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Mosin Nagant questions

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Thompson9494, Jul 13, 2014.

  1. Thompson9494

    Thompson9494 Well-Known Member

    Buying a Mosin Nagant has been on my to do list for a pretty long time now. I've always wanted one, but other things came first. I've been looking around at them casually and I had a few questions. Note: I'm more interested in the M44 than the 91/30 because of the M44's shorter barrel but if I found a nice enough 91/30 for the right price, I'd jump on it.

    The first one, is it just me, or have Mosins really shot up in price lately? I read all kinds of posts from this forum and others from about 5-ish or more years ago and they're all talking about buying $89 M91/30s and $69 M44s. Nowadays, it seems like an M91/30 is difficult to find below $150 and a M44 can go into the $200 and $300 range for a nice one.

    Two, what is a good price for a good condition, matching #s M44 or M91/30 nowadays?

    Is the mega-cheap surplus ammo still readily available? Also, are there any special cleaning procedures I need to use after firing corrosive bullets through my Mosin?

    Last one, I've heard nightmare stories about the evil demon that is cosmoline, how many gallons of it can I expect to find in the average Mosin?

  2. herrwalther

    herrwalther Well-Known Member

    1. Yes. Mosin prices have shot up all over. I bought mine a few months ago for $150 OTD and thought that was a steal since it came with the standard accessories. Felt even better at the price for how accurate it was for a 60 year old rifle.

    2. I would not go over $200 for either a 91/30 or M44, and that is pushing it based on year, manufacturing plant etc.

    3. I wouldn't call any ammo mega cheap these days. But yes. Typically a place that sells Mosins will have a few spam cans laid out to pick out of.

    4. Probably only 1 gallon of cosmoline spread out over the whole rifle. There are 101 ways of removing it and then some. Mineral spirits worked well for me as it melted the cosmoline right off. A small can of break cleaner helped blast what was left out of the rifling and bore.
  3. Jackal

    Jackal Well-Known Member

    Find yourself a M38 or Finnish M39 if your going to venture into the $300+ region.
  4. tuj

    tuj Well-Known Member

    be extremely careful when you do this (wear eye protection). I know of a shooter who lost his vision in an eye when he got brake cleaner into it.
  5. Jlr2267

    Jlr2267 Well-Known Member

  6. ZGunner

    ZGunner Well-Known Member

    I see 91/30s at Gander for $179. No thanks. Used for $120-180.

    M44s I've seen lately for ~$200-250.

    I believe you can still get spam cans for $90-110. Lower prices on most everything are online and might be a wash after shipping. Your best bet is to get it private party.

    Here's a video by Iraqveteran8888 on cleaning after shooting corrosive ammo:
  7. mgkdrgn

    mgkdrgn Well-Known Member

  8. Jlr2267

    Jlr2267 Well-Known Member

    Get a C&R and end your pain
  9. Mosin Bubba

    Mosin Bubba Well-Known Member

    I think you are on the right track with the M44. The 91/30 is just so dang long that it is difficult to shoot with. I find the carbine to be a lot more manageable, and I'd say the difference is worth the extra money.

    M44s are $230 online at Bud's Gun Shop. I wouldn't give more than that for one, either online or in person. Mosins are great for what they are: fun, strong-as-hell, dirt cheap plinkers. But when there are several budget bolt guns out there that cost around $350 brand new, and will shoot one inch at 100 yards, it's tough to justify over-paying for a Mosin.

    Surplus ammo is still widely available and cheap. You should be able to find a spam can for $100, plus or minus a few bucks. There are two different types of combloc ammo: 147 grain light ball and 182 grain heavy ball. For a carbine, you probably want light ball; heavy ball in my M44 kicks pretty good. It does tend to do this though :D As far as cleaning it, I use Windex and oil, as outlined here. I haven't shot my Mosin all that much, but the barrel hasn't rusted yet, so I'll call it good.

