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Copper Bullet member
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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Mix and apply about 1oz of epoxy. You will need to work it down around the pillar with a toothpick as it will easily trap air pockets in that small recess. Start with a small amount and work it around the pillar adding more as you go until it is filled level with the top of the pillar and you are sure it contains no air pockets.

Insert the trigger group and press down firmly. Excess epoxy will squeeze out into the trigger slot and the magazine well. Remove as much of this as possible digging this out with the exacto knife, toothpick or screw driver. Pay particular attention to any excess that gets into the upper end of the magazine well, above the screw, or this could lock the magazine area firmly into the stock.

Two hours, or as soon as the epoxy is stiff, go back around the trigger slot and the magazine well and remove any excess in these areas. Pay attention to the curve of the trigger guard and scrape off any excess here that would prevent it from pulling out again.

Four hours:
Remove and check your mold. Push out the putty plugs in the pillar, trigger slot, and magazine well. Trim up as necessary with an exacto knife. Make sure the pillar and rear screw are lubed with Kiwi.
Assemble again, this time with the receiver in place, insert and tighten the screws. If you have removed obvious excess, nothing will squeeze out at this point but tightening things down will push the still pliable epoxy into the correct mold for a final set.

Eight hours:
Disassemble, dig out any putty, trim excess epoxy out of the trigger slot with the Dremel.
Sand any rough edges. Re-assemble and check for correct fit.

Copper Bullet member
4,850 Posts
Discussion Starter · #22 ·

Your pillar post epoxy bedding job is now almost complete!
If you LIGHTLY sand epoxy surfaces, just enough to change the color, you can assemble and disassemble everything and check for proper fit. Any areas that have high spots or that may be binding will create a dark or shiny wear mark on the epoxy. These spots can be lightly sanded down until they no longer mark.
Receiver and trigger group should assemble and disassemble easily. They will be very tight but will not bind or stick.
Screws should easily pass through the pillars and engage the threads. They should then easily tighten down to a firm and solid stop.
Assembled and tightened down, it should be as solid as a rock!
Close inspection should show metal to epoxy mating from the front of the receiver all the way back except for the left spring area yielding about 90% surface contact area.
The stock is now ready for final adjustments and sanding.

Clean up all epoxy areas.
Pay particular attention to the spring area on the left side as sufficient clearance for the spring must be left or it will cause the bolt to bind. Assemble and operate the bolt many times then disassemble and look for any wear or marks in the epoxy from the spring. Grind out accordingly.

Minor imperfections on the sides won’t matter. They can be filled or left as is. You are looking for perfect mold and contact areas around the chamber, front lug and rear tang.

Copper Bullet member
4,850 Posts
Discussion Starter · #23 ·

The exterior of the stock will require finish sanding as the wood has oxidized and picked up dirt and oil from your hands during the bedding process.

This particular stock appears to be black walnut and is very hard wood. It will quickly wear down the sandpaper requiring fresh sheets.

The area around the trigger guard is not curved to match the metal.
The choice is to leave it straight, as is, or take off some wood to match up the curve.
I found it a little thick for the trigger finger as is so I opted to sand it down to match the curvature of the trigger guard and remove a little meat from the sides.
Scribe or mark the wood from the inside of the trigger guard as a guide.
Using the drum sander tool on the Dremel, remove wood from the bottom until you match your mark and then taper out the sides. Final fit and angle can be done by hand with fine sandpaper.

Copper Bullet member
4,850 Posts
Discussion Starter · #24 ·
The area around the comb is rough sanded and will require quite a bit of hand sanding to smooth out the rough sanding marks and front of the comb. Some sanding around the rear tang may be required to get the surfaces to mate flat.

Copper Bullet member
4,850 Posts
Discussion Starter · #25 ·

Hand rubbed with fine, super fine 440, then polished to a sheen with ultra fine crocus cloth.
Stained with Tungseal 938 antique cherry oil stain.
Hand rubbed down again with super fine and crocus cloth.
Second hand rubbed stain application polished down with alcohol rag.
Although the cherry stain is reddish, the black walnut wood is very dark to begin with only taking a faint hint of red from the stain.

Bullseye Amber Shellac proved to be a failure!
I have done several Mosin stocks with a fresh coat of shellac with good results but it has several drawbacks.

#1. The problem with Shellac is a nasty habit of “boiling up” and blistering with heat. Run a hundred rounds through the gun and any areas near metal will pop blisters that flake off and mar the surface. While these areas can temporarily be buffed with steel wool and wiped with alcohol to smooth them out, ultimately they will lead to a need for total stripping and refinish with a fresh coat. That becomes unavoidable if you regularly warm the gun up to the point where you don’t want to touch bare metal with bare hands!

