General Protection Fault
mosin_nagant_m44_1945-well yeah bore condition and rust is always of concern but basically everything else i want to be a little bad looking. but anyways thanks. i was also looking at buying a mauser now, sorry just a little indecisive. found a cheap one still on jgsales.com and just wanted to know with all you mauser fans out there is a mauser worth it over a mosin sniper?
Well, I love those old Mosin-Nagants - there's a lot of character in those old beasts, and the price for the rifle and its ammo is hard to beat.
However, I would consider my Yugoslavian M24/47 Mauser, at only about twice the price of the average Mosin-Nagant 91/30, to definitely be worth paying more for.
I'm used to Soviet military-grade triggers and never really thought anything of the rough, gritty feeling on them until I tried firing the Mauser, and now I would say in an instant that the Mauser has the smoothest, most comfortable trigger of any of the guns I own. The Mauser is also very accurate and comfortable to fire.
I think the typical Mosin-Nagant LOOKS nicer than my Mauser, though: the Mauser's furniture looks rough and weathered, and it is thoroughly oil-stained: it's not a pin-up rifle. In contrast, most of the Mosin-Nagants I've seen have had reasonably nice-looking furniture. But I'll overlook the Mauser's rough, oily woodwork, because the metal components are in virtually new condition, and the workmanship of the metal components is definitely of a very high level of quality. If all M24/47's share the same quality as the one I was lucky enough to have gotten, then I would have to say the Yugo Mauser would have be one of the most spectacular gun bargains around right now!
If only the 8mm Mauser ammo were as cheap and easy to find as the Mosin-Nagant's 7.62x54R ammo... that's my only real complaint about the Mauser. Aside from that, I would think that, in spite of the great price and the ugly-duckling charm of the Mosin-Nagant, most shooters and collectors will be happier with the Mauser. I have a feeling that supplies of Yugo mausers will dry up faster than the supplies of cheap Mosin-Nagants, too, so I might suggest getting a Yugo Mauser while you still can (and then get a 91/30 later on while prices are still this low!)
As for your original question about whether it's better to get one of the 91/30 ex-snipers with the holes filled in, or to get a normal 91/30 and modify it, I guess that would depend on the price. I've never seen a real 91/30 sniper anywhere, but I know you can find post-war 91/30 "snipers" that are really just regular, randomly-selected 91/30's with the scope added on for the collector market; you really aren't going to get a genuine sniper rifle's accuracy from one of these "fake snipers" (as the real sniper rifles were carefully hand-selected from the best 91/30's for exceptional accuracy); you'll end up paying about $300 or so more for these "fake snipers", but I suppose you're actually paying for the scope - I don't recall seeing those scopes anywhere else, so I can only imagine the scopes are expensive and tough to find. I do know that the one example I ever saw at a gun and knife show had a very crisp, clear and easy-to-see picture and crosshair, though, and the scope seems like it would probably be worth the money.
In any event, your cheapest option would be to drill-and-tap a low-end 91/30 for a normal scope, your easiest option would be to buy one of the post-war "fake snipers", a more satisfying option would be to buy an ex-sniper and an original scope separately and then restore the sniper rifle properly to original military specs, while your most expensive option (but perhaps best investment) would probably be to buy a real 91/30 sniper in its original condition from a reputable dealer who would guarantee its authenticity.
If you choose to get an ex-sniper with plugged holes, I imagine you should simply be able to drill out the plugs, and re-tap the holes, if necessary (I don't know for certain, but I can only imagine the plugs are brass or soft steel threaded rods which are screwed into the mounting holes and then sawed off and filed flush.) The plugged rifles are going to be a little more expensive than a regular 91/30, but might be the way to go for a project gun - I really could not bring myself to recommend drilling holes in an otherwise nice example of even a cheap, standard-issue Mosin-Nagant, but if the rifle already had holes drilled into it for the purpose of mounting an original scope, I would probably consider the project more of a restoration, if handled right.