Mosin Nagant accuracy question


February 5, 2010, 10:32 PM
I've been doing a lot of searches and reading about how to make a Mosin Nagant accurate. I'm wondering if it's reasonable to think I can get 2 moa accuracy from one without having to do expensive or difficult work on one. I'm assuming that I would choose a decent mosin in the first place. I have read Cosmoline's thread on this. (thanks Cosmoline) My question is assuming I got a decent rifle to start with what are the best bang for the buck improvements I could do to improve accuracy to 2 moa, assuming that it is a reasonable demand. Which are the best to do first? Which are the obvious things to do first. (cleaning of course but also screw tightening or loosening, stuff like that)
My target is 2 moa as I've read that that is what you need for a 300 yard hunting gun.
Thanks in advance.

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February 5, 2010, 10:40 PM
first off, thorough bbl cleaning, first. then do a trigger job. super easy.
then , test as many diff ammo's as you can. Now if you have a m44, or some other bayonet attached type mosin, forget it. I doubt it will happen , unless you just get totally lucky.
Now then, try as many diff ammos as you can, especially milsurp. but before trying the milsurp, try your new made stuff from Olympic and wolf or monarch or barnaul or Sellier & Bellot or silver bear and brown bear.
That is all new made stuff. then try out the milsurp stuff; but I will go out on a limb and say that either the heavy wolf ammo, or the brown bear , or silver bear is going to be most accurate for you.
After this , and trying milsurp ammo, you can try stuff like free floating the bbl, or adding a little pressure pad up front...
I have a m38 that is moa capable, with silver bear and brown bear, and the heavy wolf ammo.

February 5, 2010, 11:15 PM
Corking the barrel:
Bedding the action:

Play around on that site. Lots of cool write-ups.

February 5, 2010, 11:18 PM
A lot will depend on the gun and how much work you want to put into it.

A friend has one that would be close to your requirement.

Mine was minute of target stand @ 50 yards. Literally, it looked like someone fired a round of 12 gauge OOO buck. Decided that was too much work for a $75 investment.


February 6, 2010, 03:39 AM
Seeing as I'm a noob with guns I was thinking that it would be a good project for learning about guns. I'm thinking I wouldn't want to put a lot of money into it but time is ok as it would be learning time. Also, the economics of milsurp are hard to beat. When I get into something I like to do it a lot. Mosin ammo is cheap.
I've checked the box of truth, it's great.
So what is some other stuff I can do?

February 6, 2010, 04:01 AM
Often very simple steps such as shimming will work wonders. With the Finnish Mosins you'll often find someone did the job already. But the more I work with these old Mosins the more I think it's more a matter of doing basic cleanup and maintenance then listening to what the rifle wants and making adjustments with cartridges and loads accordingly.

You can also play around with stock/barrel contact. By putting more shims between the stock and the barrel around the front bolt you are essentially tilting the barrel relative to the stock, or pushing the stock down depending on how you look at it. The more shims, the more it lifts up. In this manner you can control whether and how much the stock is pressing on the barrel. Some Mosins, esp. the long M91's, seem to do best with a little upwards stock pressure. Others do best with the stock loose around the barrel (you can test this by gripping the stock band and moving up and down to see if it has wiggle room. One big advantage of the old 91/30 design is that it uses a minimal amount of wood and steel. The stock is thin and the barrel is thin. Much more so than on say a Finnish M39. That is a drawback for sustained heavy fire as the barrel heats up, but you don't have to wrestle with some enormous hunk of birch pressing against your barrel.

February 6, 2010, 08:29 AM
As was stated, the Finnish mosins will generally be that accurate out of the box. The currently available M39 was designed to be a 1.5 MOA rifle and all my 5 are at least that. Also, Soviet snipers are probably capable of getting 2 MOA out of the box.
Generally my Soviet mosins are 3-4 MOA rifles. You could probably get them a bit better by bedding or shimming the action.

February 6, 2010, 05:59 PM
I think 2 MOA is achievable. Like you said, first look for something with a good barrel. and both have good discussion forums specifically for these rifles. Many threads there on accuracy. Bedding the receiver, trigger mods (super simple trigger means trigger mods are easier too) or even an aftermarket trigger. There are aftermarket peep sights as well. You can even get reproduction PU scopes for ~$200. Keeps the "right" looks and better than open sights.

Erik M
February 6, 2010, 07:04 PM
I can hit a paper plate at a roughly pased off 100 yards. I had only pushed a few patches through the barrel to get the majority of the cosmo out of it. After I soaked the action and barrel in brake cleaner I think I ran a brass brush and more than 20 patches through it and cosmo and black crud was still coming out of it. Im betting it may improve the accuracy a hair now that all of the junk is scrubbed out.

February 6, 2010, 07:30 PM
Thanks for the tips. After cleaning what should I do first?
What are the things that all Mosins generally need? A trigger job seems to come up often, so does bedding the action, anything else?
Someone on a post suggested tightening the action screws, tang screws, and the screw at the front of the mag.
There are a lot of very good suggestions online but it's hard to figure what to do first. I imagine that you experts with a lot of Mosins (I know you are out there, Ive seen your pix of your guns) have a bunch of standard things you do. I'm trying to figure out a checklist of the obvious first things to do (like make sure everything is tight), then the standard ones, then others.

