mosingnagantc

By Chris Inouye

There I lay. The emergency room was unbearably cold, even compared to the December day I was shooting in for the previous six hours. The Physician assistants asking me if they could take a picture of the gore. A former classmate doing much better with their life judging by her lab coat and “staff badge” dangling from her necklace. A Sheriff’s deputy interviewing me and bewailing about the lack of “real police work” in this podunk. What a great birthday . . .

An hour earlier I was down at the public range, sequestered deep behind a landfill surrounded by pools of frozen runoff. It was the big day. I was finally taking out my 1942 round receiver 91/30, 1928 Tula hex receiver, and my M44, having kept them in the safe, rather favoring my ebony MSRs. I even opened a 1947 zinc-lined spam can of 7.62X54r on true Russian stripper clips that AIM had at an incredible pre-2012 price for the occasion as well. For those philistines who are unfamiliar with the Mosin Nagant allow me to save you a trip to Wikipedia.

The Mosin–Nagant (Russian: Винтовка Мосина) is a 5 shot, bolt-action, internal magazine-fed, military rifle, developed by the Imperial Russian Army in 1882–91, and used by the armed forces of the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and various other nations. It is one of the most mass-produced military bolt-action rifles in history with over 37 million units produced since its inception in 1891, and much like the AK-47 it has shown up in various conflicts around the world, despite its age. 

Before you think the Mosin is just for milsurp collectors, it’s still utilized in many underssupplied “guerillas” and “freedom fighters” to this day.

Mosin Nagant used by YPG Kurds to ballistically reeducate ISIS:

And click here for a collection of images Mosin Nagants in Various DMR forms in Syria.

Mosin Nagant Syria3 Getty Images

From the beginning of the day I had been concerned about the age of the ammunition. You always hear about issues with hangfires or even squibs from military surplus, although most of the cases I’ve seen were from British .303 or Yugo 8mm. Finally the ARs and GLOCK rounds were complete and the time came.

I sit down and, no shit, trace the cross over myself like my nice Sunday school teacher taught me before she kicked me out because of my attitude. The first five rounds came off the stripper and fired just fine. The irrational fear of the bolt blowing out the back of the rifle and embedding into my forehead, ‘Sin City’-style, made me run the bolt like I was defending Stalingrad from the Wehrmacht.

The second clip goes in, this time harder than the first to seat the rounds in the magazine. The first round launches, I run the bolt and it gets stuck. Not an uncommon occurrence with a Mosin, I’ve been told. So, I do the sensible thing, I try to chamber it through brute force just like I’ve seen all my favorite YouTube gun celebrities do. The round doesn’t budge. I hit it again, and again and a dozen agains. This thing isn’t budging.

Looking back, I wish I had unhinged the base plate and let the rounds drop out, but I was trying to channel my inner Cossack and wrapped the rifle in snow camo from McNett. I try to pop the nose of the round by pressing down on the end of the case. I try pushing the entire round back down into the magazine. I try ejecting the round. I try prying the round up with my knife blade. Nothing. I go back to banging on the the round with the bolt. And then, something happens.

It sounded like a regular gunshot. The rifle didn’t recoil though. I pulled my hand back from reflex. I felt absolutely no pain. I twist my wrist. Is that metal?  I saw streams of blood splattering all over the green bench and sand-color shooting bags.

“Oh my God!” someone exclaims from behind me.

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I’m proud to say that as soon as I saw the blood, I rushed over to my shooting bucket and grabbed my OSOE Tear-Off IFAK and handed it to a buddy. I sat down and looked at what I assumed was some sort of cut. It wasn’t. And, the more I looked at it the more it seemed to grow.

Maybe I was processing it more or maybe the charred skin just broke apart and flaked off. My friend stands before me with the now-open IFAK. He apparently was in a state unable to read the wrappers.

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I exclaim, “Anyone know how to use this?”

