Mosin Nagant/extractor removal


June 28, 2011, 09:17 PM
Just picked up a Mosin Nagant 91/30 and I'm trying to do the right thing with regards to safety. A fellow member strongly suggested checking the headspace so I purchased the NOGO gauge but I can't get the extractor out without fear of ruining it. I was going to use this YouTube video ( as my guide but when I smack the extractor with the mallet it does not move as in the video so he just bails on it. Is there another way to check the headspace? Any tips would be greatly appreciated


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June 28, 2011, 09:24 PM
You should be using the "FIELD" gage instead of the NOGO. If your rifle closes on the NOGO you will need to try the FIELD gage before you even start to worry.

You can put the bolt on a punch block with the back of the extractor over one of the holes and then use a large punch on the front...then tap it with a may need to HIT it to get it to move.

If you can't get it to budge you can always grind a notch in your gages "rim" to clear the extractor.


June 28, 2011, 09:25 PM
You should be able to check the headspace with the extractor installed - most gages have a cut-out for the extractor - does yours?

June 28, 2011, 09:59 PM
Headspace is rarely a factor on a Mosin, as it is a Rimmed round, and they headspace on the rim. Wikipedia can help you .

On a Mosin, firing pin protrusion is more of a common problem, and with each tool kit comes a screwdriver with slots along the side that will give you proper protrusion length. You can adjust the length with the screwdrivers slot that fits the flats on teh fireing pin, but if its been Arsenal referbished, it should have the back of the fireing pin even with and struck across the back of the cocking peice to show if the firing pin has been moved.

If you have arsenal refurnbishmnent [/] mark on the barred and rightside of the buttstock,and its all matching, even with electro pencil, the Russians have brought it into spec during its trip to the arsenal, before deep storage and eventual sales to you. It should be ready to issue if thats what you have.

Did you get it in the box with accessories and new shellac and blue? or did you pick up a Milsurp that has not had refurbishment?
Does it match?

Got a Finn???

Got a picture, its always nice to see another Mosin.

June 28, 2011, 11:24 PM

I own Mosins and Enfields and both are rimmed cartridges and I also have headspace gauges for both but I'm going to show you how to check headspace without gauges and check it accurately.

With a set of vernier calipers measure the overall length of a new case or a full length resized case and write it down.

Now take a spent fired primer and start the primer into the primer pocket just using your fingers.

Now chamber this test round and slowly close the bolt fully and "seat" the primer you put in with with just your fingers.

Now eject the test case and remeasure the overall length again and write it down.

Now subtract your first case measurement from the second case measurement and this will give you head clearance (head gap clearance) or the "air space" between the bolt face and the rear of the case.

Now measure your rim thickness and add your head clearance measurement to your rim thickness and this will give you your exact headspace measurement.

Example: Rim thickness .058 + head clearance .011 = .069 actual headspace measurement.

What you are actually concerned about is head clearance or the "airspace" between the rear of the case and the bolt face. this "airspace" is what will cause case head seperations if the "airspace" is too long. (excess headspace)

7.62x54R American SAAMI headspace settings
.064 GO
.067 NO-GO
.072 FIELD

Russian Go = 1.60mm = 0.063"(0.06304")

Russian No-Go = 1.70mm = 0.067"(0.06698")

Finnish Go = 1.63mm = 0.064"(0.06422")

Finnish No-Go = 1.73mm = 0.068"(0.06816")

June 29, 2011, 12:05 AM
@ Liberty2009 & Jeremy2171 no cutout, I was thinking about hitting it with a grinder but wanted to see what you guys suggested first.

@ caribou I bought mine from Bud's (, it says from Liberty Arms International(Texas) on the box. I just received it yesterday and I put the ATI stock on it. it came with the accessories. BTW what is the container with the two caps?

@bigedp51 Thank you for the detailed explanation, I dont have any calipers or and spent rounds (yet), I think I will just grind my NOGO gauge.

Shadow 7D
June 29, 2011, 02:53 AM
interesting technique

June 29, 2011, 08:11 AM
Most excellent technique , and , as well it IS good to check head space, if for anything , a peice of mind, but a Russian Arsenal Refurbishment thats matched or rematched in numbers has been through the process.
Others, previous to the referbs hitting our shore could have issues, but in all of my years using and owning, fixing Mosin's, I have never , ever ,heard of a head space issue. Many times Ive replaced an extractor by swapping off the bolt head, and all is well.
I have crossed path's with corroded or cosmoe'd chambers, shooting 3 feet high, pierced primers from over protrusion from a firing pin, and a few broken extractors.

You can never be to safe, but with that acessories two spouted Solvent/Lube Oil can, you should have a looped screwdriver with a firing pin protrusion gauge made of cut outs and numbers, and with a stripped bolt and the slot that can fit the firing pin sides, you can adjust the protrusion length, to the middle size.

On more than one M-39 , interestingly enough, I have had to INCREASE the firing pin protrusion to get reliable ignition.

Be safe, have fun!!

June 29, 2011, 09:07 AM
To All, Thanks for your help!

@ caribou I didn't check the firing pin with the over & under gauge. It just barely reaches the over so not sure if I should bump it up a little or just try it first as is.

When I get home tonight I'm going to grind the NOGO gauge becasue it's no good the way it is and I don't want to remove the extractor if grinding it down will serve as a workaround. Anyway here is a picture of it. I do have all the old parts so I could return it to original condition if needed

June 29, 2011, 09:23 AM
I have Clymer gages for Mosin Nagant and you don't need to remove the extractor to use them.
Remove the bolt from the rifle, snap the go gage under the extractor so it is held against the bolt head and replace the bolt into the action.
You will have to fiddle around a bit to make sure the gage stays on the bolt head and you get it past the trigger sear and magazine.
Chamber the gage and push the bolt down, it should close fully.

Repeat with a no go or field gage.
Extractor should NOT accept the gage, especially a field gage, but if it does, slide the bolt into the gun with the gage in place.
Bolt should NOT close fully.

If you can't get either gage under the extracter claw it is best to remove that extractor and replace it with a new or like new extractor as they are usually damaged when you remove them from the bolt.
If you are careful and patient with a diamond needle file, you may be able to clearance the extractor claw to accept the go gage. H^TH

June 29, 2011, 05:32 PM
I concur with Caribou. I would worry about headspace with Mausers, but Mosins seem much more tolerant of such variables probably due to the 54R.

June 29, 2011, 08:23 PM
I notched out my NOGO gauge with a grinder just enough to clear the extractor, the bolt will not close so I guess I'm good. the next question is does the field gauge normally ship as one of the accessories or must it be purchased separately? Thanks in advance

June 29, 2011, 08:54 PM

On the rimmed Enfield with a cartridge rim thickness of .058 and at maximum headspace you have .016 head clearance. If you use the seated primer trick I explained above you can lay a feeler gage on the base of the case and get the approximate head clearance.

The bolt didn't close on the NO-GO gage which means your under .067 and within "NORMAL" American SAAMI headspace standards.

In plain english it doesn't get ant better than this. ;)

June 29, 2011, 09:02 PM
Also, since no one has answered that question yet - the little metal bottle with two caps was meant to contain oil on one side, and something else (cleaning solvent?) on the other.

June 29, 2011, 10:37 PM
@ bigedp51 thanks for the help, I feel better now that is was tested. I always wanted a bolt action rifle (or shotgun) since I was a kid but never bought one so this will fill that need. Really looking forward to shooting it.

@ Gord- so its partitioned-off, Ill have to look at that again..

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