What caliber to buy/trust...?

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by dragonfly, May 21, 2008.

  1. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    I know what each caliber is capable of, BUT....( downrange )
    Here's the "glitch", so to speak!
    I am confused with the choice of calibers, as far as:
    7.62 x 51 (.308) ( my favorite!)
    7.62 x 54R
    then there's"
    8mm (---x 57?)
    What I want, regardless of the costs, (within reason!):
    is, a simple bolt action rifle, with acceptable accuracy out to say: 300 yds., with a "NON-PUNISHING" recoil, ( I have a really nasty sciatic nerve situation!), That, is reasonable enough to purchase, ( with ammo prices being where they are, forget the costs there!).
    Now, I had purchased 3 Moison-Nagant rifles here before, ( Big 5 sporting goods store)...
    BUT they were all GARBAGE! I gave them away!
    Bad muzzles, and incorrect BOLT assemblies, made them UNSAFE to SHOOT!
    I also had 1, 8mm Mauser, but it was assembled from junk parts, same store! I sold it for less than 25% of what it cost me.
    After pricing the 20 packs of .308 -vs- .30-06, the '06 was cheaper! (?)
    I had chosen the M-N's for their range and ballistics!
    Now, I just don't know what to do!
    M-N's cost from $69.00 to $199.00, and the Mausers run $250.00.
    What to do, what to do!
    I need some expertise in this!
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Opinion, mine only. Get a re-arsenaled MN, check the numbers on the major parts, and look at the crown on the muzzle before you lay down your green stuff. If the muzzle is rough, take a pass. If it has been counterbored, go ahead with it. Then go to gun shows and stock up on Bulgarian while the price is still low. Prvi Partisan is good stuff as well.

    MNs have a reputation for booting pretty hard. I have not found it to be so after heating the barrels warm enough to boil spit.
  3. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Only one choice mate, Enfield no4mk1 in.303. detachable10shot mag( detachable mostly for cleaning but its not hard to change em quickly . lots of surplus 174grn@2400fps( corrosive, nonreloadable) isreadily available fairly cheap.supposedly the best triggers and fastest bolts of the mililtary bolt guns( I've never had any mn's so I can't compare).feels like a rifle not some plastic air soft pos... recoil is less than an 'o6 (.308 I don'tknow)but its not bad and i'm not a recoil pig..check under the bolt for a matching serial numberto thereceiver( boltfaces are interchangeable to adjustheadspace)..
    think I paid just over$200 formine ( century arms)at "dunhams sports"[​IMG]
  4. BuckBall

    BuckBall Woman Hater

    .30-30 Winchester. I heavily advocate this round since it fires a .30 caliber bullet, can take anything from grouse to moose (which I have done), can collapse the chest cavity of any 2 legged creature and there are hundreds of thousands of rounds for it available everywhere. I only need two Calibers and that be the .30-30 and 9mm. I'm not one of these types to have a full arsenal ONLY because I have no other partner and believe in using what I know works. If I wanted something bigger, I'd take an M1 garand. But why? I sure the heck am not going to carry a full arsenal if I have to bug out and why leave weapons behind for the bad guys? You'd just be feeding the enemy instead of killing them off.
  5. martin97

    martin97 Fuel busted Trucker. Founding Member

    How about a Yugo 24/47?.. still very cheap, accuracy is good and ammo is readily available.
    Enfields are awesome, they are a very fast bolt action and they are usually VERY accurate.. 303 is a bit hard to find in volume in the U.S. and that is a problem.
    MN's... well unless you have a bunch of ammo for one I would steer clear of them for all the reasons you mentioned and more.
    A good RC K98 would serve you well and if you get a good bore it will shoot well and safely.
    What about a Yugo SKS?... unfailing reliability and reasonable accuracy (30-30 ballistics) combined with large supplies of bulk ammo availability is hard to beat... you can still get some unissued guns also, contact me with a PM here if you cant find one.
    I don't know how important iron sight are to you.. but you might consider a used savage (or other American bolt rifle) rifle in one of the calibers you mentioned.. the 30-30 is hard to beat also.
  6. groovy mike

    groovy mike Immortal

    The choice is the one that YOU like best - that feels good and points naturally for YOU. Handle all of them, borrow some and shoot them THEN decide.
  7. poacher

    poacher Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Mike has a great statement. You have to pick the one thats right for you. I've shot a MN and didn't think it kicked. I've shot a Garand and didn't think it kicked either but thats me. At one time I HAD a double bbl 10 gauge with 19" bbls for home defense. I didn't think it kicked too bad but someone else might have thought it was the end of the world when they shot it. Never should have sold that 10 gauge, oh well back to topic.

