more accurate rifle.
It’s true the prices on the military surplus rifles have gone up, which is the reason I don’t and probably never will buy a Mosin. To me, it’s not a gun worth spending $200 or more on. The SKS is a different story, I really like 7.62×39 and the SKS is a semi auto.
The only bolt gun I would consider is the K31 because everyone raves about the accuracy and cheap ammo.
As someone else said, I too have an ugly SKS, or more specifically, a type 56.
It’s reliable to a fault, easy to pack, hits hard, doesn’t recoil too badly and is chambered in an adequate round. It is just one really handy utility rifle that you don’t mind having in the weather, or storing in a vehicle, and it will always fire when you need it to.
The M 1 carbine was the original pistol caliber carbine
Long before the Kriss or Scorpion
I should never have sold mine
I love my Chinese SKS and my M 14
Surplus rifles are full of history and fun to shoot!
Actually, the M1 Carbine is the original PDW, not the original PCC. No pistol was chambered in .30 Carbine until several decades later, and…its still not really a pistol cartridge (Example…firing 5.56×45 out of a AR “pistol” doesn’t magically turn it into a pistol cartridge). .30 Carbine is a true intermediate cartridge. Housekeeping footnote – 5.56×45 is not an intermediate cartridge, you’ve been lied to…M855 delivers over 3000 ft/lbs of muzzle energy, there’s nothing intermediate about that…that’s a full-on rifle cartridge, make no mistake about it.
I think you confused velocity at the muzzle with energy at the muzzle.
Make no mistake about it.
Ahhh, you’re right. In my quickness I quoted muzzle velocity. Its 1255 ft/lbs of muzzle energy. That’s still squarely in rifle cartridge territory though.
“That’s still squarely in rifle cartridge territory though.”
Actually, it’s not.
It might be said that the 5.56 is at the extreme low end of the centerfire rifle power spectrum, right about the same muzzle energy or a bit less then the lighter, much faster little .204 Ruger.
It’s also much faster but has far less muzzle energy than some big bore pistol rounds, starting with some .44 Mags loadings and the .454 Casull and going up from there.
That, and its relatively small size, make the 5.56 an intermediate round.
I bought a No. 4 Mk 1 Enfield over thirty years ago. Just love the history and revel in the fact that it is the pinnacle of the bolt action battle rifle. Other guns may be sexier, more accurate, more idiot proof or collectable but, a squad of men with SMLE’s can put down as much fire as a machine gun.
Milsurp is a mixed bag nowadays. The “good old days” of 500 dollar Garands, 70 dollar Mosin’s, and 250 dollars Enfields are gone. The WWII movies of the late 90’s and early 00’s made them popular, and the dwindling stock caused prices to rise. Couple that with the fact that old stocks of surplus ammo disappeared and ammo prices went up, considerably for exotic ammo like those for Arisaka’s, the Swiss 6.5’s, and even for 8mm Mauser and .30/06, and buying a good quality standard SA M1 Garand and enough ammo to have a good time with it is a $1500 investment. I can buy a high quality AR upper and equally high quality optic for that and have enough money for a case or two of good brass ammo…and I’ll shoot the AR far more often.
There are some milsurp guns out there that are still good deals. 1911’s run on common and still cheap .45 ACP ammo, Hi-Powers are classic as well and run on cheap 9mm, and the FAL is quickly becoming milsurp due to it’s near universal replacement by M-4 variants or other newer weapons. I recently acquired a Browning Hi-Power made in 1976 and wouldn’t mind getting a FAL, since they both run on still widely available and inexpensive calibers.
Never thought about movies being a factor; always assumed it was mainly certain YouTube personalities – e.g., Iraqveteran8888 and his impassioned advocacy for Mosins.
Medal of honor and call of duty ww2 games 2000ish as well. The reason I want an M1 Garand to this day.
91/30, T53, CZ82, and Winchester M1 Carbine. They rock! The 54Rs are a literal blast, the 9×18 is reiable and accurate and sometimes gets carried, and the M1 is light, a pleasure to shoot, and just plain fun! Yeah, the CZ isn’t a rifle… but they’re still cool!
I have a CMP Special Grade Garand and a re-armored M1903A3. Both like new rifles when I got ’em. So, they’re not “vintage”. I’m not a collector. I shoot ’em. That’s what I got ’em for.
I know that most people prefer a MilSurp rifle with some “history”, but if I don’t know the history of the rifle, does it really matter? The only rifle with a history I would really want is the M1 carbine my father carried through Belgium before he was captured in the Battle of the Bulge.
