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  #1  
Old 09-15-2019, 9:52 AM
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Default I miss the old Surplus/ C&R days.

Just like the title says I miss the old days of collecting old surplus C&R rifles and pistols for relatively low cost. Like my Yugo M48 I bought as a shooter grade rifle for $75, that had a perfect condition barrel. Or the "poor" condition Eddiestone M1917 I bought from CMP for $250 that only had a broken magazine spring. Or the $100 Mosins or the $200 Mausers. Now days everything has gotten so expensive. I am glad I got in on that last few years of the C&R collecting before it was over.
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:34 AM
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Few of us around in those days bought what we should have. Both in quantity and quality. Personally, I sold off many I should have kept.Yeah the $69 sks’s And $239 SVT 40s are ancient history.
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:48 AM
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And miss the days of com bloc surplus ammo that was dirt cheap to feed them.
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  #4  
Old 09-15-2019, 11:36 AM
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The problem with those days was that I didn't have $100 or $200 to spend on a gun. A lot more disposable income now.
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Old 09-15-2019, 1:03 PM
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Yeah I remember being at Big 5 when they had Enfields for $130. They were in pretty crappy condition so I passed. I’d happily pay that now for them in that condition.
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Old 09-15-2019, 1:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Springfield45 View Post
Just like the title says I miss the old days of collecting old surplus C&R rifles and pistols for relatively low cost. Like my Yugo M48 I bought as a shooter grade rifle for $75, that had a perfect condition barrel. Or the "poor" condition Eddiestone M1917 I bought from CMP for $250 that only had a broken magazine spring. Or the $100 Mosins or the $200 Mausers. Now days everything has gotten so expensive. I am glad I got in on that last few years of the C&R collecting before it was over.
The tide came in, and I knew based on all the old Lee Enfields I saw in barrels at KMart, in the 1960's, when I had no money, that I knew it was a long time between high tides. So, if it was $100.00 and had a perfect barrel, I bought it. I would even pay $250 for a M1903!


































The tide came in, the tide went out. I probably will never live long enough for the tide to come back in.
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Old 09-15-2019, 1:24 PM
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Those days could still be today except for politics. the world is glutted with C&Rs.Thanks to love of all things United Nations and their policy of paying countries to destroy OLD guns. I guess they want them to only use modern AKs etc to kill each other.
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Old 09-15-2019, 1:49 PM
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they dont make those old surplus rifles anymore, so not much chance on the golden age of surplus to ever return, what you see now is what you get.
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Old 09-15-2019, 2:00 PM
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I here you brother! I started buying in the early 70s and again late 80s to early 90s. I won't even bother to list the rare stuff I bought for a pittance and sold for the same during that time period.

Those days are gone and will never return.
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Old 09-15-2019, 2:02 PM
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I'm righter there with you. I have a lot of fun at the range with my Enfield No4Mk1, Finnish m39, Swedish M96/38, Czech CZ-52, and Enfield No2 Mk1 Revolver; all purchased for under $100 each! I went through several of each until I got an excellent shooting example of each.
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Old 09-15-2019, 2:27 PM
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Okay folks let's put our heads together and think about some countries that might still have some old firearms in underground bunkers, that haven't been emptied out for our US dollars into our c&r for other firearms market yet.
I know there are countries out there that have not fallen from communism or that we won't currently deal with but in the far future... Who knows?


The first country that comes to the top of my head is Cuba.

Sure it's not politically going to happen anytime soon, until their government isn't communist (or our government fully is) but I have a feeling they have lots of various makes and models of small arms all greased up and buried in underground bunkers there.
( Of course if they're all full auto AK-47s that doesn't help us much. )

China of course has probably still has SKS is piled up way high but the political climate for them coming here anytime soon doesn't look so good either.

Somebody here has got to have a connections in some country, like Austria or maybe even Liechtenstein that's holding out on their good old firearms stuff.

We get them to find the goods over there then connect them with someone like Classic Arms or some other large US based firearms importer. It's that simple.



What country is your best guess that they're still holding out on some good old stuff that would be importable into the US ?
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Old 09-15-2019, 4:24 PM
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Originally Posted by sealocan View Post
What country is your best guess that they're still holding out on some good old stuff that would be importable into the US ?
If we could get along with the Russians for a while I would love to see the 1895 Winchesters in 7.62x54R and the 44 Russian S&W's revolvers that must be crated up somewhere.
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Old 09-15-2019, 6:05 PM
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Originally Posted by sealocan View Post
Okay folks let's put our heads together and think about some countries that might still have some old firearms in underground bunkers, that haven't been emptied out for our US dollars into our c&r for other firearms market yet.

