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Mosin-Nagant 91/30 (7.62x54R)

Posted by joptesniper on March 14, 2009


The Mosin Nagant 91/30 is probably one of the best rifles for the money. Used by many countries for over a hundred years it has proven itself in combat and is still seen in conflicts today such as Iraq. The simplicity of the rifle along with its high caliber makes it perfect for hunting or a beginner rifle for everyone of any age. I personally like the high caliber just for the boom and fun factor. The 7.62 Russian is a great caliber and very cheap if you can find a place to buy it from. Best place to look is gun shops and the internet to buy ammo usually places like academy do not carry this ammo especially in bulk. i would suggest getting military surplus for the gun rather than a name brand, but of course wolf is great and cheap ammunition i have never personally found any or shot any. The only problem with most military surplus ammo is that it has a corrosive primer that will over time without cleaning eat the barrel. There are many ways to clean the barrel after firing the easiest way for me personally is take the rifle off the stock and remove the bolt and pour boiling water down the bore and barrel. Do this several times till the barrel is quite warm and let it sit to dry and then run a cloth or a bore snake down to fully clean it. Another way is to mix ammonia and windex and put it on a swab and run it down the barrel several times.


Any military surplus rifle is usually considered a good rifle for the most part. The 91/30 is a good rifle it is very tough and simple. Being a cheap rifle it attracts many buyers to it. The 91/30 comes usually with an assortment of things usually an oil container some cleaning tools the bayonet and ammunition pouches. The rifle is heavy when you compare it to the guns of today. The gun also is very long with the bayonet attached to it is over 5 feet long.

Firing the gun is very simple and fun. If you are able to fire it on open land please do firing it on a stand does not do it justice. The gun has a good kick to it and is very loud if you fire it at the range you will get a lot of looks and lots of people talking to you about the gun every time i go people always do. accuracy with this gun is excellent. it will hit the target if you can see it. i have not gotten to shoot the rifle over 50 yards, but from 50 or closer it will hit anything. The rifle has a 5 round non-detachable magazine that can take stripper clips but i do not use stripper clips due to the poor quality of the ones i have bought.
If you are buying a rifle that will be easy right away this is not the rifle for you. it takes time to work this rifle into being a great shooting gun. sometimes you get good ones other times you do not. with mine i had to clean it for several days i found using a 12 or 20 gauge brass brush is the best for cleaning to bore and helps a lot, but once you get the gun in good shape it is a perfect weapon. cleaning it as previously stated is easy after firing it simply take the gun apart pour boiling water down the bore and run a 30. caliber bore snake down the barrel a couple times. be sure to lube the bolt after use to ensure a smoother action. that is pretty much all you have to do to clean the gun.

very simple to shoot just load it up and point the trigger pull on these guns is actually pretty good and smooth. the bolt might take some getting used to with mine it sometimes takes a good smack to open the bolt and eject the shell. the first couple times you take the gun out you might get a bruised palm from doing this. if you cannot get the bolt open with your hand i stand the gun up and gently kick the bolt open. this gun is tough and can take that kind of punishment. if that happens though you might be using lacquered ammunition which after the bore heats up turns into a glue and sticks the bolt. or you have not cleaned the bore good enough. Try to keep the gun steady when firing of course my rifle usually shoots a little low and to the right these guns were made to shoot with the bayonet on but i never put it on when i shoot because you will have to clean that too after use to prevent the salts from corroding it. i can though get great groupings with this rifle on the bench.



Picking a Mosin-Nagant can be difficult. There are several variants the most common of course is the 91/30 which was the standard issue rifle for the Soviet army. For this article i will only talk about the 91/30.

