Tell me about Russian Model 91/30 7.62x54R Mosin Nagant


August 22, 2004, 07:10 PM
Is this going to be anymore or any less fun to shoot than my Rubin Schmitt K31?

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August 22, 2004, 07:26 PM
It depends. Do you prefer bolt actions like the Mosin or push-pull like the K-31? I'm not sure which kicks more, but the Mosin recoils a lot like my Garand. The Mosin holds five rounds as opposed to... seven, is it? The Mosin's magazine is permanently attached, as opposed to the K-31 magazine.

August 22, 2004, 07:30 PM
Magnight I don't know which I lioke best. The K31 is the only bolt action I have. Everything is is semi auto. Love those hi cap mags. I only got the K31 to see what it was like.

August 22, 2004, 08:30 PM
I've got a Mosin M44 and a K-31. I've only had the K-31 out once since I got it (need to shoot more, work less) -- but it's pretty fun. The Mosin I've had out who knows how many times.

Provided your Mosin shoots straight it should be pretty fun.

It's not like either one is going to be fragile and break on ya though. If you like shooting and you like the WWI-WWII era surplus rifles, yeah, get a Mosin. You can't got wrong for <$100 USD!

August 23, 2004, 12:38 AM
7.62X54R surplus ammunition is also inexpensive... is a good place to get food for both Mosins and K31s

August 23, 2004, 09:09 AM
MN91/30's are crude and inaccurate. Mine prints a foot high at 100 yards on the lowest rear sight setting. The trigger is as squishy as a squirt gun trigger. The bolt requires a healthy slap to open and close. I'm keeping it for the historical interest, but I'm in no hurry to shoot it more. YMMV.

August 23, 2004, 10:06 AM
I've shot an M1891 that predated the Russian Revolution(1917 marked), and a 91/30 and a M44 carbine all right next to each other (oddly enough the two guys who owned them and and SKS showed up the same time as I did with my AK, so we had an all Russian day).

The M1891 off the bench at 100 was hitting dead on, putting rounds exactly where I aimed. The 91/30 (slightly shorter but otherwise the same) was dead on, groups around 3-4".

The M44 shot a pattern.

August 23, 2004, 10:12 AM
"Squishy as a squirt gun." LOL
You will also learn the meaning of "slap the bolt." when you try to cycle the action to reload.
All in all, they are an excellent example of a bolt action design dating from the end of the nineteenth century.

White Horseradish
August 23, 2004, 10:14 AM
MN91/30's are crude and inaccurate. Mine prints a foot high at 100 yards on the lowest rear sight setting. The trigger is as squishy as a squirt gun trigger. The bolt requires a healthy slap to open and close. I'm keeping it for the historical interest, but I'm in no hurry to shoot it more. YMMV.

I wouldn't generalize like that. The M-N has been produced in huge numbers for 60 years under varying conditions. YMMV, indeed. Also, sticky bolt is usually the result of either caked cosmoline in the chamber or using lacquered ammo. Copperwashed stuff feeds without any problems.

If you want a more accurate one, look for an ex-sniper(sniper rifle with the scope removed and a standard bolt installed at the arsenal). The clue would be plugged screw holes in the receiver. Those were hand picked at the factory for accuracy to be made into snipers.

Lt 401
August 23, 2004, 10:42 AM
How much fun you have with a Mosin will largely depend on the condition of your barrel, and what you feed it. I have over a dozen, and all are great shooters except for one M44 with no bore left. I have two 91/30's that shoot as good or better than my Swede, and that's a tall order. The rest ALL come close. As an-ex-military competition shooter and current law enforcement firearms instructor, I have had more than average experience with long guns. Yet, I have great respect for the accuracy and durablility of the Mosins. The need to slap the bolt is most likely caused by the use of some types of surplus steel cased/laquer-coated ammo. I use my own reloaded brass-cased ammo, so I have never experienced that problem with Mosins. Granted, the Swiss rifle is uniformly one of the most accurate and well-built milsurps extant, but with the Mosins, its just plain fun to shoot the rifles that have actually been a part of history, and used in some of the greatest battles of the last century. That said, I'd love to pick up a Swiss sometime, but I just hate to tool up for yet another caliber to load for.
One last thing-its true that most 91/30's will hit horribly high, even with the rear sight at the lowest setting. This is because they were designed to be shot with the bayonet affixed. No scabbards were ever issued for the 91/30 bayonet, as the Russian soldier was expected to keep his bayonet affixed at all times. I use my own cast lead loads, so I have never had this problem.