After all, the IFAK is designed to be used on yourself. Surely someone would be there to tend my wounds. When I realized that wasn’t happening I tell them that there is an Israeli bandage. They still could not read. I didn’t even consider self aid. The amazing adrenaline that kept me from feeling the burn and piece of metal in my wrist started making me shake.

As I began walking up to the parking lot, to meet my friend who ran for a car, someone gave me a mystery piece of fabric to wrap my bloody hand. Fine. I’m sure the hospital will give me antibiotics. A fifteen minute ride of Stevie Ray Vaughn, chain smoking and a phone call to nervous family.

So what happened?

Why does the dog like the taste of his own unit? Why does the TSA still exist? Why do I look like the mailman and not Dad? This is another one of those mysteries that I may live with the rest of my life and never have the complete answer. For months after the incident there was much talk on why this happened.

TECH DRAWING OF EXPLOSION 1_1

The first theory was that the hammer fell and struck the firing pin and detonated the round outside the chamber. I also theorized perhaps the firing pin/spring assembly failed. That was, of course, impossible since the bolt was rearward and the trigger wasn’t touched. Also, the offending round was recovered and the primer was still intact.

The third theory of the day came from a range buddy who heard a scientific dissertation from a range professor. The professor concluded that it occurred when I was being less than gentile trying to chamber that fateful round. He explained that the steel bullet and case scrapping against each other created sparks inside the case detonating it outside the chamber.

Off hand, the theory is unlikely, as the bullet was steel core. There would be a thin copper wash and a layer of lead around the steel core. Though there is the possibility that the neck of the cartridge scrapped off the thin copper wash and lead on the bullet to expose the core, creating sparks. After all it was 1947 produced rounds.

The U.S.S.R. was rebuilding after a costly war. Perhaps the uniformity of lead wasn’t there. I found this unlikely as I was observing the round and saw no movement of the round into the case. But maybe I missed it. It would have been easier to quantitatively say it didn’t move had there been that red sealant around the case mouth as later 54r surplus has.

The next theory is even more unlikely. When I found the round stuck, I went to my knife. Steel on steel…perhaps static electricity caused sparks and detonated the case. This is incredibly far-fetched as I had to ground myself multiple times by grabbing different rifles, the cars etc. Besides that, I had ceased my knife prying before the incident occurred.

The most likely theory, in my opinion, came from the awesome old timer range officer who I met on my subsequent trips to the range. He explained that I must have had a live round seated in the chamber already. He went on to tell me that because of my violent bolt manipulation, the extractor likely skipped over the rim and picked up another round from the magazine. I must have mistakenly thought the bolt glanced over a round. I then drove another round into the primer of the seated one. Yeah, you see where this is going. The exact reason you should not use Spitzer bullets in a lever action gun.

TECH DRAWING OF EXPLOSION 2_1

The tip of the bullet acted like a firing pin, setting off the seated round. Without any support, the case head exploded creating a chain reaction that also ruptured the round that was stuck on the bolt face. This theory explains why I then found a broken case in the chamber the month after the incident (it took me some time to want to touch that rifle again).

The Upside

As bad as this negligence was, a few things kept it from being much worse. First, I had the muzzle downrange so the actual projectile was stopped by an earthen berm. Second, I’m left handed. I had much more of my hand/arm over the round when it exploded, so I absorbed most of the shrapnel. And lastly, I was wearing eye pro. I am unsure what smacked me in the face, but it left a deep scratch across my Oakley lenses. It’s amazing how that flinch reaction works. I instinctively closed my eyes and opened them to a scar on the eye pro.

Medical

So, what does the treatment and aftercare of a third degree burn and explosive projectile impact entail? I am so glad you asked.

The initial greatest concern was the extractor hanging out of my wrist. A very helpful lady at the range (who just kept telling me “not to pull it out” without offering any real assistance) and I were concerned it may have hit that vein that teenagers keep going across the road instead of down the road because school, man.

I immediately got two x-rays. These x-rays also served to see if there was any shrapnel in the burnt flesh. As I waited for the surgeon (who ended up being a gun guy as well) the lovely nurse gave me a tetanus shot and squirted the wound with a bottle of saline, then topped it with burn cream and a non-adherent surgical pad.

