Best SHTF/General Purpose Surplus Bolt Action
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Thread: Best SHTF/General Purpose Surplus Bolt Action

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    Default Best SHTF/General Purpose Surplus Bolt Action

    If you are taking a military bolt gun from the past 130 or so years, what are you taking into the woods/mountains/marshes with you to survive on?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MadBelarussian View Post
    If you are taking a military bolt gun from the past 130 or so years, what are you taking into the woods/mountains/marshes with you to survive on?
    A 03A3.

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    Enfield No.4 or 03a3

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    Lee Enfield, but of course!
    "A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man."
    - Jebediah Springfield

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    M-39 Finn Mosin, ........of course. :D

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    Interesting question.

    SHTF
    Zombie apocalypse, a 308 converted bolt guy (SMLE etc) somewhat common parts, very common ammo.

    Civil unrest, something that shares ammo and preferably magazines with what else you or others have. Maybe one of those Enfields (not technically military as i think they were purpose built) that takes AK mags or a FR8 or other late stage bolt guns
    Wanted Polish 91/98/25 Upper Handguard.

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    Steyr SSG-69 PII..........

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    Fin M39 for sure.

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    SHTF Bolt Rifles:

    1. Indian Enfield 2A (An Enfield in .308. 12 round magazine. What's NOT to like?)

    2. K98k, again, preferably in .308

    Everything else is an 'Also Ran'.

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    How much ammo you taking? Are you going to reload? What gun is not the issue, the problem is long term ammo supply...
    Looking for USS Casimir Pulaski SSBN 633 items.

    Roll Tide Roll!!!

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    No 4 enfield.

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    03A3

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    Get real. If things go south I will not be fighting off zombies or biker hoards in the woods. I need to eat, so I don't plan on hunting rabbits and squirrels with an '06. Nope, my Remington model 12A in 22lr. A guy can carry a lot of 22 ammo, and it is far from worthless against two legged critters for a good shooter, plus it's not as noisy.
    In case I'm wrong about zombies a 12 gauge trench gun would be pretty useful.....

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    Finn M39 for me as well. I own and/or have shot most bolt action milsurps and the M39 is still my favorite.

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    My list:

    1. My AR

    1.5: My AK (it's a pile of parts in transit right now)

    2: My M1 Garand

    3: My M1903A3

    4: My MAS 36 — it's short, light and handy, has an internal bayonet and an aperture sight.

    As much as I like them, a Mosin would be one of my last choices.

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    Is this a piston-powered SHTF or on foot?

    Backpackers models:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    OK need some color correction in that last, but you get the idea.

    I just always thought a scoped high power rifle that can fit in a briefcase or daypack seems useful and is cool. This might be the application.
    All humans are weaponeers.

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    If only a boltie.......gotta go with one in .22, .308, or .30-06. If for no other reason, you'll be able to scrounge ammo easier.
    Always looking for interesting 7.62x25 Tokarev and 7.63 Mauser cartridges!!!
    Member: International Ammunition Assoc. (IAA), European Cartridge Research Assoc. (ECRA). Ask me about membership!

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    M/41B Swedish Mauser

    If it’s brown, it’s down.

    If the helmet is blue, might pick up an FAL too


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    Go with what you got. Mine would be a No. 4 Mk II .303, and a H & R .22/.20 ga over under.
    You remain marginally disappointing. Nevertheless, I still like you ... not a lot, but I like you ....

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    love an Enfield,

    but the most common ammo in the US is 30.06


    1903, or 1903A3,



    hands down for milsurps
    what's so funny about peace love and understanding?

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    Some of you missed that the question was about which surplus bolt action you would use but that's OK. I like the Moisin Nagants but I don't happen to have one now. I have a SMLE and some .303 ammo so I guess if it has to be a surplus bolt action that's the one. However, if I have time to go shopping I might consider an '03 Springfield because it was Alvin York's rifle, and because a Browning Auto Rifle 20 round magazine can be made to fit them and I happen to have a BAR magazine laying around here somewhere that was used in the Bay of Pigs invasion. Of course, one of the .22lr trainers such as a Winchester model 52 would also be a good choice because a .22 rifle is about as useful as you can get.
    Regards, Alan K.
    Available for Cabinet level positions, consultation on matters of foreign policy, weddings and bar-mitzvahs. Will work for gold or guns.

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    FR-8

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    This is SHTF, folks. It ain't plinking for points.

    For some reason, the rules of the game are that it has to be bolt action.

