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Mosin Nagant rifle questions
#1
I'm considering buying a Mosin Nagant rifle. The quality to price ratio just seems very attractive, and I'm a budget target shooter. But I'm also a new gun owner (about a month), and I have a few questions. Hopefully, I can get some help here.

1. Do I need to get a C&R FFL? As far as I can tell, if I buy it online, I will need one. But what about if I buy it face to face in an in-state store?

2. Where can the 7.62x54r ammo be purchased cheaply? I'd either want to buy online, or somewhere in Bucks county, preferably close to Newtown. I've heard that this gun uses inexpensive ammo, but my initial research only turns up stuff in the $0.25-$0.50/round range, which doesn't sound so cheap to me (I shoot .22 and 9mm).

3. Are there any indoor ranges in the Bucks County area that will allow this gun? Or is that just a stupid question all around? (New gun owner, remember?)

4. What are the pros and cons of this or similar guns?

5. Got any random, unasked-for advice about these or similar guns?

Thanks in advance!
boondongle, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Nov 2012.
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#2
Welcome to the M-N addiction. welcome

1. Buy like any other long gun F2F or store. C&R is useful for getting them shipped straight to you and not having to deal with the PICS check every time. C&R is well worth the $30 / 3 years.

2. Online. Check SGammo, Aim surplus, or others. Expect to pay about $80 for a 440 rd spam can of milsurp. Can't be beat.

3. A Mosin-Nagant indoors? I pretty well doubt it. I know I wouldn't even try.

4. The only con I can think of is that the milsurp ammo is corrosive, meaning that you need to clean the gun as soon as your done shooting. Other than that, the grin to dollar ratio is at the top.

5. Get your wallet ready, Mosins have a bad habit of breeding.. Tongue
Underwater, the ONLY way to fly.........
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#3
boondongle;52135 Wrote:I'm considering buying a Mosin Nagant rifle. The quality to price ratio just seems very attractive, and I'm a budget target shooter. But I'm also a new gun owner (about a month), and I have a few questions. Hopefully, I can get some help here.

1. Do I need to get a C&R FFL? As far as I can tell, if I buy it online, I will need one. But what about if I buy it face to face in an in-state store?

2. Where can the 7.62x54r ammo be purchased cheaply? I'd either want to buy online, or somewhere in Bucks county, preferably close to Newtown. I've heard that this gun uses inexpensive ammo, but my initial research only turns up stuff in the $0.25-$0.50/round range, which doesn't sound so cheap to me (I shoot .22 and 9mm).

3. Are there any indoor ranges in the Bucks County area that will allow this gun? Or is that just a stupid question all around? (New gun owner, remember?)

4. What are the pros and cons of this or similar guns?

5. Got any random, unasked-for advice about these or similar guns?

Thanks in advance!

1. You can purchase it as you would any other gun on-line. Buy it and provide the seller with the FFL of the store you want to pick it up from in PA. Your local gun store will do all of the background check stuff.

2. AIM Surplus usually has good deals on mil-surp ammo.

3. No clue.

4.
Pros
- Cheap to buy, cheap to shoot.
- Some can be very accurate.
- They are almost stupid simple yet disgustingly reliable.
- You can use the fire ball that comes out of the muzzle to start your camp fire.
- It's a 30 caliber bolt gun for under $200. Buy one.

Cons
- Your shoulder will hate you.


http://7.62x54r.net/MosinID/MosinHumor.htm
.
.
"We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."
- Benjamin Franklin
-------------------------------------------------
Proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Oct 2012.
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#4
they are good rifles. the cheap to shoot is a relitve statment. yes if you can find a buy on milsurp ammo. no if you are buying commercial. the same can be said for the .30-06 and the .308. reloading can reduce the cost alot.shooting even more.

now if you are a new gun owner, and you want to learn to shoot rifle. i would say to get a nice .22 rifle. they are cheap to shoot. with ammo costing as little as $2.00 a box of 50 you are not going to find anything cheaper. and the only way to improve your shooting is to shoot a lot.
bob308, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#5
Subdude17349: Good info, thanks. As for the corrosive ammo, that shouldn't be a problem...I clean my guns after every trip to the range.

Daschnoz: Thanks, didn't consider the recoil...used to pistols and small caliber rifles.

Bob308: I actually have two .22 rifles...one with a scope, one without. I sorta jumped right in this past Black Friday and bought five guns: the aforementioned rifles, two .22 handguns (one revolver, one semiauto), and a 9mm handgun (semiauto).
boondongle, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Nov 2012.
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#6
boondongle;52168 Wrote:Subdude17349: Good info, thanks. As for the corrosive ammo, that shouldn't be a problem...I clean my guns after every trip to the range.

Daschnoz: Thanks, didn't consider the recoil...used to pistols and small caliber rifles.

Bob308: I actually have two .22 rifles...one with a scope, one without. I sorta jumped right in this past Black Friday and bought five guns: the aforementioned rifles, two .22 handguns (one revolver, one semiauto), and a 9mm handgun (semiauto).


