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Discussion Starter #1
OK, I've seen many threads here where a newbie asks, "What should my first deer rifle be?" and invariably someone will say, "Get a Mosin! they're cheap and ammo is cheap". Well, sort of. I have a Mosin and agree it's a fun plinker and with mil-surp the ammo is cheap. But if you want a hunting round, Hornady 7.62x54R is no cheaper than a 308 (or any of a host of other popular rounds) would be and has limited bullet selection (like ONE). PRVI ammo seems to always be out of stock. Brass likewise. NORMA is over $1/per case and PRVI always out of stock. So I challenge the recommendation on that grounds. To say nothing of the lack of a (decent) safety and it's ungainlyness in mil form.

Prove me wrong! Point me to some decent price Boxer brass! or to available PRVI or other boxer ammo!
 

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The first safety on any gun is between your ears #1 Rule as I was taught and #2 was to keep your boogerhook off the trigger, but I see your point. I usually carry mine without a round in the chamber, till I think I've got a shot or something worth my effort. ............................Waterdog.
 

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i bought some S&B at our local gun shop last week for $10.99 for 20.
this is the 180gr SP brass ammo, and yes it's boxer primed.
and if you have a press and dies, you can pull the bullets from milsurp and reload with the same weight soft points. Iv'e done this with some albanian and it shoots just fine.
make sure to remove your decapping rod if you're gonna do this though.

that being said, for a first hunting rifle, you'd be better off with a Marlin XL series or one of the Savage/Stevens rifles.
both of these can be had for around $300 if you keep an eye on the sales.
 

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the first safety on any gun is between your ears #1 rule as i was taught and #2 was to keep your boogerhook off the trigger, but i see your point. I usually carry mine without a round in the chamber, till i think i've got a shot or something worth my effort. ............................waterdog.
+1000000000.
 

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there are much better first deer rifles than a Mosin. that being said, I gave one of my cousins a Mosin M-38 in an ATI stock for his first rifle. and he loves it. the ATI stock really tames the recoil and makes the rifle much more sporty looking.
 

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if someone wants a deer rifle I would recommend a deer rifle, if someone wants to kill Nazi Zombies for cheap I would recommend the Mosin Nagant. No need for a safety when killing Zombies.
 

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A lot of the first deer rifle selection would really depend on the person the rifle is for. For smaller, younger shooters a Mosin will teach bad habits....flinching and others. But waterdog is right about the first safety is between your ears. Silver Bear ammo is about 12.00 a box around here for the 203gr SP's which work well on deer, or at least the two I shot with them. I got my Brass from Graff and Sons and wasn't out of stock at the time, but I bought it in the off season early.
 

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Not to mention if you dont kill the deer right away you could run up to it and whack it over the head with the butt of the Mosin. Try and do that with modern deer rifle. LOL
 

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Sir Loin of Beef
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I love Mosins and own a few of them. I love shooting them and are very capable with in the limits of my eyesight (not a fan of optics on my mosins) BUT, if I would want a deer rifle I can buy a Marlin 30-30 off the used gun rack for 200 bucks. That is what I hunt with in the woods.
 

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A mosin makes an alright deer rifle. Granted it probably isn't a good first deer rifle. If you wanted to use one you must learn it well..learn how it shoots, where it shoots, how to operate it..ect..ect.. I use a Mosin as my deer rifle, but its not factory. For a first deer rifle you would be best off with something modern.
 

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I feel your first deer rifle needs to be A) something you are comfortable with; B) something suitable for the terrain in which you hunt; and C) something suitable for the style of hunt you're on.

I would have no hesitation about using a Mosin Nagant for still-hunting from a tree stand or a hide. Due to my aging eyes on it, I would want a scope, however. (NCStar makes a very nice variable power 2 - 7 x 40 long eye relief scope that is easy to mount on most Mosins.) The Mosin's safety is not that hard to work, once you get used to it. In fact, for hunting from a tree stand or a blind, I'd prefer it. You lock the bolt down with it while you are enroute to your position, and only take the safety off when you are in position ready to commence your vigil or just before sunrise, whichever comes first. One nice thing about the MN safety: you are NOT going to knock it off safe by accident!

For stalking at short (50 - 100 yard) ranges in moderate to heavy brush, any of the Mosin carbines would do. I must agree, though, that they are not the best gun for the job. It's still hard to beat a Winchester 94 in .30-30 for that mission.

As for ammo: around here we can always get S&B 203 grain softpoints. (It's anything heavier or lighter than that in SP we have trouble getting our hands on!) Those are potent enough to drop a grizzly bear with one good hit.

One of our members recounted a story during doe season where he had a shot with his Mosin at a doe 200 yards off. He hit it in the neck and it dropped right there. When he went to examine the kill, he found he'd blown two vertebrae right out of the neck. His 203 grain softpoint left an exit wound he could stick his fist into. I think that answers your question about the hitting power of SP rounds.

