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Old December 6, 2012, 03:59 AM   #1
Ludwig Von Mises
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Mosin M38, to modify or keep stock?

Ok, so here's the deal. I acquired a 70 percent finish, 70pct barrel, all parts matched Mosin M38 (1942 Izzy) for around 200 and change. Some people will scoff at that, but the price has gone up markedly on all mosins of any type of quality, and this one had all matching parts as well as the original WWII hardwood stock.

For the mosin nerds, the serial numbers on the barrel shank, bolt, and mag base all match, down to a blemish in the 5 that is present in all stampings. Markings on the stock and lower barrel shank indicate usage in Ukranian and possibly Chinese arsenals, and this is backed up by a fairly deep counterbore, about 3/4 of an inch. The odd thing is a lone Tula star on the bottom part of the reciever, near the front screw, which could also be a Czech symbol. The things a damn mystery, which makes it difficult for me to even consider what I am about to ask. The chamber seems to be in good condition, better after I hit it with a wire brush and drill, and got the cosmoline out.

New and dirty it shot about 3 inches off center at 100 yds with iron sights (and no spotter scope for shot placement info, all was just about 20 rounds at a time, off the cuff.) From a semi-supported bench position, (elbows on the bench, no sandbags) I was able to keep groups of ten shots within about a one inch average and two inch extreme group, albeit about 3 inches to the right of target center and aim point. Whether this is the gun, being a mosin, or me, as I'm not trying to front like any sort of crackshot, I'm not sure, but I digress.

The value in this gun to me lies in the practical value, but the fact that it's all matching and in relatively good condition, with a beautiful stock, I hesitate to do anything but tap the rear sight for a scope. But, for the purpose of barrel harmonics and the cool safari-gun look it would create, I was considering cutting down the stock right around where the rearmost barrel band ends, and possibly shimming or bedding the stock. If it shoots as well as it does with a cumbersome and possibly accuracy hindering stock with many contact points, I do wonder if this would help it be more maneuverable as well as possibly be more consistent/accurate.

Pic included - 1942 Mosin, P95, and CZ75, imported from Israeli Police, for 350 at same gun show.
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Old December 6, 2012, 04:49 AM   #2
Irish B
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Keep this one in it's original condition. If you want a mosin to mod get a 91/30. I turned mine into a poor man's sniper rifle. I can out shoot my uncle's 300WM with the right ammo out to 500 yards.

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Old December 6, 2012, 10:08 PM   #3
stu925
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I'd leave it as it is but it is your rifle. I too think the 91/30 is a better candidate for modifying as long as it's not a hex receiver rifle.

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Old December 7, 2012, 04:22 PM   #4
RC20
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First of all take your time. Beat it from all directions before taking any action that is not reversible. Once you decide, put it in the mental hopper for a month and let it stew and then review the decision. No need for speed.

Personally I would keep it as is. While I understand and have no issues with what has happened in the past with people making them more usable, its time to preserve the good and unusual examples.

Buy a cheap one and convert it if you want .

Sounds like you have a a really great one and keep in mind that stock is probably part of why it shoots well.

No experience with the front tension but it usually was intended to have some pressure on those full stock guns.
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Old December 8, 2012, 12:20 AM   #5
doofus47
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i had a M44 Mosin Nagant; i took the bayonet off as soon as I got home. I think I could compare it to the M38. I thought it handled really well for a 60 year old military-issue rifle.
I say keep the original on this. MN prices won't go down if they're scuffed--it adds to the historical value...

happy shooting.
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Old December 8, 2012, 03:30 PM   #6
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Not much collector value for a 1942 Izzy M38, listed as a "2" on the rarity scale...
http://7.62x54r.net/MosinID/MosinRarity.htm

Do what you want with it.

I've built a long range 91/30 sporter, fun project but quite a bit of work.

If you want a shooter, cut and re-crown the barrel behind the counterbore.
Glass bed it into a Boyd's stock, give it a Timney trigger, Rock Solid optics mount or a JMeck if you don't want to d&t, and make or buy your bent bolt..and have fun.
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Old December 9, 2012, 03:11 AM   #7
Ludwig Von Mises
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Thanks for all the replies, I did a little experiment with it today, put on a ching sling and removed the handguard/bands because they seemed to be exerting some pressure, shimmed the reciever up front about a sixteenth of an inch, so that the chamber was still within the reach of the wood but the barrel had a beautiful little float to it, i figured, hey, if it shoots like ****, I'll pop the reciever out, pull out the shims, and go back to normal. Nothing permanent here, just a test to see if bedding/floating is even worth it in this stock.

Crazy thing is, it was... To the RSO's displeasure, I found a large piece of shale, which is real fun to shoot, about six inches square and set it up high on the backstop, so about a hundred and a quarter. Iron sights, ching sling, prone, hit the thing the first time, hit one of the fragments with a second, and hit the ammo box i used to mark it with the third. Shales good because 22 just makes a loud crack when it hits and the bigger stuff actually blows it up which makes it easy to tell I wasn't just hitting backstop. That was good enough for me and I spent the rest of the day shooting 270.

