The Case for a Ruger American Rifle in 7.62x54R
From Michael Bane comes a bit of prepper advice that I mostly agree with, but with an important qualification.
Why, asks Bane, would you buy a cheap Mosin Nagant and then invest a few hundred (or over a grand if you’re Major Pandemic) in souping it up, when you can pick up Ruger American in one of a number of popular calibers for under $300?
Okay, color me confused. As a fan and owner of custom rifles, I’d have to say that all the Mosin stuff is indeed cool. and you can build up really neat custom rifle. Plus I understand the appeal of old military guns…my father spent many many happy hours building up a couple of Swedish 6.5 X 55 Mausers and one really ugly Turkish Mauser, which he kept in the 8mm Turk caliber.
But that’s all about building a custom rifle, not having a good bolt gun around for hunting or back-up self-defense uses. Yes, you can still find Mosins on the cheap — $169 at Cabelas, for instance, or Classic Firearms selling them by the crate for $180 a pop per gun. Or pick one up on Gunbroker.com for maybe less. But after you spend the money to soup it up, you’re approaching the $1K or above number.
Let me clear up some of his confusion: the answer comes down to ammo prices.
The Ruger American Rifle comes in a bevy of calibers, but it does not come in 7.62x54R, so you can’t train as cheaply with it as you can the Mosin. If you shoot a lot, then over time the $1,000 Mosin is ultimately a lot cheaper than the $300 Ruger American Rifle.
And if, like any good prepper, you’re stockpiling ammo for the End of Days, a tricked-out Mosin and a giant pile of 7.62x54R is going to be a good deal cheaper than a stock Ruger American and a giant pile of .308 Win.
Now, if Ruger would just make a Ruger American in 7.62x54R, then this big mark in the Mosin’s favor would be moot. Yeah, it’s kind of a weird budget caliber with an uncommon rimmed case, but there’s obviously something to the Mosin phenomenon beyond just the gun itself.
So I vote for Ruger to give the people what they want: a modern production rifle that shoots cheap, popular, dirty surplus ammo that can be cheaply and easily stockpiled. Ruger, are you listening?