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Old December 29, 2012, 09:04 AM   #1
plouffedaddy
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M44 Mosin Nagant Review





First off, I'm not a Mosin Nagant aficionado but I'll do my best here...

Both of my rifles are Izhevsk laminated rifles and came loaded with cosmoline; once removed the bore and finish on the metal looked excellent.

Pros:

-Price. These rifles can still be found for around $200.
-Build quality. These rifles are overbuilt--in a good way. The actions are very smooth for a surplus guns and when you fire the rifle it just feels like a quality gun.
-Ammo. The 7.62x54r round has great ballistcs performance and is relatively inexpensive. I just ordered a crate 2 weeks ago for $0.18/round in fact.
-The shorter 20'' barrel and 7.62x54 round produce a large fireball with just about every shot; who doesn't love a good fireball??
-Good accuracy for a surplus gun. With 147gr Bulgy surplus I was getting around 4'' with irons at 100m. With "AK style" irons, that's not bad for me.

Cons:

-The safety is poorly designed. I can only imagine what it must have been like for a Russian soldier to come around a corner, see a German soldier, then realize his rifle was on safe... My guess is they probably left the safety off for that very reason.
-If you want to use optics, the bolt needs to be modified/replaced.
-Weight. While they cut 8'' off the old 91/30 to create the M44 the rifle still weighs 8.7lbs.

Chrono Data:

147gr Bulgarian Surplus: 2649fps, 2291 ft/lbs energy

All in all, the M44 is a great rifle considering the cost. Well built, accurate enough for a variety of uses, and fires a cartridge that can take down most about anything you'd find in North America.

Here's my video review of the M44 with some shooting, I go over the basic features/operation of the rifle, discuss the history and development of the rifle, and go over the pros & cons:

M44 HD Video Review Link
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Old December 29, 2012, 09:31 AM   #2
FALPhil
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Good write up, great pictures!

I have several friends that own M44s and M38s that use them for hog hunting in the piney wood flatlands. They originally bought them when they were half what they are today as truck guns, but they have grown to like them so much that they have become primary hunting arms.

I picked a M44 up several years ago at the same time which I restored and posted pics in this thread. It cost me under $100.
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Old December 29, 2012, 07:20 PM   #3
highbrow
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I have 5 Mosins at present. They are great rifles and fun to shoot.
If you got into them early enough, they are very cheap to shoot.
Used to be able to get a case (880 rounds) For less than $50.
Most I paid for one, a M44, was $110, and I thought I got ripped off.
Still have not shot the M44. Was in "new" condition, including bore.
The safety is not that bad with some practice.
I used a scout mount on a M91/30 for deer, works great.
Mosin-1.jpg
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Old December 30, 2012, 08:43 AM   #4
Raider2000
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Very nice review, I also have a M44 manufactured by Izhevsk in 1944 with what seems to be all new parts at the time but mine definitely seen some service either during the last parts of WWII or maybe Korea "don't quote me on the Korea part" because mine has a counter bored muzzle which from my understanding was normal practice back then to bring a rifle back to shooting specks instead of rebarrelling them.

Mine shoots pretty good with average 100 yard groups around 3" with 174gr. Brown Bear ammo.
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Old December 30, 2012, 04:26 PM   #5
plouffedaddy
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Thanks guys.
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Old December 30, 2012, 10:08 PM   #6
smee78
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I just joined the Mosin Nagant League last week when a friend called and asked if I was interested in one for a super price, (read sub $100). While I havent had a chance to take it out, I wanted to know where you ordered your ammo from? I am looking to get some ammo supply built up and that sounds pretty cheap.

Thanks for your review,
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Old December 30, 2012, 11:07 PM   #7
plouffedaddy
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Quote:
I just joined the Mosin Nagant League last week when a friend called and asked if I was interested in one for a super price, (read sub $100).
I'm in SC too... What is this league and how do I join ?
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Old December 31, 2012, 01:57 PM   #8
FALPhil
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Quote:
I'm in SC too... What is this league and how do I join ?
We ought to meet up in N. Augusta in the spring and go pig hunting with our M44s.
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Old December 31, 2012, 04:24 PM   #9
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That would be to cool.
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Old December 31, 2012, 04:53 PM   #10
tahunua001
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very good write up ploufe daddy, but I would just like to add personal input...

Quote:
-Price. These rifles can still be found for around $200.
I have yet to see one at that price, in my area the regular 91/30s are approaching $150+ and the carbines have been nearer to $300 lately, haven't seen the prices since the lastest hubbub started though.

Quote:
-Build quality. These rifles are overbuilt--in a good way. The actions are very smooth for a surplus guns and when you fire the rifle it just feels like a quality gun.
none of the mosin nagants I've shot have what I would call 'smooth actions' but then again they were all wartime production 91/30s if i recall correctly so maybe the carbines got a little better attention, both of the ones I bought have horrible tool marks but I have notices them smoothing out after a couple hundred rounds, maybe mine were just never fired that much during WWII.

Quote:
-Good accuracy for a surplus gun. With 147gr Bulgy surplus I was getting around 4'' with irons at 100m. With "AK style" irons, that's not bad for me.
I wouldn't call 4" at 100 yards good accuracy for any gun. even enfields which are considered to be one of the less accurate designs of WWII were easily capable of 4 MOA. 4" is probably about average with those guns.