Looking for a 91/30 one must take into consideration several things. Age of the rifle, Condition of the barrel, and the bolt system. Usually the older the rifle the better quality of the rifle. i have a 1932 Tula which was re-furbished in Ukraine. With the 91/30 there are several countries such as Russia, US, China, and the most coveted in quality the Finnish rifles. Any rifle overall will do with the Russian rifles try to look for an older Tula rifle. The Tula’s have a reputation to be overall better quality. Once you go to a store look at every 91/30 each one has its own characteristics from the condition of the stock to all the numbers of the rifle matching. once you have narrowed down the rifles take an LED light down the bore and and the barrel and see first of all if you can see to the other side and how black the rifling and the condition of the bore. Some rifles at the end of the barrel have been counter-bored, but that is due to the fact the front of the barrel was in such poor condition. Be sure to take out the bolt and look at the bore with a dirty and ruined bore you can either 1. not get a cartridge in or 2. over time in a shooting session the bullet can get stuck and you will have to take the cleaning rod out to get the shell casing out. If you ever have doubt in the casing being extracted when shooting check the bore. There has been an occasion when a person got a live round in the bore with a spent shell casing and it blew the gun up and injured the shooter with burns and several bits of metal. After checking the barrel and the bore look over the condition of the stock. stocks can be either perfect with a good coat of shellac or beaten up with no shellac. depending on who you are a beaten up stock could have some historical character to it. some may not like it and sand the stock down and put some new shellac on it. with mine it was beaten up i kept the bumps and dents on the stock. i just simply stripped the old shellac and went to Lowes and got some new shellac. Whatever you do do not change the stock to a synthetic stock this ruins the whole feel of the gun and is commonly called “bubba” the gun up. If the rifle is covered in cosmoline there is no need to look away from it. Cosmoline protects the rifle when it is stored for long periods of time. to take off cosmoline simply boil all the metal parts of put them in the dishwaher with the wood stock rub it down with mineral water. the most important place to get the cosmoline out is the bore.

When picking a mosin nagant pick the one that fits you best and as most owners say the one that speaks to you. i promise you you will not regret buying one and after having one it is most likely you will buy another. try to get a Russian version first because they are usually cheaper try not to spend more than 125 for one. but once you do some more research you will find that some collectors ones will be worth and will cost a lot more.



37 Responses to “Mosin-Nagant 91/30 (7.62x54R)”

  1. Scott Oldham said

    I have resently bought a 1915 Mosin Nagant at a local gunstore for a small price of 163.00 not bad for a 6 foot rifle, if you can’t shoot this rifle just hit the target with the end of your barrel, man this is a long rifle. My dad and I sanded down the stock, redone the barrel, put on another finnish on the stock because of the battle damage on it.Other than that every thing about the rifle was in excelent condition,the barrel has a Russian flag on it that has a hammer and cicle. The ammo is the cheapest I have payed for 11.00.

    • M Miller said

      1915? That’s wierd. I don’t think the hammer and sickle flag was adopted by the Soviets until 1922. In 1915 Russia was still imperial. Maybe it’s not a 1915.

      • J. J. E. said

        During WW2, the Russians modified and altered many existing Nagants to speed up production and to save money. It is likely that your rifle might have been one of the ones modified, seeing that it had battle damage.

  2. Scott Oldham said

    What is a good scope for this rifle and scope mounts that I don’t have to remove the rear sight?

    • joptesniper said

      well depends on what you want. when you sanded down the stock you kinda ruined its history. i wanted to keep all the dents and marks on it so i took paint remover and took off the old shellac. then painted new shellac on. if you wanted it to look just like it used to you use shellac flakes but you probably need to order those off the internet. anyways for the scope there are several kinds you can go old school that will cost you around 400 with the scope and the labor to get the receiver drilled. but the best bet is to look on ebay but with all those scope rails and rings you do not have to remove any sights on the gun. but remember this with some scope mounts and rings you will have to redo the bolt handle on the rifle. so this is something to really think about you could get lucky and find an old bolt with a turn down handle or get another bolt to play with keeping the original for the gun in case you switch back. it is really all up to you and what you want. my 91/30 is to beat up in my opinion barrel wise to put a scope and i would only put the old PU scope on it but as i said it costs as much a 4 rifles. im sorry that is not much help on scope and rings but the best place to look for scope equipment for the 91/30 is ebay

  3. Devin said

    I recently bought a surplus 1943 91/30, where could i find cheap stripper magazines?
    Also, should there be anything i should worry about, like common mechanical problems?

    • joptesniper said

      i tend to stay away from the stripper clips because the ones i had were really crappy. but i would just look on ebay. there are very few mechanical problems i would just be sure to clean your gun especially the bore and barrel after you shoot it. some ammos will eat the barrel due to their corrosive primers. but other than that it is a tough gun. be sure to clean the bore, there might still be some cosmoline built up that will make the bolt action sticky and the shell casing not eject.

