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NapaCountyShooter
03-29-2010, 6:22 PM
Hey all, I'm interested in picking up an old surplus rifle, not a safe queen, but something I can wring out on the range and possibly do some hunting with. I'm looking for a bolt action that I could shoot out to 200 to 300 yards with decent results. I don't have a lot of experience with surplus rifles and I realize that I'm not going to get Remington 700 accuracy out of it, but I'm looking for the most accurate C&R U.S. milsurp rifle. Thanks a lot.

Fate
03-29-2010, 6:37 PM
Based on your requirements, get a M1903A3 with a 4 groove barrel.

Fot
03-29-2010, 6:40 PM
M1903a3 but they ain't cheap.. A Remington 700 might be cheaper.

ShooterDK
03-29-2010, 6:45 PM
+1 on the 1903A3.

NapaCountyShooter
03-29-2010, 6:47 PM
Haha, been looking at those. Looks like about $800+. Guess you have to go Russian to go cheap. Very nice though.

Chk Chk Boom
03-29-2010, 6:54 PM
Guess you have to go Russian to go cheap.

Whoa, whoa! You said accurate!

PS
All you Mosin lovers: I kid, I kid :p

smle-man
03-29-2010, 6:56 PM
K31!

vf111
03-29-2010, 6:57 PM
Not that I have first hand experience but I always thought the 1903 was considered more accurate than the 1903A3 being the A3 was manufactured under wartime conditions.

And not sure who said this: "the 1903 is a great target rifle, the Mauser 98 is a great hunting rifle and the SMLE is a great battle rifle".

Fot
03-29-2010, 7:02 PM
You can go with an Enfield.. Savage even made some in the USA, but those aren't as accurate as the English ones.

scout II
03-29-2010, 7:20 PM
Swiss K-31,with surplus GP11 ammo can't be beat.:43:Probably the most accurate surplus bolt action rifle out there.I love mine.They are also a lot less expensive than a 1903 or 1903A3.

Dr Rockso
03-29-2010, 7:29 PM
Swiss K-31,with surplus GP11 ammo can't be beat.:43:Probably the most accurate surplus bolt action rifle out there.I love mine.They are also a lot less expensive than a 1903 or 1903A3.

+1, the sights are just alright IMO (there are, however, some good aftermarket alternatives) but the rifle and ammo are extremely accurate. The other option is to get a CMP Garand, which has much better sights and won't cost as much as a 1903.

scrat
03-29-2010, 7:39 PM
no one has mentioned the GARAND

Bhobbs
03-29-2010, 7:41 PM
M1 Garand. I can hit targets where ever I point that thing. It is extremely accurate plus you always get a few people to come over and look at it, especially after the first clip is ejected.

mls343
03-29-2010, 7:43 PM
US = M1 Garand, although I love the feel of a nice finger stock Springfield.

Also, don't forget about the Swedes.

For a sleeper consideration, how about an Ariska.

Fate
03-29-2010, 7:49 PM
no one has mentioned the GARAND

Because the OP asked for a US military BOLT ACTION rifle.

Argonaut
03-29-2010, 7:56 PM
Actually, an early Kraig is probably the best made most accurate US bolt gun but they are expensive and the 30-40 ammo is not as easy to find as 06. They are smooth as glass and have a build quality that rivals a K31 Swiss....I don't know whether a 1917 is more accurate than a m1903. Probably depends on the individual gun. Those are the primary US military bolt guns......

Spiggy
03-29-2010, 9:41 PM
US = M1 Garand, although I love the feel of a nice finger stock Springfield.

Also, don't forget about the Swedes.

For a sleeper consideration, how about an Ariska.

"Arisaka" and "cheap ammo" do not exist at the same time. :D but it's a good suggestion.


K31 is definitely the winner of the cheap to shoot, cheap to find, though the price on them is starting to go up significantly. None of which are US though.

TRICKSTER
03-29-2010, 9:50 PM
M1917. It worked for Sgt. York in WWI
http://i487.photobucket.com/albums/rr233/RLH178/1917k4full.jpg

cmaher55
03-29-2010, 10:20 PM
[QUOTE=vf111;4037038]Not that I have first hand experience but I always thought the 1903 was considered more accurate than the 1903A3 being the A3 was manufactured under wartime conditions.
QUOTE]

Having had and shot both I would say the 03A3 is the one to get purely because the sights are better for someone who has not shot alot. That being said I sold off my 1943 dated Remington 03A3 because I like my 1917 03Springfield better even though the sights are harder to get to know and set up properly. I also have several Garands and as much as I love them I think both the 03 and the 03A3 are more accurate, especially out from 300 to 500 meters and they deliver slightly more energy to the target (and your shoulder...!). Regards

Farquaad
03-30-2010, 12:10 AM
The Krag rifle with 1901 sights is my vote hands down, and they consistently out shot the vaunted 1903's in competitions. I think that if more people could handle these rifles in good condition it would be the leader by far.