I know there are countries out there that have not fallen from communism or that we won't currently deal with but in the far future... Who knows?





The first country that comes to the top of my head is Cuba.



Sure it's not politically going to happen anytime soon, until their government isn't communist (or our government fully is) but I have a feeling they have lots of various makes and models of small arms all greased up and buried in underground bunkers there.

( Of course if they're all full auto AK-47s that doesn't help us much. )



China of course has probably still has SKS is piled up way high but the political climate for them coming here anytime soon doesn't look so good either.



Somebody here has got to have a connections in some country, like Austria or maybe even Liechtenstein that's holding out on their good old firearms stuff.



We get them to find the goods over there then connect them with someone like Classic Arms or some other large US based firearms importer. It's that simple.







What country is your best guess that they're still holding out on some good old stuff that would be importable into the US ?


There is plenty in Sweden and Switzerland and they are coming in now. Qadaffi in Lybia supposedly had multiple stashes. Bolivia never sold off Surplus in any quantity. Brazil had a lot of FN-49 but supposedly they were being destroyed. Indonesia has a good amount of FN-49 in storage. Maybe Mausers too? North Korea and Vietnam I am sure have a lot of SKS and AKs. Russia has warehouses full. Currently imports are coming from Ukrainian Warehouses. I'm sure some of the other former Soviet Union countries have their own warehouses as well. Lastly Estonia likely has a hidden stashes buried in woods by Civil Guard.


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  #14  
Old 09-15-2019, 6:26 PM
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Back when you could get a mosin from big 5 with a coupon for under $100
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  #15  
Old 09-15-2019, 6:35 PM
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i remember when all them sako mosin nagants came in all looking brand new

around that same time makarovs were everywhere i guess around 1998 or so
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Old 09-15-2019, 6:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Eat Dirt View Post
Back when you could get a mosin from big 5 with a coupon for under $100
I remember when on special 91-30 and M44 being $50 at Big 5 up until around very early 2000's. They were $100 for a long time too maybe as recently as 2009 or later.
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Old 09-15-2019, 6:43 PM
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i remember when all them sako mosin nagants came in all looking brand new

around that same time makarovs were everywhere i guess around 1998 or so
Bulgarian surplus Makarovs were $160 on sale at least as late as 2004 at Turner's. 50rd boxes of Russian steel case 9x18 Makarov JHP ammo was $6 a box.
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  #18  
Old 09-15-2019, 8:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaffo View Post
The problem with those days was that I didn't have $100 or $200 to spend on a gun. A lot more disposable income now.
So true!

Seemed like it was harder to come up with $100 back in the 90’s - so just one Mosin and a spam can could last me a long time. Of course I could make my $20 food budget last all week too (because, I had to!)
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Old 09-15-2019, 8:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Springfield45 View Post
If we could get along with the Russians for a while I would love to see the 1895 Winchesters in 7.62x54R and the 44 Russian S&W's revolvers that must be crated up somewhere.
Unfortunately, almost all the 1895's that were still functional were sent to the Republican side in Spain. From there, most got wrecked in the field by poorly trained recruits and eventually scrapped by Franco's government.
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  #20  
Old 09-15-2019, 9:22 PM
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I miss the old surplus/C&R days.... as in I missed them because I was born too late. By the time I could buy a long gun, the deals were long gone. I envy you guys at times.
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Old 09-16-2019, 6:49 AM
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Myriad of issues in today's climate:
-sellers overseas know what C&R values are at so they want too dollar. Not even as of recent, I heard this in regards to crates of Russian capture G43s that are still there as they want top dollar, after shipping and import/custom fees it becomes a pricy endeavor for an importer.

-capital required since sellers want top dollar it takes deep pockets to purchase, ship, import, and float the costs during the entire process which leaves it to the bigger importers to facilitate, they know the market so that's why we are stuck with Century, both the Samco and Springfield sporters liquidation sale showed us some gems but they weren't cheap (outside of the junk Spanish Mausers)
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  #22  
Old 09-16-2019, 10:14 AM
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I did not start collecting C&Rs until late 2012. But Mosins could still be bought from Aim Surplus, Classic, etc for $99 to $119. Garands from the CMP were $625 if I recall (I bought two at once). I bought a few crates of 7.62x54r at 0.17/round.


