Buy A Gun Day purchase — better late than never

As I alluded to Saturday, I picked up a new to me firearm.

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All pictures click to enlarge

Yep, I’m now the proud owner of a Mosin Nagant 91/30 .

I picked it up for a local gun store – Iron Mine Guns who will be the subject of another blog post later for a princely sum of $109. Normally $119 but he took pity on my wallet and cut me a break.

I have much to learn but I do know it was made in the Tula plant in 1943.

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There are many marks that I have no idea what they mean, yet.

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Picked up 3 boxes of ammunition for it but it will be a while before I shoot it. Getting the surface layers of cosmoline off took about an hour. I still have to completely disassemble it and scrub it down.

It was a day late but I think it Definitely Qualifies for Buy A Gun Day; don’t you?

Now if I can just find someone knowledgeable about Mosins to help me out.

Please join the discussion.


21 Responses to this post.

  1. Posted by maddmedic on 18.04.11 at 04:00

    Own a Model 91/30 err excuse me! My eldest does!!
    And an M44 carbine.
    Both are a hoot to shoot. Especially at dusk..the flame thrower effect is impressive!!

    Try to avoid corrosive surplus ammo(although you can buy lots! Cheap!) although having Windex handy and spraying guns before heading home and cleaning them does wonders.

    Usually use Bear ammo, Brown or Silver.

    And have thought a number of times about picking up another as Fleet Farm often has them for 89 bucks…

    My BAG funds went to pay my government extortion, both State and Federal mobs demanded more for their schemes and rackets…

  2. Posted by Bob S. on 18.04.11 at 04:00


    Great to hear you own — or owned– a 91/30. I’m sure you’ll be getting an email or two from me asking for advice.

    Appreciate the tip on the Bear ammo. Saw some advertised and wasn’t sure about it. I picked a couple of boxes of Tula; because I don’t like owning a firearm that I don’t have ammunition for. I’m sure I’ll pick up a couple cans of surplus ammo, even if it is corrosive in order to cut down on expense. I’d heard about using the window cleaner before. Glad to know it actually works.

  3. Posted by Shepherd K. on 18.04.11 at 04:00

    I have shot my cousin’s Noisy Maggot once. It’s cheap and utterly bullet proof (no pun intended). As for the the blast radius of the muzzle flash, let’s just say it is impressive. It rivals my .45-70 for noise. Don’t shoot to close to others without warning them. The bolt handle and safety are notorious for being difficult. Beyond that, I found it to be acceptably accurate at 75 yards offhand using the battle sights. It’s definitely minute of whitetail capable and will give any game in North America a serious headache. I’m sure there is a way to put a scope on it, but I’m not expert enough to tell you how.

  4. Posted by Weer'd Beard on 18.04.11 at 04:00

    Wow that’s a beaut, and for gun-shop buy that’s an awesome price too. The hex-receiver M91/30 are probably the best-shooting of the Mosin Nagant world, with maybe the exception of the Finnish Guns which I know almost nothing about, and for whatever reason I don’t seem to care about them.

    and I dunno if maddmedic has a negative experience that I haven’t had, but I shoot almost exclusively surplus corrosive ammo though my stable of Mosins. Never had any ill effects, I just clean them THAT DAY with M-pro7 (I wouldn’t trust Hoppes as its mostly petroleum based solvents, M-pro is water-based….you can also mop it down with Windex or even soapy water….then dry and clean. M-pro is easier….that stuff will also mop up cosmoline pretty good. Tho for big jobs I use mineral spirits)

    And I don’t even go crazy with the cleaning time, I’ve shot my Mosins in the morning, and cleaned them after sundown that evening….and that was in the summer humidity.

    Oh and for bolt-actions, I don’t go crazy with the cosmoline. So long as the trigger pull feels fine (cosmoline could be making the pull really heavy and gritty) overall I just strip down the bolt (its like 3 peices, easy as pie) and clean the barrel, chamber, and raceway, as well as dropping the floor-plate of the magazine. Then I burn through about 40 rounds of surplus ammo, and then go straight home and clean it. The heat from the ammo will cook a LOT of grease out of the gun….and frankly they will all probably weep forever after a warm supper…..even my SKS and AK that I totally detail stripped and cleaned before shooting will weep grease when I get them warm.

