Surplus to watch and avoid

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Polaris428
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Surplus to watch and avoid

Post by Polaris428 »

As I'm getting my feet wet in starting my surplus collection, I am wondering what rifles or handguns, if there are any, that are easier to locate and/or purchase for reasonable prices. I know, its 2020, I shouldn't throw around the r word.

For those who go to shows, any advice to give to a newbie who is entering quite green in the surplus world?

I have done a fair amount of reading on the rifles I am interested in. I dont know a ton about handguns as there seems to be 4 origins for each handgun.

Are there any less common rifles worth looking into? When I think of common surplus, I think of the Enfields, Mosins, Mauser variant (German, Yugoslavian, Spanish), Swiss K11 / K31, Japanese T99/T38.

Carcanos? Czech mausers? Those are ones I see often but haven't looked too far into.

Just looking for some general advice, maybe some ideas, and most of all I look forward to the conversation.

Thanks!

72 usmc
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Re: Surplus to watch and avoid

Post by 72 usmc »

reasonable prices
You are 10 years to late :doh: :doh: :doh: :roll:

Any surplus rifle is great, there are some you like, others you avoid mostly due to high prices. Now use caution with any bolt action milsurp with a mismatched bolt. Avoid buying or check the headspace with a field gauge prior to purchase. Ones with matching bolt generally are good to go, as well as most miss matched ones. But still check.

Most of the dogs you see at gun shows may have reproduction cleaning rods and slings. Watch for reproduction parts and /or bayonets, cleaning rods and slings.

Avoid refinished stocks, original finish stocks are now very expensive to obtain in order to replace a refinished dog.

On expensive bring backs have a serious collector with you. To may faked K98s, M1 carbines. Watch out for removed import marks.

Always check an Enfield, M1 carbine, 1917 enfield, and any Turk Mauser with a field gauge to see if the bolt closes on a field gauge.

If the barrel is filty do not fall for the "it will clean up fine" they would have cleaned the bore to get top buck if it was good.

The only milsurp I avoid is one that I have to reload or reform cartridges for because no one makes ammunition for under $3 a shot. It all depends on how much work you want to put into it. It is a labor of love. Reloading equipment and gun parts all have gotten just too expensive to restore an old milsurp to its original glory.

Pistols- well, you need an example of each. Must haves are a USGI 45, Russian Tokarev, a Luger, a P38, a 1935 a 0r s French auto then just about any thing you like to shoot. How many different types of pistol ammo do you want to deal with? Luck finding an example, funds, and cost of ammo are the only limiting factors. The nasty Glock is the only pistol I would never buy, and if given one, I would throw in the garbage :lol: :lol: But its not a military pistol.

If new to milsurps read this: Buying first surplus rifle, what to look for. by 72 usmc

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=2911

Remember invest in books and research. Know the general price trends and go to as many gun shows as possible and get to know the sellers. When they know you, you get the first call when they find goodies. Give old collectors your name and number so when they drop dead the wife may call you to get rid of that old junk which is 30-50 years of collectable rifles & pistols
Last edited by 72 usmc on Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:27 am, edited 2 times in total.
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

72 usmc
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Re: Surplus to watch and avoid

Post by 72 usmc »

You want great shooters: K31, M1, K98, 1917 US enfield, US Krag, Mas 36, SMLE, Gew 98, o3 Springfield, Finish m39 , Swedish 1896 Mauser, then some of the South American 7mm mausers . You want pure fun: M38 or M44 Mosin, M1 carbine, Enfield Jungle carbine, Berthier, or a civil war black powder springfield.

Ah, :idea: :idea: :lol: a Nagant revolver comes to mind as one to avoid if it costs $300-350, at $59 to $79 its OK for a fishing box pistol.
At $300 its an anemic joke.
:arrow: :arrow: One more comes to mind, any form of "MITCHELL" rebuilt, faked, sanitized garbage, like new Mauser :lol: :lol: Hell No. :shhh:
https://forums.gunboards.com/showthread ... -s-Mausers

I never purchased a 45/70 due to its high cost, and never got any Japanese pistols due to ammo cost.
:arrow: I would love the USGI M14 that I had in the Marines :roll: :doh: cost is beyond my means. And an original Thompson is what dreams are made of.... :violin: :violin:

Now here are some words of wisdom. You got to have the hard cash say 3-5 thousand saved with easy access so when a collection comes up due to a death. You can move fast and dig deep to buy the best of the best. Good things comes to those that wait and have money saved for that one time of luck.
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

Polaris428
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Re: Surplus to watch and avoid

Post by Polaris428 »

72 usmc wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:45 pm
The nasty Glock is the only pistol I would never buy, and if given one, I would throw in the garbage :lol: :lol: But its not a military pistol.
Hey now, my several glocks took offense to that. Seems they are either loved or hated with no one in the middle. I shoot them, mainly because that's what I train with and carry primarily for work. Its also the first pistol platform I ever put more than 10 rounds through. I enjoy them, but I also enjoy 1911s. Still looking to get my first surplus pistol.

