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Need help with a Mosin Nagant

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Zor Omega, Aug 6, 2007.

  1. Zor Omega

    Zor Omega New Member

    May 24, 2007
    St. Louis, MO
    I plan on getting one in a few weeks. I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with them. My main concerns are: which model is ideal for plinking, what to look for when buying one as far as quality goes. Price is the main issue I would like to keep it around 70-90 dollars. Thank you for any info you can provide.
  2. Gustav

    Gustav Active Member

    Feb 7, 2007
    The 1944 and 1938 carbines have a bit more felt recoil and allot more muzzle blast than the longer barrel 91/30. The 91/30 tends to be a bit more accurate as a rule and when you shoot it the muzzle blast is mild in comparision.
    The 1944 tends to feel more muzzle heavy due to the fixed spike bayonet the 1938 is the lightest and handiest of the three.
    Check carefully the bore and the crown or muzzle also check the bolt for fit and function if possible examine each prospective one as closely as possible.
    If ordering from a dealer or whoesaler such as AIM Surplus Southern Ohio Gun or Classic Arms or any other source it is usuallly worth the extra money for a hand select one.
    Working the bolt is not as smooth as say a Mauser or Enfield but it is a proven design built tank tough and a good value for the money they often sell for.
    The bent sniper bolt does add leverage and makes mounting a reproduction PU or PE scope a viable option if you so choose to do so down the line.
    If budget allows buy one of each and a few bricks of ammo if I had to choose only one I would go with the 1938 as they are the least common and carry and point and handle the best for me.
    The 91/30 was the most produced model IIRC around 17 million were built the 1944s were built long after 1945 and not just by Russian factories so there are also fairly common.
    Many good articles on the web to start with check out www.surplusrifles.com and mosinnagant.net hope this helps.
    Best of luck.;)
  3. Ash

    Ash Mentor

    May 10, 2004
    Anywhere but here
    I would recommend, for your price range, the 91/30 for the above reasons. Just look at the bore and crown to make sure both look decent.

  4. fletcher

    fletcher Senior Member

    May 19, 2004
    In addition to the bore and crown, inspect the chamber for gunk - it will make the action stick. Also look for one with a reasonably smooth action (they won't be great, but find one that's OK).
  5. Red Tornado

    Red Tornado Participating Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    NE Arkansas
    For plinking and walking around the woods, I'd also go with an M38, they're much handier than the 91/30. (8" makes a big difference) I prefer them to the M44 because they don't have the bayonet, which I find annoying. YMMV

    If you're trying for more accuracy at the range or reduced recoil, go with the 91/30. (Again, 8" makes a big difference.)
  6. MikeJackmin

    MikeJackmin Participating Member

    Feb 24, 2005
    Be aware that most, if not all, of the inexpensive ammo available is corrosive. It works fine, but your gun *must* be cleaned the same day you shoot or it really will be ruined.

    Search for the older threads which discuss the best way to clean up after using this stuff. Personally, I wipe out the bore with plenty of windex and then follow up with my normal cleaning routine, taking care to clean the face of the bolt as well. Other folks use different methods.
  7. Im283

    Im283 Participating Member

    Mar 21, 2007
    Knox County, TN.
    I have a 1948 M44. All the numbers match, look for that as they are still easily enough found. The bolt works fine if it is not being shot, certain ammo makes it harder to action the bolt. Heavy ball takes me two wacks to open it and light ball only takes one.

    I would recommend going out and looking for one in your area rather than buying over the internet. But that is just me, I want to see it and handle it first.

    Matching numbers are the big thing.

    Also check 7.62X54r.net, there is a wealth of info there.
  8. Nolo

    Nolo Senior Member

    Jul 18, 2007
    Galveston, TX
    My father and I went into a gun store to look at shotguns (for me) one day and my dad spotted an excellent M891/30 (from 1939). We walked out of there the next day (I think he put it on layaway) with it and minus $100. I have yet to inspect the barrel and such really well, but, aside from some wear and tear (its almost 70 years old, come on!), it looks fine. Shoots like a dream too. I could hold that rifle in ready position all day, and the recoil is a nice push as opposed to a sharp jab. I'd say look for the rifle with the nicest stock and the best action and barrel, but I suppose that's what all these other guys are telling you too. I'd also say that I prefer the 1891/30 to either the M38 or M44 because it's a really excellent shooting rifle and it doesn't seem to be too much worse with weight and size to the carbines. Plus, I like long guns.
    Happy hunting.
  9. Spuds

    Spuds New Member

    Feb 1, 2007
    Being in St. Louis, you might find what you need and more info about what model best fits your needs at one of the St. Louis Arms Collectors gun shows. Your price objective might be a bit optimistic unless you have a C&R, but adding shipping cost would still put you at the upper end or over your stated goal.

