Author Topic: Milsurp rifles - What's your favorite?  (Read 2939 times)

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Offline Earl Keese

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Milsurp rifles - What's your favorite?
« on: October 03, 2018, 06:09:27 PM »
I recently picked up a Swiss K31 in great condition. I only had time to put 5 rounds through it, but I think I'm in love. I also have a VZ24 and I'm thinking about buying a La Coruna FR-8 that my LGS has on the shelf. What do you guys like? Let's see some pics of your favorites.

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Online M1A4ME

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Re: Milsurp rifles - What's your favorite?
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2018, 07:09:53 PM »
Hands down it's the M1 Garand.

Accurate.  Reliable.  Feels good in my hands.  Love it.

Got my first one through the CMP mail order process.  Awesome Nov. 44 Springfield Armory rifle that still had the original barrel on it.  The metal didn't look new, but hey, it was made in 1944 and used by how many US Army soldiers in who knows how many different posts, missions, etc. in all those years.

Then I bought two more at the CMP North Store when several of us made a trip up there one weekend.  One for each of my sons.  The youngest chose the Springfield Armory M1 made in May of 1942 (with a 1947 SA replacement barrel) because it was 15 years older than me to the month.  My oldest son didn't want "one of those old guns."  So then I had two.  By sheer chance it was also a November 1944 Springfield Armory rifle about a week younger than my first rifle (going by the serial number).  It has a 1953 LMR barrel (some people say those were the best replacement barrels used on M1's.  It shoots like it.  I used to take it to some field shoots in NC and people would ask me if it was a "match rifle."  It's just a rack grade (very well used and kind of ugly if you like nice pretty rifles) that shoots better than all the rest of the .30 caliber rifles I have (except maybe for the 03A4).

Then on a trip to Camp Perry to attend the CMP Garand Master Instructor class I bought two H&R barrel receivers from the North Store.  My youngest son and I scoured the internet and went to local gun shows buying H&R parts to finish these two up.  Very nice looking H&R's made in the early 1950's that neither of us ever shoot (for some reason).

I have several 03/03A3/03A4/M1917 rifles as well, but I just like that M1 Garand better.
Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.  So, if you see me walking the dogs with my SIG 556R, its okay.

Offline Earl Keese

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Re: Milsurp rifles - What's your favorite?
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2018, 07:24:17 PM »
 M1A4ME, I had a hunch what your favorite would be.  ;D
I caught Garand fever late last year but exhausted myself with analysis paralysis and gave up the search.
 My Dad was lucky enough to be gifted a Springfield Trapdoor 1873 back in June. I'm looking forward to shooting that one!
 

Offline Grendel

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Re: Milsurp rifles - What's your favorite?
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2018, 08:07:41 PM »
I am continually on the look out for a .303 SMLE or No.4 Mk 1 that hasn't been sporterised or Khybered.
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Offline Earl Keese

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Re: Milsurp rifles - What's your favorite?
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2018, 08:19:06 PM »
I am continually on the look out for a .303 SMLE or No.4 Mk 1 that hasn't been sporterised or Khybered.
Much like Garands, British .303's give me analysis paralysis. So much research, it consumes me for a while then I burn myself out. My LGS has a nice U.S. property .303 on the shelf.

Online M1A4ME

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Re: Milsurp rifles - What's your favorite?
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2018, 09:01:40 PM »
A long time ago I saw an Enfield in a gun shop in Northern VA.  I wasn't really interested (I could barely afford to shoot the few .30-06's I had at that time) but I picked it up to look at it.  It was made by Savage Arms Co. up in MA.  I'd never heard of Savage making .303 Enfields.  It was in GI configuration and I decided I wanted it.  I just had to come up with the money.  Someone else bought it before I could save up the money.

I still think about it now and then (like the Browning .22 chambered for .22 shorts only and an old Krag carbine and a Winchester 1895 in .30-06 that were all bought by someone else before I could save up the money for them.)  Guns I'd have bought and shot back then but would be sitting in the gun safe unused for many years at the present.

You'll probably like the Trapdoor.  I've only shot one .45-70, a Marlin lever action 1895.  It didn't kick nearly as bad as we thought it would.  Not as bad as my 12 ga. bird/squirrel gun.

Story behind that Marlin:

My buddy was from IL.  His dad was born and raised in WI on a dairy farm.  As a boy, when they had bear problems the boys (several brothers in the family) would grab their grandpa's old Trapdoor Springfield off the wall rack and a handful of shells and take off to the woods with the dogs.  The dogs would run the bear up a tree, sooner or later, and they'd kill the bear with that old .45-70.  His dad told him that they never had to shoot a bear twice with that old rifle.

When the boys went off to fight in WW2 all of them made it through and the oldest one got the farm once their parents decided they had gotten too old to keep running it.  My buddy's dad went into the farm implement business and sold/repaired tractors and other equipment.  The brother that got the farm survived being hit by a Japanese machine gun (6 bullets from hip to shoulder) only to get killed by a steer in the barn one day.  Being the oldest and having the dairy farm he'd also gotten the old Springfield, too.  His kids sold the farm after he died and the rifle was "lost" in the shuffle so none of the other brothers ever knew what happened to the rifle.

My buddy couldn't afford to get his dad another Trap Door but got him the Marlin 1895 as it was the same caliber.

We sighted it in at Clark Brothers in Warrenton, VA and were surprised the recoil was so much less than we expected.

And no, I wouldn't want to bear hunt with a Trap Door Springfield - unless I was the one up in the tree.  I'm pretty sure I could reload and hit him again before he figured out where I was and climbed up to bite me on the leg.

