Why do you like (dislike) Mosin Nagants?


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jagdpanzer347
February 16, 2006, 10:45 AM
Recently acquired my first two, a Russian M91/30 laminate and Russian M44. Unfortantely I haven't had a chance to fire them yet,or any Nagant for that matter.
I do like the fact that combined they set me back only slightly more than 200.00. And ammo is super cheap. The actions don't seem nearly as smooth as a Mauser or Enfield, but I guess that is the nature of the beast.
There also seems to be a large number of variations that would keep a collector busy for a while. The Finnish variations look particularly interesting.
What are your thoughts?
-jagdpanzer.

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foghornl
February 16, 2006, 11:22 AM
I have 1 Mosin-Nagant, a Romainian (IIRC) 1954 M-44. It is a simple, rugged design that works well. Only a few tricks about these rifles...

Make sure you have the rims staggered so that you don't get 'rim-lock', i.e. next cartridge loaded into the mag goes slightly in front on the one already in place...whether single-loading or from a stripper clip.

Safety is a real "bear" to work..knob has to be pulled back and rotated counter-clockwise about 1/8th of a turn to "safe", rotate cw for 'fire'

Some models are bayonet position sensitive. MY M-44 has about a 3"-4" windage shift with bayo folded vs. extened. This can also be ammo sensitive as well...some ammo is not affected as much by the bayo position. If I use the 200_gr Barnaul soft-point 'hunting ammo', windage shift is more like 2"@100Yds.

Those rifles were probably fairly well 'advanced technology' when they first came out around 1890 or so.

The carbines (like the M-44) can be a real [ahem..bad pun warning] "Blast" to shoot with certain ammo. A HUGE fireball, and lotza noise. I actually made a guy shooting a .300Win Mag in the next lane pack up and leave once...complained about my gun being "WAY TOO *&^*(*^&^ LOUD!"

Firehand
February 16, 2006, 12:29 PM
Dislike:
Stiff action, especially with steel-case ammo
Often lousy triggers
Difficult safety

Like:
Break about as often as a rock
Find the right ammo, can be surprisingly accurate
As you say, cheap ammo.

I recently got a Pu sniper, and was happily surprised; it gets 1" groups with the Czech silvertip ammo, and the optics are sharp and clear.

ArmedBear
February 16, 2006, 12:57 PM
Mosin M-38 Carbines are the closest some furriners' army ever got to a lever gun. They just feel right. Commie bastards then added a bayonet and screwed that all up.

rbernie
February 16, 2006, 12:57 PM
I can't get into the whole Mosin thing; I'd rather save my pennies and have Enfields..... :D

ocabj
February 16, 2006, 01:05 PM
I can't get into the whole Mosin thing; I'd rather save my pennies and have Enfields..... :D

You'll change your mind when you handle a Finnish M39.

Oleg Volk
February 16, 2006, 01:24 PM
Of all the surplus chamberings (8mm, 303, 6.5, 7.5, etc.), 7.62x54 is the only one that is likely to remain available cheaply in the long run.

MechAg94
February 16, 2006, 01:38 PM
I think mine is an M44. It is just inaccurate. That is my only complaint. Well, that and I wasted money learning my lessons about surplus guns (not much money thankfully). I got a scope mount added and the bolt handle rewelded. Since the rifle is inaccurate, it seems like a waste.

I have a tin of ammo left so I won't abandon them completely, but I don't shoot mine much. It is no fun shooting an inaccurate gun. I may look at a Finish rifle sooner or later just to see if I can get some better accuracy. I may also pick up a cheap "trunk gun" candidate. I would just as soon ditch the two rifles I have now. Oleg is right though. The ammo will probably be cheap for some time to come and the rifles will be cheap as well. That is why I may look that direction again sooner or later.

rbernie
February 16, 2006, 01:51 PM
You'll change your mind when you handle a Finnish M39.Donations cheerfully accepted. :D

White Horseradish
February 16, 2006, 01:56 PM
Mechanically elegant, simple, bombproof. Cheap ammo, widely available - it's still in military service in several countries and actively used for hunting in the former USSR. What's not to like?

