M38 Range Report


November 9, 2006, 11:43 AM
Went to the range this morning to shoot the new Mosin-Nagant carbine, an M38. Ammo was Hungarian Silvertip. Boy, was that fun!!! This is definitely my new centerfire plinking rifle.

With my jacket on, recoil was negligable - felt the same as .270 or .308 or 7.5x55 to me. The muzzle blast was enormous - and enormously amusing. There was only one other gentleman there, shooting a suppressed .308 (which was a joy to watch... and to barely hear! ), but he didn't seem to mind the BOOOOOOOM that resulted from each trigger pull. The fireball wasn't prominant in the bright daylight. One of these days I'll go around 4 and see what happens then. With the jacket off, I definitely felt the recoil more, but not enough to really bother. Strangely, the flat metal buttplate really seems to fit me well...

Accuracy was surprisingly good. "Rapid fire" - basically as fast as I could work the bolt and realign the target - at 50 yards resulted in 2.5-3 MOA, with one poor group of 4 MOA.

At 100 yards slow fire, it was a consistant 3 MOA, with one 2 MOA group I was really happy with.

Also had, however, two 4 MOA groups at 100, one of which had a CRAZY flyer that would have technically made it an 8 MOA group. The 4 MOA groups came last, and were probably due to the heated barrel after the more rapid 50 yard shots.

I was concerned about the smoothness of the action, etc. but it turned out to be a real joy to work, almost effortless. The whole gun functioned flawlessly.

I immediately Windex'd the action and barrel after the shoot, and then did the same at home with boiling water. That's when the only downside to the whole trip occurred: when the boiling ammonia/water mixture touched the stock (a beautiful shellac), it discolored it noticeably. This occured on both sides of the receiver, where the water spilled over.

The stains wouldn't wipe off, so I'm going to the hardware store now to get some spray-on shellac, since it seems that multiple coats of that stuff just hardens into a new single coat, and repairs all damage at the same time. I'm crossing my fingers. Anyone else had experience with this phenomena?

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November 9, 2006, 11:55 AM
Here's a secret trick I use for cleaning after corrosive ammo. Get a pan of warm soapy water and immerse the muzzle in it. Then run a tight patch from the chamber end and swab the hell out of it. with a tight patch it will suck the water right up the bore, and you don't have to worry about boogering up your wood.

November 9, 2006, 12:38 PM
Save yourself the trouble and just buy a spray bottle of M-Pro cleaner. A little bit nukes the corrosive salts, without having to boil anything or immerse anything in water. I've been using it for years.

November 9, 2006, 10:18 PM
Thanks for the tip, Cosmoline!!!

Harry Paget Flashman
November 24, 2006, 02:52 PM
I got an M38 about a month ago from Century Arms and took it to the range today. I sure like it. I was shooting at a white plastic target (16"X24") at ~125 yds and was consistantly getting hits, near misses or frightening the heck out of it. Good enough for my 20/400 vision.

I was wearing a T-shirt and recoil wasn't bad. It was loud too. I like it better than my 91/30.

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