Scout test- FAILURE

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by polishshooter, Apr 1, 2006.

  1. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Well, I THOUGHT it was going to be GREAT.

    Went to the "State Range" near my house, nobody else there at first besides the State employee, except 2 young guys shooting, believe it or not, a stock M44 and a 91/30 in an ATI stock! We even traded some ammo, because they had some Polish I wanted to try.

    I started off firing 5 shots at 100 with my "control" stock M38 with the surplus Albanian. From a bench, but just resting on my shooting bag. Ended up with about a 4.5" loose group, centered about 10" high, 6" right of the bull. But by the end of the day I PROBABLY would have been happy with it.... :mad:

    Then I "half-@ssed" boresighted the Scout, and touched off 5 rounds of Surplus at 100. I didn't have a spotting scope, and couldn't see holes through my binocs, but since it felt so good, I shot 5 more before "going down."

    NOTHING on paper!

    Boresighted it AGAIN, CAREFULLY. And 5 more...NOTHING. :mad:

    So I move to 25 yds with another target. The old guy tending the range then took an interest in me and offered to "spot."

    At 25, the first shot hit about 9" high, and about 8" Right. Fired another just to be sure, and it hit less than 1/2" from the first! (I'm thinking, MOA!)

    Crank it in about 40 clicks down and left. touch two off, and it's now 4" high and right. But again, 1/2" apart.

    Crank in about 30 more left and down, touch off two more, and again 1/2" apart, RIGHT on the center line about 3" high. Cranked one 10 clicks down, and (This is where I started to get a bad feeling) Put two more INTO ONE HOLE, touching one of the OTHER two.

    THAT 4 shot group is IMPRESSIVE. I felt like stopping there, and CLAIMING it was a hundred ;) But WHY did it not move with the extra clicks?

    The old guy is telling me "That will probably be right ON at 100!" and I'm telling him, no right on at 25 should be a LITTLE high at 100, that will be way high, and he argues with me, so I decide to not argue, and move back to 100, at least I'm on paper.

    First 5 shots are into about 4", about 11 " high, but in line, at least WINDAGE is OK. But a 4" group!!!???

    This is when the guy offered a rifle rest, I DIDN'T know they had them! HE brings out of the shed a wood cradle, and some sand bags, and NOW I'm in I THINK.

    I crank in the adjustments, get it all steady, and crank off another 2 groups of 5...

    The GOOD news is the now 6" groups are "roughly" centered...

    From a BETTER rest?!?! This is when I checked the mount...and it's LOOSE. :mad:

    Dig out the allen wrenches, tighten it down, try again. THIS time, I get about a 4" group, but about 4 " high and right! Adjust it, (now more people are showing up to shoot, so less time to go down, I NEED a spotting scope!) fire two 5 shot groups, ONE is right on, about 3 1/2", the OTHER on another target is about 5" and strung vertically in a line. :mad:

    Check the mount, it's LOOSE! Crap.

    Tighten it again, decide to try the Polish stuff, ANOTHER 4" group, about 3" high, which is where I WANT it to be, but another 5 Albanian, and 6". strung out! You guessed it, LOOSE.

    So I decide to tighten it, REALLY crank it down this time, and try three rounds of the "expensive stuff," Winchester 180 gr FMJ. First, I was REALLY surprised at the RECOIL. I guess I've HEARD that bullet weight makes the MOST difference, but I NEVER figured you'd FEEL 30 grains difference! But I did! In fact, I had been shooting with my right elbow resting on the concrete bench, and that FIRST round hurt like HE!!. But the RO called "clear" so I got to check it right after I fired it.

    The GOOD news is it was the BEST group of the day. 2" exactly, center to center, MEASURED, but centered exactly 3" LOW, but slightly to the left of the center line.

    So now I'm happy again, and the NEXT time I crank in some elevation, shoot 10 rounds of surplus, at two different targetsand I end up with TWO different 8" groups!

    Tighten it down. try the Winchester next, and I get ANOTHER 3 shot 2 " group, but about 5" LEFT! What's WORSE, is I tighten the mount, and cranked in windage, but went the WRONG WAY :mad: and fire TWO more three shot groups, one is OFF PAPER, the other now 8" left, with two into 2", and one "flyer" if you want to call it that. Wasting the GOOD stuff! :mad: :mad:

    And now I go to tighten the mount...and the DAMM set screw STRIPS... :mad: :mad: :mad:

    Well, my day was over...EXCEPT for watching the poor guy next to me get BEAT UP, by his "lightweight" Savage in .300WSM! He told me he's shot TONS of rifles, owns a .300 mag, 30-06, and a .270, but this one is his "Recoil King!" And there was NO doubt, he was getting KNOCKED AROUND! :) But he let me check his last 3 shot group through his scope (GOSH that rifle was LIGHT!) and it was about 1.5", a little high and right. He said he was happy, and going to call it a DAY. :)

    Anyway, here is the critique...

