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Mosin Nagant M44 Range Report

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Wedge, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. Wedge

    Wedge Well-Known Member

    The first time I shot a rifle I was 11, a tenderfoot in Boy Scouts and getting my rifle shooting merit badge at summer camp...also my first time away from home by myself for a week. I survived, got to wear I could cover my 5 shot groups with a nickle and I got my merit badge :)

    All I have ever shot in rifles were rimfires. The last time I had shot a rifle until today was about 3 years ago, in the snow with a .22 Mag bolt gun.

    I had never shot a centerfire rifle, mostly because when I lived up in Western New York deer hunting was limited to shotguns only. So I HAD shot my 12 gauge, numerous times between deer and turkey (and even some birdshot once in a while).

    Let's just say...I'm glad that I have experienced both a 12 ga. slug and a 3" Magnum turkey load before.

    On to today's adventure...

    Today, I was shooting Silver Bear 203gr. SP in 7.62x54R. It's pretty cheap around $0.30/shot, and is a soft point so it allowed on the range I usually go to. (No FMJ or I would just shoot a ton of corrosive FMJ and call it good).

    The gun had been cleaned and de-greased, thoroughly checked over and ready to go. I set up at the 50 yard line since I had NO idea if it would actually shoot or not. I tested it both bayonet retracted and extended. It was retracted for my first shot.


    Follow through? Maintain sight picture? None of that fancy "marksmenship"
    activity happened. I did watch and see the berm accept my donation of lead and the puff of dirt though. I would say that kick is somewhere between a 12ga. rifled slug and a magnum turkey load.

    Yes. In between those two. Yes, that is a LOT of recoil.

    Yes. I had a huge smile on my face after that first shot.

    I ended up putting 5 shots each into two targets, 1 bayonet retracted and one extended. The extended gave a better "group"...more like a pattern. At 50 yards I was able to get three shots within a 5" circle with 1 x-ring and in total 5 shots in a 12" circle. The retracted bayonet kept everything within 12" but no x-rings and no 3 shots even close to each other.

    I then put 10 shots into the 100 yard target. About the same as the 50 yard, held everything within 12", and even had 3 shots of about a 4" group.

    MOA? no.

    MON? yes (Minute of Nazi)

    20 shots and I called it a day and headed over to the pistol range. The recoil went from fun to painful real fast. Didn't help that I was shooting off a bench either. I think that I will be investing in a recoil pad before I go out next time.

    So I am going to clean up the rifle, hopefully with each cleaning it will get a little better. The Silver Bear seemed to perform "okay" I am curious if better ammunition would result in better accuracy, however I am still on the fence if I want to reload for this caliber or not...I always say that though...and I always end up reloading for it :)
  2. Cmdr. Gravez0r

    Cmdr. Gravez0r Well-Known Member

    I find the Mosey is better enjoyed offhand. I advise against shooting it prone.:what:
  3. Ohio Rifleman

    Ohio Rifleman Well-Known Member

    Yes, the Mosin isn't for precision shooters who want MOA and all that. It's for recoil junkies who like to make a big boom. :D

    Think about it...with a Mosin, you get three weapons in one. You get a firearm, you get a spear, and you get a nice wood and steel club should the need arise. All for $79.95!
  4. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    ORL? There's more to Mosins than bargain bin specials:

  5. Wedge

    Wedge Well-Known Member

    Cosmo...mine is definitely a bargin bin special. $79.99 of goodness :)

    It was fun though. Very fun. Looking back at the targets, one of my groups was actually about 2" at 100 yards. I think a lot of that was luck...out of the 10 shots fired, 3 were that far apart :)

    I wish I could shoot it offhand...bench only at this range. Kind of lame, but it is the closest to the house. Wish I was back up in NY, family has a few hundred acres with a lot of natural backstops (30' high of earth should do the trick. Nice ravine to shoot in with the dirt cliff wall as a backstop...oh those were the days...)
  6. dmftoy1

    dmftoy1 Well-Known Member

    Take one of those silver bear rounds and pull a bullet. Slug your barrel and measure both. I bet you'll be in for a surprise. I had even WORSE groups out of my M44 . ..not even patterns. Started putting some .312 slugs downrange instead of the .308 (barely) crap in commericial ammo and it shoots really nice.

    Just my .02

  7. Gord

    Gord Well-Known Member

    +1 dmftoy1. Mosins tend to be particular about their ammo insofar as accuracy is concerned. Google for "how to slug rifle barrel" if you don't know how and try to find some ammo that's close to your bore diameter.

    I can pop waves of attacking (empty) Nazi shotshells at 75-100 yards all day with two of my Mosins. Third one is pretty worn out and doesn't shoot to bench-plinking standards, but is accurate enough for "serious work" and I'll be keeping it for sentimental reasons anyway.
  8. TimboKhan

    TimboKhan Moderator

    You have to know that whenever a Mosin thread comes up, Cosmoline and I will likely both make appearances.
  9. MiddleAgedKen

    MiddleAgedKen Well-Known Member

    You'll find that it consistently shoots better with the bayonet extended, I think. I have an M38, so no bayonet for me. I also have a recoil pad...try it, you'll like it. After 40-50 rounds using the pad, recoil is still not an issue, but whanging the bolt open with a rubber mallet gets a mite tedious. ;)
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2008
  10. Wedge

    Wedge Well-Known Member

    The bolt was never an issue, it would open with just a moderate amount of effort.