Condition varies widely between individual rifles. Some are stiff, some are smooth, some shoot groups, some shoot patterns. Most complaints about feeding, action and triggers can be traced to wear/corrosion or just dirt. Rimlock and feed jams are usually caused by a worn/damaged/dirty ejector-interruptor and a weakened interruptor spring. These old gals have had hard lives. People get squeaky joints, rifles get gritty triggers and sticky bolts. Rifle ailments are a bit easier to fix, though...

That said, I have a Type 53 carbine that I was afraid to take to the range until I replaced the sear. The trigger pull was so light, it would go off with a hard sneeze. :)

White Horseradish
February 16, 2006, 01:59 PM
I think mine is an M44. It is just inaccurate. That is my only complaint. Well, that and I wasted money learning my lessons about surplus guns (not much money thankfully). I got a scope mount added and the bolt handle rewelded. Since the rifle is inaccurate, it seems like a waste.

I have a tin of ammo left so I won't abandon them completely, but I don't shoot mine much. It is no fun shooting an inaccurate gun. I may look at a Finish rifle sooner or later just to see if I can get some better accuracy. I may also pick up a cheap "trunk gun" candidate. I would just as soon ditch the two rifles I have now. Oleg is right though. The ammo will probably be cheap for some time to come and the rifles will be cheap as well. That is why I may look that direction again sooner or later.

There's a reason why there never was a factory scope mount for the M44... :neener:

itgoesboom
February 16, 2006, 02:10 PM
I would love to pick up one again.

I bought one a few years back, when I was 18. It was my second rifle, and I had horrible problems with it.

Mainly the problem I had was that I couldn't work the action on the rifle after firing. I actually had to use all my strength and weight and smack the bolt agains the shooting bench to get it to work. :what:

I fired about 20 rounds through it, and gave up, and brought it back to where I bought it and traded it for something else.

If THR or TFL were around back then, I am sure that I could have gotten the needed info to fix it, but I didn't have anyone to help me with it back then.

I.G.B.

skers69
February 16, 2006, 02:21 PM
I aquired a M44 for 80 bucks. I did not like the accuracy. I went to Cabelas to get a scope for it. The guy took one look at it and told me it was worth 500 bucks. I guess I got a hold of one that is collectable. Anyway....I did not put a scope on it. I love to shoot it...makes a bunch of noise....and kicks like a mule. I do not like the safety. Other that that I think they are pretty neat guns.

Cosmoline
February 16, 2006, 02:33 PM
You'll change your mind when you handle a Finnish M39.

Finns really are a class apart. They're custom crafted rifles made by some of the finest gunmakers in the world. They're also highly collectable. Even the most common Finnish Mosins-the M-91 remakes and the M-39's, were produced in numbers VASTLY smaller than the Imperial and Soviet Mosins. It's safe to say all Finnish Mosins are highly collectible. The top value ones now are the winter war rifles (M-27's, M-28's, M-28/30's) and rare variants such as Tikka-made M-39's. But in time I can pretty much guarantee any Finn you don't hack up will be worth more in the years to come.

Consider the fact that over 17 MILLION 91/30's came out of the Soviet arsenals. Almost 200,000 of them were made into sniper variants. Contrast that with under 10,000 M-27's and under 140,000 M-39's.

There are a TON of bogus and mismarked Mosin-Nagants out there, and a great deal of misinformation about which ones are valuable and which are not. Be very careful about buying "sniper" variants, as most of them are bogus aftermarket remakes. The one sure thing I can say is that if you get a Mosin for under two bills with a Finnish barrel and on it, you've done good in the long run. ANd it's still shockingly easy to find these.

A lot of the problem Mosins people are running into are 91/30 or M-38 parts guns that were put together by the importers. The bolt heads have never really been fitted and they stick badly. The only way I buy a Soviet Mosin is if I can see it in the flesh. The bolt should be loose in the hand and flow very smoothly. It should *NOT* feel tight like a Mauser bolt. The crown should be clear and the overall condition good. Matching numbers are ideal.

