I vote for the 7.62 Saiga too. I have one -- and I don't understand why people will pay two or three times as much for a used and rebuilt Romanian piece of junk when they can have the real deal, new in the box, made in the Izhmash armory where General Kalashnikov himself still has an office, for under $400. You can get 30-round mags from Missisippi Auto Arms that don't require gunsmithing, and I like the sporter-style stock better than the pistol grip anyway. Built like a tank, won't break, cheap ammo (as in 1K quality Russian-made rounds for well under $300), and always goes bang. What's not to love?
I love the sagias but u can't go wrong with a good 91/30 the price on them is starting 2 skyrocket so I would grab 1 soon cuz the price had doubled where I live sence I last got 1... I customized 1 of mine... Only about 100 total more into it and I love it...
I just bought a mosin last weekend. I havent been able to shoot it yet but ive cleaned all the metal parts of the cosmoline just waiting to get the stock cleaned up. I paid $115 for the rifle all the accesories and 100 rounds of ammo. You can get mill-surplus ammo online for cheap. Like 880 rounds for $160 and have a bunch of fun. I vote mosin.
All are good choices in their own catagory.
If you want a rifle get a Saiga and do the conversion yourself.
Check out Carolina Shooters YouTube videos for great info there.
I did mine and really like it.
I also have the Ruger P90 and it is a sweet gun for the current prices.
Just my two cents.
I vote the Saiga 545x39(300). You can find it really cheap from the Internet Gun Gods. Add one of the reliable high caps mags on the market and then a drop in phoenix stock(100) and boom: Saiga AK-74 for half the price basically. The surplus ammo for 545x39 is plentiful and has no kick. Then, tell your wife you made the build so she could come shoot with you. Winning!