My new M91/30


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Phaethon
July 11, 2010, 06:37 PM
Some of you may or may not remember me poking around here over the last few months with a few sparse rifle questions (I'd imagine not, these are spacious forums and topics seem to come and go like wildfire), but to any that do, I finally stepped out and bought my first rifle; a Mosin-Nagant.

I was hoping more for a nice Gewehr 98 of WWI manufacture, but my budget was tight and I figured that for the same price I could buy three pristine Mosin-Nagants. I fished around the a gunshow trying to compare all the identical arsenal surplus models to find the most distinctive or appealing, and I eventually came across one I was happy with.

I paid 150$ (which is probably pricey in Nagant terms - this isn't a Finnish model or anything) and here are a few pictures of it. You'll have to excuse some photo quality, I was using an iPhone; I also have some questions and concerns afterwards.

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f98/Spartan-048/Mosin-Nagant/IMG_0193.jpg

I already gave most parts a thorough cleaning in mineral spirits, with exception of the receiver. I pretty much just wiped the receiver down until my finger stopped coming up greasy.

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f98/Spartan-048/Mosin-Nagant/IMG_01832.jpg

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f98/Spartan-048/Mosin-Nagant/IMG_0188.jpg

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f98/Spartan-048/Mosin-Nagant/IMG_0189.jpg

It was actually partially these beautiful Russian markings on the receiver that compelled me to buy it (I later identified it as Izhevsk), its pre-war manufacture date, and octagonal receiver. Everything points to it being a Dragoon variant, I believe it was, but it has all the additions of a 91/30 (globe sight, metric sight adjustment, etc) so I'm guessing it was re-arsenaled at some point during or after the war. It's a shame, but I don't mind really, since I always thought the globe sights were very distinctive and cool.

Another minor curiosity that I have is the magazine door. It jiggles a little bit, and is the only part of the rifle that makes noise when not being fired (obviously). Is there something I can tighten somewhere on the gun to get rid of that?

More importantly though, I took it to the range the other day and fired it for the first time. In fact, it's the first rifle of real calibre that I've ever fired, and was pretty startled by its kick. After massaging my shoulder thoroughly, I tried to operate the bolt and extract the round but it was stuck and I really had to heave my weight on it. I had read somewhere about "sticky bolt syndrome" and assumed that this must be what it is, though no one ever described what exactly it was, as in, when it's supposed to happen. I guess everyone assumes the name is self explanatory. Anyway, after comparing fired and unfired rounds, I just assumed that the cartridge was expanding in the receiver and making it difficult to open up.

But, a few days later I was handling it and trying to remove the bolt, and I accidentally pulled the trigger (no, it wasn't loaded). I cursed to myself and then went to open up the bolt, and was shocked to see that it had frozen stiff again! I manhandled it, then tried dry-firing again, and once again it was tough to open. Without firing, it was like butter. What could possibly cause this? I know I didn't chemically purge my gun of all cosmoline, but I wouldn't imagine that some microfilm would magically mess with my gun even when it's firing cold.

Now, relating to the stock. When at the range, I noticed my gun started to get pretty hot. I was new to that, since .22's and 9mm's never seemed to get the gun as hot as my Mosin was after only a handful of shots. But that's not the issue - I was grabbing hold of the stock to try and manhandle the bolt, and then it slid sideways - the cosmoline that was embedded in the wood was sort of "sweating" out.

I actually think it's kind of funny, but I don't want to have the gun slippery when I'm trying to handle it. How can I get rid of this stuff without damaging the wood or finish?

Later, when I was cleaning up my barrel post-range, I was using Hoppe's No.9. I was probably being a little careless, as I don't have a gun mount or anything very stable to hold it while cleaning. But I think that at one point when I grabbed the rifle and had a little Hoppe's on my hand, that it ate through the finish near the muzzle;

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f98/Spartan-048/Mosin-Nagant/IMG_0195.jpg

It's hard to see because my camera doesn't function well in low light. It's next to the barrel band, at the bottom, slight discoloration. There are a few pockmarks like it elsewhere. It might just have already been there and I just never really noticed it until giving it a nice, close, inspection, but I'm hoping to find some way to make it smooth like everywhere else.

Lastly, back on the subject of rifle kick, I think I was probably holding this thing wrong. I know it's supposed probably supposed to hurt your shoulder when firing, but just in case, can anyone point me to a thread or a video on proper shooting position and marksman tips and etc?

Sorry for the long read, everyone. Thanks for any help in advance!

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Gord
July 11, 2010, 07:12 PM
That's a beautiful Mosin; couldn't tell you much about it, but I can say that it's one of the very nicer examples I've seen and that you probably did pretty well for $150 - I certainly would have paid that had I come across this thing.

The receiver stamp is the importer's markings that are required by law. You appear to have an uncommon (or at least I've never seen one) importer, which, IMO, just serves to make the rifle that much more interesting. You'll need to leave that alone anyway since it is now the gun's legal serial number.

Others will be able to give you better advice on your other points. Congrats, and shoot the snot out of it. :)

Ohio Gun Guy
July 11, 2010, 07:18 PM
The best part of surplus rifles is figuring them out / learning about them. It sometimes takes some investigation. Unfortunately, I cant tell you much, but 150 for an interesting varriation isnt bad IMO. Worst case you spent 20-40 to be able to pick a non-run of the mill rifle out. Thats small dollars for the fun of figuring yours out IMO.

I'm interested, hopefully someone here can fill in the blanks!