Cleaning a mosin is a little different. First, you worry about the cosmoline. You don't have to get all of it, but it can get messy.

After you are done shooting, put some winded down the barrel.

A good buy, fun to shoot. I need to pick up a few more eventually.
This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties. A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins. -Ben Franklin
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#7
boondongle;52135 Wrote:I'm considering buying a Mosin Nagant rifle. ...

5. Got any random, unasked-for advice about these or similar guns?

Thanks in advance!

From a well-meaning knucklehead on another forum:

(original post)

a few items to put on your checklist:
  • Matching witness numbers
  • Counterbored muzzle
  • Round or the so-called "Hex" receiver
  • Laminated or regular wood stock
  • Special markings (MO, Dragoon, etc)


"Hex" receivers (actually half-octagonal) were made before approximately 1930. Prior to 1930, the manufacturing was done on the old machinery that used the imperial units. For instance, the rear sight elevation unit is the Arshin or Arshine, depending on who you talk to. An Arshin is 71 centimeters or .71 meters, also 2.33 feet.

Around 1930 Russian arms manufacturing went metric, and simplified some of the manufacturing steps. Older 1891 pattern rifles were retrofitted with the newer metric sights. This is why you still find half-octagonal receivers with metric sights. Original Mosins fitted with the Arshin sight are less common, but not impossible to find. They tend to be in poorer condition and have rough bores. There are Mosins around that even pre-date the 1898 modern firearms rule, which means Mosins made between 1891 and December 31, 1898 are in the same classification as black powder guns.

Counterboring is a process that removes the interior surface of the bore at the muzzle for an inch or more down the bore, and reshapes the "crown" where the counterboring stops. It's a dead-giveaway of a major rebuild, and very likely abusive cleaning techniques that led to cleaning rod wear at the muzzle. The Mosin rifle was originally issued with a false muzzle (kit photo link) to prevent this, unfortunately it wasn't always used. So, I avoid counterbored muzzles if I intend to resell later, shoot now or both.


[Image: th_counterbored.jpg] -- [Image: th_DCounterbore.jpg] -- [Image: th_counterbore.jpg]
Various representations of counterbored muzzles, a post-manufacture repair.

[Image: cleaningkit.jpg]
Cleaning tools set up properly. Note false muzzle (cap) to prevent cleaning rod from contacting rifling at muzzle. Failure to use the muzzle cap causes premature rifling wear at the muzzle.

Laminated stocks
appeared very late on Mosins in W.W.II, and until recently I suspected they were mostly limited to M1944 carbines. Laminated M1891/30 stocks were less common, laminated M1938s were very rare. And most of the M1938 laminated stocks were M1944 carbine stocks (recess cut for the folding M44 bayonet). There were a few surplus arms peddlers selling laminated M1938s, but all were counterbored. Interestingly, the laminated stock was a stopgap measure to make spare stocks from wood scraps that would have been otherwise unsuitable for gun stocks. The cross grain structure tended to cancel the effect of warping from heat changes and humidity, making these stocks less prone to warping than the conventional hardwood stocks they replaced. All the M1891/30 laminated stocks that I'm aware of were replaced after the end of W.W.II. Laminated 91/30s are plentiful on the surplus market right now in both round and "hex" receivers.

[Image: L1.jpg?t=1249755802]
Laminated stock on a model M1891/30

[Image: 1.jpg]
M1938 carbine in a M1983 laminated stock (rare)

[Image: ex-sniper_open.jpg]
Hardwood stock on an ex-sniper (fairly common)

Matching numbers come in two basic flavors, matched and so-called "forced match". Matched can be all original, or incomplete gun with parts later added and machine-stamped after the fact to match. It's hard to tell the difference, particularly if the same stamping machine was used to match the more-recently added parts. Forced match means one or more witness-marked part was misnumbered, most likely from a donor gun elsewhere. The original number was crossed out and a new number was stamped or electro-penciled on the surface. I understand electro-pencilling was a post-war event, I have never seen electro-pencilling on an unaltered World War II firearm.

[Image: th_Force_match.jpg]
Example of force-match. Note post-war electro-pencilling. Click to enlarge.

Electro pencilling is a good clue the specimen's a post-war rebuild.

