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Posted: 9/13/2010 3:05:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/14/2010 6:39:01 AM EDT by eracer]
I bought a K31 with a matching s/n bayonet from AIM, for $300. I've got to say I've been happier with this purchase than almost any other firearm I've bought in the last couple of years.

The mechanicals are in excellent condition, with good bluing, very little wear evident, and a nice, shiny bore that passes the muzzle test with flying colors. The bayonet is beautiful, and the issue documentation under the buttplate is just plain cool. Disassembling the rifle really made me think: "Swiss Watch." Excellent 2-stage trigger on this gun.

The only problem I had was that my 50 year-old eyes simply can't see the iron sights. The rear sight is just a blur, and after my first range session (where I was barely able to shoot at 25 yards) I resolved to put a scope on it.

I didn't want to drill and tap, so I looked at offset scope mounts, diopters, and a nifty little scout mount that I ended up purchasing. I put a 2.75X Burris Scout Scope on the gun, and went out to the range this past weekend. I sighted everything in at 50 yards, and was quite pleased with the 1/2" to 3/4" groups I was getting. I needed 8 clicks down and 8 clicks left to zero the reticle - a testament to the quality of the scout mount, which, by the way, has elevation and windage adjustments built into it.

Here's the mount I used. The manufacturer makes mounts for several different surplus rifles. He also sells rings and scopes (but the scopes are the cheap NCStar stuff, which I had no interest in.)

And the scope. I thought about getting a handgun scope, but honestly, I don't believe the eye relief would work. The Burris is just at the edge of having enough eye relief, and it's designed to be a scout scope.

I was a bit concerned that the 2.75X wouldn't be useful at 100 yards, but as long as I use a circular target with some contrast, I had no problem seeing clearly. Also a bit of a concern was the description of the reticle: Heavy Plex. I looked up the specs, and at 100 yards the fine part of the reticle subtends .71 inches - better than I can resolve at that distance. No worries, the reticle is great. I am completely confident that I could take a deer, or an elk, at 200-250 yards with this combo.

Here are some pics. I know I can get my 100 yard groups down to 1-2 MOA. This gun can shoot those kinds of groups quite easily, I'm sure.


I urge anyone who is on the fence about this gun to buy one before they are gone. Great gun, at a great price.

Oh yeah, one more thing. As I was firing the gun, I would eject the round and catch it out of the air. Normally, I would 'hot potato' the brass for a while, letting it cool before looking at it. No need with this gun. It was really strange. A freshly fired and ejected case was barely warm to the touch. I don't know why, but it was pretty neat.














Link Posted: 9/13/2010 4:41:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/13/2010 6:17:09 PM EDT by surplusnut]
Rifle looks great, glad you went with a mount that wouldn't permanently alter the rifle.

eta, i bought one of the K31 bayos that AIM had and it really looks great on my 1956 dated K31
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 5:03:46 PM EDT
Glad to hear you are happy. They are some of the more refined and accurate Mil Surp rifles you can lay your hands on.
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 5:10:47 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 5:51:47 PM EDT
Very nice. I still haven't fired the K31 I snagged from AIM a few months back. Now I need to head off and research that mount you are using!
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 6:45:05 PM EDT
just ordered a K31 from AIM on Monday....hope mine is a nice one with a troop tag
Link Posted: 9/14/2010 4:31:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/14/2010 6:43:49 AM EDT by eracer]

Originally Posted By GLHX2112:
Very nice. I still haven't fired the K31 I snagged from AIM a few months back. Now I need to head off and research that mount you are using!

It was a tough decision for me, since this rifle can take advantage of a high-power optic (something that's much more difficult to use in a scout configuration.)

The offset mount seems to be pretty well received by those who use it, and I came THIS close to getting that (no gunsmithing) mount instead, just so I could put a 3-9X scope on it. But I decided that I wanted an on-bore scope, and the scout mount was the only way to go. Having a Marlin 1895SBL made the decision easier, since I could use the Burris scope on that rifle if I didn't like how it worked out.

Now I need to get a couple of boxes of the Norma 180 gr. Oryx rounds (1926 fps / 1480 ft-lb @ 200 yards) and sight those in.

One thing I didn't mention in my write-up was that I was shooting the Swiss GP11 Surplus 174 gr. FMJ ($4.95 per 10 @ AIM) I'd love to see some gelatin tests on this ammo, to what it would do at 100 yards. Not sure the initial velocity is high enough to fragment.

I also found a neat little Java ballistics calculator at the Norma Precision website. Looks like a 25/200 zero is the right one for this cartridge. Oh well - back to the range!

