View Full Version : Russian Mosin Nagant Experience

August 23, 2009, 09:20 AM
So about a week ago a friend of mine came down from DC to visit and spend some time at the range. He brought his WWII Russian reenactment guns too. This included the Mosin Nagant bolt action. Now being a graduated college student who is still unemployed = 1 .22 rifle & multiple handguns. My friend isn't too keen on scopes but he bought a few and wanted me to help sight them in. First up was the .223, and I enjoyed shooting it. Then he had a 30-30 lever action. That was uncomfortable in my opinion, but 10 rounds later and I was grouping them nicely at 50yds.

And then he pulls out the Mosin Nagant. He knows I love history (got a BA in it I loved it so much) and I can't resist anything historical. So he shows me how to load it and tells me to have fun. I load it, admire it briefly before taking aim and firing. Holy mother of God. It felt as though my shoulder had just been kicked by my MMA obsessed brother. But I grabbed my spotting scope and saw that my shot was off by 3 inches (high and to the right). Gritting my teeth I reloaded and tried again. And inch farther away. Two shots and my shoulder was really hating me at this point. I finished the 5 shots, but the 4th and 5th I noticed a really bad flinch forming and was grateful to have an excuse to stop. Granted I was wearing a t-shirt and there was no recoil padding on that beast, it still surprised me how hard it kicked.

Anyways, it was a fun afternoon, shot a variety of rifles that I had read about, and enjoyed seeing my friend again. However the Mosin Nagant will probably be a rifle I only admire opposed to actually shooting in my near future.

By the way if it matters I weigh 160 and am 5'8"

August 23, 2009, 10:30 AM
wrong thread

August 23, 2009, 11:33 AM
It's a matter of getting used to it, really. The first time I ever went shooting rifles, but my buddy brought his Mauser 98, Mosin 91/30, and .30-06 sporter of some kind. My shoulder hurt so badly towards the end, I winced with pain every time I put the rifle to my shoulder, and even more so when I fired. It continued hurting for days thereafter. We went again, 2 weeks later and that time it wasn't nearly as bad, I was shooting by far more accurately and the kick just wasn't bothering me nearly as much. We went a few more times. Before too long, I got myself a Mosin M44, which is supposed to have a nastier kick than the Mosin 91/30. I can shoot that thing all day now, no pain, no bruises, no soreness. I'm 5'9" and 145 pounds.

August 23, 2009, 11:39 AM
Well it's comforting that you got used to it. My plan is to work my way up to it as I purchase rifles. Probably something like .223, 270, 308, then the Mosin.

First things first, JOB!

August 23, 2009, 02:24 PM
Firstly, best of luck to you getting a job!

Second, thanks for the good chuckle! :)

Yes, the dang things DO kick like heck don't they? Immagine shooting it for thousands of rounds in an ongoing battle! Sheesh...talk about newfound respect for our forebears...

Several thoughts come to mine. I agree with you regarding the 30/30 by the way - I find it uncomfortable to shoot. I can do it all day but I don't really like it. My only military bolt action is an Enfield SMLE in .303 British and good gravy it kicks like a bastard! So much so that I dislike shooting it in nothing but a T shirt. Now I've also got an early WWII vintage U.S. M1 Garand in .30-06 but it's just wonderful to shoot! I can shoot it all day. Interesting no? Obviously the weight and semi-automatic action make a huge difference in felt recoil. How critical was that to the shot-after-shot accuracy that our troops were able to lay down vs. the Germans and Japanese firing their shoulder busting bolt rifles? Never mind volume of fire with our semi-auto rifle (a huge advantage) - the M1 Garand is accurate as well. No wonder Patton called it "the greatest battle implement ever devised".

Now back to military bolt rifles: They usually have steel butt plates that help you not one bit - slip a Pachmayer decelerator or some other type of slip on butt pad on there. It helps a lot but it also makes the reach (length of pull) a bit longer so if one has short arms that can be an issue. Wear a shoulder, slip on, recoil pad or a vest with a built in recoil pad. They're popular with shotgunners and are available at most any good sporting goods store. Do both and it becomes quite tolerable to shoot them.