    Did it come with the bayonet?

    This book is WELL worth the money if you want to track down the markings.

    This is cheaper and almost as good

    Also buy the ammo by the surplus spam-can. Super cheap and unless you really like pounding on your shoulder the 440 rounds will last you a while, and it’s filthy cheap.

  5. Posted by Bob S. on 18.04.11 at 04:00


    Thanks for the advice, I probably will be emailing or chatting with you in detail as I move on.
    I probably could have gotten one cheaper elsewhere but I’m trying to help out local independent gun stores.

    Greg and Isabel at Iron Mine Guns are fantastic folks, super friendly and very knowledgeable.

    I was wondering if I needed to detail strip it and remove the cosmosoline. It really wasn’t too bad after I got the surface coverage off but it is every where on the gun.

    Do you suggest for the first time a full take down ?

    It did come with the bayonet, 2 -double magazine pouches, the oil can and the tool kit. I should post pictures of those also.

    Thanks for the references. Any more you can think of would be welcome. I’ve already signed up at but thanks for letting me know it is a trusted source.

  6. Posted by Weer'd Beard on 18.04.11 at 04:00

    “I probably could have gotten one cheaper elsewhere but I’m trying to help out local independent gun stores.”

    I doubt you could have. On a sale with my FFL Its hard to find a Hex 91/30 for under $80, factor in shipping, and the fact that I can’t handle the guns before buying them, nope, you did very well.

    As for a full tear-down its up to you. Me, I’d shoot the damn thing, and only worry about cleaning the bolt, raceway, barrel, chamber, and magazine. Should take you 20 mins tops. You can always tear it down when you’re bored. Also if you shoot the gun a bunch the cosmoline won’t be as thick as a lot will melt off.

    ’ is about as good as they get outside of dusty tomes. They have just about every variant out there, and lots of the markings.

  7. Posted by maddmedic on 18.04.11 at 04:00

    @Weerd – Nope. No bad experiences. Just an old guy at the range whom told me about the windex for cleaning after using surplus ammo. The salts they use in the primers I beleive are the problem and the Windex negates their bad effects.
    And of course I looked it up on the innerweb the source of all information and yep, WIndex was the ticket!!
    I enjoy the heck out them.
    As for a scope you can either have the blot modified…hacksaw, welder you know that easy stuff…
    But I did recently see one with a long relief scope mounted in front of the bolt that required minimal modifications… when I find the link again…
    Dammit I may have to go to Fleet Farm and buy another one…..just because!!

  8. Posted by Patrick on 18.04.11 at 04:00

    I use Windex at the range with a bore snake… clean at my leisure after that… Once the salts are neutralized, you are ok.

    I second the 7.62 website. I came here to post it but Weer’d beat me to it. I’ve got a few different things about my Nagant on my blog [which you read already, right Bob? 🙂 ] I just put a bipod on mine and it shoots quite well.

    A buddy of mine is seeing Garand-like results from his 4th Nagant he picked up. It is a project gun that he converted into a Scout-type sniper rifle. It is a beaut and shoots 3/4″ groupings at 50 yards.

  9. Posted by Linoge on 18.04.11 at 04:00

    Сделано победить!

    Just got my hex-receivered one about a month ago, and while it is about a decade older, it looks much the same… Weer’d already linked you to a good site to track down most of the markings, and it answered all the questions I had about mine. The big stuff is just making sure the serial numbers match up, and after that, everything else is gravy.

    I went ahead and fully disassembled it and washed the metal parts in mineral spirits, scrubbed the bejesus out of the receiver/barrel (since putting that in a pan was not an option), and rigged up a crazy baking system with my wife’s heating pad, some plastic bags, and a bungee cord to get the cosmoline out of the wood. Worked fairly well, but it is up to you as to whether or not it is necessary.

    ‘Course, I have some dastardly plans for mine, but that is another matter entirely.

