What should you pay for a MN 44 with a bright bore?

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by Laufer, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. Laufer

    Laufer New Member

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    Here is the objective:

    Both of my common Russian MN 44s shoot very large "groups" (6-8") at only 50 yards :eek:, and have HB Bulg. ammo.
    I only shoot at solid objects from less than 100 feet, but a marksman friend could not find holes for two of the rounds at this distance on the large peel-off black plastic 'target', with the bayonet extended, on sandbags.

    If you wanted to buy a 44 with a very nice bore (my bores are somewhat shiny but not at all bright), what would you pay in a very small southern town gun show if you saw a really good Russian 44, nice Polish or even a Finn? How about for such in a 91/30, if possible?

    The goal is to find decent external looks but primarily a bright, much more accurate bore.
    My poor judgement and very late start with guns allowed nice external metal and laminated wood to attract me.
    Now have regrets.:eek:
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2009
  2. pinecone70

    pinecone70 New Member

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    I had to put a scope on my M-44 to get it to hit paper, but now it's getting good groups at 100yards. My 91/30 was accurate right out of the box, it has the better bore of the two and is in better condition. I paid $99 for each of them. Recently I have seen both models for $150-$250 at shops and gun shows, which seem like okay prices for rifles like them.
  3. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    I, personally, would have a hard time paying more that $150 for one, even in excellent condition. Earlier this year I bought a 91/30 with Hex receiver in excellent condition (probably 90%) for $105 which included shipping.

    But then, I have a C&R and can get them directly from the distributor.
  4. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Mosin-Nagant for the reloader can be a problem and the result is poor accuracy.

    It seems that 7.62 mm is not the same as 30 caliber for bullets at least as used in the 7.62 x 54R cartridge. The guns vary a lot and you really have to slug the barrel to know what you got. The bore size can vary up to 0.314 inches, way beyond 30 caliber. My M-N requires 303 Brit bullets, which are 0.312 inches not 30 caliber 0.308 inches. So poor accuracy could be ammo related.

    Also the trigger can be terrible. Mine and my son-in-laws were way over 7 lbs. I, of course, fixed that and got them to about 4.5 lbs with a little gun smithing. These guns are rather crude and it sometimes takes a file and a hammer to get them right. Once the trigger pull is down and you add a scope, these M-N are a match for most modern bolt guns if the ammo is good. At least that's our experience hitting steel animal sized targets out to over 500 yds repeatedly.

    For a beautifully made military bolt gun it is hard to beat a Mauser or the Swiss K31. But the M-N sure are inexpensive.

    LDBennett
  5. gandog56

    gandog56 Member

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    One thing to consider is my M44 HATES Bulgie heavy ball, but likes Russian light ball. But nothing milsurp groups as good as my reloaded rounds.
  6. gandog56

    gandog56 Member

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    I use 147 grain .311" FMJBT's I get from Wideners. But you are right, 7.62X54R is NOT .308". Some people claim to get good accuracy from their Mosins using .308" projectiles, but none of my bores slugged out that low.
  7. momo

    momo Former Guest

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    If you want a really accurate Mosin and can afford it get a Finn, M39 if possible. If you want to stick with the Soviet model get a 91/30. Just my 2 cents.
  8. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    through handloading i have found that the MN barrels preferr the 150 and lighter bullets. My 91/30 will shoot 174 acceptable but not near as good as a hornady 150 interlock... As for a fair price on a good bright m44, id say less than 100 bucks with the extras is a damn good deal, less than 200 with extras is ok as long as the bore is bright and numbers match. over 200, id hesitate buying it and want to cram it up the dealers arse;)
  9. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    The biggest problem with M-N is the variations in bore size.

    Most exceed 0.310 inches and many are as big as 0.314 inches. The only bullets that fall in this range are 303 British bullets at 0.312 inches. There also are a limited choice of bullet styles: FMJ and hunting bullets. But indeed there are both 175 and 150 grain choices in 303 British (Enfield) bullets. The standard choice is 175 grain but I suppose 150 grain bullets should be tried.

    But if your M-N is on the larger size it may never shoot well (???). Only by slugging the barrel and making your own bullet of the correct size will you ever be able to maximize the accuracy of these oversized bore M-N rifles.

    At least that has been my experience and that of others here who guided me down this 7.62 x 54R reloading path.

    LDBennett
  10. Laufer

    Laufer New Member

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    Fellow shooters, thanks very much.
    Maybe the ammo/bore combinations (and length) are why my LE #4 seems to do much better than these 44s, and took a few practice shots from 50 yards.

    Mike then sat on the ground as the target was moved out to 100 yards (at MSSA). While sitting in his best shooting position (using only his knee and elbows for support), his only shot from 100 yards with the LE #4 went right into the middle of the bull's eye.
    If I could get five shots within 2" of the bull's eye from 50 yards with the MN 44, it would be an accomplishment.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2009
  11. jb3179

    jb3179 New Member

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    Other things to look for on surplus nagants is damaged rifling in the bore tip from poor cleaning tecnique. Also copper fouling in the barrel can be problematic. if its used you should take it down and clean it thoroughly. Many of the 91/30's were counter bored at the arsenal Im not sure about the 44's but hey if a slight counter bore is all that is needed you just save alot of money. i am also in agreeance with the other reloader here surplus eastern block ammo is pitiful for accuracy compared to good hand loads.
  12. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    3 shots at 100 yds from a warm barrel m91/30 using handloads...

    Attached Files:

  13. accident

    accident Active Member Supporting Member

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    i was considering doing a bent bolt/scope installation on one of my 91/30's. I don't have the knowledge/experience LD does to do a trigger job on it and after hearing about so many accuracy problems,maybe i should save my money and buy an enfield or another surplus rifle off of my dealear's rack.what do ya'll think?
  14. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Installing a scope on a M-N is hard because you have to drill and tap the receiver. I had trouble because the receiver is so hard and the M-N so crude. When I lined up the scope mount (M-N unique for hex receiver) with the receiver, the scope ended up pointing way off center. I got it good enough with trickery in the rings but told myself I would not do one again... I'll leave it to a real gunsmith who does them all the time. But one M-N is enough for me.

    Mauser are excellent guns but there is a rush on Mausers right now and the prices are pretty high for one with a good bore, a shooter. There use to be tons of surplus ammo (8 mm Mauser) but I hear it is drying up fast.

    Enfields area bit too funky (except for the Jungle Carbine clone I got) and a bit crude looking. Their chambers are not setup for reloading as they are much longer than the industry standards so the neck of the case gets blown out with every firing. You have to resort to neck and partial sizing only or the cases are only good for one firing. The Brits wanted no problem for the troops when it came to loading the gun under any conditions and expected the empty cases to be left in the field, not reloaded. Surplus Enfields are getting hard to find from dealers.

    The shooter jewel is the Swiss K-31 and their Match ammo. Of all my bolt surplus guns, this gun is by far the most accurate with their ammo. It is a straight pull bolt gun and looks a little unusual but it is made robustly and finished well. All the surplus market ones have been shot a little and stored a lot as every male in Switzerland does military service and is in the reserves. He kept the issued gun in his home for decades. Each one has a little piece of paper under the butt plate that tells who was issued the gun. There are scope mounts available for them but they are so accurate with open sights I never bothered to put a scope on mine.

    Then their are all the semi-autos but I'll not cover them. (Think CMP Garand!).

    LDBennett
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