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Centerfire Rifles - Manually Operated Lever action, bolt action or other non gas operated centerfire rifles.

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  #1  
Old 10-12-2018, 9:59 PM
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Default Surplus bolt gun for plinking?

Got a couple of Semi-autos, but would enjoy getting a surplus bolt gun for shooting too. What are good cheap options these days that won't blow up in my face? A Mitchell Mauser seems like an intriguing option, what do you guys suggest?
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  #2  
Old 10-12-2018, 10:16 PM
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Surplus ammo can be expensive for plinking. The Yugo Mausers are 8mm. Not that cheap unless you're into reloading. And not everybody stocks it.

Maybe find an Israeli Mauser that's been rechambered in 7.62. Not that that ammo is much cheaper. But you can get it anywhere including Walmart.
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  #3  
Old 10-12-2018, 10:21 PM
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I'd stay away from the Mitchell's myself as they seemed to be over priced.
Lot's of good options here with some people getting out of MilSup collecting.
Some great stuff at good prices comes up here if you know what your looking for or want.
One big plus here in Ca would be to reload, or at least save brass to learn to reload down the road. Good prices on surplus bulk cases have sailed with the no shipping direct law.
It all depends what you want to spend. Mosin, Enfield, and US rifles continue to go up in price as supplies dry up. Some more than others.
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Old 10-12-2018, 10:39 PM
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Thats the thing Im not sure what Im looking for. I live pretty close to LAX ammo so I have a good source of ammo. Not really into reloading but since its a bolt gun I dont expect to be going through gobs of ammo anyway.
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Old 10-12-2018, 11:04 PM
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Go with a Yugo M48 and reload. Best of both worlds. Solid rifle, and you can fine tune your loads for pretty accurate groupings. Or find somewhere with cheaper PPU 8mm. Sadly the Yugo/Romanian surplus is pretty much either stocked away by people, or outrageously priced.

Or you go the Israeli Mauser/Spanish La Coruna route, buy/reload .308.
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Old 10-12-2018, 11:06 PM
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If you really just want an inexpensive bolt gun to play with, and aren't tied to a military history, the Ruger American in 7.62x39 would be one of my first choices...

https://ruger.com/products/americanR...ets/16976.html



~$400-450 street price, takes Ruger Mini30 mags, shoots cheap 7.62x39 ( 20c/shot vs 60c and up ), just add a red dot or scope/rings and you are GTG.

Surplus? Yugo mauser. $300-400. Though, the last time that I bought Prvi 8mm it was 75c/shot...

-- Michael
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Old 10-12-2018, 11:18 PM
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The Ruger Americans or CZ527 are good choices. The milsurp bolt actions were built when large cartridges were the trend and aren’t cheap to feed. You could find a 22 LR military trainer.
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Old 10-12-2018, 11:18 PM
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I got a CZ 527 in 7.62x39 and love it.

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Old 10-13-2018, 4:36 AM
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CZ 455 American
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  #10  
Old 10-13-2018, 8:40 AM
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Thompson Center Compass is still the King of inexpensive bolt rifles. Current price runs $275 on the Gun.deals site and T/C is kicking you back $50 in the form of a pre-paid VISA card so $225 for a decent rifle before tax, DROS.

Last edited by WartHog; 10-13-2018 at 9:30 AM..
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  #11  
Old 10-13-2018, 8:53 AM
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Another relatively inexpensive route is a Mosin. They're still cheap and mine doesn't mind steel cased ammo (I'll only shoot that out if my Commie guns).

For 8mm I have VZ24's. They're as close as you can get to the K98's in terms of interchangeability, etc without the high cost. The Yugos have a smaller bolt. Turkish Mauser's are still cheap too.
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Old 10-13-2018, 9:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elSquid View Post
If you really just want an inexpensive bolt gun to play with, and aren't tied to a military history, the Ruger American in 7.62x39 would be one of my first choices...

https://ruger.com/products/americanR...ets/16976.html



~$400-450 street price, takes Ruger Mini30 mags, shoots cheap 7.62x39 ( 20c/shot vs 60c and up ), just add a red dot or scope/rings and you are GTG.

Surplus? Yugo mauser. $300-400. Though, the last time that I bought Prvi 8mm it was 75c/shot...

-- Michael
^ This. The Ruger in 7.62X39 is cheap to feed and ammo is everywhere. I've handled one at the LGS and it is on my short list. It is a nice handling rifle. Made in USA.

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I got a CZ 527 in 7.62x39 and love it.

Handled the CZ 527 as well. It is light and screams "quality". Beautiful wood & finish. The set trigger is excellent. It is almost 2X the cost of the Ruger and has a not so common magazine. If I were not retired and on a fixed income, I'd buy it over the Ruger. Made in the Czech Republic I believe.
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  #13  
Old 10-13-2018, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elSquid View Post
If you really just want an inexpensive bolt gun to play with, and aren't tied to a military history, the Ruger American in 7.62x39 would be one of my first choices...

https://ruger.com/products/americanR...ets/16976.html



~$400-450 street price, takes Ruger Mini30 mags, shoots cheap 7.62x39 ( 20c/shot vs 60c and up ), just add a red dot or scope/rings and you are GTG.

