I havn't collected any older weopans yet, but I am thinking of setting a lifetime goal of collecting one of every rifle used in WWII. Problem is, I don't even know where to begin. I am pretty tight on money (PFC pay), so where is a good place to start? I would like to be able to put a few rounds down every weopan I buy, not to shoot with regularly, but to know everything works (the apocolypse may yet happen).
Well, your hobby is gonna start off very cheap, and then it is gonna get REAL interesting!
Right now, the least expensive WW II rifle is probably anything in the Moisin-Nagant line. a 91/30. M38 or M44 in VG condition will run you less than $100.
Next up- the British SMLE- specimens are out there for $125- 200. Likewise the Italian Carcanos.
Then the German Mausers, at a bit more money- altho there are some Yugos out there reasonable.
M-1 Garand? Go to the website for ODCMP- if you are an American citizen at least 18, and can own a gun, you can buy one from them.
Japanese Arisakas can be found for reasonable amounts.
You can do some shopping on auctionarms.com, and gunbroker.com. Hpwever, I DID see a reference to PFC pay- so.... are you living in baracks, and what are the rules for privately owned weapons where you are now?
BTW- the listings above are NOT all inclusive. Just the AMERICAN arms can cost you an arm and a leg to get one of everything ever used.
So here is a suggestion- your first buy should be some books. Spend some time learning about who designed them, where they were made, what was good or bad- and you will appreciate the ones you DO buy a lot more.
PS- failed to mention the French. Will leave that line alone- too easy. :D
Hey Doc. I suggest you start by compiling a list of every country that fought in WW2. Then, one by one, pick a country from the list, do some research, and start saving your dough. There are going to be a LOT of rifles to buy.
OR, start with the USA, Brittain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan and buy one of each.
It is a noble quest you are on.
Check out the CMP. There's classic American rifles there.
c3- Yes, I am a Private First Class, but I am married and live off post. No worries about storing my rifles in the arms room, never to be seen again...
I had planned to go after a Mosin-Nagant and a Kar-98 first. Is there a website that defines the conditions a firearm must be in to recieve a particular rating, and is there anywhere in particular I must look on those models for excessive wear?
Mosins can be notoriously loose and they took a beating in the field. That said, there are some pretty clean ones out there at excellent prices.
Mausers are outstanding, but again, you'll pay more to get a nice one.
I've had a Mosin 38 and a 98/59 and they were both numbers matching and in excellent condition. They shot minute of enemy at 100yds. quite well and ammunition is relatively inexpensive.
I've had two Inland M1 carbines and they were great after I replaced the springs and seriously cleaned and lubricated them.
Right now, my only battle rifle is a 1943 Springfield M1 Garand from CMP. Here's a pic, it's a thumbnail, click on it twice to get a decent size.
Doc, there are a gazillion websites that specialize in particular firearms- but a fun general one that deals information- not sales- is surplusrifle.com. Go take a look when you have a few hours.
What to look for? Well, sorta like asking what to look for in condition of a car- lotsa things. Couple of key points, tho-
1. Original configuration- many milsurp rifles were sporterized into civilian hunting rifles. Avoid.
2. Condition of bore- especially last inch of barrel. Except for the M-1 Carbine, everything else out there shot corrosive primed ammo during WW II. Which meant that you either cleaned the bore, or it rusted. Some will have pitted bores, and some will have been damaged by too much cleaning (right at the muzzle)
Thank you all for your advice. I have a lot of research to do.
Did someone already mention Surplus Rifle dot com? If not, here's a link: Surplusrifleforum.com • Index page
The only really good deals still available with milsurps are reportedly MNs and some decent Lee-Enfield #4s and Yugo Mausers. A huge number of German Mausers are "Russian Capture" and not true 'collector' rifles.
You will find lots of fairly cheap MN (7.62x54R) ammo, but one day this stuff could mostly dry up, as has LE (.303) and much of the surplus Mauser 8mm.
Notice certain rifles of various types were sometimes converted to former NATO 7.62x51/'.308' etc.
If you decide to buy a MN, plan to keep it and really enjoy shooting it, it is highly recommended that you buy at least two or three extra 'spam cans' of ammo in the near future, as this is the last good ammo deal in full-power cartridges, and 'light ball' might work better in a given MN than heavy ball (HB). "JGSales", "AIMsurplus", "Widener's" etc, via the search engine
But you must clean the bore with water Each Time after shooting corrosive ammo. This should be a critical "Army reg." for civilians.
I'm just a novice but search the Internet more than twice a week to check surplus ammo prices.
My only milsurps are a MN 44 and LE #4, #5.
CA357: Also "Gunandgame" can be helpful, plus "Gunboards", "Firearmsforum" (C&R), "Firearmstalk" and "Thefiringline".
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