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Thinking about buying an old Mosin Nagant

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Aedalas

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Post Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:07 am

Thinking about buying an old Mosin Nagant

A friend of mine has this and didn't really know anything about it so I did some research on it for her. 1942 Finnish made 91/30 with a Tikka barrel. It has the Soviet imperial mark on the receiver though so I need to take another look at that. The stock has the makers mark of a sub-contractor named "Oy Ekwall Ab." No clue about that one yet. I'm going back next weekend to put the bolt in and get some pictures with a real camera.

Any thoughts on these? I'm not really a "collector" but if the price is right I think it may be worth getting just to have and shoot on occasion.

http://imgur.com/a/8slLj
"What if you people made giant boulders illegal because of all the innocent people who get killed by giant boulders?"
"People dont kill people with giant boulders"
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MBI

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Post Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:51 am

Re: Thinking about buying an old Mosin Nagant

It's generally considered to be a solid old rifle.
There are a few rare, collectible variants out there, but most of them you'll run across are fairly standard with no premium placed on the value.

It filled the same role for the Russian infantry (and a handful of other countries) that the M1903 Springfield did in the USA, the M98 Mauser for Germany or the Enfield 303 did for Canada, Australia and the UK.
If it's still in it's original chambering it fires the 7.62x54R, which ballistically is comparable to the 30-06.

It's a bit longer and more unwieldy and the action isn't quite as smooth and fast as it's aforementioned counterparts, but they're still not a bad piece of hardware, assuming you get one in good working order.
Accuracy is not usually considered as high as the others either, but don't tell Vasily Zaitsev.
In reality, between all these rifles I mentioned you'll see a much bigger difference in speed and accuracy based on who is shooting it, than which rifle they're shooting.

In the early and mid 90s, there was a massive importation of foreign military surplus SKS rifles, and they could be had all over the place for $99.
In the late 90s and early 2000s, the M96 Swedish Mauser in 6.5x55mm was the new kid on the block. It's numbers weren't as high as the SKS, and ammo was never as plentiful or cheap, but the prices on the rifles were low enough to get some decent quantities of them onto the US market.
Most of the big stockpiles of those two have now been exhausted, so they fetch slightly higher prices now.

These days the Nugget (short for Moist Nugget, a nickname of the Mosin Nagant) is the big item the importers are banking on.
Early in the boom, you could get them as low as $49, although for several years the prices remained fairly stable between $79 and $129.
Those prices assumed they were in functional condition and had at least a halfyway decent bore (many will have some degree of pitting) and proper headspace. If not, the prices were usually lower.
Unlike the SKS or M96, most of these surplus Russian rifles were heavily used, so the wide price bracket was a reflection of the varying grades that were available for sale.
I haven't checked lately, but it's been imported for enough years now that it wouldn't surprise me if the stockpiles of those are drying up too, which should mean an increase in prices.

There are several forums and collector's sites dedicated to these specific rifles.
Some can help you identify if your rifle is in it's original configuration, the arsenal and year of it's manufacture, and it's value.
I'd suggest doing a search on those sites for more information.
Here are a few to get you started:

http://7.62x54r.net/MosinID/MosinID.htm
http://7.62x54r.net/Forums/index.php?board=1.0
http://www.mosinnagant.net/



***The aforementioned advice was given by an opinionated, half-senile armchair commando and should not be trusted implicitly for it's accuracy.
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gnarus8429

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Post Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:29 pm

Re: Thinking about buying an old Mosin Nagant

Have only heard that they are a good bang for the buck. For prices like MBI was using I would buy one in a heart beat. There is a ton of info out there on gun forums about these. When I buy guns I browse all of the auction sites as well as the gun forums. It appears from just some casual searching that you should be able to get a decent one for $150-$200. That is not bad for a bolt action rifle.
I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.
-Albert Einstein
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Aedalas

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Post Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:26 pm

Re: Thinking about buying an old Mosin Nagant

Most run around $100 from what I've been able to find, I've been talking to a few other people about this one and depending on the condition should be worth $200-$300 (maxes at $400 but this one isn't in good enough condition for that). Apparently the Finnish M91's are somewhat sought after and the Tikka barrel is one of the better ones. I personally have no idea, just going off what they said as they're much more informed than me. I wasn't thinking about buying it when I took those pictures for her so I wasn't paying a whole lot of attention. I'll be heading back there next weekend to reassemble it and get some real pics on an actual camera. If it looks good to me I'll probably throw out an offer and see if she goes for it.

