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Old January 12, 2013, 09:29 PM   #1
mySig229
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Thinking Mosin Nagant

I recently learned that I can have a piece of history and possibly one of the best rifles ever made for under $200.

Can you guys help me out? I was looking at a local "Big 5" sporting goods. They go through a lot!

My questions are as most would expect. What models are there? What stamps should I look for? Are there serials on all the parts?

I really would like to get the best I can. I WILL be caring for this rifle and handing it down to my boys.

Pictures would REALLY help too guys. Thanks a lot!
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Old January 13, 2013, 12:11 AM   #2
straightpull
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Google up 7.62x54r.net and you'll find lots of information and pictures. The models that Big 5 would likely carry is the 91/30. They used to carry M44 and M38. Personally, I'd look for bore condition first, then receiver (I prefer hex). I got a hex one with Russian Imperial eagle stamp from Big 5. Most people like those made by Tula - look for star. The best 91/30 I have has Westinghouse receiver and Tikka barrel I got from gunbroker. Not likely to show up at Big 5, but who knows?
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Old January 13, 2013, 12:46 AM   #3
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I recently learned that I can have a piece of history and possibly one of the best rifles ever made for under $200.
I would hardly call a mosin nagant "one of the best rifles ever made". they are crude to say the least. the tool marks from manufacture are the most horrible Ive ever seen and some literally have spirals cut all the way around the recievers that can be seen from 20 feet away. the actions are stiff and the short bolt handles do not lend themselves to proper leverage. however for less than $200, they always go bang and the surplus ammo is super cheap for a heavier cartridge like the 7.62x54R they are hard to beat. I personally own and shoot two myself but the quality compared to Mausers, Enfields, Springfields, and Arisakas is just not nearly in the same ballpark.

Quote:
My questions are as most would expect. What models are there?
the main models that Big 5 Carries are the 91/30 which is the most common of all mosin nagant models and PU95 snipers(might have gotten the model wrong) but Big 5 just lists them as '91/30 sniper' and they generally run $800 or so so much more than the average mosin. other models I have not seen at Big 5 and generally more expensive are M38 carbines(shorter rifle with no bayonet) M44 carbines(shorter rifle with flip up bayonet) and Chinese Type 53(M44 copy).

Quote:
What stamps should I look for?
the only Mosins I've seen at Big 5 are all manufactured at Izhevsk, IIRC they are differentiated by a triangle with an arrow inside stamped in them. Tulas are rarer but still common, they should be identified by a 5 point star with an arrow inside.

Quote:
Are there serials on all the parts?
the bolt body, receiver, buttplate, and floor plate should all have matching serial numbers.

hope this helps.
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Old January 13, 2013, 12:51 AM   #4
DPris
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Depends on your definition of "best".
By mine, they're far from the best rifle ever made.
The bolt handle's too short & inefficient, the handguard's prone to warping because it's too thin, the design is difficult to mount optics on, the iron sights are typically poorly regulated, the build is relatively un-refined, the triggers are anything but crisp, and the safety is quite awkward to use.

They are usually reliable and robust, but that doesn't make them the best, for me. They worked, but other designs worked better overall.
I have three currently, have owned five over a period of several years. One I have now has over $700 invested in sporterizing, which is still about twice what it's actually worth.

Not saying you, or anybody else, should not buy one, just disputing that "best" label.

Inspect carefully before you buy. Check the bore, look for pitting on any exposed metalwork (and hope you find no rust craters under the woodline), check the front end of the handguard & stock to make sure they're not warped and putting pressure on one side of the barrel or the other.
Check for a loose handguard and/or barrel bands & retaining springs.
Make sure the barreled action doesn't move back & forth in the wood.

Learn how to totally disassemble the bolt & remove all cosmoline. Make very sure you get every last bit of cosmoline out of the chamber & bore, or you'll run into the famed Mosin Sticky Bolt Syndrome.

