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For some reason, I'm paying a lot of attention to RTI more and more these days. Also, Classic just got a shipment of Swiss stuff in that looked really nice.

I think, hands down (for me) if I were to buy an older firearm, my first choice would be an M1...because it's an M1. As an aircraft mechanic in WWII my grandfather told me he carried an M1...the old fart was a big liar, so I don't know for sure. He's been dead for decades. This is the same grandfather that taught me to shoot on his old 10/22 with a peep sight. So, I'm a little sentimental about that weapon.

But, beyond that, I'm wondering what a 'practical' C&R purchase might be as far as having a usable firearm for 'general' use. By 'general', I mean potentially taking meat for the most part with a thought towards simplest reloading and just generally fun to shoot.

There are simply a whole lot of different calibers out there that I'm wholly ignorant of.

So, preach on... : )
 

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One of each works for me !! . Kind of comes down to is there a certain era in history you like more then others or country that interest you ? WW2 , WW1 Spanish American , Indian Wars ect all cool eras in history . Most all rifles will put down a deer . My cousin likes to hunt with his M1 carbine . Right know ammo for most all calibers is a chore to track down at decent prices and reloading supplies are the same .
 

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Q for U, when you say "C&R", do you mean strictly military surplus? C&R includes anything generally 50 years old or older, sporting and military. There's a lot of truly great sporting rifles C&R eligible; Literally all American makes, Mausers, Mannlicher/Schoenauers, single shot rifles of all actions.....the list is endless.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited by Moderator)
Thanks for the replies.

lol, money not being an obstacle, I'd have an M1 Garand, an M14 and an M1 Carbine.
And, the most basic variety of Springfield's M1A Socom...wood stock, no frills...just basic awesomeness.

Yea, I guess it's all the same right now for reloading.
I just don't know if there is a standout amongst what's currently available.

I like the compactness of the M1 Carbine and the overall versatility in terms of performance that I think I understand that round to be capable of...and, in my mind, my Grandpa carried it.

Hands down, I have a thing for WWII. The family legend has it that my grandfather was part of the crew that worked on Doolittle's plane after it came back from Tokyo. I can't substantiate that. But, as a 10 year old in '77 laying in the grass learning to shoot bean cans with a backstop that was a huge pile of sawdust that we dug minnie balls out of (this was in the Richmond, VA area so I also grew up with a lot of Revolutionary War and Civil War history sitting in my backyard so to speak) I vaguely remember stories my Grandfather told while telling me not to flinch.
I guess because of that, from 10 or so on, I read a lot of WWII books. The best of them probably by Tregaskis: PT 109, Quadalcanal Diary and a lot of things my father read that I can't remember.
So, I think that I do mean 'military surplus' in this context though I recognize the wide variety of old firearms (both 'American' and foreign) that are out there. fwiw, I watch Ian's channel somewhat religiously and very much appreciate the wide variety of firearms that were tried and fallen by the wayside.

Also, I tapped myself out with purchases last year to broaden my collection simply in terms of caliber and versatility.

So, I keep looking at the sub $500 items that RTI has.
Again, money not being an obstacle, I'd start with an M1 Carbine. I don't have 1200+ to spend anytime soon.
So, it's some of the strange (to me) calibers like
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For me it would be a folding stock M1 Carbine simply because I had one in VN and loved it. Also had the full stock M2 versions and M16s. Dad brought his Garand home from WW2, Grandpa had his Krag from the all volunteer NYC Regiment after the Spanish American War and I was a breath away from mailing my folding stock home when a buddy asked if he could have it since he was getting ready to go out in the field. I have no idea what my Great Grandfather carried when he marched through the South with Sherman. He'd left Germany back then as a war was going on or brewing over there and wound up in our Civil War.

As to Doolittle and that raid, my father in law was also an aircraft mechanic and was on the Hornet for that raid and when she was sunk. He told me that he was part of the crew that worked or changed an engine on one of those bombers while they were heading for Japan. After watching many specials on that raid, the last one I watched happened to mention that one of the bombers engines had been affected by all the salt water and had to be changed on the flight deck. Well, what do you know. There's nothing like hearing it first from someone who was actually there.

Those men had many stories to share and rarely did unless it was among themselves. His family had never heard any of them and probably wouldn't have until I started sharing some of mine with him alone one day and he opened up to me and blew my mind with some of his.
 

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The ideal time to buy an inexpensive milsurp C&R was about 6 years ago. :cry: Prices have gone way up- an original M1 Carbine is about $1200. And you won't find a military M14- there are civilian copies, but the original is classed as a machine gun, and was not sold as surplus (well, actually, there were 11 that were sold as M14M models, but good luck with THAT) Even the SKS has been climbing in value.