  4. kcboy011 said

    can u get a better rifle for the cost.


    91/30 are on sale now at big 5 for $99.00. I have seen excellent prewar rifles. Worth a look.

  6. Dave said

    J&G sales online is where I bought mine. love it. I have purchased all reloading equipment for it and shoot premium reloads for the same price as milsurp. Best gun I shot. Barrel was in amazing condition and has incredible deep riflings. 1.5 inch groups at 200 yards. tons of info online. just google.

  7. Reid said

    To all you people complaining about stripper clips, it’s likely that you’re simply using them wrong.

    With the clip seated in the groove designed for it, you must hold up the point of the last round in the clip while using the rimmed end to push the other 4, and finally the 5th, into the mag. I too thought they were just crappy until I found this out.

  8. Comrade Roach said

    What the author may be experiencing is what’s known as “sticky bolt syndrome” by the Mosin crowd. That usually happens when hardened cosmoline in the bolt channel area heats up and gums up the action during shooting. A well-known remedy is to take apart the bolt and soak it in a solvent, such as mineral spirits, for at least a day if not longer. I don’t recommend using boiling water to remove cosmoline from a gun: cosmoline has a lower melting point than the temperature of boiling water, and using boiling water might actually “bake” cosmoline residue on even worse. Water at about 140 degrees fahrenheit will do the trick I believe.

    Now that your bolt parts are getting a good long soak in solvent, get yourself an electric power drill, a 20 gauge bore brush, and a length of cleaning rod. Attach the brush to the rod and stick it in the drill, then dip the brush into a gun cleaning agent such as Hoppes No. 9, and insert into bolt channel. Using medium speed, thoroughly scrub out the bore channel with the drill for several minutes. Next dry and lube the bolt channel like you would in a normal cleaning, making sure to get every drop of solvent out of there and maybe clean your bore while your at it.

    Reassemble your dried and lubed bolt and put it back on the gun. You now should not experience the stiff bolt problem. If you do, you might not have done a good enough job cleaning it, or you might have some kind of burr in there screwing everything up. If you really have problems, take it to a gunsmith and have him polish the bolt channel, which should alleviate the problem entirely.

    I’ve owned an M91/30 and plan on purchasing an M44 carbine soon. For less than a Benjamin you cannot find more gun. A true people’s rifle, get good with it and maintain it and your Mosin Nagant could see “service” for yet another century. When the end time comes, roaches and Mosins will be all that remains. And when the roaches evolve into intelligent beings, guess what they will have slung over there shoulders?

  9. potatoebob said

    Hey, all I just bought one for myself. If you have a chance to pick through a few like i did. Some of them were kinds rough in the workmanship. I do plan on using it for hunting. Mine does not have a scope and I don’t plan on putting one on it. I’ve taken big game with a long bow, re-curve. compound, black powder and several different high powered rifles. Just make sure you clean it first before shooting because they might have a lot of geese in the barrel.

  10. Adam Scheaffer said

    I just got a 1942 Mosin Nagant. My first wepon that i own that is. Im in the Army and have always loved shooting but could never afford a wepon of my own till i found this one. i havent gotten the chance to shoot it yet. my buddy says i should replace the stock and other things. what do u think?

    • joptesniper said

      keep the wood stock but it is good to take the whole gun out of the stock and clean it get all the grease out.. the wood stock adds weight to the gun to help with recoil as well it is just better for an historical reason. may i ask why you are considering a synthetic stock?

  11. chrisb said

    I have a 91/30 and a m44. my m44 will hold five in the mag but my 91/30 will only fit four is there a reason for that. I know they are two different rifles i have completely refinshed both from the stock down the blue both are set up like the 1940 sniper rifles they our

  12. Qwikdrawmcgraw said

    i have a 1915 mosin, i do not want to do anything to the stock,but i do want to clean all the metal on the gun and make it look good again. any ideas.

