View Full Version : Mosin Nagant: Quick review and first impressions

March 13, 2011, 10:40 PM
After reading countless threads on the Mosin Nagant, I decided I had to have one. I have never owned a bolt action rifle (only semiautomatics) and have never fired a rifle that's over seven decades old. I was not sure what to expect.


It's big...the rifle stretches on for miles and miles, and with the bayonet on, it feels like I am a medieval soldier holding a pike. The rifle's finish is rough at best, and it bears the battle scars of war. I like that...it adds character. :D



The trigger pull is nothing to write home about, and the bolt action is somewhat hard to operate smoothly...at least for a soft capitalist pig like me. After 80 rounds at the range under the hot Florida sun, I felt like I had done a full workout session with Richard Simmons. My shoulders and hands ached, and my feeble body felt like I was a Russian peasant after a full day of work at a collective farm. A few more trips to the range, and my arms should look like Hulk Hogan's. My girlfriend should like that. :cool:


Shooting the 7.62x54R is as much fun as anyone could have with their clothes on. It kicks like an angry Soviet mule...but who cares when you are having so much fun? Here is a comparison to the 7.62x39



If you've never shot an old historic firearm like this, you will certainly appreciate the advances in firearm technology that have been made in the past 50 years once you use the Mosin Nagant. This is not a rifle for the faint of heart. However, I rather liked the experience, and the cardiovascular exercise that I got trying to operate it was certainly a nice plus. It sure beats going to the gym. I love my angry Soviet mule, and would highly recommend it to fellow history buffs and those looking to jump into the world of curio/relics.

March 13, 2011, 11:08 PM
I love my Mosin. Mine was is a 1934 build like yours. The trigger is absolutely terrible but with a bit of practice it doesnt' bother me any more. Did you find yours shot high?

March 13, 2011, 11:21 PM
Yes...it shoots a tad bit high, but not enough to bother me. Unfortunately I didn't bring my camera with me to the range, or else I would have taken a picture of my groupings.

I agree that the trigger is rubbish on these rifles, but it doesn't bother me like it would on a newer rifle. The rifle kind of grows on you. I didn't think I'd like it so much, but there is a certain charm to it. :D

chris in va
March 13, 2011, 11:21 PM
I have no idea how Russian conscripts held off the Nazi's with these crude things. Mine was one step above a pitchfork in technology.

March 14, 2011, 12:11 AM
They did loose 20 million people during WWII. :eek:

March 14, 2011, 12:26 AM
They did loose 20 million people during WWII

It wasn't because of the Mosin.

There is nothing wrong with the Mosin. It doesn't kick as hard as people let on. The trigger sometimes comes ruff, but a lot of dry firing will smoothen it out.

Get away from surplus ammo, load up some good rounds and you'll find out it shoots.

Learn to shoot it rapid fire, loading with 5 round clips. Tricky at first but once you got the tech. down its almost as fast at the 03 Springfield or 1917 Enfield.

Most do shoot high but there is an easy fix (I've posted it several times). Mine shot 8 inches high at 100 when I got it, not its right on, you can't even tell I did anything to it. Its still unmodified per CMP GSM Vintage Rifle Rules.

When I was in SE Asia we figured we were safe if we could stay 300 yards away from AKs, not true with the Mosins. There is a reason that rifle has been round longer then any other military rifle in history. It's still being used today.

March 14, 2011, 12:45 AM
It kicks like an angry Soviet mule...

Try the 8X56R Hungarian round in the M95 Steyr. About half the size of the 91/30 Nagant, and the hardest kicking milsurp I have ever fired!

I have no idea how Russian conscripts held off the Nazi's with these crude things. Mine was one step above a pitchfork in technology.

Ever hear of Vasili Zaitsev?
This be some interesting reading for you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosin-Nagant

March 14, 2011, 02:27 AM
Very nice review of the M/N Osallent. thank you.
They are really fun guns at the range. a lot of big bang for a few bucks. I have a Tula Hex receiver 91-30, an Ishy round receiver 91-30, a 91/59, and a Hungarian M44. I enjoy all, and shoot them as much as possible.
Warning: the Mosin bug has just bitten you. there is no cure, but you can relieve the pain with a C&R FFL so you can save your bank account a little.

March 14, 2011, 02:37 AM
I have 3.... 1929 hex, 1953 Hungarian M-44, and a 91/59. I love all my ole mosin's. They are alot of fun and when I go to the range it seems like everyone wants to shoot them. Enjoy your mosin.