#2. Shellac never seems to dry to a totally hard surface, especially with built-up layers.
Get it thick enough to fill the pores and whenever it gets warm enough, it will take impressions of fingerprints, cloth or any surface you lay it on. It tends to get gummy and sticky in damp weather. A fine smooth surface finish is easily marked up.

I wasted considerable time applying 20 thin coats of Amber Shellac, buffing it down and polishing it with steel wool and crocus cloth. It took numerous coats to fill the grain in the walnut.
Each successive layer, even with several days drying time in between, penetrates and softens the underlying layer. While eventually ending up with a perfectly smooth surface with all the pores in the grain filled, it remained too soft to withstand any abuse.
I took the almost finished product to the range for a trial run.
Areas around the barrel blistered badly from heat. The now warm stock ended up with impressions from my hands and the inside cloth of the bag by the time I got home. Not to mention minor nicks and digs from the bench and handling.
There was no recourse other than digging out the Formby’s stripper and taking all the shellac off down to bare wood.

Most unhappy with that result, I picked up a can of Formby’s Tung Oil Finish Low Gloss.
This is a combination of varnish with several penetrating oils.
It can be applied by wiping and dries to a hard coating that can be buffed down with steel wool in twelve hours. Repeated coats do not soften the underlying coats.
It can be left as a glossy layer or buffed out with super fine steel wool to a very smooth matt finish that appears oiled but is hard and scruff resistant.
This time, I omitted the stain so any scratches can be buffed out and recoated with the finish.
The wood does take on a nice color and the grain stands out well.

Copper Bullet member
4,850 Posts
Discussion Starter · #26 ·

No doubt about it! This extremely hard walnut stock with the receiver firmly bedded in solid epoxy transfers recoil like a steel beam! She kicks like a mule with both feet and bites like a shark! The cheek piece posed a particular annoyance pinching skin against earmuffs and a solid smack on the jaw when held too tightly. It makes a stock M44 or M38 seem tame in comparison!
Plain and simple, it beat the hell out of me! She proved to be one really rough shooter that would almost knock you off your feet fired from the shoulder.
Limbsaver Recoil Pad Grind to Fit Small 4-13/16" x 1-27/32" Rubber Black
Product #: 118987
Manufacturer #: 10541
Our Price: $34.99

Of all the grind to fit recoil pads, Limbsaver came the closest to a fit for this stock.
It still had over 1/8” of excess material that, as per their instructions, required scribing out the stock and then grinding it down on a belt sander. Do that outdoors as it makes quite a mess with rubber all over everything!

I considered reducing the stock by the 1” thickness of the pad but, after mounting it, decided that the extra length actually improves positioning your head against the cheek rest making it more comfortable to sight.


I chose the MR100345 as the larger 7/8” diameter appears it would be taking just a little too much wood out of the stock for the hole.
I used the same model for the Hakim and found it reduces recoil in the 8mm by a good 50%.
To install, make a jig for the drill that can be clamped onto the rear of the stock. I made one with a few pieces of 1x3 with a center hole for the shaft of the wood bit.
This is aligned to follow the angle of the lower portion of the butt stock. Drill a ¾” hole oln this angle slightly over 5” deep.
The mercury filled tube is inserted and tapped into place. One end is threaded in case you have to remove it. Simply insert a bolt into it to pull it out. It will fit tightly.


The add-on muzzle brake I received with it did effectively curb recoil considerably.
It did not appear to adversely affect accuracy.
It did, however, require considerable modification by Bubba before I got it just to make it fit and following addition of the sight blade, considerable more grinding and filing to accommodate the blade.
The additional weight and bulk did not prove to be a disadvantage although you certainly can’t say it is attractive.
As initially received, it had rusted itself most securely to the barrel which required a good heating on the stove and a mallet to drive it off. What I found underneath showed that left attached for any length of time, it would become a permanent attachment!

I would have kept it for use, after modification except for one VERY notable problem.
After running about a hundred rounds through it, the holes behind the slots deteriorated and blew out! Distortion of the metal in this area indicates it isn’t going to last long at all.
There appears to be good reason why they are now “dumping” these for as low as $9.95!
The alternative would be a custom threaded $200 brake, more than I intend to invest on this rifle.

Copper Bullet member
4,850 Posts
Discussion Starter · #27 ·

Post on tuning up a Mosin Bolt.
The almost new '46 bolt on this one proved to have some problems.
The above thread covers polish and tune-up along with MolyFusion application to the sear for a smooth as silk bolt action and a much smoother Mosin trigger pull.