I was going to mention the nagant pistol as an example to avoid, due to its recent spike in price. They're not worth even close to $300.

The dirty bore thing, as simple as it is, i never even thought about it that way. Great advice.

I won't purchase something I'm not sure on, at least for now. With more experience and knowledge, I'll be a little more willing to take a risk for reward. For now, I'll stick to what I know or what I've researched and not fall into someone's gimmick or trap.

I have been looking into reloading, but you said it right, it is so expensive to get into it. I'll need to shoot a LOT more before that investment can be made. I shoot often but even then I feel its a far cry of a worthwhile investment.

Totally agree on the patience and timing aspect, as with most things in life.

Great responses from you, as usual, thank you again.

72 usmc
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Re: Surplus to watch and avoid

Post by 72 usmc »

Sorry, but I used the 1911, I like nice C & R 1911 style or Browning like clones such as Argentine 45 or their Baluster Molinas- a cheep 1911 for those that can not afford a true USGI 1911 or did not accidentally walk off with theirs. The French 1935 A or S auto and of course my favorite is the Russian series of Tokarevs with that nice 7.62x25 hot round. The colt 1903 hammerless is a nice slim pistol. And one I like, but never purchased because I did not want to deal with the 9mm Largo ammo -the inexpensive Star. Never picked up a Star, the BM is in 9mm luger. All are nice slim pistols that shoot fine. They make factory ammo for the French 32 long and also 9mm Largo. See Steniel ammunition. These are all nice C& R pistols.


Odd balls that are cheep is the PPK my wifes favorite, the Webley my favorite revolver. A rather expensive pistol is the Finn Lahti or Polish 1911 style VIs 35--both too rich for my pockets. Another odd pistol is the bulky, fat handle CZ 52 that shoots a hot tok round or the very odd Croation PhP MV 17. Like a Star Wars blaster. Lots of surplus pistols were dumped since the mid 1990s and were dirt cheep back in the day. You see all this stuff at gun shows, but prices have gone up. Way up. For example a French 1935A could be had for $200 because no one produced factory ammo. However, with the introduction of factory brass from Starline and Steniel making factory ammo cheep...the price per pistol is now around $600. That is in the last year or so.

Most have the a Beretta M1951 if you are into big Italian pistols. Those I never got into. I favor the French or Argentine stuff.
Then there is all of those cheep communist block small pistols. Never was into those.
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

Polaris428
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Re: Surplus to watch and avoid

Post by Polaris428 »

I saw the Beretta 1951s for pretty cheap. Caught my eye but we'll see where it goes after I get my hands on a few. Its nice that they're in common calibers making them easier to justify and simpler to shoot.

I've been waiting for the CMP to get more 1911s.

NorthMan
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Re: Surplus to watch and avoid

Post by NorthMan »

There are several recent batches of Beretta's that have been brought in - 1951's, 92FS, 80-series - if you have any interest in those, now is the time before they disappear. It's pretty much proven that if/when further shipments of anything do arrive, the prices will be higher.

As 72 usmc has stated, be prepared with knowledge and funds to jump on opportunities when they present themselves.
Best of luck with your collecting.

Polaris428
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Re: Surplus to watch and avoid

Post by Polaris428 »

NorthMan wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:29 pm
There are several recent batches of Beretta's that have been brought in - 1951's, 92FS, 80-series - if you have any interest in those, now is the time before they disappear. It's pretty much proven that if/when further shipments of anything do arrive, the prices will be higher.

As 72 usmc has stated, be prepared with knowledge and funds to jump on opportunities when they present themselves.
Best of luck with your collecting.
I figured as much. I'm resisting buying online prior to conducting more research and hands on experience.

But the Berettas are calling my name in distance....

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Re: Surplus to watch and avoid

Post by NorthMan »

While some of the newer pistols don't apply, most all of the rifles you've mentioned are C & R (FFL 03) eligible. If you get a C&R license you can avoid the (rip-off) transfer fees that most gun shops charge. At $30 for three years, even if you only use it once, you probably saved money. Over a lifetime of collecting, you save hundreds of dollars and lots of hassle.

https://www.atf.gov/firearms/curios-relics

Polaris428
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Re: Surplus to watch and avoid

Post by Polaris428 »

NorthMan wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:24 pm
While some of the newer pistols don't apply, most all of the rifles you've mentioned are C & R (FFL 03) eligible. If you get a C&R license you can avoid the (rip-off) transfer fees that most gun shops charge. At $30 for three years, even if you only use it once, you probably saved money. Over a lifetime of collecting, you save hundreds of dollars and lots of hassle.

https://www.atf.gov/firearms/curios-relics
I will be refraining from online shopping for a while. Probably wouldn't hurt to get it, though. My local shop charges $30 for a transfer.

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Re: Surplus to watch and avoid

Post by jaytex1969 »

72 usmc wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:45 pm

...Give old collectors your name and number so when they drop dead the wife may call you to get rid of that old junk which is 30-50 years of collectable rifles & pistols...