CGRangeMonkey
03-30-2010, 1:39 AM
Don't rule out a good Egyptian Hakim. :euro:

cryoguy
03-30-2010, 10:08 AM
What about the Finnish Mosins?

Argonaut
03-30-2010, 10:27 AM
He asked about a US Bolt gun.................There are only 3 primary ones, The Krag, the 1903 and the 1917.......with variants within each model

23 Blast
03-30-2010, 10:59 AM
Sheesh. Lots of reading comprehension fail in this thread.

That said, a Remington Mosin might be the ticket! :D

Surprised that the Enfield P17 isn't getting more love. Haven't checked prices on gunbroker, but I think they can be had for less than a Springfield 03, even though they're some of the most hideous bolt-action rifles ever.

CEDaytonaRydr
03-30-2010, 11:49 AM
The Krag rifle with 1901 sights is my vote hands down, and they consistently out shot the vaunted 1903's in competitions.

I have heard the same thing.

Aside from being an unconventional design and having a lower power round, the rumor was that reserve guys with Krags used to out-shoot active Army troops with 1903s.

That's just what I heard once, though.

Argonaut
03-30-2010, 12:05 PM
The 1917's are great.....and probably as accurate as the M1903 (the Krag is still a finer rifle) It is definitely a stronger action. The only US bolt gun that has not been discussed is the Remington Lee 45-70. I have a 1917 that my grandfather "Borrowed" from the NRA (It cost 6.50) in the late 40's with the promise that if the Government ever needed he would return it. It has a cut down stock and shoots great. It has taken many deer and elk. They were (and are) less expensive than the 1903's as they were heavy and not as popular. I have owned and modified probably 60, P14's and 1917's. They are well made and as tough as any rifle ever built. I have a 458 Win carbine made on a P14 that has been abused on 3 continents. I prefer the Safety on the P14/1917 rifles to the 1903. It requires no modification for scope use and is very positive. Either rifle will benefit greatly from trigger work and a set of upgraded mainsprings. If the barrels are good, they will shoot straight.

CSACANNONEER
03-30-2010, 12:11 PM
You can buy a bubba'd Krag for a reasonable sum. I'd sell you my 03A3 to finance a couple more K31s and some 7.5 brass but, you'll be better off going Swiss instead of an 03A3 unless you find a bubba'd one cheap.

pigman
03-30-2010, 12:18 PM
1903 A3 just fun, and locks on with a little load building

cmichini
03-30-2010, 1:07 PM
+1 on the 03A3. The peep sight is a world different than the open notch on the regular 03, which is a huge difference for me.

Many A3's have 2 groove barrels and are quite accurate (not sure 2 groove vs. 4 groove). My 2 groove A3 provides superior accuracy.

23 Blast
03-30-2010, 1:48 PM
When did peer sights become standard on Sprinfields? Was it with the 03A3 variant? IIRC, the Enfield P17 had rear aperture sights as the original and thus was on the line in WW1. I think the Enfields were actually more commonplace in the AEF than the Springfields

TRICKSTER
03-30-2010, 2:59 PM
The M1917 was the rifle used by the majority of US troops in WWI. It holds 6 rounds of 30-06 and due to its weight, does not have much of a kick. It is very accurate, in fact the British used their version (Pattern 1914) as sniper rifles. Parts are still available and it is easy to work on. (I built one from just spare parts), Cost wise, if you shop around, you can still get a decent one for around $500.
The 03a3 is nice, but it will cost you at a minimum $100 more than a M1917.
Many of the more reasonable priced 03a3s out there are restored drill rifles and are considered by many to be unsafe. Unless you are able to take the rifle out of the wood, and you know what you are looking for to determine if the rifle had been a drill rifle at one time, I would stay away from the 03a3.

Jarhead
03-30-2010, 6:19 PM
M41b.....................oop not U.S.

mls343
03-30-2010, 7:55 PM
What about the Remington Model 700? Bolt action, military, and very, very accurate.

mls343
03-30-2010, 7:55 PM
Winchester Model 70 too...

run8
03-30-2010, 8:41 PM
I have to say the Lee Enfield #4 made by Savage that I have and shot for the first time last week is damn accurate, I was impressed.

