Project Build: The Ultimate Mosin Nagant
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I had been feeling bad about my poor Mosin. There it was, sitting under a bunk bed in the cabin. All but forgotten and slowly rusting away. It had probably been two years since it was last fired. I know I’m not alone here – there are maybe 4,000,000 Mosin Nagants in the U.S.. Hard to say how many of the apparently 37,000,000 or so that were produced actually made it to our shores, but it’s fair to say they’re pretty ubiquitous in gun safes, closets, attics and under beds all over the country. The world, really. Many of those not getting shot much. Rusting . . .


The Mosin Nagant is a solid rifle, though, and surplus 7.62x54R ammo is still readily available for about $0.25 a round. Even modern production ammo — perfectly suited for hunting, target shooting, or defensive purposes — is widely available and almost always at a lower cost than ballistically comparable rounds like .308.

What we have here is a long gun that isn’t particularly pleasant to shoot in its standard form. It’s huge, it’s heavy, it kicks pretty hard despite its weight, it has no provision for an optic and its fit and finish is what you’d expect from WWII Russia (in my instance). But it’s an excellent platform for a project build.

Now, although I expect comments rife with hate for ragging on a great battle rifle, the fact is that my Mosin served little purpose for me. It’s not particularly enjoyable to target shoot and I’m not lugging that ridiculous thing and its bayonet on a hunting trip. It was a great weapon in the First World War and, although it defended Mother Russia nobly in WWII as well, technology had already moved on. The last few times my Moist Nugget saw the light of day it simply served to introduce new shooters to a true rifle round — mostly so the experienced shooters could giggle at the “OMG recoil” faces.

The purpose of this build, then, was clear: fun. Turn a neglected 1945 Mosin into something that’s a blast to shoot. A rifle that looks fun, handles better, recoils less, makes some noise and flash and, above all else, demands to be shot. Something that draws attention at the range, that other people want to try. Something that works for new shooters. I think I’ve accomplished that. Let me show you how I went about it. Just like any recipe, it can be customized to suit your tastes.

The Build:


Right off the bat I knew the stock was a goner. Other necessities were a scope or optic of some sort, a shorter barrel, a muzzle brake to tame recoil and increase the fun factor, some coating to inhibit corrosion and make it look cool, and serious trigger work or an outright replacement.

I spent some time shopping around and then dropped off the Mosin and the following box-o’-parts with my gunsmith, Nick at HCTC Firearms.


The first step in the build process was cutting down the barrel and threading it for the brake. I went back and forth on having the brake permanently attached so the total barrel length including the brake would be 16″. Eventually I decided to just do 16″ of barrel and leave the brake removable so muzzle devices could be swapped around later. The short barrel makes the gun ‘handier,’ and the additional unburned gunpowder makes a bigger fireball. Yes, in my mind fireballs = more fun.

If you’re worried about velocity in a 16″ Mosin, it’s better than you might think. My gunsmith mentioned that the narrow barrel didn’t leave much room for a shoulder, so he actually threaded it so the brake would be perfectly clocked without having to use shims. As an added bonus to cutting it down to the minimum legal length, I was left with a sweet wall hanger: the end of the barrel, complete with front sight and bayonet assembly.


Moving more or less from the back of the rifle to the front, I’m going to do abbreviated reviews of each of these parts along with any notes on how they worked in the build process.

The Stock:


ProMag’s Archangel stock for the Mosin Nagant was released about a year ago, and was available only in black until recently. Now there are desert tan and O.D. green flavors, too. It’s rare that aftermarket polymer stocks are lighter than battle rifle wood stocks — and this one is a couple ounces heavier — but you get plenty of other benefits from the Archangel aside from its looks. Not that the slick, modern looks are a minor thing here. The main benefits are:

  • Drop magazines. 5- and 10-round mags are available. They’re easy to load and function very well. They insert easily into the beveled mag well and they drop free. The only issue of note is a side effect of the clip round retention system — if you insert a loaded magazine and then release it, the top round is going to get stuck up in the top of the mag well area. Not really a safety issue since it’s too low to chamber, whether it was stuck in there with the bolt back or not, but it’s a small oddity.
  • Easy dial click adjustment for length of pull via telescoping recoil pad. It’s a nice recoil pad, too. Grippy rubber with just a touch of give.
  • Easy dial click adjustment for cheek rest height.
  • “Goose neck” sniper-style grip with nice palm swells. It’s great. There’s a storage compartment in the grip, too.
  • Inletted to accept the Timney trigger with no modification needed. Blanking piece included if you’re keeping the stock trigger.
  • Three steel inserts for QD sling studs.
  • Free floats most barrel contours.
  • Flat-bottom forend is great for shooting from a rest and feels decent in the hand. Has provisions for mounting rails and the kit comes with a section of polymer picatinny rail — great for attaching a bipod.

I’m not exactly a ProMag fan, as I find some of their magazines to be hit-or-miss, but this stock rocks. It’s pretty freaking sweet in just about every way. Installation was drop-in. It feels and works great. If I have one complaint, it would be that the light Desert Tan color gets dirty pretty easily.

The Trigger:


Okay this Timney trigger is just ridiculous. I don’t think it’s really possible for a trigger to be better. It has zero slack/pre-travel/takeup – whatsoever – and zero creep at all. None. This means that pulling the trigger feels like putting your finger on a solidly-fixed steel bar. As you increase pressure, absolutely nothing happens. Then, when you get to the release weight, the break is precise and clean and perfect. That glass rod or candy cane analogy? Yes, it breaks like that. It’s even end-user adjustable for release weight from 1.5 lbs. to 4 lbs. The default is 3 lbs. and mine broke at precisely that every single time I measured it.


One cool feature of this trigger unit is that it has its own safety lever. This brings easy on/off thumb safety action — accessible with both hands in firing position — to the Mosin Nagant, which otherwise requires some cumbersome pulling and turning of the bolt cocking knob. In the factory stock, you have to remove wood to make clearance for the safety lever and for parts of the trigger unit’s body. As mentioned, the Archangel stock is already inletted so the Timney install is a significantly easier affair.

For all its faults, the Mosin is a pretty accurate rifle. Some examples are extremely accurate. The triggers are usually terrible affairs, though, and mine was horrendous. I cannot emphasize enough how much this $104 (at full MSRP) part did to make my rifle feel like a high-end modern firearm. A trigger like this will certainly decrease your group sizes.

The Scope Mount:

Brass Stacker has made a scout scope mount for the Mosin for a long time. This version is pretty small and light and it mounts only on the factory rear sight base. Brand new for the Mosin is their Anchor Point mount, which uses the recoil lug as an additional mounting point and shores things up quite a bit. It’s probably excessive for the extremely light See-All sight that I’m using, but would be a great choice for a heavier scout scope or a long eye relief pistol scope. I really like the Anchor Point’s looks over the lighter offering.


While it’s a drop-in job for the factory stock, the Anchor Point actually requires some modification to the Archangel since it doesn’t use a recoil lug bolt through it. My gunsmith milled a hole through the stock for the mount and it worked quite nicely. He recommends milling it at a low speed so as to avoid melting the polymer for a clean result.

Machining, fit, finish and overall quality were very nice. The kit comes with all of the hardware you’ll need and most of the tools for install and for adjustment. It easily adjusts for elevation and will also adjust for windage if needed. Some of my hardware appeared painted/coated instead of black oxide plated as it all should be, but I received a ‘prototype,’ pre-production version of this mount and I’m fairly sure that accounts for the discrepancy here. I would actually like the rail to be lower on the rifle, but in order to work with the rear sight in place (you can still use the factory irons with this, in fact) that just isn’t possible.

There are some scope mounts on the market that move the scope to a more standard location above the action. However, on the Mosin Nagant this requires modifying the bolt handle. The knob sticks straight out to the side with the bolt closed and sticks straight up with the bolt open — basically 90 degrees counterclockwise in either position vs. your normal bolt handle.

