View Full Version : what to look for in a Mosin Nagant?

May 16, 2011, 08:21 PM
been thinkin for a while about buyin a Mosin rifle to play with some and just got an ad from Cabelas and they have them on sale for $99
i thought i read on here once that there were some things to look out for to get a good one and keep from getting a bad one....could some of you elaborate on this a little thinkin pretty hard about pickin one up to mess around with

May 16, 2011, 08:28 PM
Take a bore light to the barrels, that would be the first thing.

Then work the action, you find one with a good barrel and a smooth action you have a good shooter.

The smoothness of the action is second, you can fix that by tons of dryfiring, working the bolt.

They'll probably shoot high (most do) but I don't think Cabelas will let you try them out.

Then get some stripper clips and learn to load with them. If one takes a time to learn these old war horses, they are good shooters.

May 16, 2011, 08:32 PM
be sure to bring a light for the bore.....


I have had good luck with these folks if you can find a person to do a FFL Transfer or a C&R.

May 16, 2011, 08:36 PM
i know nothing at all about these things.
how accurate are they at some distance? say 200-300 yards

May 16, 2011, 09:07 PM
I like the hex receivers, but I've owned the round ones too. Just looks I guess.
Like mentioned above, just take a light and check out the bores. That's definitely the most important thing to check, imo.
They do pretty well at long distances for their age and what they are. My vision isn't great, but minute-of-torso at 200 yards or so. I don't get to shoot that far too often.

May 16, 2011, 09:25 PM
i know nothing at all about these things.
how accurate are they at some distance? say 200-300 yards

If you reload decent bullets for them (Hornady makes match loads for the Mosin but I don't know if they are available outside of the CMP) you can easily expect 3" groups. That is more then enough to clean the 200 yard targets used by the Civilian Marksmanship Vintage Military Matches.

In fact you should be able to clean the 600 yard NRA High Power Targets.

The caviot is of course the shooter, and how much time he wants to put in on learning to shoot the rifle.

I like them in Offhand shooting, the long barrel dampens movement.

As I mentioned earlier, its probably gonna shoot high. If it does and you want to fix it, PM me and I'll tell you how to fix it yourself while keeping it AS ISSUED in case you want to shoot CMP GSM Games (which I highly recommend)

May 16, 2011, 09:31 PM
All matching, check bore make sure its sharp looking, good wood, not ugly. Bright and clean wood. My 91/30 is very bright got it for $105 + tax. Bought my M44 first :-) was $185 OTD at a gun show. Bore was in A+ shape, same with my 91/30. $90 for 440 rounds. Oh and mine are not hex. Move the bolt carrier a round if you can, make sure its fine. My m44 makes a noise when it goes back and forth, I looked at the bolt carrier and it has some machine work. Like scratches. Works fine, just odd sound.

.300 Weatherby Mag
May 16, 2011, 11:22 PM
Check the bore and the crown...

You want a bore like this...

May 17, 2011, 07:52 AM
check the barrel and action for wear. Most MNs are refurbed arsenal pieces, so you will probably be alright, but it's worth checking.
I had my choice of 5 M44s at a local sporting good store. Te bolt of rifle number 2 would slide out of the rifle completely when I worked the action. I didn't need to pull the trigger to remove the bolt. Probably wouldn't have affected the authority of the lugs when the rifle was firing, but it was a little surprising.
I ended up with rifle 3. It was counter-bored about an inch and a half back into the barrel from the crown. Many people will tell you that is the kiss of death for accuracy, but I could hit laundry detergent bottles at 100 yards with that rifle very easily. Don't freak out if all of your choices are counter-bored.

Then pick up some S&B MN ammo or some surplus MN ammo and have a great day at the range.

Coyote WT
May 17, 2011, 09:26 AM
I got extremely lucky with Aleksandra (my 91/30) because I didn't have all this great advice. I bought blind with no previous experience in gun shopping.

I will say that after a couple months of weekly firing between 40 and 60 rounds at 100 yards my shooting has gone from all over the target to good tight groups pretty much where I want them.

The bolt was tough to work at first but with good use and better clean/lube it's a lot smoother now.

The trigger pull is the only thing I'd like to improve in mine. It's a pretty hard pull which makes it tough for a new shooter like me to get the breath/trigger squeeze pattern down consistantly. More time at the range will fix that I'm sure.

And just in case no one else does, I'll mention shooting surplus ammo typically means shooting corrosive ammo. I was nervous about that at first but all it takes is a good righteous cleaning (which is a great part of my shooting ritual anyway) and there's nothing to worry about.

I hope you find a good one to enjoy,

Coyote WT

May 17, 2011, 10:22 AM
Most Mosin-Nagants were or are refurbished but one dead giveaway to a top notch rifle is to look for the welded over scope bolts on the receivers inside wall. if you find one it was originally chosen as a sniper rifle then arsenal refurbished for infantry use. These rifles were hand picked for accuracy and still are the top choice. I have one and at 200 yards it maintains 2.5" groups from a shooting bench with a gun vise. Also Timney makes a replacement trigger that is adjustable down to 1.5 lbs and is super crisp! The only thing is you will have to remove a little bit of the inside of the stock to fit the Timney trigger.