Copper Bullet member
4,850 Posts
Discussion Starter · #28 · (Edited)
Range report 4/9/08

Completed project proved out quite successful.
With the mercury recoil tube in place and the Limbsaver pad, I was able to pour 200 rounds through it bare shoulder without even getting stiff.
It still has a mighty bark but not in the least uncomfortable for extended shooting sessions.

The polished out and molyfusion bolt is simply the slickest Mosin bolt going, bar none! You can really get on a fast rip without the slightest drag. The Molyfusion on the trigger sear makes it unlike any Mosin trigger pull as well. Smooth as silk, a couple other shooters who tried her out said it was unlike any Mosin they ever shot. Too good and too smooth to be Mosin!

With the weight balance decidedly shifted to the rear, with the added weight of the recoil tube, it has a most pleasant balance that comes to shoulder extremely fast. Really rapid and accurate shots from the shoulder would make it an absolutely great brush gun, even better than the M38, it is just a natural snap to shoulder gun for a quick shot.

After a slight adjustment, the sight combo proved to be dead on and the milk jug army went down in order at 200yds. (Just love the massive explosion of water as the bottles disintegrate from the 7.62x54R.
She appears to be quite capable of 6" groups at 200 on a regular basis.

All in all, I am satisfied enough with the results that it will replace the M38 as our range regular shits and giggles rifle and regular shooter.

Next project will be a long M31 action done up the same way only with the addition of a 32x scope as a long range bench shooter.
It will have to compete with the Extreme Hakim sniper that was successfully drilling golf balls at 250yds this afternoon.

Copper Bullet member
4,850 Posts
Discussion Starter · #29 ·
No end to the tinkering...
I put a Huber trigger in the M39 and am sitting looking at the one I took out. It has two roll pins to ride the sear spring instead of the cast boss on the stock trigger.
Polished it up with the Dremel. Nice M91 trigger.
Did the modifications on the sear and spring

The spring and sear were original and untouched.
Did the 'lightening' as above and polished the mating surfaces.
*Nail files at about $1 @ with fine and coarse grit seem to be dandy tools for polishing surfaces to mirror bright.
Dremel cloth wheel and 550 fine compound to finish the polish.
Mirror smooth finish. Added some Moly Fusion to make it really smooth...
Cut 3 loops from the firing pin spring to lighten to .325 as mentioned.
Polished working surfaces of bolt again with Dremel.

Let off was smooth and crisp.
Uncocked, there was a bit of slack.
The M91 trigger had an unused 'hole' in it.
There was quite a bit of slack.
Went to hardware store and found a spring that fit inside the trigger body and a roll pin that fit the hole...
Cut both down to fit so the spring was retained behind the pin inside the trigger body and took up the slack.

While it has a considerably stiff pull, this is a shoulder gun and not intended to be a hair trigger.
Let off is extremely smooth and crisp with no creep.

I took 2mm off the bolt stop catch and polished that surface as well.

Have yet to take pictures of what I did but just came back from the range and quite satisfied with the results.
She feels good! Better than stock and the bolt is smooth as silk.
Difference in trigger pull is quite apparent.
May need to lighten it up just a bit but travel and drop are perfect and extremely smooth.

The Huber trigger on the M39 ... well that is about as close to the brink as you can get and results were nothing less than 'sweet'!
That is going to be an awesome sniper when it moves to the Boyd's stock!

Killed several clay pigeons and 4" water balloons at 200 yds, from the shoulder, so I think I like the conversion.

Copper Bullet member
4,850 Posts
Discussion Starter · #30 ·
The Custom Trigger Job

Now for the pics and instructions.
Pic #1: Note the difference in the M39 trigger and the original M44 trigger. The original rides on a cast boss. The M39 rides on two pins.
(got moved to the end)
Pic #2: viewed from rear
Pic #3: Without anything to tension the trigger, when cocked, it will flop forward with considerable slack and a good 3/4" forward travel.
What was that extra hole drilled through the trigger for?
Pic #4: The idea struck me to insert a small spring and retain it with a roll pin to fit the hole

Quick trip to the hardware store and actually found exactly what I wanted! Found the correct diameter coil spring that would fit inside and a roll pin that exactly fit the hole.
Pic #5: Cut spring and grind down end flat to 0.5" or 12mm
Pic #6: Grind down roll pin to width of trigger
Pic #7: Insert the pin and place the spring inside against it. This is the tricky part to get it in without bending it. When the pin holding the trigger in place is inserted, the spring is neatly trapped between the two pins. It exerts enough tension on the trigger to prevent any forward movement and eliminate any slack. Total trigger movement to fire is 4mm or 0.15" measured at the tip.
Pic #8: Trigger mounted with spring in place

Copper Bullet member
4,850 Posts
Discussion Starter · #31 ·
The Custom Trigger Job 2

Tuning the trigger spring.

