Russian 91/30 question


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piece of meat
May 3, 2014, 08:43 PM
Ive seen some of these locally that appear to be in decent shape and are under $200...im interested in picking one up. What are you guys' experience with these ww2-era mosins? Is it a decent shooter for the price? Im not expecting it to be a tack driver, i just like its history, its price, and the rep for being reliable and tough as nails.
Also, how is the current ammo availability for these? Did the recent ammo scare affect this round or is it still easy to find/cheap??
Any input appreciated!

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ZGunner
May 3, 2014, 09:38 PM
I wouldn't pay near $200. I'd be more in the $120 range for a decent rifle, in a free state of course. Make sure the bore looks good, rifling is clean, no pitting.

Ammo can be had. In early January my local Gander Mountain had 440 spam cans for $110. Jump online and you should be able to find it for about that if not less.

I have a 1943 91/30 and an (1945?) M44, both are OK shooters. I see about 5-6" groups at 100 yards, this is acceptable. I bought the 91/30 from a WI Gander for $99 in 2012. My wife traded a Mossberg 17hmr that would group 4" at 50 for the M44. Funny story about that, the guy said it was tip top and almost ran away once he had the Mossberg. Come to find out it would not eject anything because the ejector was in backwards. Joke is on him, he has a 8 MOA varmint gun.

03teufel
May 3, 2014, 10:38 PM
I own both an M91/30 and an M44. There's not a lot I can say about them really. They're a bolt action rifle that works, period. There's nothing special about them other than the fact they're so cheap. It's nice to have a 'beater' around in the world of $1,000 rifles.

Inspect the condition of the rifling before purchasing. Mosins are a dime a dozen so you might as well pick the one with the best bore. Mosins can be surprisingly accurate if you find a good one. The same can be said for any WW2 era surplus rifle. Also be aware the recoil can be a little steep for some shooters. I personally don't mind the 91/30 as far as recoil but the carbine length rifles will definitely let you know you just fired it.

rcmodel
May 3, 2014, 10:43 PM
See this's about that!

http://www.jgsales.com/mosin-nagant-91-30-round-receiver-rifle,-russian-mfg,-7.62x54r,-c-r,-used.-hand-select-grade.-p-1041.html

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/411540201

rc

ZGunner
May 3, 2014, 10:46 PM
carbine length rifles will definitely let you know you just fired it.

Not to mention the huge fire ball it produces! Which is pretty cool at night.

LAGS
May 4, 2014, 12:09 AM
If you can afford it, go ahead and buy two M N's right now.
Because I guarantee, that once you have one, you will want to buy another.
I have restrained myself over the past few years, and I am down to only six right now.
Dang good shooters, and reliable as all get out.
I even build Customs out of some of them that hold less than 1" groups consistantly at 100 yards with handloads.

nathan
May 4, 2014, 02:12 AM
WIth all these mosin nagant rifles coming from the former SOviet state of Ukraine which happens to be in a state of civil war, i havent seen pictures of Mosin rifles used on either side. Thank goodness , or else there would have been more deaths . These Mosin s pack a punch and can go through body armor like swiss cheese.

LAGS
May 4, 2014, 02:21 AM
@ Nathan.
The same 7.62x54 round is still used in the Russian Machine guns.
But they retired the MN's years ago in favor of the AK's which still go thru body armor like butter at reasonable ranges.

Yes, J&G has them for $ 139.00 but with shipping and cost for use of an FFL you are still talking $200.00, unless you can drive up to Prescott and hand select the ones you want like I do.
But even with that, Gas runs more than $50.00 round trip.

nathan
May 4, 2014, 02:33 AM
Mosin Nagant rifles won the war for the SOviets against the German advance in WW2. And they are just as effective today as they were 70 plus years ago.

Cooldill
May 4, 2014, 02:40 AM
They beat a sharp stick but not by much.

Sure they fire a powerful round, but against an AR-15 tac carbine they are essentially worthless IMHO.

ZGunner
May 4, 2014, 03:10 AM
They beat a sharp stick but not by much.

Sure they fire a powerful round, but against an AR-15 tac carbine they are essentially worthless IMHO.

With a bayonet, they can BE a sharp stick! Lol

An AR-15 is inherently more accurate, yes. But I wouldn't say that makes a Mosin worthless. The draw for me is I never worry about it getting scratched, dirty, or cleaning honestly. Every time it pull the trigger it goes bang. What more can a guy ask for from a $100 rifle?

