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Old February 9, 2013, 04:55 AM   #1
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Mosin Re-Barrel?

Hey guys! A friend of mine has a Mosin Nagant 91/30 that has seen some neglect, the bore is essentially destroyed. He and I are curious about the possibility of rebarreling the action in a different caliber, since its in more or less great shape.

We would like to do this as a home project, mostly just for kicks, so we are looking to keep expense to a minimum. We also don't want this to turn into a huge PITA, so anything that will require serious modification to the action/magazine/bolt is right out unless it's easily doable at the 'hobbyist' level.

What caliber and barrel manufacturer would you guys recommend? I've done some simple poking around and was considering something like .260 Remington, or all the way down to 22-250. I think we should be able to use those with almost no real changes to the action/magazine, may need to turn down the bolt to match rim thickness though.

Any suggestions you guys have will be greatly appreciated, as well as any warnings about stumbling points that may be encountered (As long as the suggestion isn't 'Just throw it out and buy another Mosin, that isn't the point of the project. :P )
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Old February 9, 2013, 08:24 AM   #2
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Bolt face is too large for rimless cartridge. You can, with a little work, turn it into a 45/70. I did one for myself after viewing the process on Youtube. It now sits next to my 45/70 Siamese Mauser.
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Old February 9, 2013, 11:53 AM   #3
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There is no manufacturer for replacement barrels.
Unless he wants to put in far more money than it'll be worth- if you can find a smith willing to take on the task- just buy another rifle.

If I had a lathe and the knowledge, I'd get a .308 blank and fit it to the action. This would require no other modifications, using the same 54R brass and just size them for .308 bullets. A lot of factory ammo uses .308 bullets, anyway.
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Old February 12, 2013, 07:25 AM   #4
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I have read elsewhere that the hex receivers can be rebarreled, but that there is something about the threading in the round receivers that makes them a one time use sort of thing. Something about the torquing of the barrel which damages the threads or something.

Sorry I'm not remembering just now.
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Old February 12, 2013, 06:37 PM   #5
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If I were you I'd tell your friend you guys are going to embark upon the ultimate journey. And then proceed to tell him you guys are going to chamber that bad boy for the 50 BMG!
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Old February 12, 2013, 06:55 PM   #6
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You can buy a new Mosin for $100, I think the new barrel/smith work will be double that...
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Old February 12, 2013, 07:23 PM   #7
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CE Harris wrote an article in American Rifleman, back in the 80's or 90's, about the Mosin Nagant. He had a custom barrel installed on one, in 7.62X 54R.

I would be curious to know how the 45/70 feeds and extracts. But if you look at a Mosin, the feed ramps, contours, they are all designed around the 7.62 X 54 R cartridge, and that is the safe bet for function.

And there is nothing "wrong" about the 7.62 X54R except for the rims. I have had rim lock with some ammunition, the rim on top locked with the cartridge below, but that is about it. The round is as powerful as a 308 and is capable of excellent accuracy.
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Old February 12, 2013, 09:18 PM   #8
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First of all, what do you mean by "destroyed"? I have a Hungarian M44, my first M/N, and the bore looks like looking down a gravel road. It still shoots as well as a couple others I have with like new bores
Has he shot it to see how it shoots?
Love the M/N for what it is, but wouldn't spend much to make a sow's ear out of a really ugly sow's ear.
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Old February 12, 2013, 09:45 PM   #9
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If I was going to do one I would make it a heavier barrel in 12 twist turning it down to .800" diameter about 8 inches in front of action. Then mount a Weaver 92A base on it and see through Weaver mounts holding a a NC Star 2-7X pistol scope and run the barrel about 22" out.

The last 1" of barrel at the muzzle I would turn to about .753 and get 3/4" chair leg protectors to install as muzzle caps in case you fall in the woods. Such would be much more comfortable to shoot and with good handloads should deliver 1" or less at 100 yards.

Cut the stock off and free float the barrel, bed the action and mill in a 03A3 rear sling swivel where you want to. It might not be pretty but you would be dangerous on 6" steel discs to nearly 400 yards with good ammo.
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Old February 12, 2013, 09:50 PM   #10
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If you can remove the old barrel and send it to me I can make you a new one all chambered and ready to screw in. The only catch is that I can't make one longer than 25" with my tools.
So if you have a 29" barrel you'd have to settle for a 25" replacement if I make it up for you.
If that's interesting to you PM me and let me know.
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Old February 13, 2013, 11:30 AM   #11
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If you can remove the old barrel and send it to me I can make you a new one all chambered and ready to screw in.
OK...I'm curious...
How can you make anything other than a short-chambered barrel that he could finish ream (and headspace correctly) that could just be "screwed" in? How can he possibly get the barrel to "time" at the same exact position on the threads as the original barrel?