March 14, 2011, 08:29 AM
Anyone tried the timney trigger for the Mosin-nagant? Just wondering if it is an easy drop-in because it costs as much as the rifle itself.


I have to agree with the OP, the MN 91/30 does kick like a mule in comparison to today's 1 inch recoil-padded hunting rifles. As Kraigwy stated, try some handload if you can, it will make a big difference in accuracy for your rifle.

Red Tornado
March 14, 2011, 11:10 AM
Try this quick and easy trigger fix before you spend money on it. http://www.surplusrifle.com/shooting2005/mosinnaganttrigger/index.asp
It helped my Mosins a lot. I ended up using 6 aluminum can shims on one, and 7 on another. Cut the pull by about half.

March 15, 2011, 02:24 AM
Don't have one myself, but there was a fellow and his buddy on U Tube getting hits at a 1,000 yards. They hit a target about the size of a mans chest 3 out of 5 shots. No fancy equiptment, looked like a stock rifle with a small scope. The gun was sitting on a small ricketty table using a towel to rest the gun on.

The cartrige is a twin sister to the 30:06. He was using a 200 grain Hornady SPBT bullet with a stiff charge of IMR 4350.

Very Impressive.

March 15, 2011, 03:13 AM
The trigger sometimes comes ruff, but a lot of dry firing will smoothen it out.
But dry firing is bad for the gun! The Cabelas guy told me so! :rolleyes:

March 15, 2011, 09:47 PM
I installed a Timney trigger in my Mosin Nagant, and it has made a world of difference in the feel of the rifle. It is very simple to install, but will require some inletting of the stock, and the safety on the trigger is a great added bonus. You can adjust the trigger from 1 to 4 pounds of pull as compared to the factory 50 pounds of pull.The cost is a matter of personal preference. I choose my M44 to accurize and have no regrets with the Timney trigger.

March 16, 2011, 07:11 AM
the trigger is an easy fix....on a side note, wear saftey glasses when dry firing as any extra lube will splash into the eye...as i found out :(

The Great Mahoo
March 16, 2011, 10:44 AM
Great review; thanks for posting!

I love my M44 I picked up a while back. I mounted a scout-scope on it, using one of those mounts that replaces the rear sight. Nice shooter, but the recoil has defeated the mount a few times, but I think I have it good and tight now. Problem is, now I'm thinking I want to take it off and put the irons back on.

I'm thinking I may have to order another one, though likely not one of the M44 or M38's that I would prefer, now that I have my C&R FFL.

March 16, 2011, 11:02 AM
I have the M-38 carbine, I like shooting it, Kicks pretty good and the muzzle flash is pretty impressive!:D Hearing protection is definately required!

March 16, 2011, 11:50 AM
It kicks like an angry Soviet mule

Funny,My Mosins are the lightest recoiling rifles of all my 15 rifles.:eek:

March 16, 2011, 12:45 PM
edited to start a new post.

March 16, 2011, 05:06 PM
JRI, I guess it is a matter of perspective. I thought it had a decent kick, but I admit that I probably took a few liberties with the words I used in the review to make it interesting.

March 16, 2011, 05:30 PM
JRI, I guess it is a matter of perspective. I thought it had a decent kick, but I admit that I probably took a few liberties with the words I used in the review to make it interesting.

I sincerly apologize,Yes,recoil is very subjective.
I will admit,the Mosins have a noticeable recoil,but they are a ball to shoot!
I'm a mil surp junkie,I started off with 1 Mosin several years ago,and now I own 13 different mil surp rifles (all bolt action),and handload for them all.

Just be forewarned,mil surps are addicitive,you can't stop at 1!:D

Anyhow,I apologize again if I came across a bit harsh.
As far as the worst recoil I've experienced,have been from a 460 Weatherby Mag,and 600 Nitro Express.


March 16, 2011, 07:43 PM
well i love mine i have work the action so much it is sooth. Also completely take the action apart and take all of the grease out and replace it with new rem oil. it works

March 16, 2011, 09:40 PM
some of the recoil aspect is the ammo....lite ball 146gr Vs heavy ball 180gr.

lite ball in a M44 or 91/30 is ok....heavy ball in a M38 isnt fun off the bench.

Mutatio Nomenis
March 16, 2011, 10:14 PM
Sounds nice. I think I might get one of those later. Until then, it's all airsoft and leather gloves.

Reason: College isn't gun friendly. I'm not even sure if I can bring airsoft.

