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Thread: Mosin-Nagant Fans?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

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    Mosin-Nagant Fans?

    I've got an opportunity to snag a 1933 Tula hex-receiver 91/30 that was captured & property-marked by the Finns, but not reworked into one of their sexier M27,M28, or M39 upgrades.

    Good bore, bolt head locks up tight (a ton of slop with the rest of it), the numbered bits match with a few Ishvesk logos on stuff like the cocking piece and barrel bands. Somebody dropped the bolt in a bluing tank at some point for reasons unknown. Handguards lock the barrel down tightly. Trigger is a crisp 10-12 pounds that breaks like a piece of al dente pasta, with the sear dragging the cocking piece downward about 1/8" before it lets the striker go.

    "Need" as you know, has little to do with such things. Part of me has a fascination with the history of the piece - both political and arms-development. Another part of me says the Mosin is mainly something to hold up as an example of how NOT to build a bolt action. I've got copies of the Lyman "299" mold in three diameters, so feeding it should be no problem once brass & dies were acquired.

    So tell me your Mosin stories good and bad. I'm waffling a little in light of the better bolt guns I already have. Knowing what to expect might help.
    WWJMBD?

    Is the mightiness of the pen still relevant after we roll the writing paper into cartridges for a Sharps?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Kraschenbirn's Avatar
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    Wouldn't say that I'm a Moisin "fan" but I've got a Finn capture similar to the one you're looking at. Mine's an all-matching 1937 Ishevsk with a fairly decent .312 bore and an 8-pound trigger. With the issue sights, off the bench, it'll print 3"+ groups @ 100 yards with PPU Ball and, maybe, a little better with cast (if I'm having a good day). It's kinda fun to plink with once in a while but, mostly, it just fills a niche in my modest collection pre-WWII milsurps.

    Bill
    "I'm not often right but I've never been wrong."

    Jimmy Buffett
    "Scarlet Begonias"

  3. #3
    Boolit Master


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    If the price is reasonable remember that there will be no more ever.

    As fresh out of the marine corps 20 something they were $49-79 each- Finn’s being a little more I bought dozens of them and pallets of ammo.
    Shot a lot and learned a lot and Mosin’s sent me down the path of casting for rifles - what do ya do when you’ve a bore that mics .314?
    Great piece of history , and still a very serviceable rifle. Very easy to load
    For
    2 traps that are easy to fall into- winding up having to buy a new safe or two to keep the ever growing collection of them in - chance of that is slimmer with current prices
    And when folks spend a ton to make a clone sniper rifle or try to turn an old war horse into a modern sniper rifle so they have a $1000 or more collection of parts and pieces that still shoot 3-4 inch groups at a hundred.
    Avoid those pit calls - buy the Finn and enjoy!

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy

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    My M-N journey began in the late 1980s with Finn M28, then a Finn 91-30, followed by a Finn M28-30. The two previous guns were 2" -2.5" using milsurp ammo, but the 28-30 shot 1.5" groups on a bad day.

    Over the years I amassed a collection of just about every Finnish variant, and a good number of Soviet models but over the past two years I've pared way down based on accuracy and what I would take to the range and what stayed home. I still have two Soviet 91-30s, "five line" models, and one "Finned" M91 Sestroyesk with boxed SA stamp. The Sesty crest is too cool.

    The majority of my remaining M-N collection is comprised of seven Finn 91-30s, real tackdrivers. I kept a VKT and a SAKO M39, both with pistol grip stocks, and an early M39 with a straight grip stock. The only ones that get fired are three 28-30s and the straight grip M39, and I only shoot milsurp ammo, stuff that's appropriate to all of my Finns which have "D" stamps on the barrel.

    Fifteen years ago I was shooting a 28-30 at a local club range, ringing gongs at 10", 200, and 300 yds. A couple of members rolled up and I waited for them to unpack and set targets. They asked what I was shooting, and I said "A Finnish Mosin-Nagant 28-30". One snorted and said something about "Commie junk". They had scoped silhouette rifles. We called the range hot and I rang the 100, 200, and 300yd gongs each five times, offhand, missing a 200 yd gong once when I pulled a shot.

    The other guys were standing there, a bit slack jawed. The one said, "That's some shooting open sights like that. What ammo you using?"

    "Commie junk," I replied, and broke out the cleaning kit.

