Wednesday, April 2, 2014

1 of 2 today-guest article


Two Queens and a Hag
There have always been survivalists. There always will be. During our fathers and grandfathers times, the main mil-surp weapon choices were the Lee-Enfield and the 98K. Survivalists of those times stocked one or both of these, and ammo too.
I'm also including the Mosin-Nagant rifle in this article. They are reasonably priced and lots have been imported.
Total production of the three is in the neighborhood of 80,000,000.
Wiki states the effective firing range of all three being 500 meters.

File:Lee-Enfield No 4 Mk I (1943) - AM.032027.jpg

Here we have the Lee-Enfield No.4 Mark 1. Of all the Enfields I consider this model to be the best. The best for one reason, that being the rear sight has been moved back and changed to a peep sight.

During any prolonged breakdown or crisis, you can expect to see Enfields (all models). According to Wiki they were produced for more than one hundred years and total produced to date is more than 17 million. How many were imported to the U.S. as surplus? I wasn't able to find any numbers, but would feel safe to say there are hundreds of thousands here. Let's hope there is a lot of squirreled away ammunition for them as well.

While it is called a 303, in reality it shoots a .312 diameter bullet. For those unfamiliar with this caliber, it is slightly less powerful than a 308 Winchester cartridge.

Superior in almost all ways to both the 8mm Mauser rifle and the 7.62x54r Mosin-Nagant rifle. It has a detachable magazine and the bolt functions smoothly.

Disadvantages are that cheap military surplus ammunition is unavailable, and the 303 is slightly less powerful than both the 8mm and the 7.62x54r.

Karabiner 98k

File:Kar 98K - AM.021488.jpg

What you see here is a Karabiner 98K. More than 14 million have been produced (by the Germans). It shoots the 7.92x57 cartridge, slightly more powerful than the 30-06. It has a fixed internal, five round magazine.

After WWII, the Soviet Union captured millions of them from the Germans. Over the years, they gave many of them to Soviet bloc countries as military aid.

Yugoslavia is one country that slightly modified it and produced 1.2 million.

The Mauser (8mm) is a time proven classic. It does a good job for what is designed for. Killing.

Currently you can get a Yugo Mauser 24/47 at J&G sales, in good condition for $260 +s&h etc.

There is not much milsurp ammo around. Certainly not any cheap stuff. Cheaperthandirt has some, going for about 50 cents each.

Several years ago, a bunch was dumped on the market and it could be had for about 6 cents each. I'm betting some of you guys were smart enough to load up.

Expect to see the 98K and other rifles shooting the 8mm round during any prolonged crisis.

Mosin-Nagant 91/30

Here you have the Mosin-Nagant 1891/30. It shoots the 7.62x54r round. It has a five round fixed magazine. More than 45 million of these have been made.

These are currently available for about $150. For a long time you could get one for under $100. Thank the Fed for QE1 to infinity, and inflation.

Ammo is currently dirt cheap at less than 20 cents a round.

Of the classic "Big Three" (Lee-Enfield, K98/mausers, and Mosin-Nagant) the Mosin-Nagant is the ugly duckling.

Anyone with some extra money to put into shooting supplies should consider a few tins of ammo for this. (And a rifle or two).

During a break down, ammo will be one of the few things that will have extremely high value.

Most of the city slicker morons with their semiautos won't have stocked enough, and what they do have will quickly be burned up.

A smart rich guy will have hundreds of Mosin-Nagants (with ammo) that he will provide to the locals (for a fee and control) at his retreat location.

Jim has stated that the Mosin-Nagant does not have a gas bleed system. I have been unable to find any info on this online. Do any readers know where this info can be found?

All three of these rifles have proven themselves where it counts. The battle field. In snow, rain, swamps and deserts.

Perhaps not the best first choice, but a definite fall back of some degree.


  1. The old 30-30 beats the hell out of them.

    But if you want the best "try the 45-70"

    That is a mans gun.

  2. "Most of the city slicker morons with their semiautos won't have stocked enough, and what they do have will quickly be burned up."

    Oh good grief.