    Mossberg 695. One mag with filled with rifled slugs, one with 00-buck, and one with mixed 4-6 pellet. Survival mode.

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    Mosin M44 carbine

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    Based on the OPs criteria, I'd grab my No.5 mk 1. I installed a no drill scope mount and a Nikon 3x9x40 on it two years ago. Idea was to use it as a backup deer rifle. It's a short handy rifle with decent accuracy. I'm a good enough shot out to probably 300+meters with my skills.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MadBelarussian View Post
    If you are taking a military bolt gun from the past 130 or so years, what are you taking into the woods/mountains/marshes with you to survive on?
    Since this is the only question that was asked, and to stay on topic, I'd have to say that I'd choose a bolt action surplus rifle in .30-06, since in the USA I can walk into any gun shop, open or closed if the case be, or sporting goods store (that still sells ammo) if I run out, and find .30-06. A nice condition 1903 or 03A3 comes to mind, but a 1917 Enfield would be ok, too. Any of the 3 could shoot any brand or load in .30-06. Probably couldn't find any ammo for a surplus bolt action in 7.62x54r or 6.5x55, 8x57, or especially .303, these days. Don't know of any surplus bolt action military rifles in 5.56 or 7.62x39, either.
    Last edited by FGD135; 07-07-2020 at 10:34 AM.
    "No Anchovies? You got the wrong man, I spell my name Danger!" (Click)

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    Quote Originally Posted by FGD135 View Post
    Since this is the only question that was asked, and to stay on topic, I'd have to say that I'd choose a bolt action surplus rifle in .30-06, since in the USA I can walk into any gun shop, open or closed if the case be, or sporting goods store (that still sells ammo) if I run out, and find .30-06. A nice condition 1903 or 03A3 comes to mind, but a 1917 Enfield would be ok, too. Either could shoot any brand or load in .30-06 in the rifle. Probably couldn't find any ammo if I ran out, carrying a surplus bolt action in 7.62x54r or 6.5x55, or especially .303 these days. Don't know of any surplus bolt action military rifles in 5.56 or 7.62x39, either.
    Ain't got a surplus bolt action so I would have to take my Husqvarna 1600 in 30-06. Got a 25-06 but finding ammo for that laying around is meh.
    Don't Violate My Airspace

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    No5 Mk1 Lee Enfield.
    Its "In the Mountains"so I'm taking the carbine.
    On the flat my No4 Mk2.
    “Americans talk a lot about the value of freedom, but are actually afraid of anyone who truly exhibits it”.
    : Billy (The kid / Dennis Hopper).

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    No.4 Enfield. It holds 10 rounds. If ammo is going to be a problem, pick something else that you have more ammo than you could possibly shoot.

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    ..........and then there would be the Romainian M-69 .22lr trainer, Ammo is world wide........

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidney Smith View Post
    Based on the OPs criteria, I'd grab my No.5 mk 1. I installed a no drill scope mount and a Nikon 3x9x40 on it two years ago. Idea was to use it as a backup deer rifle. It's a short handy rifle with decent accuracy. I'm a good enough shot out to probably 300+meters with my skills.
    Flash hider might be a nice feature to have!
    "A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man."
    - Jebediah Springfield

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    Err Umm like this?
    (I also have the 10-round magazine.)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 5-round mag 3.JPG  

    “Americans talk a lot about the value of freedom, but are actually afraid of anyone who truly exhibits it”.
    : Billy (The kid / Dennis Hopper).

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    The Basic package in mil-surp SHTF/survival rifle:


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by DisasterDog View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Sidney Smith View Post
    Based on the OPs criteria, I'd grab my No.5 mk 1. I installed a no drill scope mount and a Nikon 3x9x40 on it two years ago. Idea was to use it as a backup deer rifle. It's a short handy rifle with decent accuracy. I'm a good enough shot out to probably 300+meters with my skills.
    Flash hider might be a nice feature to have! <img src="https://forums.gunboards.com/images/smilies/wink.jpg" border="0" alt="" title="wink" class="inlineimg" />
    Yep, and mine is stock save for the scope.