Pic#1: The original spring did measure .040. To lighten the pull, use a Dremel and sanding drum to thin this area on the bottom side to .030 to .028 uniformly from the sear post to the screw hole area
as per

Not sure how far you can go on this and not having a spare spring handy ... settled on .030 but you do have to thin the entire area to get the effect.

Pic #2: Polish the top surface, where the pins (or boss on an original) ride with a Dremel and cloth buffer with 550 grit compound.
Note: to start the polishing process, a cheap nail file board with 180 grit and 220 grit sides is great to remove the original finish and get rid of any grinding marks in the surface before moving on to the buffer and compound.
Polish the surface mirror bright and remove any imperfections.
The smoother the surface, the smoother the letoff. When polished mirror bright, a drop of oil will bead up and run off the surface.

Pic #3: Polish the sear face. Only the top portion needs to be mirror smooth. Maintain the angle while polishing. Polish down the top face. When both faces are bright, you will have a knife edge.
This edge tends to bend over and cause a rough spot after a little use. Very lightly round it over a bit with the file and then the buffing wheel to give a narrow but rounded edge.
Do the same to the face on the bolt piece it engages.

Final result is a very smooth pull with a crisp letoff, no travel and no slack. By no means a hair trigger, unless you lighten the spring too much, it is very positive and vastly different from a standard M44 "cruncher" where you can feel the metal grating.

*The uploads scrambled again but you can figure them out...

Copper Bullet member
4,850 Posts
Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Of course I tried her out! Went back and worked her a little more as it was still just a little stiff. Took more off that tension spring and thinned the trigger spring a tad more.
I very much like the feel of it now compared to the original stock trigger which I had not worked on despite polishing up the bolt.

Being post war production, the bore on this M44 just happened to be pristine, as in, it went to some stockpile in an armory somewhere without seeing use.
I love this gun because it is such a great shooter.
It never misses a trip to the range.
It still amazes me what I have hit with this little bugger out to 250yds.
Get the elevation just right, it has claimed its share of clay pigeons, water balloons, the bottom of a soda can ...
We get our kicks out of "interactive" targets that tend to vaporize with 7.62x54R so we seldom 'paper' them - that I could take pics of.
Shooting at something thrown up on the berm, we can see the impact in the sand and quickly adjust elevation and windage to get on target. We put the paper targets up at 200 so we don't get yelled at for shooting the berm...

She proved her accuracy when I used it for a rifle training class, with a bunch of non-shooters, who were able to whack the crap out of metal popup targets at 200yds surprisingly well. They kept coming back for more and more...

151 Posts
Great Post! I too love my Customized nagant carbine.. The Mojo Rear Peep is a must! I love mine. They also make these peeps for 98 Mauser's.
I just added a nice recoil pad, the peep site and cut off the attached Bayonet. I had to file the front post down to about half to be zeroed at 50 yards with the peep being centered in elevation. I would file a little, take a shot and file a little more. You can see the bullet climb up to the center of the target in a straight line .. Then to the 100 yard range, it took 6 clicks up in elevation and that little carbine fired the next 20 rounds in a four inch pattern..Very good for me and iron peep sights, shaky hands and now not so good eye sight at 100yds...your right, I take my little Nagant nearly every time I go to the range. I also reload for mine.If you reload, my research showed that the nagant actually shoots a .311 dia 7.62 bullet. Not the 308dia...I found the .311 with a Sierra Bullet listed under 303 Cal... When I used these, my accuracy actually improved..

25 Posts
Relax! You neither Bubba'd nor Hemanned that rifle; you merely made a tool more efficient. I consider the only MN long rifle, that's worthy of intelligent sporterization; it is the Finnish M39 and any MN carbine can be intelligently sporterized.

Platinum Bullet Member
874 Posts
GI Runs,

Thanks for the information on the reloading. Many of us here stopped reloading because we didn't see any advantage to it because the reloads shot the same as the old military stuff.

I will be trying the 303 dia - .311 out to see how it does for ours.

Thank you again for the information.

We started using milk jugs and baloons this last fall. You know right off if you are on target with them.
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