Letter Re: Advice on Military Surplus Bolt Action Rifles

You have spoken convincingly of purchasing pre-1899 firearms. I have noticed a flood of older rifles on the market for the last few years, all at seductively low prices, even if some [that are post-1898] must be “registered.” I looked through the topics on the Blog site but could not find the answer to what I am about to ask.

Would you care to offer comparative opinions on the older rifles readily available (Mosin-Nagant, Yugoslavian Mauser, Turkish Mauser, etc.) on the market today. Thanks, – B.A.C.

JWR Replies: I generally prefer pre-1899 Mauser rifles. The Yugoslavian M48 Mausers currently on the market are legally “modern”, requiring transfer through an FFL if purchased across state lines. State and local laws vary widely, but the Federal exemption on pre-1899s is captivating. I’d recommend that anyone interested in acquiring pre-1899 cartridge guns contact George at The Pre-1899 Specialist (one of our advertisers). He will be happy to share his knowledge on the subject.