Mossin Nagant M-44 For First Rifle...Crazy?


March 16, 2008, 10:59 PM
I turned 18 recently and have been looking to start my firearms collection now that I finally can. I will be picking up a .22LR and would like something a little more as well. AIM Surplus is offering Mossin Nagant M-44 rifles for a good price and reading reviews and articles as well as watching videos I am interested in getting one. But before I do I would like to hear what experienced shooters think about this. Am I crazy for considering picking up a Mossin Nagant M-44 so early?

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March 16, 2008, 11:22 PM
Nope, not at all, see if you can find one localy so you can hand pick it and yes it is a wounderful rifle it has plenty of kick and class you will love it.

March 16, 2008, 11:25 PM
Go ahead and get one. As Bob Barker would say, "The price is right." Just don't use an M-44 to spay or neuter your pets.

March 16, 2008, 11:37 PM
Nope, the Mosins are great, reliable, tough, can actually shoot pretty good, and the ammo is relatively cheap. And for about 100 bucks, it can't be beat, and besides, your eventually gonna get one anyway!!! if you don't like the kick, get a butler creek, SMALL SIZE, slip on pad , for about 8 bucks, can't be beat!!!

March 16, 2008, 11:38 PM
Am I crazy for considering picking up a Mossin Nagant M-44 so early?

Early as in being 18? I donít think so, Russian solders younger then you were using them so no reason why you canít. Itís a great first centerfire and a perfect way to start oneís collection.

If you havenít already Iíd read up on them and the ammo:

March 16, 2008, 11:40 PM
Sure, get one. Don't get a carbine though, they'll kick you into next week and the muzzle blast has to be experienced to be believed. Get a 91/30 rifle and you'll have a lot more fun with it.:)

March 16, 2008, 11:41 PM
if you don't like the kick, get a butler creek, SMALL SIZE, slip on pad , for about 8 bucks, can't be beat!!!

How well does that reduce the recoil?

I've heard people mention the recoil a lot.

I have one--I got a .22 and an M44.

chris in va
March 17, 2008, 02:11 AM
It'll beat the snot out of you, be aware of that. It's not for the faint of heart. Plus the mechanicals are...rough, to say the least.

I have the M38 carbine. Recoil is an understatement. But it's handy and I like not having that goofy bayonet on the front.

March 17, 2008, 04:16 AM
the butler creek pad doesn't reduce the recoil at all really, but it makes it more spread out and more of a shove, than a tight fast smack to the shoulder. If we were to graph it, maybe drop 5 recoil lbs.

General Geoff
March 17, 2008, 05:11 AM
You will learn to love the swift kick of the M44. I know I have. :)

March 17, 2008, 05:27 AM
I say get 2. One you can Bubba, one you can clean up and show off. They are beautiful once you get past the Cosmoline. Take the Bubba and shoot the snot out of it. As far as kick, if you can shoot a shot gun comfortably you will have no problem. My now 18 year old daughter(5'5" 115lbs) takes mine over at the range.
Plus they make a great big BOOM!

MaMa PyCb
March 17, 2008, 05:37 AM
Well, My 2nd rifle ever was a m44. The first was a 8mm mauser. I still use my m44 to teach the ever important lesson about recoil to the "newly pro-gun" friends I take to the range and teach gun saftey to.

March 17, 2008, 05:51 AM
I'd mention that if you get the Mosin, it's probably a good time to pick up a case of ammo (or two, if you can afford it). It's not getting any cheaper.

March 17, 2008, 06:53 AM
plus one to the post above. If you get one from AimSurplus, get a tin or two of ammo to go with it. Remember that most of the surplus 54R ammo is corrosive, so you'll have to use an ammoniated solvent or warm water down the bore and on the bolt-face before the regular cleaner.

The M44 is great, but a recoil pad will help. The sound is incredible!!!

March 17, 2008, 07:32 AM
The longer barrel of a 91/30 seems to reduce the recoil of the 7.62x54r cartridge, and I believe it is a better choice if you want to hit what you aim at. However, the M44 is a great choice. The best piece of advice I can pass along is to pick the one with the sharpest rifling, cuz that's where the biggest impact will come from.

March 17, 2008, 07:44 AM
Good on you for even asking the question. The purchase of a .22 LR is a good you can really hone your skills of marksmanship without the blast and recoil of a high power rifle.

1) The full power cartridge / metal buttplate / poorly designed stock / crappy triggers / crappy sights / so-so accuracy is not really the best to learn on. It will frustrate you, induce a flinch and otherwise make marksmanship an afterthought.

