I think I killed my Mosin...


August 27, 2006, 02:31 PM
Hi, my name is Joe and I am pretty new here. First I'd like to say that I have read through quite a few threads and have found a wealth of info, for the most part and you guys seem pretty cool. I was bored this morning and decided to clean my Mosin M44. I clean my weapons EVERY TIME I use them and every month if I don't, it's just how my grandpa taught me. I noticed a small ring of rust around the tip of the barrel and when I inspected it closer, I saw that the whole barrel was rusted. I cleaned it as best I could and oiled her up and inspected it again. I saw that the barrel was pitted and looked like crap. I suspect I didn't do a good enough job last time I cleaned her and I had been using corrosive surplus ammo. My question is, how bad is unsafe/unusable when it comes to the barrel's condition? I really enjoyed shooting this rifle but I am weary of it's integrity and safety now that I have looked the barrel over... Thanks guys!

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August 27, 2006, 02:36 PM
I doubt that you compromised the strength of the barrel, all that really matters is if it shoots good enough, then it's good enough.

August 27, 2006, 02:38 PM
Understood but how bad is bad enough to retire the rifle?

August 27, 2006, 08:23 PM
I have an M44 that I shot with surplus ammo, cleaned it, looked down the bore a few months later, and saw a sewer pipe.

The corrosive Berdan primers have salts that are inorganic, [polarized - they contain no Carbon].

Those salts are not dissolved with the organic petroleum distillate non polarized solvents, like bore cleaners.

Those salts that would not dissolve in gas, kerosene, turpentine, naphtha, diesel, etc. then combine with moisture in the air over the next month and corrode the bore.

I later learned to clean the bore with organic bore solvent, like Hoppes.
Then I dry the bore.
Then I clean the bore with either hot water, soapy water, or ammonia.
Then I dry the bore.
Then I put motor oil in the bore.

I carry Ammonia to the range. I put some in a cup. I cut a hole in a patch. I put the edge of the patch through the eye of a cleaning rod loop, and then pull the corner of the patch through the hole in the patch. I push the patch and rod through the breech and out the muzzle, into a cup of Ammonia on the ground at the range. I then pull up on the cleaning rod with the muzzle under the surface of the Ammonia. The Ammonia is then sucked up the bore until the cleaning patch breaks suction at the chamber. I repeat this pumping and draining action a dozen times.

Ammonia may remove bluing

Surplus ammo may not be worth the trouble.

Here I am fixing a rusted out M44.
You can see a Russian cut extractor relief and the one I cut.
What does it all mean?
It is not as easy to rebarrel an M44 as a K98

August 27, 2006, 08:28 PM
Exactly, the corrosive salts from the old military surplus ammo are not dissolved by most common cleaning solvents.

They are, however, neutralized very easily by a little known compound called "hot soapy water."

In a pinch, even just plain old "hot water" works just fine.

Also, I know from personal experience that Windex works great, too.

Just flush the bore with hot soapy water, or hot water, or shoot some Windex down the bore, and patch it out.

Then, clean normally.

Good luck getting your Mosin shooting again.

And for such a cheap milsurp bolt rifle, I doubt the damage will be that bad, either, once you neutralize the salts, and scrub the rust out.


August 27, 2006, 09:35 PM
Windex eh? thanks guys, I'll get right on it.

August 27, 2006, 10:06 PM
I use a cheap knock off of Windex, just spray down the barrel while still warm then run a patch wet with it down the barrel, dry then use Hoppe's and clean normally. I will clean again the next day.

August 27, 2006, 10:44 PM
Well I cleaned it again, alot more crap came out. I looked in the barrel with an inspection light and it sure looks pitted. Not deep but alot of pitting...

August 27, 2006, 10:57 PM
Hey Joe...Where you goin with that gun in your hand..... (think Hendrix) If it makes you feel better, I have a 91/30 that has a barrel ...that...well....it is really rough looking. :eek: It still shoots 4" groups at 100m with open sights and Wolf ammo. Even tighter groups with hand loads. Not too bad for a $75. rifle. Them old things are tough. +1 on the other good advice above. Happy shootin! NailGun

August 28, 2006, 10:15 AM
The only known way to kill a Mosin was drive a loaded Panzer across it...and sometimes THAT didn't work!

August 28, 2006, 07:15 PM
I play the original version of Hey Joe by the leaves and the Hendrix version.

A girl named Leane showed me how to play the Leaves version in 1967, probably the same day Hendrix recorded it:)

I saw Hendrix in 1969 in Seattle, but he did not play "Hey Joe".
He did play "all along the watchtower" which sounded like three guitars at once!

August 31, 2006, 10:08 AM
I know this probably isn't the point but...would it be worth buying another M44?

