Rooski Rifle Project

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by Pistolenschutze, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. It's here! My Mosin Nagant M44 from AIM made it in the door today! I must say, I think I got more than I paid for. The bluing on this rifle is at least 90%, the stock (although I don't plan to use it; I have an ATI replacement stock for it) is in excellent condition with very few dings and a good finish, and the whole shebang only cost me $70.00 plus shipping. Other than the new stock, I only plan to add a scout scope set-up with a removable S&K mount, sort of a Polishshooter "chop job" without the mount he used (and has been cussing at ever since). :D The trigger on the rifle is surprisingly crisp with very little creep, thus I don't think a new trigger would be worth the expense. I will post pictures as the project progresses.

    Hey Polish, question for ya: Since this is an M44, it comes with an attached side-mounted pig sticker. And since I do not have any current plans to stick pigs, and the local police kinda frown on using it to goose liberals :rolleyes:, is it possible to remove the bayonet and the barrel band it attaches to without totally screwing up the rifle? Actually, I don't really mind that it is there, but I suspect it will not fit properly over the ATI synthetic stock I bought for for the rifle. Oh, and by the way, Polish, the action on that rifle is really pretty neat, straight bolt and all. It's built like a tank (a Tiger, perhaps? ;) )! Of course, it doesn't have the quality of engineering and fine workmanship of a German weapon like the Mauser, you understand, but I must admit it would certainly do the job as a combat arm. I mean, after all, it worked well against the Poles in 1939. :eek: :p
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2006
  2. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    First of all, it WILL fit into the ATI stock with the bayonet attached. Dunhams sells pretty much stock M44s in an ATI stock, I've looked at plenty, and the bayonet folds neatly right above the stock line, so they must have planned for it,

    Yes, you can remove the bayonet and housing, front sight, the whole shebang. I've done it now twice. But the only way to remove EVERYTHING also removes your front sight, and I have never remounted a housing either, so I don't know how hard that would be.

    Many people simply remove the bayonet itself, leaving the front sight and housing on the rifle. However, I think they look stupid with that empty lug sticking out there on the side. But this is probably the EASIEST if you want to "restore" it to stock someday. However I must warn you, I have tried it 2 or three times on different rifles, and I CANNOT get the pivot screw loose on any without buggering it! I've SEEN many with just the lug, so maybe I'm doing it wrong, but I've NOT had luck removing just the bayonet.

    I've also seen many where the bayonet AND lugs were cut off, and the lug area reground so it looks smooth and matches the contour of the housing...done WELL, that doesn't look too bad, and may be a way to keep the front sight on as a backup, I MIGHT try that on my next "project."

    BUT it's then no longer convertible to "stock."

    The way I did it: First, remove the barreled action from the stock. Then drive out the two pins from the housing, one is on TOP of the barrel near the front sight base, horizontally, the other is UNDER the bayonet through the base of the bayonet lug on the side of the barrel, vertically. You have to use a center punch or nail set to get them moving, and it takes some sharp raps, but once the pins start, you then drive them out with standard gunsmithing punches.

    Now this is where I've heard MANY guys have problems, but I've done it twice, and it worked easily on both the Russian and the Pole.

    HOLD the barreled action in your left hand, pointed STRAIGHT down. Open the bayonet, and hold it over a peice of plywood or rug remnant. Take a 20 oz ballpeen hammer, and SMACK the bayonet lug sharply, down. MAKE SURE YOUR FEET ARE SPREAD, you are now playing "Mumbly Peg" with yourself! :D

    The Polish took two raps, the Russian only one, and the whole housing, sight, and bayonet then FLEW off the end of the barrel, straight down between my feet!

    Now I probably could have put it in a vise, and also used a piece of wood, or a "dead hammer" to do it so I did not mar or leave a mark on the lug, but it really DIDN'T damage either lug much, or at all! Plus, all the guys who I've heard had problems with it put them in a vise, and I also think it MIGHT be easy to scratch or mar the action in the vise when you hit it so hard. Plus using a block to absorb the blow MAY have worked, but I would have needed three hands! And I don't own a dead hammer...but Both bayonets still work fine, one lug has a LITTLE mark from the hammer on it, the other you couldn't tell!

    To remount, it MIGHT be a bear to get the pin holes lined up perfectly with the grooves in the barrel though, but if you did, two pins back in and it's back to stock! I'm not planning to put them back, however, on mine.