My next concern was all the PA’s wanting to cut off my sweatshirt. I explained to them the cost of fat man’s clothes and they respectfully backed off. Finally the surgeon enters, with an entourage of PA’s and nurses (I assume to see the bloody idiot in all his glory). He looks at my wrist, has me do some simple joint movements, and then without warning, tears the extractor from my wrist with his bare hands. Seriously, bare hands.He didn’t glove up. I assume he suspected I wasn’t attractive enough to contract a fun STD, or skinny enough to be an intravenous drug user.

As I was finally peeing, my buddy handed me about an inch and a half of extractor they’d taken out of my wrist. My buddy told the nurse I’d probably want to try to put it back on the rifle. I would, but short of welding it back on, I’ll just use it as a conversation piece. Free plug for Ballistol. It keeps bloody conversation pieces from rusting very well.

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The nurse later came in to check on me and told me that I was lucky. She explains that because of my fatty arm there was more to slow the impact of the extractor, so it didn’t hit any nerves or ligaments deep in the wrist. So, I had that going for me.

So lets get to the gross stuff — the burn itself. They were concerned about any debris or shrapnel in the muscle of my hand. So, like a motorcyclist with road rash, they debrided it. Using a hard rubber brush the PA swirled it around the wound very briskly and aggressively. She was literally working up a sweat. It made a similar noise that a pumice stone makes over your thick foot leather.

I looked over at one point and my hand looked like a pile of freshly ground hamburger. Speckles of flesh dotted the instrument tray and the gown they put over my arm. That was cool, because with the drugs they gave me, I felt nothing.

And that’s something that surprises people…I never felt any pain. From the moment the blast hit me through my recovery I never had any pain. And I didn’t even take any of the opiates I was prescribed. She put some antibiotic cream directly on the wound, topped it with a new non-adherent surgical pad and a cotton dressing. I changed it every day for the next couple months and it healed nicely.

BEFORE AND AFTER WOUND_1

The recovery after this picture was taken looked even better. Absolutely no scaring or ashiness.

Lessons learned
Medical stress training. I emphasize stress. Intellectually, I knew how everything worked and the application of each device in my IFAK.

The issue came when the stress hit, the crimson began to pour out and my stress reactions overcame my intellect and turned me into a liability (yes, I stole that from Travis Haley).

I would also recommend that the training should not just be for you, but close friends and family members who may be with you. My friends were as ineffective as I was, even though they weren’t losing hydraulic fluids.

Consider this wasn’t the worst case scenario (read: gunshot wound, traumatic vehicle accident, etc.) that one traditionally assembles a trauma kit to combat, and the stressors weren’t as grievous, yet I still went mush-brain. I’ve found a need to seek training in the martial art of not going dumb and stopping blood, such as those offered by Kerry Davis of Dark Angel Medical.

Mistakes costs lots of money and pride. A twenty dollar extractor, three hundred in hospital fees, an absurd additional one hundred dollar fee for the doctor herself.

I also lost confidence in myself. I was “the gun guy” of the group and I hurt myself with my own weapon. It also cost me the fear of my own rifle, and about eighty pounds of ammo. I kept fearing that at any moment the other ammo may just explode and finish off what its Soviet comrade started. And then I developed a bad flinch anytime I was firing any full caliber rifle rounds, in particular other bolt guns.

When anxious/nervous, adding speed is a combination that can result in disaster. I let my lack of confidence and fear of the rifle make me want to get through firing quickly. This speed made me focus on my task of finishing rather than let me think about the malfunction I had and actively thinking how to remedy the situation.

Resolution

I needed to get back on the horse. My first move was to buy some Nomex/leather Blackhawk Fury Commando gloves. I would have sprung for Kevlar so I could get more puncture resistance, but Kevlar costs significantly more.