ETA: I found my original CMP order form dated 1/17/2013. Service grade Garand was $625 and Field Grade was $525 (delivered prices).

Last edited by rdfact; 09-18-2019 at 10:16 AM..
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  #23  
Old 09-16-2019, 10:50 AM
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I think you are overestimating what remains overseas. Are there any large stockpiles of an C&R eligible firearms left?

The same can probably be said for ammo. The last batch of 7.62x54R imports, the spam cans were mostly dated 1988. Not going to be much newer than that in Warsaw Pact nations. Russia was still producing ammo, but I expect in lower quantities after the end of the Cold War, and they have used quite a bit of it in Crimea.

Post WW2 with a few exceptions most armies went with some variation of select fire battle rifle or Sturmgewehr, which will never be importable as complete firearsm. We have seen some of those show up, but in the form of demiled parts kits, or rebuilt into semi-auto rifles, as seen from Century.

There are probably some stocks of SKS and SVT rifles in the former Soviet Union, but those are not importable due to a Clinton Era ban on imports of Russian made firearms. Then again, SVTs stopped showing up at MarStar in Canada a while back, maybe there are none left. They do list Russian SKSs though, so there must be some of them left.

The RC G43 story has been circulating for years, that they have a bunch of them, they just want too much.
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Old 09-16-2019, 10:57 AM
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I bought 2 Mosin Nagant M44's from Big 5 in 2005. About $120 each after tax and DROS. Then, I got my C&R FFL, but didn't buy very many due to limited funds and other priorities. Beautiful milsurp rifles, like the the Swiss K31, Swede M96, and even K98 (RC), can be had for around $200 or less.

The good ole days...
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Old 09-16-2019, 11:00 AM
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Some of it is just inflation. A 300 dollar Chinese SKS today is a 150 dollar Chinese SKS in 1990.
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Old 09-16-2019, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ora Serrata View Post
Yeah I remember being at Big 5 when they had Enfields for $130. They were in pretty crappy condition so I passed. I’d happily pay that now for them in that condition.
They had tons of them at Woolworth's here for $49.99. My wife's mom worked there in the late 1980's and had an employee discount.

I was going to buy a couple, but my FIL talked me out of it, telling me I'd never find any ammo for them.

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Old 09-18-2019, 8:26 AM
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I have often felt the same way. I didn't have any disposable income during the C&R glory days (when were those exactly?) and now that I do everything seems expensive. But is it really?

My main interest is in US arms which have always been higher than foreign. You can still get a USGI M1 Garand from CMP for $650. That is about $220 in 1980 dollars. No more 1903s are available but I see them at gun shows in the $600-$650 range. 1911s may be the exception. My son got one of the CMP 1911s and paid about $1000 as I recall. $350 in 1980 dollars. Its a lot of money, but $1000 for a 1911 direct from a US arsenal? I just regret I didn't get drawn for one. I have not kept up with M1 carbine prices. I got a few from CMP last time they had them and think I paid in the $650 range. They seem to have also appreciated at a faster rate than other US arms. I'm not sure what these sold for in 1980 but I bet were close to the same inflation adjusted price.

If you look just at the M1 Garand, $650 is a bargain for a semi-auto battle rifle with a forged steel receiver. Compare to the retail cost of a M1A which has a cast receiver. Not quite apples to apples but if they still made forged steel M1s I bet they would have to retail for close to $2000 just to cover the manufacturing cost.

Its certainly harder to obtain them now, especially in CA. but still doable with a cheap C&R license and COE.

I can't speak to the cost of foreign arms. Maybe the trend is different there.

Bottom line - these may still be the C&R good ol' days. Just doesn't feel that way when we experienced or heard stories about the $12.95 USGI 1911 a friend of a friend's uncle got.

I have a hard time believing that if they are successful banning the AR15 & AK47, other semi-auto battle rifles won't be next. Buy them all now while you still can! :-)
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Old 09-18-2019, 8:38 AM
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Never a collector of C&R, I do miss the old surplus days...
walking into B&B Gun Sales and seeing pallets stacked eye high with cheap surplus ammo.
I still have a couple old boxes of Egyptian Arms 9mm laying around from back in those days.
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Old 09-18-2019, 3:56 PM
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My first surplus arm was a Spanish La Corona M43 Mauser rifle with bayonet for $35 in 1971. As I recall it was in near-mint condition. It was followed in quick succession by a Webley Mk6 .455 and a BSA #1mk3*.303

Thus started the addiction!
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Old 09-19-2019, 4:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by footdoc View Post
I bought 2 Mosin Nagant M44's from Big 5 in 2005. About $120 each after tax and DROS. Then, I got my C&R FFL, but didn't buy very many due to limited funds and other priorities. Beautiful milsurp rifles, like the the Swiss K31, Swede M96, and even K98 (RC), can be had for around $200 or less.

