A Short List of Great Value Military Surplus Firearms

A Short List of Great Value Military Surplus Firearms

May 21st 2024

We’ve posted several times about the value offered by military surplus firearms, so there’s no need to beat a dead horse here.

Rather, we’ll get straight to the point with some military surplus rifles and handguns that offer the best value, where you can find them.

Military Surplus Rifles and Shotguns

M1 Garand

The M1 Garand needs no introduction, does it? Almost 5 and a half million were made and they were used by all branches of the United States military during the Second World War (and after) so there are still a lot of them around.

It’s an expensive gun to own and shoot, but the cartridge is a winner because you can use it for competition, long-range shooting, and of course, hunting. Maybe there are better modern hunting rifles out there but it would sure feel cool to hunt with a Garand.

M1 Carbine

Lighter to carry and shoot than a Garand, the M1 Carbine is another great military surplus firearm. The .30 Carbine cartridge is a lot smaller and less powerful than the aught-six of the Garand, but the M1 Carbine still makes a fine gun for sporting and defensive applications, and since more than 6 million were made during WWII alone, there are still a lot around.

Lee-Enfield Rifles

The Lee-Enfield is an icon. Almost 20 million have been made since they were first pioneered over a century ago, and have seen service in every corner - literally - of the globe. With that said, the .303 British offers performance somewhat similar to the Garand’s .30-06, and with an effective range of over 500 yards, Lee-Enfields for sale, where you can find them, make great competition and hunting rifles.

M1903 Rifles

The M1903 rifle is peerless, when it comes to bolt-action military rifles. It has every advantage of the M1 Garand and then some. The bolt is a simpler mechanism and cleaner, making it easier to field strip and clean these, and since it is built around the .30-06, performance is on par. Plus, there’s just something beautiful about a walnut-stocked M1903.

SKS Rifles

If you’re looking for a light-shooting rifle that handles more easily than a Garand but offers better performance than an M1 Carbine, the SKS is your bet. The 7.62x39mm (AKA 7.62 Soviet) is the perfect intermediate cartridge and good for almost everything - high-volume shooting, hunting, competition, defensive applications, and more. The only thing it’s truly bad for is long-range shooting. Also, as many as 15 million have been made, so they’re usually fairly available and prices on some SKS rifles are still competitive - even in 2024. We carry a huge range of SKS parts, too.

Carcano Rifles

                      Carcano Rifles

Many Carcano rifles are chambered in somewhat odd cartridges, either the 6.5x52mm or 7.35x51mm Carcano, which might make getting ammo a little difficult. Some are chambered in 7.92x57mm Mauser, which is a good thing. Anyway, the real draw of most Carcano rifles is the price. While a lot of them are worse for wear, sometimes you can score a real deal. Actually, we have a lot of affordable Carcano rifles for sale on our website right now.

Remington 870

This might be the best deal on this list. Many law enforcement agencies around the country have used the Remington 870, and if you can get one of these surplus shotguns, do it. The old 870 just might be the best shotgun ever made, with a solid-steel receiver, twin action bars and an action that’s silky-smooth from day one. A surplus Remington 870 might even offer better value than a new one.

Military Surplus Handguns

Tokarev TT-33

Something around 2 million Tokarev TT pistols have been made, and the Tokarev TT-33 might be one of the best. But why the Tokarev TT-33?

Well, there are two main reasons. One is the price; you can often find good deals on a TT-33, thanks in part to availability and the large number originally produced. The other is the cartridge. It shoots another oddball, the 7.62x25mm Tokarev, a bottlenecked cartridge that outperforms many, perhaps even most, other handgun cartridges.

Browning Hi-Power Pistols

That’s not a 1911 - it’s a Browning Hi-Power, which is as good a military surplus firearm as any. Nearly 2 million Browning Hi-Power pistols have been made and they’ve been used by more than 50 countries around the world. Large supply keeps prices (somewhat) reasonable, and availability is usually decent, too. But many shooters also love the ergonomics and chambering of these pistols - either 9mm Luger or .40 S&W, both of which offer management recoil and stopping power, making them excellent for sporting and defensive applications.

Nagant M1895 Revolvers

Last but not least we have Nagant M1895 revolvers, which, though they are a true dinosaur on this list, are not extinct. Two versions were produced, one with a single action, the other with a double action and a trigger pull in the ballpark of 20(!) pounds.

Both are excellent revolvers that have attained cult status for their ability to fire without fail, even when seriously neglected, even abused. Another cool thing about these revolvers is the design. They form a gas seal when firing, adding power to the cartridge, eliminating the gap between the cylinder and barrel that could cause injury, and also enabling the revolver to be suppressed.

The power of the cartridge is another thing to like, on top of the durability of the revolver itself - although it might be hard for you to find the 7.62x39mmR cartridge it fired. It’s also hard to load and unload these revolvers: cartridges must be loaded and removed manually.

Still, for everything else, they are excellent military surplus firearms and a rare piece of history that has few equals.

Discover Military Surplus Firearms Here

Need parts for any of these military surplus firearms? We carry M1 Garand, SKS parts, Lee-Enfield, Carcano rifle, and even Nagant, Remington, and Tokarev parts here on our website and in our showroom. If you can’t find the gun part you need, don’t worry. Call us and we will help you find it - 610-250-3960.