    You were doing pretty good there until you just had to burp up some of Jim's kool-aid.

    Hasn't he made it abundantly clear enough times that anybody who has a semiauto doesn't have the ability not to set trigger finger on "burn ammo as rapidly and often as possible" mode without your help?

    Of course, you had to embellish a bit by also classifying said owners as "city slicker morons". Nice touch that. Certainly adds credibility and class to your article.

    1. But, alas, again you are taking exception to a general rule. You might be one of the few who doesn't become incapacitated by brain chemicals under stress. That does not invalidate the general rule for the vast majority.

    2. C'MON! Is that the BEST you can do??????

      If you came here for credibility and class, boy are you in the wrong place.

      You Know Who

    3. I am a city born & bred moron, with several semi-automatic rifles.

      If I wasn't so concerned about being the sticking-up nail, I would buy tax stamps for suppressors and make sbr's of some of them. What I really need is a crew-operated light MG, but this attracts 'lotta attention in the woods as well as expensive to obtain and feed. Has anyone noticed how darn heavy an M-1A and 12 full magazines is? That's only 240 rounds. A SAW or M240B or M-2 are much heavier and hungrier. Cache 2/3rds and yer down to a manageable 80 rounds, with resupply over there somewhere, but the weapon itself is still ~12#. Twelve pounds is 2 qts of water, 4 MRE's and a good sleep system. Pounds are pain while walking, even somewhat while biking.

      Of the semi-auto rifles out there, I can only find the Kel-Tec SU-16 being a weird combination of lightweight, sturdy and feeding from Bubba-common AR-15 magazines. Gas piston (SKS-style) system removes my least favorite thing from a semi-auto ("direct impingement" filth in your action). TechSights recently offered a nice peep sight for the Kel-Tec, being a huge upgrade over a 1/2" of McDonald's beverage straw taped over the plastic weaver rail. They were once cheap, before being popular, due to 80% of the carbine being molded black plastic. If you have one, keep it for the inevitable "carry while walking" scenario, since it is light and corrosion resistant.

      Mossberg made a .223 carbine bolt action that feeds from AR-15 magazine. Sounds great for accurately shooting little diggers with the US Army cartridge. I don't have one, yet.

      Love M44 and 91/30 Mosin-Nagant. Bought at $79 at Big5. Brutal/clunky pikes with a firearm accessory. Have 10 friends and train with the bayonets, a lot. No love for the Lee-Enfield, too complex, too many parts, .303 never was cheap here. K98: Hoo-rah! The Germans made a heckofarifle easily sportified, once with way-cheap ammo. Howa 1500 is nice Japanese version of the Mauser action.

      Other favorite is Ruger 10/22 (or. when money is no object, Volquartsen). What's not to love, even in the cheapest blued/wood $179 on-sale at Bi-Mart model? Of course, a Take-Down model in SS, with a folding pistol-grip stock and TechSights peep is da-bomb for backpack concealment. Has everyone noticed the famine of .22lr on local store shelves for a while? AFAIK, domestic factories have been making rimfire ammo on three shifts 7-days-a-week for more than 5 years straight. So, where is it?
      Go crazy with a tax-stamped removable 7.5" barrel with integral suppressor for the serious belly-scraping subsonic bunny/rat hunter. Oh, yeah, all this costs more than the junk land, 5 years of stored food, 6 pairs of used boots and 5 years worth of bike tires and brake pads.

      Totally agree that a .45-70 breech-loader is a heckofa gun. Big animals tremble, and you will share some of their pain. Heavy-sturdy is not for me. Everyone for 2 miles will hear the cannon shot and want to know what it was.

      If I can't get some tasty critter with a 180 grain .30 from a bolt action, I probably deserve to eat plain rice or go hungry. Trapping varmints might provide smaller but more often nibbles, as well as keeping the chickens safer.

      As far as having gunfight with bad guys...uh, no. That is a job for my local neighborhood defense team, who will be supported as well as I can from my position of struggling obvious poverty.

