New Mosin Nagant


April 9, 2010, 11:02 PM
I just picked up my "new" century arms 91/30 mosin nagant. When I got home and started cleaning it, my mom got a hold of the tag that was around the trigger guard, on it, it says "do not fire this surplus rifle until a qualified gun smith has insured it is safe to do so."

I told her they only put that there for legal reasons, in case one does fail.
She told me she would pay for it, but I'd like to save her some money.

Am I wrong thinking that I don't really need to have it checked out?

Overall when I first opened the box, then gun looked a lot cleaner then I expected, the bore looks like its in excellent condition, I may post some pictures of it once I'm done cleaning it.

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April 9, 2010, 11:11 PM
Most gunsmiths around here will do a quick inspection for 10 bucks, including running a go/no go gauge to check headspace. If you're not particularly handy with rifles, or relatively new to the sport, it's always a good idea to have surplus weapons inspected before shooting them for the first time.


Silent Sam
April 9, 2010, 11:29 PM
I wouldn't advise anyone to argue with 'Mom' while she's trying to make sure you're safe. Whatever the cost, and it shouldn't be much, it will make her happy. How much is that worth?

April 9, 2010, 11:32 PM
Always a good idea with a surplus. It's cheap, don't make her pay for it. Then, go get her a carbine model!

April 9, 2010, 11:33 PM
I'm picking mine up on Tuesday. This will be the first surplus rifle (first non 22 actually). Let me know how the trip to the gunsmith goes and if it was worth it.

April 9, 2010, 11:34 PM
Maybe I should ask this instead -- How much would an average gunsmith charge for this? Kentucky Rifleman said $10, is that about right?

I just had the idea that gunsmith = expensive and Mosin = cheap.

April 10, 2010, 12:02 AM
My personal experience, but when I bought an M44 from century I never took it to a gunsmith. It's performed awesome through at least 600 rounds. If you plan on buying more you should buy a go/ no go gauge. It's a very cheap investment.

April 10, 2010, 01:07 AM
I just had the idea that gunsmith = expensive and Mosin = cheap.

Gunsmiths are like any other skilled trade, they expect a fair wage for their time, but a quick visual inspection by someone who knows what they're looking for (where to check for cracks and pitting, etc) and running a gauge to check headspace will take any competent gunsmith less than 10 minutes.

I'm not a worrywart, but surplus rifles often come bulk shipped separately from the bolts, so the original bolt is rarely the one that gets put into your rifle. Modern machining is wonderful, but a bolt at one end of the tolerance range matched to a rifle at the other end of the tolerance range creates a rifle with too much headspace, and these can be dangerous, easily damaging the rifle or the shooter when fired.

It's the cheapest money you'll ever spend on shooting if it saves you one face-full of burning gunpowder, and a rifle with the capacity of the Nagant isn't something to be toyed with. Consider a peace-of-mind payment. :)

I know rifles. I've been around them my whole life. I can tell you almost anything you'd like to know about them, and I still get my surpies checked by my gunsmith before I put the first shell through them.

I've had well over 300 surplus pieces in my life. Exactly two of them had bad headspacing. One of them - an Ishapor Enfield in .308 - would have most likely cooked my face if I hadn't gotten it checked, and I bought it from a really nice fellow at a gunshow who told me it was a fine shooter. It was, indeed, a fine shooter AFTER I got the boltface changed.


April 10, 2010, 01:09 AM
I paid $25 to give my mosin a once over and check headspace


April 10, 2010, 01:37 AM
Century may have some drunken monkeys working there but they aren't half bad with the bolt rifles.

As long as the bolt has been serial numbered to the action and those numbers match, you shouldn't have any issues with headspace, none I have checked for folks over the years showed excessive headspace anyway.

Lots of the rifles come packed full of cosmoline and yanking the rifle out of the box loading her full of cartridges and blazing away can get one into all kinds of trouble.
Many barrels have quite a generous portion of cosmogoop in them and firing the gun as is can increase pressures to the point of being dangerous and even fatal hence the warning to have a gunsmith check the rifle first.
A gunsmith won't return the rifle full of grease.
Cleaning the chamber with a 28 guage shotgun brush before shooting the rifle will go a long way towards improving or eliminating the infamous Mosin sticky bolt syndrome too.
The chambers tend to be a bit coarse and when a round is fired many complain the action is difficult or near impossible to open.
A thorough cleaning of the chamber and light greasing of the action,(action!, NOT the chamber!) tends to solve this issue.HTH

April 10, 2010, 01:56 AM
It's just legal CYA. For some surplus rifles I worry more and make sure to check headspacing. Esp. older Mausers. But I've never gotten any Mosin checked by a smith before shooting it. If you're got the standard rearsenaled 91/30 with matching bolt and receiver someone at the arsenal already checked the headpace before packing it away. Now it's just a matter of cleaning it up. Lots of threads on that. If you're worried about it you can get the gauge easily enough for the price of a gunsmith.

April 11, 2010, 12:37 AM
Alright, I went to one of the local gunshops, talked to the guy about how much it would cost to get the headspaced checked on it. He told me I'd have to leave the gun with him for 2-4 weeks because there was 130 guns infront of me and it would cost $35.

that sounded like a load of bull to me.. so I went to the other gunsmith that was further into town who I had heard good things about (the other one has really bad reviews online) and I asked them if they could do it.. they said no, because how could they do it if I didn't have the gun with me? so I went out to the car, grabbed it, took it in and they checked it in 3 minutes, charged $10 and sent me on my way.

3 weeks $35... or 3 minutes $10... tough choice...

April 11, 2010, 01:31 PM
Ordinarily, that the numbers match is a good indication that your rifle will headspace well. In the case of the Mosin Nagant, there is the bolt head, which is not numbered, which controls the headspace, not the bolt body (the numbered part).

It is good to check headspace in the Mosin Nagant.

I have had several with long chambers, but which headspace right, 'cuz headspace is determined by the rim of the cartridge. So long as you don't reload your brass fired in a long chamber with standard dies, you should be ok.

Good luck and welcome to the forum.

April 11, 2010, 05:00 PM
I guess strapping it down to a tree an pulling the trigger with a long
string is out.....?

April 11, 2010, 11:20 PM
I will go out on a limb here; if it is imported with an importer stamp, and assembled over here to some degree; then it has been either headspace checked or check fired allready.

April 12, 2010, 12:37 AM
Just clean her well, the rifle, not Mom, and take her to the range and have fun.

April 12, 2010, 12:45 AM
Well Wildyams, you paid $10 to get it checked, got piece of mind for mom, and now you know a good gunsmith to go to if you have issues with this or any other firearm down the line(and one to avoid). Hell, $10 isn't a bad price for all that IMO. :)

April 12, 2010, 12:53 PM
in the spirit of knowing your guns, it sure wouldn't hurt for you to learn how to fully strip down the M-N bolt, drift out the extractor, and use a no-go/field gauge. You can get a field gauge online for $30. Usually a milsurp rifle passing the worse case field gauge is good enough, i.e. safe to shoot from headspace perspective. Besides, its fun knowing everything about your gun and being safe.

April 12, 2010, 01:22 PM
Whatever the cost, and it shouldn't be much, it will make her happy. How much is that worth?

worth more than 10 bucks

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