August 23, 2004, 12:58 PM
One last thing-its true that most 91/30's will hit horribly high, even with the rear sight at the lowest setting. This is because they were designed to be shot with the bayonet affixed.Now, why didn't I think of that? Okay, I withdraw all my derogatory statements until I do some more field testing with non-laquered ammo and with bayonet attached. Except that the trigger will still be squishy no matter what ammo is used.

August 23, 2004, 02:56 PM
THe 91/30's are likely to be much less accurate than the K-31's, but they're still a lot of fun. If you get a good one from Aztec it should cycle without difficulty and should be 3MOA or so. If you want a Mosin to shoot better, the easiest thing is to just get a Finnish M-39. They combine the best elements of the Mosin (simple action, extreme durability, ease of use in dirt, snow mud, etc) with improved accuracy. The M-39 may be the ultimate rifle for use in snow. It's only downside is its nine pound weight. Field tests I did with one in the middle of an Alaskan winter proved its worth.

ALso, 91/30s were not designed to be shot with bayonets. That's only true of the M-44's, which have a bayonet solidly fixed to the barrel. The 91/30's shoot high because the production was pretty sloppy in that regard. You'll find the same high-shooting problem with C&R rifles across the board, with the exceptions of the Finns and the Swiss--the only nations which apparently bothered to check the tangents against actual performance.

August 23, 2004, 03:38 PM
ALso, 91/30s were not designed to be shot with bayonets.

I'm not sure if this is true, since most combat pictures that I saw of the Soviet's infantry with the 91/30 were all with bayonets fixed.

I need to get myself one of this 91/30.


Lt 401
August 23, 2004, 09:55 PM
The Soviet soldiers with 91/30's were not issued scabbards for their bayonets. They were expected to keep them on their rifles-not so easy to lose them that way.
This is why the rifles' sights are regulated to shoot properly with the bayonet affixed. At that period in time, the bosses liked the idea of the terrifying view of a mass of bayonets coming at the enemy. Most of the peasants were not properly trained in marksmanship, so for many of them the 91/30 was a spear that could also shoot.
As was pointed out above, the Finn rifles were different, because their guys knew how to shoot, and therefore the sights were regulated to shoot right without the bayonets.

August 24, 2004, 01:29 AM
anyone with a Mosin 91/30 bayonet want to try shooting with it, then without it and compare results?

August 24, 2004, 07:58 AM
Don't have a 91/30, but my M-44 has about a 4" difference in windage @100Yds with bayo extended vs. bayo folded. Something to do with harmonics and barrel whip, but that is all I know about it.

August 24, 2004, 08:19 AM
The 91, 91/30, and M44's, not to mention Dragoons were all intended to be fired with bayonets affixed or extended. The only reason to remove the bayonet was to take down the rifle (screwdriver tip). I have never seen a non-sniper Russian Mosin in combat photography without the bayonet attached. Indeed, even the shots of US troops who were issued Mosins in the Archangel expedition all have their bayonets attached.

The 91/30 can often be unrefined and rough-looking. After all, the early war years were tough on Mother Russia and they had to churn the rifles out as quickly as possible. However, they are not inherently innaccurate. Simple, yes. Squishy trigger, often times. Utterly reliable, yes. Sounds like a Glock, to me.

But, if you want the best shooter with a fine trigger, get the Finnish M39. They really are nice and they are as well finished as any other country's main battle rifle, better than most. Their stocks are particularly nice (made by Finnish furniture manufacturers). The mortising you encounter on Finnish stocks is to prevent warping, not to repair a broken stock. M39's were held to pretty stringent accuracy standards at the factory and the barrels on them are made of excellent steel.


August 24, 2004, 08:25 AM
I just picked up 4 boxes of wolf copper washed FMJ for my "new" 91/30. I am taking Thursday off work for range time. I will try it w/ and w/o the bayo and report back.

