Selling my 30-06 in favor of a mosin.


daniel craig
February 4, 2012, 01:08 PM
I recently picked up a savage axis 30-06 for deer hunting, I like the gun and the cartridge however I love that fact that a mosin is so much cheaper to shoot. I have seen some some pretty spiffy sporterized Mosin Nagants and was wondering If such a rifle would suffice for deer hunting. If so, which version should I sporterize? I have an M38 but should I get a 91/30 to sporterize?

I realize that This is many questions in one, but detail answer from someone with Mosin experience would be much appreciated.

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February 4, 2012, 01:13 PM
They are slick especially those worked up by the Finns.

February 4, 2012, 01:16 PM
There is a memeber, Caribou, that lives up above the Artic Circle in NW Alaska that uses his Mosin to hunt with. Look up his posts in the Hunting forum for an idea of what can be done.

Though if it were me I'd stick with a modern '06. It may very well be more accurate and easier to find good hunting loads for.

February 4, 2012, 01:21 PM
OMG don't do that! Yeah there is really crappy corrosive steel cased scrap ammo for cheap, but I won't run that junk through my gun for free, much less pay for it. If you shoot for hunting the availibility of quality loaded SPs in 7.62x54R is slim to none, if you shoot for accuracy the combonation of a questionable quality rifle with poor quality ammo will not provide good grouping. Now I enjoyed shooting Mosins over the years, but none of them was a sub MOA shooter like all five of my Savages have been.
If you want GOOD ammo for cheap learn to handload, that way you won't ever have to worry about mil-surp, and heck maby the combonation of a Mosin and quality handloads would be a good shooter.

February 4, 2012, 01:27 PM
There is no reason to sell your .30-06. The Mosin's are cheap. Keep your current rifle, spend about $100 on a Mosin and have a good time. Then in a year or two, you won't find yourself regretting the disposal of your Axis. ;)

February 4, 2012, 02:30 PM
Im also with the "Dont" crowd. Save some cash, buy a nagant, or spend the cash for the nagant on a reloading kit. I have both, Im not planing on selling either. My nagant shoots almost as well as my 1903, and hopefully after i get done "bubbatizing" it, ill have the weight down around 7-8lbs. It will likely replace the 03 as my non-magnum hunting rifle, but Im sure as hell not selling my 03.

February 4, 2012, 02:59 PM
Yes the Mosins are fun and cheap with the surplus ammo for plinking. I've got two of them, a 91/30 and an M44 carbine.

But it's a LONG and HEAVY rifle. They are also a PITA to mount a scope onto so you're limiting yourself to closer in shots for the sort of accuracy you owe to the deer or other game when hunting to obtain clean and humane kills.

And the surplus ammo is anything but accurate. I've seen folks get roughly 3 to 4 inch groups at 100 yards with good Privi ammo. That's not bad at all. But the same rifle shooting the steel case/steel jacket surplus ammo is lucky to keep all the shots in a 10 inch circle. Most will be within 5 to 6 inches but there's frequent flyers with the surplus stuff.

And as mentioned the surplus is ALL ball ammo. Not the sort of stuff you want to use for hunting.

So you'd have to get into reloading if you want to hunt with it. And even then unless you invest a heap of time and money it'll still be a long rifle with a customized stock which is a PITA to mount a scope onto.

If you're doing this to get the cost of ammo down then simply buy one of the low cost reloading kits and some supplies. With a kit of that sort you can keep the cost per round to 50 cents or less depending mostly on your bullet options. The primer and powder will run you around a dime and the rest is the bullet. With a bit of care shopping for used stuff and deals a nice low cost setup can be put together for around $100 to $120. Such a setup will easily let you load around 80 to 100 rounds in an hour once you learn what you're doing. And this includes weighing the charge for each round so you get the best possible consistency.

February 4, 2012, 02:59 PM
I use the Seller and Belliot 180 gr SP in my Sako M 39 , its 1.5 inch group at 100 yds. The cheaper Brown Bear 203 gr SP is also very good. I got 2.5 inch group at 100 yds from my M 91 59 carbine. All shots on sandbag rest.