    The BAD thing is the end of the barrel is stepped down where it's under the bayonet/front sight housing, and now there are the two grooves where the pins ride that are now visible. Plus, they must blue it with the housing on, the "stepped" area usually is "in the white," so you might have to cold blue it. I'm thinking of gettong a peice of thin walled tubing or something to cover the stepped down section to the muzzle, but I may not.


    But before you do ANYTHING, make sure you shoot it with the bayonet on. And make sure you fire it with it folded, and then with the bayonet extended. Don't ask me why but it DOES shoot to a different point of aim with the bayonet folded and with the stock sights, and should be right on with it extended! I was always told that, and that the Russians ALWAYS sighted it to hit with the bayonet extended, but didn't believe it until I tried it!

    What year is it?

    I dunno, PS, but that I might not buy ANOTHER M44 if I were you, decide which one you want to keep stock, (probably the best looking one,) and use the OTHER for your project, (maybe the best SHOOTING one?)_and not worry about converting it back...that way you have BOTH bases covered...one to show and one to go!
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2006
  3. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    And, yeah, PS, but you must remember that the Poles in '39 were using Mausers...so maybe that would explain part of it... :D

    Funny too, they were using the BEST Mausers money can buy, Radoms, and STILL got their clocks cleaned by peasants armed with Mosin Nagants! (With a little help from the first Blitzkrieg coming from the OTHER direction of course...)
  4. Clocks cleaned? Surely you jest. Look at the casualty statistics, Soviets v. Germans. Stalin had LOTS more cannon fodder to sacrifice and he spent them like water. Now there you go, dissing Mausers again Polish. That'll cost you ten hail Marys and at least twenty our Fathers, not to mention at least a 1000 years in Purgatory. :D
  5. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    I'm really serious about putting a board between your spread feet, if you try to drive off the bayonet housing with the bayonet extended....when I did the Pole, I whacked it once, nothing happened, so I whacked it again, harder, and it FLEW off and ended up STICKING in the floor for a second before toppling over...It WOULD have been interesting, even if painful, just to have seen the look on the EMTs or the ER doctor reading the report if it impaled me..."Subject while working on an old Polish rifle apparently bayoneted himself in the foot" :D :D :D
  6. Not to worry, Polish. Thanks to your helpful comment earlier about the ATI stock working OK with the pig sticker in place, I'm gonna leave it on. Actually, I rather like the bayonet, it looks cool and will likely elicit some comment at the range. I think I'll just tell 'em that with the bayonet on, and if I just knock down a deer, I can save ammo by using the bayonet to finish him off instead of another bullet. :D

    I've been working all day on the "Bubbaized" Mauser and so far, it's coming out great. I got the scope mount on finally (long story behind that issue; I'll save it for later). Despite the bit of trouble I had getting it on, it really seems like a VERY strong and steady mount. I put on the new Huber trigger (which took all of five minutes) and man is it sweet! It lets off, after I adjusted it, at about 25 ounces with absolutely NO creep or overtravel. For range work, it should be fabuluous. I still have to mount the studs for the sling, put the rifle back together, and bore sight the scope before I can take it out to the range for a trial run. I can hardly wait! :D

    By the way, always remember, Polish: Mausers rule, Mosins drool. :p ;)
  7. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    Yeah, PS, I always cut a stick when I drop a deer, and poke him in the eye when it's down to see if it's dead (with a round ready just in case!) but I said if I ever get to use an M44 for deer, I would use the bayonet instead!

    You still never told me what year your M44 was! Is it wartime or post-war? Inquiring minds want to KNOW!!! :)
  8. Polish, the reason I haven't said is that I simply don't know. I bought it from AIM from that latest batch they are selling. How does one tell when it was made? If I had to guess, I would say immediately post-war, but that is only a guess. I do know the rifle was arsenally refinished, apparently sometime in the late '40s or early '50s.

    You know, this rifle is in such excellent shape, including the stock, that I am very sorely tempted to leave it military instead of putting on the ATI stock I bought for it. I may simply refinish the stock and mount a scout scope on it with that S&K set-up I bought. I may then buy another M44, or possibly an M38, and mount it on the ATI. What do you think? And that brings me to another question: Which is the better rifle, Polish, the M38 or the M44, and what is the difference? I do know that the M38 is essentially the same but does not have the permanently-mounted pig sticker. What other differences are there?
  9. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    I prefer the 38 because it is lighter and handier, and the original M38 stocks feel "thinner," BUT M44s are generally better shooters, I think because of better barrels generally. You may have to buy a few, try them, and sell them until you find a "keeper" like I did, but in the process, you will make a few bucks each time, so it's painless.