    The answer to how much cosmoline is on your Mosin is "a lot". Cosmoline was originally an oil-like substance, and the rifles were dunked into a vat of it before they went into storage. Because it went on as a liquid, it will find its way into literally every part of your gun. It isn't hard to remove; you've probably read about a dozen different ways to do it, and all of them will work. But you do have to be thorough.

    Hope that helps. Whatever you decide to buy, enjoy your new gun.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2014
  10. BCRider

    BCRider Well-Known Member

    Being lighter the carbine version kicks a lot stronger. But you won't notice if shooting on a duller day due to the MASSIVE fireball it kicks out! ! ! ! :D I've got both the full length and carbine version and there's no doubt that the M44 kicks like a mule.

    If you're after accuracy with your fun watch the SPAM cans. Quality is inconsistent from can to can depending on age and maker. The cans I bought are poor. But I've heard of folks that got a few good cans where the ammo matches modern commercial stuff. It's a crap shoot though.

    If you want to try for the best accuracy then plan on reloading your own ammo eventually. I strongly suggest this for TWO reasons.

    First is that you will have more control. It's not hard to make really consistent ammo if you load your own. A little tedious but not hard.

    Second reason is that the surplus ammo is copper washed over a steel jacket. I've found that this copper seems to come off all too easily and the rifling becomes copper fouled almost immediately once you start shooting. And it's a bear to clean out. I'm hoping that the proper jacketed bullets I've bought will not leave so much copper behind.

    I've actually got two Mosins. My hope is to find out which one is more accurate with my reloads and then dedicate the other to shooting the SPAM can surplus ammo. No more surplus stuff for the GOOD one. Same goes for the M44.

    The M44 sort of fell into my lap. I got it from a shooting buddy for $150. And it had to happen since it was born the same year as I was.... :D
  11. Stephen1956

    Stephen1956 Well-Known Member

    Wideners in Johnson City, Tenn. good people to do business with and they don't sell junk quality stuff I've bought several nice rifles from them over the years. You can't go wrong and they back up what they sell.
  12. caribou

    caribou Well-Known Member

    Cosmoline is your friend.

    Keeps away rust and damage.

    Getting a rifle slather'd in such usually indicates it's still 'fresh in the wrap' hasn't been tweaked or messed with, shot rusty and left or any of the other rifle killers out there.

    You've scored if its got cosmo!

    The trick to a great corrosive ammo shoot is a good clean up, and iits a simple step more than non corrosive, and thats pouring boiling hot soapy water down the chamber, scrubbing and rinsing a couple three times. Then normal patches, solvents, oils and such as any other time you clean your rifle after every use.

    Water sounds like poison to the steel, but its not, boiling water gets the metals hot and they dry themselfs very quickly, but more importantly the water flush will dissolve the salts the East Block used in their priming, spew'd down the barrel with each shot, sucking in moisture from the air...
  13. Voodoochile

    Voodoochile Well-Known Member

    Can't help you on the prices because others have hit that nail perfectly.

    As far as recoil goes with heavy ball in the M44, both my buddy & I have one & even my wife has no issues with the recoil that it has with Barnaul 174gr. Brown Bear FMJ or even the older 185gr.

    To me the M44 or the M38 "if I had one" is a very handy rifle that if you feed it good ammo & get the sights adjusted "had to adjust mine to shoot without bayonet out" will make for a fine rifle out to at least 250 yards.

    I also agree with Reloading but suggest slugging the bore to see what is best suited for your rifle because like mine a .311 jacked projectile is best for the .313 bore.
  14. Cooldill

    Cooldill Well-Known Member

    You don't have a Mosin yet??

    Now's the time to buy one! They have been going up in price lately, still pretty reasonable for what your getting IMHO. They won't be going down in price anytime soon though. Don't shy from a 91/30, they are fantastic rifles. They are long but surprisingly handy despite the length. IDK about you but decreased muzzle blast/flash/noise/recoil and increased velocity are all GOOD things! The M44 and other carbines are more compact, sure, but they are darn noisy and seem to recoil more.