Niner
February 16, 2006, 02:47 PM
A Mosin Nagant M91 got me hooked on C&R guns. I picked it up at a gun show a dozen years ago. I was walking by a table and noticed it as being an odd looking rifle. I looked at the receiver and it was engraved with New England Westinghouse, although the dealer was telling me it was a Russian rifle. I brought it home for $70 along with a bag full of 7.62x54r thrown in for free. I got to examining it and did some research. I discoved it had been in Finland at some juncture because of the SA mark, and the stock was original because it had the English contract mark, in Russian, on the butt stock.

It was a lot of history in that one firearm. This rifle had been made in America for Nicholas II during WWI with England acting as Russia's agent. It had made it to Russian in time for the revolution. It had stayed in service for at least the first war with Finland, been captured, and maybe recaptured back again. Now it had made full circle back to the US! And.... it was still in shooting condition. :) If only it could speak about where it had been.

ArmedBear
February 16, 2006, 02:52 PM
Cosmoline-

Is it a problem if the bolt lifts up in the action when it is locked shut and you push down on the bolt handle? Is this normal, or an ill-fitting bolt?

Cosmoline
February 16, 2006, 03:54 PM
It's normal to have some play in the bolt even when locked, if that's what your asking. To prevent a the bolt from popping out of action, you can engage the safety which will freeze it in place.

atblis
February 16, 2006, 04:16 PM
Otherwise I could care less about them.

Most other people are probably about the same. Swedish Mausers are worth the cost of the ammo. If Nagant ammo was $7.00 a box, not very many people would be shooting them.

Cosmoline
February 16, 2006, 04:22 PM
Otherwise I could care less about them.

Most other people are probably about the same. Swedish Mausers are worth the cost of the ammo. If Nagant ammo was $7.00 a box, not very many people would be shooting them.

:rolleyes: I spend that much on modern Russian production all the time. So do many others. I also know more than a few Finns that can go toe-to-toe with any Swede. Or are you suggesting that Tikka and Sako aren't quality gun makers?

armoredman
February 16, 2006, 05:10 PM
Play in the bolt is not all that bad, as long as it is minimal - the separate bolt head is locked in place.
My M38 will group 6 inches at 100 yards with Silvertip, 3 inches with Wolf, and we'll see what it does with the Polish stuff I just ordered. My handloads have certainly not been as good as I liked, 2.5 inches at 100 yards was the best I could do.
One HUGE peice of advice - if you are NOT a rifle recoil fan, i.e., dream of firing the .577 Tyrannasaurus Rex cartridge, then get thee to WalMart, and get a $7 slip on recoil pad...
Then take a cordless drill to the range with you. Chuck a cleaning rod with a 20 ga shotgun bronze brush, and after you fire the first couple of rounds, and get REAL sick of smacking the bolt handle to unlock, dismount the bolt, and shove the drill in the chamber with some brake cleaner or gum out, and drill that sucker with the shotgun brush to get rid of the tiny bits of cosmo left in the pits. That melts, and binds with the laquer on the steel cases. Do this a few times, clean and re lube lightly, and you should be golden forever.
Do not forget the surplus stuff is corrosive primed - use a swab or two of ammonia, like Windex with ammonia, to nuetralize the corrosive "salts" in the berdan primers. Then clean as normal. Do that on the barrel and the bolt face.
Then have fun! Great blasters!

Ad Astra
February 16, 2006, 06:33 PM
Mosin-Nagants are highly addictive. The M38 is a handy size "just in case you need a rifle" rifle... The Queen is the M39. Handle one and see. AIM has had some great ones, even sneaks and other unique collectables (Tikkas). Also gunsnammo in new york has had some beauts...

I like my target M39 so much I agonized over getting it the $300 rare bayo... (now they're GONE) in the end, I got another M39 shooter, replica bayo (coming) and had money left over.

I've heard many times that M44's shoot to one side w/o the bayo extended. Guess I'm lucky for once; got one of the hard-chrome ones Classic had (love it) and it shot to point of aim- 2" group at 25 yds., good enough for what it is.

Now the M38- who mentioned it above was right- had a headspace problem on the GO side. Bolt would NOT close on some ammo. Got a new bolthead w/extractor from TGP and voila, cycles fine and won't close on a NO-GO. But check them all! Borrow a NO-GO gauge if you don't have one.