February 7, 2010, 12:53 AM
Once cleaned with the bolts hand tight I wouldn't do anything till you run test rounds through it. It may not need anything.

February 7, 2010, 05:41 AM
Thanks Cosmoline. I've read that you are a mosin expert. I appreciate the feedback. If the accuracy isn't enough after trying it out, what is the next step?
I've also read that the Polish and the pre war Soviets are better on average(as well as the Finns of course). Is there any way to find those better models? How much are they when you do find them?

February 7, 2010, 07:54 AM
The Polish M44's are much nicer in finish but I would not say they are any more accurate than any other M44. The preWar mosins are not any more accurate than the war ones but generally are less rough. The war years M91/30's have very rough machining but function fine.
I find most of my collectible mosins at gunshows and pawnshops. A nice Polish M44 is going to cost you over $200. Prewar M91/30's (hex receiver) generally go about $25 more than the round receiver. If you go really early and get a M91, generally dated WW1 era and earlier, you will find that they aren't any more accurate.
Generally a mosin is a 3-4 MOA at best.
The following list are mosins that consistently do 2 MOA or better:
Finnish rifles (most common right now is the M39)
M91/59 carbine
Authentic M91/30 snipers
If I were to accurize a mosin, I would start with one of the above.

February 7, 2010, 07:43 PM
I purchased 3 Mosin Nagen 91/30's a few years ago. 2 of them were acurate straight out of the box, hitting center target at 100 yards, open sight & using a tree to steady my aim. I was unhappy withthe 3rd one as the bolt was too easily disengaged from its locked closed position, a relatively inexpensive fix for a local gun smith. The only things i have considered doing to improve these rifles are upgrading to a black synthetic "monte carlo" stock (camo is twice the cost) & adding a scope mount kit that comes with a bent bolt conversion kit. I found both items in my addition of Shotgun News Magazine. The company that sells them is J&G sales. The order # and cost for the stock is 7-742, $49.95 ... and for the mount kit is 6-682, $44.95. They can be contacted at or call-ins made at 928 445-9650. I hope this information will help you to reach your goals with your rifle.

February 7, 2010, 07:58 PM
BTW ... J&Gsales is offering the Mosin Nagant 91/30' for $79.95. Arsenal refinished, with either hex or round receiver.

February 7, 2010, 07:58 PM
Each to his own but it sure seems like a waste of time for that level of accuracy. My .02.

February 7, 2010, 11:40 PM
those stocks are actually pretty good; nice fit, free float the bbl, gives good balance, and the wrist of the stock isn't near as thick as the treetrunk wrist of the regular mosin stocks...

I actually can see the open sights of the mosin pretty good, so i keep mine open, no scope setup.

February 8, 2010, 12:17 AM
My Finnish M39 shoots real well without any work (that I can tell).

This was from the second time I took it to the range. Shots were fired from a good bench with iron sights at 300 yards.


The shots in the 10, 9 , and 8 rings are 180 grain Winchester soft points. The others are 150 grain Wolf Gold. There was one miss, a Wolf round, presumably to the right of the target.

February 8, 2010, 09:00 AM
Does the sporterized/monte carlo stock add to the accuracy?

February 8, 2010, 10:37 PM
mokin; see if you can find any of the 170 to 180 class in milsurp; one of them- bulgarian or romanian, etc., is a pretty hot loaded round. Your mosin could proly really love them. Also look for the new brown bear or wolf, in the 205 grainers- these could actually get you close to moa, maybe. my 38 loves them, and everyone else's mosin I have ever shot, that I put those through, loved them as well. But one thing is for sure, at 300 yds, you are going to hit very low, so try them at 100 yds first, to get an idea of how low you are going to be at 300 with them.

Above dude; theoretically the monte stock will be more accurate; it will be a tighter fit around the receiver area, with less contraction/expansion happening to it- plus it should freefloat your bbl. So it should be. But you know how that goes; if you get the stock , and it is not more accurate, put a little pressure pad up front on the stock, to see if that increases your accuracy...

February 9, 2010, 01:05 AM
All of my Mosins are accurate to within minute-of-light-vehicle, which is all I really ask of them.

In all seriousness however, I think Cosmo has it pretty well pegged down. Go through the rifle and tighten / clean everything, then take it out with some different ammo and get a baseline before doing any more work. You may be surprised. I have found my different Mosins to be very ammo selective. One is very accurate with WWB soft nose, another likes that godawful greek surplus, etc.

I think you'll spend more time finding the right ammo, than tinkering with the rifle.

February 9, 2010, 05:41 AM
Ok, clean it up and tighten the screws first. Then find ammo that it likes.
What would be the next logical/practical step?

February 9, 2010, 11:14 AM
next, cork or pad , the bbl., after that , try and freefloat the bbl.

