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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
In just saw a new listing online for Mosin Nagant 91/30 rifles starting at $259.99. Wow.

A few years ago, when Mosins could be had for less than $100, it was easy to see the attraction. Heck, who wouldn't think it was cool to get an actual military surplus full power battle rifle for next to nothing. Add in the fact that you could buy cheap surplus ammo by the spam can and blast away all day for pennies a round.

It was easy then to overlook the fact that these nearly indestructible rifles that the Russians turned out by the millions were, well, crude. Yes, they work (you certainly would not want to be shot by one), and they just keep on ticking. But compared to the rifles other nations used in the world wars, they did leave a bit to be desired.

So, even when they were still all over the place two or three years ago for $190 a pop, you can understand their popularity.

Now, though, as the price nears $300, does the attraction fade away? A new Ruger American in .30-06 can be had for $300. Better trigger, more accurate, backed for life by Ruger.

I should have bought a Mosin (or two, or even three...) When the gettin' was good. For $259.99 I don't think I'm interested.
 

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That's the cycle with military surplus. When they first hit the market, no one wants them. The price attracts a few, who spread the word. Supply decreases, price increases. Good ones go first, leaving a steady decline in available quality as supply decreases. It's just the way it is. Heck, I remember when SKS's could be had on the cheap.

To answer your question: at $300 a pop for a Mosin of undetermined quality I'd stay away. At $300 I'd be near 1/2 way to a Ruger American w/Vortex Scope combo in .308 Win. I'm not a bolt action rifle or longer distance shooting aficionado, so it would be perfect for the infrequent, casual bolt action shooter like me.
 

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Take a look at Makarov pistols...they were a couple of hundred bucks with 2 magazines, a holster, etc in perfect shape..wonderful little pistols...I saw on advertised today for $600 (it included 4 magazines worth a hundred bucks and 3 boxes of ammo worth a total of about seventy five)...

In California it was legal to sell a long gun that was over 50 years old without doing any paperwork..up until January of this year...Mosins were thick as flies for about $150 and they were everywhere...now they seldom pop up and the prices are about $250 and up and the transaction requires an FFL transfer which is another $35 including the Dealer Record of Sale..
 

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I picked up a m38 Nagant for 80 bucks at big when they were cheep and the spam cans plentiful. It made one heck of a truck gun. It went bang every time and was pretty accurate for what it was. Could double as a pry bar, jack handle or shovel and not cry if anything happened to it, but alas when I was offered 3 bills for it she had to go. Wich is fine since the cheap spam cans of ammo have dried up.

So for me the Nagant has had her swan song..

Next truck gun is going to be the American predator in 5.56.

BTW I still have a few can openers if you need one.
 

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If you think the price of Mosins are high check out German 98ks. Russian Captures are approaching $600 and all matching bringbacks are well north of $1000 depending on condition. Yes the Mosins are gettin to be very popular with collectors these days and I would expect the price to go higher if supply dries up. Recall Arisakas being bought for $25-50 back in early 70s. Not sure what the going price is now. The cheap days are gone!!
 

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Back in '92 i bought a Norinco SKS for $139, nothing really special except it had a screwed in barrel instead of a pinned barrel,and in '98 I bought an SKS from a pawn shop for $95 now IF you can find one they are in the $300-$400 range.I wish I'd bought more!
The cheap days are definitely gone.
 

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I bought three of the MN91/30's for $99.00 each complete with bayonets, slings, and all the accesories. The LGS had crates of them, and I sorted through over a hundred to find mine. I sold two to friends who thought they were a great deal on a piece of history. None of us has fired over 100 rounds through the rifles as they are not exactly "fun" to shoot with the horrible triggers and bolts generally too stiff to run from the shoulder. The punishing stock design requires a slip-on recoil pad for comfortable shooting. On the other hand they always go bang and are tractor-axle tough. I kept the one rifle that had a "good" trigger and was fairly accurate. That's amazing since I don't think a Russian ever cleaned the bore. The 7.62x54R steel core ammo is impressive if penetration is what you desire. It will shoot through anything! Muzzle blast can be fun too, especially in the M44. I'll always think of these as $100.00 guns.
 

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It's any military surplus rifle. Look what happened to the AK and M1 markets. They both went through the roof. You can buy a good NIB AR these days for less than a run of the mill stamped AK.
 

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They are fun for $100-150. They are however overrated and paying close to $300 for one is not worth it.
I think I paid about $129 for mine and I was looking to get another to "play" with and do a few mods but I quickly realized money is better elsewhere.
 

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At one time I had over 40 Mosins, of various flavors, M91's, M39's, Finn reworks, SAKO 90/30's etc.

I got into hand gunning and Rugers and sold most of them, I kept a few of my favorite 91/30's, really good shooting ones with mint bores and one "range banger" that I must have put 1,000's of rounds through in the mid-2000's when I shot a lot of rifles.

