New here, and bearing questions about the 91/30...


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Paper_Zombie
February 2, 2013, 11:20 PM
I've been looking around for a decent firearms forum, and after some searching, decided on the high-road, since it seemed one of the more friendly ones.

So, I'm going to try and pick your brains for morsels of useful information to help me out in my (somewhat) newfound hobby.

I've recently fallen in love with my newly purchased 91/30, and even though that's not my only gun, it's the one I have any serious questions about, but I didn't want to join a community based specifically around that gun, so hopefully there's some Mosin-Nagant owners here that can help.

1. The bore was in pretty bad condition when I first got it, so I spent about 2 1/2 hours, two brass brushes, and about 80-100 patches to get it nice and bright. Now, the patches come out with less black and red, but they're turning bluish-green around the edges! What is this!?

2. The mil-surp ammo that I've bought (but haven't received yet) seems to be lead-core, steel jacketed, and copper-washed. Is this really semi armor piercing, or is that only steel-CORE ammo? (Also three metals on a slug seems like overkill, but whatever, lol)

3. Is it just me, or is this gun a helluva lot of fun to shoot? :P

Sorry if I seem a bit excited...I only got to shoot it for the first time today, after spending 3 days refinishing the stock and devouring information about them on the web. I guess I'm still enjoying the afterglow.:D

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TurtlePhish
February 3, 2013, 12:45 AM
Hey, welcome to THR! You've just joined one of the best gun forums there is. :)

I too love Mosins, as you might guess from my sig line...

The blue-green you're seeing on the patches is copper fouling being dissolved. Your rifle probably has a TON of it. I recommend KG-12 or Sweet's 7.62 to clean it out. It'll probably help accuracy quite a bit.

Any more information you can give on the ammunition? Paint on the bullet tip, country of origin, bullet weight, etc? The only TRUE armor-piercing 7.62x54r will have a tip painted black (I think, not positive on this). It'll also cost much more than ordinary surplus or commercial ammo- think $3-$5/cartridge. The majority of 7.62x54r surplus has a mild steel core to reduce the cost of production. It doesn't have a very dramatic effect on metal, certainly not what you'd consider AP, but it'll mess up a steel target. The lead-core stuff will act just like ordinary FMJ.

And yes, Mosins are fun. :D I've got three of them, myself.

Think you could post some pics of yours?

Paper_Zombie
February 3, 2013, 01:24 AM
I can easily get some pics, and would love to share them, though I'm afraid my wood-finishing skills leave a little to be desired. I'll take a couple tomorrow morning.

Sweating the cosmoline out proved to be a little harder than I thought, so I just sanded, stained and oiled, and hoped for the best. There are still some dark spots from what I assume are skin-oil stains from previous "owners".

As for the ammo, this is what I got: http://www.copesdistributing.com/russian-762x54r-147gr-440rd-silver-p-6012.html

"Copper Washed Silver Tip produced from the 1970s to 1980s. steel cased, Berdan primed,..."

As for the copper fouling, I'm glad that's all it is. I was assuming it was residual salts from surp ammo. I can't find anything but hoppes locally, so I'll probably just let it work itself out during the next few range-visits / cleanings.

Today was the first time I've tried shooting at 100 yards w/ iron sights...so I'm not sure if the inaccuracy was due to the rifle or me...probably I don't want to know, lol.

(Edit) Just thought of two more questions...

I put about 45 rounds through the rifle today, with generous cooldown time in-between (humping back to the house for tools & targets) and had absolutely no issues with feeding rounds, until the very last mag. It absolutely refused to chamber the first round, and I finally had to dump the magazine and reload them, and it worked fine.

I've noticed that when there are 5 rounds, the topmost lays "flatter" than if you only loaded it with say, three. Is there a technique to making sure the first round chambers correctly?

The second question is...while carrying the rifle by the sling, the bolt has a tendency to work itself loose and fall back to the open position. Kinda scary the first couple times, because it sounds like a shotgun being racked, lol. Should I be worried? It performed fine while firing, to the point that I'm not worried it's going to slam back in my face.

Finally, an observation; I've seen many people say they have a heck of a time mounting / removing their bayonet. While it's not something I'll have on it very often, mine goes on like butter, and locks solid. It comes off with the same ease. Should I just consider myself lucky, or are the others doing something wrong? :P

cyclopsshooter
February 3, 2013, 02:20 AM
I have a 1944 M44 and it's a blast! Welcome

BCRider
February 3, 2013, 03:47 AM
Welcome aboard!

