New Chapter in ye Old Mosin Barrel Band Debate


April 27, 2007, 10:35 PM
I've long disputed the conventional wisdom that you should keep some tension on the barrel of Mosin-Nagants with the bands. And in my prior experiences I've never noticed an improvement in keeping the tight as opposed to free floating the barrel. Indeed it's been my experience that freeing the barrel from stock impingement helps accuracy. BUT, today I may have encountered the exception to this rule. I was shooting an old, beat up Tikka M-91 for the first time today:

With the barrel bands loose, I shot one OK group with 180 grain Winchester/S&B softpoints at fifty yards. Two sets of touching holes, about an inch and a half apart. I then removed the handguard and made sure the barrel was completely free. And everything went to heck. Bullets all over the place. Point of impact seven to ten inches high at fifty. I ran through my good test ammo, and all of it was coming up garbage.

Then I decided to try something and just put the handguard back on, tightening the bands up. At that point all I had left was the cruddiest bottom of the barrel 'banian ball. But look how it shot!

Keep in mind that this stuff usually flies all over the place, even with good shooters. And by that point the barrel was extremely hot and the heat waves made it extremely hard to get a bead on that tiny front sight waaaaaay out there at the end of that barrel. I ran out of ammo before further testing could be completed, but I'll be sure to explore this issue more. Exactly what's going on with the barrel I have no clue. Weird Finnish voodoo fo some sort.

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April 28, 2007, 12:17 AM
Weird Finnish voodoo fo some sort.The best sort, apparently. Though, my Russian 91/30 does about the same (shot at 100 yards, an "adjustment" for MOA, etc at 50), and I've tried not to mess with the bands. Maybe it's just like a Strad, and it all depends on exactly where the band is/tightness?

Though, VooDoo is easier to explain.

April 28, 2007, 12:24 AM
yup magic. its that simple :)

some rifles shoot better with bands tight, others shoot better loose.

which is why i say. if it aint broke, dont fix it. all the pople who thing "if it shoots like this, just imagine how it will shoot free floating the barrel!" it doesnt always work out that while. and while it may be worth a try if you can avoid unreversable damage. you could mess up a good thing.

April 28, 2007, 01:00 AM
There are lots of things on Mosins that don't make sense. But lots of us like 'em that way. :cool:

April 28, 2007, 03:50 PM
On the collector's forum they're saying its the harmonics of the barrel converging at the bands. I may have to try some radical tests next time at the range. But I've forgotten my mantra.

Bwana John
April 28, 2007, 09:18 PM
You changed more than one variable.:scrutiny:

Perhaps the rifle just likes Albanian ammo.

cracked butt
April 28, 2007, 09:25 PM
I always assume that the men who designed and built rifles 100 years ago knew alot more about them than I do.

April 28, 2007, 10:47 PM

April 28, 2007, 10:47 PM

April 28, 2007, 10:47 PM
Well, yes and no. I'm sure they knew quite a few tricks about making the rifles shoot right. However, we've learned a few things, too. Free floating, peep sights, scope mounting, bedding/chasis, etc.

And I changed two variables. Now you have to go back to the range and see which one it was, or if it was a combo of the two.


April 28, 2007, 11:16 PM
beautiful :D

Now what was it that I said about shooting being like yoga?

April 29, 2007, 01:05 AM
Perhaps the rifle just likes Albanian ammo.

Possible, but highly unlikely. I had been shooting wolf light fmj that's generally far more accurate than Albanian in rifles that prefer the lighter ball. The chances that the rifle would throw wolf light FMJ all over, then deliver a nice tight group of Albanian light ball are extremely remote. I'll have to do some more experimenting to rule it out completely, though.

cracked butt
April 29, 2007, 02:35 AM
Picky Nagants.

I have one that will shoot albanian and czech ammo respectably well, but won't shoot Wolf worth a darn.

April 29, 2007, 02:41 AM
I'm talking about Wolf light, not the 200 grain stuff.

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