I like the Mossin nagant Idea. If you have a large group, it would probably be better just to arm those with the most experience. Those withthe experience will protect the rest untill you can find more weapons and train the remainder of your party.
If your attacked, the armed riflemen can counter-attack while the rest of your party flees to a pre-determined location.
IF expecting an attack, you can set up a ambush and catch them in a crossfire. I would imagine that taking fire from several capable concealed marksmen from multiple locations simultaniously could ruin your day.
I saw those 5 mossins for a benjamin deal. That was some good stuff! The stocks were dinged up and the metal finish was only like 50% but the guns were still functional and capable shooters. Good deal while they lasted.