If you own a rifle, you know that they can cost you quite a bit. It may surprise you to know that you don’t have to spend a ton of money to own, collect and shoot rifles. If you don’t know, surplus rifles can be a great addition to your armory and won’t cost you much. Armies from across the word have been using military rifles for years.
They’re well-built, durable, easy to use and can teach you a bit about history. Whether you you’re an expert on military surplus rifles or you’re starting to become interested in the topic, today you’ll learn about 10 of the best surplus rifles you can still buy today with their history and some of the most important specs, why you might want to buy one and where to look if you do! Hopefully you learn something new and maybe you’ll find the next gun to add to your collection, either way, let’s get into it!
The M1 Garand is a .30 caliber, semi-automatic rifle designed by John Garand, that has an eight-round clip. Back when this was first made, have a clip like that was unheard of the bolt action rifles that were used at the time.
This rifle was mostly used during the Korean War and World War II. It allowed for American soldiers to be a step ahead of their enemy when using this rifle. Not only is this rifle incredibly precise, it is packed with a whole lot of firepower.
It has a 24 inch barrel and is gas operated with a rotating bolt. The sight and trigger on the M1 Garand make it easy to shoot from longer distances. It can shoot targets from a distance of 500 yards at a rate of 40 to 50 rounds a minute.
It’s not the lightest gun on the market, or the cheapest but it is quite a cool rifle to add to your collection. It’s one of the more popular military surplus rifles that collectors and hunters still love to use today.
If you’re looking for a legendary weapon to own, the Mosin-Nagant is high up on that list.
Luckily, these rifles are incredibly easy to come by as they’re sold in a lot of places and are cost-friendly. If you’re just starting your collection, this is a great piece to have.
It was first produced in the late 1800s and there have been nearly 40 million made since then! This rifle helped take down the Nazi’s and has some incredible history behind it. The Russian’s used this gun in the Cold War.
If you’re using it for hunting, you’d probably like to know that it holds 5 bullets at a time and is a bolt-action rifle. The Mosin-Nagant looked modern at the time it was made but some may not find it too appealing nowadays. The accuracy on this rifle is incredible and the trigger is quick!
The Mosin-Nagant has had a lot of different variations come out over the years and there are plenty to choose from for the avid collector. The price of one of these weapons is rising, so it’s best to get one before they become costly.
Made after the year it was created and by the company it came from is gun now known as the 1903 Springfield. Later we talk about the 1898 Mauser but the 1903 Springfield is The United States’ version of that rifle. The U.S. made the 1903 rifle resemble the 1898 Mauser so closely that the company that made it actually have to pay Mauser for copyright.
Before being called the 1903 Springfield, it was named The United States Rifle. The 1903 Springfield was quite the popular rifle during the first and second World Wars. It has a .30-.06 cartridge and is a great long distance rifle. It’s bolt-action and has a barrel length of 24 inches. It has a firing range maximum of 5,500 yards.
Many people consider this gun to be the most beautiful rifle that’s ever been made.This rifle was known for the accuracy it provided to the user and was often used by snipers during the war.
People today use it mostly for hunting big game. The downfall of this rifle is the price; it’s one of the most expensive weapons out there today and can cost you nearly $1,000.
The Lee Enfield rifle was designed by James Paris Lee in 1895, lasting until 1926. In 1904 it rebranded to the rifle you see today. These guns are considered to be cheap when it comes to the price of military surplus rifles today.
There have been over 17 million of these rifles made, all of which having a .303 British cartridge. These guns were used in countries such as Canada, Australia and South Africa for hunting. Like the 3 rifles listed above, the Lee Enfield is a bolt action gun.
It has a maximum firing range of 3,000 yards and can shoot 20 to 30 bullets per minute. It was the firearm of choice for the British Empire during the early 20th century. A lot of people in the U.K. nicknamed it the “smelly” in reference to a rifle of the same name.
They used it from 1895 to 1957 which is why it carries a lot of history. Whether you’re looking to shoot big game animals or add it to a historical collection, this rifle is a great buy!