George S.
August 24, 2004, 10:48 AM
I have an Izzy 91/30 with a 1931 date on it and it is a tremendous amount of fun to shoot. It's not the most accurate rifle I have shot, but some of that is probably me. I can get 6-8" groups at 100 yards with it and my sight seems to be just about right. The 91/30 is supposed to have a battle zero at around 200 yards so I would expect it to be off at closer ranges.

I had some trouble with a sticky bolt when I used milsurp ammo, either the Czech silvertip or Russian or Albanian stuff. Most of these Mosins will have a large amount of lacquer build up from the use of military ammo which was lacquer coated. When the round is fired, the case gets hot and the lacquer will transfer to the chamber wall.

A fix for that is to take a old bronze shotgun brush and thread it on to a rod and stick it in a battery-powered drill. Soak the brush in a suitable bore cleaner and push it into the chamber and spin it for 15-30 seconds while moving the brush back and forth. Lacquer thinner works great if there is a lot of build up. Just takes some time to get the junk off the chamber walls. Eventually you will have a smooth-working bolt.

I like the deeper boom that I hear from the 91/30 compared to my M1. It gets a lot of attention at the range and people will come over to ask about it and I even have a few extra rounds if somebody wants to shoot it. I use a recoil pad after I found out that shooting about 40 rounds is all my shoulder can take!

Here's a link to a Mosin-Nagant forum that migh help to answer some questions:

August 24, 2004, 11:31 PM
Mosins are addictive. Once you go Soviet you'll never get over it :D

They almost always go "bang" when you pull the trigger, and that's pretty much all that was ever asked of a Mosin-Nagant.

August 25, 2004, 12:54 AM
Mosin Nagants are fine rifles. Wait till you try handloads in them. Amazing groups can be had. And don't forget the Finish M39s which are the Finish Mosin Nagants. You can get them from Wholesale Guns and Ammo. The M39s are argueably the finest Mosin Nagants available. They have ones that were built from 1968-1970 (including some built on 1890s Tula receivers, so they don't require an FFL because they qualify as antiques) which were built as match rifles.

August 25, 2004, 02:24 PM
Hmmm. Well it's an interesting argument and I could be wrong. I won't dispute that many Red Army Men DID shoot their 91/30's with bayonets attached. But I still doubt they were sighted in with bayonets attached. Certainly the Finns were not. I will consult my sources this weekend.

August 25, 2004, 09:23 PM
The Russian M91 and M91/30 were designed to shoot a bit high at 100 meters on purpose. The soldier was told to aim at the belt of the enemy. Since most engagements were under 300 meters, the soldier was going to make a hit by aiming this way. In the Soviet tactic of massed attack, there wasn't time to adjust sights. The Soviet soldier was expected to keep his bayonet attached at all times except transport (at that time he put the bayonet on backwards on the muzzle). There is a change in POI when the bayonet is attached but it isn't significant enough to concern a charging soviet infantryman.
As far as accuracy, you can't do any better than the Finnish versions of the mosin nagant. I have about 20 Finnish mosin nagants (M27, M28, M28/30, M39, M91 and M91/30) and all shoot 2" or under groups at 100 meters. Most of my Soviet rifles shoot 3-5" groups which is good enough for a battle rifle.

August 28, 2004, 07:41 AM
OK, as promissed I ran out to the range w/ my 91/30, some ammo and the bayo.

Here are the results:

w/o bayo, I was shooting Wolf 148gr FMJ ammo. @ 100 yds and the rear sight at the lowest mark I was hitting about 4 inches high w/ a 3-4 inch group off-hand. w/ the bayo, my group srunk by a half inch but still the same POI. I then switched to sand bags and let the rifle cool back down. This time I shot w/ the bayo first, 2 inch group but still 4 inches or so high, w/o the bayo, same result.

About the only thing I can figure, besides that I really need a trigger job, is that the weight of the bayo at the end of the barrel might settle my off-hand shooting a litle bit and get me teased to no end by the "old timers" at the range.

August 29, 2004, 01:56 PM
Did some testing. Two conclusions:

1. With bayonet attached, elevation was dead on, but the group was a couple inches to the left. Without bayonet, group was 6" high, but windage was dead on.

2. Barnaul ammo is CRAP, as far as accuracy is concerned. It is the cheapest stuff out there, for good reason. Reliable, just don't count on being able to hit the target.

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