Need info on 91/30 Mosins...

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by Krazy Kyle, Apr 3, 2006.

  1. Krazy Kyle

    Krazy Kyle New Member

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hello everyone, a fellow gun lover here :) Currently, I'm looking to buy my first gun, a Mosin-Nagant M91/30. However, I'm not sure exactly what I want, what I should get, or how to get it. First off, what I'd like is a 91/30, like I said. I'd like it in excellent condition, good firing condition with a nice bore, the older the better, Tula-manufactured (if it makes a difference in any meaningful way), and possibly with the imperial crest, as I'd prefer not to have to see the hammer-and-sickle every time I use it, hehe :p I'm basically looking for the old, tough battle rifle I've always wanted, one I can keep, use when I want, and possibly pass down to my children when that time comes (not yet, though, as I'm only 21!). I'd like to buy a future heirloom, basically, and a tough, durable, usable one at that. As for where I'm looking to buy from, SOG is looking nice right now. I won't be able to get a hex receiver (not sure what the benefits are there, anyway; anyone care to enlighten me?) but I can still get handpicked on a round receiver. And, last but not least, for approximately $50 I can get it transferred to a gun store down here near Jacksonville, FL. I talked to a lady at SOG, and she says I should get the gun checked by a gunsmith after receiving it, and if it doesn't measure up (which she says is very unlikely based on her experience) I can send it back for a replacement free of charge.

    So, that's what I got. Anybody have any ideas? Any help is greatly appreciated!

    Thanks again!
  2. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

    Hi Kyle.....welcome to TFF. :)

    Stick around....Polishshooter should be along shortly. He's got a big collection of MNs....and what he doesn't know about them isn't worth knowing.

  3. RussianRifle

    RussianRifle New Member

    Jan 19, 2006
    Hey K.K. Welcome to the forum. I'm somewhat of a newcomer here myself. While I'm no expert on Mosin Nagants, I now have an even dozen and I do like to collect, shoot, and reload for them.

    First, I notice that you specified that you want a 91/30 possibly with an Imperial crest. The crest was the symbol of the Tzar, last of the Romanov dynasty in Russia. After the Communists took over in late 1917, rifles were no longer made with the crest. Many rifles with that crest had the crest removed or "scrubbed". The hammer and sickle was MOST common on the Izhevsk produced rifles. If you want one without that mark, go with a Tula (star with arrow) rifle. If you really want a Mosin Nagant with the Imperial crest, you'll want an M91. While M91s with the crest are not as common, they can be found on auction sites and at gun shows. American made M91s (New England Westinghouse and Remmington Arms) will mostly have the crest, and Finn captured M91s can sometimes have them as well.

    The difference between the "hex" receivers and the round receivers is that the hex receivers were generally only used to about 1936. Later dated rifles with hex receivers exist, but are not common.

    If you're looking for a good looking and probably good shooting 91/30, there are several places to choose from. AIM surplus, Classic Arms, SOG, Coles Distributing. Probably any of those can hook you up with a nice 91/30. Some are available in laminated stocks and I have to admit, these are very nice looking rifles. Any should be available for less than $100-125 before shipping and transfer fees.

    Having a newly purchased Mosin Nagant checked for headspace by a competent gunsmith is always a good decision. But these rifles headspace on the rim, rather than the shoulder of the round, and bad headspace, while it does happen, is pretty rare.

    The good news is that surplus ammo for these things is still plentiful and pretty cheap. They are a lot of fun to shoot, and are an inexpensive way to break into milsurp collecting. But beware. It is commonly agreed that Mosin Nagants are habit forming; and one often leads to two, then three. Pretty soon you're sending your application for a C&R license, and it's all over after that. I started with a Russian SKS, then a 91/30. And now, forever will C&R guns dominate my destiny.

    Sorry for the long post. But you've come to the right place because there are lots of good and knowledgable folks here to help you out.

  4. 1952Sniper

    1952Sniper New Member

    Aug 22, 2002
    Looks like RussianRifle pretty much covered it. I don't know why you're averse to owning a rifle with the sickle & hammer; I think it's a great way of signifying our defeat of the USSR in the Cold War, by owning their weapons.

