He had some great bolt guns, too. Reading about those, I remember a comment Herodutus Huxley made when we were talking about the Ishapore Enfield 2 and 2A. She said if someone wanted a modestly priced rifle the Mosin Nagant was the way to go.
I have been grubbing through various surplus firearms wholesaler catalogs and I would say she is correct. It's always possible to find a good Mauser or something along those lines in a pawn shop or at a gun show if you want to take some time. But the Mosin Nagant Model 1891/30 you can order through a gun shop, or probably just find some at a gun store. The prices are shocking, though. Less than a year ago a new condition Mosin Nagant 1891/30 with a sling, ammo pouches, bayonet, and oil bottle was well under $100.00. Now they are pushing $200.00. Still, they seem to be the least expensive battle rifle out there.
|Mosin Nagant stripper clips|
Then there's the Model 1944. This used to be the rifle nobody wanted, because it has a bayonet on it that's not detachable. Makes the gun muzzle heavy and looks really strange. Then, a few years back, a book came out on surplus bolt action military rifles, and it lauded the M44 as a great rifle for collectors. Made in many different countries, and cheap. Suddenly everybody was buying them up and the price sky rocketed. They do make great truck guns or home defense guns though.
You could think of the Model 1944 as a Model 1938 with a bayonet, because that's about what it amounts to.
So, if I had to watch my cash but had no firearm to defend myself with, these rifles would be a good place to start looking.