Recoil... K31 is sweet, shoot it all day. M48A in 8mm was soft too w/factory loads. Brown Bear in the Mosins was a little more, yes. But I shot 80 rounds and went home and put up a ceiling fan, so how bad could that be? Couldn't see the flash in bright daylight, either. The only disappointment.

Getting a case of the Polish 7.62x54r delivered for 45, so... 10 cents a round.

Mosin-Nagants are ugly, cheap, clunky and wonderful.

atblis
February 16, 2006, 06:44 PM
It's okay. Minute of boulder accurate (better than that really). The Sakos and Tikkas are a special case of the Nagant. In general the Russian ones are kind of blah.

I like them, and think they'll be quite collectable eventually (the odd ones).

I did see a test a few years ago where they compared a Mauser and a Nagant (I know one of each isn't really conclusive). The Nagant was actually more accurate.

dm1333
February 16, 2006, 06:58 PM
I took my M38 to the range the other day. It shot well with 147 grain loads (less blast and recoil) and it has a nice balance and feel to it. Shooting off an improvised rest at 60 or so yards I had about 2 inch groups and I was able to bust rocks and cans at close to 100 yards. Not bad considering the rifle cost 69$ the scope mount was 58$ and the scope was 29$.

Cosmoline
February 16, 2006, 07:00 PM
It takes a special breed to really get into them. They're a contrarian rifle firing a contrarian cartridge. By all rights they should have died out with WWI like nearly every similar split bridge receiver/rimmed cartridge early smokeless powder design. Conventional wisdom favored the Mauser '98 pattern over a century ago. But the Mosin and the 54R stubbornly refuse to cease circulating or cease working.

I think the Soviet rifles get a bad rap due to the WWII vitage parts guns with barrels rebored so many times they've expanded to near 8mm dimensions. The pre-war Soviet rifles and Imperial M-91's are very good rifles, and can be quite accurate with the right loads.

mrrev
February 16, 2006, 07:09 PM
Best tunk gun there is. You could actually throw it back there and the dent or scratch it gets will only add more character to it. Plus cheap ammo, can one get cheaper ammo other than .22? It may not be that accurate, but I'll bet I'll hit something at 100 yards....

The Real Hawkeye
February 16, 2006, 07:24 PM
I like my M44 because I feel it has tremendous potential as a sporting rifle. Not a long range tack driver, but certainly could fulfill the role of a deer/boar/black bear rifle. All you need do, in fact, is remove the bayonet, and get the sights right. That's it. It's ready to go in the field, and is extremely handy, rugged and problem free rifle. Mine came with an excellent trigger. Easy to rig up for a sporting sling too. Just need a couple of leather loops for the slots. It's a dandy all around.

KrankyKraut
February 16, 2006, 07:27 PM
I have 3 Mosins; the M44, M91/30 and M38. Other than the bolt being not as smooth as my Mausers, I like them a lot. I like their total mechanical simplicity; they're so simple it's elegant. Even I can understand how they work. And they are surprisingly accurate. I don't shoot groups off a bench, but for handheld shots to 100 yards (the max I've done so far), they're a lot of fun. And interesting, too, what with all the WWII history. So, if inexpensive, reliable, accurate, interesting, indestructable and cheap ammo sound good to you, the Mosins may be for you.

cracked butt
February 16, 2006, 08:02 PM
Dislikes (in general)
-crappy triggers
-clunky action
-difficult to load magazine without strippers.

Specific to the carbines:
-poor accuracy
-not very well balanced

Likes-
-built like a tank
-good cartridge
-rounds can be fed directly into the chamber unlike a mauser
-cheap ammo and lots of it

Specific to the 91/30
-decent accuracy
-very nicely balanced rifle.

I always swear off Mosins and say I'll never buy another, yet they still tempt me enough to open my wallet from time to time.

adaman04
February 16, 2006, 08:16 PM
Like - Cheaper than dirt

Dislike - I throw up in my mouth when I see one. :barf:

Cosmoline
February 16, 2006, 09:05 PM
Are you insulting my girl?

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b52/Gussick/Aquilonia5.jpg

The Real Hawkeye
February 16, 2006, 09:20 PM
Are you insulting my girl?