2) A 22 rifle will be inexpensive, ammo will be inexpensive and you will learn good traits.

3) Get some instruction (if you haven't already). Even if it is from a family friend who takes marksmanship serious.

Time spent actually learning to shoot rather than just making noise will pay off for you in the future.

I can't tell you how many guys I can outshoot at the range with my milsurp Swede 96 and iron sights, compared to their Remington/Winchester/Savage Magnum-boomer with 3-9x40 scope. Mostly because they learned to pull the trigger instead of actually learning to shoot.

But go ahead and buy the gun...they're not making any more.

rust collector
March 17, 2008, 08:49 AM
I'll second Iamkris' motion. M-44s can be a hoot, but the noise, shock wave and recoil aren't going to help you shoot better. None of my buddies even wanted a turn at the trigger of mine this weekend, after watching me send a few rounds downrange.:eek:

Practice your form, skills and technique with the 22, and become proficient before lighting up the M44. Give those good habits a chance to get established, and then go blow things up. Just remember relatively cheap ammo has its downside--it's not terribly accurate and you have to clean up properly every time or you'll have a sewer pipe for a barrel.

I think a better choice for a newer shooter is an SKS. They're a lot more pleasant to shoot, and still fairly easy to find. I don't thinks M44s or 91/30s will be sold out for quite some time, but there's no denying the "burn down your village" appeal of the blasted things. Just don't develop a ferocious flinch from firing long cartridges in short guns.

cracked butt
March 17, 2008, 08:56 AM
Yes buy one, it'll help you appreciate rifles a lot more down the road that will actually shoot with usable accuracy and won't have an absurd muzzle blast.Cheap guns with cheap ammo have their appeal, but you usually get what you pay for.

March 17, 2008, 09:23 AM
I say get one. Those are the cheap guns to get. When I was 18 it was the Enfield .303. and Swedish Mausers. I wish I had known more about guns I would have bought the mauser insted of the enfield. Of course shortly after that there were the 75 dollar SKS's, I really wish I had bought one or three.

March 17, 2008, 12:14 PM
the butler creek pad doesn't reduce the recoil at all really, but it makes it more spread out and more of a shove, than a tight fast smack to the shoulder. If we were to graph it, maybe drop 5 recoil lbs.

Sounds good. Reduce, modify, as long as the pad affects the recoil.

Mike 56
March 17, 2008, 01:37 PM
One word of caution Mosin Nagants multiply fast and i only have a few compared to others.

From the top Finn M39 built in 1941 0n a 1897 receiver, Finn M28, 1943 91/30 ATI mount and bolt handle adjustable trigger, 4-12 Simons scope, 1943 91/30 scout, Darrel mount, NcStar 4x illuminated pistol scope, adjustable trigger

Carbines, 1948 M44 scout, Darrel mount, NcStar 2-7 pistol scope, adjustable trigger, 1945 M44 Mojo rear sight, 1943 M38, 1954 WZ48 Polish trainer 22 single shothttp:// Nagant 001.jpg (66.5 KB)http:// Nagant 003.jpg (68.2 KB)

March 17, 2008, 02:52 PM
Maybe it's just me but I can't stand the sights on them.

March 17, 2008, 06:19 PM
hmmmmmmmmm, I'd love one of these at some point.

My downfall? 6'3" and 175lbs. And I've torn the rotator cuff on my shooting shoulder twice.

Maybe I'm just a glutton eh?

I think this belongs in this thread though:

March 17, 2008, 06:22 PM
They're cheap. Picking up an M-44 probably will not prevent you from buying another rifle, so it's not a high-risk proposition.

This is a good thing, as you will soon really want a different rifle.:)

The only real downside is, when you have a spouse, she probably won't understand that, of the 25 rifles bouncing around the house, most of them were bought "just 'cuz", and you don't really plan to shoot them. This makes it more difficult for her to understand why you want to buy yet another rifle for hunting or target shooting, since you only actually shoot two or three out of the big pile of junk in the closet.

Mike 56
March 17, 2008, 11:49 PM
Hooptie i like that 91/30 pistol. If you reload you can load 13GR Red Dot with a 150 gr .308 bullet that will make a Mosin Nagant shoot like a 22 accurate too.


March 17, 2008, 11:58 PM
Yes, the Mosin is a great place to start. Now, somoene mentioned trying to find one local so you can inspect it. Problem is, if you are new you don't know what to look for!