Link Posted: 9/14/2010 4:55:25 AM EDT
The Leupold VX-II that I have on the K31 I use for deer hunting has this reticle:


Works great for deer at typical eastern Kansas ranges (50-150 yards), and seems appropriate for a european rifle. Obviously, it's not on a scout-mount.
Link Posted: 9/14/2010 5:03:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Hetzer1:
The Leupold VX-II that I have on the K31 I use for deer hunting has this reticle:
http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f325/Bayani2K6/Leupold2.jpg

Works great for deer at typical eastern Kansas ranges (50-150 yards), and seems appropriate for a european rifle. Obviously, it's not on a scout-mount.

I looked at the Leupold VX-3 2.5-8x32 Handgun Scope. It's 15" of eye relief probably wouldn't have worked, and I don't have a handgun to use it on if it didn't work on the K31. Kind of a pricy scope for a surplus rifle (although I suppose you could say the same thing about the Burris.
Link Posted: 9/14/2010 7:01:31 AM EDT
I put 20 rounds of Prvi through mine two weeks ago. About the same results you've got. Around 3" or so, maybe a bit more, but that was with the irons.

Honestly, out of all the rifles in my safe, if I had to grab one for a single-shot hit at any practical range, it'd be the K31. Thing is a beautiful machine and a steal at $200 and change.

If you had to buy a comparably accurate .30 caliber bolt rifle today, you'd spend about $700 and it wouldn't have a detachable magazine or very nice wood.
Link Posted: 9/14/2010 9:51:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TrojanMan:
Thing is a beautiful machine and a steal at $200 and change.


They were absolute rape-and-pillage at $89
Link Posted: 9/14/2010 10:10:54 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Hetzer1:

Originally Posted By TrojanMan:
Thing is a beautiful machine and a steal at $200 and change.


They were absolute rape-and-pillage at $89

Ah yes...the glory days!

Do you think Mosins are the same rape-and-pillage deal right now?

Link Posted: 9/14/2010 12:36:07 PM EDT
Originally Posted By eracer:

Originally Posted By Hetzer1:

Originally Posted By TrojanMan:
Thing is a beautiful machine and a steal at $200 and change.


They were absolute rape-and-pillage at $89

Ah yes...the glory days!

Do you think Mosins are the same rape-and-pillage deal right now?



Nope. Maybe a few years ago, when I was buying M38's for $45. But I don't see typical 91/30's going up in value much for a long time. There are so many millions out there.

Link Posted: 9/14/2010 8:43:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/14/2010 8:47:40 PM EDT by Hetzer1]

Originally Posted By eracer:

Originally Posted By Hetzer1:

Originally Posted By TrojanMan:
Thing is a beautiful machine and a steal at $200 and change.


They were absolute rape-and-pillage at $89

Ah yes...the glory days!

Do you think Mosins are the same rape-and-pillage deal right now?


Generally speaking, I'd say NO, but that's not a knock on the Mosin. They are what they are - a rugged, simple rifle produced by semi-developed, under-industrialized country (pre-WW2) for a largely uneducated, poorly trained (again, pre-WW2) peasant army. Millions upon millions having been produced. The war-time versions can be fairly crude, most all are re-arsenaled (read "not original"), and frequently, though not always have mis-matched parts. Accuracy is variable -some are great, some not so much. Surplus ammo is cheap, but quality varies, there being a multitude of nations and factories that produced it across the years. There aren't many accessories and related gizmos to collect. They do have war-related historical value on their side, though war-use necessitates that many were poorly maintained.

On the other hand, the Swiss K31 is a weapon produced by a small, western, industrialized nation with an almost cult-like fanaticism for rifle marksmanship. They are finely-produced, complex rifles designed for a highly-trained military that pacticed 300-meter marksmanship as a discipline. Only about 500,000 rifles total production. They are uniformly in good to very good original condition, and virtually all have completely matching parts. Exceptions to this rule are meticulous rebuilds by skilled craftsmen in the Swiss armories. Due to the non-corrosive nature of Swiss military ammunition, K31 bores are almost uniformly excellent. They are noted for exceptional accuracy. Surplus ammunition, while relatively expensive, is single-source, and therefore amazingly uniform and reliable. Given the Swiss militia system and the "national sport" status of rifle shooting, there are an amazing number of accessories (civillian and military) to attract the collector. While they have no "war-use" cache, this also means that they were, for the greater part, very well maintained by the soldiers they were issued to, who had to pay for any repairs due to ill-use, and often elected to retain their issued rifles after leaving active reserve status.

With all of that said, in my opinion, the Mosin is a great rifle for the price, fun to shoot, and with abundant, cheap ammo. But, due to the sheer volume available, I don't see much price appreciation likely. Therefore, not a "rape-and-pillage" deal, but a good deal non-the-less. Buy, shoot, and enjoy.
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