So, with my new PPE, and a good bit of time I took out my M44 out a few weeks ago to get over my fears. Over a couple hours of what I’ve affectionately called, “rainy day old man shooting,” I single-loaded and shot fifty-five rounds of the same vintage 1947 ammo. Through the first dozen or so, I diligently inspected each round for bulges, pushed-out primers, or any signs of over pressure.

I flinched. I threw shots. I didn’t follow through. And my cheek weld was not Sniper’s Hide-recommended. I wouldn’t even run the bolt hard enough for it to eject itself off the bolt face.

And frankly I embraced it. I allowed myself to be a sinner in the face of the good shooting commandments. It took a while, but my flinch disappeared and good shooting practice took hold. I once again had confidence in my Soviet weapon systems. Good thing, too because when I said I had eighty pounds of surplus ammo I wasn’t kidding.

Conclusion

This wasn’t a cautionary tale about Mosin Nagants or surplus ammo. Mosins are still an amazing deal. Consider you can get a historic centerfire rifle and 880 rounds of sealed military-grade ammunition for around four to five hundred hundred dollars. That’s still a deal for a backup hunting rifle, a plinker, an affordable full-power trainer or a put-back rifle for whatever acronym for fecal matter hitting a rotating oscillator you choose.

Instead, this was more an amateur Holmesian deduction of a mystery and a parable about not actively thinking and the consequences thereof. This probably won’t happen to you. In fact the brain trust searched forums for weeks after the incident. They never found a case of rounds exploding outside the chamber.

The only case I heard of was from The Old Timer RO. In this case he saw it happen with a bolt action Montgomery Ward Westernfield shotgun manufactured by Mossberg, a shotgun, my father happens to own, that I never shot before, and that I kind of fear. Don’t worry, I fully intend to never have to write an article like this again. If you have any other theories of your own last to what happened, post them down below. I love internet theories.

77 Responses to Contest Entry: When My Soviet Rifle Shot Me [Graphic Image]

  1. Lol. Russian inversion jokes.

    In Soviet Russia, gun shoots you. Or you shoots gun. Wait dammit. This doesn’t work.

  2. >So, I do the sensible thing, I try to chamber it through brute force just like I’ve seen all my favorite YouTube gun celebrities do. The round doesn’t budge. I hit it again, and again and a dozen agains. This thing isn’t budging.

    Anybody get a visual of Tom (of Tom and Jerry fame) about this point? Ouch.

  3. I had an old Chinese type 53 a while back. Sold it a buddy who wanted cheap ammo and guns to play with. Was thinking recently of purchasing a new(er) one. Now you’ve got me hesitant.

    Glad to see no major damage other than your pride. Glad you had that IFAK. Better to at least have it. Lastly, good on you for overcoming your fear and getting back on the horse. I’ll remember this next time I go out with MilSurp.

      • Know your rifle… Know its parts, its assemblies, it’s feel and its function. If it feels funny, looks funny, or acts funny, stop, unload, and inspect. Try to cowboy that shit and you’re gonna get burned.

        I’ve got two Mosins, a ’32 and a ’38, both Tula M91-30s, and a couple more modern rifles. I know how they behave, where they tend to hang (hardly nowhere, they’re wicked smooth cycling and great performing) how the innards go together, and everything else I could learn. If something goes wonky, feels funny, or behaves in a way I don’t expect it to, shooting time is over until I figure out what just happened. Been there and done that. Literally “Ok, clear rifle, pack it up, Funtime Over.”

        Because I don’t want to ever be in a position to write an article like this.

        • yes, this x1000! you need to be sensitive those little behavior anomalies. when the gun that never has problems, starts having a problem, you need to stop and figure it out. there is too much at risk to do otherwise.

    • ^+ was thinking that, get back on the ifak horse too. Kiss and make up with your Mosin with an Archangel stock, two ten round mags and a bipod. You might not have a 1k – 1 MOA rifle, but you’ll feel like a million. And that’s as good as 1 MOA probability for each round at 300 yds. ; )
      Glad you lived to fight us through another day. Thanks for the story.