February 4, 2012, 03:02 PM
I was like WHAT?:eek: Until i read that it is an axis you are ditching:barf:. "Movin on up":p

February 4, 2012, 03:15 PM
^ Anyone wanting to get rid of a savage give me a call, I have owned bunches of them and loved them all.

February 4, 2012, 03:53 PM
I wouldn't trade in the Axis 30-06 just to shoot cheap old corrosive ammo that will ruin an already bad barrel.

February 4, 2012, 04:33 PM
Well I do love mosin's, I have to agree that If you want one just buy it they are not expensive. If you are dead set on the swap though I have a purdy 91/30 I would trade you hehehe.

February 4, 2012, 04:34 PM
The Mosin is worth haveing, its an accurate rifle.

I wouldnt "sporterize" any Mosin, I collect them, and the wood has a use in the deep cold, as well as protecting the rifle too.
The M-38 is going up in value and is handy as it is. You can find mods, and if thats what to gonna do, then the 91/30 would be more appropriate.

Mosins are VERY accurate, and modern surplus from the 50's onward is just fine. I use 50's Czeck and 70's Russian light ball , and I get 200 yard 2 inch groups easily, with My M-39 and my M91/30's.
The highest scoreing Snipers in the world used Mosin Nagants.

Olympics medals have been won with the Mosin Nagant

I wouldnt lighten the rifle a bit, it is a Mans rifle, and the weight makes the balance and reduces felt recoil.Takes a man to carry one, but pesant Russian boys did fine.

There are MANY "hunting loads" on the market now, Google "7.62X54R hunting ammo for sale" and see.

If your rifle has a bad bore and is rusty from the corrosive ammo, then who ever was shooting it didnt clean it properly , like a Russian Pesant did, in the mud, snow and summers dust of WWII.

Corrosive ammo is easy to clean up, just use hot water to dissolve and flush the salts with, it drys itself, then clean as you would regulrly, brsuh ,slovet, patches, oil.....

I shoot to 400 yards on Caribou and such because im on open Tundra and can see for miles, which means animals see me too. I can shoot much further with theopen sights, but that pretty rare and mostly for Wolves.

Only accurate rifles are interesting, and the Mosin is very interesting.
You can find trigger mods and cleaning tips, as well as reload brass for an exceedingly accurate rifle, here and at ""

If your 30-06 aint feeling right annd a Mosin is, thats the way to go, but be sure the bullets go where you want, thats what its all about.

Good luck.:D

February 4, 2012, 04:35 PM
Not to be mean but you need slapped in the back of your head. You have a great rifle that is capable of downing whitetails at distances well over 400. Not too mention the most versatile cartridge ever created for large game with the most selection of factory ammo there is sold at every gas station , Walmart and Burger King in deer country.

Now your thinking about swapping to a 85 dollar gun that is barely capable of pie plate accuracy at 200 yards? :banghead:

February 4, 2012, 04:38 PM
dont settle for 1 mosin off the axis get at least 2 or 3 out of it :D

February 4, 2012, 04:54 PM
Every Mosin I've ever seen was a pie plate gun at 100yds and I've seen plenty. Russian "snipers" were so successful because they were shooting in a gallery loaded with targets. NOT because the rifle was so "accurate".

Like everything else Russian, they're built like tanks and work in any climate. But to achieve that you have to have very loose tolerances.... loose tolerances DO NOT promote accurate rifles.

They're cheap plinkers and that's what they're best left doing.

Keep your Savage.... you've already got a modern rifle chambered in the best all around cartridge in the world.

February 4, 2012, 05:02 PM
Don't sporterize the M38. The barrel is too short for hunting without hearing protection and can cause perm hearing damage.

If it were me I'd keep the AXIS and work on saving up a couple hundred dollars (for Rifle and Case of Ammo). 99% of sporterized Nagants couldn't match what you have with the AXIS today.

If you choose to go ahead and sporterize one pick up a common 91/30 with good bore and go to town. Just don't be dissapointed when if it doesn't turn out to be a good target rifle.

February 4, 2012, 05:19 PM
Don't sporterize the M38. The barrel is too short for hunting without hearing protection and can cause perm hearing damage.

If it were me I'd keep the AXIS and work on saving up a couple hundred dollars (for Rifle and Case of Ammo). 99% of sporterized Nagants couldn't match what you have with the AXIS today.