How about a M1917 Enfield? Or a Krag? Or a 1903? ;-)

E-120
03-30-2010, 9:39 PM
I just got my 1903a3 in the mail. It looks great. Cant wait to go shoot it.

tileguy
03-30-2010, 9:50 PM
i know you said us surplus but the nagant in 7.62x54r is nice. my buddy has one, hits the gong at 500 yards open sights eight out of ten shots.just something to think about. good luck.

gun toting monkeyboy
03-31-2010, 9:53 AM
And not sure who said this: "the 1903 is a great target rifle, the Mauser 98 is a great hunting rifle and the SMLE is a great battle rifle".

The quote is "The Americans built the best target rifle. The Germans built the best hunting rifle. The British made the best battle rifle. And the French made the best rifle for turning into a lamp." It even came with a convienient tube under the barrel for running the power cord through...

Ok, he asked about US military bolt rifles. There are actually at least 5 issued to US troops. The Krag, the 1903 Springfield, and the 1917 Enfield are the ones most people know about. Of those I have to say that the Enfield is probably the best buy. It is less expensive than the others, uses .30-06, and is stout as hell when it comes to action strength. They used to use these surplus rifles for building uber-powered magnum rifles in the .458 win mag class. And it has the best, most protected sights of any of the US rifles. The 03A3 has slightly better rear sights, as they are adjustable for windage. But they are downright fragile compared to the protective "ears" on the enfields.

Now, the other two rifles issed to US troops are:

The 1891 Mosin Nagant, which was used in the Russian campaign at the end of WWI, and also for training here in the US.

The Berthier 1907/15, which was issued to black US troops serving in France during WWI. Since most of these troops were put directly into French units, and given French equipment, arming them with a French rifle made sense. These rifles were made by Remington, and while they were decent enough rifles, they are much more expensive to feed nowadays.

-Mb

Argonaut
03-31-2010, 11:11 AM
You forgot the Remington Lee......a legitimate US military bolt rifle.

gun toting monkeyboy
03-31-2010, 11:59 AM
You forgot the Remington Lee......a legitimate US military bolt rifle.

That's why I said "at least". There was also the Remington-Keene, and a few others oddballs. But the odds of finding those are pretty slim for the most part. But you are right, the straight-pull was a full-fledged military rifle. One that saw extensive use in China during the Boxer Rebellion.

cmaher55
03-31-2010, 4:52 PM
Guys, you are all way off subject here.... The OP said "US rifle" so all of the foreign stuff is out, even the Remington Mosin Nagant is not that common... As for the Krag that is not a good recommendation due to the availability of the rifle, ammunition scarcity and expense. The 03A3 is the rifle for this guy because they are cheap, extremely functional and ammo is available and affordable. There is no other reasonable answer to his question other than the 03A3. Regards

mls343
03-31-2010, 5:02 PM
I have a US marked (with bayonet) straight pull Ross. Does this count? They are accurate, but didn't like the mud.

gun toting monkeyboy
03-31-2010, 6:46 PM
Guys, you are all way off subject here.... The OP said "US rifle" so all of the foreign stuff is out, even the Remington Mosin Nagant is not that common... As for the Krag that is not a good recommendation due to the availability of the rifle, ammunition scarcity and expense. The 03A3 is the rifle for this guy because they are cheap, extremely functional and ammo is available and affordable. There is no other reasonable answer to his question other than the 03A3. Regards

The problem is the 03A3 is significantly more expensive that a M1917 Enfield. So there are other reasonable answers. ;)

NapaCountyShooter
03-31-2010, 8:26 PM
The problem is the 03A3 is significantly more expensive that a M1917 Enfield. So there are other reasonable answers. ;)

This. The 03A3 is pretty expensive. For that money, I could get a Remmy 700 and a decent optic. At that price point or less, I'd rather get an M1. I love the history of these old rifles and I've had a couple Mosins before. Just to be semi patriotic, I'd like a couple U.S. surplus rifles to keep in my collection. I'll work on it along with the 5 other projects I've got whirling around in my head. Thanks to everyone, your advice has been great and I've got lots of options now.

cmaher55
03-31-2010, 9:36 PM
The problem is the 03A3 is significantly more expensive that a M1917 Enfield. So there are other reasonable answers. ;)

Maybe, but in my experience most 1917's are shot out and ex ceremony rifles. They are harder to find in shootable condition and are an "ugly" rifle. No offense but the 03A3 is much better looking....! For every shootable 1917 you would come across there are twenty shootable 03A3's to match it...! As for being expensive I think $500 to $800 will get you a nice one. I sold a nice 1943 Remington for $500 a couple of years ago so I know they are out there. Maybe sign up with the CMP and get a Garand and an A3 and try them out....! Regards

Ranger20
04-01-2010, 11:56 PM
The 303. Enfield #4 Mk 1...... would and is my choice in mil spec surplus. It's killed everything on the planet... Perhaps not always humanely. Elephants and Rhino's and the .303... wow... Just my take I like it over my 1943 FN Mauser 30:06 I shouldn't... but I do... Cycles faster than any bolt gun and shoots soft and accurate enough for anything I'm interested in....

