Acquired my first Nagant

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by chrome_cobra, May 30, 2004.

  1. chrome_cobra

    chrome_cobra New Member

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    Bought my first Mosin/Nagant at a local gunshow today. Its a Model 1938 Carbine, paid $113.79 including tax and TICS. Mfg in 1941, has Russian crest and serial number directly behind the rear sight. What's some good reading material concerning the Nagants? The dealer said he would ship me the sling, and all cleaning parts, hopefully this week. Are the Nagants ammo picky? Cant wait to try her out, and should I strip the oil off before firing?
  2. outdoorsman260

    outdoorsman260 New Member

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    Give the gun a good cleaning before firing. Both of mine had alot of crud in the bolt & chamber. Your gun may be covered in cosmo. I've not yet gotten a gun that was covered in cosmo, so I don't know what to do about that.

    Mine seems to like the Czech surplus. I had 40rds. of Albanian, but never really did an accuracy test with it. Some have reported stickyness (bolt hard to open) with the Czech. Both my M44 and 91/30 do stick, but not to the point of having to beat the action open and broken extractors that some describe.

    Some good reading:

    http://7.62x54r.net/
    http://www.mosinnagant.net/

    I'm sure others will be along to add to what I've said.
  3. Buford Allen

    Buford Allen New Member

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    You can also check out:

    www.surplusrifle.com

    If you use any of the surplus ammo keep in mind that a lot of it is corrosive. If you shoot corrosive ammo you need to be sure to clean and oil your rifle extremely well very soon after shooting it.
    I usually use Wolf ammo made in Russia in both of my Mosin-Nagants, this ammo is non-corrosive new production and is fairly inexpensive. Most importantly, have fun with it, I do with mine.
  4. magnum74

    magnum74 New Member

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    Mosin Nagant...

    I have myself a Mosin Nagant rifle as well. All numbers match and it was manufactured in 1939. All symbols intact. I had casmoline all over mine and I had to clean it all off. There is still residuals, especially when I fire it. The heat brings up the cas from the wood. The stock is in fair condition. A lot of dings and scratches, so I took some sand paper to it to smooth it out a bit. It also worked too clean up the metal parts as well. I had some Czech ammo for it(7.62x54R). White tips I do believe, but I popped those off. And yes the old surplus ammo for this rifle is corrossive. I learned that a day after I fired them, so clean immediately after shooting OR shoot some non-corrossive after them, like the Wolf ammo stated in the previous reply. The bolt is a little difficult to manipulate as my 95 lb. girlfriend can tell you, but if you're a healthy man you shouldn't have a problem. A good cleaning helps smooth it out as well. So to sum it all up, CLEAN WELL, buy some surplus ammo if you like, and buy some clean ammo to fire right afterwards, CLEAN WELL afterwards, and enjoy!!! Oh yeah, that steel buttplate can be punishing ;)
  5. 1952Sniper

    1952Sniper New Member

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    Definitely clean the cosmoline off before firing. surplusrifle.com has a good section on bolt disassembly, etc.

    On the subject of corrosive ammo, it's not enough simply to clean after firing. You must clean with something that will neutralize the corrosive salts deposited from the primers. When I'm done shooting a rifle for the day, I immediately flush the bore with a 50:50 ammonia/water mixture that I carry in a spray bottle. The ammonia neutralizes the salts and immediately kills the corrosiveness (corrosivity?). Then I patch it a few times until it's dry and oil the bore. This will buy me a few hours so I can go home and give it a "real" cleaning.

    If you simply throw your rifle in your car after shooting corrosive ammo, you will get flash rust in the bore. It can happen in as little time as 30 minutes. You may not necessarily be able to see it, but your bore will be developing small rust pockets. Doing this repeatedly will lead to a frosted bore or worse. So make sure you flush the bore and oil it before leaving the range!
  6. JohnK3

    JohnK3 New Member

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    Cleaning out Cosmoline

    Outdoor Life had an interesting article in a recent issue on refinishing old stocks. They suggested using a hair-dryer or heat-gun on soaked-in oil to bring it to the surface where it can be wiped off.

    You might want to try that with the Cosmoline in order to remove the soaked-in areas. Be careful to not scorch anything, but heat the wood up carefully and have a rag/paper-towel/etc handy to wipe away what comes to the surface.

    Dings and scratches have long been raised in woodworking through careful application of steam. Same technique as raising the oil out, but this time you want to get the ding wet. The warm moisture helps the wood fibers swell back to their original position, "raising" the ding.