    I THINK the "Scout Mount" LER scope set-up has promise. It handles well, and just might be FASTER than a conventional set-up. And you can use both eyes open, which would be GREAT for hunting. BUT...

    At least this NC Star mount DOES "shoot loose." I've heard other similar ones like the B-Square do too, so I DO NOT recommend it on a Mosin Nagant.

    I'm going to play with mine, MAYBE I can drill/tap bigger holes, and MAYBE drill one more on either side, but I'm NOT too thrilled with the idea the screws are threaded into the ALUMINUM and not steel. I think THAT is the problem. When all is said and done, I MAY have to go to a "custom" mount made of steel like that one guy did in the link I posted.

    I COULD live with 2" groups the Winchesters (which are actually Sellior and Bellot) gave me, IF I could get them CONSISTANTLY.

    Oh well, back to the drawing board. And it WAS "fun," know what they say about "a bad day at the range..." I COULD have been at work! :D

    With a sore shoulder... :) I WISH I could tell you the "stock" recoiled more than the ATI sybthetic, but with only 5 through the stock M38, and the 60 or so rounds through the synthetic, I honestly DON'T remember....but I DO know the 180 grainers HURT after 50 or so "light ball" surplus that I really didn't even FEEL. :) :) :)
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2006
  2. Most interesting Polish. Really. I don't wish to sound like a Pollyanna, but from your description you do not appear to have a RIFLE problem (which would likely mean it can't be fixed), but rather a SCOPE MOUNT and/or a SCOPE itself problem. I remember you mentioned in an earlier post that you picked up that scope at Indy for $15.00. Is it possible that the cross hairs are drifting from the recoil shock, which is why you got it so cheaply? If the scope won't hold zero, you're dead in the water before your start. Just a thought. In any event, take heart. It seems clear from your results that the rifle itself shoots true and is capable of at least 2" groups, which is not bad at all for a military rifle. Best of luck on getting that mount and scope to work properly. If all else fails, drill and tap the rifle for use with a Weaver mount! :D

  3. Oh Polishshooter, I feel for ya. I went down that road once, but not as far as you did :) WIth more patience, you will presevere. You will be a wiser man for it. Remember, Wisdom comes from experience. Experience come from a screw up! :eek: Better luck tomorrow!
  4. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    No, the $15 used 4x Bushnell is for the other project. THIS one was the brand new NC Star LER with the lighted reticle.

    No it's the mount. It attaches to the rear sight base by two rather small hex head screws that go through the pin holes on either side of the sight base and screw into the mount. Two further larger set screws go down slighly in front of, and the other about an inch behind, which both levels the sight, and by bearing down pust pressure UP on the mount pivot screws.

    The problem is the side screws are threaded into the ALUMINUM mount, and those are what consistantly loosened, and what finally stripped, the side pivot screws.

    The mount is SUPPOSED to be guaranteed, BUT I think it's just a defective design. Cast aluminum IS rather soft, and the recoil I believe just loosened it, and each time I tightened it I tightened it a LITTLE harder which probably led to the threads stripping.

    MAYBE if I would have stopped when they first got loose, and brought it home and re-loctited it, or even superglued it I might have saved it.

    BUT I may be down, but not out! Looking at it, I'm REALLY wondering if I can't take the drill press and drill out the holes on the mount a little bigger, and either retap the holes, OR maybe drill all the way THROUGH the mount, and use a 1/4 inch BOLT with a nut and crank it down, squeezing the sides of the sight base in tightly, and THEN drill smaller holes about a half inch BACK, in the base wings, and thread THEM, and put set screws through the sides to dig press into the mount farther back.

    Yes, it would void the "warranty," BUT I believe it's a defective design ANYWAY, so what the heck. And the mount is only $18.00.

    If the actual MOUNT was made out of STEEL, I believe it would hold better under recoil.

    The guy who built the scout in the link in my original post about which one said he had trouble with ALL of them shooting loose, until he went to a machine shop and had them make a custom one for him out of steel, that he used set screws to attach to the base...that might be pricey, but it would be my last resort.

    But I think the Scout idea definitely has merit, the thing IS pretty handy, and I think would be DANDY as a "brush gun" for deer, especially with being able to use both eyes, the scope is EASY to pick up, with or without the dot lit.

    And yes, the rifle did fine, went bang every time, didn't take a stripper very well every time but I can work on that, and twice I had a failure to feed, where the nose of a round "dug" into the feed ramp and wouldn't feed, but I think the follower spring may just be a little "tired." I have replacements. And that may also be part of the problem with it feeding strippers, it FEELS like the rounds want to "dive" into the magazine instead of sliding in horizontally like they should...