My brother gave me a sweet SMLE Mk1 with 3 stars for a wedding present. The old guy at the LGS said it’s a collector piece. I don’t think my bro knew what he had. It’s a helluva wall hanger. I like it a lot. I wanna get am O3A4 and a K98 k to compliment it. For a shooter, I’d like a serviceable K31. like the other guy already said, modern bolt actions are better in many ways including price. I still like old milsurp rifles.
Yes. Quite a few and I keep adding new ones.
Best weapons in the world. Exhuding history.
I quit everything else, but a SPAS 12 and a couple handguns. The rest is only milsurps of WW I and II.
A bunch but I’m still hunting that elusive SMLE MKIII in good condition.
M91/30, a tokerav tt33, an svt 40 and a gewehr 43. All shoot well and are in nice shape. Still like the new stuff to also have hk mr762 a1, hk 45, ps90 (sbr) and benelli m1014.
The majority of guns I own are milsurps and I’m a Mauser fanatic. Just wish I bought some of them when they were cheap 5-10 years ago. I see Swiss K31’s going for $650+ now and laugh.
I have a Swiss K31. Mostly wanted to get it because my ancestors were Swiss. Awesome, well-built and unique rifle that is quite accurate for 75 years of age.
I have a Garand because my dad used them during WWII
I was given a 1893 Chilean Mauser, that had been sporterized in the ’60. From my father in law. It has a 26″ Barrel! I got a box of 7mm ammo. And….. nothing. I think it needs a firing pin? No bimple in the primer. I don’t have any money to put into the pretty old girl. I plan to pass it on to one of my boys. Sucks being a disabled young Vet. What should I do with it?
If you’re in SC let me know. Scratch that, ask RF to give you my email and contact me. I’ll help get it running if I can.
Just a mosin and a MAS-36. Bought the Mosin, the MAS was my grandfathers. Would love to have a few more, Enfield and German Mauser in particular.
Had a couple Chinese Type 53’s, just for the sake of having something cheap and cheap to shoot. If I’m buying, I want a Garand. Springfield model. Don’t care the year, preferably 1944/45. One day. That thing just says American history to me, and it’s amazing.
Found a November 43 or 44 SA (can’t remember the year right now)Garand a couple years ago. The barrel and stock have been replaced, but the guts are original by the SN’s. Has an O16 marked bolt. Look that up. Since I started with that, 2 Mosins, one a 91/30 from 34, one an M39 from 44 with a ’27 receiver, 2 K31’s one from ’53 that I put a diopter sight on and a beautiful walnut stocked one from ’34 with a troop patch. Bought it the same time as the 91/30, I’m thinking they paired the year for me.
Finnish M39 and CMP M1 Garand. I may bucket list of milsurps are Lee enfield, K31, a 1903A3, SKS, and a decent Mauser. And because I love ’em maybe two more Garands
1955 production Springfield Armory M-1 Garand – all matching parts. I call it my Elvis rifle because the time would be right for The King’s service.
Enfield No 4 Mk 1 – a hundred dollar gun show special that Bubba had already worked on. I cleaned up the stock, put on a B-Square scope mount and an old steel tube Weaver K-4. I pretend that its a post war police sniper rifle from somewhere in the Commonwealth
Enfield No 4 Mk 2(F) – The Brits were still building bolt action Enfields in the mid 1950’s. I’ve got one that was built in 1954 or 55. When I stripped it down after I bought it at a gun show for $75 back in 1995 I found that the stock was full of sand. Makes you wonder.
Swiss K-31 – a great rifle. I bought it because of the unique straight pull action. The European style v notch sights are pretty tough for my 65 year old eyes, but the rifle itself is a work of art.
What am I looking for?
I’d like to find an Ishapore Enfield .308 at a reasonable price. I like the Enfield platform and it would be nice to find a military rifle that shoots one of the most common full power cartridges available in the US.
My “Holy Grail” military rifle is a Russian Model 95 Winchester. I’ve seen a few in museums or on line but you never see one in person. Supposedly Winchester sold a bunch to the Czar and they were used during the Russian revolution, but they’ve never been offered on the surplus market. That says that the Russians either trashed them through neglect or there’s a warehouse full of them someplace in Mother Russia – probably right next to the captured German Panzer 3s and 4s – waiting for the price to be right.
I’ve had 2 of the Ishapore .308s and while I love the Enfield action I couldn’t get rid of them fast enough. Never shot past 100 yards with either and they both threw guesswork patterns that looked shotgunnish.
The british .303s I used were older and did better.