It's not like he can screw it down on a "go" gauge and lock it in place like a Savage.

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Old February 13, 2013, 11:51 AM   #12
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My retired machinist buddy is trying do do up one of their sniper / competition cartridges... 22 caliber X 54 rimmed the Russians used this cartridge in one of the Olympics... PTG offers reamers, but he's been trying to get an actual cartridge...

rebarreling is not a huge problem, if there are no sights ( scoped rifle ) or forearm or tube magazine attachments... not sure how the Mosin attached hand guards ( if you're using the the original stock set up )... it does get much more complicated if you want sights to line up correctly etc...
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Old February 13, 2013, 11:55 AM   #13
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Anything can be done, but is it worth it to you? As Wyosmith said, you can have a barrel installed, but the price will be several times more than just buying another rifle to replace it. If there were military barrels available for under $100, you would still be looking at $200 minimum by the time you get the old barrel unscrewed, new barrel screwed in, headspaced, and sights reinstalled. A new barrel, installed properly and reblued, would run $300 for even a cheap barrel just due to the labor to install it. You would also have to do some major modifications to the trigger in order to wind up with something other than an expensive clunker. If you decided to mount a scope, the cost would be even more.

That is not to say you shouldn't do it, just be aware before going into it that it will likely not be a cheap job. Don't get me wrong, I have built my share of project rifles for people that just made me shake my head and ask "Why??", but it's your rifle, you can do what you please with it. I restocked and rebarreled a Carcano to 35 Remington about 30 years ago, and it ran close to$500 in 1984 dollars. Sure, the owner could have bought a dozen Carcanos for that price, or even a couple of Remington 700s, but he wanted a Carcano in 35 Rem and said the cost would not stop him, so we did it.

Good luck with your project!
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Old February 13, 2013, 12:22 PM   #14
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The Mosin Nagant has been altered to use the .30-06 cartridge in the past, by setting the shank back about 1/2" or so and rechambering, so the action can be made to handle rimless cartridges of that head size.
The complete alteration requires some straigtening of the sides of the magazine box to provide clearance for the longer case body.

Those rechambered MN seem safe enough, though some are leery of them because of how far the new chamber cuts away from the reinforce.
A new barrel should not cause those concerns.

The Finns prefer to rebarrel or rebore for wildcat cartridges based on the 7.62X54r case. Theres quite a line of these wildcats and some are available as factory loads, but they'd have to be imported.

You might find a replacement Mosin Nagant barrel , I've heard these are still to be found.
MN replacement barrels have been fitted to the French MAS 36 which has the same diameter and threads as the MN.

I wonder if the .348 Winchester or similar rounds would work well in this action.
Since the design is optimised for a rimmed cartridge theres quite a number of rimmed cartridges that might be better for the action than more common rimless cartridges. Belted case cartridges are another possibility, and should fit the boltface.
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Old February 13, 2013, 05:08 PM   #15
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In 1976 at Innsbruck, the Soviets took the GOLD and the BRONZE, in the Biathlon with Mosin-Nagants in 6.5 x 54R...

That's a lot of boiler room to push a 6.5...
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Old February 14, 2013, 03:30 AM   #16
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Only about two years ago Classicfirearms had barreled MN actions. I can't recall the price, but it didn't seem favorable to buying the complete rifle. Even in Remy 700 builds, every armorer will recommend just getting the basic model in the cheap-o stock. So rebarreling? It doesn't seem very feasible economically to do much of anything but a restock, some polishing up, a refinish, maybe the ATI sniper setup to install a bent bolt. I would also personally keep it in 54R even after a rebarrel. It's a great cartridge and needs no substitute. I haven't had problem with rimlock on my MN whatsoever. I also recommend shooting it first if you haven't to make sure that the barrel is definitely shot out. Many people shoot these things accurately with bad bores. I mean, we're talking 28 inches, man! It's plenty accurate with irons. I say, if you want a project rifle, then restock, refinish, possible chop and crown, and throw on some glass and be done with it. It turns out I'm perfectly happy with mine the way it came out of the crate. Good luck!!
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