    308 ammo is high 06 is getting there quick. most 7.62x39 is getting higher quick. My opinion and mine alone look at getting a good Mosin. You can always put a decelaorator on the stock which will not only give it some length if you need that but help with felt recoil. Secondly, cheaper than dirt, sportsmans guide sell 54R ammo cheap. you can look at ammoman.com as well or just buy it at the gun shows.

    If you know of someone that has a C&R FFL they can pick a mosin up cheap and get you a good one. Hell for that matter they can get you two. There's a ole boy at the Tulsa OK guns show every year that has huge crates of the Mosins, Mk4's, most all C&R stuff for sale to dealers. Last year he was selling Mosins for 50.00 a gun for the long mosins and 60.00 for the short ones. If ya pay your FFL 80.00 you still have enough money left over from a 100.00 to get a little ammo.
    These are just my thoughts and opinions but for the 100.00 you get gun and some ammo and for another say 40 or so you can get a nice recoil pad. You've got a weapon that is good to 300 yards will take just about any N.American game animal you want and will provide good protection.

    Take care Be safe Poacher.
  8. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    If you want to stay with the surplus bolt action military rifles I would take another look at the MN, just be sure that you check them thoroughly before you buy. They are cheap and so is the ammo. Otherwise I would look at the K98's, they can still be had pretty cheap. If you want to buy a new rifle, then I would just pick up a new Savage or Browning A-Bolt in .308. Sure it cost more, but you will be getting what you pay for. I have always been a Remington 700 guy, but I hear that they have been having quite a few QC problems over the last couple of years. After shooting a friend's Browning A-Bolt, I loved it. I have a Ruger M-77 that has been really good to me also. The Savage with the accu-trigger is really hard to beat. Last time I checked it was also quite a bit cheaper. In the end, it comes down to how much you want to spend and what the specific purpose of this rifle will be.
  9. groovy mike

    groovy mike Immortal

    Whatever you decide buy the ammo for it while you can. If you go with a Mosin and teh ammo is still cheap, BUY IT CHEAP AND STACK IT DEEP. Ammo is going up and up more. If you can find a reasonably priced supply buy enough for YEARS.
  10. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

  11. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Sounds like you need to getwhat you want and START RELOADING!!!
  12. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    Thanks everyone!
    I had a reloader but let all the compnents get away, here and there! Now I can't find most of what I had prior! I'm seriously considering the Mausers, even at $249.00 each, they are nice!
    trouble is, with the M-N's, there are varied models, and i tried to ask some dealers which model was best, and all I got was a run-around answer....!
    Anyone have any idea?
    I don't mind if it's the longer or shorter version.
    I like the ballistics of the 7.62 x 54R!
    For the really heavy use I'd go with the Mausers' 8mm.
    I just want a .30 caliber to use for hunting, bringing back the meat!
    Thanks again for all the help, you guys are the best!
  13. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Go to 7.62X54R.net for all the scoop on the 91/38 and M44. The devil is in the details, but the Finnish are the "best" (and most expensive.) Other than that, it seems to make little difference, simply because any one could be "better" than another in the marketplace (and may well be priced accordingly.) This is one of those cases where knowing what you are looking at is far better than depending on price as a guide. There are gems out there, as well as skunks.


    I hear tell, but can't confirm that the Mitchell's Mausers are usually pretty good, but pricey. I don't have one, yet, simply because I don't know enough about them. Yet.
  14. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

  15. poacher

    poacher Monkey+++ Founding Member

    The 06', 54R, and the 8mm are all about the same in ballistics and range. There are a few minor differences but they are of the same family. Just like with anything there are gems and there are hogs. If you know someone who is a C&R dealer who could help you out would probably be the best suggestion. IIRC the Garand would not be able to be bought by a C&R however the 03A3 could be. If you know the dealer then they would be able to steer you in the best direction since there are suppliers out there who do tend to sell better quality stuff i.e. Mitchells Mausers. I've always had good luck with J&G sales, unless you go with their end of lot stuff then ya get what ya pay for.
    As much as I enjoy the 30-30 it doesn't give me the range I want since my shots can and do vary from 30 to 300 yards. The above mentioned 30's tho will do nicely out to 800 or beyond. One last thought might be to look at gunbroker and see whats out there or just hit your gun shows and dig around.
    One last thing. Feel free to hit the handloadersbench since we have guys from your neck of the woods and a couple of them collect C&R stuff pretty exclusively.