03teufel
May 4, 2014, 09:57 AM
These Mosin s pack a punch and can go through body armor like swiss cheese.
It depends on the body armor. If you're talking about current issue US military body armor, that is false. The ESAPI plates are rated to stop a round of AP .30-06 which has more penetrating ability than 7.62x54. I will say that body armor is no guarantee, but 7.62x54 definitely won't go through our armor like butter. Can it penetrate our armor? Sometimes. Does it happen often? No.

But they retired the MN's years ago in favor of the AK's which still go thru body armor like butter at reasonable ranges.

ESAPI's are rated to stop MULTIPLE rounds of 7.62x39mm. Range does have an effect on the ability of a round to penetrate armor, but an AK isn't going to penetrate an ESAPI even within 25m. I will say again that body armor is no guarantee. One plate might stop five rounds of 7.62x54 and another might allow a single round of 5.56x45 to penetrate. Again, these things are extremely unlikely but they CAN happen.

They beat a sharp stick but not by much.
I'd say they beat a sharp stick by at least 500m.

Krozi
May 4, 2014, 11:18 AM
Aim Surplus has some for $129 plus shipping and FFL...and you don't get to pick and choose. In the end you more or less pay the same, so I would just pick one in person and get one you like.

BSA1
May 4, 2014, 01:11 PM
Because it was in production for so long bore sizes vary a lot.

Palehorseman
May 4, 2014, 01:38 PM
I started with a $25.00 cut down Tula MN, that has now grown to six, three of which are Finnish M39s. If a Finn M39 MN with a good bore and over all good condition is not accurate, don't blame the rifle, look in the mirror.

Two of the M39s are new and unissued 1968 mfg "No Name" (AKA Cheat) M39s and they are so accurate as to be boring.

giggitygiggity
May 4, 2014, 01:51 PM
I have a couple Mosins that I bought from AIM. One is a round receiver and the other is a hexagonal receiver. I did not get the hand-pick option, but both were in immaculate shape, much better than I was expecting. They are super accurate, even with the spam can surplus ammo. Very fun, powerful, accurate guns. The ammo did get affected slightly with the banning of 7n6. You used to be able to buy the 440rd spam cans for $90 a can. Now days, it's running $100-120 a can. Still not too shabby for a high-powered rifle round.

piece of meat
May 4, 2014, 03:16 PM
Thanks for the replies

gojuice101
May 5, 2014, 03:09 AM
Definitely awesome guns. The first long rifle that I ever actually bought, and that's what sparked my long-standing interest in guns, and especially surplus guns. They do kick a lot for some people, but its manageable. All the ones I've bought have been pretty accurate. And the cheap ammo is a plus. More expensive than it used to be, but still relatively cheap.

Got plans to pick another one up at the gun show in June. Been planning on building a sporter for a while.

Sailct41
May 5, 2014, 03:24 AM
I agree, buy as many as you can afford. with this surplus weapons once they are gone they seem to go crazy in price. the Nagant revolver last year sold for 99 now it is hard to find one for 250 and they are terrible revolvers. the 91 30 is a pretty decent rifle for what it was designed for. I put a timeny trigger on mine and a archangel stock, along with a scope and it sure is not like my Remington 700 with a vortex scope it is a pretty nice rifle for the 400 or so I have in it. OF course you could just pay the 129 from classic firearms and have a good shooter.

Guntoter
May 5, 2014, 08:53 AM
They beat a sharp stick but not by much.

Sure they fire a powerful round, but against an AR-15 tac carbine they are essentially worthless IMHO.
The Germans believed the same thing. They were wrong too.

MikeJackmin
May 5, 2014, 09:32 AM
They are good rifles, and too often they are under-rated simply because they are so inexpensive. When fed good ammunition they can shoot surprisingly well. The only real complaint I have against them is that the safety is awkward to use, but on the range the rifle can be made safe by simply opening the action so I never use it anyway.

A good ones have stamped, matching numbers on the bolt and receiver, and a crisp trigger pull. It will have a smoothly machined receiver that's dated 1941 or earlier, and an excellent bore and crown.

Avoid the ones with mismatched or electropenciled bolts, creepy triggers, or late-war receivers that were obviously coarsely machined under wartime conditions. These guns can shoot well, but they are a riskier buy.

