All you need to know about Mosin Nagant – Pointers

Mosin Nagan rifles

Own a Mosin Nagant or looking to purchase one in the near future? Here are some pointers to guide you through the process and enlighten you on the various aspects and characteristics of it.


Both Mosin and Nagant rifles’ history began in the year 1889 when they were built to be tested for use in the Russian Military. After a series of tests it was decided that both rifles had their share of pros and cons and finally the Nagant emerged triumphant but not before certain design additions from the Mosin were included. Thus the Mosin Nagant fusion was born and it began its service in the Russian Army in the year 1891.

Since its first appearance, the Mosin Nagant has seen many battles and wars including the Russian Civil War, World Wars I and II, the Chinese Civil War, Russian-Japanese War and the Vietnam War. Currently the Mosin Nagant does not enjoy any military presence though it is being used by insurgents and guerrilla forces in certain third world countries.

Models and Variations

As many as seven countries produce Mosin Nagants. China, United States, Poland, Russia, Finland, Hungary and the Czech manufacture Mosins. Mosin Nagant comes in about 30 different variations and models. Some of the most famous ones are 91/30, M38 and the M44. M91 is one of the older versions of the Mosin and only fewer numbers of the same are available in the market. M39 and 28-30 are Finnish variants which are supposedly some of the best made Mosins available and also the most precise.

Among the listed, the M38 and M44 are of carbine length. While the M38 does not provide for the inclusion of a bayonet, the M44 (also known as the Cavalry Carbine) comes with bayonet that swings out from its attached mounting point on the barrel. The M91, M39 and 91/30 are of full length and come with detachable bayonets.

Mounting Scopes and slings

Originally Mosin Nagat had a side mount and the receiver had to be drilled and tapped on its left side together with having to inlet the stock and turn down the bolt handle. Though these scopes and mounts are still available for purchase, the cost factor is something that would drive us away. Unfortunately these scopes and mounts might end up costing more than the actual rifle. There are other options to counter this issue. With one gunsmithing variation that will ensure the use of a majority of the regular rifle scopes, the front ring has to be drilled and tapped and a turned down handle will have to replace the straight bolt handle. The most economical of the lot is the scout scope mount. While it needs a long eye relief scope like a scout or pistol type, it substitutes the rear sight and does not need any gunsmithing. There are various types of slings that can be attached to the rifle and their leather loops give them the distinct look of a dog collar.


Any specific measurement from the rifle bolt face to a particular point on the cartridge is called a Headspace. With the 7.62x54R or any other rimmed cartridges, the headspace will be the front of the rim. It is usually assessed with the help of gauges specific to the caliber used. These gauges are popped in to the chamber and the bolt is then closed in on it. The closing of the bolt depends on the gauge used. The Go Gauge requires the bolt to be completely closed on it and the No Go Gauge requires the bolt to be minimally closed. The Field Gauge which is used by Armorers and allowed for field use during wartime, is much bigger when compared to the No Go Gauge and the does not require the bolt to close on it.

It is very important to note that the headspace should be accurate to prevent injuries to the shooter or any lasting damages to the weapon. Inadequate headspace can result in complications while closing the bolt and more of it can result in sticky extractions, blown primers and guns.

Cartridge and Ammunition

The Mosin Nagant fires a rimmed 7.62x54R cartridge and .311 diameter bullets for hand loading. It is necessary to understand that 7.62x54R surplus ammunitions are corrosive as they are mostly lacquer coated. If the bolt does not stick with the ammunition or if the chamber is unclean, the bolt handle might become quite difficult to turn. It is therefore vital to clean the rifle after each and every use.

The mercuric primers used on surplus ammunitions to ensure their durability, make them corrosive. By using an ammonia based window cleaner (Windex), it is possible to neutralize the salts to avoid corrosion. This is also one of the most economical and simple techniques. After running few window-cleaner soaked patches and few more dry ones through the bore, a bore solvent like Hoppes No would do the trick of cleaning the bore completely. Post cleaning, running a patch of gun oil and following it up with a dry one will ensure the weapon works perfectly.

Safety and Serial Numbers

The knob on the rear of the bolt serves as the safety. By pulling it to the rear and rotating it counter-clockwise to about 45o till it drops into a notch in the receiver, one can block the firing pin together with securing the bolt and disengaging the trigger. There are 4 serial numbers that are placed in the bolt, barrel, magazine floorplate and the buttplate.

Mosin has an array of synthetic aftermarket Mosin Nagant stocks of varied styles and finishes from various manufacturers. You are also find a varietyof Mosin Nagant accessories at Mounting Solutions Plus



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