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We have a lot of discussions here about modern rifles but what about the old tried and true ones? Which military surplus (or otherwise 'vintage') rifles are your favorites?

Me and my brother were talking about them the other day and after a few YouTube videos (made by a certain 'grandfather' figure :wink:) we started getting really excited about them. After looking on Armslist for some local sellers we found them to be pretty reasonably priced for what you get (in good condition). Ammo seemed to be relatively available and cheap for the 7.62 as well.

My brother is looking for a Nagant and I'm looking for a Norinco SKS that takes the 30R mags. My cousin has an M1 Garand and it's a beauty. I think there's just something appealing about owning a piece of history in a firearm. Kind of the same feeling I get when I see the old WW2 German Mauser in the glass at the LGS.

Feel free to show them off too! There's just something beautiful about those rifles and their shellacked wooden stocks.
 

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The only vintage rifles I've had a chance to fire are the two Mausers I own, one German and one Yugo. Love them both!
 

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My favorite is my M1 Garand. I also have a 303 Enfield no.4 Mk1, 7.7mm Arisaka, Mosin nagant 91/30. You can get a M1 Garand from CMP for under $600. It's not going to be all original with mathing numbers but it will shoot. These old rifle are a blast to shoot! I wish I knew the history behind my rifles. Where they were during the war and if they even were used in combat and which unit they were issued to.
 

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I had a Chilean Mauser (7mm) once. I loved it but sold when transferring overseas. Now I have this, M44 Mosin-Nagant carbine. It kicks butt... and shoulders.
Would love to pick up:
1903 Springfield
95 or 98 Mauser
 

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I've got a few milsurps.

I have 3 Nagants, 2 M-44's and a 91/30
I have 4 Mausers,
2 K-31 Swiss
Mk5 and Mk4 Enfield
1941 Springfield Garand
1917 Eddystone
M96 Swede
7.7 Jap Arisaka
1898 Springfield Krag
and 3 Romanian Trainers

all of them in great shape, all matching numbers.
 

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Lee - Enfield No.1 Mk III. Have three of them and all quite accurate ! Grandfather carried a No.1 Mk III throughout WWI on the Western Front with the Highland Light Infantry.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Awesome replies! Loving the pics too... and even more excited haha... at least they aren't too expensive.

1oldgun, is the Mk III a .303 British? How's finding ammo for that guy?

The only downer is I'm not sure where an outdoor range is around these parts. Our indoor range only allows pistol calibers since their backstop can't handle the higher velocity cartridges. So... I'm not sure where I would get to shoot such a beauty.

There are some guys here selling SKS and Nagants with 500 to 1000 rounds for a few hundred, it's almost too good pass up!
 

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The Swiss 7.5 MM's are absolute tack drivers. Second would the Swede M96.

But if you had to shoot at someone with any of them, I'd take that Garand any day of the week. You put 5 or 6 rounds down range while a guy was trying to jack another one in his bolt gun and make it very, very tough on him. It doesn't take much imagination to see how that Garand could even up the odds considerably even if one was outnumbered.
 

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M1 Carbine
M1/M14
1928 Thompson SMG (though not traditionally thought of as "milsurp")
Mauser K98-series bolt-action
 

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Most of those old guns have a certain look to them, sort of like WWII aircraft. They are all very eye-appealing and extremely well-made, and function just as they were designed for. Admittedly the Swiss K-31 is sort of ugly, but don't underestimate it over its looks. No doubt, it's a shooter.

Here's a bit of info about them I've always heard, I didn't compose this so I can't validate the accuracy of it:

There is a story, possibly apocryphal but awesome nonetheless, that a ranking German (possibly the Kaiser) was visiting and watching the Swiss military on their summer maneuvers. He asked the Swiss commander, "How big a force do you command?"

The Swiss general confidently replied, "I can mobilize one million men in twenty-four hours."

The German asked, "What would happen if I marched five million men in here tomorrow?"

The Swiss replied, "Each of my men will fire five shots and go home."

Note that Switzerland was not invaded during either World War, and still used an updated version of the same bolt action rifle from 1889 to 1959, and kept it in reserve service until 1980.

The Swiss K31 carbine is…well, the Swiss Watch of rifles. It is precise, sturdy, accurate, powerful and unusual in having a straight pull bolt action. It might as well be semi-auto, if a gas tube had just been added. But the Swiss are traditionalists and not afraid of it.

The K31 packs a kick. It fires a 7.5 mm Swiss round that is expensive, because it only comes from Switzerland and it's only available in match grade. There is no non-match grade Swiss Ammo. Swiss soldiers don't miss. This is why they've never had to demonstrate the fact. Invaders fear a mountain range full of snipers.
 

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All listed here are most of my faves. But the one that has eluded me is the m-1 carbine. I gotta find the right one at the right price. Ahhh the search goes on.
 

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I don't know if there is a milsurp rifle I don't like at least a little bit. I started out with an M98 Mauser when I was a youngster because it was all I could afford ( $49.95 IIRC ). I handloaded for it, ginning up loads appropriate for everything from deer to rabbits and loved every minute of it. I still do the same thing today. I currently have a few M98s and an SKS. But I like and admire just about any historical gun, especially from the WWII era.
 
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