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I have a neighbor who intends to accompany me to the range with his new and untried MG next week.
I don't know much about them but have been told that he should not shoot it unless it is head spaced first.
Is that necessary? With gauges? Or can the safety of it be determined by inspection?
He knows less than me about firearms, and I know very little.
Thanks
dc
 

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The most recent Mosin Nagant 91/30 rifles imported into the US were all rebuilt and inspected after WWII. Those I have seen appear to be good rifles. However, there is no telling what your friend has. Many of these rifles have seen hard service and abuse in one or more wars. If the bolt serial number matches the action number and the rifle looks new that's a good sign. But to be on the safe side you might want to have a gunsmith check it out before you shoot.
 

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I would definitely check the headspace first. I have a lot of them, and I can tell you from experience that even one with a matching bolt, in "refinished" condition, can fail a headspace check. This really should be done any any milsurp firearm - don't ever trust some foreign stranger to have checked it for you.

Yes, you'll need a gauge for this. I use a "coin style" gauge from Yankee Engineers, although it seems they're no longer producing them. You may want to search around on eBay or some of the more specific firearm-related auction sites to see if there's one available. You cannot check the headspace visually. It requires a gauge. If you can't find one, take it to a gunsmith.
 

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Remember the head space on a Mosin Nagant is done on the rim and not the chamber.
Very little chance of it being off.
Remember to scour that chamber with a wire brush and solvent. They seem to be coated with varnish etc. and will sometimes not extract.
 

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okiegauges, get the field gauge is all you need. CHECK your firing pin protrusion with the tool that comes in the cleaning kit before firing.

The reason for checking headspace on these is that they have no gas relief, if you bust a case it'll blow a bunch of nasty crap in your face and then you'll need a pair of clean underwear.

That being said, it's rare to find one that has excessive headspace, especially the refurb ones.
 

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okiegauges, get the field gauge is all you need. CHECK your firing pin protrusion with the tool that comes in the cleaning kit before firing.

The reason for checking headspace on these is that they have no gas relief, if you bust a case it'll blow a bunch of nasty crap in your face and then you'll need a pair of clean underwear.

That being said, it's rare to find one that has excessive headspace, especially the refurb ones.
I have four and just started shooting each one, no problems. As far as busting a case; with old steel cased mil surplus it is not unusal for the case to split, still no problem. Jim.
 

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Two things:

First, we here in the U.S. generally buy a firearm

which is sold to us by most manufacturers in

a generally "ready to fire" condition.

I've yet to procure a combloc milsurp which wasn't

liberally smeared with congealed cosmoline. You MUST

thoroughly clean this hellish goop from the bolt, chamber,

and barrel before firing. Otherwise you will experience the

"mother of all jams" upon attempting the first extraction

of the newly "melted in" cartridge in the chamber of your new toy.

Second, at the very least, be certain to wear safety glasses when

you pull the trigger on your new rifle. The MN has a very strong

bolt and chamber, as internet torture tests will show.
 

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On a Mosin I would be concerned about the firing pin depth more than headspace. If your firing pin is out of adjustment it could puncture the primmer. I have 3 and all are fun to shoot and accurate. The best and quickest way I've found to remove the grease is boiling the the receiver in a tall kettle of water and brush out the bore until clean. Just dont do this with the woman of the house around.
 

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If you fire a lot of surplus ammo, you are going to split

a case on occasion, I've split them from the neck to

the rim. They extract poorly, but what's really going to

jam you up is cosmoline heating up in the chamber.

Two or three cleanings may be needed.
 

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The only milsurp rounds that split was some yugo and some other combloc copper wash cases, none of the Czech or other coated cased ammo has split, though those are 80s or newer production. The 147-174 gr new ammo is also good, generally non-corrosive Berdan primers but costs more.
 

