When I’m bored and don’t feel like reading (it happens, shuddup) and can’t face watching TV of any description (like none of you ever feel that way), I go to websites that are All About Guns.
In this case, it was Collectors Firearms, and under Foreign Military Rifles, I started to view the products available. I got depressed at the prices, of course, which led to the thought: a 1970 Dodge Charger used to cost $3,711 brand new (about $25,800 in 2021 dollars). That same 1970 Charger now can cost you up to $85,000 depending on its condition. (A new 2022 Charger costs $40,000.)
My head was starting to spin from doing all that math, so I just decided to set an arbitrary dollar limit of less than a grand (<$1,000) on these old rifles. (And yeah, I know that back in 1970 you could get a surplus Mauser or SMLE for $25 — about $175 in 2021 dollars, never mind.)
And here’s what I found to be worthy, in no specific order (and all pics can be clicked to embiggen):
Chilean 1895 Mauser 7X57mm — $750
This old gal has been ridden hard, often, and put away wet every time. Nevertheless, if the barrel hasn’t been shot out, I’d get it because a.) Mauser and b.) 7x57mm.
Swiss 1911 7.5X55 Swiss — $899.95
This is the carbine version of the K11, not the longer infantry rifle, and as such, it’s an outright steal for $900. And as the Swiss have started to manufacture their brilliant GP11 cartridges again…
I think everyone in the Western world knows of my affection for this wonderful rifle and its cartridge and actually, given that all the serial numbers match, this too is a steal at $900. (I paid $450 for mine back in 2003, but whatever.)
BRNO 1908/34 7×57 — $995.00
There are a couple of reasons why this rifle is priced so high on the sub-grand spectrum: it was made by Brno, not Mauser and it comes with a wicked-looking spike bayonet.
Of all the rifles posted here today, this one would probably get my #1 vote, but only because I have a ton of .303 ammo already stashed in Ye Olde Ammoe Locquere. That said, I’m a little lost as to why this lovely rifle is priced as high it is. Simply put, it’s of post-WWII manufacture (thus taking away the “wartime” appeal and collectability value), which leads me to think that it’s probably in superb condition compared to the older versions. Also, ROF Fazakerley in Liverpool only made the Mk 2 for a few years before the tooling and machinery were sold off to Pakistan in, I think, 1952 — making this a relatively rare beast.
So there you go. If you had a spare grand that had to be spent before Accounting / your wife took it away, which one would you choose?