What's the best accuracy you've seen from a Mosin-Nagant 91/30?


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azredhawk44
April 2, 2007, 08:27 PM
Going for elk this year in August in a part of Arizona that has some pretty wide open rolling hills and high altitude pasture. Visibility is amazing, both for me and for the game.

My rifles in the safe include a Winchester 94 in 30-30, a Springfield M1A 18" Scout, and a Mosin-Nagant 91/30 in 7.62x54R. I've already bought a Ruger Redhawk 4" revolver and a Sig GSR Revolution 1911 this year, so I will get mauled by the girlfriend if I go out and buy a 300WinMag in time for the hunt in August. Maybe next year, but not this year.

I can keep the M1A down to about 1.5MOA with irons and a 180gr load safe for its action, and I trust myself to accurately take a 150-200 yard shot and stay in an elk's vitals today. In a month, I think the practice I will be putting in will extend that range another 50-100 yards.

I don't have any illusions of the 30-30 being sufficient to elk hunting in this type of territory. 170gr bullet at 2000-2100fps is going to rainbow quite a bit.

But... what about the Mosin? The reported velocity of Sellier & Bellot 180gr 7.62x54R hunting ammunition is 2625fps, whereas a 180gr .308 from an 18" M1A is closer to 2400-2500fps. Seems that my Mosin is my most powerful rifle right now.

I've shot it with military surplus 180gr ammunition and it seems to group well... I get about 4MOA at 100 yards. About what I get with cheap South African 7.62Nato surplus from the M1A. I have done no bedding work on this rifle at all. I have yet to shoot any decent quality ammunition in this rifle, or any handloads. I have 100rds of S&B hunting ammo for it as well as reloading dies.

I guess what I'm trying to say, is the 7.62x54R cartridge appears to be more powerful than the .308 and would be a better choice under ideal accuracy conditions, I believe. Is a Mosin 91/30 capable of 200-300 yard shots on a 8" target?

I intend to try to get closer than this in the territory assigned to us, but I'll try the shot if push comes to shove and I can't close the distance any further than 250... and I have a rifle I know I can make the shot with.

All kidding aside, I intend to practice a lot with my hunting load from standing and kneeling positions with whichever weapon I choose to take, I'm just looking for someone who can say that their "Big 5" M-N special dropped an elk or deer at 200+ yards.

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Clipper
April 2, 2007, 08:33 PM
I had a sporterized Remington Hex in the '80s that gave 3/4" groups off the bench with Williams guide brand sights at 80 yards with Norma hunting ammo. The one I have now (Tula 91-30) will give 2" groups @ 100 with light ball and factory sights, haven't tried hunting loads yet...

Limeyfellow
April 2, 2007, 09:47 PM
With match grade quality 7.62x54r ammo I seen a Finish Mosin do 1.5 moa on a good rifle. Its usually the ammo and sloppy headspace that really makes the rifle inaccurate compared to some commercial rifles and rounds.

Theres a reason the Mosin Nagant is considered one of the most important sniper rifles of all time.

EricTheBarbarian
April 2, 2007, 09:50 PM
a 91/30 or any mosin is capable of reaching 300 yards or even more accurately. i set up a four foot steel plate at 300 yards and i can consistently put holes through it with my m44. not necessarily what id call grouping, but i have no problem hitting it at 300 yrds with iron sights. mine can also blow up milk jugs full of water at 150 yrds all day. i wouldnt think a milk jug is any bigger than the vital area on a elk. i dont know about hunting elk since im in ohio but you certainly wont be able to find a rifle anywhere in the $80 price range that will shoot on par with it or even in a caliber comparable to it.

_N4Z_
April 2, 2007, 10:21 PM
My Finn m39 has done 1.625" group @ 100 yards with Hungarian heavyball surplus.

4" inch groups have happened on several occasions out @ 300 yards with that same surplus.

All with the irons too.

I think match ammo could make for some really big grins.

