View Full Version : Your Mosin IS Accurate!

Josh Smith
June 3, 2011, 12:22 AM

I wrote this for my website, and because I post on many gun sites, I'm trying out posting by picture. Lets me manage from a central hub, and keeps me from having to reformat from HTML to BB code.


June 3, 2011, 01:07 AM
Josh - The JPEG compression is giving your text "halos". You may want to consider using a different compression scheme, larger text, or a different format (such as PNG).

June 3, 2011, 01:23 PM
Interesting perspective on a pretty set-in-stone belief that MN aren't known for accuracy.

I think your most convincing argument is people buy surplus ammo. Any rifle shooting surplus won't live up to its accuracy potential. I guess spending $40 (??) on a box of nice ammo to shoot out of a $90 rifle seems counter-intuitive. Accurate ammo is expensive though.. regardless of how expensive the rifle shooting it is.

June 3, 2011, 04:53 PM
Actually, my Mosins WERE NOT accurate. The M91 and the M44. I put some cork material towards the front of the stock, which did nothing. I fired surplus ammo and Wolf Gold ammo. In fact, they were the most innaccurate rifles I have ever fired. My old Swedish Mauser with corroded surplus ammo shoots great. It has about the same sight radius, same sights, stock set-up, etc. A friends M91 shot OK, but the 2 I had would not.

June 3, 2011, 09:54 PM
I just got back from the range today.
After doing a few things to it she shoots just fine.
I didnt do any of the above.
I filed the rear sight down about .0579 in.
(I have another thread on here...
It describes how to figure how much to remove.)
And I adjusted the windage
(front sight, involved alot of bashing... er... tapping) :p
I was shooting her today at 10 yds, almost dead on.
I was using brown bear match grade FMJ's. $11.25/box/20

I was keeping them within 3 1/2 in.
But most of it just looked like it was my fault.
It was only my second time shooting my M91/30 today.
I'll have to see what I get with other types of ammo.
I just need to get my next graduation check. :P :P

June 4, 2011, 09:21 AM
Comparing a Swedish Mauser versus a Mosin is not fair, lol. The 100 year old Swede will compare favorably with modern guns, and it has the benefit being designed to fire heavy 140+ gr bullets (1:7.5 twist). The heavy 6.5's are considered one of the best long range bullets available.

June 4, 2011, 11:19 AM
I just threw the Swede in there because the reason people would think the Mosin was not accurate is because it is an old surplus rifle. In this sense, none of the old surplus rifles should be accurate. In my experience, every other old rifle I've owned (M96, K31, Enfield No 4. Mk II, and SKS) have been accurate. The Mosins have not. It's got nothing to do with the rifles being "old" or "battle accurate." The Mosins are just not consistent, and poorly made. Some will shoot OK, some will not stay on a sheet of notebook paper at 50 yards. That is unacceptable to me. My SKS with Tech-Sights will shoot a 5-6" group at 100 yards with the cheapest steel case ammo I can get. There is no reason a Mosin should not do the same.

June 4, 2011, 12:53 PM
I dont see why people are hating on the Mosin so much.

It's fun to play with, and accurate enough to hunt with.
Sure, it's not as great as other mil surp rifles.
I've read time and again, you just have to learn how to shoot it.
I'm taking that time and practice to learn to shoot that specific weapon.
It's not turning out half bad for me.
As I said above, I can keep a decent grouping of 3-3 1/2 in at 100yds.
I'm not trying to demean others peoples shooting, I'm just saying.
But if I needed her to perform, she'd do the job just fine.
I've only had her out twice...
But I improved after the slight mods I described above and practice.
(If you'd call practice two times out) xD
This is just my experience with my rifle.
It's not shot out, and has an "excellent" grade barrel.
The rest of the weapon is "very good" grade.

Josh Smith
June 4, 2011, 01:35 PM

I posted this over on my board, and there is a gent who responded with his stock pre-war hex. I doubt he'd mind me quoting him here:

Here are a couple of 100 yard targets with bench rest groups I fired with a couple of prewar Mosin hex receiver 91/30's. In my several years of dinking around with them I never found a Mosin with a decent barrel that wouldn't group sub 2MOA from the bench with surplus ammo. Sometimes one may need to make a metal shim to place underneath the rear tang where old wood and too much torque on the rear action screw has caused the tang to sink in too far, but other than that they shoot well.

In the 5 years I've been in charge of our club's military matches I've only seen a couple of Mosins in competition and I'm sure it's because of their primitive trigger that you can't do a whole lot with as far as improving the pull. They almost never wind up in the winner's circle. However, stock Mosin's are usually regarded as being more accurate out of the box than a 98 Mauser in like condition, and I've found this to be true in my experience with both guns.

Wes, only shooting will prove whether or not the .308 diameter Sierra's will shoot well. Sometimes the bore diameter on these guns is .310 and other times it's anybody's guess - european military rifles are famous for inconsistent bore diameters. A friend had some 170 grain .30-30 bullets laying around and they made a very good 100 yard load for his gun, so I know .308 bullets will work at least part of the time. Anyway, here are the two groups I mentioned. They were fired with 147 grain Czech light ball corrosive surplus ammo. The top group measured 1 3/4 and the bottom one 1 7/8 even with the flyer.