The good ole days...
Funny to read your post as the prices you noted is about the time I quit buying them because the prices got to high..I couldn't bring myself to pay $120 for M44s I had been paying $49 for.
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Old 09-19-2019, 5:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Springfield45 View Post
If we could get along with the Russians for a while I would love to see the 1895 Winchesters in 7.62x54R and the 44 Russian S&W's revolvers that must be crated up somewhere.
They wouldn’t be cheap at all. They know what they have and they know what they’re worth.
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Old 09-19-2019, 7:41 AM
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They wouldn’t be cheap at all. They know what they have and they know what they’re worth.
This -

They have access to gunbroker.com in Europe and know exactly what price we're buying and selling items for, I found this out, lol.
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Old 09-19-2019, 8:57 AM
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I wish I had picked up one of those unissued Chinese Type 53 rifles (M44 clone)

I would have also liked the French MAS bolt actions & semi autos, but the ammo has always been uncommon / scarce because it's 7.5 French

back in the 80's a guy at the gun show had a nice Japanese Arisaka rifle with the MUM for only $38 , I should have got it, even just to use as a wall hanger

you cant even buy the bayonet that cheap

they also use to have those "Chiang Kai-shek" Mauser rifles with lots of Chinese markings for only $69 each, they had a sign that said not safe to fire.

Chinese Broomhandle Mauser pistols for $79 also with a warning not safe to fire.

Last edited by omega; 09-19-2019 at 9:02 AM..
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Old 09-19-2019, 9:43 AM
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Old 09-19-2019, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Springfield45 View Post
Just like the title says I miss the old days of collecting old surplus C&R rifles and pistols for relatively low cost. Now days everything has gotten so expensive. I am glad I got in on that last few years of the C&R collecting before it was over.
C&R collecting is far from over.

In fact today it's even easier now than in "the old days".

When I started collecting pre internet, there was really no easy way to buy and sell other than gun shows, Shot Gun News and the Recycler.

The only way to sell if you were not able to see the item directly was to take regular photos and send the printed pic's via US Mail.

Talk about a pain.

In 1986 import laws changed and allowed a new flood surplus arms into the US. Never before had the variety of arms been available.

Today collectors may pay more for items, but the number and variety is as good as ever.

Internet forums and digital photography has made evaluation guns prior to purchase a snap.
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Old 09-19-2019, 12:04 PM
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Yes, I remember the "pickle barrel" days too, $5-$35 in the barrel, $50 and up for the ones on the racks and walls. My folks bought a house in Freekmont that year, '59 for $13,500. Same house sold in 2014 for $814,000!!! But I'm still happy I was able to get in when you had to do the work finding stuff by word of mouth. Cash & Carry, yeah baby. PAX
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Old 09-19-2019, 12:05 PM
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What was true then is still true today. If you really like something, buy it now or you'll only complain about missing it later.
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Old 09-19-2019, 12:11 PM
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There are hundreds of thousands of C&R's sitting in various places in Europe that can be imported right now. The main problem (other than the ban on some Russian guns) is that the asking prices are too high

The refurb Mosin Nagant 91/30's and Yugo M48's being sold by Cabela's (among other retailers) were all imported recently
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Old 09-19-2019, 1:32 PM
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The 80's was a nice time for floods of import C&R's coming in. Unfortunately there were a lot of C&R's in country that were already trashed or butchered. There were a lot of Arisakas here that were so unloved people were giving them away, and a lot got sporterized. My first C&R was an Arisaka with mum that had been tapped for a scope. And lots of Krags were cut down to make fake carbines. My father-in-law told me about guys he knew in Florida in the '60s who would go alligator poaching with Carcanos. They were only a $20 gun so if they saw a game warden coming they'd just throw the disposable Carcano into the swamp.
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Old 09-20-2019, 7:17 AM
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saki302 saki302 is offline
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I still remember Israeli 308 surplus in the early 90s- $80-90 for 1000 delivered. Boxer primed, reloadable.
We must have left thousands of cases in the desert. Who would reload? It wasn't worth the time!


I'm just old enough to remember cash and carry at the big Great Western show here. And all the pre-internet gun show BS
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