      • Putting a Mosin into an Archangel stock isn’t “kissing and making up”, it’s an abusive relationship…

        • If I wanted to kiss and make up with a Mosin, I’d get a new extractor for her, a bent bolt handle, have the receiver drilled and tapped for a PU scope, install said scope, get one of those laminate soviet stocks, and then glass bed and free float her.

          Nothin wrong with having some work done, just… do it with some style, you know?

  4. A buddy of mine had an out-of-battery detonation while unloading a 1911. He is what you would call “experienced.” It cut him up a bit, but nothing was embedded in him.

    His was caused by the extractor hitting a primer. Why is it that 1911 guys run the slide back and forth 12 times just to eject a single round?

  5. Well, it’s a good thing your hand was so fat…plenty of cushion to keep that extractor from hitting anything vital. 😉

    Glad it wasn’t worse.

  6. Thank you for the article and a reminder that we should always pause if something doesn’t feel right. If it doesn’t cycle, or if something else seems off, we should always try to find out why. Always remember that we are holding a channeled and controlled explosion only inches away from our face and vital organs.

    Of course, the Mosin is known to have a sticky bolt.

  7. Nice article. I’ve had rim-lock on my Mosin plenty of times and sometimes become less-than-gentle. Thanks for the war story: it’s good to keep this stuff in mind when handling firearms.

    PS: due to rim-lock and “magazine thumb-nail” (my own term) I just single load my Mosin.

    • I load the mag on mine but avoid stripper clips. Single-shot is annoying af when plinking or exploding pumpkins.

  8. wow, hell of a story there. Glad you walked away from that OK. I have a feeling that next time I get a malf at the range, I’m going to take an extra second and see what’s going on there before jamming anything home.

  9. I don’t know if this could cause such a problem but your story reminded me of the following.

    I picked up a 1911, and the cheapest ammo they had on hand (cause its always smart to buy the cheapest right?) the ammo was handloads, and instead of nice smooth ball ammo it was flat nosed lead (maybe for a .45 LC ?)

    Anyway, I found the gun didn’t feed a full mag, anything over 3-4 rds it would hang up. Well, before I settled on test firing with 3-4 rds in the mags, I get a round that wont feed…so I keep racking the slide trying to pound the round into the chamber, once, twice…five, six, maybe ten times and still nothing…I look close and I had hammered the round deep into the case.

    I was very careful to remove the mag, and discard that compressed round (I buried it). I don’t know if compressing it more and more could cause a detonation, I sort of think it could have, and maybe being lead is what prevented it? Really, I have no idea. Could pounding a bullet deep into the round make it go off?

    Anyway, no cheap ammo for me, inexpensive yes, but not cheap.

    • No. The hazard is that pressure would increase to a level beyond what your chamber could handle. (Decreased volume = increased pressure.)

      Burying it was probably a good idea.

  10. Everytime I read a review saying “This AR-15 mil-spec trigger is the worst trigger ever” I laugh a little because the Mosin is so bad.

    I like shooting my 91/30 and I’ve toyed with some basic improvements but ultimately talk myself of them. That would ruin the character. Solution is more Mosins I suppose.

    • Most of the Mosin guys I know lightly — and I mean lightly — polish the internals and shim the trigger just a little. When I say just a little, I mean just a little. And they add a return spring, which is maybe a $5 part.

      I don’t recommend that you do so without an expert looking over your shoulder, but your ‘smith can do this for you cheaply and safely in about ten minutes. It makes a big difference.

      • The ones who complain about AR “milspec” haven’t shot M16 MILSPEC. All that auto sear in there makes it REALLY gritty. I’ve got two mosins and they both have better triggers than an AR, right out of the soviet crate. Maybe they’re heavier, but they’re smooth.

        • The auto sear has nothing to do with it; I believe it’s the counter ratchet for the 3-shot burst fire mechanism on the A2 that fouls the trigger pull. The selector lever depressing the tail of the disconnector(s) when it’s on Burst or Auto could also be adding weight to the pull.

