Am I nuts for wanting to re-do my Mosin M44


February 14, 2009, 11:58 PM
Ok so I have a Mosin M44 its a good rifle but I am more of a gadget geek than a history guy. So the thought of sanding it down, painting the stock and sticking on a red dot scope has crossed my mind.

To me my mosin is not a "piece of history" since it seems like every shooter has 2 or 3 of them. And they are still available for under $100.

I am considering sanding it down to get rid of the varnish and the paint it in either OD green or Black. And the putting on a scout rail and a red dot scope.

Other than "destroying history" am I risking anything else? Should I just leave it alone?

Part of me also thinks that I should walk into the local big box store that sells mosins and say "give me the one with the WORST finish possible" and then use that one as my project gun.

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February 15, 2009, 12:01 AM
Its your rifle.

Also, "sporterizing" mil-surps has a long well established history.

February 15, 2009, 12:16 AM
"...Am I nuts..." Probably, but you'll get over it.
"...considering sanding it down to get rid of the varnish..." No sanding is required. Use a varnish remover. Even low end wood deserves proper treatment. Post-war M44 stocks are laminates.
"...every shooter has 2 or 3 of them..." Not me. Haven't ever been interested in Warsaw Pact firearms. Should have bought a Mosin sniper rifle when they were common and cheap, up here, though. Ditto for the M1C's and D's. $250ish Cdn. with the scope. My excuse is that the scope is on the wrong side.

Ignition Override
February 15, 2009, 12:25 AM
As stated's your rifle.
It might be difficult to find somebody who appreciates wood and who has a plastic or painted stock which they can exchange for yours.
Some of us would never consider anything except nice wood.

February 15, 2009, 12:50 AM
Ultimately, your gun, your project... Your decision. Best I can suggest is do what you think you'd enjoy... and if you wind up hating it, you'll learn from your mistake.

February 15, 2009, 01:32 AM
If it's an import marked M44 go ahead and Bubba away. Maybe that way the other M44's that haven't been bubbaed will be worth more. That's why original K98's and 1903 etc are valuable thanks to the decimation in numbers due to post war bubbaing.

February 15, 2009, 04:47 AM
Shoot I spent more than $100 takin the lady to Valentines dinner. Buy another or two more. One of the best gun values left out there. Have fun with one!

February 15, 2009, 04:55 AM

February 15, 2009, 06:10 AM
Do whatever you like to your own property and don't worry about the whiners. If they want to save 'em all, they can get off their wallets and buy 'em up themselves...

February 15, 2009, 06:18 AM
I'll agree with the folks that suggest... it's yours, do as you see fit. My brother-in-law has a sporterized one.

February 15, 2009, 10:15 AM
Can find the video, but you mean something like this?

February 15, 2009, 10:25 AM
I'm close to doing the same. The shellac on mine is gooped on for preservation purposes .
I'm going to strip it down and apply a thinned out , handrubb finish with shellac , maybe some stain added.
Mosin's will have a shellac finish , by the way , quite different than hydrocarbon based or varnish finishes.
Shellac is stripped off using rubbing alcohol , de-natured alcool or IPA .
Rubb off using fine steel wool or some of those green kitchen scrub pads.
This will leave a smooth bare wood finish that you won't need to sand.
Finish'er up the way you want....I like oil finishes too...;)

February 15, 2009, 01:05 PM
rather than stripping the stock and painting, I would just use an aftermarket stock. Also there is a company that makes a scope mount that replaces the rear sight. If you do it that way, you could get the rifle you want, without making any permanent changes.

February 15, 2009, 01:21 PM
I am just in this project - exchanged the stock for ATI synthetic, removed bayonet ... shooting is much more comfortable and all changes I did can be easily turned back.
I would recommend to start with the ATI stock, than you will see whether this is the way you wanna go ... . As for me, I wanted to ... .

February 15, 2009, 03:29 PM

no comment

February 15, 2009, 08:32 PM
mod away but I must warn you I fixed up my k31 with a few camo touches a floated barrel cheekrest and what not and caught flak from some folks on this site so just expect that. The gun looks, feels, and functions a lot better now.

February 15, 2009, 08:43 PM
LOL if people had any idea what im doing to a 1903a3 they would flip, LOL. I love doing work on old mil-surps. Im getting ready to start a Yugo M48, be warned they are addicting. I never had an interest in a Mosin though, just not my can of dew. My dream is to take my 1903a3 and put it in a AW stock, but alas my budget is to limited for that kind of foolishness. Have fun with it but if you are going to lose sleep over it, don't do it.

LOL I have yet to lose sleep over my exploits.

February 15, 2009, 08:52 PM
Ok so I have a Mosin M44 its a good rifle but I am more of a gadget geek than a history guy. So the thought of sanding it down, painting the stock and sticking on a red dot scope has crossed my mind.

ok, customizing is one thing, but that takes it too far

February 16, 2009, 07:57 AM
I refinished my M-44, but I learned much from refinishing my 91/30 and one thing I can tell you is that sanding is not the way to go.. at least for starters. I used thinner at first, but this just wasn't cutting it since there was so much cosmoline. In desparation I took the stock outside, and with a wad of rags and a can of gasoline kept wiping it down observing yellow cosmoline on the rags.. When the yellow stopped I switched to lacquer thinner... again outside and almost 3 days later. Even after all of this when I tried sanding, the paper would clog.. ( using supposedly clog free.) I went back to thinner, letting it sit and dry in a warm corner. Eventually, I was able to sand and have clean wood dust coming off. Once I got the stock smooth I still had trouble getting a smooth application of varnish, so prepare for a good deal of frustration. It's worth it in the end..


February 16, 2009, 09:27 AM
The thinner wasn't cutting it because Shellac is not an oil based product , it's a totally different animal than varnish ... literally.

Varnish ( hydrocarbon based) = dinosaurs
Shellac = the excretment from the Lac beetle ( the excretment is the ooze the beetle makes cocoon's with )

De-natured alcohol ( rubbing alcohol , IPA ) will not only cut the shellac , but melt it down as well.
Alcohol is what is mixed with the shellac flakes we buy from the store.

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