The Everyday Marksman forum launched nearly a year ago. In that time, we’ve learned a lot about one another and running a small tightknit community. Now it’s time for the next evolution, a brand new place for you to connect with other marksmen just like you online and in the real world. It’s almost ready, and it’s going to be an invitation-only affair. But now is your chance to get on the waiting list and get invited the day the doors open up.
I can’t wait to show you more.
Has anyone here ever been into those or had a C&R license (FFL03)?
I had a C&R license about 10 years ago and did get a few things back when it seemed that there was still a reasonable selection of stuff you could get with it. I even got something for a friend and transferred it to him, I could kick myself for not getting one for myself at the time (Ishapore Enfield rifles in 308, which you could get back then for less than $200)
This post was motivated by something I did recently, dusting off my 1943 Inland M1 Carbine which I hadn't shot in ... years, probably more than half a dozen. A couple of places recently have come into some 1980s Korean surplus M1 Carbine ammo and I picked some up, hence the dusting off. The Korean surplus M1 Carbine ammo shoots just fine and as well as any other ammo I've put through it. My shooting experience level is much better now than 10 years ago when might have been the last time I shot this thing, so now these days I saved and recorded the targets and started a rifle data book for this gun. Shooting off of a rest, I was able to get an ok group at 50m, limited probably more by my eyesight even with glasses and the iron sights (Group 3 inches high by 4 inches wide or ~6 MOA x 8 MOA, which I'll blame mostly on my eyesight rather than gun). Had one failure during about 40 rounds today with a Korean surplus 30 round magazine, where the bolt locked back with ammo still in the magazine (and the M1 carbine, or at least mine, does not have a last round bolt hold open).
I said all that to introduce this little bit about the M1 Carbine by Ken Hackathorn:
Having collectable historical firearms is cool... but with everything I know now, if I had to pick up a rifle for serious use, it wouldn't be one of my C&R guns unless that's all I had. One of the things Ken H talks about in the interview is how for it's day the M1 Carbine was considered reliable, but "reliable" means something different today than back then. Perhaps we're spoiled by all of the improvements that have been made in the AR platform since the Stoner rifle was introduced. Perhaps there's something to the M1 Carbine being more reliable if you regard it's magazines as semi-disposable items, unlike what we've come to expect from USGI and PMAGs.
Does anyone here remember or miss the halcyon days of $150 SKS rifles, $200 Mausers, $200 K-31s, $60 Mosins etc etc? Even if those wouldn't be your first choice? These were the "dealer" prices I saw back in the 2000s and even then a bunch of folks were telling me how I'd missed the heyday (the 90s?) of C&R when you really could get an SKS for $60 and a 1000 rounds of 762x39 for another $60. Of course, now Mosins are what $300+ and SKS' are at least $400?
Shout out for the CMP (Civilian Marksmanship Program)- I bought my M1 Carbine through them when they had a few in. CMP purchases are just for you as individual, if you have a C&R license they don't care and make no provision for it, everyone goes through the same process to purchase a CMP firearm regardless. The CMP is still (in my opinion) the only place I'd consider buying an M1 Garand rifle from... one day there will be no more, so buy yours from them today if you are thinking about it! CMP link for M1 Garand sales
I'm not entirely sure why I posted this other than "neat guns", but I can feel some half-formed thoughts of some kind sparking in the back of my mind that are relevant to most of the other topics on this forum.
Something along the lines of appreciating neat tools that were great in their day and still work fine so long as one cares for them. But, also appreciating the many advances in materials science, design, manufacturing that came along in the decades since, that have given us accuracy, reliability, ease of use and easy to work on/customize that are well above the "curios and relics" class.
I think the same thing is *definitely* true of radio gear, I blanch a little bit trying to think how or if I could try to do some of the amateur radio things I've done if I had to do it with vacuum tube gear or even the first solid state gear. We're very fortunate to have a big assist from quality, easy to use equipment like never before!
While I've never had a C&R license, surplus rifles were one of the big things that got me further into the shooting community way back when. Shooting a friend's Mosin about a decade ago on his farm was all it took. About half of my rifles are milsurps and all of them are shootable examples rather than safe queens. There is just something about getting to put your hands on history that is really special when it comes to those old guns. More so when you can share it with those who can appreciate it. Plus chasing down the example that you are looking for adds to the ownership experience.
I think everyone misses the days of cheap surplus. It is like "the one that got away" fishing stories. For me in particular, I miss them because it was such a low barrier of entry for something truly special. A Mosin is a "garbage rod" now, but for poor college me $200 got me a shootable piece of history and spam can of ammo I STILL haven't shot through.
When it comes to practical applications, I can say shooting more over the years makes me appreciate how good we have it with modern firearms. The whole Mosin's as a survival rifle craze looks pretty silly when you consider budget ARs and bolt actions are the same price now with exponentially more capability. That was some naive group think and Kool-Aid drinking. But not everything needs to be a work horse and old milsurps make great fun guns and conversation pieces.
I think the lesson we can take away from remembering the "good old days" pricing is they never get cheaper they when we first see them. If you are interested the time to buy is when you find them.
I remember thinking that the Mosin I bought in an after market stock for $200 was overpriced (it was January 2013, everything was overpriced). But like you said, the Moist Nugget was a good deal back then.
Now we've got $450 ARs that run well and $300 garbage rods that suck.
"Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement"
Thank you for coming by The Everyday Marksman. This site and its community are a labor of love. I hope you stick around for a while, and maybe even join us.
We can't Wait to Show You More