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Right now I'm shooting 1954 Bulgarian surplus in my Mosins. No problems. Never had any issues with Wolf ammo either.
I do, however, wear rated shooting glasses EVERY time I shoot, no matter what make, model, or manufacturer.
 

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On a happy note, these rifles heavy duty.

I have to agree that all normal precautions should

be taken, but I have more confidence in M/N actions

than most.

The Ammo which I had mentioned previously dated back

to WWII, and was showing signs of corrosion, but it

shot well, and extracted with only a little difficulty.
 

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On a Mosin I would be concerned about the firing pin depth more than headspace. If your firing pin is out of adjustment it could puncture the primmer. I have 3 and all are fun to shoot and accurate. The best and quickest way I've found to remove the grease is boiling the the receiver in a tall kettle of water and brush out the bore until clean. Just dont do this with the woman of the house around.
That is decent advice.

I have bought, sold, rebuilt and shot probably more than 100 Mosin Nagants of all types and countries of origin from $9.95 Ufixem Russian/Polish/Hungarian/Romanian M44s from Century and several other jobbers to Type 53s, and have NEVER repeat NEVER found any Mosin Nagant with headspace issues.

Somebody said if the "bolt matches...." They are NOT Mausers! If the bolt matches I am MORE skeptical of the honesty of the seller than if it DOESN'T.

MOST Russian conscripts were completely illiterate.

They cleaned them in the field by stripping them, and putting all the metal parts in a barrel and boiling the heck out of it, and after a while, they dried them, oiled the heck out of them, and put them back together in their stock....WITHOUT matching ANYTHING. A bolt? a Receiver? A Mag and trigger housing? They couldn't tell or CARE if they matched when they came out of the barrel and slapped them together in their stock...they just had to have a complete CLEAN rifle by the time they got inspected next....

If your Mosin Nagant saw ANY service at all, it does NOT match. PERIOD.

MOST "matching" Mosins were "force matched" later, probably after they made it into the states, although some were probably done later pretty nicely by former commies who figured out they could get more dollars out of the 'Capitalist Pigs." . Yeah at first with the stupid "electropencil," so you could spot them, but later a LOT of "Mauser guys" replicated the numbers with decent punches to sell them at a higher price to the rubes...on a lot you can STILL see the grinding marks under the numbers if you look closely...but the EASIEST way is to compare the size and fonts...if they are NOT exactly PERFECTLY matching other punches on the receiver, it was "forced" sometime later in it's life.

At least the FINNS ground the numbers and markings off a lot of refinished parts, refinished them NICELY and didn't remark them....

And OUR US troops who were issued Remington and Westinghouse Mosins Nagant M91s which were the BEST ones ever made when we "invaded" Russia with the Allies in 1919? The "Tight Bolts" that were found to be a problem in the cold were fixed easily by throwing away the Remington or Westinghouse bolts and replacing them with "any" bolt from any captured Red Russin Mosin Nagant....which worked in ANY kind of weather....

MATCHING bolts are important in any old military rifle that shoots RIMLESS rounds because they headspace on the NECK, which can change with throat erosion, so they bring a PREMIUM to collectors (8x57, 7x57, .30-06, etc....)

One of the reason RIMMED rounds are so much BETTER for bolt action MILITARY rifles is that it is SO hard to MESS with headspace..no matter HOW much the rifle is shot...

The ONLY Rimmed round you might want to check is a shot alot .303...that screw on bolt head on some Enfields CAN be "set back...." (I've never had one do that, BUT I have heard guys I trust say they have...)

As to the advice above... I HAVE had to adjust a few bolts because of that....

The Mosin "multi-tool" to take apart the rifle and/or the bolt (which was almost NEVER done by the troops....)has measuring cuts to measure the firing pin protrusion, and I HAVE had to adjust a few, which is done with the screw in the very back of the bolt...

But EVERY one I have had to adjust, had the "cheater marks" out of whack which warned me to check...