    The trigger actually was pretty smooth on it, that MAY be the secret...instead of "smoothing" and polishing a NEW sear/bolt stop, just use one off another rifle that's worn in really well..... :D the one on it is from my 1920 91/30 transition.... :cool:

    And while I don't have THAT much evidence, it LOOKS like it likes heavier bullets...and the only factory SPs for it so far are 204 grainers, so MAYBE that's a good sign I now have 16 once fired Winchester cases so I can start reloading for them...

    And I got a LOT of lookers at the rifle after more people showed up, it was the most "different" rifle there, that's for sure.

    And thanks Bruce, THAT's where I heard it, your SIGNATURE...well I can vouch that TODAY that was so true...
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2006
  5. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    And, PS, rereading your post, you MAY have given me an IDEA.

    I just WONDER how thick the actual top flat surface of the rear sight base IS? WHY couldn't I drill at least one hole DOWN through the top of the mount into the base, and tap the BASE, and screw it DOWN into the base??? It MIGHT mess up the "leveling" though...but then I could PROBABLY adjust that with spacers or shims....

    HHhhmmmm....I have the base I pulled off the Pole, I'll check it out tomorrow.... thank goodness I'm a stubborn Polak...I don't quit easily, and since I like to "Polish Engineer" things, there ain't NOTHING I bugger up I can't fix or make better....

    ...cheaply. :D
  6. Polish, one question does occur to me: You seem to have some facility with tools and apparently at least some of the basic tools in your tool box. Why not simply drill and tap the receiver for a Weaver mount and be done with it? True, you might have to get a different scope since you now using an LER intended for a scout setup, but still, a receiver-mounted 2-4X variable with a 40mm objective would give you virtually the same quick handling qualities the scout set up will. You could then save the LER to mount on a good Mauser M48 or M98. :D There are some excellent scout mounts out there for those rifles. Besides, you know what I always say, "if the rifle doesn't sound like it says 'heil dem Fuhrer" when it fires, why bother with it?" :eek: ;) :D

    Just kidding! Just kidding! :rolleyes:
  7. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    That is what I plan to do with the Polish one. I have the mount, but I'm waiting on the bent bolt body, the straignt bolt won't work with it.

    The problem with the MN is the split receiver bridge, so the Weaver style mount is fairly massive, and hangs out over the breech, but is attached with two fairly sturdy screws at the front that you drill and tap into the receiver hood...

    This second Russian post-war one actually started as a "Wild Hair," after seeing MANY pictures of Mosin Scouts all over the internet over the past 5 or 6 years, and many different kinds of mounts available meant to "easily" mount on the rear sight base, but I'm starting to believe many of them are meant more for the "Armchair" Walter Mitty warriors who like to OWN a mean looking little rifle without much work, but not actually SHOOT it. Lately SHOOTERS have been reporting similar experiences I had with them "shooting loose."

    But I still think the concept has promise, IF I can get it to mount up solidly.

    And that scope specifically I like too, now, after using it..

    I even had a guy email me a few years ago with pics of HIS scout, that he used 1" .22 rings intended for the dovetails on a .33 rifle, and somehow got them to work on the sight base, claims it was slick and easy and has stayed put for 100s of rounds, I was skeptical, but may go and "revisit" the idea....but I don't have his email anymore, but I DO have some .22 rings laying around here somewhere....
  8. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Well. I went and checked that post about the other guy's scout, and found out that mount is available, for $55. Hhmmm...

    While I would be "throwing away" this one and be over budget, that might just be the answer.

    I found the guy who makes the mount's website and he has a forum, and one guy on it says he was so frustrated with another mount like mine he was tempted to use duct tape after the JB Weld, superglue and everything else he tried to keep it from shooting loose failed! :D

    I checked out the rear sight base pretty closely, and it would be difficult to drill/tap it vertically, BUT horizontally would work...

    SO if I want to salvage the other one, I wonder if I could make a clamp or something that would screw into the base, and then clamp the weaver rail from the SIDES....

    There has GOT to be a way I could make this one work!
  9. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    OK, I think I figured out plan B...

    If I CAREFULLY drill out the sight swivel pin holes and the mount all the way through to 5/32", I can take a 1" 5/32" bolt and use a nut on the other side and try to crank it down as hard as I can, and "squeeze' the ears together on the mount. It's going to be close, the holes in the mount that the old set screws thread into is PRETTY close to the edge, but I THINK there's enough clearance....and I still keep the elevation adjustment in the mount...

    THEN I'm going to drill a 1/8" hole on either side about 1/2" back from the pivot, before the sides of the base drop away, and thread them, and put hardened set screws through the base to bear agains the mount block that fits INSIDE the sight base...I BELIEVE this might work, and what the heck, if I screw up, I'm only out the mount and the sight base, and I have an extra one of those.