I've got a couple of Mosins and like you I really enjoy them. Likely BECAUSE of the learning issues.

I went through the same two brushes and bazillions of patches to originally clean the bore as well. Then when I figured I was all done I took it shooting with some surplus ammo. When I got home I patched it out with water to get rid of the corrosive salts then put a couple of Hoppes #9 patches thru the bore. I found that they were coming out blue/green again. So out came the Wipe-Out bore cleaner all over. I was shocked that only a few rounds had restored all the copper fouling.

I figure it's likely due to the nature of the copper washed steel bullet jackets. The thin plating likely wears off in a blink. The milsurp ammo is pretty bad for consistency anyway. And with any rifle poor ammo consistency is going to produce poor accuracy. So the hunt is on now to find some dies and Boxer primered brass and get into reloading my own rounds.

To give you an idea even with plain iron sights my fuzzy old guy eyes are OK for managing around 4 inch groups at 100 yards. My Mosins with milsurp ammo are grouping out more at around 10 inches. The hope is to cut this back down to my usual 4 inch groups..... which for most other sharp eye'd shooters would translate to more around a 2 inch grouping.

When the full on heat of summer comes around a trick you can do to sweat out more of the cosmoline is to set the wood stock parts only out in the hot sun. If it's breezy then put the wood into a black plastic garbage bag. The bag will hold the heat and the cosmoline will sweat out like crazy. About ever 10 to 15 minutes wipe off as much as you can with paper towels. When it finally doesn't sweat much any more than you can oil it with some boiled linseed or some sort of tung oil finish. This is best applied with a small wad of 0000 steel wool to rub it on and smoothen the wood. Let the oil soak in for a few minutes then vigorously wipe off the excess with paper towels. If you're doing this in summer you can then leave the newly oiled stock out each day in the sun so the heat and UV in the sunshine can cure the oil pretty fast. A couple of days of that and you can recoat and wipe off the excess again. Then again leave the wood out in the heat and sun turning occasionally during the day. When the third coat isn't oil feeling and the smell has changed a little it's ready to put the rifle back together and you can go ahead and use it regularly.

Now the thing with an oil finish is that it's NEVER finished. Once ever few months for up to a year wipe on a little more oil then wipe down with dry rags or paper towels. You don't need to strip the gun down for this sort of "feeder" oilings. After a year you'll find that you only need to brighten up the oiled finish when it gets dull looking. Generally once every 8 to 12 months is about right.

TurtlePhish
February 3, 2013, 09:23 AM
That ammo's steel-core, copper-jacketed.

Shooting a Mosin at 100yds for the first time can be an interesting experience. ;) They normally hit very high above the point of aim- anywhere from 6-14 inches, sometimes even more. That could account for any inaccuracy you had.

The lockup you had with the first round of that magazine-full is what's called rimlock. The rim of the top cartridge caught on the rim of the one below it, keeping it from chambering easily. I find that the easiest thing to do is give the rear of the bolt a good whack forward.

The rifle was designed with what's called an interruptor, which also functions as the ejector. What it does is keep the top cartridge in the magazine completely isolated from the next one down, preventing the rims from locking up. It's a very good design and normally works very well. Your lockup may have been caused by simply not pushing the cartridges down enough when loading them initially.

Don't worry about the "flatness" of the top round WRT the number in the magazine- it should have no effect on function.

I've never heard of the bolt working loose while carrying the rifle, but as long as the rifle works properly I doubt there's anything to worry about.

You, sir, are lucky to have an easy bayonet. I don't ever mount mine unless I have a mallet handy.

Sam Cade
February 3, 2013, 01:34 PM
The second question is...while carrying the rifle by the sling, the bolt has a tendency to work itself loose and fall back to the open position.

The safety is the bolt lock.

soonerfan85
February 3, 2013, 03:01 PM
45 rounds today through a Mosin today and you're able to move your arm to type! :what: I am impressed. :)

Paper_Zombie
February 3, 2013, 06:37 PM
45 rounds today through a Mosin today and you're able to move your arm to type! I am impressed.

Actually...I didn't think the recoil was bad at all. I felt like I could shoot it all day, as opposed to the 12 ga., which kills me after about 18 shells.