    Noah

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Jack Stanley's Avatar
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    Fell in love with a very nice 91/59 and couldn't resist , same guy had a 91/30 with bayonet that had the same serial number as the rifle . Older eyes can see the sights real easy and they stayed even after the british Enfields got sent down the road .

    Jack
    Buy it cheap and stack it deep , you may need it !

    Black Rifles Matter

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    My first M91/30 was from Sears back in the 1960's (ya, I'm older than dirt). It came in arsenal wrap - gauze wrap around the rifle then dipped in a cocoon shell of beeswax. It was a Finn capture and unfired. Sloppy trigger and kicked like a mule with WWII surplus ammo. Sold it some years later but have since bought more Soviet 91/30's, Finn M39's, and even imported a bunch of Hungarian M44s. Made a few sniper versions when the original PU scopes and mounts hit the market years ago. An interesting design and obviously historical. Have fun with it!

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I have a 43 91/30 and a M39 Valmet. The 39 does very well with cast, never shot a J-word in it.

    The 91/30 I have shot a good bit. It is in nice condition with a good blueing and a good bore. It looks like it was polished with a side grinder but everything that needs to be right is right. It has never been a tack driver, I shoot at a black 6 inch bull and most groups you can cover with the palm of your hand. It is about the same with lead or jacketed. The bore is .312, I had about 250 very old 180 grain spire point bullets that were .308. They shot as good as the .312 dia.

    The mosin was a rifle made for conscripts that would probably not outlast the rifle. It is rough, rugged and reliable and can be used for a baseball bat and still do minute of a German. The safety is a joke but it does work, probably even while using it for a bat

    I like the history.

    Dave

  8. #8
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    Oh, well....o.k...here goes. Got my first MN in about 1956 for one dollar from Golden State Arms. The deal was that if you bought a No.1 Mk.III* Lee Enfield for something like $24 in VG condition (barely!) you could get "one miscellaneous European military surplus rifle" thrown in for an additional dollar. My dad was financing the purchase, and I think he couldn't resist finding out what part of Europe was "miscellaneous." When it arrived it was a full length MN 1891 made in 1927 complete with hammer and sickle on the receiver. For yet another dollar it came with 10 rounds of corrosive Russian ammo. I was a Po' Boy, and after the 10 rounds were expended without seeming to hit anything I set it aside for about 15 years until I was educated, employed, and could pursue my hobby. I purchased a Lee Loader in 7.62x54mm and pounded away loading some new Norma empties with .308 bullets. Well, after all, 7.62mm is .308, right? Wrong, as my fine custom ammo wasn't on the target at 50 yds. Then, in my readings, I learned that the MN's bore is usually .311 or larger. I loaded the empties for a second time and was on the paper, although not outstandingly so. The bore resembled the interior of an ancient cast iron sewer pipe when received, and repeated cleaning sessions didn't seem to make much improvement. But, and not the last time this happened, I found that subsequent firings seemed to remove some of the crud, and eventually it came to have a decent bore. I still have this monstrosity.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Then, after a few more years, I found myself in the gunsmithing/FFL business. I was so situated in life when the big MN invasion hit our shores. My first acquisition was an Aztec Arms Import, a 91/30 in almost new condition. There followed a couple more 91/30s and two, perhaps three of them are the Finn capture rifles as you have described. Next came two of the 1944 carbines complete with pig stickers. A third came along when a frequent customer walked into the shop door one day and thrust one at me (without the bayonet) saying, "Here--you can have this!" I hung it on the wall, and sometime later another customer saw it, inquired about it, and said, "I gave that to him!" Eventually I got tired of looking at it and restored it.

    Finally, I was in the shop of a friend who sold guns on consignment, and there was a Finn M-28 in new condition. I grabbed it, having heard so many stories about their high quality and wonderful accuracy.

    The long and short of it is that I have a pile of them. I keep them because I'm a collector, never shoot them, but agree with your observation that they are a good example of "how not to build a military rifle." They are poorly balanced, clunky, in their original version, of very ungainly length (and slap on that long bayonet it becomes even worse), stiff bolt action, never up to the fit and finish of Mauser. They are "hell for stout" and just about "soldier proof". The cartridge is a good one, but considering the existence of the 7.65mm Mauser (rimless) in the 1891 Mauser (Belgium, Argentina, etc.) it was obsolete when adopted. Still, the Czar, Communists, and all of their various allies and satellites muddled through with it even into the Viet Nam War. One belongs in every military rifle collection, but they are not and never will be near and dear to my heart. MNs are strictly a love 'em or hate 'em proposition. They do have their fanatical adherents, so much so that several years ago I was almost kicked off a military rifles forum for sharing my opinion of them. Give me a Mauser, Lee Enfield, Springfield '03, 1917 Enfield, just about anything else. They are functional, but in my esteem rank with H&R and IJ break top revolvers.

