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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have always thought that if you are on a limited budget but want to buy a reliable center fire rifle for survival purposes a good place to look is bolt action military surplus rifles. Periodically it seems that a certain model will flood the market, sell for a fairly cheap price, then later the prices will jump. I bought my M1903-A3 in 30-06 a while back for $75.00, and now prices of $900-$1,000 are fairly common. At the time I was a Sgt E-5 in the Army with a wife and kid and money was tight. My reasoning was that it had a reputation for reliability and accuracy, had a powerful round (30-06), and with stripper clips you could put a fair amount of lead down range. As a bonus it came with a bayonet that looks as long a sword! Maybe not real practical, but it is cool looking..... Over time I have seen various military bolt action rifles primarily from WW1/2 that for a period of time are sold fairly cheaply. Now there is a local gun store with a butt load of Swiss K-11's that aren't very expensive and of course there are Mosin Nagants just about everywhere. I bought a Mosin Nagant and am considering buying another before the price for them starts going through the roof.

I suppose that allot depends on what your opinion of just what kind of you are primarily going to have to deal with. Some seem to think that if will be a daily firefight in full combat mode while others seem to think that they will hardly ever see another person. I guess that it would depend on what your plans are and where you live. For me I think that there may be occasional violent interactions with other people, mostly small groups, but mostly it will be hunting for game. If you have a limited budget I think that the military bolt action rifles is a good answer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Get a Garand instead!
Noticed that I used words/phrases like "limited budget" and "inexpensive", which is why I didn't mention a Garand, another battle rifle that years ago you could buy fairly cheaply, but are fairly costly now. An excellent weapon, but not cheap.
 

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other bonus they are "historical" items, and when gun control comes into the picture (arguably) ww2 rifles will always be legal (don't quote me on the stg44) and be easier to keep "registered" compared to a AR15

it happened here, and it's still easier to get "grand dads" old service rife registered than anything else (yes the license paperwork will frustrate the f out of you) but time lines and "reason for owning" is clear, simple and police are more willing to help, compared to a bogan (red neck) walking in and saying I want to own a gun

to the end of my essay, every gun owner should seriously think about owning a piece of history...
 

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There perfectly fine as long as you don't get in an up close fight. Sadly most fights end up close and this is a world full of semi and fully automatic weapons. While a person may not get into something all that often and there may be those who live way the hell out of any town that may never see anyone, that doesn't mean everyone else won't or it's even close to what's most common for everyone else. It's smart to evaluate your own situation, where you live in proximity to other people, and just how many aren't that far anyway from you if you plan on staying put. When shit does hit the fan, there will be lots of people desperate. There's already a huge amount of population with little to no morals and will exploit opportunities in the worst way. Now, if you want to deal with them with a bolt action rifle, go right ahead.
 

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Noticed that I used words/phrases like "limited budget" and "inexpensive", which is why I didn't mention a Garand, another battle rifle that years ago you could buy fairly cheaply, but are fairly costly now. An excellent weapon, but not cheap.
Yes, but are around the same price as M1903-A3 is now, if you go with the reproduction. I just know that the Inor's want a Garand so I'm stoking the fire. Yes Mosins are cheap right now and I have noticed their steady clime in price. Same with the SKS rifle.

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I think I'd rather have an 870 and a bunch of different shell types than an old 1903 any day if I was on that tight of a budget. And/or a 10/22 with a couple thousand rounds. Toss in a good quality 9mm pistol and you'll be able to handle quite a bit.

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I agree that multiple weapons is always great but I think the point of the thread as Notsoyoung pointed out to me is "limited budget" and "inexpensive". Yes a shotgun is affordable but is limited to 100 yards and a good bolt gun can put it out to 600 or 700 yards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes, there are allot of semi and to a lesser extent, fully automatic weapons out there. Those people will be spraying out allot of bullets down range, and in many cases I mean just that, spraying. If one guy fires off 30 rounds and misses the guy he is shooting at but the guy he is shooting at fires once and hits the first guy, who wins? How many times have you seen videos of violence in the Middle-East and you see people firing automatic weapons from the hip or extend their arms straight over their heads to fire over a wall without even being able to see what they are shooting at? The point is that if you do buy a bolt action rifle you need to take the time to practice your marksmanship, and if the situation arises have the presence of mind to actually aim at what you are shooting at instead of spraying and praying. As far as that goes, do the same even if you own a semi-automatic weapon. I think that it is a mistake to disregard a bolt action rifle or those who use them because they aren't high capacity semi or fully automatic weapons. The bullet the counts is the one that hits it's target.
 

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I have military surplus rifles because my hobby is the study of military history.
In 2007 I paid $600 for my Remington model 1903A3. I have other rifles, but if this was the only one I had I would not feel undergunned. My tactics would just have to be adjusted accordingly.
1903A3's were made by two companies - Remington and Smith Corona. In WWII they were produced primarily because the US Rifle, Cal 30, M-1 (aka Garand) could not be turned out fast enough to equip all soldiers and Marines. They were issued to rear area troops (remember we had men stationed in the US and all around the world, some of them thousands of miles from active combat), truck drivers, etc.
Before a rifle grenade launcher could be developed for the Garand each rifle squad usually had one man with a 1903A3 for this purpose.

Notsoyoung - Your bayonet is most likely the 16" with wood grips, I think the model designation was M-1905 if I remember right. Do not let that get away, originals are worth well over $100 each to collectors. Reproductions go for $89 and above.
 
