Many of today’s most time-honored meat-getters in Mississippi are military surplus rifles. There have been mountains of racks taken by Magnolia state marksman with old British Enfields, German Mausers and Russian Mosins to call a few. However, with these old warriors, proper ammunition selection is key to harvesting a white tail successfully.
Surplus Ammunition for Surplus Rifles
So you’ve a beloved old military rifle-great! It was designed to consume full metal jacketed, corrosively primed ammunition and burb out hot lead in a hostile battlefield environment. These rounds, manufactured and stockpiled for the next Great War 30-30 ammo for sale, can be found for the cheap as military surplus. All one has to do is get a Shotgun News or J&G catalog and you’ll find cases (not boxes) of Comm-bloc 7.62x54R for $80 still in the spam can along with some other popular former military ammo you can think of. It is cheap, it’s plentiful, and if you are expecting zombie hordes or want a 9-pound plinker rifle then buy after that it shoot it. Stockpile it such as the dictator of a next world country looking forward to a revolution.
But don’t take it in the woods!
This stuff will over penetrate unless you hit hard bone. It was designed to travel out to a kilometer semi-accurately, and be able to provide indirect suppressive fire two times as far. It was created for firing into sandbags and timbers used facing defensive positions and still have enough energy to help keep a steel-helmeted foot solider pinned down. These rounds are hard and will zip right via a soft-bodied animal such as a white-tailed deer. Yes, it will create a wound cavity and most likely take the pet down, but only after they have run a fraction mile away and hidden in the brush.
In addition, old military ammunition, especially from third world countries, is notoriously funny about making ragged groups. With time these rounds will begin to deteriorate, primers and propellant can age, and decay, making one handful of rounds fire in this manner, the next handful to fire this way and so forth. Utilization of these old ammos may also create large amounts of pitting and rust in your rifle or even cleaned immediately after shooting because of the corrosive military primers and powders they are made with.
Important thing: military surplus ammo is good for zombies and paper, harmful to deer
New commercial loads
Browsing their websites, Remington, Hornady, Federal, and Winchester all manufacture new soft pointed ammunition for classic surplus rifles. They virtually all have their own offerings for 30-caliber carbine, .303 British, .30-40 Krag, 6.5x55mm Swedish, 7.62x39mm, 7.62x54R, 8mm German Mauser and needless to say the all-time favorites 30.06 and 7.62 NATO.
Not only are these offered in plain soft points, but the manufactures will also be using thoroughly modern bullets such as for example Core Lokt, InterLock, Super Shock Tipped, and Power Point forms of loads. It is comforting that US-based companies are finally taking these rounds seriously and making them open to the thousands of sportsmen who use surplus rifles.
For anyone oddball European calibers like 8×57 Austrian and others, Czech manufacturer Sellier and Bellot offers many hunting loads for these rounds too. As an example they provide no less than three different loadings for the 8x57JS including a 220-grain Sierra Game King Spitzer Boat Tail.
All and never having to bother about the wartime quality control issues, vast over penetration, and corrosiveness of surplus ammo. Needless to say, some of these rounds could cost upwards of $50 per box of 20, but it’s not as if you are going to stockpile five cases of the to turn back an invasion.
Your hard-hitting bruiser of a military surplus rifle was designed to touch base across no-man’s land and zap a savage aggressor at ranges around and exceeding one thousand meters. If you keep it 1939-vintage and utilize the as issued iron sights, make sure you check their accuracy every 100 yards out to 500 to make sure you can hit what you are aiming at.
Understand that the sights of all European rifles are graduated in meters and each meter equals roughly 3.281-feet. Keep that little number at heart when coming up with a ballistics chart for your loads. Older weapons may be even funkier. There’s some oddball Russian Mosin rifles on the market that have their rear sights setup for arshins. An arshin was a funny little unit of measure utilized in Russia beneath the Tsars which was discontinued in 1924. Just in case you have an old one (look for the Tsarist crowned double headed eagle on the receiver), an arhsin is about 28-inches.
In a nutshell, although your rifle might have been made 100 years ago, and maybe utilized in several world wars, doesn’t mean it can’t be upgraded with a little modern ammo and serve for another hundred.