MilsurpShooter
April 2, 2007, 10:32 PM
Irons on the Mosins are accurate around 200 yards IIRC, don't remember if it's yards, feet, meters, or the Russian measurement. I just remember that mine shoots high at 100 and dead on at 200. However, this is with surplus FMJ, I don't know how the ballistics on a soft point will change at that range but I would venture a guess and saying a hit in the vitals at 200 yards with a 7.62x54r is going to result in a dead elk or a short amount of tracking with a decent blood trail. Plus if you're camping out the spike bayonet makes an excellent roasting spit over a campfire :D

As far as grouping, I've a Mosin, 1927 Hex reciever. With Surplus Hungarian Heavy I've done groups that can be covered by a coke can on end. I blame it more on my shooting skills then the accuracy of the rifle however

Geno
April 2, 2007, 10:43 PM
Here's what I used to do. I used to take a 2'X3' sheet of playwood (sometimes thick cardboard) and draw a life-sized deer/boar etc chest with vitals (no legs, head,etc). I would afix it to two stakes and take along a nice hammer. When I arrived to state land, I would pace off 300 yards and sit myself down.

This is real-world shooting, and this is how I tested my firearms for such shots. If you can hit those real-world targets in the field with no benchrest, then, you can hit the elk. Conversely, if you can not hit those targets, hang it up. Ditto varmint, etc. What I really like about this sort of shooting is that you can easily clean up after yourself.

I just received my ammunition from Classic Arms, so now I can test-fire my Mosin 91/30 and my M44 to see how accurate they are or are not. :) To the range!!!

cracked butt
April 2, 2007, 10:59 PM
Ask yourself these questions:
How often do you plan on going elk hunting? If its a once in a lifetime hunt, do you want to use substandard equipment? If you plan on hunting elk a lot, do you plan on using substandard equipment?

How good are you with iron sights at dusk and dawn or in other low light conditions?
in a part of Arizona that has some pretty wide open rolling hills and high altitude pasture.
Can you carry a long heavy rifle around all day long? It might seem easy carrying the M-N from your car to the shooting bench at the range, but carrying it around all day long in thin air is completely different.


I've shot it with military surplus 180gr ammunition and it seems to group well... I get about 4MOA at 100 yards. That's about what you can expect from a typical 91/30.
Is a Mosin 91/30 capable of 200-300 yard shots on a 8" target? If its shooting 4moa at 100 yards, then not likely.

My advice would be to scope the M1A if it isn't already, and use premium hunting bullets such as nosler partitions. Your .308 is on the light side already for elk so you want to use the best constructed bullets possible.

so I will get mauled by the girlfriend if I go out and buy a 300WinMag in time for the hunt in August.

I noticed the word 'girlfriend'- trust me, its not going to get easier when you are married. One of the last things I would do is have a girlfriend dictate what I could or could not buy, but that's just me.

I would spring for a good bolt gun in .300 WM, some good glass, and a comfortable sling to go with it.

Avenger29
April 2, 2007, 11:36 PM
If I was you, I would take the M1A. I adore the Mosin-Nagant, but it ain't for everything. Also, you are more familar with the M1A, it seems, especially with the report that you can hold about 1.5 MOA at the range with it. Sounds like the best choice.

Either that, or buy or borrow a .300 Win. Mag for your hunt. But get some practice in with it.

R.W.Dale
April 2, 2007, 11:52 PM
For for less than $400 all together you could go buy a 30-06 NEF Handi-Rifle and a good quality scope and be set for any elk hunting situation inside 300yds.

bluedsteel
April 3, 2007, 12:09 AM
Amen on the girlfriend advice and marriage.

My only concern with the Moisin would be the relatively poor open sights. If you think you can manage buck fever, mirage, distance, wind-doping, and a racing pulse all at the same time you are trying align a ridiculous notch and blade, then go for it.



bluedsteel

Eightball
April 3, 2007, 12:52 AM
The problem with the mosin is the lack of good hunting ammo--that being said, I have no experience with the S&B stuff, so cannot comment. If you can get that down, then that's probably your best bet.

