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Old March 11, 2009, 05:13 PM   #1
kentak
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Can you help with this Mosin-Nagant?

First, I'm neither a collector nor expert on these interesting rifles. However, I do have one in my possession which is very special--it's been in the family since 1951--and quite possibly a direct capture from communist forces. I only recently decided to see if the darn thing is shootable.

Based on internet pictures, I at first thought it might be a Russian M38. However, some sources suggested production of M38s stopped in 1944, and this is clearly marked 1945. Also, the muzzle detail suggest that it might have had an affixed bayonet, a la M44, which had been subsequently removed. So, I'm now of the opinion that it is indeed a M44 sans bayonet.

The receiver, bolt, and magazine floorplate all have matching numbers: TT7201. There is no sling, cleaning rod, or (if a M44) bayonet.

My interest is not in any collector value, but rather, in returning it, if possible, to a safe shooting condition, retaining as many original parts as possible. In any case, I plan to keep it as a family memento.

History:

My father served in the U. S. Navy during the Korean Conflict. He was in Pusan, South Korea, in 1951 when he acquired the rifle from a casual acquaintance who was in the U. S. Army. My father's belief was that the rifle was captured from the communist forces, and had a brass plate affixed to the buttstock stating as much. As a side note, the plate was formed aboard ship from a 5 in. shell casing.

My father's interest in the rifle was that of a war souvenir, and it has not been fired since he acquired it. According to him, he only cleaned and refinished the stock. Sometime in the 1960's when my brother and I started target shooting with .22 rifles, my dad attempted to ascertain the caliber and availability of ammunition for the Mosin-Nagant with the thought of shooting it. Unfortunately, he did so by making a plaster casting of the chamber. Unfortunate because I'm not sure how well he cleaned it after the process. Anyway, apparently he couldn't get reliable information about the ammo and the rifle was returned to the gun rack for about forty years.

Fast forward to last weekend.

I completely disassembled the weapon and cleaned all parts. There was virtually no surface rust on any of the metal parts, just a dull patina and a general greasy residue, dried oil. Definitely not Cosmoline. The firing pin is broken at the tip, and the extractor is broken.

The bore and chamber were extremely dirty and, presumably rusty, based on the reddish-brown sludge removed. I scrubbed the bore with solvent soaked bore mops, bronze brush, and also with Remington Bore Cleaner which is mildly abrasive. I cleaned the chamber by spinning a sized bore mop saturated with cleaner attached to a drill. This is a preliminary cleaning, and I will do more, but I wanted to be able to determine the condition of the bore and chamber. From what I can see, the bore is heavily pitted. The chamber seems not too bad, except possibly for the area around the throat which seems to have had more rust. I will try to get some pictures of the bore and chamber when I can.

I hope you find this piece interesting. Anything you can tell me about it would be appreciated.

K







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Old March 11, 2009, 07:26 PM   #2
trippingpara
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That is a M44 made at the Izhevsk arsenal after 1938 (obviously in 1945). It does look like the remains of the bayonet ring just aft of what remains of your front sight (you are missing the sight hood). It also appears that you are missing the cleaning rod. The M44 (like the 91/30 and M38) fire the 7.62x54R round. A great site for more info (including a step by step questionnaire to determine which model you have) is http://7.62x54r.net/

Pretty neat keepsake you got there with the family history to boot!
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Old March 12, 2009, 08:30 PM   #3
squeak003
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Location: michigan
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i just bought a mosin yesterday.....here are a few links i've found to learn more about the gun and some parts sites

how to identify
just follow the instructions
http://7.62x54r.net/MosinID/MosinID.htm

mosin collectors forum
http://forums.gunboards.com/forumdisplay.php?f=3

owners manual
http://www.impactguns.com/store/mosi...nt_rifles.html

parts and accessories
http://www.tickbitesupply.com/mos.html

ammo
http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/ItemL...aspx?catid=607
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will be looking to add to my collection soon (most likely a sig p232)
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Old March 12, 2009, 09:18 PM   #4
James K
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FWIW, some commanders ordered that souvenir weapons be deactivated, usually by breaking the firing pin to "prevent accidents". Some parents did the same sort of thing when their children were young. I suspect the bayonet is missing for the same reason.

Both the firing pin and extractor can be bought and are easily replaced.

The only caution would be to be sure to wear ear and eye protection. The muzzle blast on those carbines is, well, noticeable.