Did you come to any conclusion as to why the Ishy’s were so inaccurate? Its pretty hard to screw up a bolt action unless the chamber or bore is wrong. I’m wondering if your Ishapore’s had the chambers cut for .308 but still had .311 bores for the old .303 ammo. I was given to understand that the Ishapore Enfields had .308 barrels to take the newer high pressure .308 ammunition. This sounds like the old .308 Spanish Mauser controversy that wasted so many electrons back in the day.
I didn’t have gauges or smithing skills. They looked right to the naked eye. But a wide variety of ammo, including Radway Green amongst the surplus stuff and a selection of commercial loads produced the same results. Also, other shooters in the mix.
They functioned smoothly without any hangups. They were just poor shooters, accuracy wise. Substandard manufacture? Poor quality control? I have no idea. Both were 1960’s make.
Norinco SKS, Yugo SKS, three 91/30s, M44, P-26 for Mosins, K-98, two Mk III* SMLEs, No4 Mk1, Rem 1903A3. Smith-Corona 1903A3, SA M1 Garand and an Eddystone M1917.
Nagant M1895, Walther P38, CZ-27 for pistols.
I want a 1903 and I’m starting to learn about Arisaka rifles.
I have been told by my friends and family they have considered an intervention.
WWI and WWII era guns were fun back when the ammo was as plentiful and as cheap as the guns themselves. But have you seen the prices of even the crappy Moisin’s lately? A rifle that sold for $99 just a few years ago is suddenly priced at $200. What gives?
Supply is drying up. Prices will simply go higher. I made a straight up trade on my 99 buck Russian sks for a lightly used Beretta semi auto shotgun.
My SKS was purchased new for $100 even about 25 years ago. It has no import marks, and the only thing not in Chinese on it are the numbers. Came with the canvas ammo carrier, strippers, oil bottle sling and spike type bayonet out of a wooden crate with three more identical to it, sitting on a stack of more crates as big as a truck.
It shot 1000s and 1000s of rounds back when 7.62×39 was dirt cheap, and though very ugly now from wear and weather, is still as accurate and reliable as ever. Oddly, if I could keep just one long gun, I think it might have to be that old type 56.
I have a Russian SKS and a Webley MkI (in .455 of course!). My current lust is for a MAS36… I wouldn’t say no to a Berthier Carbine however!
Mosin Nagant M38 carbine, Arisaka type 99, M1 Carbine and M1 Garand.
M1 Garands and M1 Carbines. I had a CZ52 and Norinco SKS, but I sold them both for a profit – neither worked right. Wish I had bought one of the Swedish Mausers before the prices got stupid.
I bought 1/2 dozen K31’s in good shape 10-15 yrs ago for an average of $89, on line and at gun shows. Also grabbed a bunch of the 480 round battle packs of gp11. Put a scout scope on one, a red dot on one and a “mojo” sight on a third. They are easy to tear down and keep in A+ mechanical condition and can lay down some fire with accuracy with the quick straight pull bolt. They are mil-slurps….but also serve as my primary self defense firearm should a handgun or shotgun not suffice.
My Winchester 75 is milsurp. Came with a single shot adapter, but I managed to find a couple of NOS 10 round magazines for it 25 years ago.
Several model 1917’s in 30-06. Whish they would remake this rifle in honor of WW I
Several milsurp rifles and pistols, plus enough ammo to feed them all for the rest of my life. Why? First, it’s a touch of history…especially the WWII vintage guns. Second, the designs have been tested in armed conflicts…the ultimate test, IMHO. Third, they’re all incredibly reliable. Fourth, they’re simple to run.
Just wish the prices would return to the realm of sanity so I could pick up a few more pieces for my collection.
My first centerfire rifle was a 1938 Swede 6.5 for $125 in the mid-late 1980s. It has since been joined by a steadily growing and widening flock of multicultural companions. One thing I did learn sorta early is that don’t assume because certain things are cheap and overabundant at one point that they’ll be that way, even for that same item, even a year later. I chuckle when I see the premium prices on Chinese SKS-es now because I remember when they were $75, unused, in cosmoline, before Bubba Clinton put the ban in place
These things are built with levels of craftsmanship that are virtually unknown and out of financial reach today. It amazes me, also, that they carried out such fine precision with tools, materials, and techniques that were far more limited than what is available today. It’s also fascinating to look at the ways that cultural variations are so reflected in the designs and execution. Pull the bolts out of an 1898 Mauser (intricate in the extreme, verging on wild overkill in its complexity) Lee Enfield (quirky and a bit make-do but very effective) K-31 Swiss (precision distilled to its essence), an Arisaka (extraordinary in its simplicity of so few parts, virtually none of which could break) and a Mosin (crude and odd and technologically behind the times but unarguably robust and effective) and they’re like windows into cultural-mechanical tendencies.
