A tale of two Mosin-Nagants

Discussion in 'Mosin Nagant' started by tlivingd, Oct 10, 2010.

  1. tlivingd

    tlivingd G&G Newbie

    Hello, I'm new to this forum and new to owning a firearm all together so please excuse my lack of knowing correct terminology.

    I've recently purchased two Mosin-Nagants both are Izhevsk manufactured. One was manufactured in 1941, the other was 1939. Why two? A misunderstanding from my dad when he said he wanted one. They were 89 dollar specials at Dunhams sporting goods.

    Did quite a bit of cramming homework before purchasing either.

    Gave them a through cleaning via dis assembly Saturday and took them to the range today.
    Oh if anyone wants to know how to remove cosmoline easily from both the wood stock and metal parts try Dupli-Color's Grease and Wax remover at your automotive paint section. The grease and wax remover also appeared to loosen up some of the copper in the bore but it took about a minute to break it loose as the first patch ran down the barrel was mostly covered in cosmoline. The rest had a greenish hue.

    The triggers on both, pull ok but have a deep pull once the slack is taken up and your just waiting for it to slam into your shoulder.
    my 1939 model was able to put a nice group together (for someone who hasn't shot much at all) about 4-5" at 100yds with iron sights. It was also nearly sighted in correctly taking it out of the box but a smidge low and to the left. There were a couple of strays but that could have been me.
    While cleaning I noticed that this barrel almost has full float in the stock already after reading about floating the barrel on the M-N.

    However the 1941 model is all over the place with the rounds and spreads all over the size of a pizza box. While cleaning this gun barrel I noticed that it does not float in the stock at all, however, when doing the dollar bill measuring it is evenly stuck all the way down the barrel.

    The barrel inspection on the 1939 gun is between the 1st and second picture of the link below
    Inspecting Rifling

    However the '41 M-N (the best available locally before finding the '39 that was going to be for dad (went to 3 stores)
    looks between pictures 2-3 from link above with a shallow dark spot about 1" from the barrel opening (didn't notice until after the cleaning.)

    I'm thinking on swapping the stocks first on the two rifles to see if I can float the barrel of the '41. and head out to the range again.

    Is there anything else besides floating the barrel I could try to increase the accuracy of the '41?

    Also can anyone recommend a good scout scope mount for these as researching about them people are all over the place in what they used and someone else says is crap and won't hold zero.
    I'm looking to go scout as I shoot left handed and reach over the receiver.

    I did not clean the barrel on either till the patch came out perfectly clean. Should I?

    Nate from Milwaukee.
  2. Welcome Nate, There is problem, your doing the float test the the hand guard off. There is no way to easily test the barrel with the bands installed and the hand guard in place, so you may not actually be free floating after all. That being said there are a couple options. Glass bedding the stock being one and bedding pillars might help. BUT if it's a wear issue that the first thing to address.

    You can try and swap the stocks but watch the shims. Some stocks have shims and some don't.

    When you say "it shoots all over the place" is that all to one side or truly everywhere on a pizza box size area? If you have a gun vise you might try locking it in on a target and seeing just how bad it really is. That way you can remove some of the human factor.

    If it is a shot out barrel then you might be looking at buying a replacement. Most of the re-arsenaled M91/30 should have passed inspection however before they were stored.

    If your looking at a scout setup and want a Monte Carlo style stock look at the Boyds Mosin Nagant stock, it's very well made. I have one I'm working on at the moment and it's a thing of beauty.

    Last edited: Oct 11, 2010

  3. tlivingd

    tlivingd G&G Newbie

    I'll need to ask some friends if they have a shooting vice. To really see how off it is.

    The one that shoots well, the hand guard and lower stock meet and I can actually wiggle the wood part to almost rattle around the barrel near the muzzle.
    The one that doesn't shoot well, the hand guard and lower stock don't meet. You can see the steel of the barrel between them it.

    When disassembling, I was looking for shims and neither stock had them. Maybe I could try to add them to see if it improves its accuracy although, isn't that the opposite of bedding the action?

    That Boyds stock sure does look like a nice piece.

    Thanks for the quick response.
  4. E_005

    E_005 G&G Evangelist

    NE Ohio
    As far as scout mounts go I use a leapers off set .22 mount (and a bit of locktight) in place of my rear sight base and a NcStar ler scope. I have never had a problem with it moving or not holding zero. I got the whole set up at optics planet for about $55. Plus, you can also put it back to original iron sights.

    As much as I love my '45 Izzy, I just could not bring myself to putting on a scope set-up that costs more than the rifle. This set up has worked out great for me.

