View Full Version : how to gauge mosin quality before purchase?

January 26, 2011, 07:08 PM
we all know its not hard to find a mosin nagant for sale for 100 or less, and i've been tempted many times.

but now i think, with a big gun show coming up locally in a few weeks, i might purchase one in a face to face sale. i've heard numerous things about quality being hit or miss, how some function great at 100 yards or so and others cant hit the broad side of a barn.

so anywho, question being, is there a way to tell before purchase? what are some things to look for to insure that i can hear that delightful *gong* at 100 yards with iron sights?

January 26, 2011, 07:12 PM
i've heard numerous things about quality being hit or miss, how some function great at 100 yards or so and others cant hit the broad side of a barn.

Make sure that the muzzle is not counterbored, look for a new bore, matching numbers, good wood.

Then take it to the range. If it shoots good, it is good.

These are service rifles, not match rifles. And I really don't know if 99% of the people posting compliants could hit a barn from inside anyway.

January 26, 2011, 07:34 PM
alright i'm talking about things i can check before purchase, and i also only have one rifle, a marlin 1894c which i just purchased, and am unsure what you mean by counterbored and matching numbers.

i'm assuming by good wood you just mean nice looking wood that does feel cheap and crappy. beyond that i am a giant noobie

January 26, 2011, 11:43 PM
Definitely remove the bolt, and hold the rifle up toward the brightest light you can find, and look down the bore. The cleaner and shinier the better.
By counterbored, I think he means did someone bore back into the muzzle of the barrel to try to clean up damage from bad cleaning practices. It's a good idea to take a mini-mag type of flashlight so you can look at the rifling at the muzzle, to make sure all the lands and grooves (rifling) are clean and sharp.

I'm not sure if you can still find them with matching serial numbers, but that is usually a good thing to find... in other words, the serial number on the bolt matches the one on the receiver of the rifle.

Work the bolt, and dry fire it. It should not hurt a rifle to do that, but some sellers don't know that, and will get "huffy" if you do, so it probably wouldn't hurt to ask them if you can dry fire, before you do it.

January 27, 2011, 06:43 AM
Nothing inherently wrong with a counterbore. I have had many counterbored mosins and all were more accurate on average than noncounterbored rifles. The idea of a counterbore is to improve accuracy and the technique seems to work. The bore and crown are important but not a guarantee of accuracy. On average, a mosin is a 3-4 MOA rifle. If you want almost guaranteed accuracy, get a Finn mosin. The M39's are the most available at the current time and weren't released unless they achieved 1.5 MOA.

Don P
January 27, 2011, 07:46 AM
My 2 schillings worth, overall appearance, condition of wood, finish on metal(rust). The bores on my 2 rifles are a bit dark, BUT the lands are nice and bright and shine. Matching numbers as stated before. It would also be a nice addition if the rifles for sale have the cleaning rod, tool kit, ammo pouches, sling, oil can along with the bayonet. Most store sales and INTERNET sales have all the above mentioned extras.
Both my rifles shoot better than I can shoot them. I will attempt the Appleseed project this weekend using the 2 said rifles. I'll report back Saturday or a little later next week with the results of my endeavor.

January 27, 2011, 07:53 AM
Awesome info guy, and good luck this weekend Don!

January 27, 2011, 08:45 AM
Good luck with that, Don! That's one of my goals this year, to qualify with my Mosin M-44 carbine at Appleseed.

I've been practicing with stripper clips and holding NPOA while running the bolt, think I'm gonna make it happen...

There ARE ways to accurize MNs....I've installed "match" triggers and floated the barrels with shims. I saw some improvement on the M-44, BIG improvement on a M-1891/30 I put a scope on. Look around on the web, there are some good articles on doing this. I used Huber Concepts triggers....the original trigger pull is atrocious.

January 28, 2011, 06:16 PM
I don't have a problem with a counterbored rifle. My counterbored Mosin's shoot well.

January 28, 2011, 06:31 PM
Just look for the obvious. Matching numbers, check the rifling, how the wood and metal looks. My main thing would be rust in the chamber or the barrel. That would leave me to believe that it wasnt cleaned properly.

January 28, 2011, 06:39 PM
My bore looked useless until several cleaning sessions revealed a bore that looked unused. I have a line out floor plate, otherwise the bolt and barrel numbers match. the trigger is an easy fix just a little polish, it too looked unused. This rifle is the best milsurp example I have seen... and my wife picked it out.