Skip to comments.A Second Look at the Mosin-Nagant Rifle
Posted on 05/02/2012 8:44:25 AM PDT by dynachrome
My rifle is a round receiver Tula, 91/30. I was lucky enough to get one with an excellent bore, bolt, and all the accessories (oiler, tools in cloth wrap, sling, bayonet and two ammo pouches), while paying only $90 in-person. $80 online is still a perfectly fair price, even after transfer and shipping -- though I would advise anyone purchasing multiple specimens, or other qualifying weapons, to consider a Curio and Relic license, if that is in your interest.
The rifle's main detriment that I've determined thus far? The sights. They're not bad -- though I'm biased, and apparently an abnormality when it comes to American shooters raised with traditional American guns, for the most part. However, the majority of my open-sight shooting since adulthood has been with an AK variant, which has very similar sights, anyway. That doesn't change what they are, though; crude, dark, and on some guns, not even adjustable to make your point-of-aim the same as point-of-impact. A $5 part fixes this, and I suspect that the better quality sample you acquire, the less likely the phenomenon is. If you're new to Russian sights, try to remember that it's something you get used to. There's nothing directly 'wrong' with them; they're not always as precise, and they're just different.
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How does/would a Mauser or Springfield ‘03 compare to the Mosin?
I have read the Mosin is one of THE weapons to have WTSHTF.
I have two, one i’m currently converting with modern stock, bolt, scope and other goodies. I’ll post some photos later.
--H.L. Mencken, The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920
While the rifles aren't light, they're very well-balanced. A fiberglass stock would help, but again, I don't recommend getting that simply because of the price. Recoil is stiff, but not overly so. If you've fired a .30-06 in a similar configuration, a 91/30 is nothing new. Carbine variants will blow your hat off and singe your hair, though. While they're very cool, I find the longer rifle makes more sense because of the role I'll be describing for it to fill -- and again, because it's much less expensive than its smaller cousins.
I take issue with this.
The "carbine" variants will NOT blow your hat off, will NOT singe your hair, in fact recoil firing the same ammo is not significantly greater.
Get a good 'cheek weld' with either one, and you'll be fine.
Several years ago, I got a 1937 Moisin-Nagant with a star bayonet. Because of its nasty kick, I had to put a cushion on the stock.
I bought a suppressor for mine ($20 at a gunshow). It goes on and twists to lock behind the front sight band and then locks with an allen screw.
After several shots, all of which missed the targets by a country mile, the damn thing blew up in my face. Each bullit was clipping the inside bore on the suppressor until one caught. Pieces broke my glasses, lacerated my eye and eyelid and put a big gash in my brow. The biggest piece launched about 50 yards.
I recovered completely and there was no damage to the Mosin.
that looks like a Finn M39. There is a lot of 7.62 x 54R
about, 30-06 is getting somewhat dear and hard to find.
I like my 03A3 a lot and the sights are wayyy better than the ones on my Kar98K.
Does the rear sight show meters, or arshins?
What is superior about the Finnish m39 version?
“suppressor for mine “
Muzzle brake you mean, and yeah, they are useless/dangerous. I threw mine away. Your basic mosin is quite safe as it was made for Ivan the illiterate peasant to use. The ‘safety’ is almost unuseable. Other than that, it is a great rifle!
I think my Mosey is great, best $75.00 I ever spent.
“lose the bent bolt”
Bent bolt would mean someone was setting it up for a scope.
If the rifle has a “CH” above the serial#/crest, it was designated as accurate enough for a sniper setup by the soviets. If it has filled in holes on the inside of the receiver rail, it may have actually been used as a sniper.
Complete straight bolts here:
a good ‘cheek weld’
And don’t hold it loose on yer shoulder!
The Finns put beefed up stocks on old mosin receivers,shimmed the barrels, and put better sights on them. Many were given new barrels, also.
these guys about cornered the market on them at one time. Expensive!
I picked up two of these fine rifles, the hex receiver version, for the price of $99.00 a piece. I paid an extra $10.00 per for “hand select”. The vendor was J&G. (I have no affiliation with them other than as a very satisfied customer.)
Both rifles were in very good condition although they did require a good scrubbing to get decades of cosmoline off them. Both of them go “bang” just fine and I’ll report that the recoil on them isn’t nearly as bad as my Mossberg 500 shooting slugs.
For the money they’re the best value that’s been on the market since those Ishapore Enfields were around a few years back. If anyone is considering purchasing one of these I’d recommend it highly.
They’re damn fine SHTF rifles. Ammo is plentiful and cheap. I got a tin of 440 rounds at Cabela’s for $95.00 out the door. So that’s a rifle AND 440 rounds of ammo for less than $200.00 You can’t beat that with a stick.
Get good and tight with it, and it won't hurt you. Same with your M1, M1903, Enfield No.4, K98, Win Mod 70, Rem 700, etc.
