My Mosin Nagant 1891/30

In 2006 I began to become interested in military surplus rifles of all nations. There are so many interesting varieties! On March 20 I was in my favorite local gun shop, and found that they had just received a shipment of military surplus rifles: Mausers, Swiss, and Russian Mosin Nagants. They had rifles and shorter carbines, too. I chose one of three MN 1891/30 rifles, dated 1937, and manufactured in the Izhevsk plant in Russia. There are matching serial numbers on the barrel, bolt, magazine and butt plate. The wood is scarred, but strong, and not bad looking at all. The rifle had already been cleaned of cosmoline by some one, and seemed ready to go. The bolt worked easily, and the trigger felt good. The price was $139.00 plus tax and $10 TBI fee. A bayonet, sling and tool kit were included in the deal. Here are a few photos, in case you happen to be interested.

The hammer and sickle in a wreath shows that this is a Russian model (other countries made some 91/30's also. The triangle with the arrow in it is the symbol of the Izhevsk arsenal, where it was made.

I don't know what these little marks mean. If YOU know, please email me at Comments and let me know. Thanks!

Here is another clear shot of the 1937 date stamped into the barrel. The "r" after the date is short for "god" or "year" in Russian.

The bolt was machined nicely, though not as perfectly as on a Mauser, or a modern rifle. The round disc at the left on the end of the bolt acts as a safety if you pull it back, and give it a quarter turn. I took the bolt apart and cleaned everything with a toothbrush dipped in Hoppes #9, but it was really already clean enough. I just wanted to make sure.

The shellac is wearing off the wood, but I'm not going to re-finish my Mosin. (I've seen too many re-runs of the Antique Roadshow! I'll just keep it in original condition.) I DID rub it down with mineral spirits, and got some dirt off.

Here's a full length shot of my Mosin resting against a chair.

I picked up some 7.62x54r ammo at my gun shop. It was pretty cheap, at $3.50 per 20 rounds. Ammo for my Glenfield 30/30 runs $10 for 20. I ordered a 400 round box of Mosin ammo from J and G, and including shipping it will come to $52.00 for 400 rounds. That works out to .13 per round, or $2.60 for 20, which is really inexpensive shooting for a powerful round. The 7.62x54r round is said to be very similar to 30/06. The ammo from my gun store is Polish, 148 grain bullet, 2700 fps from a 91/30 Mosin. The ammo from J and G is Czech, but probably very similar to the Polish ammo.

Here's a final photo of my Mosin Nagan 1891/30 with a few 7.62x54r cartridges, to show relative size of the rounds.

Update: March 31, 2006
Well, I said I wasn't going to refinsh my Mosin, but I was trying to buff out some of the scratches in the shellac with some 000 steel wool, and one thing led to another. I buffed out all the scratches, and gave it a coat of stain, and a coat of varnish. Looks pretty nice:

(Some free advice on refinishing: Denatured alcohol with 000 steel wool will take the original finish off real quick. BUT, be prepared for the alcohol to run all over the place, and for the finish to REALLY LOOK TERRIBLE until you clean it up with paint thinner or mineral spirits. In fact, I think the denatured alcohol is a little TOO agressive. I recommend 000 steel wool with paint thinner. It is slower than the alcohol, and takes more muscle, but you won't hurt the wood.)

Also, I took it shooting this morning at Prentice Cooper State Park rifle range, near Chattanooga, TN. I shot at 50 yards, mainly just to see if it would actually shoot, and it did. No problems with a sticky bolt or chamber, as some MN owners report. Also, it kicks pretty hard (harder than my 30/30 anyway!). I was able to shoot a 5 inch group at 50 yards. I've ordered a scope mount, and plan to install a scope sometime in April, and try it again for accuracy at 100 yards, and 200 yards. (For those of you who don't know, the magazine holds five rounds.)

This is a really nice rifle, and if you want some inexpensive fun, or an inexpensive deer rifle, I highly recommend getting a Mosin Nagant, or some other military surplus rifle.