    There....you wanted to know!

    DG

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    If the price is right - get it. Crude design was genius.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master


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    A Finn marked Hex action Sweet!!! Is barrel marked SA? Even Better. Was it drilled for the scope mount?

    My Fin is an Izzy but has SA barrel. Scope holes filled but now has the mount and Russian scope on it. Shoots the Czechoslovakian silver tip into 1 1/2 as best I can do. The cheaper Russian WWII into 2-3 inches not bad for a surplus rifle from 90 years ago for ammo and gun.

    That Ruskey ammo in a spam can with the inside paint still wet when opened it dried in 24 hours canned really fresh it seems. [Steel cased]
    Last edited by Geezer in NH; 06-20-2022 at 04:14 PM. Reason: spell check

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geezer in NH View Post
    A Finn marked Hex action Sweet!!! Is barrel marked SA? Even Better. Was it drilled for the scope mount?
    Barrel just has the "SA" in the square on the left side of the barrel which just denotes that the Finnish army owned it at some point. Top of the barrel has a letter "D" stamped on it, which apparently is a Finn stamp stating it's rated to take a certain spec of ammo they had captured a lot of. No scope mount. It has a Finnish sling swivel passed through and bolted together through the front Russian dog collar slot.

    All in all, it looks like the Finns owned it, but never got around to doing anything with it as it appears to be straight Russian spec but for the stamps. Not found any explanation for the bolt getting blued.

    Still waffling.
    WWJMBD?

    Is the mightiness of the pen still relevant after we roll the writing paper into cartridges for a Sharps?

  12. #12
    Boolit Master


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    A MN carbine with bayonet and a unopen crate(s) of ammo, just in case things go bad. Just my .02 cents worth.
    If the price is right pick it up, I don' think you will regret it.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Have not shot any of my collection in a while, but I do remember that cocking piece climbing on that looooooong squeeze. Those rifles did exactly what they were designed to do, must credit them with that.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    I don't know if this is entirely accurate, but I remember reading somewhere that the Mosin design, clunky as it is, is particularly well suited to freezing cold (Russian winters), and that they tended to be more reliable on the brutal WWII eastern front that the finer Mauser rifle. I've never shot either rifle in the freezing cold under combat conditions, so I don't know if that's true or not.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatelk View Post
    I don't know if this is entirely accurate, but I remember reading somewhere that the Mosin design, clunky as it is, is particularly well suited to freezing cold (Russian winters), and that they tended to be more reliable on the brutal WWII eastern front that the finer Mauser rifle. I've never shot either rifle in the freezing cold under combat conditions, so I don't know if that's true or not.
    I have the book Sniper on the Eastern Front, an account of Sepp Allerberger. He was a German sniper that basically learned on his own with a captured Russian rifle. Later he used 98, he stated that the 98 could freeze up due to tighter tolerances and the Mosin-Nagant was not affected. The Russians tend to make rifles that will operate in bad conditions, it is necessary if you live where bad weather in normal.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Simo Hayha was a fan. Do a search and read about one of the worlds greatest snipers.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    I’ve got around 185 mosins…..does that make me a fan?

  18. #18
    Boolit Master slim1836's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WinchesterM1 View Post
    I’ve got around 185 mosins…..does that make me a fan?
    Nope, you're an addict.

    Slim
    RETIRED
    NOT MY PROBLEM ANYMORE

    LET'S GO BRANDON

  19. #19
    Boolit Grand Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    I only have 5 MNs currently. Two of them from the past SE Asian war games which previous owners no longer needed. The other two are M930 sniper (original) and a Sako built M39 on a hex receiver which is very accurate with cast bullets.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    Missed the boat on that one. Gotta decide if I'm still looking.
    WWJMBD?

    Is the mightiness of the pen still relevant after we roll the writing paper into cartridges for a Sharps?

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check