View Full Version : Mosin Nagant question

North East Redneck
September 11, 2012, 05:46 PM
I'm sure this has been asked many times, but I'm new to the old milsurp thing. LGS has one, receiver and bolt have matching numbers, made 1943. Looked at it casually, but thinking about buying it now. Price is $129. I realize I could purchase one for less online, but its right there. What should I look for that's positive, and what negatives should I be aware of?

September 11, 2012, 06:04 PM
You could buy one on line for $99,and then pay shipping,and transfer fee to your FFL dealer,and you'd be ahead at the $129.At least you can look it over and touch it.Bore is at the top of the list for me,most of the rebuilds have great bores,and i just bought a pre-import for $100 that looked unfired inside.As long as it's not beaten half to death go for it.Cheap to shoot and like lays potato chips you cant buy just one.

North East Redneck
September 11, 2012, 06:42 PM
mp- thanks for your input. Will check bore and #s on barrel. To me, it sounds like a great deal. The LGS has five or six of them, this one seems to be the one with the clearest numbers, and the stock is not bad at all. Worn, yup. Cracked, dented and scratched, not really. Maybe a few scratches.
The shop sells brass cased rounds for $50 per 100. Doesn't seem to bad. Another customer said they sell steel 'copper washed' cased rounds for less, I didn't ask the seller about that. I prefer to ask questions of those who are not trying to sell me something. Does this sound correct? I went in the shop to buy percussion caps and look at an 1860 Army repro. I am totally ignorant of the Mosin, but I want one.
I agree, why have it shipped and have to pay a transfer fee when its right there. Probably gonna buy it, or one of the same model if its gone.

September 11, 2012, 09:10 PM
You can pick up Russian copper washed steel cased ammo for the Mosin cheap ($75ish for 440 round spam can). It's surplus ammo and shoots pretty well generally, just make sure you clean the rifle well after shooting the stuff as it's corrosive. This stuff is the only thing I shoot in my Mosin, it's cheap which means I can shoot a lot of it when I'm so inclined. Only issue I see with buying a Mosin is it will lead to other Mil-Surp guns and more $$$ out of pocket. Oh well, can't take it with you anyway.


North East Redneck
September 11, 2012, 09:17 PM
$75 for 440, steel cased. Sounds about like the customer at the shop said, he said he buys that and the brass cased rounds to reload. I'm gonna buy the gun. Looks like fun. What the hell, price is right.

September 11, 2012, 09:59 PM
Sounds good, when you go to pick one out, remember to check the bores and the triggers. Mosin triggers can vary a lot. I have two and one has the often described long, creepy 10lb-ish trigger and the other is as good as some of my modern rifles. You might ask the shop if they have a gauge to check the headspace for your peace of mind. Many shops will throw this in for free if they have the gauges. I won't buy a gun that fails a no-go gauge, although it is technically safe until it fails a field gauge. If you are going to be involved with Mosins much it might be a good investment to get a headspace gauge for 7.62x54R.

September 11, 2012, 11:49 PM
$99 for the rifle, $75 for the ammo....and $149.50 for the headspace gauge. :D Buying one MN was okay. Now where did these other four come from?

September 12, 2012, 08:27 AM
$75 for 440, steel cased. Sounds about like the customer at the shop said, he said he buys that and the brass cased rounds to reload. I'm gonna buy the gun. Looks like fun. What the hell, price is right.

I can't imagine reloading for the Mosin. It's just not cost effective for me. I also don't load 7.62x39mm for my SKS for the same reason. Wolf ammo is cheap enough I don't worry about it. I suppose if I were shooting competition with the Mosin it might be worthwhile to load for it.


DE Shooter
September 12, 2012, 10:45 AM
Several years ago, at a gunshow, my MN addiction started with a $100, out the door, M91/30. Be carefull, they a cheap and fun to shoot. And, can be accurate enough to put meat on the table, if you hunt. Make the buy and go to the range. Visit the 7.62x54R website and you will most likeley be hooked.

September 12, 2012, 12:38 PM
and $149.50 for the headspace gauge.

I have 3 M/N rifles and carbines now, and had 7 at one time. Never got a head space gauge. Only had one that I was a bit worried about. Duct tape, an old tire, and a long piece of string was my head space gauge. :cool:

oh, and it was fine.

North East Redneck
September 12, 2012, 06:35 PM
I'm gonna go and look at it again over the weekend. Thanks for all the info. Sounds like the headspace thing could be key to purchasing that one or looking at others. I am guessing that the LGS will be cool and help me out with any questions I have. Again, thanks guys!