Not all parts are serialed.
Models will be some version of the 91/30, with the most common having round receivers, lesser numbers of the older pre-1930s with hex receivers.
Tula rifles are generally made better, rifles after about 1943 may show a decline in machining quality.

The sights will probably be off & shoot low. That can be remedied by heatshrink tubing on the front post or by buying an aftermarket front sight assembly.
They were zeroed and carried with a bayonet mounted, but you don't have to shoot it that way.
Denis
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Old January 13, 2013, 08:36 AM   #5
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The Mosins are fine rifles, not top of the line but excellent serviceable rifles.

The most important thing to look for is the barrel. Take a bore light and make sure you get a clean barrel.

The biggest problem with the Mosin is people don't take the time nor put in the effort to learn to shoot them. They can be pretty dern accurate rifles with the existing sights.

If you get one (and I think everyone should have one), find a CMP GSM Clinic in your area (up coming clinics are listed on the CMP Websites, more will be added to the list when the weather starts to warm up). You'll learn to load them which is a bit tricky at first.

Yes most shoot high, that's an easy fix, I've posted the procedure several times on this and other forms so wont go into it hear. I'm talking about fixing the existing sights keeping the rifle within the CMP Vintage Military Rifle Rules.

I'm not a fan of cheap surplus ammo in my guns but a lot of people shoot it. I reload with quality components and mine is quite accurate. If you don't reload Winchester has ammo that is pretty good, accurate, and can be used for hunting.

Some people "bubba them", not my thing but for the price one can get more then one, modify one and keep on "as is" to keep the historical value and with in the CMP GSM rules.

Try CMP GSM Matches, lot of fun, and a good place to learn to shoot your rifles (not just the Mosins).
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Old January 13, 2013, 01:30 PM   #6
chris in va
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I recently learned that I can have a piece of history and possibly one of the best rifles ever made for under $200.
What??

The average Mosin is a 2x4 with a barrel. It's like saying the VW beetle was the finest car ever made.

My Russian friend has one. The front sight was skewed on his 91/30, so lacking proper tools he took a rock and beat it back over. Pretty well sums it up.
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Old January 13, 2013, 01:58 PM   #7
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alright guys, I think the OP has been sufficiently chastised about the quality of worksmanship on mosins. in some respects it just may be one of the better rifles considering the 10s of millions that were made and the 50+ year service life. also I would hardly call them a 2x4 that shoots bullets, though they are very heavy compared to most the actual ergonomics of the rifle are not poor at all and the stock design was very well thought out as I have noticed a huge difference in the way felt recoil is perceived between a military stock and thumbhole sporter stock with the military stock being much milder with less upward motion despite the metal buttplate.
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Old January 13, 2013, 04:32 PM   #8
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If you want one to pass down to your kids, look for one with a hexagonal receiver because they are stronger than the round ones. Also get one made before ww2 because they made millions in mass production, so a quality issue might have been overlooked. When looking at one check the crown on the muzzle because it could have been damaged therefore resulting in loss of accuracy. The date that the rifle was made should be on the recevier below the factory symbol. The tula factory would have put a star, the ivhevsk factory will have a hammer and sickle. The different variations are the 1891 which is the very first design made by sergei moisan and leon nagant. Thats how it got its name because both mens designs were used to make it. Then there are the dragoon and cossack varients which I do not know much about. Then there was the 91/30 which is a 1891 moisan with a revised interrupter and magazine. Then the m38 which is a carbine version of the 91/30. It can't have a bayonet attached. Because of this the soviets started to design the m44. It has a non detachable bayonet that folds to the side. It is basicly like a m38 just with the bayonet.
Didn't mean to write a book on this but I felt like sharing some knowledge... oh a round recevier will do fine just a hexagonal lasts longer and is more desirable
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Old January 13, 2013, 10:25 PM   #9
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If you have patience and a little more money, get an American made M91. This would be a great handme down to your kids. Go to the 7.62x54R.net site and learn about them. There's always a Remington or New England Westinghouse on the various online auctions. Sometimes you can get them for around $300 or so. They are darn near 100yrs old and mine all still shoot great and one of them will do 1.5"MOA when I do my job. And, the 7.62x54R is still going strong, active service. The round and the rifle has quite a history, including US service in war.
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Old January 13, 2013, 10:35 PM   #10
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I sure do like my M-44's
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Old January 13, 2013, 10:43 PM   #11
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If you have patience and a little more money, get an American made M91. This would be a great handme down to your kids. Go to the 7.62x54R.net site and learn about them.
Dad had one, made by Remington, IIRC ....... his first deer rifle.