So i figured that out at least, now I'm gonna take tobn's advice and cut/recrown the barrel, see if that improves my paper accuracy, which is still at minute of paper plate. Best group today with it, out of fifty rounds and five targets, was five shots in three and a half inches, at a buck twenty five.

What do you guys think about those home recrowning kits? Are they legit? I could possibly access a drill press but it would be a bitch because I no longer live anywhere near it. College kid on a college kid budget so I tend to phase out the word "gunsmith"...

EDIT: Also, couldn't I just cut the bolt at a 45 degree angle and turn the cut piece so it faces down, and tig weld it? or do I have to go out and buy a new bolt?

Last edited by Ludwig Von Mises; December 9, 2012 at 03:28 AM.
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Old December 9, 2012, 10:27 AM   #8
emcon5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ludwig Von Mises
I was abl I was able to keep groups of ten shots within about a one inch average and two inch extreme group, albeit about 3 inches to the right of target center and aim point.
At what range? The off center part is an easy fix, just drift the front sight to the right a hair.

If 100 yards, that is an awesome shooter, if 50 it is still pretty damn good for an iron sighted Mosin.

The counerbore is a recrown, so I wouldn't expect much from that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tobnpr
Not much collector value for a 1942 Izzy M38, listed as a "2" on the rarity scale...
http://7.62x54r.net/MosinID/MosinRarity.htm
Maybe true by numbers made, but M38s have pretty much dried up, and the prices have gone up considerably in the past few years. The $200 he paid is not out of line, even though they sold for not much over $100 a few years ago.

"no collector value" is also sliding scale. In the 50s, Mausers and 1903s, were dirt cheap and widely available. They had "no collector value".
Now, a matching K98 can fetch $1000, and even ratty Soviet capture reworks are going for $4-500. 1903s and 03A3s start around $500, and go up from there.

Even the ubiquitous 91/30 prices have gone up ~20% this year. Back in February, all the distributors sold them for $80, now they all sell them for $100.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ludwig Von Mises
Best group today with it, out of fifty rounds and five targets, was five shots in three and a half inches, at a buck twenty five.
Also, what ammo were you using? With Mosin iron sights, that is pretty good. If you are using surplus ammo it is really good, particularly with a M38 sight radius.

What is your goal with this? If you want a hunting or target rifle, you are probably better off selling it for what you have in it and buying a Remington or Savage from Wal Mart. Manufacturing has come a long way in the past 70 years, and even the cheapest modern bolt gun will outshoot a Mosin, and are easier to scope since they are already set up for it. A Mosin because of the receiver design is more difficult.

It is your rifle, and you can do what you want, but generally speaking you are destroying a historical artifact by doing so.
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Old December 9, 2012, 11:15 AM   #9
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M38's need to stay original. They are getting rare. Modify a 91/30.
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Old December 9, 2012, 01:28 PM   #10
tobnpr
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Quote:
What do you guys think about those home recrowning kits?
This:
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/684...00-312-330-366

Yielded this:



91/30, cut barrel to 22" (yes- with a hacksaw ) and cut the crown.
Place the barreled action in a vise (wrap/protect of course). A piece of tape around the barrel will help keep your cut square, the cutter will true the face of the muzzle square as you begin cutting. Go slow, and use plenty of cutting oil.

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Old December 14, 2012, 10:56 AM   #11
Three44s
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I have five mosins.

Two 91/30's, two m44's and one m38.

The "38" is easily my favorite ........ by a MILE!

If I were buying one to experiment on, I'd buy a m44 for cheap because the barrel is already in the range you are experiencing with the "38"

And here's something I think you'll get a big kick out of:

http://www.gswagner.com/

Enjoy!!

Three 44s

Last edited by Three44s; December 14, 2012 at 11:01 AM.
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Old December 15, 2012, 12:34 PM   #12
RC20
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Buy something of no historical value to experiment with but keep it intact, please

Offer it for sale you will get a lot of offers and then you can buy something good but of no historical rarity to experiment with

I have no qualms about wanting to do that sort of thing, it fun and interesing, just not on a rare one.
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Old January 17, 2013, 07:59 AM   #13
Ludwig Von Mises
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Update-

The removal of the stock has done wonders for accuracy. still have the occasional stray, need to recrown barrel, but with counterbore and surplus ammo, i can hit coke cans two hundred yards out, not to mention the visceral pleasure of the garbage-can size holes that the mild steel rounds punch through the ice, which I might add, is thick enough to hold people.

made a snowman to test the accuracy on man sized targets, offhand with the ching sling, its a shockingly easy shot at a buck fifty. the trigger work is probably what contributed most to that.

the shimming and lack of pressure on the barrel have helped immensely. Apparently you can put lipstick on a pig because i was outshooting my buddy's noveske AR with open sights.

thanks for the input everyone.
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Old January 18, 2013, 06:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Buy something of no historical value to experiment with but keep it intact, please

Offer it for sale you will get a lot of offers and then you can buy something good but of no historical rarity to experiment with

I have no qualms about wanting to do that sort of thing, it fun and interesing, just not on a rare one.
1903 and K98's were of little value until many were sporterized and changed. Making origanals more rare. Personaly I wouldnt buy such a gun to modify, but if OP and many others do than mine will become much more valuable.
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