Originally Posted by therewolf
I was lucky, inasmuch as I backed into a great
first Mosin purchase. From this, I was able to
set the standards for future acquisitions.
I avoided the lower tier of non-matching, poorly
re-arsenaled units entirely. Then I was fortunate
enough to find a 1925 Izzy hex with matching serial#s.
My experience was all direct purchases from a LGS, after
a close inspection of the rifle. YMMV, and I can only hope others
will be as lucky (and persistent) as I was.
I have a boat load of the worthless Ruskie guns. 3/4 of which were bought from online auctions, with only photos and descriptions to go on. All of the auction guns met or exceeded my expectations. Last year. I also bought 6 "toss of the dice" T-53's, for well under $100.00 each. Five of these would now sell for $150.00 +. The sixth was totally shot-out, so I parted it out on ebay for more than I paid for the rifle and still ended up with a stock and bolt.
My point is, there are deals out there if you look and take time to learn what you are looking at. Know what the going rate is before you shell out too much money to someone waiting to fleece you. Believe it or not, there are some dishonest people in the gun business.
There are some great web sites dedicated to Mosins. Some of them are friendly and some of them are not so much..... All of them have invaluable information for someone interested in the guns. The friendly ones have some very qualified folks that love to answer questions to interested newcomers. The not so friendly ones, it is easier just to look and read.
While I don't consider it polite to advertise another group's forums here, it is not difficult to find these sources.