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mos nagnant Check list and info needed

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by phantomak47, Mar 17, 2005.

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  1. phantomak47

    phantomak47 Member

    May 27, 2003
    First I want to thank you for all the help with regards to info yall gave me a few weeks ago. I plan on heading to a gun show this weekend and I was wondering if yall would make me a check list or guide to what I need to look for with regards to the condition of a old surplus rifle. I have bought other guns, but not true surplus rifles like these. thanks in advance
  2. jobu07

    jobu07 Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Pike County, PA
    Check for muzzle wear, you can do that by sticking a cartridge into the muzzle and seeing if you slides all the way in, or only partially. You'd want to check to bore ot make sure it isn't shot out and just a sewer pipe. I suppose check the stock to make sure that it hasnt' been refinished, this could be given away by sanded down cartouches etc. Uh, the finish left on the metal. Is it all gone, is htere lots of blueing or parkerizing left on it? Check for your overall function of hte rifle, like does teh action cycle properly or does it get hung up, blah blah. That sorta stuff :)
  3. armoredman

    armoredman Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    proud to be in AZ
    One thing - that bore check won't work if it's been counterbored. Several MNs were counterbored during rearsenaling to restore a decent muzzle crown, Look into the bore, and see if it looks like about 1/2 inch of smoothbore after the rifling, and that's your counterbore. Cheap way to recrown, but it works. My M38 is counterbored, and give a 3.5 inch group at 100 yards with Wolf ammo.
    Look for matching numbers on bolt, barrel shank, mag floorplate, buttplate, and bayonet, for 91/30 models.
    Finnish M39s won't have matching anything, but will be great shooters.
    Then snag a case of ammo dirt cheap, and have a blast....oh, get a slip on recoil pad, too..... :p
  4. rockstar.esq

    rockstar.esq Member

    Dec 9, 2004
    I have an M44 and a little advice on what to look for. Make sure the bayonnet isn't too tight against the stock when it's folded. I've seen them so tight they pulled shots unless the bayonnet was exteneded! All the above comments are great advice. The only other parts I'd add are to work the bolt back and forth. You can decock the bolt by holding the trigger in as you close the bolt. Now try lifting the bolt. I have found that some Mosin Nagant's have just a god awfull difficult bolt mechanism. Mine was so bad that it took the better part of 1000 rounds to loosen things to the point that it's at the high end of reasonable for effort to lift the bolt. Check out makarov.com for a very usefull link on proper bolt takedown proceedure. You can take the bolt apart in a couple of seconds and this will tell you if you've got a bent firing pin, and sometimes, how much the gun has been shot. Mine was full of cosmoline and grit! These guns really shoot a lot better than we'd have any reason to expect. I restocked mine with an ATI polymer sporter stock for $65.00 and the gun is a total pussycat to shoot! That original metal buttplate was designed by the Marque De Sade! Another odd thing about my rifle, it shoots the best groups with the cheapest Chech ammo availible!
  5. George S.

    George S. Member

    Jan 11, 2004
    Western WA
    I have a 91/30 (1931 Izhevsk) and a 1944 M38 Izzy. The 91/30 is a lot of fun to shoot and there is less recoil because of the longer barrel. My M38 is an arsenal refinish and the barrel is near-new. The shorter carbine versions (M38, M44 and the Finn M39) have a lot more kick and a really neat muzzle flash. You should be able to find these rifles for well under $100 (with the exception of a Finn M39)

    Look for a reasonable bore but if the lands appear to be clear and somwwhat sharp, don't worr too much about shine. All the old milsurp 7.62x54R ammo is corrosive and the barrels took a lot of this ammo and reflect this. Qs mentioned, counterboring is found on a lot of the rifles and does help to restore some accuracy. But MOA accuracy was never the intent of the Russian battle rifles. The 91/30 was designed with a battle zero at 200 meters and 8" groups with 148gr ammo was the norm. That was minute-of-Nazi and good enough for the Russian army peasant.

    The military ammo used in these rifles was typically steel case or brass and coated with a lacquer finish for waterproofing. This lacquer transferred to the chamber walls as the rifle got hot and eventually a coating formed in the chamber. Shooting tthe rifles now sort of re-heats the buildup and shooting milsurp stuff causes the lacquer to heat up and the case wants to stick in the chamber and the bolt becomes very difficult to open.

    I use an old 12 gauge brass brush inserted in a battery-powered drill and soak the brush in Gun Scrubber or brake cleaner and use the drill to spin the brush in the chamber (remove the barrel from the stock!!). Then polish the chamber with something like Flitz or other metal polish. This may take a number of passes but the chamber will become smooth again.

    If you shoot the milsurp ammo, you should immediately clean the bolt face and chamber and bore with water. Some folks carry a squirt bottle of Windex with Ammonia to flush the corrosive salts out right after shoting, then clean as usual once you get home.

    Ammo is relatively inexpensive and the Czech 148gr Silvertip can be found for about $3 for a box of 20. Wolf has some decent ammo available for around $6 a box.

    I really like these old rifles and I believe that they should be kept in their (as close to) original condition as possible. They have a lot of history behind them given what the Russians went thru over the last 100 years. The 7.62x54R round is still in use today in M44's and M38!

    Here's a good forum site for Mosin's but they do not appreciate sporterizing or modifying these rifles: http://www.russian-mosin-nagant-forums.com

    These pages have some good inormation about Mosins along with info on the various identifying marks on the receiver:
  6. Clean97GTI

    Clean97GTI Member

    Feb 29, 2004
    Las Vegas, NV
    Find the nicest one you can. They are built like tanks and take any abuse you can throw at em.

    How many of you would feel comfortable kicking the bolt open on a mosin-nagant?

    *everybody raises hands*
  7. jefnvk

    jefnvk Member

    Jun 3, 2004
    The Copper Country, Michigan
    If there is one thing the Russian knew how to do, it is build indestructible weapons.

    If you can, carry a 7.62x54R cartridge with you, for the muzzle wear test. If it sinks to the shoulders, it is most likely counterbored. if it just sinks to the neck though, it is probably worn. Try to get one with at least an 1/8" gap between the muzzle and the neck of the cartridge.

    I wouldn't worry too much about if the stock has been refinished or not. Truth is, those rifles probably won't be worth more or less depending on it (Assuming it wasn't a bubba job, but an arsenal job). Just get one that looks nice.

    I like to look for matching numbers at least on the reciever and bolt, that way I know it will most likely headspace. Ask if the rifles have been headspaced or not. If not, you have a chance of geting one that is not safe to shoot.

    And lastly, carry a rag with you. Lots of cosmo.
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