Shooters, Hunters and Mil Surp

Anyone else here interested specifically in military surplus gear? Anyone think it to be an interesting enough topic to have several conversations on. It seems that many shooters and hunters buy this stuff to use. I’m not knocking anyone who just collects it, but I’m speaking about those who know the good, bad and ugly available out there and have experience with it in the field. I’m just trying to find out if people here may fall into this category.


Under the rear seat in my 4x4 is a 40 year old entrenching tool, and a ziploc bag of C-ration T-paper squares. Some things just work well.
My ole man was in, so I played with military stuff before it was surplus. Then I did a few hitches as a supply sgt. So I got to have fun with WWII, Korean, and Vietnam era gear.
One of my range bags is a late WWII canvas bag of some sort. It gets used often, yet still looks new.
somewhere there is a steel pot with a CIA cover on it. Doubt its real, but its still cool.
Dont use it much, not flying around in Hueys any more, so dont need a seat cushion.

The clothes all shrunk :flushed:, but all the gear still fits.


Funny how the bdu’s always shrink after a few years. :thinking: Hmmmm…:hamburger::fries:

I use some different European camo items in the woods and at the range. I used to spend big money on the latest and greatest when it came to hunting gear. I still have some nice stuff. But man, dollar for dollar, if you know what to look for, there are some real nicely made parkas, jackets, pants, etc. to be had cheap.
On the gear end, I like to find all the right mil surp accessories for the old military rifles I have. Seems like the proper way to go. Whether it’s the right sling, mag/amo pouch, those kind of things. I guess most guys do, but I don’t know?

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Hmmm, you talking fan boyish dedication?

Dont show them the milsurp over here. The Garand isnt what my daddy used, but I have every tool and issured items for it.

and the SKS…
It looks like its out of star wars…


My dad was in the “M 14 days”. Early years of Vietnam.

Fan boy though? Geez, never gave it much thought. Maybe I am, to some degree.
Maybe not. I guess I should say, I like to find all the old mil surp accessories for my rifles that I can actually use BUT I have modern stuff with old rifles, old stuff with new. So don’t get me wrong.

For me it really started as an economics thing. As a young hunter and shooter, I’d found some of the old used gear is just made like iron and the civilian equivalent would cost an arm and a leg…or just wasn’t as good.
Now that I’m older, can get whatever I need within reason, I still go looking for surplus stuff. Its an old habit.

Now, on to your pic…
That’s a dang SKS!?!? I would have never guessed it and I’ve seen bullpup conversions. No joke? Well, I do like steel and (gulp) :disappointed_relieved: wood. That seems to get some people going for some reason. Still I’m NOT a gun snob and can appreciate all kinds. Is that yours?


I see the SKS under the Buck Rodgers costume now. :smirk:
I had to zoom in on it after my other response. I can see the bolt and gas block. Outside of that…nothing sticks out and screams “Ho Chi Minh number 1!”.
It’s a solid build.

That is a pic I got off the net, Mine looks just like it tho. We dont post pics.
Mine has an AK-74 muzzle brake on it, not that corncob thingy pictured.
Years back I met a traveling Disabled Vet. He lives back east, but his kids are out here. So He gathers firearms from there, and sells them here, to live off of. So I bought the ole broke down Ho Chi Minn special.
The SKS is a fine 1965 Chicom, had a broken Dragunov stock on it. An ex-boyfriend of my daughter’s gave me a US Mag 31 round mag, They are the only mag you can still stripper clip from, flawlessly.
I updated the bolt and gas system. Then I Duracoated it black, and stuffed it in that bullpup stock. An absolute silk purse made from a sow’s ear.

Oh the their hand, the Garand, I bet I have fanboy goodies that would rival anyone’s bucket of stuff.

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I gotcha now. I wasn’t sure if you were completely blowing off the Garand related stuff or not.
As far as SKS’s go, I have one. Bare bones stock. It’s your average Yugo. It was one of the arsenal refurbished ones, so for what it is it’s nice. I lacking in the Garand department, sadly, and that’s the weapon and related stuff. I do have some of my grandfather’s WW2 related items. He served, but wasn’t a collector, so what I have from him is pretty much limited to what he brought home after the war.
I guess that most of the U.S. related stuff I have stays home and I look at as “collectables”. Most of the European related stuff is more on the practical end of the spectrum. Since I hunt, it gets used.

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I retired out of the Army in 92, when I left I had no firearms. On 9/11 that changed.
My ole man said, sometime in our lives an event would happen to signal bad times.
I believe that to be 9/11. So the day after I started looking for an M1 Garand, why you ask?
Simple, My ole man, a WWII Marine, carried the BAR, island hopping though WWII, and then Chinese occupation forces after WWII to clear out the remaining Japanese soldiers.

He would often tell stories about burning up his BAR, and picking up the closest Garand to stay in the battle, until another BAR could be had.

This is what my ole man told us kids:

"When your in a jam, grab an M1 Garand, it wont"
So I did.