Quote:
-The safety is poorly designed. I can only imagine what it must have been like for a Russian soldier to come around a corner, see a German soldier, then realize his rifle was on safe... My guess is they probably left the safety off for that very reason.
I couldn't agree more, that is one thing that my brother in law noted when I was uncocking it to hand it over to him was that normally decocking a bolt action can still result in negligent discharges but that's all these things have so that's what I use.
Quote:
-If you want to use optics, the bolt needs to be modified/replaced.
this is the case in many vintage military bolt actions. the modified bolts for mosins are cheaper than most however so it's not a horrible bad proposition with them.
Quote:
-Weight. While they cut 8'' off the old 91/30 to create the M44 the rifle still weighs 8.7lbs.
I never realized that they were that heavy but man my mosins sure are not light. I was selling the stock for one that i had sporterized at my last gun show and after a couple hours of walking around with it I felt like I had been carrying a full rifle around all day.
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Old December 31, 2012, 06:49 PM   #11
plouffedaddy
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Quote:
-Price. These rifles can still be found for around $200.
I have yet to see one at that price, in my area the regular 91/30s are approaching $150+ and the carbines have been nearer to $300 lately, haven't seen the prices since the lastest hubbub started though.

AIMsurplus.com has them for $189 ($179 if you buy 2).

Quote:
-Build quality. These rifles are overbuilt--in a good way. The actions are very smooth for a surplus guns and when you fire the rifle it just feels like a quality gun.
none of the mosin nagants I've shot have what I would call 'smooth actions' but then again they were all wartime production 91/30s if i recall correctly so maybe the carbines got a little better attention, both of the ones I bought have horrible tool marks but I have notices them smoothing out after a couple hundred rounds, maybe mine were just never fired that much during WWII.

Correct, the wartime 91/30s are much much rougher than most M44s.

Quote:
-Good accuracy for a surplus gun. With 147gr Bulgy surplus I was getting around 4'' with irons at 100m. With "AK style" irons, that's not bad for me.
I wouldn't call 4" at 100 yards good accuracy for any gun. even enfields which are considered to be one of the less accurate designs of WWII were easily capable of 4 MOA. 4" is probably about average with those guns.

Perhaps. For a $189 gun with surplus ammo and iron sights I think 4MOA is pretty good but it just depends on the shooters' perspective. If I had a Remington 700 shooting like that I'd send it back to the factory...

Quote:
-The safety is poorly designed. I can only imagine what it must have been like for a Russian soldier to come around a corner, see a German soldier, then realize his rifle was on safe... My guess is they probably left the safety off for that very reason.
I couldn't agree more, that is one thing that my brother in law noted when I was uncocking it to hand it over to him was that normally decocking a bolt action can still result in negligent discharges but that's all these things have so that's what I use.
Quote:
-If you want to use optics, the bolt needs to be modified/replaced.
this is the case in many vintage military bolt actions. the modified bolts for mosins are cheaper than most however so it's not a horrible bad proposition with them.
Quote:
-Weight. While they cut 8'' off the old 91/30 to create the M44 the rifle still weighs 8.7lbs.
I never realized that they were that heavy but man my mosins sure are not light. I was selling the stock for one that i had sporterized at my last gun show and after a couple hours of walking around with it I felt like I had been carrying a full rifle around all day.
.....
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Old January 2, 2013, 08:40 PM   #12
DeadlyDave
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My $.02 on Mosin Nagant accuracy

About a year ago I bought a a non sniper 91/30 Mosin. The rifling looks well defined to the eye, the fired cases eject looking ok, and I'm confident a L.E.R. 7x32 scope - S&K mount combo is stably affixed. The bore slugs out at .312" groove diameter and winchester 180 gr rounds of .310" diameter all print cleanly at 100 yards. I have floated the barrel. If I concentrate I can usually shoot a 5 round group within 1" horizontal dispersion at 100 yards. The 100 yard vertical dispersion is never smaller than ~ 3" unless I fire the rifle in my (mediocre) gun vise which manages to give me ~1'" vertical dispersion but wobbles latterally and produces terrible horizontal dispersion. So I interpret this to mean that, at firing, the rifle tries to rotate in order to conserve angular momentum and unless it is strongly restrained it will easily swing through enough of an angle about its rotation axis to throw the bullet off before it leaves the barrel ~3 M.O.A in the vertical plane. If my mosin acts like this I think most of them will. It took me about 200 rounds to wake up to this analysis since unfortunately there is a monumental amount of discussion out there distracting attention from the key requirements for consistent grouping. (Aside from ensuring that bullets are symmetrical upon exiting the barrel and have consistent velocity) my experience indicates that one mainly needs to CONSISTENTLY dampen the rifle's angular rotation upon firing to achieve minimum groups.
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Old January 2, 2013, 11:01 PM   #13
tahunua001
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so... you free floated the barrel, added a 7 power scope, and you reload for it and you suspect that all mosins are that accurate out of the box?

most people that buy mosins do so to either collect(IE not alter them in any way), or to shoot super cheap surplus(not that accurate). either way the vaste majority will never see the accuracy that you are claiming and then there is the point that your sample size is 1 gun. my sample of 3 places then at an average of 3" so the sample size between 5 rifles and 3 shooters on this thread puts the odds of obtaining a MOA capable rifle after modification at 20%.

obviously this group is not nearly large enough to make an objective view of the mosin nagant as a whole but the point is that many guns that develop a reputation for poor accuracy do so for a reason there are always outliers, some mausers are horribly inaccurate while some mosins are tack drivers.
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Old January 3, 2013, 03:27 PM   #14
Tom68
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I have never taken the time to fully ascertain the accuracy capability of my 91/30, and frankly have shot it only a few times; but it definitely showed lots of promise. I busted several clay pigeons at 100 yards firing offhand from standing position-- definitely impressed my son--- I probably got lucky but of course didn't tell him that!
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Old January 4, 2013, 10:48 PM   #15
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My Mosin is my shtf gun. I have quite a bit of military surplus ammo for mine and I can hit what I'm aiming at with it. They also make great hunting rifles with Winchesters soft point ammo. The ball ammo is great at chewing through steel too.
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