Which classic rifle?

#1
I'm in the process of joining a classic rifle club and therefore am on the lookout for a pre-1945 military bolt action.

I'm interested in either a Lee-Enfield (I've heard that there are some Italian surplus on the market in brand new condition), or perhaps a K98, or a VZ-24 (both of which are available in superb condition for around 200 quid).

Another possibilty is one of the Mosin Nagant variants, or indeed a Swedish mauser. The Carl Gustav is nice and from what I hear it's a good shooter, with easily available and cheap ammo too, but hasn't got much historic appeal in my opinion.

I had also thought about an M/89 Krag Jørgensen, but I'm worried about the ammunition cost (around a pound a shot).

Does anyone have any suggestions, or comments to my choices?

Cheers
T_T
 
#2
Lee-Enfield No.4 is the obvious choice. As accurate as it needs to be, readily available ammunition, lots of competitions to enter and its British!

Some of the ex Italian ones are in good order. Generally, they haven't been Factory Reconditioned in the 1950s so have the simpler rearsights etc. Many seem to have oddly phosphated barrel bands but these can be changed. Almost without exception they will have mismatched bolts but they will have been checked and headspaced by the importers so not much to worry about from a practical point of view.

Expect to pay a little under £300.
 
#5
What's the going rate for .303 in the UK (both surplus and commercial)?

I've heard of a lot of older stuff having 'hang-fire' issues recently, is this problem common in the UK too? Or is it just a bad (or improperly stored) batch?
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#6
PM sent, any questions feel free to ask!
 

Alsacien

LE
Moderator
#7
Tartan_Terrier said:
I'm in the process of joining a classic rifle club and therefore am on the lookout for a pre-1945 military bolt action.

I'm interested in either a Lee-Enfield (I've heard that there are some Italian surplus on the market in brand new condition), or perhaps a K98, or a VZ-24 (both of which are available in superb condition for around 200 quid).

Another possibilty is one of the Mosin Nagant variants, or indeed a Swedish mauser. The Carl Gustav is nice and from what I hear it's a good shooter, with easily available and cheap ammo too, but hasn't got much historic appeal in my opinion.

I had also thought about an M/89 Krag Jørgensen, but I'm worried about the ammunition cost (around a pound a shot).

Does anyone have any suggestions, or comments to my choices?

Cheers
T_T
I have 2 dealers in Europe trying to find me an M41b when a top end original comes on the market - no joy after 6 months. The SW mausers were also made by Husqvarna and Mauserwerk, not just Gustav. Nagants are good fun for the money, Schmit Rubins are too dear to run, Carcanos vary too much and for me Enfields are clunky although my second choice there are some new ones on the market since last week, no price info given.
 
#8
I recently fired a P14, and was very impressed with how it felt in the shoulder when fired. However, these are pretty hard to find and not really considered the best of the military mausers.

Whats the forum's opinion on Springfield 1903's. eg a Smith Corona manufactured one from the early forties? I hear there are some very smart examples still available.

Is that 30.06 cart a bit vicious in the shoulder compared to .303
 
#9
My favorite is a Ross M10...

Extremely accurate and slightly weird. (Matches me perfectly I'm told...)

BTW You're not suggesting a No 4 for Classic Rifle Stab...(Veteran surely...)

IMHO hold on to your pennies until the Trafalgar meet at Bisley in October and have a good fondle...
 
#10
HE117 said:
My favorite is a Ross M10...

Extremely accurate and slightly weird. (Matches me perfectly I'm told...)

BTW You're not suggesting a No 4 for Classic Rifle Stab...(Veteran surely...)

IMHO hold on to your pennies until the Trafalgar meet at Bisley in October and have a good fondle...
Perhaps I should have said 'historic' rather than 'classic' as the rifle classes aren't the same here (in Denmark) as they are ín the UK.

Der skydes i flg. klasser

Klasse A: Otterup M/52, M/58 og M/69.

Klasse B: Krag-Jørgensen M/92, Svensk gevær M/96, Gew98 ompibet til 6,5 mm.