I'd also add that maybe an SKS would be another excellent starting option. I think mosins are going to be around at a relatively stable price for a few more years, while SKSs seem to be climbing more rapidly in price

35 Whelen
March 18, 2008, 12:22 AM
A Mosin would be a great place to start, but get a 91/30 (the long one) first, then a M44. The M44's are neat...really more of a novelty, but the 91/30's are practical. Recoil is less as is the muzzle flash.


March 18, 2008, 08:39 AM
I did fail to mention,wear hearing protection

ben ogilvie
March 18, 2008, 09:24 AM
They used to be cheap, in DFW yesterday, at a place named B&S Guns, the M44's were priced at $250, Albanian LB was $10 for 20.
Anyway, get one quick.

March 18, 2008, 09:37 AM
The full power cartridge / metal buttplate / poorly designed stock / crappy triggers / crappy sights / so-

Crappy trigger?
I disagree! The trigger on my m44 breaks beautifully and lightly, which is much more than i can say for my m91/30.

I did fail to mention,wear hearing protection
oh yeah, one shot will deafen you for 15 seconds.

March 18, 2008, 10:16 AM
Crappy trigger?
I disagree! The trigger on my m44 breaks beautifully and lightly, which is much more than i can say for my m91/30.

Yeah, my trigger is really very nice...As nice, in fact, as my dad's Remington 722, anyway. Only my trigger is in a 1942 Tula 91/30...

March 18, 2008, 02:11 PM
at a place named B&S Guns, the M44's were priced at $250, Albanian LB was $10 for 20.
Anyway, get one quick.

are you sure it's not BS & guns?

Clipper: That's probably why my m91/30 trigger is so crappy, ishvesk.
I shimmed it and got the dangle out though.

March 18, 2008, 02:21 PM
I've found that recoil isn't all that intense if you use the light ball. Then again I [I]like[I] recoil

Big Daddy K
March 18, 2008, 04:17 PM
Recoil, smoke and fire, loud?

Sounds like what a gun should be: )

March 18, 2008, 04:21 PM
I did fail to mention,wear hearing protection


March 18, 2008, 04:48 PM
Chris In VA suggested not getting the carbine, and I agree. The rifle is (marginally) softer kicking, but it has much less muzzle blast. It's also going to be more accurate (practical accuracy) with the longer sight radius.

The 91/30 rifle is actually MORE accurate, mainly due to better sights, than the M98K Mauser. The highest-scoring sniper of all time, a Finn named Timo something-or-other, racked up his score with a 91/30.

I have a nice old (c1925) converted dragoon with a hex receiver that I dearly love.

March 18, 2008, 06:17 PM
Go ahead and get one. As Bob Barker would say, "The price is right." Just don't use an M-44 to spay or neuter your pets.

I think euthanize might be a better word for what the m-44 would do to your pet.

March 18, 2008, 06:40 PM
The best piece of advice I can pass along is to pick the one with the sharpest rifling, cuz that's where the biggest impact will come from.

Best advice in this thread. Buying one is almost like going to a house of the ill repute looking for a want to make sure you don't get one that’s been worn out. When I went looking for my first Mosin (yes I have more than one) that was my biggest concern & believe me there are a lot of them that have been shot-the-hell-out. Simple test: have one of the store clerks to try put an unfired bullet down the end of the barrel. If its a tight fit you've got a pretty decent barrel but if it falls through easily like throwing a hotdog down a hallway, then that ones been worn out.

As for the kick, yes it does, but then again any larger caliber rifle, that’s not a black powder rifle, is going to have a decent recoil. One of mine is the M44 with an Advanced Technology Monte Carlo stock & it doesn't kick muck worse than my 91/30 with the wooden stock. Hell I have a lever action Winchester 30-30 that'll knock you down & throw rocks at you. Then again I am a bit bigger than most at a little over 6'2" & 230lbs so I don't worry too much about recoil.

March 18, 2008, 11:39 PM
My first rifle was a Mosin M38 and I've got no complaints. I'm one of the lucky ones that doesn't own 8 or more, but I get the feeling it's coming (my specific "to buy" list is nearly empty).

Bazooka Joe71
March 18, 2008, 11:45 PM
You'd be crazy not to...Although, you might notice slightly more recoil than your .22lr.:p

March 19, 2008, 12:13 AM
why not?

it goes bang, and if you cant hit the black at 100, move ot 50.... then 25... then 10... and if still not, fix your bayonet and lunge at the sucker.

here's my only admonition (I have 19 mosins)... the first time out to the range, set the target at 15 yards. then move progressively further away every 15 rounds.