      Avoiding stress incapacitation can be trained away, or a person can be a psychopath who never feels anything. The second variety is prime for being locked up or being an official hit man.


  3. One of my mosin-nagants is made by Remington and the other is soviet. They are very clunky to operated but apparently are the last of the bolt actions that have ammo available so clunky it is.

  4. I have a 1916 model with the octagon receiver and 2 M-44 carbines. I put back a thousand rounds, Last resort. They beat the hell out of a sharp stick. Worse case I can hand them out if needed. Ammo is still pretty cheap. I have non corrosive too.

  5. Yup, the No.4 Lee Enfield sure is a beaut', but although .303 British is slightly less potent than .308, it truly is by a slight amount. Mk.VII Ball .303 was 174gr at 2440 ft/s from a 25" barrel and M80 Ball 7.62 Nato is a 150gr bullet at 2800 ft/s from a 22 or 24" barrel (can't remember which). If you gave them both the same bullet weight, then the difference in velocity would be within 150 ft/s I wager, which isn't a whole Hell of a lot of difference.

    As for 8mm Mauser being hotter than .30-06, I think this was reserved for only the Military cartridges used in WWII. s.S. Patrone 1934 8mm Mauser (I think the standard ball cartridge of WWII for the Germans) was 198gr at 2500 ft/s from a 24" barrel while M2 Ball .30-06 was 150gr at 2800 ft/s from a 24" barrel. Sound familiar? Yup, the .30-06 could not be used to its full potential due to the limitations of the M1 Rifle which was ORIGINALLY designed for a smaller, sub-.30 cal cartridge and meant to use 10-rnd en bloc clips instead of an 8-rnd en bloc clip, but some high-ranking prick in the US Military in the late 1920s or early-mid 1930s said "nope, screw that, we might have war soon stick with .30-06" even though the US didn't join in WWII until 1941 which would have allowed for MANY years to stock up on that sub-.30 cal cartridge that I can't remember the name of.

    ANYWAYS, my point is, M2 Ball .30-06 was indeed less potent than 8mm Mauser in WWII, but modern day commercial .30-06 is much hotter. .30-06 is 7.62x63 and 8mm is 7.92x57, so the .30-06 has quite a bit more case capacity, which means it's capable of being a lot hotter. So while M2 Ball is weaker than s.S. Patrone 1934, the modern day civilian versions of .30-06 and 8mm Mauser is likely reversed; .30-06 being hotter than 8mm Mauser.

    I also believe that the No.4 Lee Enfield is the superior Lee Enfield design for more reasons than simply the sights. Compared to the other standard Lee Enfield rifle, the Mk.III*, it has a floating barrel which improves accuracy, a thicker barrel which improves accuracy, and I hear it was also cheaper to manufacture however it wasn't produced for as long resulting in the No.4 typically being more expensive than the Mk.III* since there's fewer of them. No.4 was also only produced by Canada, UK, and US (who produced the fewest of the three I think) while Australia is still producing them but Militarily only used the Mk.III* so their No.4 variants are made for civilians.

    The Mk.III* Lee Enfield, the one typically referred to as the SMLE or lovingly nicknamed the Smelly, similarly the older No.1 Lee Enfield, the 'Long Lee', is an 'MLE' since the S in the SMLE means 'Short'. The MLE is nicknamed, as you can imagine, the Emily. The Mk.III* was produced by the UK, Australia, and India. For some reason they wouldn't allow Canada to produce them which is why we instead adopted the Ross rifle instead of buying our rifles from Britain, but in finding that the Ross' action had far too tight tolerances for trench warfare we inevitably had to switch over to the Mk.III* instead in 1915.

    While the UK switched to the No.4 in 1941, Australia and India kept using the Mk.III* even throughout the Korean War, and I hear India had the old SMLE as their standard issue service rifle even into the 1960s! By then, it had actually been rechambered to 7.62 Nato to adhere to what was required of Nato nations. You can still find 7.62 Nato Mk.III* Lee Enfields made at Ishapore, but I hear they're very rare.

    Sort of getting to the character limit lol Anyways, GREAT article, cheers!