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Hunting with Milsurps
Big Game Hunting topics that dont fit other categories
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 12:37 pm    Post subject: Hunting with Milsurps Reply with quote

A little while back, I started collecting WWII military surplus rifles when various countries started dumping them on the market as they updated their reserve armaments. Many of these rifles are chambered for cartridges that would make them outstanding big game rifles with the right ammunition.

I think my all time favorite would be the 7.5x55 Swiss. The K-31 is generally a very accurate rifle; a little tweaking makes it a tack driver. St. Marie sells a scope mount for it, although it is offset due to the action design, but the rifle could be used for anything you would use a 30-06 for.

Next would be the beloved SMLE in .303 Brit. Whether a No.1 or a No. 4, you just have to love the smooth, fast bolt action, The .303 Brit has been used for everything from rabbits to elephants, killing lions and tigers along the way. While I applaud the British sense of adventure, I think I will limit my use of 303 to deer, and maybe elk. There are several styles of scope mounts available for SMLEs.

The old standby, is, of course, the Model 98 Mauser. Everyone should have 3 or 4 of these in various configurations just because they are the standard by which all other bolt actions are judged (the M96 ain't so bad, either). They come in 7mm or 8mm Mauser, depending on country of origin, along with a few oddball chamberings like 7.53 Argentine, and Brazil even issued them in 30-06. But even a Nazi Mauser in 8mm makes a great hunting rifle. I don't need to tell anyone on this board what a great round it is. Scoping options abound for the Mauser.

The Soviet sniper rifle of choice in WWII was the Mosin-Nagant. It shoots the 7.62x54R and can be very accurate (just ask the Finns who used captured Soviet rifles against their enemies). The 7.62x54R is a hard kicking, hard hitting round, that when loaded with expanding bullets, takes game with authority. Finnish rifles were re-barreled with heavier weight tubes, and rumor has it that they are more consistently accurate. Scope mounts come in the "scout" style or a type that requires drilling and tapping of the receiver.

I met a guide in Colorado once that carried a Jap Type 99 in 7.7 Jap. The Type 99 is a Mauser derivative and the 7.7 round falls somewhere between the .303 Brit and the 7.62x54R in power. He swore by that rifle when it came to elk. I guess he ought to know - he's shot a lot more elk than I have, all with that 7.7.

The French, who are not known for their hunting traditions fielded the MAS Model 1936 in 7.5x54. Very similar on the outside to the Swiss ammo, the 7.5x54 is loaded to somewhat lower pressures. All I can say is that it is one of those rounds you can shoot all day without developing a flinch. My daughters find it just right in size and recoil. It has plenty of downrange energy for big game and is probably a little more versatile than the venerable 30-30.

A couple I have yet to try in the field include the Steyr M95 in 8x56R and the Carcano in 6.5 Carcano.

The Steyr M95 is a sweet little carbine. It is a straight-pull and is extremely light weight. You could carry it all day and not notice it, and it is extremely handy. It uses an ammo clip on the same principle as the Garand (another great hunting rifle), but it kicks pretty hard. Ammo is relatively hard to find outside of corrosive Nazi military ball, but I am working some loads up with some hard cast lead.

The Carcano is built along the same lines as the Steyr, except it is a turn bolt. It's clips are very similar as the Steyr's. As to suitability for hunting? Well, keep in mind that this is the same model that Oswald used in his famous shots in November of 1963 (or was it someone else???).

I find hunting with historical rifles very rewarding, and it sharpens my skills because each one has a different sight picture and trigger pull. Do you have a milsurp that you hunt with? If you do, please share.
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fireball 3
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 6:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Hunting with Milsurps Reply with quote

Hi ya Phil, I use a 8mm-06 k.kale turk mauser w/29" barrel. It is a definite game getter. 185gr Rem corelocks is a hog getter for sure. Here is a pic of it.

if at first you don't succeed, take a nap, and try
tomorrow. can't hurt!
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 8:57 am    Post subject: Re: Hunting with Milsurps Reply with quote

Why's that trigger lock on there?

Ain't allowed to take it off...or you just being super safe?
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 6:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Hunting with Milsurps Reply with quote

Here's a good one. An MBR that would server very well as a hunting rifle (and many do). Back when I used to compete, we had a guy show up to a silhouette match with one of these. He didn't do to badly, either - wound up in the upper half of the field.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 1:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Hunting with Milsurps Reply with quote

When my friends and I were of age to purchase and hunt with rifles we had pretty much abandoned the lever actiions of our father in hopes of finding morepower and range. None of us had any money to speak of so we went cheap. One had a 7.7 Jap, I had a Model 96 Swede in 6.5 and another friend located an old Nagant. We didn't kill much in those days but we had fun carrying around all that history.
Wish I would have bought every Swede i could have back in the day. We got them for $60.....ammo was the killer tho.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 3:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Hunting with Milsurps Reply with quote


I've hunted moose with a Brit .303. It's the first high powered rifle I ever owned (almost 40 years ago, $10 at a pawn shop....those were the days, sigh) and I've used them off and on my whole life. it'll drop 'em with one shot, no problem. Although I do have a friend over in Saskatchwan who's opinion I highly respect who has nothing good to say about them, right 1895?

"If God hadn't meant for man to eat animals, he wouldn't have made them out of meat!"
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