      • I did a youtube Mosin trigger job with a washer and spare spring. I actually really like the trigger now. It’s a simple 2-stage with a light clean break. I doubt it’s entirely drop-proof, but it’s just a plinker for now.

    • If any gun has a terrible trigger, its the Nagant pistol. Even with the hammer cocked, it topped out an 8 lb trigger scale without tripping the hammer.

  11. Nagant’s contribution to the 1891 Mosin rifle was the interrupter, designed to prevent double feeds. It doesn’t always work as designed. When the bolt is stuck because there’s a jam, whether caused by a double feed or not, the protocol is to unhinge the base plate and remove any rounds in the internal magazine.

    99 times out of 100, this alone will clear the jam. Sometimes, it might be necessary to press down on the obstructing round so it falls out, which it usually does relatively easily. Banging the bolt or bolt handle can turn the jammed round into a firing pin. It can set off the chambered round, and the chambered round might even set off the jammed round.

    I agree with the wise old range owl — you had what would be called a chain fire if it happened in a lever gun.

  12. Wow, that would suck! I’m glad the only weird problem I’ve had is when my Marlin 795 had a round fail to feed. The round was wedged at an angle with the bullet facing like the round was extracting. I reached over to pull the charging handle and the round popped in my hand. It felt like someone pushed my hand. Luckily that was all that happened. I reloaded and shit another few hundred rounds without issue after I rode the barrel just to make sure there were no obstructions.

    • “I reloaded and sh!t another few hundred rounds without issue after I rode the barrel just to make sure there were no obstructions.”

      You’re supposed to shoot the ammo, not eat it. If you have an obstruction you should probably see a doctor…

  13. “He didn’t glove up. I assume he suspected I wasn’t attractive enough to contract a fun STD, or skinny enough to be an intravenous drug user”.

    I seriously LOL’d.

    Glad it wasn’t serious or permanent.
    Thanks for writing that up

    • +
      Made me think of adding a gallon zip-loc freezer bag. Sometimes body parts come off, sometimes a briken weapon’s part quickly ends the discussion between bad weapon, and pilot error.

  14. When you mentioned you had heard about hang fires from some old ammo, I thought about the story on the NAA gun blog a while back.
    Seem a round didn’t go off, and without waiting, the shooter re-cocked the the little gun, advancing the cylinder. The round then went off sending the case back, with great force, into the shooters hand.
    There were photos of the incident, and the guys hand didn’t look pretty!
    This should be a warning to all who may have a hang fire at some time.
    Of course in a defensive shoot, using a wheel gun, if you get a click, you don’t have much choice!

  15. I watched my brother do something similar when I was about fifteen with Dad’s 22 rifle. The round bounced around his room which was surprising. A little spackling compound and Dad never knew the difference.

  16. Two incidents to relate. I had a squib round in a Henry lever action. 357. Got lucky, slow day at the range. Bullet was stuck right at the end of the barrel. It was either Remington or Winchester ammo. I have fired hundreds of rounds of both, never had another issue.

    Second story, old friend and I at the range, busy day. He was shooting next to me and the front sight blew off of his Redhawk. Stuck cast lead bullet blew out when the next round went down the barrel. The gun didn’t blow up, though. Later found the sight laying on his range bag behind him on the bench. Handloads and a busy range day.

    Anything bad can happen, some circumstances and actions can make it worse. Glad the author wasn’t hurt worse.

  17. Back in the 90s I bought a Lee-Enfield .303 when they could be had for $100 with 80 rounds of surplus ammo to boot. I shot a box and was impressed with the extreme lack of accuracy so I started looking at the box and realized that it must have been manufactured in 1951. I still have the other boxes on a shelf. I’m too afraid that I might get a squib and shoot another round with the previous bullet still lodged in the barrel.

    I guess with anything old, if it’s not functioning flawlessly you should assume you’ve got a serious problem.

