Shooting .308 out of a Moisin-Nagant?


March 27, 2004, 12:01 PM
Bought a Moisin-Nagant yesterday, dated 1943, for $129. I was told it's chambered for 7.62 x 54R. I know that 7.62 = .308, but I've done a lot of Googling and searching and I can't find any info on whether or not I can actually shoot .308 Win out of this rifle.

Is .308 win too short to shoot out of my bolt-action Moisin-Nagant, or does it matter?

Also, any guesses as to this rifle's country of origin would be very helpful. I can provide details. The bore was dirty (of course), but it cleaned up real good. :p

Also, I bought some milsurp ammo for it online (Kiestler, 148 gr. FMJ, $39.95 for a tin of 440 rounds.) While browsing some other ammo, I noticed it said, "Not for hunting use!" Why would that be? Exposed lead?

Thanks for any thoughts! Also, any particular quirks this rifle has would be good to know about. I've Googled it and all I found were rifles for sale, but not a whole lot of info, except that it was designed 100 years ago for the Czar of Russia.

If you enjoyed reading about "Shooting .308 out of a Moisin-Nagant?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
March 27, 2004, 12:04 PM
From what I understand you should be able to use .308 bullets for the Mosin Nagant. I haven't started reloading for my 91/30 (I haven't even shot it yet, it's still disassembled while I'm refinishing the stock) but I've been reading up on it.

For more info on the Mosin Nagant:

Greg L
March 27, 2004, 12:05 PM
Probably Russian given the date of manufacture. Let us know what some of the markings are & we can let you know for sure.

I doubt if you can safely shoot .308 (fully loaded cartridges, bullets maybe if you reload them into Russian brass) out of it (if it will even chamber) the brass is a different shape. Strap it to a tree with a long piece of string & let us know :D .

FMJ is illegal for hunting most everywhere as it will shoot through most animals wounding rather than killing quickly.

March 27, 2004, 12:11 PM
OK, lot of stuff in there, so I'll start from the beginning.

No, you can't fire .308 Winchester ammo in a M-N. The 7.62x54mmR cartridge, for starters, is rimmed; the .308 is not. So it won't feed right. Also, the .308 Win is shorter-it's also known as the 7.62x51mm. I don't know the actual specifics on case diameter, so I can't comment on that.

Also keep in mind that some labels can be slightly misleading. IIRC, the 7.62x54 bore diameter is actually .311", not .308. And the 7.5x55mm (aka 7.5 Swiss) is .308. A good loading manual can tell you the actual bullet diameter of a given caliber.

As for why the ammo say's "Not for Hunting" if it's milsurp ammo, it's FMJ (Full Metal Jacket), meaning the bullet isn't going to expand going through whatever you're hunting. Thus a much great chance of going right through the animal leaving a .311" wide hole, wounding and not killing. If you really want to hunt with the Mosin, Wolf Ammo makes soft points that will do the job.

For more info on mosins, try or

March 27, 2004, 12:17 PM
Thanks for the links! I matched up some of the markings on the barrel shank, and it appears to be Romanian. How do those compare to Russian?


March 27, 2004, 12:18 PM
I was looking at the other responses. I didn't realize the original poster was asking if he could shoot .308 cartridges in his Mosin Nagant and not .308 bullets.

March 27, 2004, 12:51 PM

Just to make absolutely clear:

308 Winchester in a 7.62x54R rifle like Mosin Nagant is a dangerous combination. You may ge away with it or you may rupture the case and/or destroy the rifle. I don't want to be the one that test how well a handles gas from a ruptured case and neither do you!

Most proper cartridges will be marked 7.62x54R or 7.62x53R. Don't use anything else.

Proper hunting ammo can be had. Norma and Sellier & Bellot both produce high quality soft point hunting ammo.


March 27, 2004, 12:56 PM
Winchester started offering 7.62x54R Russian just last year:

March 27, 2004, 01:05 PM
Thanks, y'all--I'll have to check out the Win 7.62 x 54R hunting ammo.

Ocabj--BTW, I'm not a 'he." (And there's only one other choice...) :)


March 27, 2004, 04:38 PM
Wolf also offers soft points in 7.62x54R.

Both Wolf and S&B are economically priced. The 180gr. S&B is a bit more expensive than Wolf, but I prefer it since it shoots to the same POI as my 172/180gr. surplus FMJ. The Wolf is 200gr. and shoots like 5" higher at 100 yards. is a good source for these two.

March 28, 2004, 08:21 AM
Never shoot a caliber in your firearm that your gun was not designed to shoot. You only have one face. I see these questions all the time on gun boards. For the life of me I cannot understand why somebody would ever consider trying to fire a round in a gun that was not made to be fired in that gun. Bad news. Never do it.

AV1611 out...

March 28, 2004, 09:03 AM
Your rifle may have ended up Romanian, but all Mosin-Nagants I know of aside from the original few thousand in 1891 were made in Russia. That, and a batch of several thousand made by Remington in the US for the Czar's army during WW1 that didn't get delivered because of the Revolution (collectors pieces those are!).

That and the fact that in 1943, Romania was on the German side and using Mausers. :)

March 28, 2004, 09:11 AM
Thats kinda scary. NO you CANNOT shoot .308 Winchester (7.62 X 51 NATO) in your old Mosin. Geez.