A good link for a write up on it worth the quick 1 min read.

http://www.snipercentral.com/no4mk1t.htm

http://www.snipercentral.com/images/no4mk1t.jpg

TRICKSTER
04-02-2010, 12:28 AM
Maybe, but in my experience most 1917's are shot out and ex ceremony rifles. They are harder to find in shootable condition and are an "ugly" rifle. No offense but the 03A3 is much better looking....! For every shootable 1917 you would come across there are twenty shootable 03A3's to match it...! As for being expensive I think $500 to $800 will get you a nice one. I sold a nice 1943 Remington for $500 a couple of years ago so I know they are out there. Maybe sign up with the CMP and get a Garand and an A3 and try them out....! Regards

I have 5 M1917's, 3 correct grades (one from each manufacture) a ceremonial rifle and one that I built from parts. All have excellent barrels and weren't hard to find.
The CMP hasn't had any 03's for a while and don't expect to have any in the near future. Prices have risen significantly in the last two years since you sold your 03.
You might be able to find one in the price range that you quote, but you have to worry about it being a restored drill rifle as the market has been flooded with these and if you don't know what you are looking for, you may end up with a gun that is not safe to shoot. By the way, my $250 ceremonial M1917 is one of my best shooters.
http://i487.photobucket.com/albums/rr233/RLH178/m1917s.jpg

Eddystone with correct E-9-18 barrel and all Eddystone parts.

Remington with correct R-9-18 barrel and all Remington parts.

Winchester with correct W-4-18 barrel and all Winchester parts.

Winchester ceremonial rifle. (Yes it is nickle plated). Rescued from CMP South Store. The wood was covered in thick white paint.

Eddystone P-14

dfletcher
04-02-2010, 8:40 AM
The 303. Enfield #4 Mk 1...... would and is my choice in mil spec surplus. It's killed everything on the planet... Perhaps not always humanely. Elephants and Rhino's and the .303... wow... Just my take I like it over my 1943 FN Mauser 30:06 I shouldn't... but I do... Cycles faster than any bolt gun and shoots soft and accurate enough for anything I'm interested in....

A good link for a write up on it worth the quick 1 min read.

http://www.snipercentral.com/no4mk1t.htm

http://www.snipercentral.com/images/no4mk1t.jpg

And for about $150.00 you can buy the repro mount and bases from Numrich Arms, have a No4 Mk1 (or Mk2) drilled & tapped, attach a repro sniper cheekpiece and have a great put together version. Scope is extra of course. I had one put one together, love shooting it.

Rob454
04-04-2010, 8:42 AM
No matter what you get make sure that if you use it for hunting ( which you plan on) that you can get the ammo in copper bullets if you hunt in condor areas or soft nose bullets. So it wont do you any good to get a rifle if you cant get hunting type ammo for it. Plenty of choices out there for your price range

NapaCountyShooter
04-04-2010, 11:34 AM
No matter what you get make sure that if you use it for hunting ( which you plan on) that you can get the ammo in copper bullets if you hunt in condor areas or soft nose bullets. So it wont do you any good to get a rifle if you cant get hunting type ammo for it. Plenty of choices out there for your price range

Yeah, that's why I was looking at the 30-06 rifles, plenty of ammo options out there.

PetalumaTim
04-14-2010, 8:41 PM
+1 on the 1917, if you can find one in decent shape. I have one from CMP that has a badly frosted bore, but still shoot great. 30-06 ammo is everywhere.

-1 on the Garand. Great rifle (I own one and shoot it regularly) but very heavy. I know the GI's did it but.....

+/- on 1903. Very good accuracy but the days of cheap ones are gone.

+1 on K31. Accurate, ammo is available from several manufacturers, but not in every sporting goods store in Podunk, IN. Still very affordable.

Mosin Nagants: some shoot pretty well, but you may go through several before you find one that shoots. I have 3, one shoots well.

Look at things like Marlin x7 rifles. Good selection of common calibers and still a very affordable, well make rifle.

