DO NOT GO WITH ATI. I found that out the hard way this spring while sporterizing one of my own. I bought it sight unseen from a local sporting goods chain store based on the condition of the display model and is pretty nasty. the stock though not overly gauged had still seen better days and was an unattractive light wood tone. the tool marks looked look like it was forged with an actual hammer and sickle. everything it came with looked heavily used and everything had nearly 1/4 inch of cosmoline on, in, and around it.
accuracy was even poorer than the first mosin I bought so I decided to use this one as my test subject. many people say I should have used the nicer one however I did not want to use one that I was emotionally invested in. I wanted to see if it was possible to make a decent and effective hunting rifle hunting rifle using a mosin nagant but cheaply enough that it was not wiser to just go to walmart and buy a $350 rifle that was designed for such so I gave myself a $300 budget. also I wanted to use only tools that are commonly found in all garages so expensive things like drill presses were stricken.
1. the mosin nagant cost me 125+10 sales tax overall price was $135( a very good deal any more though) .
2. a boyds thumbhole sporter stock cost proximately $110 after shipping, required a great deal of fitting for someone that knows very little about wood working and gunsmithing in general. overall price was now $245.
3. a combination scope rail and bent bolt from ATI cost $45 after shipping and handling. I take full blame for not researching these first however I wanted to keep it cheap and a scout scope rail, scout scope and $80 bent bolt would have exceeded my budget by over 100% so I went the cheap route. the ATI scope rail mounted alright despite having to do everything by hand but the bent bolt which actually requires you to cut the existing bolt off and the drill and tap the bolt body for a single screw to hold it in place. needless to say this is a horrible setup. the bolt style also required further inletting of the boyds stock and the bolt handle rattled loose after a single magazine of ammo went through it. I went with a $10 tube of JB weld to permanently attach the handle to the bolt body has held up through about 50 rounds of 7.62x54R and 200 rounds of 7.62x25(chamber adapter). overall price is now exactly $300 without optics.
I put an existing scope on it t avoid extra investment. the groups have closed to about 3 MOA with a fixed 4x scope however at it's lowest setting still hits over a foot high at 100 yards. final conclusion is that it is possible to sporterize one of these rifles for less than what a modern sporter would cost however there are several problems that you may face along the way and the end result is still a stiff action with less accuracy than just about anything made today.
if you are trying for a cheap hunting rifle then I would suggest a walmart special remington 700 or savage axis. if you are trying to turn a 91/30 into a hunting rifle for the sole pleasure of doing it then I recomend spending the extra time on the scout scope rail that replaces the rear sight and a spare bolt with bent handle. they cost nearly as much as the rifle but it spares drilling and tapping and is completely reversable should you choose. as for stocks either the ATI monte carlo synthetic or a boyds laminate stock would serve you well. I like the boyds thumbhole well enough on mine and my brother has an ATI stock on his enfield and it really cuts down on weight.
all guns lost in a tragic smelting accident.
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