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    Bigwagon's choice of a M44 in comment #24 is a good one. I have a Mosin Nagant M38 in 7.62x54mm that is about as rugged as they come in a surplus bolt gun. If I had to grab a piece and run for the back woods I think that just might be the one I grab. I've got about 900 rounds for it as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IamElmerJFudd View Post
    Some of you missed that the question was about which surplus bolt action you would use but that's OK. I like the Moisin Nagants but I don't happen to have one now. I have a SMLE and some .303 ammo so I guess if it has to be a surplus bolt action that's the one. However, if I have time to go shopping I might consider an '03 Springfield because it was Alvin York's rifle, and because a Browning Auto Rifle 20 round magazine can be made to fit them and I happen to have a BAR magazine laying around here somewhere that was used in the Bay of Pigs invasion. Of course, one of the .22lr trainers such as a Winchester model 52 would also be a good choice because a .22 rifle is about as useful as you can get.
    52's are fantastic rifles, but may be a bit heavy to tote around,
    what's so funny about peace love and understanding?

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    People forget one odd thing about the .303 British.
    Its (originally) a black powder round!
    Yup the Mk1 was B/P.
    Now, the original premise TSHTF has happened. It's TETOWAKI time!(as we know it)!
    OK, I can reload with B/P if I have to. I've done this just out of curiosity. It works.
    I can also use cast loads, & if I want I can download to a lead (no steel) "00" buck for a Short(ish) range small game load.
    I can also use pistol powder (Unique & bullseye Etc) with a reduced charge & the same "00" buck if I want to.
    Heck, I can use .32 pistol bullets at those pressures.
    Just cuz its "old" don't mean it's rubbish!
    “Americans talk a lot about the value of freedom, but are actually afraid of anyone who truly exhibits it”.
    : Billy (The kid / Dennis Hopper).

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    I like my No 1 Mk 3 SMLE, but I find it difficult to use unless I'm properly attired.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Regards, Alan K.
    Available for Cabinet level positions, consultation on matters of foreign policy, weddings and bar-mitzvahs. Will work for gold or guns.

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    I'm surprised no one has mentioned a M91/30. A model 44 is a poor choice in my opinion. Sure its short and handy, but the harmonics due to that bayonet is a real deal breaker. The other choices listed here are good ones, but ammo is always a factor.

    Remember when 91/30's were 80$? You could outfit a whole squad for under 500$

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    M44 , only bolt gun I own , and have lot,s of ammo .

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    Quote Originally Posted by MadBelarussian View Post
    If you are taking a military bolt gun from the past 130 or so years, what are you taking into the woods/mountains/marshes with you to survive on?
    Mauser 98, in 8 x 57 JS, in fact I have a sporterized version I use regularly.

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    M44 instead of the 91/30 because of the length and built in bayonet.

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    As many have pointed out, it's really an ammo situation in a SHTF choice. What you have and like as long as you have ammo! My big concern is that you can only carry so much heavy ammo. It was pointed out that British .303 was originally a black powder round, but that's irrelevant. You could just as easily hand load a .30-06 with black powder. The problem with reloading is having enough primers available. Hard to make new primers in the field! If you're that far into SHTF, you need a FLINTLOCK. You'd run out of percussion caps too...

    What you really need is a light weight bolt gun that shoots a round big enough for self defense and capable of taking at least mule deer size game. .223 works, as does a .22TCM (just will). Not concerned about legal or not in a SHTF/survival situation! The point is that the military went to the smaller round (5.56/.223) because soldiers could carry more ammo and it was adequate for the job.

    That said, I've got a 1916 Spanish Mauser with a chamber insert for 7.62x39. I can carry at least three rounds of 7.62x39 for every two .30-06 rounds, so I could have 1/3 more ammo for the same weight. As long as I have ammo that would be a good choice. I'd probably just take my Marlin .22 bolt and revolver and a couple thousand rounds though. You will just have to get closer, but in house to house fighting it won't make a lot of difference... Can't take a deer unless I can both get close AND place shot just right, but for anything less it would be adequate. Lots of .22 around....

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    If I follow the rules of the post I’d probably take a Krag carbine or sporter. Good for cast bullet handloads, plenty of power, fast enough for self defense, pretty to look at, and has a loading system that lends itself well to practicality when out foraging or being used for civilian applications.

    But if I were really grabbing a rifle to go out my door into an unknown and dangerous world and I thought I might never return/was going to hide in the hills, I’d take my SKS over my shoulder and a takedown 22 in my pack.

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    As many have chosen, I'd take the 1903A3. But, I'd also add my chamber inserts so I could shoot .32acp as a single shot. Very quiet when fired from a long barrel and plenty good enough for small game.
    With the 03' you can leave the magazine loaded with .30-06 but with the magazine cut-off you can fire it as a single-shot for use with the chamber inserts.

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