Have fun

diginit
04-14-2010, 10:19 PM
Acording to this post, You can go with ANY surplus rifle... The Garand has my vote. But a 1919A is hard to miss with.

gun toting monkeyboy
04-15-2010, 7:56 PM
Acording to this post, You can go with ANY surplus rifle... The Garand has my vote. But a 1919A is hard to miss with.

You can miss plenty with it. It just won't matter. Quantity has a quality all its own. But again, the OP was looking at milsurp US rifles. So not any milsurp will qualify for this post. And the 1919A, as cool as it is, is still unbelievably hard to get here in CA. And costs more than a new car.:(

steaze
04-15-2010, 9:06 PM
GET A SWEDISH MAUSER. Bolt action, the best of all mausers and you can get one in great condition for 500$.

seriously though - shoots the 6.5x55 - a round developed over a hundred years ago and is still commercially produced for hunting. more here

http://www.surplusrifle.com/mauserswedish/index.asp

RimfireJim
04-16-2010, 12:22 AM
And a Swedish Mauser would be a U.S. milsurplus rifle how . . .?

pullnshoot25
04-16-2010, 12:24 AM
And a Swedish Mauser would be a U.S. milsurplus rifle how . . .?

Not certain. WILLPOWER!

skscj
04-16-2010, 7:57 PM
I have a Remington 03a3 that will outshoot my K31. Both with surplus ammo and iron sights.

Argonaut
04-16-2010, 9:45 PM
Acording to this post, You can go with ANY surplus rifle... The Garand has my vote. But a 1919A is hard to miss with.

I have reading comprehension problems on occasion too, He asked about US Bolt Action rifles...........

wolff
04-16-2010, 9:46 PM
I have four WWII rifles:

The Garand is a fine weapon. Mine is Springfield Armory, arsenal refurb, and dead nuts at 200yds out of the box. But, if you want to scope it, it's an issue (not impossible, but it's $$, and there are issues such as "scout rifle" mounting, etc.). And heavy? :eek:

If you'll take a C&R WWII Rifle from Allies or otherwise, the Enfield gets a vote. I can't comment on all WWII Enfields, I use a Savage "Lend/Lease" No.4 Mk1* (IIRC, the "*" meant in between Mk1 and Mk2). Look for one with the micrometer aperture sight! Scoping the rifle is cheap and easy. ~$300.00

M48A -- Yugo stocks and scope mounts for the M48x have gotten much better. The 8mm Mauser cartridge is excellent - and if you get bored/experimental, you can modify the heck out of it, with caliber changes that use the same bolt! ammo everywhere! They've gotten a little pricey, but less than a Garand!

M36 MAS - French bolt rifle, under-rated sleeper! Lightweight, and you find them looking brand new; the 7.5 French cartridge is capable. under $300.00


As for the 7.62x54R used in the Mosin - what an unbelievably LOUD cartridge:walkman:

If it has not been posted, read these guys: www.surplusrifle.com
http://www.surplusrifle.com/ great info!

wolff

Shady
04-16-2010, 11:53 PM
k-31
most accuracy for you buck

Dlamprich
04-17-2010, 10:59 PM
My dad has an Eddystone 1917. I really love that rifle. One day we were shooting clay pigeons at 400yds prone. The front sight completely covered them so you kinda had to guess. We were hitting about 3 or 4 times out of a full magazine. Talk about fun.

hylander
04-17-2010, 11:34 PM
My Choice In order:
1903A3 = $450 and up
#4 Lee Enfield = $125 and up
Mosin Nagant = $80 and up

Haggar85
04-20-2010, 8:09 AM
yeah if you got the m1903 be sure it has 4 and not 2 grooves. US made enfields are of reasonable quality as are m1903a3's but just make sure that you get some thing with the corners not cut. they say accuracy is not effected but no way to know i guess.
century just got in a load of MK4's enfield made in england. i checked their site last week and it had the coming soon. now it says log in to see price... might be some thing worth a look.

TRICKSTER
04-20-2010, 2:15 PM
yeah if you got the m1903 be sure it has 4 and not 2 grooves. US made enfields are of reasonable quality as are m1903a3's but just make sure that you get some thing with the corners not cut. they say accuracy is not effected but no way to know i guess.
century just got in a load of MK4's enfield made in england. i checked their site last week and it had the coming soon. now it says log in to see price... might be some thing worth a look.

The Century MK4's are listed as good with cracked stocks. How much does it cost to replace the stock?

hylander
04-21-2010, 8:08 PM
yeah if you got the m1903 be sure it has 4 and not 2 grooves

Why ?
The 2 Grooves are every bit as accurate