“vendor was J&G”
I recommend them also. I have bought ammo and a very fine 1939 Tula Nagant pistol from them.
Let me know. I can provide pics and specs.
My zombie gun is going to be the 91/59 carbine (soviets reworked some 91/30s into a carbine configuration in 1959 for some reason) I acquired.
I just received in my new stock to start working on the top one.
Yeah, I guess my brake broke.
LOL, I was about to offer to swap bolt assemblies. I am also going with a curved bolt but haven’t ordered it yet.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with choosing a Mauser, Springfield or other similar rifle. I chose to go with the Mosin simply because of price and reliability reputation. I wanted something I could literally tinker with and not worry if I messed something up. Considering a Mauser or Springfield costs about 4 to 10 times the price, it makes the Mosin almost disposable in comparison. You can also get great deals on ammo for the Mosin. I several 440 round sealed cans for about $80 each.
I got my Mosin at a Roses department store in Mississippi in about 1987. They had hundreds of them there for $29.95 each and for another $29.95 you could get 1000 rounds of crappy Russian ammo with it. For poor college kids it was a cheap “plinking” gun. Mine is a Model 1915 made by “New England Westinghouse Company.” Apparently it was made under contract for the Tsar government.
Stuff you know if you have an AK.
Stuff you know if you have an AR
Stuff you know if you have a Mosin Nagant
|It works though you have never cleaned it. Ever.||You have $9 per ounce special non-detergent synthetic teflon infused oil for cleaning.||It was last cleaned in Berlin in 1945.|
|You are able to hit the broad side of a barn from inside.||You are able to hit the broad side of a barn from 600m.||You can hit the farm from two counties over.|
|Cheap mags are fun to buy.||Cheap mags melt.||What's a mag?|
|Your safety can be heard 300m away.||You can silently flip off the safety with your finger on the trigger.||What's a safety?|
|Your rifle comes with a cheap nylon sling.||Your rifle has a 9 point stealth tactical suspension system.||Your rifle has dog collars.|
|Your bayonet makes a good wire cutter.||Your bayonet is actually a pretty good steak knife.||Your bayonet is longer than your leg.|
|You can put a .30" hole through 12" of oak, if you can hit it.||You can put one hole in a paper target at 100m with 30 rounds.||You can knock down everyone else's target just from the shock wave of your bullet going downrange.|
|When out of ammo, your rifle will nominally pass as a club.||When out of ammo, your rifle makes a great whiffle bat.||When out of ammo, your rifle makes a supreme war club, pike, boat oar, tent pole, or firewood.|
|Recoil is manageable, even fun.||What's recoil?||Recoil often used to relocate shoulders thrown out by the previous shot.|
|Your sight adjustment goes to '10', and you've never bothered moving it.||Your sight adjustment is incremented in fractions of minute of angle.||Your sight adjustment goes to 12 miles and you've actually tried it.|
|Your rifle can be used by any two bit nation's most illiterate conscripts to fight elite forces worldwide.||Your rifle is used by elite forces worldwide to fight two bit nations most illiterate conscripts.||Your rifle has fought against itself and won every time.|
|Your rifle won some revolutions.||Your rifle won the cold war.||Your rifle won a pole vault event.|
|You paid $350.||You paid $900.||You paid $59.95.|
|You buy cheap ammo by the case.||You lovingly reload precision crafted rounds one by one.||You dig your ammo out of a farmer's field in Ukraine and it works just fine.|
|You can intimidate your foe with the bayonet mounted.||Your foes laugh when you mount your bayonet.||You can bayonet your foe on the other side of the river without leaving the comfort of your hole.|
|Service life, 50 years.||Service life, 40 years.||Service Life, 100 years.|
|Its easier to buy a new rifle when you want to change cartridge sizes.||You can change cartridge sizes with the push of a couple of pins and a new upper.||You believe no real man would dare risk the ridicule of his friends by suggesting there is anything but 7.62x54r.|
|You can repair your rifle with a big hammer and a swift kick.||You can repair your rifle by taking it to a certified gunsmith, it's under warranty!||If your rifle breaks, you buy a new one.|
|You consider it a badge of honor when you get your handguards to burst into flames.||You consider it a badge of honor when you shoot a sub-MOA 5 shot group.||You consider it a badge of honor when you cycle 5 rounds without the aid of a 2x4.|
|After a long day at the range you relax by watching "Red Dawn."||After a long day at the range you relax by watching "Blackhawk Down."||After a long day at the range you relax by visiting the chiropractor. THEN you watch "Enemy at the Gates."|
|After cleaning your rifle you have a strong urge for a stiff shot of Vodka.||After cleaning your rifle you have a strong urge for hotdogs and Apple Pie.||After cleaning your rifle you have a strong urge for shishkabob.|
|You can accessorize your rifle with a new muzzle brake or a nice stock set.||Your rifle's accessories are eight times more valuable than your rifle.||Your rifle's accessory is a small tin can with a funny lid, but its buried under an apartment building somewhere in Budapest.|
|Your rifle's finish is varnish and paint.||Your rifle's finish is Teflon and high tech polymers.||Your rifle's finish is low grade shellac, cosmoline and Olga's toe nails.|
|Your wife tolerates your autographed, framed picture of Mikhail Kalashnikov.||Your wife tolerates your autographed, framed picture of Eugene Stoner.||You're not sure there WERE cameras to photograph Sergei Mosin.|
|Late at night you sometimes have to fight the urge to hold your rifle over your head and shout "Wolverines!"||Late at night you sometimes have to fight the urge to clear your house, slicing the pie from room to room.||Late at night, you sometimes have to fight the urge to dig a fighting trench in the yard to sleep in.|
So, would a Mosin be a good rifle for a rifle “newbie”? Or would the Springfield, Mauser, Enfield or perhaps an M1 be a better choice?