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b52/Gussick/Aquilonia5.jpgI saw someone at the range with the scope mount. Where do you get those?

Cosmoline
February 16, 2006, 09:25 PM
That's one of Darrell's mounts from the Paralax boards. I had some trouble getting it on the Finnish rear mount because it was slightly different than the Soviet 91/30 standard, but I got it locked down with a few drops of silver sauder. I can pop it out of there later if I need to, but it's about the nicest balancing Mosin I've ever had with a scope on it.

armoredman
February 16, 2006, 09:38 PM
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b13/armoredman/8584990-R1-050-23A.jpg

heypete
February 16, 2006, 10:08 PM
Pros: Cheap ammo, "stupidly simple" action, freakish durability, cheap ammo. Did I mention the cheap ammo part?

Cons: Action can sometimes be "sticky", substantial recoil hurts after a while.

See this page (http://www.headsbunker.com/html/2006/01/ak-vs-ar-real-data-speaks.html) for an AK/AR/Mosin comparison. Be amused. Be very amused.

ghost squire
February 16, 2006, 10:41 PM
Stiff action, especially with steel-case ammo

That alone is why I stopped shooting mine, plus its less accurate then my far older and in worse condition Mauser. The action of an MN is in fact overly complicated, which apparently they did to avoid patent infringement. This doesn't appear to affect reliability.

Pluses it has far less recoil then my Mauser when I use yugo ammo in the German gun. I don't know about other ammo though.

Bottomline knowing what I know now I wouldn't have purchased it. The Enfield is clearly the king of combat bolt actions.

The Mauser is the king of dangerous game rifles. Period. I think using a Mosin on bear is inviting disaster, let me ask you this would you use that same rifle on lion or jaguar?

Anything in between those two is boring to me... sorry. Unless its an exceptional piece of craftsmanship like a Mannlicher Classic.

Took a look at that website, hilarious! :D But methinks he overrates the recoil a tad.

Shrinkmd
February 16, 2006, 10:59 PM
Not to invite disaster on my shoulder, but putting 120 rounds through it in a couple hours at the range is way more fun than a .22, and cheap. For that once in a lifetime trip to Alaska/Africa wherever safari, this is not what you'd use. But to plink and practice and have fun, and spend half to a third less than feeding an AR, it does seem hard to beat.

On an semi-unrelated topic, how much surplus ammo do people keep around? Is there any big danger of it disappearing anytime soon? It seems silly to stockpile too much stuff, but sillier to miss out while the getting is good.

Dionysusigma
February 16, 2006, 11:06 PM
I once heard somebody call a Mosin "obsolete." They weren't comparing it to autoloaders, but other bolt-action rifles from the early 20th century. As LawDog would put it...

*gigglesnort* :D

I'm hoping to get a repro PU sniper some day. And yes, it's because I love Enemy At The Gates. :rolleyes: :p

One major downside, though... I have never, in my life, seen a true Mosin Nagant clip--just the POS "tool clips" that happen to work if they've been blessed by either Buddha or JMB. :banghead:

Cosmoline
February 16, 2006, 11:08 PM
The Mauser is the king of dangerous game rifles. Period. I think using a Mosin on bear is inviting disaster, let me ask you this would you use that same rifle on lion or jaguar?

Where do people get these notions? My 215 grain Woodleigh handloads would blow a jaguar into next week. It delivers up to 2,700 ft. lbs. at the muzzle with a SD of .316. With a premium bullet that will hit plenty hard. Properly loaded, the 54R out of a full size Mosin is more than enough to bring down everything up to and including brown bear. It's equal to the .30'06 or the 8x57JS.

I think what you mean to say is that the '98 ACTION is the basis for many classic hunting rifles. It is an easier action to adapt to new chamberings, but that doesn't make it any stronger or better in its military configuration.

Mauserguy
February 16, 2006, 11:32 PM
I saw a link on Mad Ogre's site that explained the whole AK vs. AR debate. The winner was the Mosin-Nagant. Mosins are great. Check out the table in the link below.
Mauserguy

http://search.yahoo.com/bin/search?p=ak,%20mosin,%20ar

556A2
February 16, 2006, 11:49 PM
The only thing I don't like is how the bayonet is attached on the M44. Thats about it.

ghost squire
February 17, 2006, 12:34 AM
I think what you mean to say is that the '98 ACTION is the basis for many classic hunting rifles. It is an easier action to adapt to new chamberings, but that doesn't make it any stronger or better in its military configuration.

