View Full Version : My gunshop conversation about C&R rifles today

November 19, 2009, 12:36 AM
I stopped at "The Ocala Armory" today on my way home from visiting a soldier in my platoon. It's a medium sized shop in Ocala Fl with a decent selection of C&R rifles, and I hadn't been there in quite awhile.

I walked in and the owner greeted me and asked if he could help me with anything. I told him I was just looking. I walked around the shop and looked at everything he had out then walked up to the counter.

Employee: "Can I help you find anything today?"

Me: "I'm just looking around mostly, but have been looking for a couple different things. I've been trying to find a decent used .357 mag lever gun and an American made Mosin Nagant rifle."

employee: "We have a new rossi .357 here, it's $599, but I don't know about the nagant."

My first thought was that $600 for a rossi was about $100 over the going price and is overpriced when they sell for $500. My second thought was that the only people I ever heard call a Mosin-nagant a "nagant" were very unknowledgeable. Nagant's only contribution to the design was the magazine. Calling a Mosin a Nagant would be like calling a Carcano or Garand a Mannlicher.

He called out to the owner in a voice loud enough for a couple other shoppers to hear.

employee: "Hey boss, have you ever heard of an AMERICAN made Mosin Nagant"

other shopper: "Those are Russian rifles"

Owner: "I never heard of an American made Mosin, but we got some Russians and a Finn."

Me: "We made a bunch of Mosin Nagant rifles for the Czar before the Russian revolution in 1917."

Now I started getting looks from the old timers there that made it obvious they thought I was full of crap so I decided to share some information with them. I didn't like the loooks I was getting so I wanted to show off a little to prove that I knew more than they did about the history of these C&R rifles.

Me: "We never shipped them over to the Russia because they never paid Remington and Westinghouse for them. Alot of them ended up over there when they were issued to American soldiers who were sent to Siberia for a couple years after WW1. The US army occupied part of Siberia after landing in Vladivostok to keep Allied supplies from falling into Communist hands during the Russian Civil War."

Shopper: "We never occupied Russia, that was the Germans and they didn't stay long."

Owner: "We didn't try to keep the Russians from getting US supplies. In fact, we gave them millions of dollars of supplies, and there were so many US made Russian contract weapons that S&W had to open a new factory to build them all."

I didn't want to argue with the owner and have to tell him that the Russian S&W guns were revolvers that were made in the 1880s after the Cimean war or that the aid we gave Russia was during WWII, not AFTER WWI. I dropped the subject and layed down 10 boxes of 7.62x45 ammo that they had marked as "SHE" ammo $5/box.

Owner: "That's not AK ammo."

Me: "Yes sir, it's Czech 7.62x45 ammo for the VZ 52"

Owner: "Alot of those were converted to 7.62x39, you have to make sure you get the right kind of ammo for it."

Me: "Mine's still in the original caliber."

Owner: "I'd like to have one in 7.62x39"

Me: "The caliber adapter inserts are prone to coming out when the lock tite fails, I'd like to swap out the barrel on mine since mine is so corroded from this corrosive ammo."

Owner: "Don't you have to swap out the recoil springs?"

Me: "No, but they don't always feed right from original magazines. The Czechs made a vesion called the VZ 52/57 which has a sightly different magazine and two barrel retaining pins instead of just one like the 52. Other than that they're identical.

The owner finally shut up and stopped trying to catch me in a mistake. It reminded me why I haven't been there in so long.

Mike Irwin
November 19, 2009, 12:58 AM
Don't feel bad, I once asked if anyone was making an S&W No. 3 copy in .44 Russian, instead of .44-40...

The counter monkey says 'You mean the .45 Russian!"

I sez "No, the .44 Russian. There's no such cartridge was a .45 Russian."

It didn't get much better from there...

Mike Irwin
November 19, 2009, 01:00 AM
Oh yeah, you could have REALLY blown their minds by telling him that some US troops who were sent to Arkangel during the interdiction were armed with Japanese Arisakas. Not many, but some.

James K
November 19, 2009, 05:55 PM
Don't tell anyone that the British used some 6.5 Japanese rifles in WWI.


Flipper 56
November 19, 2009, 07:30 PM
A lot of people don't believe there is a 303 British Enfield stamped U.S. Gov't on the bolt from the Lend - Lease act and there must be a million of them floating around. I would have looked at the Finnsh Mosin....might have been something good and they didn't know any better. ;)

November 19, 2009, 08:15 PM
you guys think those are bad?
"You guys have any 9x19mm target ammo?"
"You mean Makarov? Yeah, I got the brownbear!"

edit: I'm with flipper. Those Finn Mosins are great. They probably would have let it go for the price of a soviet mosin. The Finn Mosins are the ones that easily do about 1 MOA and have smooth as hell bolts.