If you would really like a Garand, might I suggest you look up the CMP program, go thru the hoops, and get one of theirs? My favorite C&R rifles for long range are a Swiss K-31, a Yugo Mauser, and my Long Branch Enfield .303. Did luck out and found a fairly cherry 1903A3 2 years ago for $800, but do not expect to find another for that price.

The least expensive MILITARY C&R may be a .22 bolt action. Mossberg made the Model 42 and the model 44US as trainers for the US military (Navy mainly). And they are stamped "US Property". They can be found for a couple of hundred in good shape, and can be scoped easily.

Saw a mention of Richmond VA- am in Powhatan County VA- and we still have places to shoot.
 

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As you evidently chose not to answer my question and it appears to you that C&R is mil surp...ok, now I know.

None of the Doolittle Raid planes returned from the mission. The crews that made it out did so by the skin of their teeth. It was a one way trip and due to the Hornet being seen by the fishing boat the crews launched early and lacked the fuel to make it to friendly fields in China. They were all destroyed crashing in China except for the one or two that landed in Russia. We never saw those planes again and the crews were held, I think, until after the war.
 

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There's a lot of truly great sporting rifles C&R eligible; Literally all American makes, Mausers, Mannlicher/Schoenauers, single shot rifles of all actions.....the list is endless.
Sorry; couldn't resist Anything to the rumor that you own a couple of those great old rifles? :D
 
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Rumors and propaganda....purely rumors and propaganda..... :whistle:
 

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Being the new kid on the block- and being fully prepared for the response (as he calmly zips his fire resistive Nomex coveralls closed) I confess to being a Mossbergaholic. Primarily .22 rifles from the 40s, 50s and 60s. A C&R permitted those to come directly to my door. Case in point-

New Year's Eve- a friend from Maine emailed me that he had been in the Kittery Trading Post, and they had a very nice Mossberg Model 51 in the rack. Called them New Year's Day- and they were OPEN. Salesman described rifle, and the price. Question- do you ship? Answer- Sure, as long as we have an FFL to ship to. Question: That rifle is over 50 years old- will you accept an 03 C&R FFL for that rifle? A: Sure. Q- can i email you a scan? A: Sure. Gave them credit card info, emailed them with my 03.... and 3 days later, mailman brought me a cherry Mossberg 51.

Drawback of getting your C&R? You stay broke. Happy, but broke.

One aspect of an 03 that is sometimes overlooked- before retiring, I traveled on business. A LOT. If I am in another state, catch a gun show, and there is a BEAUTIFUL Colt Woodsman at the show.... I can buy it, and take it with me- even through I am in another state. My 01 FFL at my LGS can't do that- but an 03 can- for C&R guns (all Colt Woodsman pistols are C&R without regard to age- they are specifically named by the ATF)
 

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As you evidently chose not to answer my question and it appears to you that C&R is mil surp...ok, now I know.

None of the Doolittle Raid planes returned from the mission. The crews that made it out did so by the skin of their teeth. It was a one way trip and due to the Hornet being seen by the fishing boat the crews launched early and lacked the fuel to make it to friendly fields in China. They were all destroyed crashing in China except for the one or two that landed in Russia. We never saw those planes again and the crews were held, I think, until after the war.
You’re right about the planes but a surprising number of the crews made it to friendly Chinese lines even though gravely wounded and made it home fairly quickly after the raid...including Doolittle who got promoted and commanded 8AF in England later in the war. An unlucky few who got captured were executed by the Japanese.

But back to the original post, I’d look for a decent Bolt Action in s caliber that in normal times is easy to find/reload. An M1 carbine is pretty marginal for “other uses” like deer hunting, and in many states not allowed, and while a Garand technically can shoot any ‘06 ammo, too much of any commercial ammo loaded stiffer than M2 ball (most is) is bad for it’s gas system. A bolt action can handle any commercial ammo for it.

That said, the easiest commercially available (usually) reloadable ammo chambered for common milsurp rifles would be .30-06 and 7.62x54. (Yes .308 too but not many bolt action milsurp s chambered for it unless rechambered or an Indian Ishapore Enfield. NOT a m1916 Spanish Mauser though!)

But the best for you would be a Mosin Nagant, probably a carbine, but you better grab one fast, they are approaching $400 for a good shooter😳. There is (was?) still cheap surplus ammo around( unlike M2 ball) is still used by militaries around the world so should still be available (unlike 7 or 8mm Mauser, ‘06, .303, 7.5 Swiss, either Carcano round or either Arisaka etc...). And several American and European companies either load or import good reasonably priced commercial ammo for it (Hornady, Winchester, S&B, Prvi, Wolf, etc.)

Plus many Milsurps rear sight settings only go “down” to 300m so are tough to hit at “hunting” ranges without aiming really low, the Mosins are on at 100 so you could hunt easily with stock sights.