It worked pretty well until he shot some military surplus ammo through it...... .311 steel jacketed bullets do bad things to .308 bored guns..... bullets keyholed at 25 yards.
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Old January 13, 2013, 11:41 PM   #12
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The Mosin is a typical Russian product. It's cheap, it works, everything else is unnecessary.

That said my M44 is a lot of fun, it shoots well and the trigger isn't bad.
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Old January 14, 2013, 11:29 AM   #13
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The tula factory would have put a star, the ivhevsk factory will have a hammer and sickle
Ivhevsk, depending on the year of manufacture either had a bow & arrow, or an arrow in a triangle. Lots of details on barrel markings here:

http://www.7.62x54r.net/MosinID/MosinRef02.htm

Frankly I like the WW2 era Mosins. The Fascists were at the doorstep, the factories were cranking out rifles as fast as they could to defend the motherland, and it shows. They didn't spend a lot of time on finish work, but they all function, are quite robust, and are sufficiently accurate for the need.

Part of the reason they are still in service today, 122 years later.

If you really want a cool Mosin, order an original PU sniper from Classic Arms.
http://www.classicfirearms.com/c-r-e...cope-and-mount

On edit: Looks like AIM has them too:
http://www.aimsurplus.com/product.as...Nagant+Snipers
Big-5 occasionally sells repro snipers, which are a reproduction scopes and mounts slapped on whatever the next rifle from the crate happens to be for about the same price, but these are the real deal.




Last edited by emcon5; January 14, 2013 at 12:27 PM.
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Old January 15, 2013, 12:17 AM   #14
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The only issue I have with these "sniper" versions, even though they may be historically accurate, is that the scope is so high, such that if you are going to look through it, you have to bring your cheek up off the stock .... whe the gun goes off, instead of everything recoiling as a unit, the gun and your shoulder go back, and your head stays put.... until our neck pulls it down into the stock ..... now maybe the Rus were tougher stuff than I, but I'm thinking smacking yourself in the face on every shot is not going to be good for repeatable accuracy ..... unless you REALLY want to kill you some Krauts ......
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Old January 15, 2013, 12:32 AM   #15
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jimbob, they kindof foster a chinweld over a cheek weld, yes it is not as stable as most but these snipers had to make do with weapons that were compatible with the ones that the rest of the military was using, enfields compensated by adding a wood riser to the buttstocks on their snipers, and the design of the springfield rails were thought out enough that springfields were actually not all that bad but I will agree, the rusky stuff is too darned high.
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Old January 15, 2013, 01:02 AM   #16
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jimbob, they kindof foster a chinweld over a cheek weld,
Teh Rus have a reputation for taking it on the chin and still dishing it out though, yes?
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Old January 15, 2013, 05:34 AM   #17
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Mosins are kind of a strange animal to me, I have 2 of them. one was made in 1938, the fit and finish is of high quality, metal is polished before blueing and such, a nice hardwood stock, nice trigger pull. I paid $130 for this one.