AH-1
July 11, 2010, 07:29 PM
I like it!!!!!!!!!.range report when you can.
pete

Phaethon
July 11, 2010, 07:43 PM
I've only shot this thing at 25m so far at my first time, and I only had a single box of rounds to work with, so I don't really consider that range report legitimate. Next trip I'll bring like 40 rounds or so and play with it at different distances.

Hatterasguy
July 11, 2010, 09:02 PM
Did you remove the barrel from the stock? Their is probably a lot of cosmoline in their. Its going to sweat out for awhile, I have 500 rounds through mine and its just starting to stop.

Todd1700
July 11, 2010, 09:49 PM
This is a classic and common issue with the Mosin. The common wisdom is that over the years, laquer, cosmoline, and other gunk has been deposited on the chamber walls under heat and pressure creating a glaze that when heated gets a bit glue like and causes sticky bolt. It is worse with some of the laquer coated ammo, in particular the czech silver tipped surplus stuff.

Dismount the barreled action from the stock. Take a 20 gauge brass brush in a section of cleaning rod and chuck it in a drill. Get it sloppy wet with laquer thinner or mineral spirits and run it in and out of the chamber. You will be amazed at the junk that comes out. This will likely cure the issue with little expense and no trip to a gunsmith who will likely do the same thing anyway. After you are done give it a normal clean and lube because you will have stripped all the oil out and rust could show up.

Phaethon
July 11, 2010, 09:58 PM
Did you remove the barrel from the stock? Their is probably a lot of cosmoline in their. Its going to sweat out for awhile, I have 500 rounds through mine and its just starting to stop.

Yeah, I wiped down the stock inside and out, I just mean that it literally sweats out from inside the wood itself. Little beads of cosmoline come out all over, it's an amusing sort of personification.

This is a classic and common issue with the Mosin. The common wisdom is that over the years, laquer, cosmoline, and other gunk has been deposited on the chamber walls under heat and pressure creating a glaze that when heated gets a bit glue like and causes sticky bolt. It is worse with some of the laquer coated ammo, in particular the czech silver tipped surplus stuff.

I'm not convinced; why does the issue only occur after the bolt is de-cocked and the firing pin has sprung? And why would this issue happen when the metal is cold and the surfaces dry as paper, with no rounds being put through it? Maybe it's a burr or something like that?

Edit ~ Also, as far as I understand, this gun is pretty much straight out of the arsenal, never used, except for test shots. To my understanding, that isn't an uncommon condition with Mosin's considering their amazing quantities.

FMJMIKE
July 11, 2010, 10:04 PM
Nice rifle !!!

Zack
July 11, 2010, 10:24 PM
1927! woah nice rare find!

Dr T
July 12, 2010, 01:13 AM
The importer stamp on the receiver, I believe, is there because of the firearms regulations in the U.S.

Phaethon
July 12, 2010, 09:46 AM
All right, I removed the question about the importer stamp now that I know it's a mandatory thing. I'm not too well versed in firearms laws.

What about the other pressing issues? Like my bolt issue? I'm sure this forum is chock full of experienced Mosin-Nagant guys, I could sure use one in this thread.

Cal-gun Fan
July 12, 2010, 10:41 AM
Disassemble the rifle, if you haven't already, and try scrubbing it down. Thats what I'd guess, from reading on the internet.

Of course I dont actually own one yet, but thats what I think I WILL do :P

rondog
July 12, 2010, 11:15 AM
If you can come up with an old cooking pot and a burner, get yourself a pot of boiling water going. Remove the action from the stock, then remove the bolt and put the receiver in the water and boil it. That'll get the cosmoline out of all the nooks and crannies. Do it with the bolt assembly too.

It won't hurt the rifle any, just blow it dry with compressed air ASAP. The metal will get hot enough to probably evaporate the water before you can get the air hose after it anyway. There's lots of great info about these rifles at surplusrifle.com and 7.62x54r.net

RevDerb
July 12, 2010, 06:01 PM
May I suggest that you visit:

http://www.7.62x54R.net

You should learn all that you want to know plus some things that you may not want to know here. Don't miss the link to the 7.62x54R forum either. A really great site.

Phaethon
July 12, 2010, 08:21 PM
I've browsed the site extensively, but trying their forums is definitely a good idea.

mgkdrgn
July 12, 2010, 11:28 PM
That, I believe, is what is known as an "Ex-Dragoon" .... produced prior to the newer "modern" arsenal stamps on the barrel. That is getting up there in the "rare" Mosin world.

I've sold like 60 of them (I'm an FFL), and of those only 2 were Ex-Dragoons. A 1922 in a laminate stock I kept for myself. :D

Phaethon
July 13, 2010, 09:18 AM
Yeah, I've also read somewhere that it can be a so-called "prototype 91/30", from its earliest production runs. I suppose this is far less likely, though, and from what I've also read it's impossible to differentiate.

How much did you sell your two Ex-Dragoons for?

mgkdrgn
July 14, 2010, 10:25 AM
How much did you sell your two Ex-Dragoons for?
Well, like I said, I only got 2, and one I kept for myself.

The other I "sold" to a fellow for $120 ... but he brought 8 other Mosin buyers with him that day. I figured I owed him something a little "different". :-)

Mmmmm, not really a "prototype" I don't think, but they hadn't changed over all the stamping tools yet to produce the more "modern" markings.

robmkivseries70
July 14, 2010, 11:23 AM
Phaethon,
Nice looking piece, there are two surfaces at the rear of the bolt where one part cams against another on cocking the bolt handle. Use some grease on those surfaces and I'll bet the action works more smoothly.;)
Best,
Rob

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