September 12, 2012, 07:26 PM
Do you know which model you were looking at? There are several different models of the Mosin. I have the M44 Carbine with the attached/folding bayonet. There is also the M38 and 91/30 models IIRC, and a few others. Ask if they have the ammo pouch and kit that goes along with the rifle too. Mine didn't have it but its in good enough condition that I didn't mind (I have my own gun cleaning kit and mag pouches anyway).

Good luck with your purchase and keep us posted. FYI the 440rd ammo cans sell for about $75 at Aimsurplus.com. Add about $20 shipping and you're looking at less than a $100 for a good amount of ammo, much better than $50/100rds.

DE Shooter
September 12, 2012, 08:16 PM

If the rifle isn't all cosmolined up, try and get a good look at the bore and muzzle for sharpness of rifling. I always bring a round with me to set in the muzzle. It will provide a good indication of muzzle wear or counter boring. I don't recall hearing of too many MNs having head spacing issues. The rimmed cartridge helps to make this a non-issue FWIR. Good luck!

September 12, 2012, 09:07 PM
True, I have yet to find a Mosin with unsafe headspace (I'd hope they check them when imported so if there are any bad ones they are not getting to shooters' hands), but it is possible. I have seen a couple that fail no-go gauges but still pass field. But it depends on a lot of tolerance factors. I saw one guy who bought two Mosins and one failed no-go and the other passed. He swapped the bolt heads and then they both passed.

September 13, 2012, 03:42 AM
What was the string for? :D

September 13, 2012, 08:34 AM
What was the string for?
Life and limb insurance ;)

September 13, 2012, 11:37 AM
Be warned: I'm sitting here wearing a Mosin Nagant T-shirt. I now own quite a few of these guns, and can hardly pass one up if it looks decent. I have one from 1899 that I would not hesitate to shoot, but choose not to. I have two others with hex receivers, I have an M44, a Finnish M39, and an M91/59. I bought one with a bore that looked like a coal mine, and shot it shiny clean.

Everybody here has offered great comments. You will really enjoy reading the comparison of the AR, AK and Mosin-Nagant HERE (http://7.62x54r.net/MosinID/MosinHumor.htm)

These rifles are a legend. I've bought ammo as cheaply as 18 cents per round, and that was last week when I was offered two 440 round SPAM cans of ammo for $75 each. The mid-WWII dates (1942 & 1943) are very common in the crateloads of M91/30 Mosins coming into the country. Most of these have very clean bores and shoot well. The stocks are easy to refinish if you are so inclined. Check for a smoothly operating bolt. Most are. Some are excessively tight, but the improve with time. Be prepared to do some cleaning, but don't buy one so gummed up with cosmoline that you cannot even pick it up to examine it. Pull back the bolt. Then carefully depress the trigger to release the bolt from the rifle, and look down the bore in the direction of a light source. Most of these have extremely heavy rifling and are some of the most over-built guns ever made. They are like portable tanks. With a 28½ inch barrel, any inaccuracy isn't the gun's fault.

September 13, 2012, 03:34 PM
When you pick up your rifle you are going to need to get something to remove the cosmoline off with.

Warning do not shoot the rifle without removing the cosmoline first. I know it is tempting to. I have seen people that did not know any better do this at the range, and locked the action up tight. It did open with a lot of force after the rifle cooled off a whole lot.

Remove the action from the stock, and disassemble the bolt, and place all the small parts in a tub. Hold the barrel over the tub, and spray the living daylights out of it with either carb cleaner, or brake parts cleaner. Afterwards wipe them parts, and run a couple of patches down the bore. Then oil everything real well.

September 13, 2012, 03:54 PM
For $129 I'd buy it, we see them locally for a few dollars less, but at least in my state the transfer fee's make the $129 look good.

September 13, 2012, 06:54 PM
I can't imagine reloading for the Mosin. It's just not cost effective for me

Depends what you do with your rifle.
You can buy cheap, inaccurate ammunition for any rifle...if you're more concerned with how much lead you can send, or just don't need or demand high accuracy.

I reload for mine so I can hit 8" steel plates at 565 yards.

No prayer in the world to do that with commercial, much less .20/round commie surplus ammo.

September 13, 2012, 07:23 PM
When you pick up your rifle you are going to need to get something to remove the cosmoline off with.

I got mine off a consignment rack with all the SWAG that comes with the cosmoline drenched guns..... but mine was aready cleaned..... $99.

My Yugo SKS took near $10 worth of mineral spirits and several days to clean the gunk off. It also needed a paperclip gas system fix and a Murray's firing pin to keep it from doubling..... it does not hit as hard, is less reliable, is almost as accurate, just as heavy, and cost more than twice as much as my Mosin. I wish I had bought another Mosin instead.

September 13, 2012, 07:26 PM
You never told us what model it is. Price is OK for a 91/30. It's great for an M38 or M44. Even better if it has a big "SA" stamped on the barrel of whatever it is. (Means it's a Finn capture, good stuff as they inspected them before they would stamp them)

September 13, 2012, 07:30 PM
I'm gonna go and look at it again over the weekend.