The Mosin is a very affordable first centerfire hunting rifle, even in military dress. A novice hunter could do much worse than to use one on a deer hunt.
 

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Normally I abstain from "which rifle is better" discussions due to my extreme lack of experience with rifles, but I will say this.....
Mosin Nagant...$100
Savage/Stevens or cheap used Remington.....$300-$350
That $200-$250 can buy a ton of cheap surplus ammo to practice with and practice is the single most important factor for a hunter. So prime ammo costs $2 per shot? Save it for the hunt! Very very few first time shooters can simply pick up a weapon and immediately make consistent kill-zone hits at much past rock throwing distance; and if you can't make humane killing shots, you shouldn't even be in the woods. Odds are that a first-time rifleman won't be a reloader either, so there is another reason for inexpensive practice ammo. Another thing is that a lot of first time hunters sometimes aren't careful with their weapons. A brand name rifle having its front sight banged on the ground might ruin the entire trip; a Mosin Nagant won't even notice it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I really started the thread because I wanted pointers to places I could actually get brass or ammo and only secondarily because of the difficulties of getting said items I brought up the unsuitablitiy of recommending the gun to a new hunter and/or shooter.

Yes, safety is mostly between the ears, but that's just the point. A new shooter doesn't have the experience to know better. I think a three position Ruger Hawkeye safety would be much better for a new shooter than something that despite being able to 'get used to' is in point of fact difficult to operate, and if threads here are to be believed, often is just not used at all.

And as many of you point out, you use what ammo is available. You really don't have a lot of choice, like a 308 shooter might have for hunting ammo. I'm sure a 209 gr pill will put down most anything, but is maybe too much for smaller deer, as the given example shows. As for pulling bullets on mil surp, I do see some 150 gr ammo out there, but some is 147. Hard to find 147 gr 311 (or even 308) bullets.

But be all that as it may, the gun for which I'm looking for ammo is NOT a Mosin. It's a Steyr M95 with a .308 barrel and 7.62x54R chamber. So I will either 1) buy some Prvi ammo from Cabelas ($19/box) and shoot it in my Mosin, then resize with Lee to 308 or 2) buy Winchester brass from Buffalo Arms at 60c/ea in lots of 100 and resize and reload with my choice of 308 bullets and loads. Either way I'll just use mil-surp for fun shooting with the Mosin.

The gun in question is currently being put together by one of our own G&G members and I'll be happy to show it off when done. It already has the bottom load mechanism and over the bore scope mounted. The 308 barrel blank has been threaded, but some more barrel work needs to be done before it is installed.
 

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bobvonb, i think you kinda have a point about the mosins not being the best recommendation for hunting. they are a good cheap way for a new shooter to get into shooting a larger caliber gun but i suppose they are not the best for hunting, even though it is possible to do so with them.

but the reason i posted is because i noticed that wanted to know places to get 7.62x54r soft point ammo. when i first bought my mosin at a Big 5 store and didn't want to wait to shoot it i bought some 180 gr. winchester soft point ammo.

since then i have bought some 147 gr. fmj from a gun show for cheap, but i still check that big 5 from time to time if i'm in there (they have other ammo for cheap there) and they seem to have always have a box or two at least. yeah it is 20 bucks a box like you said, but i just wanted to put that out there so you could have a potential source for what you're looking for. (i'm pretty sure they have Big 5 stores in CA, but i could be wrong on that)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
thanks, we do have Big-5 and I'll check there and I appreciate the other suggestions also. In the long run the cheapest way is going to be getting PRVI (Grafs is supposed to email me when it comes on stock) or Winchester brass and loading myself, but I'll need a box or two (or 5 or 10) while I'm getting all that squared away.
 

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As for pulling bullets on mil surp, I do see some 150 gr ammo out there, but some is 147. Hard to find 147 gr 311 (or even 308) bullets.
Bob, the bullets i pulled from 20 rounds of my 1990 alby surplus are supposed to be 147gr LPS bullets.
they weighed aywhere fron 146 gr to 152gr. so much for yugoslavian QC :D
so i replaced them with some 150gr nosler BTs that i had laying around.
my rifle has a tight bore for a mosin (.3105) so i get decent accuracy from them.

someone here mentioned the winchester ammo, it's reboxed S&B and it's not bad hunting ammo. and it's reloadable.

i've even heard of guys pulling the bullet and powder and recharging the milsurp brass with 4895 and a SP bullet.
 

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A note about using military surplus.

the primers used in older cartridges are supposedly corrosive, it's best to clean your gun at the range once your done shooting instead of waiting until you get home. and while I've yet to have any problems with the ammo i feed my Mauser there is still a distinct chance that 50 year old ammunition may not fire, but fore less than a quarter a bullet you relay can't complain.
 

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Personally, I'd go with one of the under-$300 Mausers. Good availability of hunting ammo, besides. 6.5mm, 7mm, 7.65mm or 7.92mm. Reliable guns and decent actions.
 
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