This military surplus rifle has been around since 1938 and has had a lot of variants throughout the years. They were used for the United States to use during World War II. It was also used in the Korean and Vietnam wars.
The barrel of this semi-automatic rifle is 18 inches and the maximum firing range is 300 yards. The sight equipped on this gun is a simple flip sight. There are just two settings that are for the distance you’re shooting from which are 150 yards or 300 yards.
It is equipped with a .30 Carbine cartridge and is incredibly light. The recoil on this rifle is gentle and the gun itself is pretty simple to shoot. This is a gun for anyone who considers themselves a collector and is often used by women or children learning to shoot.
Hunters could use the M1 Carbine for smaller game, but nothing larger than a small deer. People that use this gun also have a belt pouch to carry extra ammunition for hunting or target practice. There have been just over 6 million M1 Carbine rifles made since it’s initial product in 1938.
Mauser was created in 1811 in Germany by Lüke & Ortmeier Gruppe. This rifle absolutely changed the game when it came to firearms when it was first released in, you guessed it, 1898.
It’s a bolt-action rifle that has set the standard for all others that came after it. The guns history is routed in the German’s using it in the first and second World Wars. There have been several variants since it’s creation, but none quite like the original.
There is a modern version of the 1898 Mauser you can buy today that has a lot of the same features as the one that came out so long ago. The barrel length is around 29 inches and can fire up to 15 rounds a minute with a maximum range of 550 yards.
It can carry 5 rounds in the internal clip loaded magazine. The sights on this rifle are made out of iron which a lot of collectors tend to enjoy. You can find this rifle on the market now renamed from 1898 Mauser to The Gewehr 98.
The SKS is a military surplus rifle that one could compare with today’s AK-47. It’s not quite as tough as the AK-47 but that doesn’t mean this isn’t a powerful weapon. One of the best features of this gun is it’s incredible accuracy.
It won’t cost you a lot either compared to some of the other rifles on this list. The SKS has been used all over the globe including China, Germany, North Korea and plenty more.
This gun has a 7.62x39mm cartridge which is great if you’re shooting targets that are closer to you rather than from a distance. It might not be the best for hunting but that doesn’t stop plenty of people for using it for just that. The barrel is 20 inches long and this gun has a maximum firing range of 440 yards. The clips can hold 10 rounds and the rifle will quickly fire off all of that within a minute.
Coming from the Soviet Union, you know this gun is durable and tough. It’s been around since 1945 and has had a couple variants since then. If you’re looking for a mid-priced military surplus rifle that has a lot of history from around the world, consider the SKS!
The Swiss K31
If you want to get a rifle that your friends will be jealous of, the Swiss K31 is a staple to any armory. It’s a bolt-action rifle and it got its name from being a weapon used by the Swiss armed forces for 25 years in the mid 20th century. It has a 7.5 by 55mm cartridge which can be compared to some of the Winchester rifles.
This surplus military rifle was made with quality and durability in mind. It has a detachable box magazine that fits six rounds which comes in handy during target practice.
When using this gun, if you’re wanting a new round of bullets, you have to do a straight pull back and then a push forward motion to get the ammunition into the chamber which isn’t standard for bolt action rifles but pays off when it comes to how quickly you can go through rounds.
The gun is quite steady, making it much easier to aim. If you’re trying to buy one today, you’ll find the majority of them come in great shape. Lastly, one of the coolest features of the Swiss K31 is that sometimes you can find a tag on it that has the original owners information which can be fun for some to trace back in time!
Turkish 8mm Mauser
The Turkish 8mm Mauser is a rifle that gets a lot of people into surplus military rifles. Mauser rifles often get compared to Mosin-Nagant rifles, so if you like one, you’ll probably enjoy the other.
There have been plenty of variants over time and they differ based on which country they were made in. The one thing all of the different variants have in common is their safety system and the classic Mauser action.
The barrel of this gun is just over 28 inches long and has a maximum firing range of 2,000 meters. It’s hard to say what one of these rifles will cost you since the prices vary so much depending on which model you decide on.