Yes, there are various ways to modify the bolt handle. I know this sounds crazy considering all of the other things I did to the rifle, but I really wanted to leave this untouched. To me, it’s one of the things that makes a Mosin a Mosin and it’s something unique and identifiable that I wanted to keep. Additionally, I like the idea of a scout scope and I really enjoy the look of a scout rifle. For me, there was more fun factor in this choice.

The Sight:


The See All Open Sight is a pretty unique product (EDIT: I did a separate review for it HERE). It is not an optic, per se, in that you can’t see through it and it doesn’t enhance or change your vision at all. It really is an open sight just like iron sights. However, it’s very fast to acquire and easy to use. It’s going to be great for new shooters and I can see it working well for more advanced shooters in some scenarios, too.

The sight uses a green fiber optic block at back with a graphic on its front face. The graphic, which is the sight’s reticle, is a black triangle with a horizontal line across the top point — sort of like a simple scale, if you will. On the front of the sight is a glass lens, which magnifies the graphic. Closer to your eye, e.g. the sight mounted on a shotgun receiver, it magnifies a bit less (the triangle appears smaller) and at longer distances, e.g. the sight mounted on a pistol at arm’s length, it magnifies more. Either way, you adjust windage and elevation so your point of impact is right at the tip of the triangle (to be clear, moving it closer or farther from your eye will not change POI, just the size of the graphic). Put your target on the triangle, pull the trigger, and hit. Very simple.

Like a good holo sight or other optic, if you move your head left, right, up, or down, the triangle still stays on target (zero parallax). What you see on the point is what it will hit. I was pleased with the size of the “window” or margin for error with regards to eye placement. Much more forgiving here than iron sights and more forgiving than many scopes I have used. This factor along with the large, bright fiber optic and high contrast black graphic make it quick to acquire.

At 1″ x 1″ x 2.2″ and weighing in at only 1.8 ounces, it’s a pretty darn small and light sight. No batteries. Think of it like bright iron sights — does it block your view of the target? Yes, just like iron sights do. Can you see it in the dark? If you can see your target, you can definitely see this sight. To me it has the charm of iron sights with the ease of use of a red dot, and that’s kind of neat. I’m looking forward to using it with new/inexperienced shooters. I do have a preference for how far it is from my eye and wasn’t as much of a fan of it on my pistol, but I like it in this scout scope location and I think it’ll stay on the Mosin. As mentioned, I’m going to do a separate review of the See All and that will include shooting it on a couple of rifles, a shotgun, and a pistol.

The Muzzle Brake:


I think the Precision Armament M11 “Severe-Duty” Muzzle Brake looks freakin’ sweet, and it definitely cuts down on felt recoil in a big way. It’s an extremely effective brake. To be fair, I did the stock and the brake at the same time and the stock is helping with felt recoil a bit also. I haven’t yet shot it without the brake to determine the difference it brings to the table by itself. However, I have swapped stocks on other rifles and shotguns and have used various recoil pads in the past, and I can tell you for sure that the muzzle brake is significantly reducing felt recoil.

mosin fireball

Side effects of a really effective muzzle brake are blast and fire. Indeed, in the video at top you can see how my Mosin is now an effective snow shovel. It even shocked and awed some snow off of trees as far as 15 yards away (that I noticed). Of course, in the pursuit of fun, both blast/concussion and fireballs were desirable features for me.

As the person shooting the rifle, it really isn’t any louder than it was before. However, for anyone outside of that little pie slice of peace behind the gun I’m sure the concussion is…noticeable. Fun if you’re there with the group enjoying the Mosin. Maybe not as awesome if you’re in the same room at the indoor range, and now that my local indoor range is going to be allowing rifle calibers I can go test out how many shots it takes to create some sonically-induced private shooting sessions. Heh.