I think thats fairly OBVIOUS as I never mentioned caliber factoring into the dangerous game rifle equation.

The Mauser is the king of dangerous game rifles. Period. I think using a Mosin on bear is inviting disaster, let me ask you this would you use that same rifle on lion or jaguar?


Did you think I was saying that 8mm Mauser is the king of all calibers for cape buffalo or something? In addition theres more then one cartridge that bears the Mauser name. 9.3x62 being the obvious one for DG.

Where do people get these notions? My 215 grain Woodleigh handloads would blow a jaguar into next week.

As will a 6.5x55.

I will repeat myself seeing as how to be fair I suppose I could have said action instead of rifle...

The Mauser ACTION is GENERALLY speaking a far better choice then a Mosin for dangerous game hunting, for a variety of reasons. The Mauser is the sacred cow of dangerous game hunting and extremely, overwhelmingly popular with African PHs for a reason. If you want more reasons why a Mauser is better for hunting DG ask one of them.

Not to invite disaster on my shoulder, but putting 120 rounds through it in a couple hours at the range is way more fun than a .22, and cheap. For that once in a lifetime trip to Alaska/Africa wherever safari, this is not what you'd use. But to plink and practice and have fun, and spend half to a third less than feeding an AR, it does seem hard to beat.


Agreed.

PS I would want more oomph if I were going after brown bear: http://image05.webshots.com/5/8/26/14/60982614VOOEsm_ph.jpg

I'm not sure I would feel comfortable with any .30 cal. But many have been taken with them, I won't dispute that. Elephant have also been taken by the thousands with 6.5mms...

Cosmoline
February 17, 2006, 12:43 AM
Properly loaded, the Mosin-Nagant is perfectly fine as a bear rifle. If you want to lug around a .375 H&H that's OK, but it's not necessary. I would also argue that the iron sighted Mosin is superior for bear protection than a fully scoped hunting rifle.

But you're absolutely correct that one of the points in the Mauser's favor is the ability to chamber a wide array of alternate cartridges in it. The Finns have created some wildcat loads for customized Mosins, but so far they haven't migrated beyond Scandinavia.

ghost squire
February 17, 2006, 12:51 AM
Huh? Where did I say scoped rifle for dangerous game. I don't think theres a PH in the world who uses a scope on their stopping rifle. I don't think I listed a lack of proper scope mounting as one of the Mosins downsides for use as a DG rifle.

Properly loaded, the Mosin-Nagant is perfectly fine as a bear rifle.

I'm not saying your wrong, I'm just saying I would feel more comfortable with a larger margin for error (and I don't mean missed shots) for those specific brown/grizzly/kodiak bears. I believe they are all technically the same species.

I think we're generally in agreeance but had a slight failure to communicate.

jagdpanzer347
February 17, 2006, 09:23 AM
Looks like most people either love'em or hate'em. I guess I'm in the middle since I haven't shot mine yet. Going up to AIM Monday with a buddy, might have to check out a Finn M39.
-jagdpanzer

crowsnest2003
February 17, 2006, 01:33 PM
Well finally, I got the opportunity to shoot my 91/30. It was kind of a valentines present from my fiancee that I got to pick out. Dunhams was running a local "sale" and I decided what the hell. So I got it and brought it home. I cleaned it up a little and got the cosmoline off and had it sitting in my gun cabinet up until today. Its been burning my eyes out all week just waiting for me to load her up. So my bride to be on sat. went to get her fingernails done for tomorrow and I finally got my chance to go to my shooting hole. Its basically a slate corry. It didnt shoot too badly and It just felt good to be shooting the old girl. I can see its purpose for deer or possibly putting a scout scope on it that wont alter it and seeing what I can get out of it. Its a rearsenaled russian, but all and all I'm quite happy. Funny thing, I spend my last day as a single man shooting my guns:o
Thanks all
crow

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