All the surplus ammo I've seen is corrosive, which is fine if you _always_ clean the same day, and used a water-based cleaner for part of your process. Some of the surplus ammo is quite good, and some of it is awful, inaccurate, jam-inducing stuff that can make even a fine rifle act like a dog.

If you reload, you can pull the surplus bullets, replace the Russian powder with a softer load of new powder, and seat the bullets back again. You can load them down to 30-30 levels if you like and they are very comfortable to shoot.

You won't find a more reliable, more accurate centerfire rifle for $120. Buy the best one you can find and enjoy it.

Cooldill
May 6, 2014, 02:26 PM
The Germans believed the same thing. They were wrong too.
The Germans believed Mosins were inferior to AR-15s?

Wow. Didn't know that one.

The point is, going up against an operator armed with a tactical carbine is tantamount to suicide if all you have is a Nagant rifle. JMHO.

YMMV.

vanburen01
May 6, 2014, 05:05 PM
When purchasing a Mosin veriy that the serial numbers match on the receiver and bolt.

I purchased a Mosin about 2 years ago, it has matching numbers on bayonet, receiver, buttplate and bolt. You will need the head space checked before firing if the bolt and receiver don't match.

I paid $100.00 for mine that included clean kit, bayonet and oil bottle. After cleaning off the cosmoline and adjusting the sights it's just as accurate as my 700 Remington.

Military Surplus ammo is getting harder to find, but very cheap compaired to most ammo.

BCRider
May 6, 2014, 05:53 PM
I've got two of them. A 1942 war time production that looks like the exterior of the metal was gnawed out by a rabid gerbil and a pre-war '39 that is made to "proper" standards for machining and finish. Oddly enough both shoot just fine. It's just that I smile a little more when I look at the '39.

The milsurp ammo can be highly variable. The rifles themselves shoot darn nicely if you feed them commercial ammo such as Privi Partizan or do up your own hand loads. With milsurp you might get a decent batch or it may be really bad ammo like I ended up with. With the Privi ammo I get a group. With my milsurp it's more a "pattern"... :D

So far my poor bench rest skills and old guy eyes have limited me to getting 3 inch groups at 100. With a little more practice and my up coming hand loads I'm hoping to get closer to 2 inch groups. But the limit will be me.

With the lousy milsurp stuff I got the "patterns" are more like 10 to 12 inch diameter.

If your goal is to shoot an iron sight old military rifle for cheap then there's not much that'll beat an old Mosin Nagant. If you are looking to sporterized it and fit scopes and the like I can think of better options. The action really does not lend itself to easy scope fitment.

js8588
May 6, 2014, 05:56 PM
What a mosin is worth depends on what you're willing to pay. I just paid a premium for a 1936 Tula Hex receiver with matching #s (not forced/electropenciled). Pristine bore and not counterbored. You might be content with a mismatched Izzy that is counterbored for $125. I've got one of those too and the action on it is unbelievably smooth for a war production gun.

Guntoter
May 6, 2014, 09:18 PM
The Germans believed Mosins were inferior to AR-15s?

Wow. Didn't know that one.

The point is, going up against an operator armed with a tactical carbine is tantamount to suicide if all you have is a Nagant rifle. JMHO.

YMMV.
Ok, so you aren't familiar with the weapons employed by the Germans on the Russian front. How about the Vietnam Conflict? The M16 was deployed there for the majority of that little action. You do know who won, right? Maybe we could have really kicked their butt if we'd only had more rails, or lights, or sideways mounted sights.
It really is the soldier, not the weapon.

The thing you ought to keep in mind about a Mosin is, even if you get one that doesn't shoot all that great, it's an important part of WWII history. Over 26 million Russians died defending their homeland. The odds are good that there are 2 or 3 dead soldiers behind any given Mosin. Even more if it's a mis-match. If the Russians hadn't kept Hitler busy things might have turned out very differently.

LAGS
May 6, 2014, 11:46 PM
I still have a unopened 300 round Spam Can of Chinese 7.62x54 Brass Cased ammo I brought with me from california 25 years ago.
The other 5 cans were shot up or pulled apart over the years and the powder and bullets reused in reloadable cases, and the primed cases used for cast lead bullet loads.
I bought all that Ammo from Federal Ordanance before they became Brickley Trading company in El Monte Calif. and then went out of business. it wasnt far from wher I worked at the time.
I thought there was going to be a short supply back them, but only importation of the Chinese ammo came to pass.
Oh, Did I mention , back then I was paying $45.00 for 600 rounds.
Dang inflation.

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