Out of all of them I guess I like the standard 91/30 the best. I have a 1934 Izhevsk refurb that I'll probably hardly if ever shoot again, but I got it for $80 back when you could cherry pick them, no counterbore and sharp rifling.

I also recall when the Nagant revolvers were so cheap they were almost free, no one wanted "wierd" revolvers in 7.62x38R, I kept one that I have, I sold the other 2. I think I last fired it 2 years ago, I shot up a box of PRVI ammo I found at a gun show. These are neat for revolver enthusiasts like me, but are expensive to shoot and are basically a Soviet .32 H&R Mag as far as power. You can shoot .32 Longs in them but accuracy is abysmal.

Overall, as "utility" rifles, there is no more attraction to them, the 7.62x54R is the same performance wise as good old American 30-06 and these days I'd rather have a nice M77 than another Mosin. I wouldn't pay $3-400 for a mass produced refurbed Russian rifle when I can get a Mossberg Patriot or a Ruger American for that.

The refurb Mosins, have little "historical" value except as Cold War history. The non-refurbs are getting scarce and most are beat to heck. The Mosins were refurbished from the 50's to the 70's, and stored away. Many have parts from wherever, parts were thrown in bins, refurbished, stocks sanded with belt sanders and refinished by Soviet arsenal workers, everything re-ground and re-numbered and the rifles were thrown together, dipped in cosmoline and socked away, for re-issue to militias in case the US ever invaded. That day never came so the ones in storage were sold to distributors starting in the 1990's when the Mosins were so obsolete even the Russians no longer wanted them. Slick Willy banned Russian imports so many were just shipped to the Ukraine and sold to get around the import ban.

A 30-06 hunting rifle carried by 3 generations of hunters has more historical appeal to me than a pieced together surplus Russian rifle.

Mosins are effective, but once the mag springs get weak, they get finicky with loading, and fast shooting is nearly impossible unless you get a particularly slick one.

If I were to get back into mil surp rifles, I'd get a few more Enfields.......I have a 1917 BSA No.1 MK III that is slicker and more accurate than any of this churned out crap that passes for rifles these days. I just hate to shoot those old guns a lot, once that bore is toast, you're out of luck. Rebarrel it, sure, but it's no longer "original" and good luck finding a good barrel as a spare part.
 

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Here in Ohio I can still find Mosins for well under $200. I have a Chinese 53 and have more FUN with that rifle than any I own. Certainly not my best rifle...but a fun gun.
 

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I bought a Chinese T53 three years ago at a pawn shop for $120 out the door, and then over a year turned it into a GP100. Traded it and a Mossberg 500 (also $120 at a different pawn shop) for a like new PT92 when prices went up. The PT92 traded to a Remington R1, traded that to a GP100.
 

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I wouldn't pay more than $150.00 for one unless it is a Westinghouse or a Remington!
 

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My cousins brother in law bought him one as a joke about 10 years ago for $30 out of a barrell have shot it a few time suprised out accurate it is . It is one of the loudest guns I have fired it will ring your ears, he bought another one to keep in his man cave to go along with some other low dollar guns to distract a would be thief from the good stuff.
 

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i have six,two chinese 53,s, two finn reworks and two russians and i reload them to a little more than a 30-30, 170gr bullet at 2200-2300 fps and that takes alot of the noise and recoil out of them. the chinese 53,s realy shoot well. all have ex bores with no counterbores, that was to one thing i required on any milsurps i bought. eastbank.
 

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I still love the things. I didn't start tinkering with them until 2012, but the 91/30s were still to be had for $89 back then. I think I paid $189 for my two M44s late that year, but they could have passed for new rifles. They came out of an extremely clean shipment from AIM. I peaked at 26 rifles, but have whittled that down to 7 91/30s and the 2 M44s.

If they were still in the $175 range for the 91/30s, I'd probably still buy them. I had a couple shooters, and collected the rest. They are what they are, and they don't pretend to be anything else, crude but functional. With a few tricks, a gun with a good bore could be made darn accurate with no permanent modification. I had some ugly variants that routinely would shoot 1" groups at 75m from a lead sled. Hard to grip about that.

The appeal for me was the various stamping/markings all over these things. A receiver that had started out life in the US, and then been through 3 refurbs turning into several different models in the process...just always tripped my trigger. And that beautiful smell of cosmoline during initial clean up. I'd love to have a barrel full just to clean up.

I have 1 shooters left...the others are ex-dragoons, an MO dual date, an ex-sniper, and a couple clean Tula....plus the two M44s.
 

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Haven't seen too many Mosin's in my neck of the woods lately.
My favorite LGS had a couple a bit back... One was priced about $250-$275 (hex body) the other was priced around $600 (pre-1898).
 
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