Here is one of the guns involved. I had to have eye surgery in '08 that ended my career with heavy recoiling shoulder guns, so this one and all the other vintage military rifles in my safe were sold. But I sure loved them. This one is a 1935 hex receiver that I refinished.



They're a barrel of fun. Enjoy them.


JayPee has been shooting these things for a long time, and knows how to shoot them.

I tend to believe that they're about as capable as the scout rifles from either Ruger or Savage, with open sights.

Now I gotta' go tell Jer I stole his stuff! LOL



June 4, 2011, 01:52 PM
See if you can steel some tips on shooting these from him.
I'm leaving in about an hour and a half for the range.
Yes, be jealous. :D ;) lol

Josh Smith
June 4, 2011, 02:05 PM
Yes, be jealous. :D ;) lol

My range is in my back yard. Be jealouser! :rolleyes: :p

June 4, 2011, 03:28 PM
Josh, you flatter me, sir.

When it comes to shooting the Mosin accurately for group, first of all you need a sturdy bench and sandbags or equivalent, at front and rear. Then, because the stock is so short, you'll shoot it a lot better with a cheapo Pachmayr slip-on pad to lengthen the stock.

The ammo you use is incredibly important to the accuracy of your Mosin. The Czech light ball usually fired more accurately than any other surplus ammo I used, and was very reliable. But switch to Polish light ball and the groups got bigger right away. So don't pronounce your Mosin to be inaccurate until you have tried more than one load in it. Some of the other surplus loads in this caliber are not only inaccurate, but are also bad about splitting cases.

As I mentioned in the post quoted above, the barreled action may not be sitting correctly in the stock because of soft or oil-soaked wood at the rear tang. So you need to make sure the action isnt canted upward in the stock by too much torque on the rear action screw. I usually found all the pressure points in the barrel channel and removed them and would occasionally have to place a business card shim or two up front. If you can read the writing on the targets I shot above, you'll see that I was testing the accuracy of that particular rifle after having corrected its bedding. It shot darn nice.

Once the stock and barreled action are properly mated up, these guns are capable of accuracy as good as any Mauser except possibly the Swede, and they even give those a good run for the money from time to time. The Soviet competitive teams gave us fits with their trusty old 7.62x54R cartridge, so it's accuracy potential is as good as any other major military cartridge of its era.

The only real area in which the Mosin is inferior to other designs is in the primitive trigger design. Some fellows polish the mating surfaces, but this is risky to do on a Mosin IMHO because when the trigger starts getting 'nice', it picks up a tendency to fire when the gun is dropped or jarred. So, again IMHO, there isn't much you can do with the Mosin trigger in most cases without compromising safety. If your Mosin has a really sweet trigger, place a piece of wood on your concrete sidewalk, clear the rifle and cock it, then stand away from the muzzle and drop the butt onto the wood from a height of about ten inches (without the recoil pad on it). Usually when subjected to this test, a Mosin with a "sweet" trigger will fire from the impact, whereas one with the crummy factory stock trigger will not fire under these circumstances. So be careful about this if you find a Mosin with a good trigger in it, or if you decide to work on it yourself. These guns are never supposed to fire when they're dropped.

Unfortunately I've found a couple of these rifles in which Soviet soldiers had done "trigger jobs" on them with FILES and completely compromised the safety of the guns. The last one I encountered was so butchered up I had to replace the cocking piece because of excessive metal removal from the trigger engagement surfaces. So watch out for file marks on the bolt near or on the cocking piece, or anywhere in the trigger mechanism. This is very dangerous and it's not something most importers test for. I found this condition in one Russian M91/30 and in one Hungarian M44 carbine.

So thank you very much for inviting me into your conversation and I hope this information is of help to you. Best wishes.


Josh Smith
June 4, 2011, 04:30 PM
Hi Jer,

You are much more tame in your attacking the trigger problem than I am.

There are articles on the internet (including on respected sites) on how to improve the stock trigger. Among these fixes are shimming of the sear spring and thinning of the same.

This usually lightens and shortens the pull. While I will not generally recommend this to the novice gun-tinkerer, I've used both approaches to great success. My Mosin's trigger will pass the drop test, but breaks at 5lbs, which is as low as I will go on a rifle of this sort. The pull is a bit shorter than the stock pull, as well.

Something else I have found is that the trigger, sear assembly and such do like to hang up on the wood at times. I inlet as needed.

I've not had a Mosin fail a drop test yet!

That said, it must be recognized that, as you said, not much can be done with these triggers. They are a simple, robust setup that can be repaired easily. I like them for that reason -- and because, after getting used to a Mosin trigger, I can shoot my other rifles with mousetrap triggers all the better!


June 4, 2011, 04:52 PM
Yes, I am very conservative when it comes to working on Mosin triggers. These guns were made under the most compelling wartime circumstances imaginable by half-starved workers often in view of the enemy, and I'm prone not to trust that production tolerances were always adhered to. In fact I've seen proof of same. Because of this, in some cases I have been able to improve the trigger pull merely by swapping one set of factory stock trigger parts for another set of factory stock trigger parts, or by changing out just one component this way. Like I said, production tolerances could be mighty loose on these rifles. So I will usually exhaust all of my options in this manner before I will go any further, and even then I still insist the rifle pass the drop test although I'm using stock parts. My basic rule is that the rifle has to go boom when I want it to, not when it wants to. Thanks again and best wishes.