Quality and machining of the brake are great. I got mine in bead-blasted stainless since I knew it was going to be coated, but it’s also available in a black DLC. The M11 is available for a few calibers and there’s a smaller M11-SPR for 5.56 rifles. Precision Armament also makes brakes of other designs, bolt knobs, scope rails, and more. In fact, I got the very spiffy Accu-Washer muzzle device alignment system but ended up not using it due to the lack of a sufficient shoulder with the narrow barrel and my gunsmith’s ability to thread it so the brake was properly clocked without shimming.

The Coating:


My gunsmith — that’s Nick at HCTC Firearms still — prefers KG Gunkote products, and this Mosin is the fourth thing I’ve had him coat for me. It’s a great coating for a digital camo design like he put on this rifle or, really, for any design that requires multiple layers as KG goes on very thin. In most cases with competitive coatings you can feel or even see height differences between layers, but this design using Gunkote is smooth. It also won’t fill or shallow out roll marks or engraving (think ATF-mandated depth minimums for serial number markings) and rarely interferes with tolerances, even in cases like fairly tightly-fit slide/frame rails.

Despite going on thin, it’s still tough. After about 120 rounds through the Mosin it still looks great on the bolt, inside of the receiver, muzzle brake (after intensive cleaning to get back down to the still-pristine coating), and everywhere else. There isn’t a lot on the KG website, but my gunsmith stocks 40-something colors so there’s no shortage of options. He recently revived a very beat up Pre-B CZ75 for me also. If you don’t have a good local option for coatings, give HCTC a call.


You know you have a neglected Mosin lying around somewhere. I know you do. Probably everybody does, right? I had so much fun on my first shooting outing with this “Ultimate Mosin Nagant” that I highly doubt it will ever be neglected again. It may just make it on all of my range outings from now on, actually. It’s really just that much fun to shoot!

For me, I’ve created something I like as much as the Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle (which is to say “a lot”) but at a lower cost. Lower to build than to buy, and also a much lower cost to shoot. Bolt action, scout scope location, drop mags, full-power rifle cartridge, options for a muzzle device. It’s a touch heavier than Ruger’s scout rifle but I think it’s generally comparable now. It’s accurate enough for hunting and more than accurate enough for fun.

Note 1: I chose not to replace the barrel, although that was a serious consideration. I felt like it would increase the expense beyond what made sense to me. Additionally, Mosin receivers are extremely strong but have apparently been known to crack in the process of trying to remove the factory barrel. That wasn’t worth it to me and although the bore of my barrel was rusted, it cleaned up okay and is still accurate enough.

Note 2: In the video at top, you’ll see that my bolt is still a bit sticky (although it’s better than it was). I have yet to do some light polishing work on it or steam clean the barrel lug recesses to make sure there’s no caked-in 70-year-old cosmoline in there. I expect I’ll be able to improve on bolt smoothness fairly significantly, but I doubt all of the charm of a late-WWII Russian infantry rifle will be lost. It’ll never be a pinky-finger-smooth, high-end modern action.

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  1. I’m building a 700 right now with that same brake on it. Not sure I would do that to my beautiful 1936 Mosin but, it’s pretty cool I guess. To each his own.

    • You could always buy another one. They are still plentiful and cheap. That’s the great thing about these rifles. You can tinker around with them and learn some gunsmithing skills without breaking the bank if you screw it up. I have a 1937 model that I have already bought a scope mount for and a turned down bolt. It is my first foray into gun projects.

    • Agreed.

      This is one of the cooler Mosin builds I’ve ever seen.

      The heartburn it gives Fudds just makes me smile.

      • Honestly I’m glad to see strong reactions either way. That’s ideal, really. Otherwise you’ve almost certainly created something boring. Nice to see that some of the strong feelings are positive ones, though 😉

        • Way to go Jeremy, you have awesome taste and creativity. I was never interested in the Moison Nagant until now. I’ve got to have one. You’ve got it looking like a high dollar Euro sniper!