If you choose to go ahead and sporterize one pick up a common 91/30 with good bore and go to town. Just don't be dissapointed when if it doesn't turn out to be a good target rifle.
Whats wrong with a short barrel 6.5x55, mine has a 22" barrel and it is remarkably quiet for a high power centerfire. I would not cut one down to 16" or anything but the 6.5x55 is well known for it's mild manners.
Edit. My bad, I forgot they made a MN carbine and also called it M38. I hear M38 and think back to Grandpa's Sweed LOL.

February 4, 2012, 05:24 PM
yeah can buy mosins for a little over a hundred just about anywhere, 5 boxes of 30-06 will cost you that much. havent ever quite figured out why they are so popular, guess cause of the price for one. Buds gun shop had em for just over a hundred few days ago, no sales tax, free shipping only transfer fee to your FFL.

February 4, 2012, 05:29 PM
I'm just messin around. I have two savages myself.

February 4, 2012, 05:31 PM
The M 38 is a handy size rifle for hunting.Since you already have it, take it to the range and put several boxes of ammo through it. If you find its accuracy acceptable for the type of hunting you expect to be doing, then just use it as is.
My experience with a mosin M44 has been good.

Njal Thorgeirsson
February 4, 2012, 05:55 PM
I decided to sporterize an old mosin as well. I left my first mosin in its original configuration- it shoots quite well, and as far as i can tell (I'm no master with iron sights) it shoots sub-MOA even with surplus garbage ammo. But the one I bought to sporterize turned out to be a dud. The barell was slightly pitted. That in itself didn't ruin it, but the 24+ MOA groups certainly did (Not kidding). Just be careful and have em clean the barrel out before you buy one to make sure there is no pitting, and that the rifling is clean and sharp. And shoot it a bit before you spend time/money sporterizing. Savage rifles don't look as cool, and aren't as classy as the old school mosins, but wheny you buy a Savage, you're undoubtedly going to get a gun thats more accurate than almost every surplus Mosin. And non-surplus non-corrosive ammo for the mosin is about $.50/round. Better than 30-06, but is it worth the risk of getting a crap gun?

February 4, 2012, 11:44 PM
Google "Simo Hayha" the worlds top scoring Sniper...........and he used open sights and was Finnish.

If you have time, heres some pretty common goings on with a Mosin Nagant, a tool I use to make a liveing with. ( ( ( ( (

Quite often, Poor shooting on the riflemans part and bad ammo can play a part in "Pie plate" at 200 yards and less.

You can smooth your trigger, shim the action with aluminum from a pop can to float the barrel and buff the chamber fairly easily in just a couple hours with minimal tools and watch the rifle improve markedly.

As well, I use Czeck light ball (silver tips), Russian from the 70's (older Russian sux!!!) an Polish light ball to great effect, and have been experimenting with handloads this winter, and I may have a reason to buy an M28/76 target variation of the Mosin.

Skills, consitant ammo and an inherently accurate rifle, and you will have notable sucess in shooting and hitting what your shooting at.

The most carefully accurized standard issue rifle outside U.S. military issue are the Finnish Arrmy and Civil Guard variations of the Mosin Nagant.They made the best.

No matter who makes your rifle or what it shoots , placement is everything. The bullet is the weapon, the rest is a delivery system.

If you cant kill it with a 30-06, you should hide.

February 5, 2012, 03:31 AM
I'd keep the Axis. I have one, and have my buddy's sporterized M91/30 that I shoot pretty regularly, and as much as I love the M91/30, it just is a plinker. Not nearly as many options for hunting rounds, lower accuracy (practical accuracy is fine, but who doesn't enjoy making a 1" group?), and it takes just as much money to sporterize an M91/30 as it does to buy another Axis. And as heavy as the Axis trigger pull is, the Mosin Nagant is going to have a heavier one (not that it can't be fixed on either).

February 5, 2012, 03:48 AM
As I understand what you said, you just bought the Savage, so now you have a .30-06.

You also said that you already have a Mosin M38, so I'm confused. Why sell the Savage to buy a Mosin, if you already have a Mosin? The M38 is a carbine, which should be ideal for deer hunting at shorter ranges than the Savage. Ballistics of the two rounds will be so close there's no point in changing.