This one kind of intiruges me though, it's clearly Finnish but has the Soviet Imperial mark on the receiver. That would be normal usually but I didn't see the "capture" stamp indicating it was reclaimed. Seems I still have some reseach to do.
"What if you people made giant boulders illegal because of all the innocent people who get killed by giant boulders?"
"People dont kill people with giant boulders"
"They will if you take away their assault rifles"
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easy-e

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Post Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:41 pm

Re: Thinking about buying an old Mosin Nagant

Aedalas wrote:This one kind of intiruges me though, it's clearly Finnish but has the Soviet Imperial mark on the receiver. That would be normal usually but I didn't see the "capture" stamp indicating it was reclaimed. Seems I still have some reseach to do.

My dad was going to buy one of these for me as my first rifle but my mom didn't want any more guns in the house. The local sporting good stores had them on sale every other week for $89. The one I saw had a perfect barrel and seemed in really good shape. Anyways, I heard that a lot of these were damaged and the good parts were combined to make functioning rifles. So it is likely that your rifle could be a combination of parts from rifles that were made in different countries.
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Aedalas

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Post Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:28 pm

Re: Thinking about buying an old Mosin Nagant

Yeah, you're right. It's still considered Finnish though, check this out: http://7.62x54r.net/MosinID/MosinTheOp.htm#Finnish

What I thought was weird though is it should have the "capture" mark considering it's obviously Soviet. Or maybe I'm understanding it wrong.
Last edited by Aedalas on Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"What if you people made giant boulders illegal because of all the innocent people who get killed by giant boulders?"
"People dont kill people with giant boulders"
"They will if you take away their assault rifles"
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Ragnar

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Post Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:02 pm

Re: Thinking about buying an old Mosin Nagant

There is nothing about the history/reliability of this firearm to add.

Practically though, there are a few pieces of into I have to share:
- Make sure the barrel is in good shape before you purchase it. Some of these were not packed away that well & the barrels have little/no life left in them.
- Know that finding non-corrosive ammo is going to be difficult. Possible, but difficult.
- There is a safety on the rifle. Depending on how it was stored it may or may not work so I'd be careful when trusting it.
- Bad news: Without serious $$, you're stuck with the open sights. Good news: They're good open sights.
- Fire it enough & your shoulder will hate you.

Great firearm & extraordinary value for the $$ which is why I picked one up. I'm certain you know more about firearms than I do, I just wish someone had relayed those particulars before I picked mine up.
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Aedalas

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Post Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:11 pm

Re: Thinking about buying an old Mosin Nagant

All good info Ragnar, I didn't know about the safety if that makes you feel any better. :)

No real point in finding new ammo when the surplus is so cheap. It IS corrosive but as I always clean my guns every time I fire them it's not really an issue for me. Anybody else thinking about buying one of these (and they should be) should be aware of that though, clean your guns people. I've shot a Nugget a few times before, it's pretty close to a 30-06 in recoil if I recall. Which is good news because it means my wife will want nothing to do with it.

I don't really know about knowing more than you, I own some contemporary handguns but that's about it. I grew up shooting my grandfathers rifles and shotguns but never owned one myself.
"What if you people made giant boulders illegal because of all the innocent people who get killed by giant boulders?"
"People dont kill people with giant boulders"
"They will if you take away their assault rifles"
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Ragnar

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Post Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:23 pm

Re: Thinking about buying an old Mosin Nagant

Aedalas, firearms, medical best practices, religion and politics.... all topics I try to tread gingerly around. I enjoy shooting & reloading, but always assume the people around me know more than I do.
Hope you get to add a really great rifle to your collection.
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verz

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Post Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:25 pm

Re: Thinking about buying an old Mosin Nagant

I have played with them a couple of times, to me they always felt long, cumbersome and clumsy but that is just me. for the price you can't really complain.
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MBI

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Post Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:28 am

Re: Thinking about buying an old Mosin Nagant

I believe easy-e is correct. From what I heard, after the cessation of hostilities in the Post-WWII days, the Russian government started rounding up all the rifles they'd shoved into citizen's hands with the order to defend the Motherland. They were carted back to various arsenals, where they theoretically were given a basic series of checks to be sure they were functional and safe to use. At this point, rifles in bad shape were torn down and cannibalized, with spare parts being used to repair other rifles and get them into working order. Then they were crated up, and stowed in warehouses where they lingered for decades. Consider yourself lucky if you get your hands on one that has all matching serial numbers on the major components. A large percentage of the ones I've seen had been cobbled together with parts from several rifles and had mismatching numbers.

