Everyone has their own preferences. I'd still like to see what you guys consider to be the quintessential "must haves" in a C&R collection. Anyone willing to post their top five Go Out and Purchase on Day One List; better known as the Go Broke List?
CZECH VZ-24 w/Lion crest 8mm Mauser
Russian Mil Mak or an EG Mak...or both!
The Walther (Manhurin) PP's are really nice too. The one I picked up was 290 including shipping and was practically brand new. Bright shiny bore and shoots like a dream.
To each his own. I started with a CZ-52, a whole lot of gun for the money.
Next I ordered a Russian M38. Seems like a fun little carbine. I really like it and I already have eyes for a 91/59 as well as a M44. These little carbines seem to be some great little guns for the money.
My latest gun is one of the Sistema Colts. I haven't fired it yet but it is really nice.
The M48As sound like they are real nice for the money. I guess there is one of those in my future as well.
I can also see a Yugo SKS not to far down the road.
Of the above choices, I think a 91/59 is next on my list of purchases. I think I need a second full time job.
As others have said, a CZ-52
You gotta have an M48/M48A Yugo Mauser. Awesome rifle at bargain basement price.
Snatch up the current crop of SKS's out there right now.
Get in on the glut of Mosin Nagants. M44s are great with the side folding screwdriver/bayonet.
don't forget that garands and carbines are C&R's as well.
Enfields. Doesn't matter which one. Be the first kid on your block to collect the entire set.
Go with your historical interest and have fun!
A few 98 type mausers, must include at least one actual german issue type.
An SMLE Mk4No1 and/or Mk1No3.
An M1 Garand, a bit expensive but damn it! it is a Garand.
A Carcano M38, just like the one LHO used to assassinate JFK.
Other really neat toys would include
C96 mauser broomhandle
One or more 1911 types or their clones (systemas, ballester-molinas etc)
one of each of all the main battle rifles of WWI and/or WWII
Pistols are nice but the prices go up, collect if you have the money. I would suggest M1911s, Webleys, a Luger and a P38, maybe a Nambu or two.
M1 carbines are nice as are M1903 types, not to mention P14s and P17s.
Whoa, this list is getting up there in the cost column so I will digress.
As for what to collect simply pick something that interest you. I started with random chosen (depended on what I thought was a cool gun why flipping through the pages of the Shotgun News) and later developed into main battle rifles of WWII and their equivalents from the same time period. One of the most fascinating things is imaging what these beat up and abused old rifles have been through.
Most WWII era european rifles did see use during the second war to end all wars, I figure about the same for asian weapons too. How many hands held these guns, how many unknown heroes died with them in their hands, who did they kill if anyone, who did they save. What battles were they in, did the make a difference. Was it held by someones great uncle or father? and if so whos? Maybe somebodies father took it off a enemy soldier he just killed in the fight of his life. Maybe the sites were trained on someone elses grandfather but for some reason the trigger wasn't pulled.
Once again I ramble on. Just have fun collecting at first and later maybe decide on a theme or purpose. Whatever, it will come to you when it you are ready.
Thanks for the suggestions folks. I've been looking at enough weapons to choke an elephant but you're imput has helped me decide on the first two or three which will come home when the C&R arrives.
Keep the lists coming as it's interesting to see what people like.
I cannot believ nobody has suggested a Schmidt & Rubin K31. That is a damn accurate little rifle!
For what it's worth, here is my list. I know you wanted 5, but here is a starting point.
1) Swede 6.5x55 Mauser
2) Swiss 7.5x55 K-31 Schmidt Rubin
3) Finn M-39 7.62x39 Mosin Nagant
These top 3 are considered by many to be the most accurate milsurp rifles short of ex-sniper rifles. They are getting scarce so get them quick.
4) K-98 8mm Mauser
5) Yugo M-48 8mm Mauser
The K-98's will be getting scarce soon, and the Yugo is probably the best value out there. They can be found in new unissued condition for under $150.00
6) Russian 7.62x39 M-44, M-38, and 91/30 They are cheap so buy all 3 at once.