When they adjusted the firing oi n at the factory, they punched "cheater marks" through the adjusting screw into the sides of the back of the bolt....if the lines line up, it PROBABLY is OK. If they don't, it has been changed since the factory and you should check.

Every Mosin I have rebuilt, or put together from parts, or suspected for any reason, I did a "Polish Headspace Test" on....

Load it with any surplus BRASS cased ammo, bungee cord it tightly to a tire/wheel, tie a string or a wire to the trigger, walk back 30 feet or so, and pull the string....

When it fires (and doesn't blow up) eject the round, and INSPECT the BASE with a glass..(ignore any splitting or cracking in the neck or even higher up in the case, Russian and Combloc brass annealing was NOT very consistant....)

The signs you are looking for is the last 1/4" or so in front of the rim...IF you have headspace issues, you SHOULD see stretching, cracks or other stress marks in that area...

Like I said, I could give you a better description if I had EVER found one that qualified.

I did this three times with each of them, and if I saw no evidence of bad things, I removed the string, and put a mag through it slow fire from my shoulder confident it wouldn't blow up to test for accuracy, then at least two mags through it as fast as I could with stripper clips to check function before I decided to keep it or sell it, and gave a good description of the firing test to the buyer. (Plus the HEAT from the rapid fire allowed me to clean a LOT of crud out of the barrel TOO....LOL)

That is NOT to say somebody WON'T find one with headspace issues someday...I haven't is all it means.

BUT I have bought more than a FEW for a song that the seller said "had Headspace issues" because they had "tight" chambers that wouldn't chamber a round without hammering the bolt home that I turned into shooters and resold...;):rolleyes::p:p

Headspace NEVER "tightens..." from wear.... it LOOSENS.....

A tight chamber is a BUYING point on a Mosin...you WILL get it cheap, and a little REALLY fine valve polishing compound on a 20 ga swab on the end of a section of cleaning rod in your drill will remove a LOT of the green junk guys have accumulated in the chamber that got there from shooting green lacquered steel cased ammo in HOT chambers, and get it working SMOOTHLY....;)

BTW...because of my experience with this, I won't shoot ANY of the green laquered steel case x54 stuff I bought cheap back when and put back through ANY of my Mosins....unless Socio-Economic collapse FORCES me to use it, AND if I haven't TRADED it already to other Mosin owners for Chickens or Goats or eggs or something....;):):):)
 

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The green lacquered steel case 7.62x54 wasn't made for the Mosin bolt action, it was made for the water cooled 7.62x54 machine gun. I was able to fire 1 of these old Russian guns a few weeks ago. I'll stick to the bolt action due to the fact we went through 30,000 rounds in a few hrs.
 

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my enfield no4 mk 1 gives me some head separeations but i've never had one from any of my combloc weapons. Probably because their chambers weren't erroded with cordite!
 

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Yeah, Frogman, I don't know which safety was worse, the Mosin's or the Arisaka's...pull while turning or push while turning is just as hard with either especially under stress.

Something tells me there were a lot of Russian Conscripts and/or Japanese soldiers killed by ADs...you just KNOW they carried them with the chamber loaded and the safety OFF when they thought something was up....

The other option, of lowering the safety/cocking knob by hand while pulling the trigger on the loaded round you have discovered isn't that safe either...plus the firing pin would be contacting the primer, I'd hate to see what happens if the rifle got dropped in that condition:cool:

Supposedly another method they used is to chamber a round with the trigger pulled so the bolt remains uncocked, to accomplish the same thing.


But either way, that is the main thing that sucks on the Mosin.

There are supposed to be some aftermarket replacement safeties on the market, but I haven't tried any yet.
 

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Hmm...as a testament that the Universe looks after the ignorant, I didn't know nuthin' 'bout no headspace issues until now. I just cleaned out the cosmoline -and in the process, learned the importance of a pin in the trigger assy -and found it shot well.

At least I still have all my fingers and most of my braincells...
 
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