    Take care Be safe Poacher.
  16. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    I'm planning to get up to Prescott in a few days...
    I contacted J&G slaes there, but they said I'd really have to come by and look for myself. So, I plan to take along a few friends, gas being the cost it is now, and maybe we can pick up a few C&R items, plus a LOT of ammo in the same trip!
    Thanks again everyone!
    Looks like a couple of the 8mm's and the M-N's should fit the bill, my son wants a closer look at their SKS models...
  17. Pauly Walnuts

    Pauly Walnuts Monkey++

    I also have a Lee Enfield, it's an accurate weapon and one of the best bolt action weapons IMO and many other gun historians. The Ammo is far from what I call cheap though.$15 for a box of 20??? Ouch! Another issue if it runs out in a TEOTWAWKI sit where can you find ammo to barter for?
  18. CBMS

    CBMS Looking for a safe place

    That is why I suggest going with a pure NATO breed. 5.56, 7.62x51, and 9mm are all basics. I recommend going with 45 on top of the 9mm. Maybe keep the 9mm as a primary gun, and the 45 for when you REAALLLY need the bad guys to go down HARD. Of course a 20mm GL could be tacked on for those annoying arc shots.
  19. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    While I can agree it is statistically less "likely"to find.303 because it is less popular. What I argue is the futility of claiming the ability to forsee the future and the importance put on guns "uber alles".The only rounds that count are the ones with your name on them or the one single one you don't have when you need it...We've been through this debate before there is NO RIGHT answer and folks get their feelings hurt and go away mad...I may be comfortable with "only" a thousand rounds for the bolt gun/half that for the .45pistol ,.22and12ga...other folks have argued"needing"to haul around 5,000 rounds in a bug out kit.. Whatever dude...
    . How many "fire fights" can a person survive???What was the combat "load out" for the garand in WW II? somethinglike180 rounds in a bandelero...and that was a semi auto. I'm not going to claim 15,000 rounds in the basement is somehow worse than 15,0010.okay15,010 IS a bigger number: It gets ridiculous,
    while I can't guarantee you'd ever live long enough to expend round #15,008, and #15,009,or#15, 010. I can ask how munch water do you have put away? I can guarantee with good certainty4-5days without water would be fatal....( "I can get water"?) ( "I can get ammunition" for "a" gun,it may not be the one I started out with).

    At some point some little gang banger"may" sneak up on you and pop you with his.22 zip gun.Or you may step on a rusty nail and die of septicemia.We all gonna die someday, I just don't believe you can put up everything you will use for this entire lifetime..And I live with a certain amount of uncertainty; you may chose not to...

    And after all if we wakeup in a completely nato environment when the only ammunition manufactured is 5.56; I don't see why I couldn't pick up at least one m4 or a saw along the way ,and resupply from the govt
    sources(blackmarket or otherwise).
    It's much ado about nothing.but every one is allowed space in their private vision of future events to write their lifestory.Guns are fun, they carry with them a mythology, they are costly but not out of the reach of most folks.After a certain minimum of "firepower"it gets pointless.

    Us troops had access to virtually unlimited amounts of ammunition and a logistics system to get them delivered iduring the vietnam war. still something like 52,000 u.s. troops died.
    I won't change anybody's mind and vice versa.it comes down to "Whatever you are comfortable with".
    I guess if I really believed I had to defend against a swat team, i'd have to sell my comfortable suburban house and build a bunker somewhere.buy an m-16 and abunchof claymores and lots of body armor and gather some body guards.Even then Id be looking for batf helicopters or armored personnel carriers....
  20. thepatriot1976

    thepatriot1976 Resigned Membership

    How about a bolt action savage rifle with an acceptable 3x9x40 scope on it chambered in .308 or 30-06. You should be able to find one from guns America or gun brokers for about $300.00 used. I would say that is your best bet as far as a bolt rifle goes for the money and excellent performance and accuracy.

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