    I own pretty much one (or more) of every Mosin Nagant variant out there (of the Russian flavor, anyway), and I think your choice of a 91/30 as your first rifle is a good one. But if you really want the condition to be nice, you'll likely have to accept the Izhevsk model with the sickle & hammer. Especially if you don't want to pay through the nose for it. It meets your criteria, a tough battle-proven rifle that will last a long time and be worthy of passing to your children. What would be even better is if you passed the history down with it, about what that crest means and why we now own their weapons.
  5. klw

    klw New Member

    Mar 18, 2006
    Bought mine from Century International some time back. Just under $90 for the best grade they had. Truely beautiful gun. Works well too.

    The local Big 5 sporting good store was selling the worst grade that Century had for $180.

    Nice to have a C&R license. This one purchase more than paid for it.
  6. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Sorry I'm late! Russianrifle did a good job though...

    There will be only two manufacturers of a true 91/30, Tula and Izhevsk. Tula has the Star on the breech, and the Izzys have the hammer and sickle. You MAY find some "transition" rifles, with other markings (and dates older than 1930, I have owned a few) but even those USUALLY are Tula or Izzy.

    There really is NO discernable difference in the way they shoot between the two from what I've found anyway. Tulas are rarer, simply because they made fewer ones than Izhevsk, but any Tula stamped ones that are newer than early '42 were made at Izhevsk anyway, just on Tula equipment they "evacuated" before the Germans got there. When Tula reopened after the Russians got it back, it never again made 91/30s.

    There is an "Old Wife's Tale" that Tulas were made into snipers, because they were "more accurate," but that is false, there were MANY more Izzy snipers than Tulas. The Russian had whole sniper REGIMENTS at the end of the war.

    There is no discernable difference in the way they shoot either, between the hex and the round receivers. This just means you can't stop at buying only ONE, you WILL need one of each, at LEAST... :cool: The round is easier to scope, according to most "experts," but now that I'm playing with it I'm not so sure,,,the ATI mount works on both, and woulld be easier to line up on a hex to drill the holes in the receiver hood.

    The BEST 91/30 shooter, as well as finished, I have is a '43 Izzy...but it is also a "wartime" so there is a lot of rough machining marks, and places they "cut corners" to get it out quickly, but definitely NOT "last ditch," it is actually the BEST shooter of all I have had!

    (So now you need at least THREE...a Tula Hex, an Izzy pre-42, and an Izzy 43 or be able to compare all the differences! :D )

    Usually any of the jobbers will charge you an extra $10 for a Tula, and another $10 for a Hex. If you shop around, you MAY find a hex or a Tula at regular price, but rarely both. In the OLD days when they were "dime a dozen" :cool: ( OK, would you believe 3/$99 with no rods or accessories, 5 years ago?) they were ALL the same price, and you might have gotten lucky, or else paid the $10 for "hand select" on one and could even get a specific year...
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2006
  7. Last edited: Apr 12, 2006
  8. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    sks, you may have to go through a bunch of M38s to get a really good shooter, I've owned 6 of them so far and sold 5 until I found a keeper, a 1942 at a GUNSHOP no less for $99. MOST I've seen have really "dark" bores that are counterbored...but then I only try to buy ones with "real" M38 stocks, so I limit myself. In fact all but one had M38 stocks.

    That one was a really nice 1943 one in a transition M44 stock (scallops, but no bayo groove), but it just wouldn't group worth a darn.

    The GOOD news is if you have a CRFFL, you can get them now for like $89, (I bought most of mine for $69...) shoot it, if it doesn't group good enough, put it on your shoulder with a sign saying "$100" at the next gun show and you'll sell it before you make it in the door, and go buy another until you get it right...

    I don't understand why an M44 in jut about ANY shape seems to outshoot any M38, maybe because M38s saw more action so were shot and abused more?????

    EVERY M38 probably saw tough action all through WWII, the Russians used a LOT of cavalry, as well as in Siberia against the Japs in '39-'40, and the Finns in '40-'41, but all Russian M44s only saw action from '44 to '45, and many were issued to artillery and support troops that didn't see much action? Plus most Russian infantry were using Ppshs towards the end?

    I don't know, just a guess.

    But I actually like the M38 a little better than the M44 too...even the rearsenaled ones in M44 stocks...
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