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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I'm new both to the mosin nagant and this board and just wanted to introduce myself and ask a couple of questions. I recently bought 2 M91's one is a Finnish "B" barrel and the other is a russian build from 1915. I have cleaned both rifles thoroughly and they look to be in pretty good shape. Having done this I made a trip to a local to gunsmith to get the headspacing checked and not much to my surprise he didn't have the gauges for the 7.62x54r. However, he did look the rifles over and attempted to chamber a round and said everything looked ok but recommended that I tie them to something and fire about 8 rds through them with a string on the trigger... It may just be me but I found it much easier just to drop the 26 dollars for the no-go headspace gauge which I am eagerly anticipating its arrival :D . My question is will this be sufficient testing or should I still do as he recommended? And also what is the best ammunition to use? Right now I have one pack of Albanian from '85 and I have some Bulgarian coming in that I have no information on at the moment.

Thanks,
Matt
 

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The gages will be a bit of comfort for you. For me, I don't use them. I know I should, but I don't.

Your rifle will let you know what you need to shoot. Each has its own personality and its dislikes of certain ammo. The best, buy a bunch of different types at a show and then shoot and see.

Congrats on the B barrel. They are a tough one to find. Do you know what type, on the rarity scale, you have?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Sean,

Not sure about the rarity these guns are still new to me. It appears in very good shape the bluing is near perfect the only problem is the guy who had it before me had refinished the stock with some terrible stuff and didn't even bother to take the metal work out of the stock...so it was a blast to clean. I will be removing it shortly and try to restore to original. Unfortunately the serials don't match, but the bolt has been renumbered to match the barrel and bares the Ishevsk markings as well as a Tikka marking in one place.
 

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Matt, congratulations on your 2 new rifles. They sound like good ones and more details are in order!! The gauges are very handy (field gauge is a good one too). Your hands on experience will be the best judge for which type of ammo works best in each of your rifles. I have not used the string method for some time...better safe than sorry? Denny
 

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Nice find on the "B." As far a gauges, I'm with Sean. Lots of people will tell you to check headspace on all rifles, but I usually don't. The Mosin is a strong action, shooting the round it was made for. On the other hand, don't be stupid. Wear eye protection, and if you have a problem chambering a round for any reason, don't shoot it.

Mosins don't usually have a problem chambering, but sometimes have a problem ejecting with some ammo. Heavy ball in my experience can be a problem. Shoot it with protection, inspect the brass for signs of problems, and have fun.

Some of the Albanian ammo has problems with quality control, but it's usually a folded in and crimped mouth on the case that won't let you chamber it. Some lots are real bad, 10-20% won't chamber. Other lots are fine. The Albie is not loaded to hot, so if it chambers, you should be fine. Just don't force it.

Welcome to the addiction.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Springbank,

I have inspected some of the Albanian ammo and have had to weed out a couple that had some hard strange substance in spots on the casings and also some have it on the primers. Hopefully the Bulgarian will be in better shape it is coming in a 300rd spam can.

Matt
 

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Matt, it might be prudent to inspect your Bulgarian upon arrival. I "rejected" about 10% of the light ball for obvious visual defects. There have been a lot of discussions about this ammo recently. Denny
 

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Welcome, Dude! Nice way to start out Mosin collecting. A "B" and a Hex! Nice! Just wait til you find your first ex-sniper! hehehe! As said above, inspect that Bulgie, and enjoy. Check out the 54R site for more info, and clean the chambers with a 20ga or .410 brush mounted on a drill and you should be fine for shooting lacquered cases. Cosmoline dries in the chambers, alot, and it's darned hard to see a thin coating of it in there.
 

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MS1227: you can go here to find the rarity scale for your MN's. Congrats on finding some good ones. I've fallen in love with mine several times now, mostly when I get to have some range-time with it. Remember that these are manufactured to hit "minute of man," so don't be dismayed if it won't shoot tighter groups than 3-5" at 100yds. However, don't be surprised if it'll shoot 2" or smaller with the right ammo!

Spend some time knocking around on the site I linked up top, and you'll pick up much of the necessary knowledge for using and caring for your rifles. Again, congrats, and welcome to the family!:D
 

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If you are worried about the rifle failing, check it with a headspace guage (like you already plan on). Hopefully, you got a field gauge, because that is the one that really counts. I also take my rifles apart, and check them for cracks, bulges, excessive pitting, or extra holes drilled in the rifle. Some of the members here have found sabotaged rifles, and it would be a good idea to look for this type of stuff anyway. Once I have looked it over good, and feel that it is safe to fire, I usually shoot the first several rounds with a sandbag over the receiver, and bolt.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Before you strip that stock you might want to post pictures here to get a second opinion. Mosins can have a wide variety of stock finishes from different countries and eras. It might be "original", at least to some point in it's military career.

Welcome to Gunboards.
Will try to post some pics hopefully by tomorrow, but I don't thinks it was done by the military. The work was very sloppy and the gun was not even stripped down and the stock and metal had become one and was a lot of work to get apart. But I will definitely post pics.

Thanks,
Matt
 

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Welcome to the boards.

Checking the headspace is always a good idea. You will be happy to learn that the Mosin Nagant action is very strong. Remember to wear good shooting glasses, as pierced primers do occur with this particular cartridge.

Also, take the time to learn how to disassemble and reassemble the bolt. It is not difficult, as there are only seven pieces in all, and you only disassemble into 6 pieces. Clean the bolt VERY well, and use a firing pin protrusion guage to assure that the firing pin is at the correct depth.

If you do not have a firing pin protrusion guage, send me a private message with your mailing address, and I will send you one. It is the teardrop shaped screwdriver with the notches cut into one side of the shaft.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
thanks gun_nut,

I don't have the firing pin gauge, but was just going to use a caliper as mentioned on surplusrifle.com.

Matt
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Got the No-go headspace guage ealier today and both rifles check out perfectly! :D Also adjusted the firing pins using a caliper so hopefully they're good to go for the weekend. Also ran a borescope into the receiver and through the barrels and everything looked fine. The bulgarian ammo should be here in an hour or two and I will spend the evening inspecting it also going to post pics later tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Finally as promised here are the pics:


This is the Russian M91 from 1915


This is the Finnish M91 "B" barrel from 1942


This is the receiver of the Finn rifle


This is the receiver of the Russian rifle

And the following two are examples of the ammo I have gotten for them on the left is the albanian on the right is the bulgarian. The Bulgarian definitely seems to be of better quality vs. the Albanian.





Thanks,
Matt
 
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