    I also shimmed my action with thin pieces of brass cut to fit from a strip, and did some very light sanding in the barrel channel of the stock because my was all over the place when I first got it too. (When I say all over the place I mean that, from a full rest maybe 2 out of 10 shots would be on the paper at 100 yds, the rest looked like an over sized shotgun blast).

    Good Luck!
  5. As far as checking the barrel while the handguard is on for free float you can use Perma Blue and smear it on the barrel. It will leave blue on the wood where the metal touches. Not that difficult, you just have to disassemble and reassemble the rifle twice to check it.
  6. generoll

    generoll G&G Newbie

    I'm still not sure about bedding the barrel vs floating the barrel. You'll hear different stories on each. Test it out yourself since you have two. You can also buy hex screws to replace the screws that hold the action in place and really torque your action tight in the rifle. Bedding the action seems like a good positive first step.

    My Tula will hold a good tight group for the first few shots, but as it heats up the group begins to spread. I think it's due to the relatively thin barrel on the 91/30. My M39 Finn can be shot until it's too hot to hold and it groups as good as I can hold.

    Guess the fun part is that you don't have a lot of money tied up in these guns and you can experiment with them without comprimising safety and see what works for you.

    I didn't find any good scope mounts until I removed the entire rear sight assembly and put a 22/air rifle base which clamped directly into the grooves atop the receiver. Now it's rock solid and low which gives me a good cheek weld. That made it a scope only rifle as the scope was low enough to actually see the front sight, which I removed.

    There are several trigger mods on here. Just approach those with caution and patience.

    Best of luck.
  7. Cyrano

    Cyrano Resident Curmudgeon Forum Contributor

    New York
    Welcome to the Forum, tlivingd. You've come to the right place to find answers for your Mosin troubles. Here's my 2 cents on it.

    Remember, you can float the barrel AND the handguard. I find a socket from a socket wrench set and 400 wet-or-dry sandpaper is a good combination for this job. Just try not to take anything off the outside edge of the handguard, okay? Ideally, you want the handguard resting on the forearm and neither piece of wood touching the barrel.

    Something else you might want to try is putting silicon rubber bathtub caulk in to bed the receiver into. It absorbs some of the energy that can make the barrel wobble and steadies it down.

    To deal with your trigger, you can sand and polish the sear and the trigger spring to get some of the creep out of it. You can also buy a Mosin Nagant slack spring on either eBay or Gunbroker.com for about $10. The slack spring installs on the trigger pivot pin and does a lot to reduce trigger creep. A slack spring will make your Mosin feel more like it has a modern trigger.

    If you want to spend the money, you can install a Timney Trigger to replace the Soviet-issue trigger your Mosin came with. Just keep in mind an adjustable Timney Trigger will cost as much as you paid for your rifle. You want to think about that for awhile before you spend that much money on your trigger.

    Synth's pointing out you can replace the issue stock with a Boyds walnut stock for about $70 and you can tune the stock to your Mosin is a good point. That would surely fix your barrel binding problem. The question then becomes, "Do I want to spend the money to buy a stock I'll have to spend hours fitting to my barreled action?" The tolerances on the Boyds stocks are much, much tighter than those of the old Soviet who-cares-about-tolerances-as-long-as-you-can-drop-any-barreled-action-into-it military stocks.

    Well, between the lot of us you now have some choices to think about. Enjoy!
  8. ncstar 2-7x32mm ler scope. leapers off-set .22 mount on the factory dovetail onder the rear sight base. no loctite. no loss of zero. zero problems with the scope or any of the other ncstar ler's i use. cheap and simple. what more can a guy want?
    p.s. mine is as low as you can get (about an 1/8th off the receiver) and the scope doesn't see the front sight. i thought it would but it doesn't. i left my sight alone.
  9. Iron_Colonel

    Iron_Colonel G&G Enthusiast

    Try corking your barrel. Use a piece of cork material, or gasket material and right where the nosecap is at on the stock, is where you want to put your cork or gasket material. You want just enough to put a little bit of upward pressure on the barrel. It's also a good idea to sand the barrel channel of the stock out as well so there aren't any pressure points. Try that and see if it will help your groups any. I have had some good luck with it in the past.
  10. i don't know what your triggers feel like, but most of mine were so bad, that the biggest improvement in accuracy i ever got, was from working on the trigger pull to smooth things out. no contest.
  11. Bubba

    Bubba G&G Newbie

    Try this web site The Box O' Truth - Educational Zone and youtube under mosin nagant and gunsmithing don't believe everything you read on the internet but look for verification.