More considerations:
  • Mosin rifles made or rebuilt after approximately 1930 are found in three major models: M91/30, M1938 and M1944. The 1938 and 1944 are roughly the same rifle, the 1944 has a side-folding bayonet, the 1938 carbine lacks this feature, and does not take a bayonet. While intuition steers many towards selecting the bayonetted model, the 1938 is actually a little better balanced since the bayonet folds on the side of the 1944 (details, photos). There's also been quite a bit of discussion how the bayonet position affects zero on the 1944. I prefer the M1891/30 or the M1938 carbine, and the bayonet on the M1944 makes the carbine feel a little unbalanced to me. Not enough to be problematic, but enough that the M1938 gets first pick in the range case.
  • They fire 7.62x54R ammunition. Right now it's still available, but the selection is getting limited to 2-3 choices. The good news is Mosin rifles are miserly with ammunition, so a 440-round tin should last a while. Stock up when you find it cheap, not when you need it.
  • If you're not accustomed to rifles, consider trying out a friend's rifle first. Ideally a 22, then work your way up. The 7.62x54R that the Mosin fires is a high-powered rifle round by today's standards. They also have a bit of a report (and recoil) and 1-2 foot fireballs at the M1938 & M1944 carbine muzzle aren't unheard of.
  • They're not suitable for telescopic sights due to the receiver design. If you want a scope on your Mosin, buy a sniper variant with a steel base. Some are aluminum, avoid these like the plague. (details) Another option is aftermarket scope mounts that replace the rear sight, you'll need to look around to see whether people like these or not.
  • Check head clearance (definition) before firing for the first time. (details)
    Purchasing selection points - I usually ask for all matching witness numbers and avoid counterbored muzzles. It's a cosmetic issue since I want them to retain as much collectible value as possible. Also, laminated stocks seem to have a little more collector interest than the original hardwood stock.
  • Please familiarize yourself with bolt disassembly and reassembly, and also setting firing pin protrusion before firing your Mosin.
If you're considering a telescopic sight, take a look at the reproduction "sniper" offerings:
[Image: Mosin_w_bayo_2.jpg]
Mosin M91/30 sniper

At $400, the price is mostly the sum of the parts...$100 (rifle)...$150 (scope)...$50 (turned down bolt handle)...$100-$150 (mounts).

Finnish Mosins
If you'd prefer more accuracy, consider a Finn Mosin:
[Image: M39.jpg]
Finn M39, early straight-stock (less commonly encountered)

When the Finns separated from Russia around 1917-18, they inherited a *lot* of Mosin receivers. The Finns developed their own flavor of the Mosin, and as such they have their own set of model numbers. The Finn Mosins are well known for premium accuracy and being the benefactors of good care. All the examples I've seen to date were not pitted or had any corrosion. Most of what I'm seeing are the later M39s. Tip: The Finns unhitched from Russia around 1917, the Fins had a fair number of receivers made prior to 1899. This means these pre-1899 rifles are "antiques", and thus legal to buy, sell & ship without an FFL.

There are a dizzying array of Mosin variants prior to the M1891/30, and when you add the variations on markings and manufacturers, it expands the field even more.

As far as which model, that's up to you. The M1891/30 is the most commonly found model, the M1944 is the second most common. I prefer the 91/30 or the M1938, as they are essentially the same exact rifle except for the barrel length. The M1944 is the M1938, with the addition of a side-folding bayonet. The side-folding bayonet makes the rifle slightly unbalanced to me, but not enough to affect the shooting experience. In the end, it'll be a matter of your preference. Many Mosin owners (myself included) choose to buy one of each model, sometimes multiples of each. With prices being held low by ample supply, it is a very inexpensive entry point into the shooting and Curio & Relic collecting hobby.

Reading assignment:
http://www.mosinnagant.net/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosin-Nagant
http://www.russian-mosin-nagant.com/
http://7.62x54r.net/

There are too many web pages to list in the time I have to type this post, so I'll let you browse a google search result for yourself:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q...=Google+Search

[Image: More_Mosins.jpg]
The result of unsupervised Mosins: More Mosins.


And then there's the topic of ammunition, which leads to cleaning techniques after firing corrosive ammunition...that'll be another post. I will close with this picture:

[Image: Mosin_15.jpg]

Grab it when you find it. It's the can opener for opening ammunition cans. They have an amazing ability to vanish when needed most, and remain underfoot the rest of the time.
Subject matter expert on questions no one's asking.
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#8
Lots of good information there, PA Rifleman...thanks!
boondongle, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Nov 2012.
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#9
I happened to notice that Cabela's has some Mosin-Nagant rifles in stock. Looks like a bit more than they would cost online, but I have a bunch of Cabela's gift cards waiting to be used. In any case, is there any reason not to buy from them, apart from being a bit more expensive than some online dealers?

Also, Cabela's has a modern replacement stock (ATI brand), and I like the look of it better than the original wooden stock. Is there anywhere to buy the non-stock parts cheaper than a whole rifle? Specifically, what parts would I need, in conjunction with the replacement stock, to have a full working rifle?
boondongle, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Nov 2012.
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#10
boondongle;52616 Wrote:I happened to notice that Cabela's has some Mosin-Nagant rifles in stock. Looks like a bit more than they would cost online, but I have a bunch of Cabela's gift cards waiting to be used. In any case, is there any reason not to buy from them, apart from being a bit more expensive than some online dealers?

Also, Cabela's has a modern replacement stock (ATI brand), and I like the look of it better than the original wooden stock. Is there anywhere to buy the non-stock parts cheaper than a whole rifle? Specifically, what parts would I need, in conjunction with the replacement stock, to have a full working rifle?

Ammo.
.
"We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."
- Benjamin Franklin
-------------------------------------------------
Proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Oct 2012.
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