Somebody will buy it tomorrow.

He who hesitates has lost.

September 13, 2012, 07:34 PM
I can't imagine reloading for the Mosin.

Two reasons:

You'll make better ammo than the quota filling proles who loaded the ComBloc surplus stuff in some gulag 40 years ago...... and you can tailor your ammo to your gun and specific application.

That and it is fun to roll your own.

North East Redneck
September 18, 2012, 07:17 PM
bought the mosin over the weekend, cleaned it up. ordered a field gauge, rubber pad and ten stripper clips for it. I broke the bolt down a few times, learned how to set the firing pin depth etc. Very busy with non shooting things:(. hope to shoot it next week.
It is a 91/30 with a 28 inch barrel. matching bolt, receiver and butt plate numbers. The LGS had a sniper, bolt numbers were etched not stamped, this made me save $30 and buy the matching numbers gun. Also got some Brown Bear steel case ammo, just to try it out. May go with much cheaper spam can brass washed ammo. Price is right, but wanted to first try some non corrosive ammo first.

DE Shooter
September 19, 2012, 07:30 PM
Good luck with it. When you shoot it till it gets hot, you'll probably see cosmoline weeping out in various places. I treat any non-US, Russian caliber, ammo as corrosive. Probably don't need to with all, but it's no big deal to run some hot water down the barrel and bolt assembly, prior to regular cleaning.

September 19, 2012, 10:06 PM
You're going to fall in love with that rifle. I can't wait to hear your report after you've taken it out and shot it.

North East Redneck
September 24, 2012, 05:35 PM
Received the headspace gauge 'field' no problem there. Gonna give it another cleaning and hopefully get it to the range in the next week.

October 1, 2012, 05:49 PM
I can't imagine reloading for the Mosin. It's just not cost effective for me. I also don't load 7.62x39mm for my SKS for the same reason. Wolf ammo is cheap enough I don't worry about it. I suppose if I were shooting competition with the Mosin it might be worthwhile to load for it.

Some people do not like to deal with having to clean out the corrosive salts from the primers that milsurp stuff leaves. Also my reloads are so MUCH more accurate than the milsurp. The only milsurp stuff I've shot that even came close to the same accuracy was that green lacquered Czech Silvertip. And shooting lacquered rounds will cause Mosin Nagant "sticky bolt" faster than anything else, due to the receiver heat melting the lacquer. Another cleaning worry.

What I do is shoot my reloads for accuracy, and milsurp for general plinking.

October 2, 2012, 08:07 AM
I can't imagine reloading for the Mosin. It's just not cost effective for me.

I can't imagine NOT reloading for the Mosin.

Most of the surplus ammo is corrosive, and steel cases/bullet.

I may have only paid $99 for my Mosin but I still ain't gonna shoot that crap it it or any other guns I have.

When I bought mine I spent a bit of time going through the rack picking a good bore. Why would I do that if I was going to shoot junk.

Barrels (and chambers) are rather soft steel. Brass/Copper is softer yet so the chances of brass or copper ruining the barrel is slim. Not so with steel. Brass is suppose to work as a gasket and is suppose to expand and seal the chamber when you fire.

Steel doesn't expand at the same rate as brass.

And I wont even go to my rant about the fire hazard with steel bullets.

When I bought mine the clerk tried to sell me some surplus ammo. I spent a bit more and bought a couple hundred rounds of loaded Winchester 7.62X54R ammo. The loaded winchester stuff was cheaper then any "new" brass I could find. I don't load hot and only shoot one gun so the brass last a long time.

Also I shoot cast bullets for practice. You CAN keep the loading cost below the prices of the crap surplus ammo.

October 2, 2012, 08:36 AM
I use Prvi PPU 150 gr softpoints as a source of brass..... around 80 cents /ea off the shelf at Cabela's for loaded ammo and is a bit more than the milsurp stuff, but is not corrosive, not magnetic, and reloadable.

Now if I can just find a good source of inexpensive .311 Sierra Gamekings...... Cabela's wants 32 bucks/100!

North East Redneck
October 6, 2012, 09:37 PM
Finally shot it yesterday. Love the gun. Shot Russian Brown Bear ammo. I shot the rifle at 100 yards. First few rounds were decent shots. Then I started hitting all over the paper. I was pulling the trigger instead of squeezing it. Not used to a rifle with this kind of trigger pressure. Hope to shoot it again tomorrow. This thing is a lot of fun. Just gotta figure it out, and take my time shooting.
Let you know how it goes, and thanks for all the helpful insight.