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I agree that multiple weapons is always great but I think the point of the thread as Notsoyoung pointed out to me is "limited budget" and "inexpensive". Yes a shotgun is affordable but is limited to 100 yards and a good bolt gun can put it out to 600 or 700 yards.
True enough. But the practicality of 600 to 700 yards shots is pretty low. Extremely low for most I'd say. At that point a person can't even be a 100% sure who's out there on average without previous scouting or knowledge. An than who really needs to expend ammo at that range when the threat because of the distance is so low and they could simply evade it. Long range shooting when shtf for most people is going to be very uncommon I think. How many even have the open area with that range? Most people live in relative urban area's and ammo will be one of the most important things to conserve. In reality, though there are some very good shooters out there, most people aren't good enough to make that shot with precision from the first either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think I'd rather have an 870 and a bunch of different shell types than an old 1903 any day if I was on that tight of a budget. And/or a 10/22 with a couple thousand rounds. Toss in a good quality 9mm pistol and you'll be able to handle quite a bit.

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And I would simply take my 03-A3 a couple of hundred yards down range from you, then later come pick them up from your dead body.
 

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Yes, there are allot of semi and to a lesser extent, fully automatic weapons out there. Those people will be spraying out allot of bullets down range, and in many cases I mean just that, spraying. If one guy fires off 30 rounds and misses the guy he is shooting at but the guy he is shooting at fires once and hits the first guy, who wins? How many times have you seen videos of violence in the Middle-East and you see people firing automatic weapons from the hip or extend their arms straight over their heads to fire over a wall without even being able to see what they are shooting at? The point is that if you do buy a bolt action rifle you need to take the time to practice your marksmanship, and if the situation arises have the presence of mind to actually aim at what you are shooting at instead of spraying and praying. As far as that goes, do the same even if you own a semi-automatic weapon. I think that it is a mistake to disregard a bolt action rifle or those who use them because they aren't high capacity semi or fully automatic weapons. The bullet the counts is the one that hits it's target.
If you buy any firearm you need to practice and hone your marksmanship. Someone who doesn't will be just as bad with a bolt action. With a semi or full they simply have more bullets at their disposal to try again and fast. Anyone who sprays and prays will get what they deserve for their stupidity, but it doesn't change the advantage one has with a semi or fully automatic weapon in a fight regardless. Why don't we all bring a bunch of Model T's to Daytona for a race against the modern stock cars and see who wins also while we're at?
 

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True enough. But the practicality of 600 to 700 yards shots is pretty low. Extremely low for most I'd say. At that point a person can't even be a 100% sure who's out there on average without previous scouting or knowledge. An than who really needs to expend ammo at that range when the threat because of the distance is so low and they could simply evade it. Long range shooting when shtf for most people is going to be very uncommon I think. How many even have the open area with that range? Most people live in relative urban area's and ammo will be one of the most important things to conserve. In reality, though there are some very good shooters out there, most people aren't good enough to make that shot with precision from the first either.
True but many people do live in rural areas and strangers will be obvious. Yes ability, means, and intent is tougher to judge at greater distances but still could be articulated as to why the shot was made. I do believe in a true WTSHTF situation a long range weapon will have it's place for self protection and hunting. I would imagine game will become scarce and will be real jumpy with so many new hunters attempting to take game.
 

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Those k-31's are good rifles, but I would not recommend one for a SHTF situation unless you are a reloader and have enough brass and supplies to support it. I bought a Garand from the CMP about 10 years ago for under $500 I think it was about $430 for the service grade at the time, I do not know if they have any of the more affordable ones left but if anyone is interested I would definitely check them out. You can still find surplus 8x57 to feed a surplus Mauser reasonably priced as well, I bought 3 Czech mausers years ago for $59 a piece one is now a .308, another is a .270, and the third is still 8mm.
 
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And I would simply take my 03-A3 a couple of hundred yards down range from you, then later come pick them up from your dead body.
I doubt it since you're living in a sniper fantasy instead of reality. In most cases you're not even going to see a person and be a 100% their a threat till their up close and personal. At that point, it will come down to skill, weaponry and tactics. Pack a bolt action if you want. I'm sure you'll find out how good of a choice it was eventually. I'll be packing my M1A, but if I was that limited on budget, I'd take an 870 over a 1903 any day.
 

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I have military surplus rifles because my hobby is the study of military history.
In 2007 I paid $600 for my Remington model 1903A3. I have other rifles, but if this was the only one I had I would not feel undergunned. My tactics would just have to be adjusted accordingly.
1903A3's were made by two companies - Remington and Smith Corona. In WWII they were produced primarily because the US Rifle, Cal 30, M-1 (aka Garand) could not be turned out fast enough to equip all soldiers and Marines. They were issued to rear area troops (remember we had men stationed in the US and all around the world, some of them thousands of miles from active combat), truck drivers, etc.
Before a rifle grenade launcher could be developed for the Garand each rifle squad usually had one man with a 1903A3 for this purpose.
Notsoyoung - Your bayonet is most likely the 16" with wood grips, I think the model designation was M-1905 if I remember right. Do not let that get away, originals are worth well over $100 each to collectors. Reproductions go for $89 and above.
Many troops in battle were still issued the 1903, I was surprised to learn that even in D-day most troops were still carrying the 1903 when they hit the beaches of Normandy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
And the original point was "limited budget" and "inexpensive". When you start talking about a 870, and/or a 10-22, and a 9mm you are talking something in the neighborhood of $800 - $1,000. Same with semi/full auto high capacity magazine rifles. That's like someone saying that all they can afford is a used Ford Fiesta and you come back and argue that a new Cadillac is a better buy. Also, you focus entirely on combat situations. IMO if you are in full fledged firefights daily you won't be around for many days to fight them. If you are in a situation where there are very limited resources, few spare parts, and are primarily concerned with finding food but the possibility of having to discourage a couple of guys from screwing with you, the 03-A3 is a much better choice then an AR, AK, or what ever.
 
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