Klasse C: Dansk gevær M/89, Enfield P14, Enfield P17 (US Model of 1917, gevær M 17/53) , Svensk gevær M/38, Gevær M/50 (Garand) ombygget til repetér, Schmidt-Rubin M/1889 og M/1911, Enfield No.4, Mk.1*, K98k ompibet til 6,5mm, Springfield 1903 (A3), Mosin-Nagant (7,62*54R), Gew98 i kaliber 8*57.

Klasse D: Schmidt-Rubin M/31, Springfield 1903, Lee-Enfield No.1, Mk.III, K98k i kalibrene 8*57 og 7,62*63, Dansk gevær M/89 (artillerikarabinen).
www.gamlerifler.dk/pages/skydeprogram.htm
 
#11
HE117 said:
My favorite is a Ross M10...

Extremely accurate and slightly weird. (Matches me perfectly I'm told...)

BTW You're not suggesting a No 4 for Classic Rifle Stab...(Veteran surely...)

IMHO hold on to your pennies until the Trafalgar meet at Bisley in October and have a good fondle...
I'd taken the more general meaning - as I think TT intended. That said I shall now double myself away and show Classic rifle at 2300hrs :D

..........Well I've got a M-H to hand, surely that will do :?
 
#12
HE117 said:
My favorite is a Ross M10...

Extremely accurate and slightly weird. (Matches me perfectly I'm told...)

BTW You're not suggesting a No 4 for Classic Rifle Stab...(Veteran surely...)

IMHO hold on to your pennies until the Trafalgar meet at Bisley in October and have a good fondle...
I've got a bayonet for one of those....
 
#13
walt_of_the_walts said:
I recently fired a P14, and was very impressed with how it felt in the shoulder when fired. However, these are pretty hard to find and not really considered the best of the military mausers.

Whats the forum's opinion on Springfield 1903's. eg a Smith Corona manufactured one from the early forties? I hear there are some very smart examples still available.

Is that 30.06 cart a bit vicious in the shoulder compared to .303
It was my pleasure to fire a M1903 recently (About 100 rounds put down range). It was in almost pristine condition (it was certainly museum quality), having never been issued and its owner had not fired it in 30 years.
The Springfield has a Mauser Bolt action, so as with any devotee of the Enfield, I found it slightly "Awkward" to work the Bolt.
However there seemed to me, to be NOTHING to mark the Lee-Enfield Mk4 from the M1903, in terms of accuracy.
As to recoil, I think ANTONE who thinks either the .303 or 30.06 round is a "bit Viscious in the shoulder" is not addressing the respective rifle correctly
I own a Mk4 N0.2, so being Biased, I still would opt for the Lee-Enfield EVERY time
 
#14
Tartan_Terrier said:
What's the going rate for .303 in the UK (both surplus and commercial)?

I've heard of a lot of older stuff having 'hang-fire' issues recently, is this problem common in the UK too? Or is it just a bad (or improperly stored) batch?
Not seen any .303 surplus for a long time. Most people these days seem to use the Serbian Prvi Partizan stuff from Henry Krank. £41.50 per 100.
 
#15
Alsacien said:
Tartan_Terrier said:
I'm in the process of joining a classic rifle club and therefore am on the lookout for a pre-1945 military bolt action.

I'm interested in either a Lee-Enfield (I've heard that there are some Italian surplus on the market in brand new condition), or perhaps a K98, or a VZ-24 (both of which are available in superb condition for around 200 quid).

Another possibilty is one of the Mosin Nagant variants, or indeed a Swedish mauser. The Carl Gustav is nice and from what I hear it's a good shooter, with easily available and cheap ammo too, but hasn't got much historic appeal in my opinion.

I had also thought about an M/89 Krag Jørgensen, but I'm worried about the ammunition cost (around a pound a shot).

Does anyone have any suggestions, or comments to my choices?