Just my $.03😎
 

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You might want to consider the Swedish Mausers in 6.5x55. The ammo will continue to be relatively easy to find, current prices are low compared to most of the other milsurps, excepting of course the Mosin.
 

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You might want to consider the Swedish Mausers in 6.5x55. The ammo will continue to be relatively easy to find, current prices are low compared to most of the other milsurps, excepting of course the Mosin.
I don’t know, the Swedes are getting pretty expensive recently, I suspect a “G-VG” Swede will pretty much always outpace an “Exc” Mosin (except maybe a Finn) by $200 at least...and as good as the 6.5 round is I still think it’s harder to find than x54.

(I still chuckle at all the hoopla over the 6.5 Creedmore, like the 6.5 mm is something new, heck the Swedes, Japs, and even the Italians figured that out long ago, if you discount the 6mm Lee😉).

Heck, even the British Enfield and the Garand were supposed to be .276, if the Wars and the Depression wouldn’t have messed things up...
 

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don’t know, the Swedes are getting pretty expensive recently, I suspect a “G-VG” Swede will pretty much always outpace an “Exc” Mosin (except maybe a Finn) by $200 at least...and as good as the 6.5 round is I still think it’s harder to find than x54.
I quite agree that the swede will be more expensive than the Mosin, but I'm not sure about the ammo being always easier for the x54R. 6.5x55 is still very popular in the Scandinavian countries. I was just trying to offer a different mil-surp that is a little more refined than the Mosin, that isn't as expensive as an 03, K98 or a P-17. A 93 Mauser in 7x57 would make a good sporting rifle also, just don't try to hotrod it. I almost bought a mil-surp Remington rolling block in 7x57, but the bore was bad.
 

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On your list of options from RTI Lee Enfield Jungle Carbine in 303 has plenty of thump to take a deer but also thumps your shoulder pretty good to . The Carcano 6.5 not a bad round , easier on you shooting it . The others I don't have 1st hand experiance shooting them . Right now about any rifle and ammo is going to cost . But the more popular rounds might be easier to track down though . Might be a coin flipping time !
 

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I’ve only fired one Carcano, and what’s funny is that that experience is what sent me on the wrong path towards believing the Kennedy Conspiracies...for a while I called Carcanos “the rifle that never killed anybody on purpose.”😉

My BIL right after he married my sister was a big Mauser collector guy, owned literally a couple hundred when she first met him in the 60s, besides a bunch of other milsurps. He was a city boy and I think part of the attraction for my sister was we lived in the country and he now had a place to shoot.

I was 10 when they met and started dating, so I “grew” up shooting whatever he brought out every Sunday. And he always brought the 1904 Winchester .22 that I now own and a box of CCIs too, I sure miss him. He died 3 years ago.

But besides all the different Mausers and Mannlichers I remember shooting, two days stick out...one when he brought out a Tokarev SVT 38 and 200 rounds of then very expendive surplus x54 ammo, and I had the sear stick or something after my 2nd or third shot and it went full auto on me...my first “rock and roll” experience as a teenager. All I remember is when it quit firing after the next 7 or 8 rounds I was about 10 feet behind where I started and pointing pretty high up in the air! But I held on...

The second was when he brought out a pretty beat up Carcano carbine, “the same one that shot Kennedy” and some really ratty surplus ammo.

That one convinced me about wearing glasses when shooting. My BIL lost an eyebrow when a case blew and the gases came back in his face. If he wasn’t wearing glasses he might have lost an eye.

That’s where I became prejudiced about Carcanos, I became even more biased when I read the report by the British “advisor” to the Italians in WWI who said the Italians thought the Austrian Landwehr facing them on the line were better armed than they were. They had Carcanos, the Austrian reservists facing them were mostly armed with black powder 11.4mm Werndls!

But I admit I learned the error of my ways. Don’t judge a rifle by the Army that carries it, or by the ratty ammo you put through a beat up rifle 😉.

And ALWAYS wear shooting glasses...😎
 

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I didn't think much of Carcanos for long time cause of the stories . I just wanted one to fill that spot in my collection . But of course if I have a rifle I am going to shoot it and got a couple boxes of PPU and really liked it . Then of course I hate buying ammo so I got a set of dies and started reloading .
 

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The thing about Carcano's is they are so god-awful, butt ugly. The cartridge is as good as most other 6.5's of the era. In 6.5, the Greek Mannlicher in 6.5 X 54 M/S would have to be among the top few of choices for me. I don't see many around these days but that could be because I'm not looking for mil-surps.

I'm with polish when it comes to American shooters just discovering the 6.5 caliber and their arrogance in apparently thinking it's some new discovery. Where you guys been the last 130 years?
 

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M313, Maybe your relative was prone to stretch the truth a tad...if my history is correct all of the Doolittle planes were destroyed except one...interned by Russia and they didn’t give anything back.
 
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