Surplus? Yugo mauser. $300-400. Though, the last time that I bought Prvi 8mm it was 75c/shot...

-- Michael

+1 This is a good value for OP. This or go to your nearest pawn shop and find a beater that shoots readily available and cheap ammo.
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Old 10-13-2018, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveHamn View Post
Got a couple of Semi-autos, but would enjoy getting a surplus bolt gun for shooting too. What are good cheap options these days that won't blow up in my face? A Mitchell Mauser seems like an intriguing option, what do you guys suggest?
Depends on what you like and the kind of shooting you want to do.

I acquired an old Swiss sporter straight-pull milsurp - not K-31, an earlier version - that came to me with excessive headspace. It'd been rebarrelled in the 60's apparently in .308... that was the problem. The .308 pressure is too high for the metalurgy on this rifle's receiver.

My solution was to rebarrel it in .300 Savage which is still within the pressure spec for the gun as originally built. This is a decent round for hunting and has taken countless deer in the 20th century and every major ammo maker still offers factory ammo in this chambering.

One of my long-term project ideas is to build a bolt gun to accept M1 Carbine magazines and shoot M1 Carbine in a lightweight platform. Some kind of re-worked mini-Mauser, perhaps. I hear the Hornet is close on bolt face dimensions, that might be a starting place.
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  #15  
Old 10-13-2018, 10:51 AM
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Find a nice Yugo M48 and get a case of the Privi Partisan 8mm ammo. Save all your brass and when you shoot up the entire case, sell the once-fired brass to a reloaded.

Yugo Mausers are good solid guns.
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  #16  
Old 10-13-2018, 12:01 PM
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I have a Lee-Enfield Ishapore chambered in 7.62. I’ve only shot it a few times but it’s a ton of fun. A bit big and heavy though.
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Old 10-13-2018, 12:46 PM
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CZ 527 in 7.62x39, reports are that it's exceptional with cheap surplus cartridges.

Or you can get one in 5.56 for more accuracy. The carbine has iron sights.
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Old 10-13-2018, 1:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elSquid View Post
If you really just want an inexpensive bolt gun to play with, and aren't tied to a military history, the Ruger American in 7.62x39 would be one of my first choices...

https://ruger.com/products/americanR...ets/16976.html



~$400-450 street price, takes Ruger Mini30 mags, shoots cheap 7.62x39 ( 20c/shot vs 60c and up ), just add a red dot or scope/rings and you are GTG.
Man, I wish this took AK mags...
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Old 10-13-2018, 1:56 PM
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What are you shooting for ? The noise or accuracy ? Try the Swiss K31. I do reload and you won't find anything in stock form more accurate. I use .308 SMK's, .308 load data and recycled GP11 brass. I just ran out of BERDAN primers so I will get some Swiss brass from Graf's.



Good luck.
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  #20  
Old 10-13-2018, 2:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kygen View Post
Go with a Yugo M48 and reload. Best of both worlds. Solid rifle, and you can fine tune your loads for pretty accurate groupings. Or find somewhere with cheaper PPU 8mm. Sadly the Yugo/Romanian surplus is pretty much either stocked away by people, or outrageously priced.
This would be my choice, next to the Mosin. They used to have some nice examples at big5 but they stopped selling them, at least around here. I wish I would have got one.
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  #21  
Old 10-13-2018, 4:16 PM
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03/03A3, Ishapore 2A1 and Mosin Nagant. I reload, but these are good if you don't reload, ammo is usually available for all three at WalMart.
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Old 10-13-2018, 4:44 PM
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I'll buck the collector trend and say I like Mitchell Mausers, as long as you know what you are buying. Any 8mm bolt gun would fit the OP's needs. I hoarded massive amounts of 8mm surplus to future proof my long term surplus shooting needs, but the truth is I may only shoot 200-300 rounds of 8mm surplus per year.
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Old 10-14-2018, 10:27 AM
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Plus one for the Ruger American Ranch in 7.62x39. It's cheap to shoot and is fun. This 5 shot group is at 100 yards with steel case Tula I believe. I just have a Vortex Diamondback 3x9 on it. I'm currently working on reloads for it. I expect it to get even better with some quality loads. Not bad for a 16 inch barrel.

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Old 10-14-2018, 10:43 AM
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We have the Ruger American Ranch in 7.62 x39 for 409, for the price they are super hard to beat... They really are great guns

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Old 10-14-2018, 5:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Full Clip View Post
Man, I wish this took AK mags...
Why?
Do you have a bunch of 5 and 10 round AK mags you need a use for?
A 30 round AK mag sticking out of the bolt gun makes it only useful with a really tall bipod or standing/kneeling.
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  #26  
Old 10-14-2018, 5:50 PM
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Another vote for the Ishapore Enfield.
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  #27  
Old 10-14-2018, 5:52 PM
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Why?
Do you have a bunch of 5 and 10 round AK mags you need a use for?
A 30 round AK mag sticking out of the bolt gun makes it only useful with a really tall bipod or standing/kneeling.
I get it. I have short ten round AK mags laying around and had zero Mini 30 mags until I got the Ruger American Ranch.