Have fun shooting it.  History in your hands.
Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.  So, if you see me walking the dogs with my SIG 556R, its okay.

Online M1A4ME

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Re: Milsurp rifles - What's your favorite?
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2018, 09:11:44 PM »
Not sure I ever told this one here.

My wife had two uncles (twins, her dad's older brothers) that were in Korea.  Can't tell you what happened to them over there (some stories, at times but a story is often just a few minutes out of a couple years worth of war).  I do know they lost good buddies and when they came home they never hunted again (and that's saying something for a couple of WV boys who grew up running the woods and hunting/fishing).  They went to work in the coal mines, got married and raised families.

One cold rainy winter night everyone was late getting home from church (one room country church out the mountain road from where everyone lived) so I drove out to the church to see what was going on.  A bus, carrying a gospel singing group had turned too sharply leaving the parking lot and dropped the rear wheels into the ditch and was stuck.  They were waiting on a tow truck to get the parking lot and road unblocked.  I parked just off the road (old log road that went over the side of the mountain 50 yds. from the church) and walked through the woods to the church.

Everyone was standing around talking and waiting.  One of the uncles and I were outside feeling the wind, chill and a little rain when he turned to me with an odd look in his eyes and asked me, "Was the M1 a .30-06?"  I told him it was.  He nodded and said, "I thought it was, but I didn't remember for sure.  I only remember two things about the M1.  It was heavy and it killed good.  It killed real good."

He looked away again and as he turned back to me that "look" was gone from his eyes and he was back on a windswept mountain top in WV in the 2000's, not in Korea on a cold wet and windy winter night in 1952/53.

Each time i remember that conversation I get a little misty eyed thinking about what they experienced, how they felt about it and what he looked like when he told me that.

After that, every time I pick up one of my M1's, I wonder if the young American soldier/Marine who carried it made it home safely, to his family.  Those old rifles deserve to be taken care of.
Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.  So, if you see me walking the dogs with my SIG 556R, its okay.

Offline AZ_CZ

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Re: Milsurp rifles - What's your favorite?
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2018, 09:28:19 PM »
Tried most but the only one left is the FR8. Nice compact carbine, shoots 308 NATO, shoulders and handles great, and has an adjustable diopter site.


Not sure why I didn't have the bolt in.


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Offline Earl Keese

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Re: Milsurp rifles - What's your favorite?
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2018, 09:39:01 PM »
Tried most but the only one left is the FR8. Nice compact carbine, shoots 308 NATO, shoulders and handles great, and has an adjustable diopter site.


Not sure why I didn't have the bolt in.


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Is it safe to shoot commercial .308 as well?

Offline AZ_CZ

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Re: Milsurp rifles - What's your favorite?
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2018, 10:01:18 PM »
That is a big internet debate with all kinds of arm chair experts. ::) IMO if you have a true FR8 built on a large ring action then yes, BUT, I wouldn't use it on a regular basis. It was converted for NATO spec so why shoot commercial. I look at like +P handgun ammo. If I think I need more power then I'll just get a larger caliber or modern gun like the BLR on top! With the front rotating lugs I would shoot any available or hot 308 load. From what I remeber reading years ago a lot of the early imports were small ring Mauser actions, FR7s, that had been rebuilt to 308 and that's where the problems started. Mauser
Central was a great resource on this topic until it was hacked/crashed. I would certainly have the shop test it with a Go/No Go gauge to check headspace, but that would be just common sense on any used milsurp.
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Offline Earl Keese

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Re: Milsurp rifles - What's your favorite?
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2018, 10:12:20 PM »
AZ_CZ- thanks, that's helpful.

M1A4ME- I love your stories, for me that's the best part about milsurp guns. Aside from holding a piece of history, they bring out the story teller in people. My father's family is from Highland Co Va, near Franklin W.Va. As a kid, I used to love sitting on my grandmother's porch listening to the men tell stories. After supper, you never knew who might come around to visit.

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Re: Milsurp rifles - What's your favorite?
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2018, 11:27:13 PM »
Lots of the families older friends were WW2 veterans.  Navy, Army, Marines.  I heard lots of stories about things that happened in training or non-combat related stories.  Very seldom did anyone talk about something that happened in combat and then mostly in very general terms/description.

Just the way it was, maybe still is.
Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.  So, if you see me walking the dogs with my SIG 556R, its okay.

Offline djd100

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Re: Milsurp rifles - What's your favorite?
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2018, 04:11:14 AM »
+1 on the Swiss Rifles, below is my Dad's old Schmidt & Rubin 1911 Alpine Sporter (a Milsurp S&R 911 with it's barrel (21") and stock shortened, re-chambered in 308 WIN, and drilled/tapped for a scope/mount).


Offline Grendel

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Re: Milsurp rifles - What's your favorite?
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2018, 08:42:07 AM »
+1 on the Swiss Rifles, below is my Dad's old Schmidt & Rubin 1911 Alpine Sporter (a Milsurp S&R 911 with it's barrel (21") and stock shortened, re-chambered in 308 WIN, and drilled/tapped for a scope/mount).


I mean no disrespect, but that, to me, is no longer an issue military surplus rifle, it's something someone built. It's like buying a 50's classic Ford, then hotrodding it. Yeah, the chassis might have some originality, but the rest of it bears no relation to what it once was.
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Offline Luvdog

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Re: Milsurp rifles - What's your favorite?
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2018, 09:13:12 AM »
I only have one and I'll never sell it... a Springfield M1 Garand made in June 1944