March 19, 2008, 09:58 AM
personally i like the m-44 but another option to consider is the sks. any variant. some say some are better than others i personally LOVE the yugo. heavy but i consider it conditioning to shoot from the standing position. but definitly get the .22 makes a great pal for any other gun to stay with. plus the range time(and ammo) can be almost no cost with a .22.

March 19, 2008, 11:37 PM
My 14yr old son loves my 91/30 and wants a M38 for his next b-day.

He'll probably get it.

Red Tornado
March 20, 2008, 12:46 PM
Just to chime in. Whichever Mosin you get, whenever you take it to the range take your .22 along as well.

Pay close attention to whether or not you're developing a flinch with the Mosin. (It's hard not to at first) When/if you notice a flinch, put down the Mosin, and pick up the .22. Shoot the .22 until you can rid yourself of the flinch.

This comes from much personal experience, and many others have reported the same tendencies.
Have fun,

March 20, 2008, 12:55 PM
beartooth slip on butt pad with inserts.
very nice.

March 20, 2008, 01:24 PM
I have a 44 and I believe the recoil factor is over rated. It does not kick as bad as my 12 gauge does. Firmly planted against your shoulder and it is not bad at all.

No offense intended but butt pads are for wussies :)

March 20, 2008, 05:00 PM
There is one in every thread.

No offense intended, but remarks like that are for pricks.:)

For a first time buyer, or anyone starting with a m44, why have the chance to be skillful at marksmanship be negated or ruined by a high power round coupled with a stock which lacks any ergonomics.

March 20, 2008, 06:03 PM
The M-44 is a great gun that is very accurate. I packs a little more punch than a .30-06. I like the bayonet on it. I find it is much more accurate with the bayonet extended than with it folded to the side.

The M-38 is also a great gun. It's actually exactly the same as the M-44 except it has not bayonet or associated parts to accomodate a bayonet.

I love both these carbines and think they are a great deal.

I have one of the full length M91/30s as well. I don't shoot it much. I don't like the extra weight and that long ass barrel. It's not as accurate as the carbines either.

If you pay more than $90 for any of these guns in very good condition, you are getting ripped off. They are cheap, well made but crudely finished guns that shoot excellent.

Go for it. Their so cheap you should buy all three. The ammo is very cheap too if you look around. Most of the surplus ammo is lacquer coated and corrosive primer. I tumble the ammo to clean it and use the old windex down the barrel at the range after shooting to get rid of the corrosive salt from the ammo.

Good luck with what ever you buy. Let's have a range report after you get one of these guns and put a couple hundred rounds down range.

Molon Labe,

March 20, 2008, 06:24 PM
I just noticed the remark a few posts up about recoil pads being for wussies. I agree with the person that replied to that.

While I love big guns and the kick from a big gun gives me a charge, I have learned over the years to overcome the flinch most folks develop from shooting big bore and / or high power firearms.

I seldom use a recoil pad unless I am shooting my dads .458 Lott. But I believe that a young fellow starting out with his first high power rifle or anyone else for that matter that is of shall we say possibly small or medium stature should indeed try the gun once or twice without the recoil pad first.

If you notice a flinch develop or are having troubles with accuracy and a sore shoulder after only firing 10 rounds or so, then by all means get a good recoil pad and use it. The idea is to shoot what you like and enjoy doing it. Not to be Mr. Badass and show everyone you are not a Wussy.

I personally think anyone that makes fun of other shooters because of the equipment they use is the biggest Wussy of all.

Buy your gun, try it out and buy whatever you need to make shooting the gun enjoyable to you. That's what it's all about.

If you run into a loud mouth at the range calling you a Wussy about your equipment, talk to the Range Officer about it. Most good ranges hire good, R.O.s that are well trained, well experienced and usually either active or retired law enforcement so they know how to deal with loud mouths and range bullies.

Whatever you do, don't get into a heated argument or a fight with another shooter on the range. If it doesn't cost you both your life, it will cost you your membership on the range. They donot tolerate any bullcrap and they will have you removed permanently if you get involved in a scuffle even if you are right. I've seen it happen more than once.

Molon Labe,

Mike 56
March 20, 2008, 11:12 PM
BigGunsMoreFun +1

March 20, 2008, 11:48 PM
(not a Mosin owner)

from what I've gathered, you can practice on an SKS or .22, but the only thing that will get you conditioned to the 7.62x54R bang is...well, using one.

