To the riflemen, what bolt action rifle in current production is best suited for modification into a functional battle rifle reminiscent of WW1&2 shoulder weapons? In weapons fora, it’s a toss-up between the Remington 700 and the Ruger 77. Some just advise me to look for mint- to slightly used Springfields or Lee Enfields. My requirements are:
- Walnut stock
- cal. .243 win to 30-'06
- dual sights (scope and iron rear)
- can be fitted with a bayonet stud.
Don’t worry folks, I don’t go to the mall or movies often. I like being completely alone with my ‘toys.’
Well, standard battle rifles never had a scope, although in the world wars sniper rifles were just standard battle rifles with scopes mounted, the 1903 Springfields were used early in the war to be replaced by M1C and M1D Garands. And except for early in World War II in the pacific the Garand was the standard US battle rifle, not a bolt action design.
The price is dear but you can get such arms that still have the scopes, or holes for them. The cheapest way to go was for a while there were a number of Mosin-Nagant “snipers” available, a few years ago they were going for around $400-$500 with the scope. They were ex-sniper rifles redrilled and with (roughly) period correct scopes attached.
The M1903A3 is a M1903 with a more modern sight but was never a standard front line weapon.
If you only want one, an Enfield, Mosin-Nagant, and Springfield/Mauser are going to “feel” a lot different so you might want to borrow one of each to see if you like it. Even in the present climate you can get a Mosin-Nagant for under $200 so that might be something to look into, although they don’t have walnut stocks, they’re birch.