March 17, 2011, 06:34 AM
I'm inspired to actually try the one I've had sitting around for years...:D

Coyote WT
March 17, 2011, 07:21 AM
I just bought my very first rifle, a Mosin Nagant made in Tula. I haven't made it to the range yet but I'm looking forward to comparing my experience with the OP's review. I wasn't sure about the merits or ills of dry firing so I picked up a couple snap clips and have been working both the bolt and the trigger pretty regularly. The only thing I'm a little concerned about it that the butt seems a little bit too long to fit into my shoulder as well as I would like it but I don't know how that will affect the shooting. I appreciate everyone's comments here, they are very helpful.


March 17, 2011, 08:39 AM
I love shooting my M44 (aside from the angry Soviet mule thing, of course :D). It's accurate enough to become a primary hunting rifle. I keep saying I'm going to mount a scope on it (danged presbyopia.. look it up) but haven't done it yet. This would limit my hunting to about 100-150 yds MAX, but I am confident anything I pulled the trigger on would drop right there. As stated before, this is just a fat, rimmed '06.

The only problem I've had with mine is occasional feeding issues, with the cartridge being stripped off the top of the magazine tipping downward, jamming the tip against the front of the mag... effectively stopping all loading procedures.
I think there is a fix for this posted somewhere on the web, but I haven't looked it up, yet.
This would be the only reason I could think of that this wouldn't make a pretty effective battle rifle. Quite a few steps above pitchfork, in my opinion. ;)

The Great Mahoo
March 17, 2011, 02:02 PM
The only thing I'm a little concerned about it that the butt seems a little bit too long to fit into my shoulder as well as I would like it but I don't know how that will affect the shooting.

I'm a bit surprised by that. I always found the length of pull on Mosins to be a bit short for me. I guess they had to work with the heavy and thick Russian uniforms worn. Maybe its just my gorilla arms making things awkward...

I put a longer butt-pad on to lengthen the LoP on mine. It really improved my shooting, making it more comfortable to hold and therefore easier to hold more steady. If yours isn't quite right, it may be causing more felt recoil for you, but I'm surprised you'd want to shorten it.

March 19, 2011, 07:25 PM
Im 22 years old and i have found a 1938 Mosin Nagant M91. I am impressed with this rifle and after market parts. When putting on a rail system, i lost the pin that holds the slider iron sight. anyone help me find the dimensions?

March 19, 2011, 07:44 PM
I have no idea how Russian conscripts held off the Nazi's with these crude things.

Simple: They stood a better chance facing the German Army with those rugged rifles than facing the NKVD or SS armed with nothing save pleas for mercy.

The Mosin was the perfect rifle for the troops it was issued to: rugged, powerful and simple to operate and maintain.

March 19, 2011, 10:04 PM
They don't seem too crude compared to their counter parts of the era...maybe a little ... but their conditions are excellent compared to other mil-surps I see on the shelves. And for 80 bucks at that.

March 19, 2011, 10:32 PM
Just bought my first Mosin, a 1942 Izhevsk 91/30. Haven't got the chance to shoot it yet but got pretty intimate with it when cleaning off the cosmoline. I think its a great rifle, a lot of history behind it, plus its just awesome.

March 20, 2011, 08:19 AM
I have numerous Mosins. When I compare it to the K98 Mauser I have, sure it seems crude. But when you look down the sights you will see a very defined sight picture compared to the Mauser. A simple rifle for the masses.

March 20, 2011, 11:31 AM
I think comparing the MN 91/30 to a K98 Mauser is like comparing a BMW motorcycle to a Russian made Ural. Both gets you where you want but when you look at the parts individually, there is really no comparison.

The bolt, trigger, receiver, barrel, chamber, etc. of the MN is not in the same league as the Mauser.

I have to say that if I had to choose between the MN or the Mauser to defend my life, the MN would not be my preference unless I was in trench warfare with no bullets left...the length of the MN would have the advantage.

March 20, 2011, 09:44 PM
I would recommend a thick shoulder pad or thicker clothing before shooting the Mosin Nagant. If you just have a thin shirt and no pad, it will do a number on your shoulder. I still have a purple spot on my shoulder after 3 days (the last time I shot it.) I fired 100 rounds.

I am currently refinishing the stock of my Mosin Nagant. The finish was a little rough in some spots, so I figured it was time for the old girl to get a fresh makeover. It's been a great learning experience for me, and a bit of fun. I should be done with it sometime this week, depending on how busy I am at work.