If you can handle a 12-gauge on the shoulder, then you can handle just about anything you will find in a gunshop. (notice how I said 'just about')

March 21, 2008, 01:00 AM
If you're getting a .22LR rifle for practice then sure, go ahead and get the M44. You've already gotten good advise saying to fall back to the .22LR when you develop problems and I'd second that.

March 21, 2008, 08:53 AM
Here You are Http://

( or open: )

March 21, 2008, 12:42 PM
goes this:

April 3, 2008, 06:12 PM
If you are going to order one, send these guys a note. They will ship to your FFL. They are a fairly new shop. The website is still up and coming. Hit the contact button and send them a note.

April 4, 2008, 01:55 AM
Hey... my M38 was my first rifle and I certainly love it. A wussy recoil pad is a definite must, my shoulder was black and blue many times from shooting 20 rds or so. After the pad, I can shoot 100 or more. The Mosins are a very good value, at $75-$85. Mine shoots way high at minimum range setting on the iron sights, so I stick with a scout scope setup. Basically, they are awesome because you get a real gun and a ton of ammo for very cheap. It's like the .22 of the big gun world. As a WW2 buff, I really appreciate the history. The main thing to concern yourself with is proper cleaning after EVERY trip to the range, because the old corrosive ammo ($4-5/20 rds) will make your barrel rust overnight. Every time you shoot with the corrosive ammo run a few patches with dunked in water through the barrel and front chamber, then dry patches, then oil patches, then dry patches. The corrosion occurs because the old primers coat the barrel in salts which are water soluble, but not oil soluble.

Mosin's in general aren't highly accurate, largely because of awful triggers and surplus ammo. If you are new to guns, the trigger may not seem very important... but it is. There are many examples, though that defy these expecations. It's also possible to fix up a Mosin to be a much better rifle, but at far more cost than the original price. I like mine in its mostly stock configuration (except for Scout Mount Scope). Still, a Mosin will do fine for hunting deer at 50 yards or for mass human wave bolt action assaults :evil:.

If I could only have one rifle for the rest of my life on a serious budget, it would probably be an SKS or Saiga or a 10/22. If I was going to buy another surplus rifle, it would be a Mauser K98 or a swiss K31 (reputation for accuracy and cheap... ammo a little more pricey)

Pro's: Cheap rifle, cheap ammo, great to arm the hordes, awesome fireball, many modifications available, fascinating history (mine is stamped 1944), plenty of fire power for hunting, some (esp. finn) models are accurate.

Cons: Bad trigger, bad sights (mine shoots way high), corrosive ammo, heavy, painful recoil, excessively loud, pretty poor accuracy.

Still, I love my Mosin and would certainly never sell it.

Please look at especially, check out the cleaning video and disassembly video. Also join the surplus rifle forum where folks talk about Mosins 24/7.

Ignition Override
April 4, 2008, 03:27 AM
My 44's recoil seems a bit less than wit the 91/30, and not sure why.
Maybe the 44 seems easier to hold.

Has anybody here received the Bulgarian ammo in cans where the metal strip/band has been soldered such that it is quite sealed and can not be pulled open-even one inch? The first can was easy-the metal band was clear with no solidified metal 'drippings' on it.

This might not have been a good idea, but I was forced to slowly poke very tiny holes (by hand) into the metal just below the lid, checking that there were about two inched clearance between metal and ammo wrappers, then slowly prying the lid upwards at the corner.

What is a safer way to open these very sealed cans?
Maybe many of these were sealed shut after the Iron Curtain (Eiserner Vorhang) was slowly knocked down.

April 4, 2008, 09:42 PM
Go for the 91/30. It is much more pleasant to shoot for extended range trips. I use the pachymar pad, and after 150 rounds of M44 my shoulder felt off. With the 91/30 it is not a problem (it was around freezing so the rifle stayed cool...I usually don't shoot that much in an afternoon, because the stock would probably catch fire!)

You don't want to develop a flinch, but you do want lots of trigger time. And next to a 22lr, it still doesn't get any cheaper than mean mr. mosin. Besides, you can get Hungarian or Czech light ball these days at AIM, and it is pretty good stuff. For corrosive commie surplus, that is.

As Hunter S. Thompson used to say, "Buy the ticket, take the ride"

April 4, 2008, 11:33 PM
oh yeah, forgot to add.

The mosin m44 was MY first rifle.
then again, people keep telling me I'm crazy.
not for that, but either way it's not true....

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