Have fun!


August 23, 2009, 05:24 PM
I use a Limbsaver slip-on recoil pad on my Mosin. Like most Russian rifles, the Mosin has a short stock and the pad helps to tame recoil and lengthen the LOP to a better fit. It still packs a pretty good punch with heavy ball ammo and I usually limit myself to 20 to 30 rounds in a range session.

Great rifle, though. Fun to shoot and mine is decently accurate for a 65 year old milsurp.

August 23, 2009, 05:31 PM
My M44 kicks like a mule as well. Try this though (very bottom of the page):


$15 and a few minutes. It replaces the steel butt pad. It makes it tolerable.

Still rocks your world, just doesn't hurt as bad.

Tucker 1371
August 23, 2009, 05:33 PM
I know how you feel. I think I put around 30rds of 204 gr through mine one afternoon and my shoulder was useless the next day. That said I don't think it's too bad. Definitely not as bad as consecutive 3" 12ga shells out of my grandfather's old Savage side by side. That monster doesn't even have a recoil pad.

edit: Here's an interesting looking option as far as recoil pads go, anyone have any experince with or info on them?

August 23, 2009, 06:02 PM
the range i go to is selling those russian mosin nagant's for 132 bucks each. used and old, but in working condition.

August 23, 2009, 06:16 PM
I managed to run 80 rounds through mine last weekend with the Battle of Stalingrad in mind, and I have to say: They must've been manlier men because my shoulder is still sore a week later.

August 23, 2009, 07:40 PM
It is all in how you shoulder the firearm. People who have difficulty are usually shooting off a bench rest and are placing the rifle butt too high and loose on the shoulder. After a couple of rounds, they are finnished with the rifle. I bet if you shoot offhand and place that rifle where it needs to be firmly against your shoulder, you will handle recoil much better. I have shot mosins for over 10 years and it took some pain over time to motivate me to learn how to hold these things.

August 23, 2009, 07:45 PM
Thanks for the tip stargazer, I'll try that next time I shoot it.

August 23, 2009, 07:51 PM
Not only may they be manlier men then us, they were also forced to go into battle. If they were to retreat, refuse to fight, or refuse to fire their rifle, they would be shot by their CO's.:eek:

Ignition Override
August 23, 2009, 11:28 PM
Maybe most people always lean forward, because only a bench rest is allowed when shooting and they are forced to sit on the stool.
Don't people ever kneel on the ground below the table to shoot on the wooden block?

When standing there is no pain, and this is with my Lee Enfield "Jungle Carbine" #5 with No recoil pad.
My 54 year-old shoulders/arms are skinny: 5'11", 180 bs.
Whether standing or kneeling, neither the JC nor the MN 44 should hurt (no pad) if you hold it tightly.

LJ- Mosin:
Kein sitzen versucht keinen Schmerz.

August 23, 2009, 11:36 PM
stargazer's tip is definitely a good one. I put 40 rounds through the M44 about an hour and a half ago, no bruises, redness, soreness or pain, and still using the original steel buttplate mind you. Maybe I'm also a manlier man.

chris in va
August 24, 2009, 12:06 AM
Problem is, you were firing the Mosin on a bench rest. That hurts MUCH worse than standing up. Try it sometime.

For example, my friend tried my CZ carbine in x39 on a bench and made the observation it hurt worse than the Mosin when standing.