    Of course, none of this is foolproof, but can improve the looks of your gun, if applied carefully.
  7. 1952Sniper

    1952Sniper New Member

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    Heh heh, the hairdryer thing is a bad idea. And here's why....

    When wood soaks up cosmoline, it goes to the very core of the wood. I've seen photos of old gun stocks that were stored in cosmoline and then cut into sections. The stuff goes a lot deeper than just the surface.

    The only way to get most of it out is with heat. But you have to saturate the stock for an extended period of time. I usually bake my stocks in the oven at 175 degrees until they stop leaking cosmoline. The heat liquefies the cosmoline and it wants to expand, so it finds the path of least resistance. But it takes a long time for you to get it all out. Using the oven, I bake it for 10-15 minutes at a time, then take it out and wipe it down. Then I put it back in. This can go on for hours.

    Using a hair dryer only heats up small areas, and it never saturates the wood down to the core. It's just a surface treatment.

    You will never get all the cosmoline out of the wood, that's just a fact of life. All you can do is get enough out so that it won't start weeping cosmoline on a hot sunny day at the range when your rifle heats up from shooting. A hair dryer just isn't going to cut it.

    However...... the Mosin Nagant rifles are typically finished with shellac. This acts as a pretty good sealant and doesn't let cosmoline into the wood. But of course, the finish is sometimes old and damaged, or the cosmoline gets in through unsealed wood (like in the action or at the buttplate). If your rifle has a good shellac finish, I would just clean it with mineral spirits and be done with it. Mineral spirits won't hurt shellac. Do NOT bake your stock or try the hair dryer trick if you intend on keeping that original finish. Shellac will bubble up under heat; ask me how I know. :( I ruined a good stock that way.
  8. outdoorsman260

    outdoorsman260 New Member

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    The method you stated works, but not for the reason you stated.

    Salt does not react with ammonia. Therefore, ammonia does not neutrilize salt. The water in your mixture washes out the salt, and the ammonia starts to work on the copper fouling
  9. 1952Sniper

    1952Sniper New Member

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    I'm going to disagree with you here. Corrosive primers use potassium chlorate (KClO3) as the propellant. When it burns (oxidizes), it produces oxygen (O2) and potassium chloride (KCl), which is a salt.

    The salt not only attracts moisture in the air, but it uses an electrolytic process which accelerates the oxidation of the iron in the bore, creating iron oxide (rust).

    The liquid form of ammonia has some very interesting properties. I would agree with you that the natural (gaseous) form of Ammonia (NH3) does not "neutralize" a salt like potassium chloride. However, when present in liquid form, ammonia is the "best-known and most widely studied non-aqueous ionizing solvent". When in an aqueous solution, it develops even better solvent properties because it becomes a base. The solution will contain small levels of ammonium hydroxide (NH4OH).

    I'm not a chemist, and couldn't begin to tell you what the reaction is between KCl, NH3, H20, and NH4OH. I have seen the chemical equation for it before, though, and I know that it does react.

    But in a sense, you're correct. Most of the "cleaning" properties come from simply flushing away the salts. And the liquid ammonia does react with the copper fouling, which is why you'll get blue/green patches. But the ammonia does work on the potassium chloride residue as well, in a chemical reaction.
  10. outdoorsman260

    outdoorsman260 New Member

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    Hmm... I was just going on the fact that salt is a stable substance, and ammonia is a stable substance. And that said to me that they didn't react. Also a guy on another message board when into a big description on why ammonia does nothing for the salt. It seemed to make sense to me and agree with what I remember from Chemistry I.

    Oh well, maybe this will be covered in Chem II :cool:
  11. magnum74

    magnum74 New Member

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    Cleaning the Nagant...

    Well that was a hell of a chemistry lesson. LOL. Good stuff though. Anyways, my apologies about the "cleaning" thing I typed. When I meant cleaning I meant "Clean it the right way". I was assuming the new owner of the Nagant knows about the corrossive rounds and how to deal with it after firing them. I used the water and windex thing. And it worked. No rust in my Nagant. Firing some Wolf through it helped too. It also worked on my Mauser too. I have friend who washes his Nagant and Mauser with hot soap and water and right after drying he sprays WD-40...and amazingly, NO RUST either. Also a gunstore employee told me the same thing about the hot soap and water as well. The only thing he changed is after the washing he lubes the barrel with Hoppes. Thanks guys. Good stuff!
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