It's easier to do it at first if you put the buttplate against the biceps of your bent arm and work the knob with that hand, like Josh said. Works well when it's against your shoulder, too. Really, though, the mainspring of a Mosin is only about 19-22 lbs. of compressed force. Any grown man without serious hand arthritis or neuromuscular disease ought to be able to handle that easily.
Hey Mosin shooter. Be careful about learning how to do that safety. It cost me room in my gun safe. The elbow trick does work. Also, I find that the knobs on the 44s are smaller and seem to be harder to work than on the 91/30s. If it is still hard for you people do weld rings onto the knobs. Not sure if that would make it easier or not but at least they may be easier to grab onto.
I wanted to apologize to the thread for my response above. Caught me at a bad moment and I feel I lowered myself to his level. The spirit of this forum is to be friendly, respectful and encouraging to all. With this in mind I offer my apology.:sorry:
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