  13. kenneth221 said

    i was just wonderin i myself have just bought a 1942 mosin nagant and i dont know much about it there are several things im wondering about like the markings first is seems that every peice has a star on it and then theres triangle with an I in it but all the serial numbers match so i guess thats good i only paid 75 dollars for the gun minus the bayonet and also how do i tell if its a replica

    • Bstory said

      The star represents Tula and the triangle represents Izhevsk. They were the 2 arsenals that produced Mosins.

  14. Zach said

    I’ve got a 1930 Izhevsk Mosin Nagant 91/30 and its my favorite rifle out of the four that I own. I like the look, the history, and just how it feels. I got lucky with mine as it was not counterbored and the barrel is nearly flawless with good rifling. The recoil wasn’t as bad as some people had said, if you shoot light ball surplus or 145-150 grain commerical ammo, you’ll be fine. Just hold it good and tight. Mine was pretty accurate too for a 80 year old rifle. I love how cheap the ammo is, and readily available. I would like to get into reloading with one of those hand loading kits from Lee, I’m sure that would make for even better accuracy.

  15. Koltin said

    I currently have 3 of these rifles. My first was a M44 carbine matching numbers unused condition which sits now in storage for a future war :). I also have a model 1891 made in 1908 which looks like it has been in every war since it was made then left outside. totally awesome piece of history. Gonna put it in a glass case in my home to last forever. And i just bought a 91/30 for 100 bucks unmatching for a shooter. Took down a deer with the m44 and couldnt be happier with the caliber reliability accuracy and history. A true gun. Yeah dont put a friggin synthetic stock on. Buy a AR-15 if you want to waste money.

  16. Aaron said

    I just acquired an 1896 WWI rifle WITH an original sling and cleaning rod. I wish there was more information about this somewhere.

  17. joseph said

    ive just bought a russian m91/30 1936 rifle . i love the gun but i can not get used to the meters site ,how do you use it how do you no how many yards to set it. also i use 203gr is that to big

  18. fubar said

    Hi people: I have been reading about scope mounts for the m91-30 family. They are all no good or too expensive (for a billhilly anyway).So, I seen this thing and tried it out. Almost as good as cold beer. Go to AIM SPORTS INC part #AIM-MT001. This is made for a AR 15. 11 1/5 inches long, wide at one end, narrow at the other, and tapered. Cut the rear sight off, leaving the flat part and take out the spring. Play with it and it almost is a perfect fit between the ears on the rear sight mount. With a little alignment and only one screw in the is perfect. It will take a rifle or pistol scope I have put 500 rounds down range and it still is perfect. For $11.99 it was a great bargain.

    • PJ said

      Just Go to For Mosin Nagant Pre Made Scope Kits PU Scopes, Mosin Nagant Scope, Mounts New Mosin Nagant rifle stocks and 91/30 Leather Rifle Slings all new and fit great!

      Get 5% off entire order with coupon code (New Customer 100) at check out.

  19. Tim said

    Yes the Mosin is a great rifle and a great piece of history. Here’s a good place to get a buttstock pouch or bandolier.

  20. MOSINSonly said

    I’ve was looking for a scope mount for my mosin nagant M91/30 but all the ones i find you have to take apart the rear sight and you cant use the iron sights inless you go and swap them back. Is there a scope mount (not the PU scope mount) that lets you use a scope and the iron sights?

    • joptesniper said

      to my knowledge no and besides the only mosins that should get a scope are the snipers and they only get a PU. you dont want to butcher the guns with some of these crappy looking and quality scopes and mounts… let us know what you decide to do with your rifle…

  21. Benjamin said

    At Cabela’s, you can get an original Russian-made Mosin Nagant for $89.99. The Belgian surplus ammo is cheap, 20 cents per round. Of course there are the disadvantages and it’s a bit scary pulling back the bolt when you’re aiming. Put your face forward too much and you get a bolt stuck right in your eye. But it’s made to last. It’s an amazing rifle perfect for hunting target practice. Dead accuracy but it kicks harder than most shotguns. Gotta love it

  22. InAbsentMind said

    I have a matching number 91/30 made in 1943 at Izhmash, is there any way i can find out more about this rifle, like its service history?

    • joptesniper said

      have you tried it has some info, but it might not be that detailed in terms of that specific rifle and where it was issued.

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