August 31, 2006, 10:18 AM
Before I knew any different I just used Hoppes #9 to clean my milsurps, even after corrosive ammo. No one had ever explained the difference to me. And none of them have ever rusted/pitted. Many of them have some pitting (there when I got 'em) and it doesn't seem to affect accuracy at all. As long as there's enough rifling to impart spin to the bullet, it doesn't seem to make muuch difference. YMMV

September 2, 2006, 09:37 AM
I know this probably isn't the point but...would it be worth buying another M44?

You really need a reason to buy another? I've given up justifying my purchases and just get them.

Remember how and by whom these weapons were intented to be used. Do you think Aleksy and all his Comrades cleaned them every day? Yet these guns soldiered on for decades. While not desirable from a cosmetic point of view, a little corrosion or a dark bore isn't going to hurt an old warhorse like that very much, IMHO.

Ron Brooks
September 2, 2006, 02:41 PM
I don't want to be picky, but... :) No really, there is a BIG chemical difference between detergent and soap. For corrosive primers I have always heard hot soapy water, will hot water and detergent, such as Dawn, call it hot sudsy water, :) work as well?


September 2, 2006, 03:11 PM
It would take an ENORMOUS amount of rust in a bore to make it unsafe to shoot. Mosins have extra steel all around. Now obviously if it's really bad it will hurt accuracy but you can always start loading larger bullets in the .312" range.

September 7, 2006, 03:43 PM
I'm gonna try this in my milsurps.


September 7, 2006, 03:50 PM
My 91/30's bore is pretty ugly. It has a few pits from corrosion but it shoots tight groups.

September 7, 2006, 08:44 PM
You can use soapy water, preferably hot. You can use ammonia mixed with water, 1 to 3. You can use Ballistol mixed with water.

I've used Sweet's 7.62 solvent only as an experiment, and it did a good job; never any rust afterward. Lately I've been using the Ballistol/water mix; lot less expensive, and works very well. I run a couple of wet patches through the bore when I'm done shooting, dry and oil, then do a regular cleaning at home. No problems.

glen avon
September 13, 2006, 06:20 PM
any water-based cleaner will do. ammonia does not help. doesn't hurt, either.

foaming bore cleaner, MPro7, and hoppe's elite are all water-soluble and will remove the corosive salts.

your M44 is not unsafe to shoot, but you do need another one. and a 53, and a 38, and a 91/59, and a 91/30, and a 91 ....

October 15, 2006, 03:53 PM
This is a picture of me using a an old Boeing surplus rotary table to mill out the extractor relief cut of an M44 that I set back a thread of two becuase of the rust in the chamber.

October 15, 2006, 03:55 PM
This is a picture of a Springfield barrel being modied to fit an a 91/30 that had a a barrel with a bad bore.

The extractore relief cut is being done here before the threads are cut.

October 15, 2006, 10:45 PM
Worse comes to worst, you can still use it the way the Tsar/Kremlin intended the peasants/workers to:

Fix bayonets and CHARGE!!!

Be prepared to take some crap from the Rangemaster, though you won't have to worry anymore about being crowded by shooters in the lanes next to you...:p

October 19, 2006, 12:47 AM
Hot water and soap is the best, then clean with a bore cleaner as if it wasn't corrisive then re-oil all that is needed plus a check 2 days later if not clean patches use a couple of hot soap and water patches and re-oil.

Soap and hot water or just hot water works way better than Windex and costs way less. Corrosive ammo is worth shooting cause it is so cheap. All the younger guys forget that corrosive ammo was the normal suplus ammo of the last century.

Bwana John
October 19, 2006, 11:24 AM
I dont think all the rust came from you, there is a chance the rifle has been around for more than 100 years, shooting corrosive the whole time.

I would guess that you have been cleaning the thing enough to expose the pits that were covered up by years of gunk.

If the muzzle is affected have it counterbored, otherwise keep shooting and enjoying the thing how it is, just change your cleaning regiment to add a little HOT water. (If the water is hot enough it heats up the metal and causes the water to evaporate so you dont have to worry about that rusting it.)

October 24, 2006, 10:21 AM
Guys, have any of you tried Shooters Choice bore cleaner and/or Shooters Choice Copper Solvent? I own a business refinishing/restoring military surplus rifles and I have taken in some pretty nasty guns to bring back to life....Some Turkish Mausers, Yugo SKS's have bores worse than ANY Mosin Nagant I have ever seen. Sewer Pipes, totally brown. The shooters choice is like any other bore cleaner (like Hoppe's) except a little better, but the Copper Solvent is really powerful. It is ammonia based-you saturate your barrell with it, let is sit and work for about 5 minutes and then go after it with a patch and/or brush. It lets you know that it is working by turning patches blue if there is copper that is still present. By alternating back and forth between the two products, I have brought some nasty barrells back to life......and my experience is that if you get that newly refreshed barrell back out to the range as often as possible (with cleaning immediately afterwards) will actually get that barrell back into shape, so to speak.

Theres my $0.02.....

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