  18. Cheap ammo isn’t cheap if it’s questionable. I was given some ammo by a local gun store to test as several customers had complaints about ‘misfires’. Turns out these misfires were actually the firing pin punching through the primer entirely! As soon as I saw that I immediately unloaded and stripped the gun (FN SCAR 17S) to check for any damage. Once I was satsified the rifle was good I packed up and returned to the gun store. Put simply I told him to grab the entire lot and toss it. It wasn’t worth anyone’s life or worse, their rifle.

  19. Great story! My ‘first’ ( as in, actually MINE ) gun was a CVA Kentucky Percussion BP pistol. Still have it. Among all the great lessons I learned when shooting it was, when you get a hang fire, you stop. You wait, barrel pointed down range. You wait some more. You carefully inspect the cap. You carefully replace the cap with a new one while still pointing the barrel down range. I never found out what you do if the second cap doesn’t work, because they always did. I still stop when I have a jam or missfeed, or a light strike. I wait, barrel pointed down range and carefully place the safety on, remove the mag, pull back the BCG or slide, whichever the case may be and thoroughly inspect the firearm, including shining a flashlight down the barrel looking for light exiting the chamber. Tap Rack and Fire is fine for the sandbox but old habits die hard on the range.

    • If your second cap doesn’t produce bang, you wait again. Then you can pull the nipple and pour some fffg in, replace the nipple, cap it and fire it. Or you can use a ball puller, basically a wood screw on the end of your rod. I hate it when I drive the patched ball down and forget the powder…

  20. This is an interesting & entertainingly written article. If the OP hasn’t already, it should be linked over to the Gunboards Mosin Nagant Collector’s forum.

  21. Lidocaine and pliers solve most hand foreign body issues.

    My best is when a patient passed out from looking at me with the needle with the anesthetic in it. I just skipped the anesthetic and pulled the staple (from a ND staple gun accident) out.

    Easiest removal ever.

    Make sure you get some real training to go along with your super tactical high speed low drag medical kit.

  22. Ummmmm…gore on a Wednesday. Great,graphic entry! 4 years ago Cabelas had Mosins for 69bucks-wish I’d pulled the trigger. Glad you’re OK…

  23. Hello,

    This isn’t a problem with the Mosin any more than it is a problem with all push-feed repeating bolt actions, and yes, it does sound like a live round was chambered.

    Push feed and controlled feed both have their respective strengths; I’ll not get into those here. Suffice to say that it’s not just a Mosin thing.

    I’m glad you healed well.

    Regards,

    Josh Smith
    Smith-Sights.com

  24. If you have any other theories of your own last to what happened, post them down below. I love internet theories.

    You stated:

    1) “I go back to banging on the the round with the bolt. And then, something happens. … It sounded like a regular gunshot. The rifle didn’t recoil though. I pulled my hand back from reflex.”

    2) “Also, the offending round was recovered and the primer was still intact.”

    3) “This theory explains why I then found a broken case in the chamber the month after the incident.”

    With reference to the above:
    #1 – There was a detonation with the bolt open – not closed which occurred in the process of forcefully closing the bolt.
    #2 – An empty (albeit ruptured) cartridge was collected with an intact primer with no indentation?
    #3 – Later you found the remains of a cartridge case with no case head in the chamber?

    I believe sir you have proven what your old timer range officer suggested, you tried to feed a cartridge into a chamber with another round already chambered. The resulting detonation blew the case head from the chambered round and detonated/destroyed the second round leaving the case head and primer intact.

  25. My only really gory encounter never involved any gunfire, or any ammunition whatsoever, for that matter. The only assailant in my case, if you could call it that, was the rear sight of a Norinco 213 Tokarev clone with the benighted ‘safety’ that ATF had mandated so it could be imported. Said safety simply fell out so you could strip the pistol, and to make matters worse the little retaining ball inside the safety lever also fell out, along with the spring. Then I made the mistake of putting the retaining ball back in before the spring, and it took me three days to get it back out. But enough of that, and on to the good stuff.