So I did. For $400 bucks, I found a shot out 1944, that was rebarreled in 1953. The crown was so far removed, the throat gauge fell into the barrel! So I Stripped it down, sent the receiver, Off to the late “M1 Man”, via Chicago way. What I got back was NM everything, the trigger group was lightened and honed. When I was done, over a grand in the Garand, and worth every penny.
Its not my Father’s WWII Garand, but it works real good. I have several thouand152gr BLEEP bullets mounted on top of 50gr of IMR 4895, in enblocs, bandoleers, and in sealed ammo cans.

I am not a collector, I am a user, and if I ever have to use this fine historical firearm, the defecation has been thrown though the reciprocating air flow device, Until then , its a safe queen.

All the other tools in the safe, I dont even have manuals for. The M1, I have an library on.
Like I said, I have every tool made for it, I had 1000 grease pots, but over the years Ive used them, so I may only have 5-600 left :-). he M1 oiler/grease bottle, I have one for every rifle that is 30 cal.
(to include the SKS).
Got to use the ruptured case extractor on some simpleton’s semi 308 that he put the wrong ammo in. Most likely the only time Ill ever use it.


Great post. Very interesting. Myself, I’m retired L.E. got out a bit early, as soon as I could. Only a few years ago though. I was a firearms instructor. Had it up to my eyeballs with surplus M-16’s and any variation of the AR-15. Trained a bunch of guys on the platform, used it myself. It was because of this though that I really got interested in older firearms. I’m not knocking it…not at all. It’s just when that’s what’s given to you and that’s all your see, they aren’t that interesting anymore. I would feel that way about anything really, so no fault of the AR. Actually, any Glock falls in the same category. Both weapons remind me of work and some bad times, so I don’t pay much attention to them.
I did have guns most of my life. Probably had the first I called my own at 10 yo. Right around the time I got my first hunting license.
My father had (& has, I still hunt w/him) the typical hunters collection of Remington shotguns & rifles. Some old Sears & Roebuck (sp?) 12 ga. and random .22’s. He believed, as far as rifles, if it wasn’t a Remington and a 30-06, it wasn’t worth a damn. I’ve brought him along as far as that goes. Oh yeah, he likes black powder rifles and pistols too, so grew up shooting them. I still do on occasion. They can be a ton of fun.
My grandfather was in the artillery in WWII, so he had a fondness of very, very large weapons :slight_smile: . Maybe that’s why I love my Marlin 95’ 45-70? It’s like owning artillery :thinking::slightly_smiling_face:.
Anyway, found this article interesting. It’s from last year. About the demise of the Army Surplus Stores in the US. You may like it.


I had several decades of AR/M16s, I swapped uppers when the bolt assist came out.
Last year a few guys I know all took the black pill, so I showed them all how to build them, and we have a pair of 300 Blackouts, just what I needed more 30 cal.

Bought my first 45/70 for $200 at a gun show, scope gone 1878 trapdoor sights on it now.

Then a 1895 Marlin, 2002 vintage, then a H&R Buffalo rifle, all in 45/70.


I started collecting a few things here and there, but yes, I’m a fan of military surplus. I like much of it for its nostalgic history and usefulness. Unfortunately, I can’t find much of it anymore at the local Army/Navy surplus stores, and the prices I’ve seen online a few original WWII stuff can be pretty high sometimes. I’ll sometimes buy reproductions that claim to be made according to spec, whatever that may be, just because I think it’s a cool or useful item to have - like the leather M1 Garand slings or the M7 shoulder holsters, for instance.

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Hey, if you haven’t yet, check the article I linked to a few posts back. I found it fascinating on some level, definitely informative. It’s about the demise of the Army Surplus Stores here in the US.

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Yes, excellent article and spot on based on my observations of surplus stores over the years. Thanks for posting that.

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I still use the OLD ALICE pack and frame for a lot of my hunting and tramping around.
I have a few WWI and WWII bolt action long guns (A303, VZ24, SMLE MKIII, ) four of my several are younger than I am, the Hand gun, two of the shotguns, and the new .22 rifle.

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There is definitely something special about shooting the older MILSURP weapons. Right now my collection consists of 2 M1 Garands, 1917 Enfield, 1903A3 that was sporterized, SKS, M44, and a Ishy 2A (308 SMLE). Love shooting the old rifles every chance I get.

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I’ve got two M1 Garands (a SA July 1945, and an HRA 1956), a Yugoslavian Mauser M24/47, and an M1 Carbine (Mixed parts, Type 3, BBL and receiver from 1943 Inland). I love the old Mil-Surp rifles, and I plan on getting more in the future, like an FN49 in 8mm, a 30-06 or 308 Mauser, maybe an M1903A1 Springfield. Would like an Ohio Ordnance M1918A3 BAR.

I’m not really a hunter, but I do use Mil-Surp gear from time to time, camping, shooting or just wearing around. I have an older USAF huge duffle that I intend to use for traveling.

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Attempting to show some of mine.

Worry about SALLY CAT she just MIGHT know what to do with that SMLE


Thanks theycallyouvox for the army surplus article.
I really miss the surplus stores that had military hardware, the nut and bolts variety.
All those super duty fasteners, parts, electronics and test equipment.
All for peanuts compared what they must have originally cost.