I am a big fan of the Mosin-Nagant rifles. What can I say the commies knew how to make a great rifle, though this rifle was designed and in use before Lenin and company came to power.
There are a few variants of the common Mosin-Nagant rifle that most people are familiar with. The 91/30, M38 carbine, and M44 carbine with a side folding bayonet, all chambered in the 7.62x54R and hold 5 rds in a fixed magazine that has a trap door just in case. These rifles were made by several manufacturers including , Sako, Tikka, Remington and New England Westinghouse. Also they were made in several countries including the US, Finland, Czechoslovakia, and of course Russia / USSR.
These guns are still in use today in war zones around the world including Iraq and Afghanistan.
Now for the survival aspect.
These guns are cheap, and no I do not mean they are poorly built, to purchase. I bought three M44’s for $59.00 each a few years ago from Big 5 in Arizona. After spending a whole day stripping the rifles and cleaning the cosmoline out of every nook and cranny I took them out to test accuracy. Now I have heard that they shoot high but mine are dead on out to 600 yards. Now that I was satisfied with the rifles I went on EBay and bought the ATI synthetic Monte Carlo stocks for them at $30.00 each. So now I have a good looking accurate rifle that I have a whopping $89.00 into.
I also have a few 91/30 that cost a little more because I bought them 5 years later than the first three. They ran me $125.00 each from private parties. Being the ever prepared kind of guy I had bought several of the synthetic stocks to have in reserve.So now I have $155.00 into these rifles. I then wanted to mount a scope on these rifles. For one I went with the new Brass Stacker scope mount that attaches to rear sight mount by replacing the pins in the rear sight. This method requires no gunsmithing and does not destroy the rear sight. So that is another $50.00, now I am up to $205.00. I had to go with a long eye relief scope aka the handgun scope, because the scope mount is way out there. OK so I went with a relatively cheap AIM 2-7×32 scope from Sportsman’s Guide for $41.00 and the rings were included. So for $246.00 I have a great rifle that has proven itself in battle and can take down most large game that looks fairly modern with the addition of these accessories.
The other one I went with the ATI scope mount for $30.00 which allows me to use a regular scope but does require a little drilling into the receiver. Pay a good gunsmith to do this that will warranty their work because if they screw up you have a very heavy club. I have the skills to do this so I did it myself and saved the $50.00 gunsmith fee. I went with a Bushnell Banner 3-9×40 on sale at Wal-Mart for $87.00 and the rings for another $20.00. So for this rifle I have a total of $292.00 into it.
Both of my 91/30 rifles are easily accurate to 600 yards, though that was what I shot with the iron sights a scope makes it quite a bit easier. If you need to shoot further than that you need to work on your stalking skills.
The downside , as some people see it, for these rifles is the lack of a safety. I believe people are a little too reliant on safeties and we get a little complacent and next thing you know somebody shoots something they should not have because they thought the safety was on. So for me this is not a detriment. My old marksmanship instructor told me all safeties fail and every gun is loaded so don’t be pointing it at something you don’t want to kill.
Ammo for these rifles is cheap. How cheap? I just bought 880 rds of 7.62x54R FMJ Czech surplus ammo for $137.00. These are great for working on those marksman’s skills but suck for hunting. Thankfully Wolf Gold came along and hooked us up with a soft tipped hunting round for around $20.00 a box. Most of the surplus ammo is corrosive so you really need to clean that rifle after a days shoot which is something you should have been doing anyways. Ballistics wise it lies between the .308 (7.62×51) and the 30.06 so you know it can get the job done.
Because it looks like a regular hunting rifle people are a little less likely to notice this rifle as compare to and AR or AK or any other “evil assault weapon”.