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Potentially purchasing a Mosin-Nagant rifle, have some questions
A sporting good store nearby is having a sale on Mosin-Nagant M91/30 rifles for $99. These are surplus rifles that are in varying condition. I haven't stopped in to see what condition they are in yet, but they are able to be physically examined (but obviously not fired, since it is a sporting goods store) before purchase.
I've been considering purchasing a firearm for some time. Not for defense or anything like that, but mainly because I've wanted to get into shooting, and to learn the care and maintenance of a gun. I'm not a card-carrying gun nut, but I do feel that it is a right I am granted, so I may as well take a look into it. I called the store and spoke with an employee who gave me the run down on how gun purchases work in my state, as well as the name of the importer: Century Arms. He also said that he did not know anything about the dates or locations of manufacture on the rifles themselves, but there is information on the rifles themselves in Russian which is probably that information (the store employee told me there were "symbols" on the rifles, so I am assuming that is what he meant).
I did a search and found this thread, but it's almost three years old. It looks like I'm in relatively the same boat that guy was in, but that thread is fairly general, whereas I am looking for information more tailored toward a specific rifle. One forumer mentioned owning a Mosin-Nagant, but hasn't logged in since mid 2008.
So, my understanding concerning the Mosin-Nagant rifles is that they are extremely rugged, accurate, and cheap since the Soviet Union manufactured like 20 million of them, but I figured I would see if anyone with any gun knowledge could educate me further (at this point all I have in me is the Wikipedia article, a couple of fan pages, and a fair bit of MGS3 playtime). There are the obvious romantic and historical associations with the gun as well, coupled with the low price that have me considering this gun in particular.
Mainly, what kind of care and maintenance will this gun require? How expensive is 7.62 x 54r ammunition? What are my options for locking this weapon? Is there anything I should look for on the rifle itself if I decide to purchase one? What sort of scope would fit this rifle, and where should I look to find one? Is this a good starter firearm to use?