Jim
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Old March 13, 2009, 12:46 PM   #5
simonkenton
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What a great keepsake!
You will have no trouble finding a firing pin and an extractor for it, although, removing and installing an extractor is a real bear, you may want to hire that out.
You ought to fire it up!
Even though the bore is pitted it still may shoot ok.

Shoot it at night one time for kicks, the muzzle flash is something to see.
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Old March 13, 2009, 10:10 PM   #6
kentak
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Thanks to all for your replies.

About the broken extractor--would it be better to buy a new bolt head assembly with the extractor already installed? Or, is it better to keep the original for better function? The remains of the extractor looks really closely mated to the bolt head.

The *only* modification my dad made to the gun was to refinish the stock. I wish he had left it alone, but what is done is done.

Here's a better picture of the front sight area.



This is clearly a M44 with the bayonet removed and a missing front post and hood. Notice the vertical groove in the barrel for the bayonet pin.

The most interesting (and puzzling) feature is the blade sight which has been added. But, by whom? For forty years I never realized it wasn't an original part until I just recently took an interest in this rifle.

Is it possible the North Koreans got a bunch of these M44s from Russia or China a decided to do away with the bayonets? Has any collector ever seen anything similar?

BTW, today I worked on the bore and chamber again. It's not in as bad a condition as I originally thought. I got a lot more rust out. I polished the chamber and it appears clean and smooth. The bore is rough, but much cleaner than after my first cleaning. The rifling is well defined, but with soft edges on the lands (or is it grooves).

I bought a box of Winchester 180 gr FMJ today. I guess I'm getting anxious. There is a gun show coming to town in a couple weeks. If I can't get the parts I need there, I'll look for an online source.

Do I understand correctly that *all* M-N firing pins are interchangeable? What about bolt heads?

K
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Old March 14, 2009, 02:55 PM   #7
mp25ds4
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it would definatly be easier to just by a new bolt head, since it has no serial numbers on it it shouldnt matter if you replace the old one. you could look for these parts either at gunbroker.com or ebay and dont worry about your dad refinishing the stock it actually adds to the value with mosins and alot of people do it
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Old March 14, 2009, 04:06 PM   #8
Notenoughguns
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The bolt head is what determines the head space. I would be leery of putting one from a different gun into it.

I have a M44 and it bore looks like a sewer pipe but it shoots pretty darn good. It likes mil surplus 147gr them 180s really kick
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Old March 14, 2009, 05:35 PM   #9
simonkenton
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If you try to change out that extractor, you will probably wind up with 2 broken extractors.
I bought a Mosin Nagant from a very reputable internet dealer.
When I opened the box, I saw that my M39 had a broken extractor!
I mailed back the bolt, the dealer, an expert with Mosin Nagants, did not want to try to change out that extractor.
He replaced the bolt head, and checked the head space before he shipped it to me. All free of course, he paid my shipping also.
Of course he had a couple hundred bolt heads to choose among.
I don't know how many he had to try before he found one that had the right headspace, I think he struck gold on the second or third try.

I do recall reading about guys changing out extractors, using a piece of wood for a hammer or something, I don't recall, you probably can find a tutorial on it.
Hell buy five extractors and give it a shot, you will become a Mosin gunsmith.

It is said that the Mosin Nagant was designed to be repaired by any Russian peasant with a screwdriver and a rock.
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Old March 14, 2009, 11:04 PM   #10
kentak
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Simon--

I had wondered myself about possible headspace issues with using an unmatched bolt head. I assume the original extractors were installed at the factory using special machinery for a press fit. The boundary between bolt head and extractor when viewed from the rear of the bolt head is all but invisible. In fact, it looks to me like the rear of the bolt head was ground to size after the extractor was installed, which made it look even more like one piece of metal.

K
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Old March 15, 2009, 10:49 PM   #11
squeak003
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how to disassemble the bolt and remove the extractor

http://www.surplusrifle.com/finnishm...mbly/index.asp
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Mosin Nagant M91, Mosberg 500 12g, ruger 10/22 with a few mods, saiga 20 with a red dot (soon to be converted)
will be looking to add to my collection soon (most likely a sig p232)
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Old March 16, 2009, 09:23 PM   #12
kentak
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Okay. I've ordered the parts I need from buymilsurp.com. I included a front sight, since that blade sight is way too low. Hopefully it will fit on the existing sight base without too much trouble.

I got an email saying it's been shipped already. So, who know, maybe by this weekend this thing will roar once again--after half a century.

Stay tuned.

K
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