November 19, 2009, 09:21 PM
I've already got a M39 Finn.

In that conversation I mentioned that the French and Belgiens made Mosins too although I neglected to include that in my dialogue.

I have been thinking about getting the Remington Mosin at a local pawn shop that was sporterized at some point in the distant past. I wonder if it would be worth the trouble to rebuild to original military configuration it with parts from a junker russian rifle. I thought it might be fun to restore the Butchered Rmington sperterized mnosin to its old self.

I've got a bulgarian, Hungarian,Romanian, and Chinese M44 (Shut up, I know the Chinese called their M44 a type 51). I'd like to have a mosin from every country that exported them to the US in any quantity.

November 19, 2009, 10:59 PM
Actually wasn't the Chinese Mosin a type 53

November 19, 2009, 11:18 PM
I once had a gun shop employee tell me that the Tokarev TT-33 was based on the CZ-52. I didn't say anything but wanted to ask if he knew what the 33 and the 52 meant.

November 19, 2009, 11:52 PM
I didn't know there were any American Mosins made.
See, you learn something everyday!

So, what are they in terms of worth? And are they the full-length 91/30 size or are they cut down like the carbines? What is stamped on the reciever then?

Mike Irwin
November 20, 2009, 08:39 AM
One thing needs to be said about American Moisins...

There was a batch of them in the 1920s, IIRC done by Bannerman, that were converted to .30-06. In order to do this they had to make a rounded cut in the top of the receiver to accept the longer cartridge.

These conversions are NOT SAFE and should NOT BE FIRED.

There are numerous reports of these converted Moisins failing during firing.

The .30-06 simply works at too high a pressure for the action.

November 20, 2009, 09:08 AM
Actually wasn't the Chinese Mosin a type 53

Yes, you are exactly correct, I don't know how I misremembered that.

So, what are they in terms of worth? And are they the full-length 91/30 size or are they cut down like the carbines? What is stamped on the reciever then?

I just found this interesting article (http://www.mosinnagant.net/ussr/US-Mosin-Nagants.asp)on the net.

American-made Mosin-Nagants are easily recognized by the makers’ names prominently stamped above the chamber. There are two varieties of the Westinghouse logo. The character next to “1915” on Westinghouse rifles which looks almost like a lower-case “r” is the Russian abbreviation for “year”; it is commonly used in writing dates in Russian. All Westinghouse M1891s are dated 1915, although they were made from 1915 until and including 1918; Remington rifles show the actual year of manufacture. The mark used by Westinghouse on its M1891 parts looks like a capital H with an extended center bar in the form of an arrow pointing right; Remington-made parts are marked with an R-in-a-circle.


November 20, 2009, 09:23 AM
Me, in the gunshop, looking at a really nice Finnish M24 Lotta, "Say, what is the deal with this rifle?"

Gun shop owner "It is one of those Russian Mosin Nagants. $100."

I skipped the history lesson, and walked out with a $350 rifle for $100.

November 20, 2009, 05:40 PM
I skipped the history lesson, and walked out with a $350 rifle for $100.

Lol. That's great! Why can't that ever happen to me?

Good info ISC, thanks. So, does anyone here own an American one?

November 21, 2009, 11:04 AM
Me, in the gunshop, looking at a really nice Finnish M24 Lotta, "Say, what is the deal with this rifle?"

Gun shop owner "It is one of those Russian Mosin Nagants. $100."

I skipped the history lesson, and walked out with a $350 rifle for $100.

I love finding deals like that.Alot of gunshop owners mislabel the rarer mosins as Russian refurbs and they can be gotten for alot less than theyre worth.

November 21, 2009, 06:57 PM
Once asked a clerk at a sporting goods store gun counter if they had any 6MM Remington ammunition. He said "We don't carry any Military surplus ammunition". Where do they get those guys??? LOL

November 21, 2009, 08:43 PM
Pre ww2 there were tons of the US made surplus MN's sold in this country, for cheap. Where the h*** did they all go? You do not see them around here. Well I did see one ate up one for sale once, for way much. And some Russian reimports recently that may or may not be refurbs.

November 22, 2009, 05:31 PM
If you want to see a really perplexed look on their face, go back and tell them you're looking for one of the 1895 Winchester Lever Actions that were made in 7.62x54R during WWI. These came complete with a stripper clip guide and bayonet lug.