    You know how the Tokarev has a VERY heavy leaf hammer spring? Sorta like a miniature truck spring, just as stiff as hell. I was trying to check the gun to make sure it was unloaded just like any of us would….overhand. Most of the time that’s not a problem as long as you have it pointed safely to the side and no one is there. But with the hammer down trying to rack the slide is very difficult, indeed impossible, really. So what do I do? Push harder and harder on the slide with my left hand (on top) as I push harder and harder against the grip with my right hand. Sure enough, something had to give and that something was the hammer spring. It gave out very suddenly, and my left hand kept right on going to the right….right over the rear sight. Have I mentioned that Tok rear sights stick up out of the slide like a fence post? I drove the rear sight into the meaty part of the heel of my left hand, gouging a furrow fully an inch long by 1/3″ wide, ending at the very bottom right corner of my palm. Unlike the OP’s experience, it most certainly did hurt, and hurt a LOT.

    Not only that, but the Tok had a tendency to toss every sixth or seventh round of hot brass right into face just so and occasionally end up underneath my shirt, with attendant safety dance risks. And if all THAT weren’t enough, a paper plate was completely safe at 7 yards! I finally had to walk up to the plate and just whack it point-blank.

    Ended up packing that gun up and returning it to the dealer post haste (only lost 15 bucks on the ‘deal’)

    Tom

  26. Great story, and a nice reminder… carry an IFAK in your range bag.

    The one time you think you don’t need it, you’re gonna need it.

  27. Please change the title to something other than anti-gun fodder. Your rifle didn’t shoot you, you and your stupidity did.

  28. While watching the Kurd video I saw they did the same thing I did. Using a POSP scope on a mosin. Dammit I thought I “pioneered” that. Works great BTW.

  29. Great story, Chris.
    Nominate as a contender for story contest; funny, good read, extremely useful for lessons learned

  30. At first I was all “meh”.

    Then I realized I was at the end of the post. And while there are several points I REALLY want to criticize you for, you’ve clearly learned a pretty harsh lesson already. Also, your /k/ is showing.

    But well done, I enjoyed your pain and suffering.

  31. You cannot fix stupid. What part of continually ramming the bolt into an impact sensitive primer makes any sense. Article should read.. Man performes stupid action and is some how surprised he got hurt!!

    I bet the med kit was close by too

  32. Glad you are ok. Besides the blown out extractor. What other yankee imperialist damaged did you do to. Glorious mother Russia Mosin rifle, pictures please .

    Nyet Rifle is fine is not acceptable.

  33. There are Jews and there are Gentiles, but I don’t know a “less than gentile” is.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist. Believe the author meant “genteel.”

  34. Everytime I shoot mine I have to remember to move my right thumb down (or over), otherwise the recoil causes it to hit me in the nose.

  35. Lie. Not lay. Now that we have that out of the way (or is it ‘why’?), you never mentioned in your story whether you checked your Mosins for proper headspace prior to shooting them for the first time. Always, always, always do so before purchasing and/or shooting a new-to-you milsurp rifle. Your story has all of the hallmarks of operator error instead of equipment failure, and you learned an important lesson the hard way. I’m glad to read that your mistake wasn’t a more serious one. Buy more Mosins, keep shooting, and stay safe out there.

  36. Not to be mean but trying to slam the action shut on a stuck round seems like a terrible idea. Even knowing that mosins can be sticky, it’s still a terrible idea. I’m not sure why anyone would even think to do that with a gun.

  37. Honestly, why would anyone who knows anything about firearms do this ?
    The second that a bolt offers more than a normal amount of resistance, stop immediately, point the rifle down range and look at the action. Something is wrong, n’est-ce pas ?
    This wasn’t Stalingrad and you weren’t under attack so, why the big hurry ?
    If the action was locked up then you should have placed the old Mosin on the table and taken a break and though about what you were doing. Using brute force on a loaded firearm always results in something unpleasant.
    The 7.62 Russian cartridge operates at about 52000 psi, you are VERY lucky to have gotten away with such minor injuries after an out of battery detonation.
    This goes to show just how tough the Mosin design is. You owe that rifle a big kiss.

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