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Thread: Tell me about this Mossin-Nagant, please

  1. #1
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    Tell me about this Mossin-Nagant, please

    First, I'm neither a collector nor expert on these interesting rifles. However, I do have one in my possession which is very special--it's been in the family since 1951--and quite possibly a direct capture from communist forces. I only recently decided to see if the darn thing is shootable.

    Based on internet pictures, I at first thought it might be a Russian M38. However, some sources suggested production of M38s stopped in 1944, and this is clearly marked 1945. Also, the muzzle detail suggest that it might have had an affixed bayonet, a la M44, which had been subsequently removed. So, I'm now of the opinion that it is indeed a M44 sans bayonet.

    The receiver, bolt, and magazine floorplate all have matching numbers: TT7201. There is no sling, cleaning rod, or (if a M44) bayonet.

    My interest is not in any collector value, but rather, in returning it, if possible, to a safe shooting condition, retaining as many original parts as possible. In any case, I plan to keep it as a family memento.

    History:

    My father served in the U. S. Navy during the Korean Conflict. He was in Pusan, South Korea, in 1951 when he acquired the rifle from a casual acquaintance who was in the U. S. Army. My father's belief was that the rifle was captured from the communist forces, and had a brass plate affixed to the buttstock stating as much. As a side note, the plate was formed aboard ship from a 5 in. shell casing.

    My father's interest in the rifle was that of a war souvenir, and it has not been fired since he acquired it. According to him, he only cleaned and refinished the stock. Sometime in the 1960's when my brother and I started target shooting with .22 rifles, my dad attempted to ascertain the caliber and availability of ammunition for the Mosin-Nagant with the thought of shooting it. Unfortunately, he did so by making a plaster casting of the chamber. Unfortunate because I'm not sure how well he cleaned it after the process. Anyway, apparently he couldn't get reliable information about the ammo and the rifle was returned to the gun rack for about forty years.

    Fast forward to last weekend.

    I completely disassembled the weapon and cleaned all parts. There was virtually no surface rust on any of the metal parts, just a dull patina and a general greasy residue, dried oil. Definitely not Cosmoline. The firing pin is broken at the tip, and the extractor is broken.

    The bore and chamber were extremely dirty and, presumably rusty, based on the reddish-brown sludge removed. I scrubbed the bore with solvent soaked bore mops, bronze brush, and also with Remington Bore Cleaner which is mildly abrasive. I cleaned the chamber by spinning a sized bore mop saturated with cleaner attached to a drill. This is a preliminary cleaning, and I will do more, but I wanted to be able to determine the condition of the bore and chamber. From what I can see, the bore is heavily pitted. The chamber seems not too bad, except possibly for the area around the throat which seems to have had more rust. I will try to get some pictures of the bore and chamber when I can.

    I hope you find this piece interesting. Anything you can tell me about it would be appreciated.

    K







    Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel. Ayn Rand

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  2. #2
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    Check 7.62x54.net.

  3. #3
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    Kentak. that's a neat story you have along with a neat rifle.
    NRA life member, Support Our Troops,
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    MMCDC Member

  4. #4
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    surplusrifle.com forum. lottsa people there with great info. just from being a member of the site as well, teh factory stamp of triangle and the arrow inside i believe is suppose to be from the tula factory in former soviet union.

    Now as to the condition of your bore being good, but the champer pitted. depending on how bad your chamber is pitted, I would really not recommend shooting it. It could lead to a failure. Best bet, just leave it as is, a family keepsake. Or take to a smith to have him do a good go over of the chamber and bore, you maybe able to get rechambered and rebored for another compatable caliber! The broken firing pin and extractor are replaceable. but just your chamber would be the issue to get checked out.
    Real Naval Gunners Hit Harder, and Penetrate Deeper, and just as accurate without Fire Control!

  5. #5
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    Depends on just how badly the chamber is corrected. If the pits are so deep, that when the shell is fired it expands into the holes ( pits) and has to be driven out of the chamber then yes there is a problem, however many old pitted chambers will still function as designed, especially a military design.. As for the bore, I have shot many an old rife with a very pitted bore that shot minute of angle. Too many people will will look at a pitted bore and instantly decide it is unsafe , unfireable and not accurate. Not so, that is a fairly new urban myth. May not be aesthetically pleasing and requires more detail in cleaning but it will still do the job. Not just MO, but based on fact.

  6. #6
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    Here's an update.

    After ordering a firing pin, extractor, and front sight, I went back to a more thorough cleaning of the bore. The first time I cleaned it, I had detected an unusual increase in brush resistance in the bore closest to the chamber. At first I thought it might be an extra rough portion. Did you read in my original post that my dad had attempted to made a plaster cast of the chamber many years ago? Well, this second cleaning removed some particles of plaster and a tubular piece of paper that had lined the bore near the chamber. It had not been discernible even with a bore light. Finally the brush went through smoothly and my patches started coming out "reasonably" clean. A closer look at the chamber showed smooth walls. So far, so god.

    Within a week, my parts came from bymilsurp.com. Instead of an extractor, he sent me a complete bolt head in what appeared to be unused condition. I put the calipers on the new bolt head and it was almost spot on to old one, so I decided to chance the headspace. The new firing pin also was fine, the protrusion measuring .085". A light oiling of the bolt on all the obvious bearing surfaces resulted in a very smooth operation. Rounds chambered and extracted smoothly.

    The new front sight was a bear to drift onto the existing sight base, but finally got it centered. However, it seems my pounding had slightly rotated the sight base on the barrel. There is a small hole in the sight base which might have at one time held a pin, but no longer--hence, the rotation. I got the sight back to the vertical as best I could, and headed to the range with one box of Winchester 180 gr. ammo.

    I went right to the 100 yd range and set up a large circle, which looked darn small from the bench. Hoping I would be going home in one piece, I squeezed off the first shot. It worked. A large puff of dust kicked up next to the target and the gun and I were both intact. This was only one of a few times I hac ever shot a rifle bigger than .223. My shoulder took a pretty good pounding as it was a warm day and I was wearing only a tee shirt. I'll definitely get a slip on recoil pad for this thing before my next outing.

    The sight base was off vertical more than I had thought, and it was shooting considerably off paper. But, I had at least had fun shooting it and assuring everything worked smoothly. The rounds loaded into the mag and fed perfectly. Extraction was solid. The fired cases were smooth, confirming good chamber condition.

    I have since trued up the front sight with the bore axis by bore sighting on an object 100 yards from my bedroom window. I should have no trouble getting on paper next time, and we'll see how that sucker groups.

    K
    Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel. Ayn Rand

    Join and support the NRA.

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