However, the M1A might be your best bet, since you're used to it and have shot it the most. Advice everyone else has given pretty much nail it on the head--I'm a mosin advocate, but somehow, both of those rounds seem about middleweight for elk, between the two, you can get a nice heavy-hitting .308, whilst the options for 54R are more limited. On an economics/realistic basis alone, the M1A wins.

But man would it be impressive to take an elk with ye olde soviet rifle.

rocklock
April 3, 2007, 01:58 AM
I'd hunt with the 91/30 in a second, but I would probably put at least a scout scope on it. Much easier to ID your target, and pick a shot when they are in cover. I find that mine shoots handloads minute of elk no problem.

Cosmoline
April 3, 2007, 02:30 AM
I've had Finnish M-30's that will shoot MOA with the right ammo. A good Soviet would be in the 2MOA range. But accuracy is not the biggest issue. For Elk in open Arizona country my inclination would be to get a .300 Win Mag. The .308 to .30'06 range of power is OK for Elk loaded heavy, but for open country a flatter shooting, more powerful magnum will probably increase your odds. 200 yards is OK, but 300? I wouldn't want to do it with a .30'06 level cartridge on a big Elk. If you're like most of us big game hunts don't come along very often, so why chance it?

TimboKhan
April 3, 2007, 02:57 AM
It's been done, and there is no reason why it can't be done again. I tend to disagree with Cosmoline in the sense that I think a .30-06 is enough out to 300 yards, but other than that, he pretty much hit the nail on the head. Look, the thing is that I think you have to hunt according to what you can do with your rifle as opposed to what you should be able to do it. For example, if you can hit regularly at 200 yards, but much past that is sketchy, then don't take a shot past 200 yards! Possibly the weapon is capable of accuracy and "killing power" well past that distance, but if you can't make the shot, then the possibilities don't matter a whole lot. Of your choices, I think the Mosin would work fine and would be the best choice from a power perspective, but your just going to have to be selective in your shots. It seems like you understand that point pretty well, and your already doing the most important thing, which is practice. Good luck on your hunt! Having hunted (and shot) the mighty wapiti myself, I can tell you that is a thrill.

azredhawk44
April 3, 2007, 02:55 PM
A couple of questions for those of you who suggested the M1A Scout 18" rifle for a 250yard shot:

1: Have you shot a large deer or elk with a .308 at that kind of range?

2: Would you choose a 180gr projectile over a 165gr boat-tail projectile if your game is 200+yard elk? I'd get another 50-100 fps from the lighter bullet and the boat-tail would nearly match the sectional density for penetration. My choices in bullets are a Speer Hot-Core 180gr or a Hornady 165gr boat tail JSP (Interlokt?). Both shoot great from the M1A.

Geno
April 3, 2007, 03:52 PM
I have seen soft point 7.62X54R ammunition. I am assuming that it is manufactured for hunting.

A side note, I just came back from Dunhams. Last week they had the Mosin 91/30 on sale for $69.00. This week the 91/30 and the M-44 are both back to $129.00. I asked if they had any M-44s in stock. They did not, but, one gentleman had put one on reserve about a few months ago, and then never came back for it, and did not add payments to it. So, I bought it...$79.00! Wow, what a price.

The wood and bluing are exceptional. It will be fun to see how accurately is fires! I wanted to have two of the M-44s so I can leave the nicest one unfired, and use the other on a boar hunt.

Doc2005

cracked butt
April 3, 2007, 10:35 PM
1: Have you shot a large deer or elk with a .308 at that kind of range?

There is quite a big difference between a large deer and an average Elk. I've never shot a deer with the .308 that far away, but I have shot one (180 lb buck) at much further distance (400 yards) with a .243. All of the other deer I've shot with either a .308 or 30-06 have been under 100 yards, a few within spitting distance.

2: Would you choose a 180gr projectile over a 165gr boat-tail projectile if your game is 200+yard elk? I'd get another 50-100 fps from the lighter bullet and the boat-tail would nearly match the sectional density for penetration.
No, I'd go with the 165 gr bullet- they carry energy downrange better. Once again, I'd go with a premium bullet like a nosler partition, barnes triple-shock,or a Speer trophy bonded bear claw.

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