    It's very likely that you are going to end up with an M-44 or an M91/30. The M38s are generally well over $100, likewise the M91/59s.
  10. mhdishere

    mhdishere Member

    May 28, 2004
    New Jersey
    I have a 91/30, no experience with the m38, m44 or Finns, but here's what I've found:

    I don't find the recoil to be excessive on my 91/30. It's not a .22, but no worse than any other full-power centerfire rifle. I put a folded up towel under my shirt if I'm not wearing a jacket, with a jacket on I don't bother.

    In GENERAL, rifles made before WW II (mine is a 1938) have smoother chambers and are less likely to cause sticking bolts (I've so far only fired Czech steel cased ammo and have never had the bolt stick). War era rifles were more likely to have rougher chambers due to wartime requirements, so those are more likely to have sticking problems that can't be fixed with a thorough cleaning.

    All of the millsurp ammo out there should be treated as corrosive, which means you clean your rifle the day you shoot it. It's not a big deal at all, the salts the ammo deposits are water soluable (which is why they're a problem, they attract moisture). I just spray window cleaner down the barrel from the chamber end, dry with a couple patches, repeat, then clean normally with solvents and leave a light coat of oil on the bore if I won't be shooting within the next couple days. The bolt also gets sprayed with the window cleaner, then cleaned normally.

    As others have said, check the rifling and muzzle. You may find a barrel where the rifling doesn't go all the way to the muzzle, that's called a counterbore and it's quite common. The muzzle was apparently dinged and rather than replace it they simply cut the damaged rifling back a bit.

    The serial numbers on the bolt and receiver should match, if not have the headspace checked. People have told me they've never seen a headspace issue on a Mosin, but if it's my face next to that bolt I want to know everything is OK. Make sure you check the firing pin protrusion on your bolt, there's a little tool to do this. If it doesn't extend far enough you can get misfires and if too far it can punch the primer (not good).

    The safety can be hard to use, you have to pull it against the firing-pin spring. Some get around that by not bothering with it (keeping the chamber empty for instance). If you want use it in a situation where you need the safety (hunting for instance) the best way to do it is grip the safety with the thumb and index finger, put the butt in the crook of your elbow against the bicep, and push down on the barrel with your other hand, basically using the barrel as a lever to pull back the safety, then turn to safe/fire. I sounds more complicated than it is.

    Speaking of the safety, it's one of the safest safeties out there. There is no way that rifle will fire with the safety attached without breaking off a BIG chunk of steel, and there is no way you're going to move the safety from safe to fire by accident (short of dropping it from an airplane without a parachute). It both locks the firing pin and disconnects the striker from the trigger.

    Check surplusrifles.com for information on how to disassemble/assemble the bolt and rifle.

    Remember that the Mosin isn't as "refined" as some other weapons of the era, it was intended to be handed to, and maintained by, the average peasant. Some have said if you squeeze the trigger and it goes bang you've met all expectations of the designer. For all that I love mine.
  11. nalioth

    nalioth Mentor

    Jul 9, 2007
    Houston, Texas
    Not so, the Soviets have mandated chromed barrels and bolts for decades, against the use of corrosive ammo and the untrained conscript army they fielded.

    However, I was raised to clean my guns when I got in from the field or the range, so for me it's a non-issue.
  12. Bazooka Joe71

    Bazooka Joe71 Senior Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Southern Indiana

    You can probably find 1 or 2 of us around here.

    or 5,000:D

    BTW, I like the M44 the best...Probably because its my most accurate.
  13. Spiggy

    Spiggy Active Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    The Sunny PR of Kalifornistanichevolakia, Right be

    If you get a mosin, you will never stop getting more! :D seriously

    all of them are good for plinking, but in your price range, probably a M44 since they can be found for as little as $55 right now.
  14. dasmi

    dasmi Senior Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I have a 91/30 and an M44. Both are great fun, reliable, and very solid. I prefer the M44, because it's easier to fit into my little car. The 91/30 is really quite accurate. I mostly shoot Czech silver tip surplus.
  15. Zor Omega

    Zor Omega New Member

    May 24, 2007
    St. Louis, MO
    hey thanks for all the info guys. i had some stuff come up so i havent been able to get on in a while. Based on all you info i think i will go with the 91/30 model. thanks again
  16. ConfuseUs

    ConfuseUs Member

    Feb 13, 2007
    I live on a plain by a few mountains.
    The Soviets did not chrome either my '43 91/30 or my '44 m-38. Matter of fact, I had always thought that the Soviets started the chrome thing on the SKS and AK series. So cleaning a Mosin after using corrosive ammo is mandatory for maintaining the condition of the bore.

    AS far as reccommendations for a Mosin, I say two: the rifle and a carbine. i got the rifle first, but after seeing some pictures of the wicked sick muzzle flash the carbine throws out I had to get one of those too.

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