We all like guns, so here's a little more gun porn. This way, readers can become inspired to get their Type 3 FFL (only $30!), and come out of the closet as the flaming gun fags that they want to be!
Seriously though, if you're a Doomsday Prepper who is worried about the impending TEOTWAWKI WROL Zombie Apocalypse, you surf all the online forums, read a couple gun rags, and settle on a M4orgery with the required 10 pounds of accessories slapped on the Picatinny rails and a Glock. Maybe also a Remington 870 with that breacher muzzle thingy. Because that's what all the other preppers have, and if you don't have it then you'll be SOL when TSHTF. The rest of us pick up a few good solid working guns, learn a little gunsmithing, and call it good. Some of us just say “Fuck it”, get our C&R, and enjoy collecting guns.
Not that I have anything against anyone who wants to buy an AR-15, a Glock, and get on YouTube dressed like the high-speed, low-drag tactical operator they aren't. It's your money (and reputation) after all. It's just that I have to point out that 150 grains at 2700 fps is just as good as 62 grains at 3100 fps as a working gun round. Sometimes it's even better. Especially when you're living paycheck to paycheck and had to really save up in order to afford even a $200 rifle. Enough pontificating. What I really wanted to do in this article was pick up where I left off in the last post, and talk about a few more neat guns.
This is the Karabiner K-31 in 7.5x55mm Swiss. It was standard issue in the Swiss military until 1958, and used by their militia until the 1970s. The cartridge is comparable to 7.62mm NATO in capability. There are a few nice things about this rifle. They are known to be very accurate. Their straight-pull bolt action is very smooth and fast. They have a detachable box magazine. Their ammunition is still available as inexpensive, match-grade, non-corrosive surplus.
If you grabbed one of these when they first hit the surplus market, you would have paid less than $200 for the rifle. They're closer to $400 now, but it's still a good deal for a nice piece of history and an excellent working gun.
When I first started collecting guns, I came across this Mauser in a now long-defunct gun store called Old Foundry Guns in Cold Spring, NY. It turned out the Mauser was from Sweden, and the price was right, so it came home with me. Thus began my fondness for Mauser rifles in general, especially Swedish Mausers.
Swedish Mausers use a 6.5x55mm cartridge, and much like the Swiss, their surplus ammo is match-grade, and non-corrosive. Also like the Swiss, their firearms are very accurate with standard ammo. As Mauser cartridges go, the 6.5x55mm has a mild recoil. I'd say it's much like .243 Winchester. The 6.5x55mm also has a reputation of being very flat-shooting.
This is my favorite Swedish Mauser, the M94 Carbine.
No gun collection would be complete without having the humble and practical single-shot break-open shotgun. This is a 12ga Winchester Model 37. While collectors have driven up the prices for these to the point where they cease to become affordable working guns, you can still find one in decent condition for under $200 if you look around. The funny thing about it all is that the time they were intended to be the cheap poor man's working gun.
Finally, we have the current contender for the poor man's working handgun. This is the Russian Nagant M1895 in 7.62x38mmR. They are $100 shipped directly to you if you have a C&R, and ammunition is cheap.