Anyway, I promised pics:

full length (http://s1272.beta.photobucket.com/user/thebugmancometh/media/DSCN0188_zps4b9fc3b4.jpg.html?sort=3&o=4)

receiver & bolt (http://i1272.photobucket.com/albums/y400/thebugmancometh/DSCN0189_zpscdf6f623.jpg)

Here I tried to take some pictures of the bore, but my camera really isn't set up for that. Nonetheless, you can still see some detail.

bore 1 (http://i1272.photobucket.com/albums/y400/thebugmancometh/DSCN0195_zps32919c51.jpg)

bore 2 (http://i1272.photobucket.com/albums/y400/thebugmancometh/DSCN0194_zpsc8a55af1.jpg)

bore 3 (http://i1272.photobucket.com/albums/y400/thebugmancometh/DSCN0190_zps3082614e.jpg)

(edit) oh yeah, lol. The first and third bore pics show off my little sight adjustment. Like? :P

mr.trooper
February 3, 2013, 06:59 PM
Steel core ammunition is not armor piercing. The core is made of very soft mild steel - it is not any more or less armor piercing than standard FMJ ammunition. Level III and IV rifle plates should have no trouble stopping it. They used steel because it was cheaper and more plentiful than lead, and for no other reason.

Real AP ammunition has a hardened steel or tungsten penetrator as a component separate from the jacket or core, or is simply very light and fast. Either way they work on the same principle.

Virtually any centerfire rifle cartridge will penetrate up to level IIIA armor regardless of what type of bullet is used (even soft points). It is velocity relative to cross section that defeats Kevlar armor, not energy or material voodoo. The key is to exceed the speed at which the fibers can stretch to deal with the impact. That is why IIIA armor is rated for a 9mm +P @ 1,400fps AND a 44mag at 1,400 fps. The velocities are the same, even though the energy levels involved are vastly different.

That's the long of #2... The short of it is YES, the ammo will defeat any soft kevlar vest out there; but NO, it will not defeat any hard plates designed to stop a rifle.

Paper_Zombie
February 3, 2013, 07:54 PM
Steel core ammunition is not armor piercing. The core is made of very soft mild steel - it is not any more or less armor piercing than standard FMJ ammunition. Level III and IV rifle plates should have no trouble stopping it. They used steel because it was cheaper and more plentiful than lead, and for no other reason.

Real AP ammunition has a hardened steel or tungsten penetrator as a component separate from the jacket or core, or is simply very light and fast. Either way they work on the same principle.

Virtually any centerfire rifle cartridge will penetrate up to level IIIA armor regardless of what type of bullet is used (even soft points). It is velocity relative to cross section that defeats Kevlar armor, not energy or material voodoo. The key is to exceed the speed at which the fibers can stretch to deal with the impact. That is why IIIA armor is rated for a 9mm +P @ 1,400fps AND a 44mag at 1,400 fps. The velocities are the same, even though the energy levels involved are vastly different.

That's the long of #2... The short of it is YES, the ammo will defeat any soft kevlar vest out there; but NO, it will not defeat any hard plates designed to stop a rifle.
Thanks for that info. I guess I was confused as to what exactly armor-piercing meant. I knew a lot of them had hardened points.

Still...even "mild" steel is a lot harder than any kind of lead. I just assumed it would do a better job of penetration than a lead bullet going at the same velocities.

BCRider
February 3, 2013, 10:52 PM
The copper of proper copper jacketed bullets is harder than lead as well.

You are right though. Even dead soft mild steel is still harder and more spring'y than copper. Which is why ranges that have steel baffle backstops often do not allow steel jacketed ammo as it tends to break up and bounce back which tends to make the folks on the shooting line highly agitated at the small nicks and cuts they suddenly begin to experience when steel jacket ammo is used :D

For longer range rifle it's not a big a deal compared with short distance handgun ranges.

Paper_Zombie
February 4, 2013, 09:55 PM
All right...I'm going to share this, and you guys are going to think me daft...but, I'll make the sacrifice to keep up a small mosin discussion. :P

I mentioned I was refinishing the stock of the rifle in my earlier posts. Well...It's so nice and shiny now (I added a couple coats of oil after I took the pics), that I then decided that the metal looked pretty boring in comparison.

You probably see where this is going...

I wanted to polish my blued steel.