February 9, 2010, 01:17 PM
I have read Cosmoline's thread on this. (thanks Cosmoline)

Anyone have a link to this? Searched and can't find it.

Old Time Hunter
February 9, 2010, 01:18 PM
First, as all has alluded to scrub the bore real, real good, even a couple times with JB after you think it is clean, then do it again.

Second, slug your barrel, I have had some that were as skinny as .311 and as big as .316.

Third, cast bullets at least .001" larger than the max bore diameter.

Fourth, hope for the best, only 100 out of 10k made at any given time when new were capable of 1 MOA, so figure the worst unless your lucky. Also, the M44's were never intended to be sharpshooters, more of dagger holders, and they would be the worst as a model for any accurate shooting.

Here is a test pattern of various Nagant's using various loads, I'll have a new one once the weather breaks showing how much more accurate the cast loads are:

This was at two hundred yards...multiple different loads.

February 9, 2010, 04:23 PM
Practically speaking, a trigger job will help you get the most of what the rifle has to offer. The triggers vary quite a bit on these. If you want a shooter, your best bet is a Finn model. The 91/30s can shoot sometimes also.

I had a Westinghouse that shot all over the place, until I checked the action screws...:o

Once i tightened them up, it shot much better!

So, after you clean it, check the screws, find the ammo it likes, i would get the trigger tuned up. bedding would be right there along with that.

Take care,


February 9, 2010, 04:40 PM
I have a m38 that is moa capable, with silver bear and brown bear, and the heavy wolf ammo.

moa? you mean like 3-4 moa?

Old Time Hunter
February 9, 2010, 05:56 PM
I have a m38 that is moa capable, with silver bear and brown bear, and the heavy wolf ammo.

moa? you mean like 3-4 moa?

Minute of Army?

Maybe 1moa is equivelant to hour of barndoor in Mosin speak.

February 9, 2010, 06:25 PM
Be aware that you'll need to use very good ammo to get good accuracy. Cheap milsurp ammunition won't give you the 2 MOA groups.

February 10, 2010, 12:18 AM
No, I mean actual capable of moa, if I am on my game. If I go to the range this weekend, I'll try and come up with some pics.

February 10, 2010, 02:31 AM
essayons21 here is the Cosmoline thread:

February 10, 2010, 07:53 PM
Ok tighten the screws and bolts, clean it up, test the gun with ammo. Then, if necessary do a trigger job, cork the barrel, bed the action, and shim the action. I immagine that changing the sights helps too. Where does slugging the barrel fit in?
I will definitely look for a Finn or one of the other good models.
At the risk of blasphemy can you sometimes find sporterized guns with reasonable accuracy? I've read that they are cheaper.

February 10, 2010, 08:01 PM
Slugging the barrel is in order to find the right size bullet for handloads.

I think I would move bedding the action ahead of corking the barrel.

Around here sporters are certainly cheaper. I believe because they lose their collector status. I know that I have so far passed on 100% of sporters I have seen because they don't look nearly as good as the original full stock.

February 11, 2010, 02:20 AM
no;; cork the bbl first- also called putting a little pressure pad thingy, up front under the bbl. this is much easier, cheaper, and faster than bedding any part of it. heck you can just take a piece of folded up paper, thick , and put it under the bbl, at the tip of the stock, just to see if any kind of pressure pad helps.
If this does, then go to Home despot, and get the hard rubber little pads, that you put inside of cabinet drawers so they don't slam closed; these work much better and are more of a permanent solution.

February 11, 2010, 02:25 AM
Those heavy ball ammo in the 180 gr bullets are known to be more accurate.

February 12, 2010, 09:21 AM
Okm, lets say i do all that stuff and find me a good shooter. What would be the next thing to do to get a great shooter?

February 13, 2010, 01:52 PM
get a finnish; if you get a very good shooter in all the other ones- then that is great, but chances are you won't get a great shooter. You may with a Finn version...
But with a mosin, after you thorougly clean it, lube it, trigger job, find the ammo it likes- proly in the 170 to 180 weight class, or the 185's or 200+ weights, and then either free float it, pad/cork it, or combo of both; there really is nothing more to do. Either it will be hunting accuracy acceptable to you, or it won't.

navyretired 1
February 14, 2010, 05:09 AM
I like to shoot these old dogs but I mostly shoot cast bullets also, and reload almost all I shoot. The Oldtime Hunter was dead on #1 is slug the barrels I've got 7 MN (I'm abused) and all but 2 slug at a different diameter, those 2 are 0.312 and biggest is .0314. Beleave it or not the 0.314" is the most accurate. I have an old Lyman mold that throws 0.315 right from the mold with #2 or equivilant. All I do is lube, no sizing, seat gas check and load, 2 MOA. I've glassbedded action and floorplate, freefloated barrel and polished sear surfaces only.
I think I could get the others to that point too but don't know why, I just like looking and shooting them, It's too much work making them tack drivers as I've got plenty of those. I just love old Milsurps.

February 14, 2010, 06:55 AM
Adding a 4-16x40 scope to my 91/30 did wounders.

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