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  #28  
Old 10-15-2018, 12:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elSquid View Post
If you really just want an inexpensive bolt gun to play with, and aren't tied to a military history, the Ruger American in 7.62x39 would be one of my first choices...

https://ruger.com/products/americanR...ets/16976.html



~$400-450 street price, takes Ruger Mini30 mags, shoots cheap 7.62x39 ( 20c/shot vs 60c and up ), just add a red dot or scope/rings and you are GTG.

Surplus? Yugo mauser. $300-400. Though, the last time that I bought Prvi 8mm it was 75c/shot...

-- Michael
This is much better advice. OP don’t buy a mil surp for plinking they’re hard to find ammo for and have a lot more recoil than modern rifles. Even if you reload it’s going to be more spendy than cheap off the shelf x39 or budget 223 reloads.

I put a red dot on my ruger American 22LR and I love it. It’s maybe 45-60 degree bolt throw and short action so you can run the bolt from your shoulder. Really fun to plink with on a steel range. I would like to get a centerfire American but I’m leaning towards a ruger GP100 6” 357 and a Henry 357 lever gun combo. Really want to get into pistol caliber reloading. Rifle is fun, but I’m ready for a change.
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Old 10-15-2018, 12:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwfire25 View Post
Plus one for the Ruger American Ranch in 7.62x39. It's cheap to shoot and is fun. This 5 shot group is at 100 yards with steel case Tula I believe. I just have a Vortex Diamondback 3x9 on it. I'm currently working on reloads for it. I expect it to get even better with some quality loads. Not bad for a 16 inch barrel.

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Wow pretty impressive, I’d like to see it with reloads. Ruger makes fantastic guns for the price, of all the manufacturers, I probably have the most Rugers. I think I own 3-5, I can’t even remeber how many guns I have anymore...too many to count.
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  #30  
Old 10-15-2018, 6:54 AM
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The problem with the milsurp stuff is you don't know how many shots have been put down the barrel and with today's pricing they are no longer the bargain they used to be.

If your not in a hurry wait until Thanksgiving when they have the "Black Friday" sales and buy a package deal with the scope included.

You end up with a brand new gun at the lowest price of the year and you have a month to go so you can make sure what cartridge and rifle you prefer before purchasing.
Last year some of the bigger chain stores like Sportsman's Warehouse and Dicks had sales on the Ruger 10/22 for $145 and I missed them so this year I am ready for them.
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  #31  
Old 10-15-2018, 7:05 AM
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You can get a Savage Axis for about as cheap as a good Mosin anymore. I found a cherry M95 but it kicks like a donkey and even reloads are expensive.
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Old 10-15-2018, 2:58 PM
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Default Mosin Nagant M91/30.

Mosin Nagant M91/30: Long barreled rifle that points well and is not too heavy; fun to shoot; excellent caliber (7.62x54r); decent iron sights; very reliable; can shoot steel cased ammo as well as brass; easy to disassemble for cleaning; bolt can be easily disassembled for cleaning and lubrication; adjustable firing pin; ammunition is relatively inexpensive and plentiful; rifle can be purchased for less than $300.


Last edited by Ayacuchano; 10-15-2018 at 3:12 PM.. Reason: Added photo.
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  #33  
Old 10-15-2018, 8:30 PM
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Ruger American Ranch. Enjoy the cheap ammo. When it drys up, reload is plan "B". Let us know what you buy.
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Old 10-16-2018, 8:25 AM
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OP, I am not sure where you live but since you said you're close to LAX Ammo I assume SoCal. In that case you will have to be even more selective about ammo choice, particularly with milsurp ammo - much of that military surplus ammo has a steel jacket or steel core projectile and is therefore banned at many outdoor SoCal ranges.
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Old 10-22-2018, 5:22 PM
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Swiss K31, and reduced reloads, super fun.
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Old 11-10-2018, 12:07 PM
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if you want surplus, then pick a good condition one. My pick is 03a3 because 30-06 is available, the sights are precise and many gunsmiths know how to replace barrels on those if you shoot yours out. Surplus are not cheap shooters anymore
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Old 11-10-2018, 12:37 PM
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You folks reminded me of that old "Surplus Gun" magazine I have. Before the '68 Gun Control Act with lots of well priced rifles. Where's my time machine! There's always air rifles!
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  #38  
Old 11-11-2018, 8:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jarhead714 View Post
Another vote for the Ishapore Enfield.
Yep, fun rifle.
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  #39  
Old 11-11-2018, 10:53 AM
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Get you a bolt action .22lr and have fun all day...$299 and milsurp/military trainer.

http://www.classicfirearms.com/m-196...ction-trainer/
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