So I scoured the nets (including some archived threads here on High Road), and really...found nothing conclusive except that if I was going to do it, the absolute best way is Rennaissance Wax...which I've never heard of, and don't intend on buying if I can't get it at Lowes or Wally World...because I'm impatient that way. :D

I also knew that, before waxing, I needed to degrease whatever was going to be affected...so instead of buying a bonafide gun degreaser...I went with something closer to hand, namely Krud-Kutter. This is -supposed- to be a really safe cleaner, with no harsh solvents, and usable on just about everything.

Yeeaahhh...It started to strip off my bluing.:banghead:

Well, I caught it before it did any real damage...and decided to plow forward, despite my barrel being a tad grayer than before. -_-

I couldn't find any "real" Carnauba wax...so I went with someone's suggestion of good ol' Turtle Wax. "Wax on, Wipe off"

Hooray...hopefully I'll get that high-gloss shine I was aiming for. If not...well, I was thinking about having it re-blued anyway, lol.

Before anyone vilifies me for desecrating this wood and metal piece of history, know that I consider this gun to be, if anything, a project gun. Mine in particular is not a collector piece, and nothing I plan to do is going to affect how it performs, only how it looks. I would never even -think- about touching any of my other guns in this fashion, because there's simply nothing I could do to improve them. My beat-up, 80-year-old Mosin, however, could use a little TLC, even if my good intentions don't always work out.:rolleyes:

Bhi curamach
February 5, 2013, 12:05 AM
Excellent! My favorite non semi auto rifle lures in another!
Welcome!
That being said, I have to ask how are you so sure your rifle is of no collector value while asking the questions in your original post?
If your savy enough to discern all the minutiae of collector details surely you'd possess the answers to your questions??
Aaaand, I'm done.
Busting your chops that is.
I mean no harm, consider it very mild good natured teasing.
Seriously.
Odds are its a standard war era refurbish of no importance. More importantly,its yours to do as you see fit.
I see others have addressed your questions so I will only add that maybe, the bolt opening was due to you not closing it fully.
I did it once. Very embarrassing.
Those things can require a bit of force to fully seat.
So perhaps it was a mere fluke.
At any rate, happy shooting.
Please don't be alarmed to find multiple MNs or varients in your safe, they multiply like rabbits in the dark when your not
looking!
Cheers!

Way to many commas in my post. Not sure what that's about...
Sorry.

Rubber_Duck
February 5, 2013, 12:33 AM
Mosin-Nagants tend to multiply, just give it time. I own a couple of M91/59s, a Finnish-capture M91/30, and a Finnish M39. I continue to search for more Finn M39s, thy are the Rolls Royce of Mosins.

Oh, and welcome! This is a good message board, the first one I joined as I've been here longer than any other.

pty101
February 5, 2013, 01:09 AM
Welcome to THR! Mosins are awesome glad your were able to get.

1. Im not sure

2. The ammo you bought is common milsurplus and its corrosive.

3. Yes they are a great time to shoot. and cheap

Centurian22
February 5, 2013, 01:48 AM
Welcome! Mosin's are an awesome hobby. Your questions have been mostly addressed. As for 'rimlock' just ensure as you load each 'new/top' round it is loaded with its rim in front of the one below it. I have a 1942 Tula 91/30 and couldn't be happier. I was lucky mine wasn't nearly as caked in Cosmo as I expected. It has brass end caps on the upper hand guard which potentially indicated it was awarded to an officer. Since it hasn't been mentioned check out www.7.62x54r.net for ALL things mosin!

I just recently did a trigger shim, trigger polish, bolt polish, and corked the action and barrel. Still need to fit and add a spring to perfect the two stage trigger but it is smooth and measures right at 4-4.5lbs with a very clean break now. MAJOR improvement over how it came. Mine was always right on at 100yards so didn't need the front sight mod. With the latest improvements four different people (two who had never fired a mosin) were breaking clays at 75 and 100 yards with just the iron sights. I also plan to add a couple more pieces of cork and possibly paint the rear sight and sharpen the front though that may push the limits of my traditionalist approach.

Enjoy and keep us posted on your progress.

bainter1212
February 5, 2013, 08:44 AM
Congratulations on your new Mosin!!! Everyone here pretty much covered all the bases. I would add that Hoppes is a great bore cleaner if used properly. I have a short but extremely helpful video of Darrel Holland instructing on the proper cleaning of rifle bores, and his method works great if used with Hoppes. OP, PM me with your email address if you would like a copy of that video.

If you enjoyed reading about "New here, and bearing questions about the 91/30..." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!