Monday, December 08, 2008

I pryed it from an Ivan's cold dead fingers...

My friend mentioned that his friend was in the market for a rifle. A gun show was chosen and I was invited to go. I had three "holes" in my collection that I deemed worthy of filling. A bolt action in a useful caliber (.308 equivalent +), a .22lr for plinking, or a PF-9 for pockets.

Thanksgiving happened and I saw an exquisite M1917 Enfield with family history. I started leaning toward the bolt action. I figured that something WWII era would be ideal. American/British was out of the question due to price, so I was looking for a K-31, Mauser k98k, or Mosin-Nagant variant.

I acquired a Soviet M-44 Mosin Nagant. It was made in 1946 at the Izhevsk plant.
This is it when I got it home.

I wanted to show all of the cosmoline on it, but it did not come out in the pictures. The bottom of the barrel was positively goopy. I'll substitute two pictures of the bolt.

The action is actually quite cool, except that the safety SUCKS. To quote Arthur's Hall (Michael Z. Williams):

It does, in fact, have a safety, but it's quite hard to engage. But this is not a complaint
one would ever voice in the Red Army. Your officer would reply, "Safety? Safety? Is gun! Meant to kill! No warrior should know he has safety on gun, because he should be killing enemies of homeland! Safety make loud click to aid enemy in locating warriors! No safety!" while pounding his fist on the table.

And the Mosin can kill enemies of homeland. The muzzle blast will vaporize green growth within a few feet of the muzzle, and even if you miss, the enemy will be reduced to shouting "WHAT?" to communicate. You'll need a recoil pad or shooting jacket. Ordinarily, this might be considered unmanly, but this rifle has a short stock for using while wearing several layers of wool for a Russian winter. It is acceptable to wear padding to fire a Mosin.
The ball of flame is real and can readily be seen in youtube videos. I will writeup the comparison in recoil between 12 gauge slugs and this round/gun combo. I bet the shotgun still wins.

I took it apart. Better instructions that I could make here. The only thing I did not take out was the extractor from the bolt head, the bayonent lug, the front sight, and the rear sight assembly. I could not get the pins out of the rear sight assembly. The extractor really shouldn't be removed, the front sight is designed to stay in (it is staked), and the bayonet lug is also staked.

And cleaned all of the metal parts with mineral spirits. I could clean the nooks easily, but I had trouble with the crannies. I discovered one of the greatest cleaning tools known to man. The toothbrush. I could get all of the crannies. After the parts dried, I gave them a good dose of CLP (gun oil). The toothbrush again saved the day, as I could get the oil everywhere that I wanted it.

There was no rust except a small amount on the recoil bolt. I checked my firing pin protrusion after I reassembled the bolt. I used the "tape" method of headspacing (bolt closed on round, round + 1, round + 2, but not round + 3 pieces of scotch tape). I recommend using a gun smith to check headspace.

After the long cleaning session, here it is ready to load and fire:I'll try and post a range report when I figure out how accurate this thing is.

1 comment:

Sara said...

"NO SAFETY!!!!!!!!!!"


It's those crannies that get you every looks nice! :)