The Mosin Nagant is a bolt-action military rifle in 7.62x54R, used by the militaries of Russia and several Eastern bloc counties. Produced in vast numbers and legendary for its rugged reliability, the rifle served from 1891 until the 1960s in many nations, when the sniper rifle variant was replaced by the SVD.
Another advantage is inexpensive and plentiful ammunition, at least for now. Ballistics for 7.62x54R ammunition falls roughly between .308 and .30-06. Currently 7.62x54R can be had for as little as $0.18 per round (147 grain), while the least expensive bulk .308 (147 grain) is about $0.32 per round, and .30-06 is at around $0.59 per round (145 grain). Disadvantages to this ammunition is that it’s dirty, uses corrosive primers, and the inexpensive rounds aren’t manufactured in the U.S.
In my opinion, this is probably the last great, cheap surplus rifle deal out there. For what you get, these rifles are going extremely cheap, with online prices as low as $69.95 (closer to $100 with shipping and FFL fees). At gun shows I’ve seen them reasonably process from $95-115, and overpriced at $150 and up. Prices vary at gun shops as well.
And a cheap price doesn’t mean cheaply made – they’re rugged and accurate. The video below is of a Mosin Nagant 91/30 using inexpensive Bulgarian surplus ammo, hitting a target at 1,000 yards!
Since everything after the Garand is selective fire for U.S. military rifles, no more surplus there. Most large caches of other European bolt action surplus rifles have been expended with prices high and only likely to go higher. Fifteen years ago I saw SKS rifles in the $80 range, now they’re usually $250 and up. Get one (or five) Mosin Nagants while the gettin’ is good.