IMO, you just need to buy some good hunting ammo for the M38, and go make friends with it and the ammo. Forget about shooting the surplus crap through it, if you want it for hunting then shoot the same ammo you'd use for hunting. Figure out what it likes and where it groups the best with what ammo. Even consider handloading your own hunting ammo for it for better consistency and accuracy.

Just because there's cheap surplus ammo available for Mosins doesn't mean you have to shoot it in your Mosins.

That M38 should make a dandy hunting rifle if you spend some time getting to know it. There's no reason to buy a 91/30 and then try modify it into what your Savage already is.

Now, buying a 91/30 for other reasons is a whole 'nother story.....

Arkansas Paul
February 5, 2012, 05:11 AM
You can also get cheap ammo for the .30-06. My brother bought a few boxes of Silver Bear softpoints, I forget the grain, for I think $9 a box. Never had a deer go very far either. Took a 159 6/8" 10 point with one too.

I wouldn't do it. Your call though.

February 5, 2012, 08:09 AM
I had a friend a couple of years ago approach me and said he had bought a lot of 5 MNs. Offered to sell me one at his cost ~ $60. I bought it sight unseen. Next day, he delivered what looked to be an unissued, unfired, brand new carbine. I was really pumped, took quite a lot of cleaning ~ the packing grease had been on it since the 40s. I eventually re-finished the stock. In the end it has been the cheapest dollar wise of any rifle I own. And turned out to be the best looking rifle in my gun case.

As far as shooting goes, I have no complaints in that area either. Most deer and other large game where I live are taken between 50 and 75 yards. My MN with open sights does everything I need or want. I really like the Sellier & Bellot Soft Point 180 Grain.

Go for the MN ~ and keep the other rifle too. Its not going to break the bank.

hang fire
February 5, 2012, 02:25 PM
If you want GOOD ammo for cheap learn to handload, that way you won't ever have to worry about mil-surp, and heck maby the combonation of a Mosin and quality handloads would be a good shooter.

And get some of the $20.00 Lee DC molds and cast your own boolits, takes another step out of the supply line. Just saying.

February 5, 2012, 03:08 PM
Please remember... "cheap surplus ammo" ALWAYS sells out and it's no longer cheaper. In the long run COMMON is always cheaper.

February 5, 2012, 08:41 PM
The original Mosin loads were changed from a round nosed 220 grn bullet to a 149grn. spire pointed bullet and differing ballistics in 1908, much like the original round nosed loaded .30-03 cartridge for the 1903 Springfield service rifles. The spire pointed bullet upgrade in 1906, hence the .30-06 cartridge, with the brass remaining the same, but bullets, loads and recoil were different and in 1908 the Russians had to place a cross bolt "recoil lug" into the stock, because the increased recoil would cause the stock to split. Unalterd stocks are highly sought by collectors on unalterd Mosin Nagants from the first variations.
The 1903 Springfield was up graded for the .30-06 cartridge in the same basic improvements with the new bullet/powder combo, new rear sights, added recoil lug, throat of rifle relived, ect.

Unlike the metalurgical problems the US had with tempering recivers for early 1903 Springfields (Julian Hatchers notebook covers the story in detail) The Russian got the Mosin Nagants reciver right from the start. We perfected that work inthe later recivers and again in the Enfield 1917 rifle.

The US is just getting up to date on Mosin smithing, triggers, barrels, hunting ammo, accessories and such, much like Mausers, in the gunsmithing world, and shedding our hatered for the former Soviet Union and the cold war.

February 6, 2012, 01:21 PM
I loves me some mosin. But I think you ought to stick with the 30-06 for hunting. Mosins are cheap to shoot @ about 20-25 cents per round, but that's FMJ Steel core rounds (almost always) which is illegal for hunting in most states. For deer hunting, the ammo will be about the same price, between $0.75 and $2.00 per round.

That said, there's not a whole lot that a 30-06 can do that a 7.62x54R can't. And, yes, get a M91/30 to use if you decide to go that route. As others have said, you could probably get enough out of the M38 to finance a M91/30 and the other parts needed for it.

I don't think the cheap surplus ammo for this particular rifle will run out any time soon because it's still being actively fielded by some of the larger minor powers around the world.


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