A friend of mine ran a gun shop. A few years back when he first started getting these in he gave me a call to come take a look at them. He'd negotiated a deal with a wholesaler, he bought ten cases at around $39 per rifle. He'd go through them, cherry pick the best ones with matching serial numbers, a decent finish and bore, marked them at $119, then marked the rest at something like $89 or so.

It was interesting how they were packaged. Original wooden crates from when they were refurbished and crated up, probably 50 or more years ago. Ten rifles in each, perhaps a dozen, I forget which. There were two boards lying on edge in the bottom of the crate, with notches cut in them, shaped to precisely fit the rifles. Then 5 or 6 rifles were laid perpendicular to those two boards, so they fit into the notches. Then another pair of boards with notches, fit on the first pair of boards. Once installed they locked the row of rifles in place, suspended a couple inches away from the edges of the crate and from each other. Then another layer of rifles went on top of that, secured the same way. It was neat to see how efficiently they used the space, and how well protected the rifles were in transit.

He offered me a case for $500. I had NO idea what I would do with 10 Pre-WWII surplus Russian rifles, but getting that many for less than the price of a single Remington 700 was intriguing. I declined, but some days I still kind of kick myself for not taking him up on the offer.
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Aedalas

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Post Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:22 pm

Re: Thinking about buying an old Mosin Nagant

You're both right, they're almost all mutts. I wouldn't even bother looking for matching numbers on this one, I already know it's mismatched. The Soviet Imperial mark and Finnish Tikka mark are giveaways. I'm actually surprised the stock and barrel "match" as much as possible, the crossed cannons mark is the mark of a company called Oy Ekwall Ab as far as I can tell and were in production around the same time as Tikkakoski. Basically the receiver is the oddball, but pretty much all of them at that time were Russian so it's very common. I'll need to check again but I suspect I missed a mark on the barrel, there should be a boxed SA (Suomen Armeija, the Finnish army) somewhere as those are the most common. If it's not there I'll be curious what is, or if there is a lack of "who used it" marking, so to speak. As I understand it all rifles arond this time were marked by whatever organization was using them, be it the army, Civil Guard, or the really rare Defense Department. I'm not really sure what a lack of marking would imply as the Fins REALLY love to mark things.
"What if you people made giant boulders illegal because of all the innocent people who get killed by giant boulders?"
"People dont kill people with giant boulders"
"They will if you take away their assault rifles"
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CPT1911

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Post Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:38 pm

Re: Thinking about buying an old Mosin Nagant

Fun guns to own and shoot. I've had the M91(rifle), M38 (carbine without integral bayonet), and M44 (carbine with integral bayonet). I've never had one of the Finnish ones, but I agree that they are more sought after.

The M38 was the only one that had accuracy issues, the M91 and M44 were very accurate for a $100 rifle (2-4 MOA with surplus Czech ammo. Worse with other stuff.).

During cleaning, I always pushed a few patches saturated with Windex down the bore--the ammonia neurtralized the salts from the corrosive ammo. Never had any pitting--bores are still bright and shiny.

The M44 was my favorite of the family. The action is a little clunky, but very serviceable.

FYI, you can safe the rifle by either A) pulling and turning the cocked striker in the back of the bolt, or B) Grasping the striker and pulling the trigger, carefully lowering the striker on the loaded round (similar to decocking a 1911 or CZ75). To fire, cock the striker and go. I doubt either of these conditions would be considered "drop safe" by modern standards, haha.

Good guns, lots of recoil and impressive penetration on mild steel, especially with the steel core stuff. S&B makes some nice brass cased, soft point non-corrosive ammo if you want to hunt with it.
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Alera

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Post Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:29 pm

Re: Thinking about buying an old Mosin Nagant

My friend bought one for around $100.00 from an older gentleman, and he swears up and down on it. Accurate, generally cheap, nice looking and they have a cool history.
'Go Analog Baby, You're So Post-Modern'
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jharveee

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Post Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:33 pm

Re: Thinking about buying an old Mosin Nagant

musty nugget.JPG


I have had a 91/30 for awhile now, never have shot it.
Its my SHTF gun.
Been thinking about getting a monte carlo stock from ATI to dress it up abit. Maybe a scope and bi-pod.
Oh and a bent bolt of course.
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