    The date is stamped prominently on the top of the reciever! If not, maybe it was worn off before or during the rearsenal, so if you take it apart, the date on all Russian Mosins is also stamped right under the tang, behind the tang screw hole. (and they didn't use all those stupid top secret CODES like the Germans did...as if the total war outcome hinged on which factory made the most second rate rifles and pistols... :p The RUSSIANS stamped their dates and factory symbols, and those symbols were Arsenals named for the CITIES they were at, right there for God and Country to SEE!)

    I could tell you all the mundane differences between wartime and posts, but I don't have the time now, maybe later....
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2006
  10. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    Well, I have the time now.. :)

    Wartime Russian M44s (43-44-early 45) will have "high wall" receivers, that is, there is no "scallop" cut out of the side opposite the bolt, the steel wall will go almost all the way up to the top of the bolt channel/mag well. Post-war (late 45-1948) will have the scallop in the side of the receiver, just like the pre-war M-38s and 91/30s. During the war, they dispensed with the extra machining on all Mosins, so you will find "high-wall" M-38s and 91/30s dated late 42 through early 45 as well. They quit making M44s in Russia in 1948, and tore down all the equipment and sent it to Poland (Radom Arsenal,) Hungary, and Romania. NO M44s were made in 1949, then Polish, Hungarian, and Romanians were turned out starting in 1950...Romania was the last one to quit making/using them, they were ISSUE to many units until the 1990s...But outside of brushfire/guerrilla/"revolutionary" wars, the ONLY post-war "real" war use of the M44 was by Hungary...AGAINST the Russians in 1953! Hunkies are good shooters too, although I have never seen one yet not worn almost to the bare metal, they must not have ever rearsenaled them...all other manufactureres are clones of the post-war Russkies, EXCEPT the Polish, who for some reason used an even deeper scallop in the reciever, almost to the stock line...in fact, the Polish M44 reciever is called the "Type 4" Mosin Nagant reciever by Lapin...it's own type. (1= Hex pre-36, 2= round, scalloped, 3= wartime high wall, 4= Polish M44))

    Incidentally, you CAN find 1943 dated M44s, which is kind of neat, SOG advertises them now for like $200, but I knew guys who got them for regular price years ago, like $50...they made like 150K to 200K of them in 1943 for tests before they were adopted as the M44, in of course, January 1944.

    In addition on Post-war receivers, it will be polished smooth, but on wartime ones you will see a lot of machining marks, where they saved that time too.

    The easiest way to tell is the bayonet. Wartime bayonets only have one set of locking "ears" on the bayonet hinge/lug, and you must actually push the "handle" forward to get it to clear and latch onto the muzzle of the rifle. Post-war, and all clones have two sets of ears, front and back, and the bayonet muzzle ring is beveled, so if you swing it forward quickly, you can just let go and it will latch positively into place over the muzzle...it's fun to do to impress your friends (or enemies?, :D ) but will wear the finish off the muzzle quickly...

    Also, wartime have a thinner base to the front sight, similar to the 91/30 and M38s, but post war and clones have a wide base in the front sight. They are not interchangeable. (Actually they ARE, I have seen ones put together wrong, mostly thin base sights on the wide base, but they look stupid :) )

    Before you shoot yours, take it all apart, and make sure all screws (total of FIVE, counting the two action screws, not counting the two teeny ones in the magazine which never seem to come loose!) are tight, they do loosen, and can affect function. The fifth is the mag floorplate retention spring/clip screw...many guys complain of their floorplates coming off when they shoot them for the first time dumping rounds out the bottom, but USUALLY it's a loose screw OR a tired retention spring. For the tired spring, take a pair of needlenose pliers and bend it a little (not too much or then it's TOO hard to release!) and it will work fine!

    And when you have it apart, notice too the ingenious ejector/interrupter, worked by the same spring, held by one tiny screw! That is what allows you to load and use the superior rimmed cartridge without any regard for rim "overlap," which is the bane of rimmed rifle designs, and forced Herr Mauser to develop the rimless cartridge, with all it's inherent faults! :) )

    What's neat is the EARLY M91 interupter/ejector/spring is ONE piece (I have one in my parts bin) but all later ones from the 91/30 on are two peice, with the spring separate, fitting over a tit on the ejector. Evidentally it used to break there, so a simple redesign, and presto! Take apart ANY other military rifle of the same period and compare it to the Mosin, and the Russian simplicity and ingenuity (thus the reliability!) will grow on you!
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2006
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