View Full Version : Mosin-Nagant and bear

July 16, 2009, 03:27 AM
Being as I live in prime black bear country I am looking to get a chance to hunt for them one day. My favorite bolt I have right now is a Mosin-Nagant 91/59 carbine. It fires the 7.62x54r rimmed cartridge and I have bullets mostly in 180 but picked up some 204 grain brown bear the other day. Could I use the 180's for black bear? I am more than confident I could use the 204's since a lot of people in the area use 180 gr .30-06's around here but I only have a few rounds of 204 gr.

July 16, 2009, 06:26 PM
Your Nagant has plenty of juice for a bear, I wouldn't worry about it. Use the 180's and have at 'em.

July 16, 2009, 06:29 PM
Just make sure they are soft points and not FMJ and you got a plenty good gun for the job.

July 17, 2009, 03:14 AM
S&B and Wolf both have SP hunting loads that will work fine. I'd even go as light as 150gr if I got better groups.

July 17, 2009, 04:17 AM
My 180 gr loads are Hot Shot SP ammo, Silver Bear SP, and I might still have some Winchester White Box but that might be FMJ. My most recent acquisition was the Brown Bear 204 gr SP's which should be quite interesting to shoot with that metal plate... :eek: I might be able to get more. They were cheap at around $11 a box of 20 and they are supposedly non-corrosive...

In total I have 40 rounds of 204 gr and probably around 80-100 rounds of 180 gr with some surplus on the side. (I have never ever shot any surplus in my rifle yet which apparently makes me less of stature among Mosin-Nagant collectors :p)

July 17, 2009, 10:29 AM
As others have said, with the right 200 gr. bullet moving out at 2400 to 2500 fps and good shot placement you should be able to dump ol' Mr. black bear with authority...

Have you chronied any these loads? If so give me the average velocity and bullet B.C. and I'll post some external ballistic data for ya. The program also suggest ideal game weights and I'll give the drop/windage chart... Hell, better yet, here is the link to the free program I currently use. It (the chart I made based on input/return from the program) was durn near dead on at the range with my 30-06 today.


July 17, 2009, 10:50 PM
Will compare my various loads.

Tucker 1371
July 17, 2009, 11:53 PM
I have some 204gr SPs that I picked up from Georgia Arms at a gun show the other day, anyone have experience with or info on this ammo? Planning on using it for hogs.

T. O'Heir
July 18, 2009, 01:30 AM
The only thing you need to be concerned about using any 7.62 x 54 rifle is the poor sights. A 105 grain .243 SP will drop a black bear with no fuss. So will a 150 grain Privi Partizan SP.

July 18, 2009, 02:26 AM
No worries, I can hit a paper plate at 200 with the irons. It's the trigger that impedes the capabilities of this rifle.

Fat White Boy
July 19, 2009, 11:08 PM
The only thing you need to worry about when using a Mosin to hunt is causing a forest fire with the muzzle blast....

July 20, 2009, 02:54 AM
Im not sure if the nagant would take it down, unless you shoot carefully and precise. Head or heart. When you say 180 im guessing you are using winchester? I prefere the winchester despite it appears to lack in power compared to the surplus ammo. But thats only an opinion. CZECH Silvertips Have a nice recoil, Yet High penetration. When I shoot mine down at the hunting club I use Pine trees as targets, and the penetration level is amazing. The bullet goes through very cleanly. Perhaps you should take both the Winchester, and surp. ammo, and choose the type judging from the bears size. If its bigger I would probally choose CZECH Silvertips and go for the heart. If it was smaller Probally Winchester, and shoot for the head.
Pm me if you need very specific information such as, muzzle velocity or anything else.

July 22, 2009, 05:08 PM

The Mosin-Nagant is in the same class as the .308 and .30-06. Black bear are classified as a CXP2 class game, along the same lines as deer and caribou. The 7.62x54R has more than enough punch to take down a black bear.

Will you be hunting from a stand over bait or will the hunt be spot-and-stalk? If you are not stand hunting my biggest concern with carrying a Mosin-Nagant would the the reliability aspect. My Mosin can be difficult to cycle at times and it gets a very difficult and heavy bolt lift when shooting the 204 grain ammo you mentioned. I get split case necks when shooting the Czech Silvertips. My gun appears to have headspace issues. Which brings me to the next question...

Have you had your Mosin checked by a qualified gunsmith? Is the headspace okay? Does everything on it checkout? Things you'd want to know before taking it bear hunting.

Also, Czech Silvertips or other military surplus rounds will be full metal jacket (FMJ) rounds and should not be recommended for hunting. Many states specifically outlaw them. A proper expanding hunting bullet should be used. Any 150 grain or higher hunting bullet should be fine for black bear, including the 204 grain you already have.

July 22, 2009, 06:14 PM
I have not had any headspace issues with the Hot Shot or Winchester ammo I have used thus far. I have never shot surplus out of this rifle... yet. I have SP's in the Hot Shot, Winchester, Silver Bear, and Brown Bear. The only one I have had trouble getting in the chamber has been the Silver Bear but the bolt still locks. (I have another thread in the C&R forum about this issue)

Here is the M91/59 with my M1903


As far as the hint goes I would either be using the Mosin as a backup second to the primary shooter or if we were following hounds. Eventually I might try a bait or stalking if I think I have the stones for it. And my bolt has been cycling fine with all the shooting I have done with it.

July 22, 2009, 06:29 PM
Worked in Kazakhstan for a few years and talked to several hunters. Their choice of firearms is quite limited with shotguns more popular than high power centerfires. Mosin rifles are easier to acquire than almost all other rifles. Therefore, they are successfully used for hunting bear and deer in the mountains located in the south central part of Kazakstan. Ex-military ammo is used most of the time because it is more available.

Kazakhstan is part of the former Soviet Union.

July 22, 2009, 09:39 PM
The only thing you need to be concerned about using any 7.62 x 54 rifle is the poor sights.

The sights are equivalent to what is stock on a most 30-30's and what used to found on krags. People have used open sighted rifles for years with success. If you eyes are good and the ranges are less than ~150 yards open irons will work fine if your eyes are good.

August 1, 2009, 07:49 PM
the mosin nagant rifles are MORE then adequate for hunting bear in america. The russian guides who conduct the bear hunts in russia primarily use a 91/30 or variant of. Those are bears that are an average of 7-800 kilos according to national geographic. thats an 14-1800 pound bear.