Beetle Bailey
March 28, 2004, 06:38 PM
I matched up some of the markings on the barrel shank, and it appears to be Romanian.

Bought a Moisin-Nagant yesterday, dated 1943, for $129.

FWIW, the Romanian arsenal mark is an arrowhead in a triangle and the Ishevsk (Soviet) arsenal mark is a arrow in a triangle (complete arrow). The two marks look kinda the same, esp. if not stamped very hard. If it's 1943, it's more likely Soviet-made, as mentioned above.

But regardless, if it's in nice shape it should be a pretty good rifle, as these are known for their reliability. Do you have the MN 91/30 (about 29" barrel) or the MN 38 (about 20" barrel)? If it's the MN 38, make sure you double up on hearing protection :uhoh: . Also, the safety takes a bit of effort to engage. You pull back on the cocking piece and rotate counterclockwise about a quarter-turn, then release. Do the opposite to take it "off-safe." BTW, if you decide to shoot surplus ammo in it, be aware that surplus 7.62x54r is corrosive and you should run a patch of windex thru the bore and then clean normally as soon as you are done shooting. HTH ;) .

March 28, 2004, 07:40 PM
NO! It would be bad, very bad, if you managed to do it. The .308 is a completely different cartridge with its origins dating back to the .30'06 and 7x57 Mauser. The 7.62x54R is an archaic cartridge using .311" bullets and having an utterly different rimmed, sloped-shoulder design more akin to our .30/30 than the .308. .308" bullets can be loaded into the 7.62x54R but it will decrease accuracy. The only Mosins to take .308" bullets are certain older Finnish Mosins using special barrels.

March 28, 2004, 11:50 PM
however, the two cartridges have nearly identical performance

March 29, 2004, 12:16 AM
That's true, but the 7.62x54R has an edge on power in Norma or handloads and can handle big 180 and 200 grain bullets better than the .308 Win.

It's an example of the Russian tendency to stick with what works. And it is an excellent cartridge in spite of its archaic design.

March 29, 2004, 01:24 AM
Previous posters have covered the subject pretty well, except for ammo cost.

I'm a reloader, and wanted a .308 WIN/NATO rifle so I could take advantage of the surplus ammo to shoot once and then reload, making for really inexpensive shooting. So, I bought one.

Surprise! There is no surplus American or Boxer-primed ammo on the market (other than from India), and the good quality Berdan-primed Australian, Portugese, and South African stuff is both scarcer and more expensive than the 7.62 x 54R ammo, which appears to be of equally good quality! (There is a lot of inexpensive Boxer-primed Indian NATO ammo available...and there are also photos of an FAL, CETME, and MG-42 that it has been blamed for blowing up!)

So, if you want to shoot a cartridge of that power fairly inexpensively, go with the 7.62 x 54R!

March 29, 2004, 11:28 AM
Another Russian ammo maker, "Barnaul Arsenal" also makes a soft-point in 7.62x54R. IIRC, it is a 200-grain round. Shootg well ion my Romanian M-44 carbine.

March 29, 2004, 01:39 PM
.308 Win out of a Mosin

Yes, a .308 Win cartridge will fire out of a Mosin, BUT as stated above it is a BAD IDEA.

A few years ago, my buddy and I were shooting our M-44s. On the same day at the range, I brought my PSS (.308). While I was trying to sight in my M-44, my buddy shot up a pile of my 7.62x54 (thinking it was his). He then grabbed my PSS and dumped out a pile .308 Win where my 7.62x54 had been. You can see what comes next. I grabbed a round, chambered it and took a shot. The recoil seemed less and the round failed to eject. Puzzled, I used a cleaning rod to knock the round out of the chamber. I examined the round and noticed that about a quarter inch up from the rim, the case was split all the way around. Looking closer, I noticed a noticed the .308 headstamp. Anyway, I was lucky & God was merciful. The rifle and I were fine. Learn from my mistake & don't try it for yourself.

March 29, 2004, 02:18 PM
If you shoot foreign ammo in your 7.62X54, make sure you clean thoroughly after each session. A lot of the ammo that is marked non-corrosive is actually mildly corrosive. It's just not as bad as the corrosive stuff. Always clean well afterwards and it'll be fine.

March 29, 2004, 02:23 PM
A good rule of thumb: Only fire what the gun is marked for. If it says 9mm, use 9mm. Fewer people blow up when you observe this rule. ;)

A lot of the ammo that is marked non-corrosive is actually mildly corrosive.

Kinda like being mildly pregnant. :)

March 29, 2004, 02:46 PM
If it says 9mm, use 9mm.

9mm Mak? 9mm Luger? 9x23?

I do seem to recall an amusing story about a gang-banger type who bought a pistol in one of the less-common 9mm calibers, then apparently when somewhere like Wally World for ammo. Of course, clerk gave him 9mm Luger. Said banger's pistol of course, didn't work very well in his next crime. :p

March 29, 2004, 03:11 PM
9mm Mak? 9mm Luger? 9x23?

Oh please, mister smarty-pants. You know what I meant. :neener:

March 29, 2004, 03:35 PM
Well, I wrote a letter to the editor during the DC 'sniper' shooting pointing out how many different cartridges used bullets that are .224" in diameter. Quite a goodly number, actually.

If you enjoyed reading about "Shooting .308 out of a Moisin-Nagant?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!