October 13, 2012, 01:41 PM
I use Prvi PPU 150 gr softpoints as a source of brass..... around 80 cents /ea off the shelf at Cabela's for loaded ammo and is a bit more than the milsurp stuff, but is not corrosive, not magnetic, and reloadable.

Now if I can just find a good source of inexpensive .311 Sierra Gamekings...... Cabela's wants 32 bucks/100!

I found a great place for brand new Lapua brass! $30 per 100! So far I've bought 300 of them.


As for lead a while back Wideners had .311" 150 grain FMJBT pulls on sale for $153 for 2500 shipped. I bought like 3 of them and have been running on those for a long, long time. Too bad, I'm finally getting low and they have them no more! I did find a place that sells a 1000 .310" 150 grainers for $125 + shipping.

North East Redneck
October 26, 2012, 07:04 PM
Well, shot it again, much better. Still not totally comfortable with the trigger, but, I feel more confident with it now. Shot surplus ammo this time, brass washed, MUCH easier extraction than the laquered modern made rounds were. I can see that this rifle will be shot a lot, it is simple, inexpensive fun. Love it.
After getting it nice and hot, cosmoline was beading on the wood and showing up in places I believed to be clean. Cleaned and cleaned again. Let it sit for a couple days and cleaned it some more. Enjoyed the entire process. These guns are very cool, and fun to shoot. Should have bought one sooner.
It is a nice enough gun, it is counter bored:(, but whatever. Now that I have some understanding (first hand), of what these guns are all about, I want more of em and better quality ones. Money isnt real tight, but every purchase is a consideration. So I will look around and try to find the best versions in the best condition possible. Thanks again guys, this gun has been a very interesting experience so far. First foray into the Milsurp world, won't be my last.

October 26, 2012, 07:37 PM
Since you have fired it, and like it I would suggest getting a slip on butt pad. It makes shooting it a whole lot more enjoyable. I have bony shoulders, and having a metal butt plate driven into them does not feel good after a few rounds.

Oh and as far as reloading for it goes. I reload for mine, and I have 2 double spam can crates of spam can ammo. It cost me more to reload for it. Though making reduced loads for Mrs. M&P makes it worth it. She is not recoil shy. She has past back, and neck injuries. If shooting the spam can, or full power loads after 5 or 10 shots she is ready to go home due to pain in her back, and neck. With the reduced loads she keeps telling me to buy more brass.

DE Shooter
October 28, 2012, 02:22 PM
Don't let Mrs M&P shoot your MN, even with with a butt pad. A neck injury is nothing to fool with. Even padded that round will provide a jolt. Let her shoot something milder. Good Luck!

October 28, 2012, 04:12 PM
DE she shoots it loaded with Trail Boss loads. It makes it like a .22 lr. The main part of her injury was 3 herniated thoractic disc, and strained muscles in her neck. That was about 12 years ago. She shoots it just fine with the reduced loads. In fact one of the rifles is hers. She keeps telling me to buy more brass for her rifle. It is the one I reload for the most. I have shot some warmer hand loads with decent results. Though for the most part for just me shooting I use the spam can stuff. I doubt it will run out in my life time.

Here is the video of me testing the Trail Boss loads for her rifle.


November 2, 2012, 08:21 AM
For all you guys who object to "corrosive" ammo, consider this. Every Mosin Nagant rifle is over 70 years old. Many are well over a hundred years old. All that has ever been shot in them was potassium salt primer (corrosive) ammo, and most of these rifles have been shot A LOT! If a hundred years of that stuff hasn't destroyed them, a few rounds at the range isn't going to either.

November 3, 2012, 11:25 AM
If you have a Big-5 store near you check it out often. I found two with bayonets and a bag of accessories for $69 ea. but it was a while back. I bought them for the wood but now I will just keep them for the holidays.



200 yards. ;)


February 3, 2013, 07:40 PM
Geeze, all the people complaing about the corrosive primers!!

You just have to clean them a little different. I never shoot any of my guns without cleaning them after the session, so I don't worry about it. The corrosive salts residue left behind are easily washed away with hot water. Just make sure you run an oily patch through after the barrel is dry.

P.S. I do reload for this caliber, but can still buy spam cans of surplus stuff at a cheaper cost. My rule is my reloads for accuracy, surplus for just plinking.

February 3, 2013, 08:55 PM
I buy lots of em. I have some that are kinda crappy and some that are very nice. I think they are great. I love the old military stuff though.

February 4, 2013, 06:04 PM
I bought this one for a very low price. The owner did not take the stock off of the action when spraying carb cleaner on it to remove the cosmoline. I sanded the stock to fairly smooth, added a touch of water based stain, then several coats of TruOil for some shine. I added two more coats of the oil since the picture. I looks real pretty.

Note I have 4 more in the same condition they were in when they came out of the crate minus the cosmoline.