View Full Version : Mosin-Nagant tough to manipulate bolt

March 29, 2012, 10:42 PM
Took my new-to-me Russian M44 out today for the first time and put 20 rounds through it. It shot decent (a little over 4MOA...good enough for me) groups that were about 6" high (as expected from what I've read and plan on a Smith front/Mojo rear sight combo). I really enjoyed shooting it however it was really tough to manipulate the bolt both chambering and extracting the rounds. It is easy opening/closing the bolt without any rounds. I looked at the brass and it looked good so I'm wondering if it's normal for these older rifles as this is my first of these kind and I'm used to precision bolts guns.

March 29, 2012, 11:00 PM
I've heard a lot of sticky bolt on the MNs, mine is not the easiest but is doable one handed.

I've heard that guys take a 12 ga cleaning brush and put it on your drill and run it in the chamber. I've heard it works real good to smooth it out.

March 29, 2012, 11:05 PM
Actually I put that wrong.....it's not the actual chambering/extracting that's tough, it's the locking/unlocking of the bolt. A couple of times, I actually had to hit the bolt handle with the palm of my hand pretty good to get it to work.

March 29, 2012, 11:11 PM
12ga? If it has to be a SG brush in lieu of a proper tool- I'd think a .410 bore or 28ga brush would be much more suitable.

March 29, 2012, 11:15 PM
I have read that the Russian, then Soviet practice was to have their troops hit the M-N bolt handle with a cupped hand, and pretty hard. By our standards a somewhat crude rifle, but it was to be used by a mostly illiterate army with little mechanical aptitude.

March 29, 2012, 11:16 PM
A .223 brush covered in patches coated with Bore Brite works even better...

Bore Brite can also be used to polish up the caming surfaces on the bolt head and body. That might smooth out the "locking/unlocking" roughness issue.

March 29, 2012, 11:30 PM
We have a batch of them and they actually sat around a long time during a move before being fired.

Mine is ok, but my brothers bolt is really sticking. He is taking back to lube it up, but i'll tell him to use that bore brite stuff.

It is a fun gun to shoot. Not looking for anything more with this thing.

March 29, 2012, 11:35 PM
Thanks for the tip guys.

I'll pick up some Bore Brite tomorrow and give it a shot. I really like this rifle, just something about shooting a piece of history....it's new to me. :cool: Once I get it to shoot POA, I may even use it for a deer hunt or two next season. ;)

March 29, 2012, 11:45 PM
If you get close enough, you can kill it and cook it in one step :cool:

March 29, 2012, 11:48 PM
If you get close enough, you can kill it and cook it in one step

Yeah, I seen that today. It was starting to get dark on us as we was finishing up this evening and that M44 throws one heck of a flame.....purdy cool. :cool:

March 30, 2012, 03:08 AM
If this is occurring firing surplus ammo is is because the lacquer on the ammo will melt and cause the bolt to snag.
I used a 410 brush and acetone to scrub the chamber until clean. fire aa few rapid shot and clean the bore while warm.
After a few times i go tit clean so i rarely had the issue any more.

March 30, 2012, 04:24 AM
A 12ga brush fits.

Also if you lap and polish the edge of the receiver that the bolt protrusion contacts during unlocking helps too. See blurry picture....


March 30, 2012, 05:30 AM
Just keep in mind that they where made to replace the pitch fork. 2 or 3 waves of infantry with pointed sticks fall back they really dont care how sticky the bolt is on a real gun vs a stick.

woody wood
March 30, 2012, 08:46 AM
someone stated once to use lapping compound(automotive),im sure
it must be like the bore bright you have talked about.

put ot on the bolt and work action a few times.
also someone stated to cut the first ring off of the firing pin spring?
i guess there is a video on you tube on this? would have to investigate it first.

March 30, 2012, 01:32 PM
M/N's are usually filled with cosmoline. It is difficult to get out of the chamber area and the lug recesses. Lacquer from the steel casings also has a tendency to build up on the chamber. I use a 20ga. brass brush with paint thinner to scrub out the chamber area and lug recesses. The paint thinner works on both the cosmoline and lacquer. Once the chamber area has been brushed out, I clean up the area with a 20ga. swab. You will also find that the a 32 cal brush works best on the bore.

March 30, 2012, 07:19 PM
It's the ammo you are using. Mine does the same thing with certain mil surplus ammo. Try some different ammo before doing any thing else and it very likely fix the issue.

March 30, 2012, 07:25 PM
you probably still have cosmoline stuck in the chamber. I had the same issue when i got mine, i just cleaned the crap out of it and then got some lapping compound and used a shotgun bore brush in a drill to clean/polish the chamber. you dont have to go crazy with it, but just do it alittle bit and then check it. Just repeat till its good. I forget the exact gauge shotgun brush i used

March 30, 2012, 08:14 PM
Polish the chamber. It's a wonderful fix

What you need to do is to save a few of your fired cases.
Carefully drill a hole in the very center of the primer with a #22 drill bit and tap the hole with a 10X32 tap.
Now screw in a 10X32 machine screw and cut the head off.

Thread that into a rod with a tapped 10X32 hole in it and you have a fired shell on the end of the rod.
Coat it with 800 grit lapping compound and squirt oil on it. Insert it into the chamber and grab the end of the rod with an electric drill. Spin the shell in the chamber under light pressure for about 10 seconds.

I have done this to about 20 M.N rifles and it worked on every one of them.

The ones coming into the country now are all arsenal refinished and they blues the barrels chambers and all. The bluing in the chambers has a tendency to "grab" the shells. I light polish to shin them up works wonders.

March 31, 2012, 09:39 AM
I used a .45 brush chucked into a cordless drill to scrub the chamber. No more hard bolt openings.

April 1, 2012, 12:16 AM
I used a shotgun brush to clean my chamber and still had sticky bolt.
I used a bike chain lube called "Rock and Roll" (if memory doesn't fail me), and I would pour a bunch into the bolt, work the bolt, until brown crap ran out mixed with the R&R. I did this several times until the lube ran clean.

I might have had lacquer built up in the chamber and cosmo stuck in the bolt, but by the time I was done it was very, very smooth.

Happy shooting with your M44; they are fun.