James K
November 22, 2009, 06:54 PM
The 7.62x54R is in the 50k psi pressure range and the M-N action is more than strong enough for the pressures of the .30-'06. The problem is that the conversion involved setting the barrel back and then reaming the chamber. The result was that the chamber extended forward into the thin part of the barrel, and some rifles failed at that point. IIRC, handloads were usually involved, although I have heard of (but not seen) failures with factory ammunition.

Many years ago, I knew a man who had one of those conversions, and got his deer every year with it. It never gave any problems, and his luck was helped by the fact that he never fired it more than two or three shots a year.


James K
November 22, 2009, 06:58 PM
Not too many years ago, some stores told people who tried to buy any ammo with "mm" on it that the store didn't sell "them durned furrin bullets."


November 22, 2009, 08:07 PM
tom2- there is one sitting in a gun shop down here. its a 1916 Remington for $70

and webleymkv check this out... http://gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=146966788

November 29, 2009, 09:37 AM
Once asked a clerk at a sporting goods store gun counter if they had any 6MM Remington ammunition. He said "We don't carry any Military surplus ammunition". Where do they get those guys??? LOL
Well... we put our prospects through a couple of interviews, give them a written test of their general gun, ammunition, ballistic, and hunting knowledge, then select the one who scored the absolute worst. :rolleyes:

Seriously, we answer hundreds of questions every day, oftentimes juggling multiple customers while reviewing 4473's or on the phone with NICS. We're expected to know every detail about every decoy on the market, every coyote call/antelope call/rabbit call/goose call, etc., every rifle/shotgun/handgun on the market and all the ballistics for every load made for them, as well as every configuration and caliber they've ever been made in, not to mention every conceivable aftermarket accessory available for them. Oh, and every customer on the phone expects us to be able to recite the price of every single one of the tens of thousands of items we stock right off the top of our head. I have people working for me whose strong point is water fowling, others whose strengths are in bow hunting, and others who know reloading and ballistics inside and out, but NO ONE knows it all. Maybe you could help out the shooting and hunting world by getting a part time job in a sporting goods store and spreading your immense knowledge to the community instead of complaining about "the dumb ass down at the store who doesn't know anything." :barf:

OK, I feel better now. :)

November 29, 2009, 01:30 PM
I don't think we expect the counter help to all be experts, but we do expect them to know enough to be able to keep their mouth shut or admit ignorance when a suject comes up that they're clueless about.

One of the reasons that I like the boards is because I am forced to research posts about things I haven't seen in quite awhile. Sometimes that research means opening up a safe and pulling out a gun I haven't handled in awhile. sometimes that research means pulling out a book in my library. Sometimes that research means googling something. It always starts with me admitting to myself that I lack some knowledge or need to confirm something that I may be remembering wrong.

I just wish that the employees at gunshops would show the same circumspection.

November 29, 2009, 03:03 PM
I thought the gun shops on long Island where bad, but when i moved to south Florida I discovered a whole new kind of abrasive ignorance and ridiculous over pricing. Isn't it funny how every time you go into a gun shop everything you have or want is garbage and everything they have is gold.I guess if your a very wealthy shooter, you don't care that a shop is asking $300 over MSRP:eek:! I'm the kind of person that unless I'm asking a question or know exactly what I'm talking about, KEEPS THEIR MOUTH SHUT.Sorry to yell(lol).In the hey day 1994-2001 or so there was a high end shop that opened just around the corner from my apartment called Precision Sportsman in Farmingdale NY. The owners name was Neil and he was just the coolest. It was not uncommon to hang out and drink coffee and b.s. all day long. He was a no pressure kind of guy who had no problem saying "I don't know, but i'll find out" and went the extra mile for everybody. The shop was so clean and comfy it looked like a library for guns. Man I miss that place. Since getting my C&R, I have enjoyed mail order exclusively and love my discounts at brownells:D

November 29, 2009, 06:11 PM
Glad to give you something to vent about. I didn't mean to insult anybody. It was just a funny story that happened a long time ago. I understand employers having a hard time finding people who really care about the customer. I'm sure you have a competent staff. I don't pretend to know everything. I do make an attempt to educate myself about things I'm interested in, especially when I don't know something new. By the way, you do have a good idea about going to work part time. I just retired last May, and since then have been asked numerous times to work part time at the gun counter at Bass Pro in St. Charles. Maybe in the future, but I', having too much fun hunting, fishing, shooting, riding my ATV, traveling, etc to punch a time clock now.

November 29, 2009, 06:25 PM
When my friends dad retired a few years ago, he went to work part time at Bass Pro and loves it. He's either at the store or on the boat and havin' a ball.