Looking to buy my first rifle...


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I'm looking at buying my first rifle and I'm considering a surplus Mosin-Nagant.

I've heard the rifle is a good shooter and, for the money, seems to be a great deal. I know they kick like a mule but that might be half the fun... ;)

Given that I know very little about long guns I was hoping that some of you cut from a wiser cloth might be able to give me recomendations and/or offer any advise about this weapon or other similar guns that might be more well suited for one use to shooting inside 25 yards ("scope...what's a scope"?).

Thanks for your help...

Selection of any firearm would depend on several factors:

1) What is your primary use for the firearm? (Will you primarily doing target shooting, hunting, personal defense, plinking, etc.)

2) Will the gun fit you properly? (Depending on your body size you may need a shorter stock if it's a rifle or shotgun, or possibly a smaller grip if it's a handgun, etc.)

3) Will you be able to find ammunition for the firearm? (Right now ammo is difficult to get in many calibers. Imagine trying to find something in a "rare" caliber. Without ammunition, your firearm is essentially a club.)

4) What kind of firearms training have you had? (I would not recommend that a beginning shooter start off with a very powerful firearm. If you haven't had the opportunity to shoot a particular firearm, I strongly recommend you do so prior to purchasing. I've seen many cases where people lose a great deal of money by going out and purchasing a particular firearm without knowing how it handles. They discover rather quickly that their firearm selection wasn't the "best" choice for them. To make matters worse, they learn that the $800 gun they purchased is now worth only $700 minus any consignment fees paid to the gun dealer handling the transaction, gunbroker.com, etc.)

Bottom line is that the only one who knows what's best for YOU would be YOU. I strongly recommend checking out a bunch of different firearms before making your final decision. Feel free to PM me if you need further information or guidance.

I have a small arsenal of handguns and shotguns but I've never owned a rifle. I grew up shooting my grandfather's hunting rifles but have not done so as an adult--the most vicious prey I ever felled was a paper plate with a nasty disposition.

I really just want to get a rifle for target practice and "entertainment". I may try a little hunting later but that isn't my current motivation.

I see where a surplus Mosin-Nagant can be bought for $80 (plus s/h and transfer fee). Although it shoots a 7.62x54r I know you can buy these in bulk without too much issue. As such, the potential "cost of a bad decision" is really pretty negligible. There are also Mausers for $200. These both seem like really good deals for a "nice shooter" whereas I suspect that any new rifle bought for those amounts would be pretty rough around the edges--at best.

I don't have access to anyone with a rifle (if anyone has an M-1 Garand they want to lend me let me know :wink: ) so the whole "trying before buying" is out the window. This is probably another reason I was looking at the economical Mosin.

I think the learning process of working with a rifle (sighting it in, technique, etc...) would be a good bit of fun but I would prefer to avoid any major blunders.
I just fired about 50 rounds through my buddy's Nagant a couple of days ago. Clay pigeons (4" clay discs) at 80 yards were easy targets with the iron sights. One shot and they were obliterated... They are cheap rifles, and the surplus ammo is also cheap. Easy to maintain but you have to get a good one out of the box first! My friend went through a couple of them before he got one with a good looking bore. The bores are almost always rusted or pitted in some way or another because the milsurp ammo is corrosive, and the bore must be washed with either soap & water or an ammonia based cleaner to deactivate the corrosive salts that have been fired down the barrel.

All in all it is a fun shooter, but a bit expensive to order ammo for. If you're looking to get into target work, might I suggest something a bit cheaper and easier platform to get into? The Savage 93R17 (.17 HMR bolt action) is a rimfire, cheap rifle, and the .17 HMR around here isn't being bought at least. Nobody has them because nobody finds them useful until they see how accurate they are... Just a suggestion!
bolt action .308

Get a bolt action .308 Win.

It is inherently accurate.

It does not kick as hard as a mosin nagant.

You can get a used one from a pawn shop for less than 300 in most cases.

7.62 mm NATO is completely interchangeable.

It can hunt the nastiest paper plates known to man (you know chinet and Bounty)

You will not be disappointed.

There is a reason most free countries use it for a sniper round. and also for a LMG round.
If you're looking for a "target" rifle, I'd recommend getting a good .22LR like a Ruger 10/22 or Savage bolt action rifle. Rifles can be found in the $200 - $300 range, and .22LR ammunition is very economical. If you're looking for a bigger caliber, I'd go with the recommendation of Festus and pick up something in .308.

I currently have a nagant and it is fun to shot. But if you just want something to put holes in paper a 22 cal. would be better. If you are planning on long range shots (500-700 yds) then get the nagant but check it over good there are some bad ones out there. And clean it after you use it, the bore is bad to rust, as it has been posted.
+1 on the .22

I may be wrong, but you're looking at probably 50% of the links from Google if you search "Mosin Nagant" are likely to kick back something on "how to refurbish". Needless to say, many require a decent amount of work.

Get a mosin nagant! They are a hoot to shoot and there are lots of aftermarket parts now. You can still get spam cans of surplus ammo reasonably cheap. If you want quality ammo the Wolf Gold and Sellier and Bellot make nice soft points for hunting. Even one with a bad bore will do fine under 100yds.

I guarantee you will learn alot by working on your mosin.

TIP: Easy-off oven cleaner will strip strip down a stock for re-finishing. Clean the bore with windex immediatly after shooting surplus ammo to dissolve the corrosive salts.

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