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Old December 1, 2008, 12:52 PM   #1
cxg231
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Mosin-Nagant M1891/30 Question (Problem?)

Picked up my first Mosin-Nagant rifle yesterday. I say my first b/c I anticipate it won't be my last! The stock is in great shape and the action is tight.

So, I spent a few hours getting all the cosmoline out of it and took it to the gun club to send a few down range. I was shooting lacquered-case Romanian "Hotshot" brand ammunition, as that is all I could find locally. After the third shot, I had to muscle the bolt open and after the eighth shot, I could not get the bolt open at all. I could get the bolt to rotate about 20 degrees and that was it. So I took it home with the spent casing still inside and the bolt closed. Good thing I didn't get pulled over by Officer Friendly, but I digress.

When the rifle had fully cooled down I was able to coax the bolt open and eject the casing, but not without using a considerable amount of force.

So - my question is - is this a problem with the lacquered case ammunition? As in - the lacquer is sticking to the inside of the hot chamber? Or is it possible that the action on my rifle is too tight? As in, when the metal parts expand with heat, they are causing the bolt to jam?

I know this is a tad vague, but I was hoping some of you might have some input on this situation. The best thing to do would be to find some non-lacquered ammunition and see if the same thing happens. But I don't want to order a whole can of surplus if the problem is with my action...

Thanks for reading my novel.



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Old December 1, 2008, 01:33 PM   #2
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Quote:
So - my question is - is this a problem with the lacquered case ammunition? As in - the lacquer is sticking to the inside of the hot chamber?
Yes. There's probably ancient cosmoline and/or cleaning oil residue inside the chamber. Next time you take it to the range, shoot it until it starts getting hot, then wipe off the inside of the chamber with a small shotgun brush soaked in mineral spirits. A small rag tied to a piece of wood will also work. This procedure can also be done in a warm (180-200 degrees F) oven, but this requires disassembling the rifle and obtaining spousal approval.

It's also possible that you have a burr in the chamber, although this usually causes hard extraction right away, with a cold barrel. Inspect your extracted rounds for scratches. Be aware that the ejector on the receiver wall usually scratches the cases on the way in, so you'll want to hand-feed the test round(s) partway into the chamber.
Quote:
Or is it possible that the action on my rifle is too tight? As in, when the metal parts expand with heat, they are causing the bolt to jam?
It's possible but quite unlikely.
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Old December 1, 2008, 01:37 PM   #3
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carguychris - thanks for your very thorough response. As you were typing that, I was reading something very similar here:

http://surplusrifle.com/shooting2005...esbs/index.asp

Looks like I did not clean the rifle quite as thoroughly as I thought.

Extraction is good when the rifle is cold, so I think it is a lack of proper cleaning rather than a burr. Gives me something to do tonight after work.

Thanks again.
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Old December 1, 2008, 05:45 PM   #4
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Looks like you hit the right site for that problem. There have been various problems of extraction or sticking with steel cases in a variety of arms, it is because some kind of "coating" or "plating" has to be applied to the cases to prevent rust. And a dirty chamber aggravates the problem. Often it is in something like an AK that gets fired fast and alot, and the crud builds up or the heat of the gun affects the coating. Some current ammo surplus is sort of copper washed finish on the cases, there is nothing on there to easily flake off or melt. I just ordered a bunch of MN ammo from AIM, it should not have that problem. The problem is, that the ammo sellers have a huge backlog right now. Said it would take a month for a crate full to get here.
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Old December 1, 2008, 06:18 PM   #5
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Its not the ammo, its the gun.

ive shot multiple types of ammo of varying quality and its usually around the 40th round that it starts to stick. when it heats up again take a chamber brush and some solvent and scrub the chamber and headspace untill it comes out clean.
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Old December 1, 2008, 07:42 PM   #6
cxg231
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Thanks for the replies guys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom2
Some current ammo surplus is sort of copper washed finish on the cases, there is nothing on there to easily flake off or melt. I just ordered a bunch of MN ammo from AIM, it should not have that problem. The problem is, that the ammo sellers have a huge backlog right now. Said it would take a month for a crate full to get here.
Yeah - I was going to order a few tins of the copper washed surplus from AIM, I'm going to go crazy waiting for it though.
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Old December 1, 2008, 08:08 PM   #7
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I followed this procedure and mine works well. Otherwise, get a 2X4... that will open the bolt 4 out of 5 times.

Sticky Bolt
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Old December 1, 2008, 10:04 PM   #8
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This is a common occurrence with M/N rifles. My M44 did this the first time I took it out. I haven't had any trouble with it since after a good cleaning of the chamber. As some one else said, take a brush that fits tight in the chamber and some solvent and clean it out real good. Some say that have taken the brush and put it in a drill and cleaned the chamber with it. I didn't use a drill, but after I cleaned the chamber real well, I haven't had any problems.
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Old December 2, 2008, 08:47 PM   #9
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I have never actually had problems with rounds sticking in the MN, but I don't really fire a large volume of shots out of them at the range, probably 40 or maybe less, and go on to another rifle or something. I think the ammo I have been using is the copper washed steel. Only bolt I had that ever had a round stick in it was an 03A3 with a chamber so badly machined, that I sold it after I got the case unstuck. It was machined with concentric machine marks in the chamber, like it was intended to grip cases. And it was an old DCM rifle, not some Greek import or something.
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Old December 8, 2008, 04:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Looks like I did not clean the rifle quite as thoroughly as I thought.
That old caked on chamber cosmo is pretty hard to clean. I ended up using a 12 gauge wire brush soaked in mineral spirits and chucked into my drill with one section of old 12 gauge cleaning rod. Then using a 20 gauge cotton swab to clean out the spirits.
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Old December 9, 2008, 02:41 PM   #11
cxg231
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Thanks for all the help everyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gandog56
That old caked on chamber cosmo is pretty hard to clean.
You said it. I took the Mosin to the range on Saturday. Shot 4 rounds, cleaned the chamber with .410 shotgun brass brush soaked in Hoppes #9. Repeat 4 times. The bolt was still sticking a bit after all that.

Looks like I will need to repeat this trip to the range a few more times...
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