7) Sistema .45acp probably the best value for a quality pistol.
8) Czech 7.62x25 CZ-52 pistol, just 'cause they're fun.
9) Yugo 7.62X54R SKS because everyone should have at least one. I put it last as they are easier to find in good condition and it should be a while before they get scarce.
M-95's are cheap too and I would buy one if I found one in decent shape.
The U.S. milsurp rifles, the Garand, '03's, M1 carbines and U.S. rifle of 1917 are expensive, but I would jump on one if the price was good.
I don't care for the British .303 Enfields or the Japanese Arisakas but some people do so look at them too.
There are many variations on the Mauser rifle and different Countries made SKS's. I think Albania made an SKS's with chrome bores so they would resist corrosive ammo better.
With the exception of the U.S., Swede and Swiss rifles the ammo these use have corrosive primers, so you have to learn to clean it or you will ruin the bore over time. Most spray Windex with ammonia into the barrel at the range after shooting to neutralize the salts and clean normally at home.
The Swiss K31 blows everything else out of the water right now. I guess the best ones are already gone, but even if the wood is crappy they are well worth 90 to 125 dollars.
Shot one of mine in a CMP qualification match last weekend. The rapid fire stages were no problem, loading with an extra magazine. I haven't got the match results yet, but think I took second place. I know I beat a few guys with Garands and one with a brand-new M1A.
The Turkish Mausers are also a real buy, if only as a beater rifle or gunsmithing project. Some of the barrel threads are non-standard, but I think they are good strong guns otherwise. Just look how hot that Turkish ammo is loaded.
Beyond that, Swedish Mausers are always nice. But they've already about quadrupled in price from when I bought mine.
I'd also get an SKS and some type of Mosin-Nagant because they are cheap and the ammo is super cheap. Especially the SKS, since it's such a pleasant rifle to shoot. And I'd get a British SMLE-type just because they were the best bolt-action combat rifles ever made.
I jus got a beaut of a Sistema Colt from LC Enterprises. Ya gotta see it to believe how sweet it is.
I forgot to add that one reason the Swede and the Swiss rifles are considered so accurate is that the milsurp ammo is very accurate.
Norma made the 6.5x55 ammo for the Swede. The original ball ammo, M-94 was replaced with the M-41 that was developed for the sniper rifles. It was made by Norma and is hard to beat with handloads.
The Swiss made their rifles like their watches, and their ammo is match grade. The GP-11 surplus ammo is also very hard to beat with handloads. Couple this ammo with a rifle that has a free-floated barrel and you will understand why so many consider the K-31 the most accurate military surplus rifle and it beats many modern commercial rifles.
The Finnish M-39 has a different stock than the Russian Mosin Nagants. It is finger jointed to resist warpage in their extreme cold weather. The quality of their rifles is noticeably better than the Russian, and it is more accurate even with the same ammo.
Here is some info from the House of Karlina
1894 & 1896 Swedish Mausers on the Swede ammo:
Skarp patron m/94
(live cartridge m/94, bullet m/41)
This is the most commonly available Swedish surplus cartridge with it's 139 grain (9 grams) boattail bullet. Originally developed for the m/41 sniper rifles, it replaced the m/94 bullet for general use. Velocity is 2592 fps (790 m/s) in the m/96 rifle.
Thanks for all the great suggestions. Seeing as how my C&R FFL arrived yesterday (only 21 days to process), I've got some decisions to make. Something tells me the Sistema or a CZ. Then again maybe an M44. Decisions, decisions, decisions.
2) M1 Thompson
6) M-2 (ma duce)
9) Armalite AR-15, Model 601,.223 cal., mfd. by Colt. Must be marked "Armalite."
10) Lewis gun
well, i'll just take the ole wicker basket out to the money tree and... wait, i don't own a money tree. how off-putting.