Cheers
T_T
I have 2 dealers in Europe trying to find me an M41b when a top end original comes on the market - no joy after 6 months. The SW mausers were also made by Husqvarna and Mauserwerk, not just Gustav. Nagants are good fun for the money, Schmit Rubins are too dear to run, Carcanos vary too much and for me Enfields are clunky although my second choice there are some new ones on the market since last week, no price info given.
PPU stuff also makes the Schmidt Rubins affordable: £46.00 per hundred. Same price as I pay for their .308 match.

Lee Enfields are king, no question. Their apeture sights make them much easier to shoot accurately. However I have been quite tempted by a 6.5 swede which can occasionally be found with an original peep target rearsight (which I believe is eligible for competitions).
 

Alsacien

LE
Moderator
#16
Gun_Nut said:
Alsacien said:
Tartan_Terrier said:
I'm in the process of joining a classic rifle club and therefore am on the lookout for a pre-1945 military bolt action.

I'm interested in either a Lee-Enfield (I've heard that there are some Italian surplus on the market in brand new condition), or perhaps a K98, or a VZ-24 (both of which are available in superb condition for around 200 quid).

Another possibilty is one of the Mosin Nagant variants, or indeed a Swedish mauser. The Carl Gustav is nice and from what I hear it's a good shooter, with easily available and cheap ammo too, but hasn't got much historic appeal in my opinion.

I had also thought about an M/89 Krag Jørgensen, but I'm worried about the ammunition cost (around a pound a shot).

Does anyone have any suggestions, or comments to my choices?

Cheers
T_T
I have 2 dealers in Europe trying to find me an M41b when a top end original comes on the market - no joy after 6 months. The SW mausers were also made by Husqvarna and Mauserwerk, not just Gustav. Nagants are good fun for the money, Schmit Rubins are too dear to run, Carcanos vary too much and for me Enfields are clunky although my second choice there are some new ones on the market since last week, no price info given.
PPU stuff also makes the Schmidt Rubins affordable: £46.00 per hundred. Same price as I pay for their .308 match.

Lee Enfields are king, no question. Their apeture sights make them much easier to shoot accurately. However I have been quite tempted by a 6.5 swede which can occasionally be found with an original peep target rearsight (which I believe is eligible for competitions).
There are a few peep sight models on the market at the moment, especially with German dealers - expect to pay around Euro 600.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#17
Hmmmmmmmmm interesting!
 
#18
IndianaDel said:
walt_of_the_walts said:
I recently fired a P14, and was very impressed with how it felt in the shoulder when fired. However, these are pretty hard to find and not really considered the best of the military mausers.

Whats the forum's opinion on Springfield 1903's. eg a Smith Corona manufactured one from the early forties? I hear there are some very smart examples still available.

Is that 30.06 cart a bit vicious in the shoulder compared to .303
It was my pleasure to fire a M1903 recently (About 100 rounds put down range). It was in almost pristine condition (it was certainly museum quality), having never been issued and its owner had not fired it in 30 years.
The Springfield has a Mauser Bolt action, so as with any devotee of the Enfield, I found it slightly "Awkward" to work the Bolt.
However there seemed to me, to be NOTHING to mark the Lee-Enfield Mk4 from the M1903, in terms of accuracy.
As to recoil, I think ANTONE who thinks either the .303 or 30.06 round is a "bit Viscious in the shoulder" is not addressing the respective rifle correctly
Thanks for that. I find .303 easy, so I shouldnt have any probs with 30.06.

That 03 you fired, wasnt for sale was it?
 
#19
No, sorry, I do not think that it was for sale. If it were, I would be fighting for the front spot at the counter.
 
#20
I was down at the club today and had a try with a couple of different rifles;
a Swedish Mauser, an M1 carbine, and a K98 rebuilt into a 6.5mm target rifle.

There were all sorts of rifles being used, from Garands to Mosin Nagants, quite a few Lee Enfields, and even an M14!

It was all very interesting, and they seem like a friendly bunch. We'd only been there five minutes before we were asked if we fancied a shot. They even let my son have a go (with the M1 Carbine).

So I'm now a very enthusiastic new member indeed, and I'm very much looking forward to getting my own rifle.

Now to start looking seriously!!!


T_T
 

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