    I actually have the gear I need to slug the barrel. I'll do that before I clean it tomorrow (since I'll just have to clean it again).

    The silver bear is 0.308"? I would have thought that the Russian stuff was 0.311".

    I will mic one right now and find out...

    YUP! SURE ENOUGH! Measured out at 0.308".

    I'll slug the bore tomorrow. I was under the impression that the commercial Russian ammo was going to be 0.311". That's what I get for making an assumption.

    Looks like I will be handloading after all...because I have a serious feeling that after I drive that egg sinker down the barrel my bore is going to measure about 0.311".

    Thanks guys. Now I feel pretty good about my 12" "grouping" :)
  11. SpeedAKL

    SpeedAKL Well-Known Member

    It's about as much fun for the money as you can have. I've never found it to be particularly accurate using the standard cheap milsurp sitting around at the gun show, but the entertainment factor is way up there. Plus, how cool is that bayonet?:)
  12. biscuitninja

    biscuitninja Well-Known Member

    I use milsurp russian stuff, its heavy ball (copper and FMJ) and its .311, use that, the barrels never really were .308 unless you were alive and able to use these rifles before the 70's. ;)

    If you wanted a better tack-ish pusher a 91/30 is a better choice. I needed to replace my barrel (it was nearly .315+) so a custom barrel later (floated with a bedded action and a few other things and now it shoots MOA @ 400 yards. I spent WAY more than $79 on that one.

    My M44 is just like your's its ok, I added a custom flash supressor at the end of the bayonet (only useful when the bayonet is in place). I did float the barrel as well as fixing the trigger and then adding some shims to the action (cheapie bedding). This might help tighten up some of the groups. I'd also look into some chinese ammo (light ball), this seems to be the slowest stuff as well as some of the most accurate stuff. Anyways good luck
  13. Franco2shoot

    Franco2shoot Well-Known Member

    Concur with the comment about the 91/30, mine maintains a tighter group than the Model 7 Remington. Plus it loooks awsum with the pig sticker in place.
  14. dmftoy1

    dmftoy1 Well-Known Member

    I'd bet money that it won't even be .311 when you slug it but .312-.314! :)

    FWIW I'm getting good results with .312 slugs in a slightly bigger barrel (.313) (Gas Checked lead) I really need to order a .313 die from Magma.


    PS - I've been tempted to see if a .308 slug would drop clean through my M44 but I suspect the lands would catch it. :)
  15. Wedge

    Wedge Well-Known Member

    dfmtoy1, you were exactly right. The slugged bore measured out to be 0.313" (groove diameter). 7.62x54r.com in their bore slugging tutorial seemed to think that 0.311" bullets would work well in a 0.313" bore.

    The .308 bullets in the Silver Bear didn't stand much of a chance.

    I also really cleaned the bore today and I think that will help in the future. Too bad that Silver Bear stuff is steel cased :-/ At least it was relatively cheap...
  16. dmftoy1

    dmftoy1 Well-Known Member

    If you reload and don't cast then I'd try the Hornady 150 gr. Spire Points (.312) as your first attempt. I suspect it'll get you close to what your sights are regulated for and I think you'll be posting some pictures of your targets. :)
  17. mio

    mio Well-Known Member

    makes me feel good about mine. paid 90 for it and none of the serial #s match i have no idea what the bore size is but shooting 50 yards from a sitting position i had 3 shot groups of around 2in
    however i had to aim at the right edge of the target to hit center. since i dont see anyway to adjust for windage my m44 has been sitting in the closet for the past year waiting for me to get it drilled and tapped for a scope
  18. Jeff Timm

    Jeff Timm Well-Known Member

    You might want to try this improvement:
    There are some other MN articles at the site.
    Who does not own a Mosin-Nagant. One of those east european Mausers in .243 has caught my eye.
  19. Old Time Hunter

    Old Time Hunter Well-Known Member

    Thought I would show what mine does at 200 yards. 'Course mine are not tweaked in anyway and I reload my own using the Hornady .312's and Speer .311's. Both at least stay on the paper, both are down loaded to 37 grains of H4895. The 150's still chrono at around 2500fps and the 180's at around 2300fps.

  20. Wedge

    Wedge Well-Known Member

    Jeff Timm, thanks for the link to that article. It is a good idea. No real way to "free float" a MN, so "cork bedding" might be the way to go. I like it...because it fits in with the "This is an $80 gun, let's make it shoot as inexpenively as possible".

    I actually think that some of the surplus ammo would work better than the commercial Silver Bear stuff, but my range doesn't allow FMJ :-( So because of that I will probably be reloading for the caliber...I mean I'll probably at least be getting a 91/30 at some point too :)

    dfmtoy1, thanks for the tip. I will have to try out the Hornady 150gr. spire points when I start reloading for 7.62x54R.

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