Feel free to PM me with suggestions, tips, etc.
--H.L. Mencken, The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920
“Model 1915 made by New England Westinghouse’
Those are very collectable in original configuration. Remington also made contract rifles.
I think for a newbie, as long as you don’t mind the kick, a mosin would be a great choice. Not only is it cheap, cheap, cheap, but it is easy to work on. Anyone can do everything from checking pin clearances to complete disassembly with little experience. Replacement parts are also cheap and can be found on eBay.
Disadvantages, you need to buy a specialized (just kidding) cleaner as most ammo is real dirty. I would suggest a cheap carburetor cleaner from Wal Mart. I’ve also heard of folks taking it to a car wash and water blasting out the barrel (wouldn’t suggest it). It just takes a lot of cleaning, be sure to clean and condition it after every outing.
“Finland’s Model 39: the ultimate Mosin-Nagant”
***You can put one hole in a paper target at 100m with 30 rounds.***
I remember back in 1977 when the AR-15 was just as accurate as the AK-47.
Several gun magazines at that time ripped the AR as not acurate, a 9 inch spread at 100 YARDS!
Thanks for the link. I did not realize there were so many variations ... even among the Westinghouse production.
Looks like mine is the “straight logo” variant. It seems to be pretty original. I notice that the bolt has a number stamped on it and slashed out and the serial number matching the receiver stamped back in below it.
Doesn't kick any worse than my Win 94 .30-30.
I was surprised at the trigger and accuracy. Both much better than I had been led to believe. My 1918 Mauser/Oviedo has a worse trigger than that 91/30 did.
But if I had to be lost in the wilderness with only one gun, it would be a Mosin-Nagant carbine.
Now cleaning up after corrosive ammo in an auto rifle is a drag...but we are talking Mosins here!
How do you like the LER scout scope versus traditional mounts over the bolt? That’s something i havent decided on yet.
The beauty of the Mosin is that you can have 6 of them and 900 rounds of ammo for the price of a single decent Springfield (sans ammo) or 3 of them for the price of a single decent 8mm Mauser (also sans ammo).
The closest thing to a weakness that there is in the Mosin is the magazine. There is a leaf spring that puts pressure on the cartridge rim. If it is weak or worn the rifle will have feed problems. I've seen this in a few older guns (and one M44 carbine). It is an easy fix and a common part, and you could even fabricate the part yourself with hand tools in a pinch.
I’ve got a ‘43 Sako M39. It’s a tight gun and it shoots better than I am capable of taking advantage of, but I’d rather shoot my old beat up 91/30. It’s lighter and faster and has a better “feel” somehow. I wondered if anyone else felt that way.
Probably best to keep an arsenal refinished Mosin rifle intact and complete.
If you are unsure of headspace on a mosin bolt, these guys sell “coin” style gauges. I have a set and they work well. They also have 8mm Lebel, .303 british and 8x56r steyr gauges:
“bolt has a number stamped on it and slashed out and the serial number matching the receiver stamped back”
Probably a refurb somewhere along the way. Still collectible.
An original would have a blade front sight and a ‘roller coaster’ rear sight in arshins.
I can make 300 yd shots with mine, pretty consistently.
I tried to qualify at Appleseed with it, but reloading is just too slow. Still, it's a fun shooter. I have the M44 carbine and the M39 rifle variants.
“How does/would a Mauser or Springfield 03 compare to the Mosin?”
I have all three. The Mosin has a crude appearance and feel compared to the others, but it is simple, rugged and reliable. I would recommend finding a clean Finnish version, I think they are better made. My Finn is very accurate. If you really want to compare two extremes, cycle the gritty bolt on a Mosin, then cycle the silky bolt on a Krag.
I should have mentioned in my previous post that if I really had to fight with only one bolt action rifle, it would be a late British .303 Enfield. More compact, very rugged, 10 rounds in the magazine, and peep sights. The only negative is the rounded butt plate.
It looks like he is using the same stock I bought (pictured up-thread).