...you could pic up a case of these at about $65.00 - 75.00 per rifle. Those pictured here are supposedly Hungarian M44 (Model 1944) carbines.
I bought one for myself in 1998, it was a whopping $80.00 including tax. It's the only Mosin Nagant I still own, bought from a guy named Ray at a gun show in NY state. I visited the show with my pal Dom P. and we each got one. As we were walking away, I turned to Dom and told him I was going back to Ray's table. I had decided I was going to buy another. When I got back to Ray I blurted out that it would be a gift for my wife. Ray, the dealer, immediately became paranoid and refused to sell it to me saying that if he did so it would be a straw purchase. Of course, it would not have been one because it would have been a gift to someone who could legally purchase one if she had wanted to do so (it took the ATF many years to get that straightened out among knucklehead dealers who thought otherwise).
I recall they were so inexpensive that a guy from a gun forum in NY bought a case, refinished the wood somewhat, cannot recall if he put legs on it but do know he took off the lid covered, the guns inside the case with glass and his wife was happy with the new coffee table (imagine that). I also remember the feeling I got when I first realized they would have evolved from mere steel & wood into a small gold mine had I picked up a case or three. I still; get that same exact feeling today many years later - it feels like a good swift kick in the jewels!
Oh well, live and hopefully learn: The time and place to buy it is when you see it and he who hesitates on such a deal is a schmuck! I've been there and I've been one of those in the case of these and some other firearms deals I should have picked up on. I should have known better too because of some advice I'd gotten from a Jewish butcher in Brooklyn who had fresh chickens on sale. His exact words were: "Such a deal - don't be a schmuck - buy two". Had I applied it to a couple of cases of M44s and held onto them until today, I'd be able to put a down payment on a car or buy more guns.
All the best,