  10. Posted by Shooting Corrosive Ammo | Weer'd World on 18.04.11 at 04:00

    […] Bob joined the ranks of Mosin Nagant collectors, go have a peek at his lovely Tula M91/30 Hex (also if there are any surplus guns you’re interested in, BUY ONE, its not like they’re […]

  11. Posted by Weer'd Beard on 18.04.11 at 04:00

    I dunno about you Linoge, but I’m rather content with the cosmoline living in the wood.

    Frankly Cosmoline is the magical carbonite substance that allows for these old relics to be pulled out of rickety storage crates stored in shitty wherehouses in god-forsaken “Progressive” nations, and still look brand fucking new. Sure the stuff is miserable to handle if you have a gun caked with the stuff, but once you get it off the moving parts and the parts that show or you touch, its still protecting, so leave it be!

    At least that’s my logical justification as to why I’m totally lazy!

  12. Posted by Jim S on 18.04.11 at 04:00

    I agree with Weer’d Beard. I took the bolt apart (there are about five parts total) and steam cleaned it. The cosmoline just melted off. It makes a world of difference when manipulating the bolt. Also, if the trigger pull isn’t your thing, all you need to do is stone down the leaf spring a wee bit.

    As for the cosmoline, I did do a full take down, removed all the finish, and just went over it with a heat gun to draw most of the cosmoline. Then a bit of tung oil made the gun prettier than when Olga first varnished it over 80 years ago.

  13. Posted by Bob S. on 18.04.11 at 04:00


    Thanks for the great advice and help. There are many of you I’ll be emailing or bugging about this gun for a while.

    And yes Patrick, I read your site. I may not comment much but that is because you’ve usually done such a great job there isn’t much left for me to say.

  14. Posted by Patrick on 18.04.11 at 04:00

    Careful, I have a big enough head. Thanks for the kind words.

    And maybe some day, I can make it to Texas and we can also do the archery thing!

  15. Posted by maddmedic on 18.04.11 at 04:00

    I also have a bow which I was going to start using to exrend my hunting season and have yet to find time or money to do so!!

  16. Posted by Firehand on 18.04.11 at 04:00

    Of COURSE you have to detail-strip it!! What’s wrong with you, getting all cruddy and greasy is part of it!

    ‘Course, maybe that’s just me…

    On the corrosive-primed ammo, it is the salts produced that are the problem, you need something that’ll dissolve them and let you flush them out. I’ve used ammonia-based bore cleaners that seem to work well, but the standby is Ballistol; the stuff was actually made to be diluted with water for cleaning the stuff out. When I remember I take a cleaning rod to the range and when done with the rifle(if using corrosive ammo) I wipe the bore with a couple of wet patches, then a couple of dry, then an oily one. Usually do a regular cleaning after get home, and I’ve never had any rust problems.

    I’ve also heard of doing the same procedure with a 1 part ammonia-five parts water mix. In either case, you can clean out that two-chamber oiler that probably came with the rifle and put cleaner in one side and oil in the other to take to the range.

  17. Posted by Paul Kanesky on 18.04.11 at 04:00

    Congratulations!! The Mosin Nagant M 91-30 holds an interesting record. Check out Simo Hayha. He was a soldier in the Finnish Army during the “Winter War” when Russia invaded Finland.
    Paul in Texas

  18. Posted by Linoge on 18.04.11 at 04:00

    Oh, I can guarandamntee you that I did not get all of it out (the heating pad does not get that hot), but when I can see it literally leeching out of the wood, I try to get a little of it off so it does not start spewing all over me at the range ;).

  19. Posted by Weer'd Beard on 18.04.11 at 04:00

    “, I try to get a little of it off so it does not start spewing all over me at the range”

    See that’s my version of Firehand’s “Part of the Fun”

    I love when a Hot Commie gun weeps from being shot by a decadent American Capitalist Pig!

  20. […] isn’t my fault, nobody warned me how addictive of a habit it […]

  21. Posted by Richard on 18.04.11 at 04:00

    Want to scope your Mosin ??

    I recommend you go with this…

    No drilling or tapping and you can return your Mosin to its original condition when you are not deer hunting.

    Just make sure to get a good LER (long eye relief) scope as anything else will get in the way of the bolt and anything cheap will get pounded by the Mosin’s amazing recoil.

    Happy shooting !!