August 24, 2009, 06:58 AM

Odd, I don't mind the recoil on my Nagant. At most I've went through about 30 rounds at a time though (Cost though). I'd much rather shoot it than my Winchester .270, which has no recoil pad.

srt 10 jimbo
August 24, 2009, 07:05 AM
Got my Buttstock pad at Davids collectables too, What a differance it makes, I have a 91/30 from 1936. Shoot it every weekend.:)

August 24, 2009, 08:01 AM
My cousin has what I believe began it's life as an M44. First time I saw him shoot it I had to ID it from the cartridge as it has a synthetic stock (nice looking actually), folding bipod, and good size (though cheap) scope on top, and some other doodads. Actually looks fairly good. Doesn't hit much and sounds like the hammer of doom going off though. At least the noise will scare the target. We call it the Commie Cannon and wear ear plugs AND muffs when somebody's shooting it.

August 24, 2009, 08:59 AM
So you get a soft slip on recoil pad, usually 1 size will fit most military rifles. Either that or a Past shoulder pad. My buddy uses the slip on pad, I usually ask him if he brought his Kotex with him. I use a Past shoulder pad since I injured my shoulder a few years ago, he asks me if I brought my Bra.

August 24, 2009, 09:57 AM
Nah, recoil pads are for sissies! :D

Ignition Override:
Ja, ständigen bis ist der einzige Weg ich mache. Vergib mir, mein Deutsch ist eine kleine abgehackt. Noch nicht wirklich gesprochen zu haben in Jahren.

Tucker 1371
August 24, 2009, 06:10 PM
Problem is, you were firing the Mosin on a bench rest. That hurts MUCH worse than standing up. Try it sometime.

Very true, I'm also going to echo what a a few others have said on here by saying that you have to rest the stock squarely on your shoulder (not high) and hang on tight. That should lessen pain a bit. Even doing this I don't think I would want to shoot more than 30rds from a bench. Standing and sitting are much easier on the shoulder than benched with a Mosin.

August 24, 2009, 06:29 PM
Got rid of my Mosin around a year ago, but I don't remember the kick being all that bad. More loud than anything else. (I'm 5'10, 165). I enjoyed shooting mine.

August 24, 2009, 06:49 PM
You just have to learn how to get a good shoulder weld. You probably kept the butt relatively high on your shoulder, with your elbow low at your side. If you're shooting a .22 or AR, this is just fine, but not for higher power cartridges. Get the butt SNUG against your shoulder, right on the inside of the deltoid meat, and get your elbow up. Use the sling as well, the typical Mosin sling does have enough length to get a wrap around your left arms' elbow. It's not a M1907 sling, but you can do a handy sling with it easily enough.

I use one of the tickbite butts just to help deal with the short stock length and comb height making me hunch to the sights.

August 25, 2009, 02:59 AM
+1 on using the sling. Get the rifle into your shoulder, the tighter the better.

August 25, 2009, 11:46 AM
I have a M44, never shot it yet, but looking forward to. I just have to get it to me. I bought it through a friend that is 1900 miles away.

Now I have shot a 12ga with the steel bar retracking butt. I loaded three full powered slugs, needless to say I only shot two.

August 25, 2009, 08:54 PM
buy the recoil pad, get a bunch of ammo, and have someone take pics. We're talking fireball here. Love my Mosins. Recoil pads, mojo sights (rear only I like a front post), and we're talking adrenaline rush.:eek:

August 26, 2009, 05:26 AM
The M44 is just a hoot to shoot. Ammo is cheap and plentiful and I usually go through ~80 rounds per session. I've had it nearly a year and have gotten used to it for the most part. The fun thing was actually watching someone ELSE shoot it. I got the chance when me and a buddy went out to the range a few weeks ago. I now understand why my Dad said that the fireball out the front was impressive. I never noticed it when I was shooting it but I sure did when my buddy touched one off. I don't use a slip-on pad as it detracts from the beauty of the original walnut stock. If its properly placed on your shoulder and in tight the recoil is quite manageable.

August 26, 2009, 07:12 AM
I shot a friend's M44 once. 5 rounds was enough for me.

I had an Enfield jungle carbine once, and I thought the recoil on it was bad. I think the M44 was worse. At least the enfield had a rubber butt pad.