The Turkish Mauser is one of the cheapest models out there. It may not be the sleekest looking gun on the market today but it does the job it’s designed to do and won’t cost you a ton of money.
Another great thing about this gun is that the ammunition is incredibly cheap. If you’re wanting to save money while teaching someone to shoot or practicing yourself, this is a great military surplus rifle to choose!
We had to include a really unique surplus military rifle before closing out this list which leaves us with the Arisaka rifle. This gun was made in Japan and is a bolt-action gun designed by Arisaka Nariakira and Nambu Kijirō. It was created in 1897 and was even used in the second World War.
There are several different variants of this rifle, some even bayonets in later years! Many different countries have used the Arisaka rifle from Finland to Cambodia to The United Kingdom. It has an internal magazine that can hold up to 5 rounds at a time.
It’s also equipped with both rear and front sights which make it great for snipers during the war. Those sights can be used nowadays to see targets or animals that are far off in the distance.
The barrel is nearly 26 inches, it has a .3 inch caliber and the maximum firing range on this gun is 656 yards. These rifles were often used for training back in the day and still serve as a great choice for practicing and training today!
Where To Buy
Looking for military surplus rifles may not be the easiest thing to find while shopping but it can make for a really fun afternoon. Look at it the same way you would antiquing or thrifting. Sometimes it may take a few stops to find the perfect addition for your collection.
There are a number of places to buy military surplus rifles. You can use the internet and buy one online (these often require a signature upon delivery). You could also check out your local army surplus store or flea markets to see if they carry any. You could also go to auctions and bid on military surplus rifles. All of these places may have any accessories you need as well, including ammo.
While a lot of people want to buy the newest gun with the best features, there’s something special about going on a treasure hunt to find a piece of history that has a story behind it. If you want to take the hassle out of trying to find a military surplus rifle, your best bet is to go to a gun show. They’re guaranteed to have them and you’ll be surrounded by like-minded individuals.
Why Buy Surplus Rifles
There are a ton of reasons to start buying military surplus rifles. Whether you’re just starting your collection or wanting to display a piece of history, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to start buying these guns. Believe it or not, a lot of people prefer to shoot with military surplus rifles. They are not just used for collected and displaying.
They are fun to shoot, they look great, military surplus rifles don’t have to cost you a ton of money, they’re incredibly accurate and you get a historical story behind the piece. This can be a great hobby for many people and it’s worth looking into. You can use them to hunt, shoot cans or targets or display in a case in your home with a little history about the gun displayed next to it.
You could also get into military surplus rifles simply to take them apart and rebuilding them. Whatever purpose you seek one out for, it’s quite the trip back in time and can be entertaining for those young and old.
Whenever you get a new hobby or interest, cost can usually play a factor. It won’t take long before buying military surplus rifles adds up. Though they’re generally cheaper than anything new you could buy, people tend to purchase several of them over time.
It’s like saying you’re just going to have one chip or cookie, it’s hard to stop at just one! You can find some surplus rifles for incredible deals and you can also find them at price tags that can break the bank.
Consider what you’re using the gun for, the history behind it and how many you plan to add. Budget accordingly and have fun picking out which military surplus rifle you’ll purchase next!
Getting into a new hobby is incredibly fun and exhilarating. If military surplus rifles are something new to you or you’ve been interested in them for years, we hope you learned a few things today. This article just touches on the subject and there are plenty more rifles out there to choose from.
Whether you’re interested in these types of guns for hunting, practicing your aim or simply to collect or display in your home, they hold quite a bit of history while still being able to do what they were designed to do. You don’t always need to newest gun with the latest features when one of these old surplus rifles are available.
You can start out by purchasing one an the cheaper end to see how you like it and go from there. We can’t promise you won’t want to buy many more after that! Have fun when shopping for these guns by going to flea markets or auctions. You’ve read about where else you can purchase a surplus rifle, why people love to own them and 10 of the most popular rifles that are still available today. Happy hunting!