    Still clinging to my guns and Bible thank you!
  12. tlivingd

    tlivingd G&G Newbie

    Alright.... spent some time cleaning. the 41 that shot horrible had a lot of copper build up in the bore. The riffling near the muzzle is worn down and actually had copper built up on the lands along with the root.

    I made up some 10% ammonia (2 parts) and ivory dish soap (1 part) together and put it on a cleaning rag and ran it thru. 5 rags later the bore comes out squeaky clean. Hopefully going to shoot it again this weekend.

    This brings me to the '37. This is the one I was planning on putting the scope on and the UPS guy brought it to me today. I've got the pins out by using my drill press as a press (no drilling) that has an indexing table on it and large vice. I also was able to unscrew the setscrew. I set the barrel up in my large vice and first started hitting away with a block of wood. After splitting the wood a few times. I pulled out a 1" dia piece of brass and started hitting away. nothing. got a larger hammer... nothing. I then pulled the sight out of the base and the spring to look to see if there was another screw. nope. I look closer and under the swinging sight's hinge point are two kinda light spots.

    Is this silver solder covered with grime? Is it only there? Can I just heat that area? Would an oxy acetelene set up work well for this or would it be too hot? What will happen to the bluing if I do this? Can I hurt the heat treat on the barrel?
  13. tlivingd

    tlivingd G&G Newbie

    Took them back to the range today. After the through cleaning of the '41 (poorer shooting of the two) and removing the copper via ammonia and dish soap mix and using surplus 174grain made a nice little grouping.

    Got the scope mounted on the '37 and sighted in and that makes a nice grouping as well. Also spent a little time polishing the sear spring and one brass shim between it and the reciever. It now has a nice smooth pull (still relatively heavy) then you can feel when it's just about to break, then it breaks.
  14. gandog56

    gandog56 G&G Evangelist

    Shouldn't the first line of A Tale Of Two Mosins begin....It was the best of Mosins, it was the worst of Mosins.
  15. tlivingd

    tlivingd G&G Newbie

    HAHA! I like it. This story also had a happy ending...

    There is a 3rd M-N in this story. It's my dads Mosin. It's got an awesome stock repair/splice. It's the zigzag splice almost under the rear site. His also makes a nice grouping.
  16. What did you do? Your next message says you got the scope on, but not how you got around removing the rear sight from the 3/8 dovetail.
  17. tlivingd

    tlivingd G&G Newbie

    Fired up the ol oxy-acetylene torch with a neutral flame with a realatively large tip (#4). I also had my neighbor with a piece of brass and a hammer tapping on the back of the sight. It actually went very well at first with the torch. The bluing was left unharmed and heating only the sight where the spring was. HOWEVER... when coming back to clean up the solder with a DRY cotton rag I hurt the bluing. I bumped the oxygen knob and basically turned off the oxygen. (I'm guessing the lack of oxygen caused the fire to pull the oxygen out of the rust/bluing) I wasn't prepared to wipe off the solder after the sight dropped away.

    I used an oxy-acetylene torch as to minimize the amount of heat going into the parts. (use more heat faster) I would not want to do this with propane as it would take a lot longer heating it. Mapp gas may be a good option however.

    When it comes time to clean up the solder when you re-heat the solder. A piece of sheet steel or brass to guard the bluing on the barrel would probably help a lot. .

    I let the part cool naturally in the air as to not introduce any stresses in the barrel although none of the parts ever got anywhere near red hot.

    In my case the silver solder was under the entire sight so I need to heat up the whole sight but most of it was toward the receiver.
  18. Thanks!

    I suspect that most if not all "refurbished" or "arsenalized" 91/30 have had the rear sight treated with silver solder. but this is just an educated guess, based on plictures I have seen. I guess I had better start asking about this if I mail-order any more Mosins.

    Glad you got the rear sight off! I really like the scout scope mounts, because I can "throw up and shoot" much quicker with a scout scope than with either iron sights or with a conventional scope mount.
  19. gandog56

    gandog56 G&G Evangelist

    I don't know. Just seemed a whole lot easier to knock out one pin and replace the rear sight with my Darrell's scout scope mount.
  20. tlivingd

    tlivingd G&G Newbie

    Knocking the pin out was much more difficult than heating up the part. Though there are 3 pins to remove.

    And the Optics Planet mount is 15 bucks rather than 78 for Darrell's it looks like a nice piece but I need to pay for the second M-N some how.