FL CCW t got ‘hacked’, so . . . I Ain’t Got Sh_i (ISGS) but LOVE how Archangel stocks, Tapco, MagPul, CRBP, etc. have wrung new service out of old but good kit weapons.
Born and bred to outlive all tranny, so help us GOD.
F to the spell chk. (IAGS)
Rough death to tyranny forever.
While I don’t own one (or yet), it was my honor to fire 3rounds (blank) from a Garand on Monday.
As a young man, I began collecting Milsurp rifles in the late 80s because they were all I could afford. As a result, I now own a full complement of Enfield rifles – SMLE, P13, M17, No 4 Mk1, No 4 Mk11, No 5 Jungle Carbine, Ishophore, 22 cal training rifle and several “Tanker” versions from Century Arms.
My father left me a collection of other Milsurp rifles – 1903A3, Garand, Tanker Garand, M1 Carbine, MAS 34 and 49, Russian SVT40 among others! Living the Milsurp dream.
I sold or traded off all of my milsurp *rifles* because I never found them to be particularly ergonomic or practical to shoot in volume. There are nicer guns to hold and admire, and nicer guns to actually shoot. Now, if select-fire milsurp rifles and smgs miraculously become cheap and plentiful that’s a different story. Save yourself some money and watch Forgotten Weapons on YouTube instead.
They aren’t just guns, their are pieces of living history. Most of the guns that I own are WWII or before milsurps (including the same ones as in your picture, except my Mauser 98 is an Model 47 vs a Kar 98). I am a history teacher and it saddens me that I can’t take my collection to school to let my students actually see and hold the weapons that were used in the events we study.
Let’s see…lots, I’ve got lots.
Mosin M38 carbine made in 1944, first rifle I ever purchased. These days she doesn’t see much use except to “clear the range” when the spot I go to is overcrowded (no, I’m not nice). Model 1898 Krag made in 1902, has a few dings and the front sight post is loose but is one of the few rifles I can accurately shoot past 300 meters with open sights. Ross MkII* made in 1907, complete and un-bubba’d. One of 20,000 purchased for training by the US government during WWI, with both Canadian proof marks and US Ordnance stamps. Remington production Model 1917 rifle, barrel stamped 04-18. Picked up for a song from an older fellow who’d got it through the CMP. MAS-49/56, unfortunately a Century conversion to .308, fortunately one that works properly, might be the most “fun” rifle I own in that caliber. Gibbs No. 7 Jungle Carbine alteration of the Ishapore 2A1 which I rarely shoot. It swallows civilian headspace gauges so I have to feed it surplus, which is getting harder to find for as cheap as I’d like. Used to have a Commission Rifle the Turks had refurbished in the 1930’s. Best I could tell the receiver dated to 1891, so I never trusted it with full-house 8mm IS despite the work that had been done on it. Also had a Hakim for a while, which was fun, but more trouble than it was really worth. The only surplus handguns I have in the stable are a Model 1917 Colt revolver which was at some point hideously refinished, and a Browning Hi-Power Mk III which underwent the same.
My father’s got an M91/30, mint 1916 Swedish Mauser, Russian SKS from 1954 he bought off me, and a Polish Tokarev pistol two years older. We picked up an M1 Carbine (I forget the manufacturer) for my kid brother for Christmas a few years ago. They all live in the same safe, for now.
Well I have several Mausers- A Swede M-38,an 1891 Argentine that had been sportified that I put back into an original stock w/ handguard, a bunch of Yugo 24/47’s and 48’s and-my baby-a Czech VZ-24 with a very clear Rampant (or is it Rampart) Lion crest on the receiver. And an Enfield No. 4 Mk, 1/2, Mosin 1891’s and M44’s,a K-31 (sure wish I’d bought more) and I forgot a Czech 98/22. When I get a little more gun money I’ll get me an 03 or 03A3 and maybe a Garand and eventually an M-1 and-well you know what I’m talking about. These are really some fine steel and wood firearms that like the one guy said could not be built today for nowhere near even the inflated prices they sell for today. Glad I bought back when I did but shoulda got more. Think I’ll go out tomorrow and buy me an inflated 03.
M1 Garand. General George S. Patton called it “the greatest implement of battle ever devised.”
Paid $125 for it in 1982, from the DCM (Director of Civilian Marksmanship). Arsenal refinished, nearly new condition. Have fired it in many CMP shoots. Eat your hearts out, collectors.