best battle rifle for beginners

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by chrome_cobra, May 20, 2004.

  1. chrome_cobra

    chrome_cobra New Member

    May 6, 2004
    Soddy Daisy,TN
    What is the most common of the battle rifles: Enfield, SKS, Mosin/Nagant, M1, etc and what would you suggest for a beginning collector? My max price is $300.
  2. lead

    lead Well-Known Member

    May 16, 2004
    Mosin Nagants can be found for a song right now. Check out For a beginner, I would say start with a bolt action rifle. Enfields are a little more expensive but are one of my favorites. Also look at Mausers. Probably the best bolt action rifle ever made.

  3. merc

    merc New Member

    Jun 30, 2003
    Pelham, NH
    I agree with Lead..
    The Mosins are probably the cheapest, most available bolt action military rifles around right now.
    You can find them at AIM, SOG, Century and a host of other sites at pretty good bargains.
    They are kind of fun to shoot and there are a few different models so it makes collecting them fun and interesting.

    I find Lee enfields pretty interesting too because theu usually will have a ton of stamps, markings and symbols that you will need to research. Cool stuff.

    But the BEST has to be Mausers. Here you will find rifles from everycountry imaginable. Tons of literature out there to read and refer to and learn with.
    Most are 8mm so reloading is common for all your rifles. And if you prefer to buy ammo, it is readily available.

    What ever you decide--remember to keep it fun.
    Heck over time you will probably do it all.
    Good luck.
  4. 1952Sniper

    1952Sniper New Member

    Aug 22, 2002
    I agree too. A Mosin or Mauser is a great starting point for a beginner. Simple, easy to operate and maintain, and inexpensive to purchase as well as feed.

    But pretty soon, every beginner collector needs to invest in an SKS. :)
  5. mauserman454

    mauserman454 New Member

    Aug 26, 2003
    Upstate NY
    I'd go with the Mauser, Most wery very well made, even under wartime conditions. They are a little more expensive than a Mosin, but I think that they have a bit more of an investment value as well.

  6. richardwv

    richardwv New Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Sterling, VA
    I fully agree with the advice that it is probably best to start with a bolt action....and also agree that an SKS is a definite low-cost must have for any collector. However best is in the eye of the beholder and what criteria is used. Of the common lower cost bolt action models, all of them can be had in very good condition for well under $300.

    The recent flood of extremely low cost excellent condition Mosins provides a very economical entry level with low cost surplus and new non-corrosive ammo available. For $300 you could get one each of the M91/30, M38 Carbine and M44 Carbine, plus a 1000 rounds of ammo. The lowest cost source for Mosins I know of is, which sells excellent condition examples from $49.95. From a history stand point, these definitely played a major role in WWII and early years of the cold war.

    For $300 you could also get one of the Russian capture Mauser 98Ks and a 1000 rounds of ammo. The higher quality Russian capture Mausers go a little higher, but if condition and not rarity is your criteria, your budget could readily accomodate one in excellent condition. While the supply seems to be shrinking recently, they are still listed by many National dealers. In these you are holding a piece of documented history since these were all captured by the Soviets during WWII battles and later reconditioned by them in anticipation of a major war with the West that fortunetly never came.

    Yugo M48 Mausers are also readily available in this price range up to and including in like new condition. While the supply is drying up, they are still out there. These are an "intermediate" length action and therefore not all standard M98 Mauser parts fit. However parts supply in the foreseeable future should not be a problem. However as a "battle rifle" these don't really have any history to speak of....but they are well made and as accurate as any issue Mauser I'm aware of. At $300 you should be able to buy one in excellent condition and more than 1000 rounds of 8mm milsup ammo.

    The Lee-Enfields are one of my favorite, but at the moment I'm unaware of any major shipment of No 4s being offered. The only major cache of Lee-Enfields that I'm aware of on the market is at which is selling No1 MkIII*s from Ishapor for $79.95, or $109.95 with bayonet. These are solid rifles but not the best looking examples since they have the India wire-wrapped reinforced stocks. However the milsup supply of .303 is really getting low with most of it being the low quality POF manufacture. New ammo at reasonable prices is available, but not from any of the cheap manufactures like Wolf (at least not yet).

    All four listed provide excellent value for the beginning collector, are rugged, reliable and use low cost ammo. I own multiple examples of all of them and shoot them regularly. However if you want a battle rifle that has been there in the field, the only low cost ones that you can be 100% sure of are the Russian captured Mausers.....however if you want one that was also likely there at the same time but belonged to a member of the winning team, buy a Mosin.
  7. islenos

    islenos New Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    West Texas
    Best Battle Rifle - Enfield
    Best Target Rifle - 03
    Best Hunting Rifle - Mauser
  8. chrome_cobra

    chrome_cobra New Member

    May 6, 2004
    Soddy Daisy,TN
    I went and picked up a 1938 Mosin Nagant Carbine at a local gun show recently, wood is in good shape, muzzle has been recrowned, I have not had the opportunity to break her apart and do a thorough cleaning, I paid $113.79 including TICS and tax.
  9. robsguns

    robsguns Member

    Apr 24, 2004
    Jacksonville, NC

    I'd get either an M44 or an M38 Mosin Nagant. Dont just buy one though, be picky, get one thats got all matching numbers, laminated or hard wood is your choice. I personally like my M38 best. For the price of either one, even if you pay more because of where you are, you cant go wrong.

    Second choice if you dont mind spending more, but its really my first choice in nice surplus, though the ammo is not as easy to get, is the 7.5 Swiss Schmidt-Rubin. I have 2 of them, and I will not part with them. I say second choice, but first choice, because its not really for the beginner, but its cheap, even though the ammo cost more than the 7.62x54 does, by a long shot.

    Now if you want a third choice I'd say an Eddystone 1917, you can find it by Winchester or Remington as well, but I'd definitely get one of these. I have an 03, but my Eddystone is much nicer to shoot, a lot cheaper, and more accurate, partly because my Eddystone has the rear sight back by my eye, and the 03 doesn't, because its not an 03A3, its a Mark I 03, and probably the rest is due to the Eddystone having a better barrel than the 03 does, but I cant really confirm that its barrel is really any better.

    Mausers are great, I have many of them, but, they cost more, and are going up in price rapidly. I'd stick with a Mosin for the beginner collector, and I'd be happy as heck with it too.

    Have fun deciding, and enjoy your guns, no matter what you decide, you wont go wrong.:D
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