Mosin-Nagant Bolt Handle Rusting?


November 5, 2007, 07:08 PM
I bought a Mosin-Nagant M91/30 a couple of weeks ago. I cleaned it up, and took it to the range. After I was done shooting I put it against the wall to clean it, but never did get around it until 4 days later. When I grabbed it, the bolt handle was rusted badly. I managed to get it off, but the metal was slightly pitted and darker.

A week later, the rust had came back slightly. It was just a slight bit of surface rust, nothing like before. I hosed it down with CLP again, and its fine as of right now. My main question is, what would have caused the bolt handle to rust so quick? I wasn't shooting corrosive ammo, and no other part of the rifle has rust. I've never seen this happen with other Mosins, and it never happened to my M-44.

Any ideas?

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November 5, 2007, 07:10 PM
Your dirty, sweaty, leering, lustful hands all over that shiny bolt.

(On second thought, that didn't come out quite right.:neener:)

I'd guess sweat.

November 5, 2007, 07:13 PM
What year is it? If it was built somewhere around 1942-43 the steel could just be bad. There was never a time when Russian industry was more strained.

To be honest, I've never heard of anything like this. Is it just the bolt handle or the whole bolt?

November 5, 2007, 07:13 PM
sweat. skin oils. the humid area where you live.

November 5, 2007, 07:17 PM
Its a 1940 Tula receiver, but it is a Mix-Master Mosin when it comes to the other parts,

I just find it strange because I was handling the rest of the rifle, and the bluing I touched was fine. Plus I've never had a gun rust like that, even in humid NC.

November 5, 2007, 07:19 PM
maybe your mosin deemed you "unclean"

November 5, 2007, 07:47 PM
it may be just poor steel on the handel

thats all i can think of

i think just spray it down with remoil or wd40

November 5, 2007, 08:21 PM
Were you shooting corrosive primed ammo? If so check your bore. The bolt handle may be the least of your worries. I've seen that stuff rust up bolt heads, bolt bodies and sights along with the bores. I keep a container of mpro spray and douse the major steel parts of the rifle before leaving the range after going through corrosive primed ammo.

November 5, 2007, 08:56 PM
The ammo I was shooting wasn't corrosive, it was Prvi Partizan Softpoints. I guess the bolt handle is just made from crappy steel since this is a mismatched rifle.

The Deer Hunter
November 5, 2007, 09:02 PM
Stainless Steel still rusts.

November 5, 2007, 09:14 PM
It probably has to do with the bolt not having a protective finish (ie bluing or park), combined with the salts of your hands.

Treat it with an anti-rust agent (ie silicone gun cloth) after handling and you should be good to go.

November 6, 2007, 12:38 AM
Did you get solvent on it and not wip off?

Dr. Peter Venkman
November 6, 2007, 01:24 AM
Clean your rifle.

November 6, 2007, 04:04 AM
I have 7 MN rifles, one of which is a Finnish M39. For some reason the bolt on that rifle will rust while the others don't,even though a couple are from the knawed out by beavers era of 1942-43.

November 6, 2007, 07:23 AM
Stainless Steel still rusts.Nothing on the Mosin Nagant is stainless steel. The bolt and handle are just plain steel with no finish (left "in the white"). It's a very good idea to wipe the bolt down and leave a film of oil on it every time you handle it.

November 6, 2007, 07:39 AM
And remember, it is impossible to date the bolt handle. You can get within a range of decades, for instance if it has a Sestrorysk bolt handle, it was made from 1894-ish until the end of WWI, if a bow-and-arrow it was made from 1894-ish until 1930, ditto for a hammer. If an arrow-in-triangle, it was made from 1930 until 1948, etc, etc, etc. You can narrow it down a bit by how rough it looks.

However, I would think it was your hands making it do that. Just keep it clean and you'll be okay. If it really bothers you, you can clean it really good then apply some car wax to the grasping knob.


November 6, 2007, 12:55 PM
their guns for 300 years with an oily rag for a reason.........It is not the gun's fault you did not clean it after shooting.......chris

November 6, 2007, 01:48 PM
I know it rusted since I didn't clean it the first time. I did clean it & oil it down liberally before I put it away. The rust just came back, and I have never seen this happen on any of my firearms over the years after they were oiled down.

It doesn't really matter that much, because it was traded for a nice 1947 Beech-Stocked K-31, sling, and 120 rounds of GP-11 this morning. :) I did inform the buyer that the handle was prone to rusting before the sale.

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