    As for the cost of ammo, cheap surplus steel case stuff in the sealed cans are still around for not much $. A quick check on ammoseek.com reveal surplus ammo for as low as $0.18 a round.

    Just try and find any type of full power .30 caliber battle rifle ammo for that much $. I'll give you a hint- you won't! And that's a good thing for the Mosin. If you don't reload, like me, an afternoon out with an M1A, '03 Springfield, or even Lee Enfield can be hard on the wallet. Not so with the Mosin Nagant, at least in July 2014. It's actually cheaper to feed than a 9mm handgun round for round, and you can't beat that with a stick. This type of surplus ammo is typically very good quality too, don't think it's junk. As for the steel case, the rifles were specifically made for it and I've NEVER had ANY issues with steel cased ammo in a Mosin. Also, I've never had any issues from a single round of surplus 7.62x54mmR ammo. It's good stuff, and dirt cheap compared to others in it's class!

    So in short, get a Mosin! :D!
  15. herrwalther

    herrwalther Well-Known Member

    It is very important that you keep repeating this to yourself when cleaning the "new" Mosin out the first time.

    I understand where others are coming from when saying the 91/30 is a very long rifle, especially if you plan on doing bayonet rushes. I thought for sure my first Mosin was going to be an M44 or the rare 91/59. I ended up getting a 91/30 after handling a clean one at a gun shop and the weight or length wasn't too unreasonable. Still want a M44 or 91/59 so that is my open ended excuse to get one.
  16. sknabnoj

    sknabnoj New Member

    I've heard there has been a ban put on importing surplus guns back to the US... is there any truth to this and is that the reason for the increase in price? It is my understanding that there are still thousands of these Mosins sitting in crates, overseas, waiting for someone to wipe off the cosmo and start shooting them.
  17. Ryanxia

    Ryanxia Well-Known Member


    They really shot up in price with everything else during the panic last year. Don't expect them to drop.
  18. sknabnoj

    sknabnoj New Member

    That's interesting... I'll have to do some research on the topic and see where the rumor started. I swear I heard of some executive order that the President passed down basically limiting the number of military surplus firearms we would import back into our country (even the ones that we manufactured here). From what I heard this included guns like the Mosin, M1, Enfields etc). It was something to the effect of "We are passing this order to keep military grade weapons off our streets!!". Who knew we had such a problem with milsurp crime!
  19. Thompson9494

    Thompson9494 Well-Known Member

    I wanted to thank everyone for all the replies so far and all of the advice! Hopefully I'll be able to buy one here pretty soon and take it to the range!
  20. woodmister

    woodmister New Member

    I bought 2 mosins. I was really curious how I was going to get the cosmoline off, but it turned out to be very easy!

    What I did was get a a plastic tub, mineral spirits.. and a toothbrush for the metal parts. I scrubbed a bit with the brush, and just made sure every piece was completely covered and scrubbed. It came off super easy, but a little bit of elbow grease ever hurt to make sure. I let them sit for a while and then dryed them off and oiled up each piece and just let them hang out while I worked on the stocks. For the Barrel, I plugged up one end and poured mineral spirits in and let it sit for a day. Then I used solvent and gun oil to get them clear of anything else. I'll end up shooting out anything that was left over on my first day at the range, then use hot water/ammonia to clean them after.

    For the Wood, I cooked them. :) In a makeshift oven. You can see the images
    here here here and here.

    It actually worked really really well. I cooked em at 10-13 minute intervals, flipping them and repeating. I had to put a metal barrier over the very front part just so I didn't get that part too hot. Not everyone has a diesel shop heater laying around, but the concept is sound, however you can re-enact it.

    Once all the cosmoline was out, I lightly stained areas that needed some, and then did a layer of varnish once every other week for 2 months.

    They turned out pretty well. I'll post a picture as soon as I get the second one finished, I took a lot more time on it, as it'll be a showy gun, instead of my actual plinker.

    - Danny
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014

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