    And I BELIEVE I may try it tonight!
  10. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Well. that was almost TOO easy... :cool:

    I set up the drill press to drill it out to 5/32", and it took longer to set it up so it would drill it straight than it was to drill it out and put the machine screw in and crank it down!

    I cranked it down tight and double nutted it, then put all the other adjustment screws in and cranked them down, and after doing everything short of jumping up and down on it it ain't moving.

    I didn't even drill out the extra holes for the set screws in the side, that will be Plan C...

    Since I already "altered" the mount anyway, so it wouldn't be returnable, I decided to take a saw to it and shorten the rail a little too...I didn't like the way it looked so long underneath the scope, and I couldn't get the scope cover over the objective either.

    CRAP, I'm out of town all week, I won't be able to test it until Saturday... :mad:

    HEY if it WORKS, do you think I can "sell my plans" to make the cheap scout mounts work? "EXCLUSIVE OFFER only from THE POLISH MOUNT MASTER--NOW, you TOO can make a cheap-@$$ scout mount work on a Mosin Nagant!" :D :D Not available in any stores!

    Heck, if I included the drill bit and machine screw, I could maybe even charge 2 easy payments of $9.99 plus S/H! :) :cool: :p
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2006
  11. Did you ever consider a tig weld? Just kidding, just kidding! :rolleyes: :D

    This sounds like an excellent plan, Polish, and I strongly suspect it will work. Best if luck when you test it out, but if that won't hold then I doubt that anything will. I've been reading about several of the scout rigs available for the M48 and the comments suggest that the same problem exists with them. I think when I build my Mauser, I'm going to use an Iron Elite mount instead of a scout.
  12. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Well, I guess I CAN'T promote this "fix," because a lot of collectible Mosin's might get altered to a point they can't be put back to stock without replacing the sight base.

    I ALMOST tried to use a MN nosecap screw, it was the right size and length, the sight pin holes would NOT have to be enlarged, and the gun could have been returned to stock, AND there would have been just something "right" about fixing it with a Russian screw! But I would NEVER have found a nut to fit it (Although I DID consider cutting and trimming one of my spare nosecaps to fit, to use the threaded part) and I also think it would have been too thin to put any torque on it to really tighten it down, like with an SAE machine screw...

    But REMEMBER, this WAS either a $9.95 or $19.95 (I can't remember which, I bought about 10 of each) Century "Ufixem" about 5 years ago, so it wasn't exactly "culled from the GOOD gene pool" to make it. In fact, it probably would have been JUNKED by somebody else after a few parts were salvaged, so I actually have given it a new lease on life...

    Which reminds me, Centerfire Systems is advertising "barreled actions" for like $10 each, and also have Remington and Westinghouse hexagonal 91 actions "cut to carbine length" for $14.95! How COOL would it be to have a US made REMINGTON action and make it into a "sporter???" That just MIGHT be my NEXT project after I get good at drilling and tapping the standard scope mount on the Polish one...can you IMAGINE the guys not into milsurp at the range looking at it and TRYING to figure out what it is? :D :D :D

    The SCOUT mount covers the receiver markings, which is why I used the "common" and unhistoric (sic) post-war Russian for it....however the ATI Weaver mount does NOT cover the reciever markings, which is WHY I'm using the POLE for that one...I WANT guys to see that "Circle 11" so I can tell them "Radom...."

    And now I have TWO M44 bayonet assemblies...and today I got ANOTHER "Wild hair..."

    I've always said that when I get old I'm going to have a CLASSY cane, not some CVS aluminum job! Either a nice sassafrass curlycue that I found MYSELF in the woods with a good finish or some ornate hickory one with a heavy brass head (so I can whack some whippersnapper if I NEED to...)

    But at the last Indy 1500 I saw a knife dealer with a classy "sword cane" for $80... :cool:

    ...and I'm thinking just how WOULD some gang banger react who thought he had easy pickins when that old geezer with a CANE suddenly points about 15" of SHARP Polish cruciform at him? :D :D :D
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2006
  13. I suspect he would react more forcefully were you to point the rifle it was intended to fit at him! :eek: ;)
  14. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

    I think what your problem is.....hard steel screws in soft aluminum threads. They'll work loose every time.

    If you have the room, here's a way to solve the problem. Drill & tap the aluminum screw holes oversize and helicoil them. You'll want to use a fine thread on both the aluminum mount and the steel helicoil. Epoxy the helicoil in with something like "2-ton epoxy". The epoxy should keep the helicoils from working loose, your screws will be threading in steel.....and a little locktite should keep them where they belong.

    Here's how it's done:

    It'll work....I've done this many times when scewing threaded aluminum parts into steel to keep them from working loose.
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