I see you are in Wisconsin. Make sure to give 72 usmc your name and number.... :lol:

72 usmc
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Re: Surplus to watch and avoid

Post by 72 usmc »

There are more than a few just waiting. A good number are going to Menominee friends.
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

Polaris428
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Re: Surplus to watch and avoid

Post by Polaris428 »

72 usmc wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:15 pm
There are more than a few just waiting. A good number are going to Menominee friends.
I'm not one to ask for anything from anyone, other than advice. I wouldn't put it on you in any form that you'd have to sell anything to me just because of our forum connection, however minor/major it may be. I believe, like anyone, if you wished to include anyone, you will do that or mention it to that person.

With that being said, you're aware of my intent to collect and you have a knack of collecting nice pieces.

I'll leave it at that.

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Re: Surplus to watch and avoid

Post by 72 usmc »

Polaris, I hope to meet you at one of the Fond Du Lac shows after the high count C19 is over in WI, I am the old guy with a faded orange College of Menominee Nation hat; generally the second or third person at the doors line. Show opens at 08:00, I get there at 07:00 an bs in line with friends or get in early to help seller friends set up tables. Like I say, I most likely will not be at the Oct show. Those shows are packed and sometimes the fire department enforces the occupancy code. So by 10:00, it can be one out, then one in. Like I say, I am not sure how many of the older sellers will risk infection due to health issues. I wonder if the hundreds of tables will be full like days of old. Most of us are all in our 70s -80s. It is an odd show, sometimes hunter gun heavy, sometimes surplus and Indian war heavy. You just never know. It is one worth driving 2 hours for. Great brats and hot chile, so hot you start sweating. By 10:00 is is so crowded you can not move up the isles. I would get my best stuff in the first hour, then spend time talking and sitting at tables talking to friends or looking at books and uniforms later. Anything reasonably priced goes fast the first day. The gun are rather high priced, fair retail values; in the last year prices have just gone nuts. The last two shows I only found some used books. You just never know, one show you could find 5 rifles, other times, nothing you need or can afford. There was always at least 5 or 7 forum members that would be at the show. Two died, one can not get out due to health, one in a walker, but the enfield guy still shows up to sell a rifle or two. We had 28,000 members before the great extinction, a good number moved over to gunboards forum.

It is a good show, with no scum bags selling hot stuff out of the trunk in the parking lot. Most sellers ask for a signed statement, all ask to see the C&R or DL. Guns are tagged and have zip strips, safety checks are done at the door, the NRA has a table and Fond du lacs best watch the parking lot. All sales are conducted inside and it uses color coded dots for bring ins and table sold items. Some guys do not sell certain items if a person looks shady, on the other hand if you dress like a lawyer in a suit coat you may get told a slightly higher price. Most guns are marked, but price is always a dicker back and forth. It just depends on the seller. Some gun are not marked, price depends on the person . Some things are such a find you grab it at quoted price because if you put it down someone else will grab it and pay the asking price. Rare stuff is high. However, there are generally a few estates when a guy died and the family wants the stuff gone. That's when I would get a deal. One gal sold items at her dads cost +$50 he had marked in his book, but te would not sell to dealers. His wish. She only sold to collectors. She notice I was a Marine like her dad and I got a British P14 she had marked at $600 on a 750-800 rifle for $500. So you just never know what you may find because it is so large of a show. It takes me an hour and a half to run up isles looking fast for surplus things that catch my eye. Then I walk through again at a normal pace looking at tables more carefully. By this time its 11:00 and packed full of people so I sit at a sellers table and bs while looking at the people walk by with bring ins. Always a nice event. Most of the time I can trade off an item because the days of spare cash a long gone. Our old posts of all the great finds were vanished in the great extinction and can only be found in the Wayback Machine archive.
Last edited by 72 usmc on Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:57 am, edited 2 times in total.
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

Polaris428
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Re: Surplus to watch and avoid

Post by Polaris428 »

72 usmc wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:46 am
Polaris I hope to meet you at one of the Fond Du Lac shows after the high count C19 is over, I am the old guy with a faded orange College of Menpminee Nation hat generally the second or third person at the door. Show opens at 08:00 i get there at 07:00 an bs in line with friends or get in early to help seller friend set up tables. Like I say I most likely will not be at the Oct show. Those shows are packed and sometimes the fire department enforces the occupancy code. So by 10:00 it can be one out,then one in. Like I say, I am not sure how many of the older sellers will risk infection due to health issues. I wonder if the hundreds of tables will be full like days of old. Most of us are all in our 70s -80s. It is an odd show, sometimes hunter gun heavy , sometimes surplus and Indian war heavy. You just never know. It is one worth driving 2 hours for. Great brats and hot chile, so hot you start sweating. By 10:00 is is so crowded you can not move up the isles. I would get my best stuff in the first hour, then spend time talking and sitting at tables talking to friends or looking at books and uniforms later. Anything reasonably priced goes fasten the first day.
I'll keep an eye out and you'll have to let me know if you attend for a good bs session thats in order. I might be the only 26 year old skinny farm kid there. :lol:

Now the chili itself might be worth the drive, honestly. I will remember to get there early to snatch up deals.

Something to look forward to for sure!

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