Importation did stop which is why they are priced way they are. I don't think there was a whole lot made so it could simply be that there was no more surplus to be had. Either way they are not coming in any more.
I had one years ago. If you want one to round off a collection go for it. If you want one for practical reasons I think there are better options for that price range. Accuracy is not bad, not great either but they are NOT sniper rifles, just Marksman rifles..... DMR. You won't be doing any clover leaf shots at 100 yards unless Mars and Venus align properly and you tailor a load that this particular rifle happens to love. I was able to keep all shots in a nice, smaller than palm size group at a 100 yards. Rapid fire or prolonged fire heats up the thin barrel pretty quickly and it starts to string shots. If you take your time it will probably do better but im not know for my patience.
Then you have the ammo problem. Cheap surplus is gone. And even when it was widely available and you can spend all day shooting a crate of 880 rounds for $100 the quality and accuracy varied from year to year and country to country. Sometimes even lot to lot. What's left now is at least $0.50 per round. Typically that's Bear, Wolf and Red Army Standard, which can be from a few different countries. Or PPU brass for about $0.75. There is also S&B but now you're getting into over a dollar per round in a rifle and caliber that doesn't justify the price for the performance.
Another problem....I've heard this a lot but never tested the theory .... is that you should only stick to 150gr or less. I believe that limits you to 150, 147 and I believe I saw 145. Anyway, prolonged use of heavy ball ammo will crack the receiver in the rear. Too much recoil and the rifle was not designed for it. It basically beats itself up. You can try a buffer but it can just as easily cause more problems than it solves. Now this could all be an internet myth based on someone's lemon of a rifle. I don't know but I don't have an armory to grab another one out from so I didn't test that theory. Which reminds me that cheap commercial ammo is damn near impossible to find in 150gr or less. When they come in people snatch them up fast.
Mags have also gone up in price, if you manage to find one..... obviously!
I'm not trying to shit on the rifle, it's a cool collection piece and while I wouldn't trust it to reliably put someone's eye out at 200 yards and further I have full confidence it will put a round center mass at those distances. And this was great when the rifle was $650. Not so much when it's $1500
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