“My Mosin Nagant Blew Up”

From ar15.com comes news that Ralph’s favorite cheapo rifle lost the plot, mate.

Well…it finally happened today. I’ve been in the C&R game about 5 years and own about 10 C&R weapons…even went down the road to get my 003 FFL. I have purchased 4 mosins and never had any issues…I do a thorough breakdown, inspection, head space, firing pin, and cleaning prior to shooting…obviously I missed something on my fourth mosin. I went to a public range today and was shooting (or shot) Romanian light ball.

First time to shoot this 1932 beauty today and I wasn’t hurt at all and actually didn’t even realize what happened until I chambered the second round. I saw the round impact the berm. No hot gas or anything in the face. I feel very lucky…lots of people at the range were snapping photos of the ruptured receiver. I picked up the steel and there was a split neck, but nothing crazy.

I was pretty shook up. As you’ll see in the pics, the receiver split in two right behind the chamber. Note the different color where the receiver failed…the discoloration indicates there was an existing failure. I really don’t think there was anything visible on the surface, but maybe I missed it. I went and bought a lotto ticket tonight.

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

14 Responses to “My Mosin Nagant Blew Up”

  1. When I saw the title, I immediately thought of head space, but I’ll guess that it was just bad from the factory.

  2. avatarJeff O. says:

    Wow. That’s impressive.

    I enjoyed a comment on the linked site that the rifle was probably used by a peasant to club a Nazi.

  3. avatarSam Wright says:

    The discoloration may be from a piece of slag in the stock steel that it was machined from. That theory could be confirmed with a bit of sandpaper if Ralph isn’t worried about messing up the finish :P.
    Slag can contain high carbon and thus be more brittle. Russia may not have had the highest quality control in the steel foundries.

    • avatarRalph says:

      It wasn’t my rifle, happy to say. The lead-in is a little confusing. It happened to someone posting on AR15.com

  4. avatarRalph says:

    It’s a ’32 Tula hex receiver model, which was very overbuilt. If the headspace checks out, I’d would check the firing pin depth. If that checks out, and the ammo is within spec, then metal fatigue is the probable cause.

  5. avatarTTACer says:

    Maybe they could talk Clint from Fulton Armory into doing the analysis. He did fascinating bit on an M1A that failed ~10+ years ago.

  6. avatarNCG says:

    I still sorta want one.

  7. A lot of WW1 era Mosin Nagants were made by Remington and Westinghouse. Remington made a whole bunch more during WW2.

    This particular gun fell into the trough between those production periods. Russian quality control has never been good.

    I like the Mosin Nagant design, and have been looking for a Remington/Westinghouse manufactured example as a shooter. I guess I just feel more comfortable using a gun built to American standards when shooting a powerful cartridge like the 7.62x54R.

  8. avatarMrDryCry says:

    I am the proud owner of the mosin that failed. I really wish I knew what happened….I just feel sooooo lucky I wasn’t hurt. The Good Lord was watching over me last Sunday!

    • avatarRalph says:

      MrDryCry, you mentioned that the shellcase had split. Did you Go-NoGo the headspace before you fired the rifle? I think it would take a lot of pressure to crack a Nagant hex receiver and, as you know, there’s no place for gasses to vent.

  9. avatarSteve says:

    Firing pin protrusion wasn’t the issue for this case. Too little protrusion, no fire; too much, punctured primer, nothing that would crack the receiver.

    Something like an overpressure round, slug seated out too far (contacting the rifling), or firing into a squib round just ahead of the chamber–or, as suggested by others, an existing, latent flaw in the metal.

  10. avatarRedrover says:

    I wouldn’t buy a hex receiver MS. Many of the hex receivers were made prior to 1930. The model changes in the 91/30 (1930) included the use of a round receiver. So at least you know your getting newer steel. Who knows if they had hex receivers laying around from earlier production/steel? Steel quality, anywhere in the world, improved considerably in the late 1930′s thru the war. Reusing old hex receivers with suspect steel…not for me. Izhevsk was the steel/metallurgical center in Soviet Russia. Make mine a 1940′s Izhevsk please. Nothing special about Tula.

  11. avatarGary says:

    It appears to have two distinct colors of the cracked area .in past experiences this is due to one of the colors of steel ,darker,indicate old flaw,crack, lighter color indicates most recent failure.

  12. avatarQobsession says:

    DO you still have the Broken Receiver?? I would like to have it?

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