CHICOM Nagants are alright. Most that came home as war trophies or that have been imported are in rough shape. I have never seen one that had what I considered to be a GOOD barrel. They are more or less the exact same as the USSR nagant m44's.
I have never paid more than $100 USD for one. But if it is a gotta have one I think $150 would be very top dollar.
They will never be tack drivers but they will function. They handle the same as the Russian ones. The cartridge is close to the 30-06 rounds for power.
Ammo for them is cheap here in the US. Even when there was an ammo shortage this summer you could still find 7.62x54 ammo.
Popeye pretty much nailed it. I've also noticed that most of these I've seen are rough... Dark stocks, minor pitting, counterbored barrels.
Why would you go for T53 instead of an M44?
i would go for which ever is A available ( i live up in the middle of no where) and B is cheapest the only reason i got the type 53 in my head was from a new magazine thats been released called military surplus :P i'm just now old enough to get my fire arms licence here so i'm getting which ones i want figured out
edit the other nice thing about the type 53 is as you said they are usually rough when you get them so i would have less worry about ruining the finish
I would be more apt to have the M44 as my living room show piece / range rifle and a t53 for hunting which is what i intend to use it for
True, but in the end we are talking about a $100 T53 vs a $150 M44 and not a $1,000+ K98 or Garand.
Definitely take care of all of your rifles, but you shouldn't feel bad about shooting/ hunting with an M44.
I don't believe you will ever find a T53 with a decent enough barrel for hunting. Most are sewer pipes at best.
I would look at the M44 or even one of the polish or hungarian nagants. My polish is in unissued condition and the Hungarian one is a very good barrel.
The Russian nagants are still out there fairly cheap. But if I had the choice go with a Russian unless you can look the guns over before you buy them. Most M44 still have some decent bores in them.
Most of the Russian ones have been redone in Russia for sale on the US market so there is no real value to a purist collector. Don't worry about any of them ever being a show piece. I started collecting Nagants in 1986 before they hit the import market. A very rich a long history and still very cheap, fun to shoot. Nagants are still in use in the Afghan war and I seen a few in the Horn Of Africa also.
Good luck buying your hunting rifle.
Cheap MIL rifles have done stellar duty as hunting rifles through time - not least Mausers.
Here a surprisingly good looking Krag/1st Pattern U.S. Model 1892 bolt-action rifle in 30-40, which was 'customized' and used as a hunting rifle for decades after being brought home by the soldier to whom it was issued. I like this particular rifle a lot:
around here any nagant i've ever seen in grande prairie is usually around the 200 dollar mark (most things are more expensive here due to shipping costs :/)