Then I have another that was made rather hastily right in the middle of WWII. Machining marks are still there, the laminate stock doesn't fit as good, the trigger pull is spongy. I paid $99 for this one. Both are from the same armory.
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Old January 15, 2013, 10:40 AM   #18
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I'm thinking smacking yourself in the face on every shot is not going to be good for repeatable accuracy
I have never had that particular problem, but yeah, the head position takes some getting used to, it feels quite unnatural.
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Old January 15, 2013, 02:13 PM   #19
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I myself just bought a mosin nagant, it is a 1939 izhevsk m91/30. I can't speak much for which model is best or what markings to look out for as I am still learning a lot about them myself, but I can definitely say 7.62x54r.net is your go to place for everything mosin nagant. I picked mine out purely based off of which one had the smoothest action. At first I had some problems cycling rounds, but after a thorough re-cleaning of the chamber and some polishing to the bolt's moving parts it works great. You can also refinish the stock fairly easily and make it look very nice. After all of the work I did to mine it not only looks good (IMO), but it's a mighty fine shooter as well. Goes to show that with a little work, anyone can take an old beaten up surplus rifle and make it almost as nice as a modern day bolt action.
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Old January 15, 2013, 03:19 PM   #20
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The Mosin Nagant, pronounced --- "moseen nagon" --- especially the M91-30 "sniper", was the most accurate sniper rifle of WW2.

My almost "true sniper", 1943 "IZZY"{Izhevsk} M91-30, is outfitted with a non-matching serial numbered, PU 3.5x scope. It comes with a non-glare finish Birch stock, that uses sand wheel burnt marks on the stock --- that suggests the mottled camouflage pattern of a tiger shark. It is a beautiful looking rifle, with a slick, buttery fast feed turn down bolt. I figure it's worth about a grand.


Some M91-30 snipers, have the original serial numbers grounded out {many are fake snipers}...mine has the original serial number --- which has been crossed out with a single chisel blow across the serial number --- that is located on the left side of the reciever, above the stock, in the chamber area below the makers crest mark.

This means...the rifle at the factory, was selected for it's accuracy, stamped with the serial number as a designated sniper rifle. After WW2...the scope & mount was removed, and turned into a infantry rifle; with the serial number stamped or grounded out.

The importer --- Century --- recieved the rifle in the United States...thusly, turning the rifle back into a sniper, with the addition of a PU scope & mount.


I have it outfitted with a removable cheek pad.

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Old January 15, 2013, 05:44 PM   #21
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The Mosin Nagant, pronounced --- "moseen nagon" --- especially the M91-30 "sniper", was the most accurate sniper rifle of WW2.
actually, the title of most accurate goes to the M41 swedish mauser, though Sweden was a neutral party, they did maintain a very well outfitted military as a deterrent and Swedish rifles are considered to be some of the best made and most accurate small arms of WWII. springfields were also capable of amazing accuracy but with only a 2.5x scope they were just more difficult to make a good shot with.

from what I've heard of the VIMBAR sniper shoots, 91/30s rarely take home the gold, that is just a fact of life.
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Old January 27, 2013, 01:53 AM   #22
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Not that I'm recommending this, but when you only spend $150 on the rifle, you don't feel bad about doing a trigger job with a pop can top, and lowering your POI by extending the front sight with a piece of wire insulation.

Hitting the gong consistently at 200 yards (once the barrel heats up) while the guy next to you with his modern $700 rifle kicks up dust is a pretty good feeling.

Edit: People will probably give you crap for having a Mosin (they're so common and cheap, I think people just get tired of seeing them), but I'm in it for the history. Also, today at the range I counted no less than 4.
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Old January 27, 2013, 11:45 AM   #23
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I buy local for mine. I can get the chance to inspect it myself. I look for two major things. I make sure the stock has no cracks in it. I also check the bore. All that I have seen have had very strong rifling, and clean bores. Dark or shiney I do not care as long as the rifling is strong. When I buy one I take it to the range with a mallet, and drift punch to set the front sight to shoot straight without the bayonette on it.

My newest one shoots 2 inches to the right at 25 yards without the bayonette so I will be working on it today. (Forgot to take the mallet, and punch yesterday.)
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Old January 27, 2013, 08:12 PM   #24
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Check out the bore, and check for matching serial numbers. I love the Mosin Nagant! They seem to be pretty accurate!
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