        • It would hurt too much to modify an M39. I couldn’t touch my 1923 hex one, so I bought a T53 so I wouldn’t feel bad bubba’ing and duracoating it. That T53 is my favorite gun now. Bolt slides like its on bearings, the Boyd pepper stock is beautiful with satin wipe on poly, and the iron sights are right on. Fun fact, I could not get the Timney trigger to work with the Boyd stock. It wouldn’t fit, there’s like a screw in the way and I couldn’t remove any more wood to make it fit. Luckily the stock trigger is really not that bad, but it still annoyed me. If it was perfect though the rifle might be boring. A little flame and kick is what makes the M38/M44/T53’s fun.

        • Get a Finnish M-39. More money, but much nicer quality.


          You do that to a M-39 and the ghost of Simo Häyhä will haunt you forever.

        • Don’t get the Finnish one if you plan on doing all the changes. True enough the Finnish rifles are more accurate, but when you update one you have made it more accurate besides the Finnish rifle is just an update done along time ago.

    • It got ruined years ago when it was forgotten about under a bed. It wasn’t too terribly far from being unusable due to rust in the bore and elsewhere. This project saved the darn thing. It’s going to get shot a lot now. It’s ridiculously fun to shoot. Even when it was new, it was not a nice example of an M44. Production was not at its best at the end of the war, and this gun showed it. I understand your sentiment but I had zero reservations about heavily modifying what was frankly a slightly sub-par example of an extremely common rifle that I bought years ago for about $70 and was about to become nothing better than a wall hanger.

      I have a 1942 Lee Enfield and a Union Switch & Signal 1911, both of which were my grandfather’s in WWII. Those will not be touched. Those both have sentimental value, and one of them has actual rarity value.

      • It’s a valid redux for an old gun. There’s 30 million of them in circulation. One modern interpretation is not going to anger the gun gods. I really like the colors. Will look forward to reading the article when I have time later. Good Job!

      • /\This/\
        I don’t see why things should be preserved just because they are old. If they’re old AND rare, I could understand. However, this wasn’t exactly a collectible firearm.

        I took a Swiss rifle in for restoration once. I bought this thing for $200, there are thousands on the market, the numbers don’t match, the stock looked like it had been part of a beaver’s dam, and all I wanted was a refinish and rebluing, and I still had some random guy at the counter whinging about ruining its collector value as if I was asking the gunsmith to add a pistol grip, tactical rails, and paint it pink.

      • I’m not sure what’s more disgusting, the fact that you are trying to justify this monstrosity or the fact that you actually let your rifle degrade like that. Nothing about this is okay, and just because you killed a beautiful M44 through neglect doesn’t mean you can just defile it

  2. If I had an extra Mosin lying around, something like this might be fun. The only thing I plan on doing with my 1942 Mosin is refinishing the stock one of these days.

      • agreed… PS – krudkutter is your friend. Not nearly as awful to work with compared to a lot of the internet methods (brake cleaner? seriously?) and cleans extremely well.

        FYI – scraping with a sharp cabinet scraper takes the old finish off in literally seconds versus hours of sanding.

  3. I have a neglected Remington made Mosin in my cabinet that has demonstrated “pie plate” accuracy at 100 yards. I can see several things about your set-up that might greatly improve my accuracy, mostly the stock and it’s lack of barrel bands. I’m gonna have to print this out and ponder it a while.

    • Personally I’d keep the Remington the way it is and just get another Mosin if you want to do this conversion. Mosins are still inexpensive, and that Remington is relatively rare (as far as Mosins go). Depending on the markings, condition and what parts are matching, I’ve seen Remington Mosins go for anywhere between $250 to $1,000+ for really nice examples.

    • I wouldn’t mess with any rare version or particularly excellent example of a more common version either. …although it is technically possible to swap over to an aftermarket stock and then completely back to factory later. Nothing permanent is needed to swap the stock. But… you can find a new common variant of the Mosin for like $125 still…

    • If that is a “flaming bomb” Remington, don’t you fµ*king touch it. Those rifles are worth over 1K in mediocre condition. A bubba’d one can still fetch $500+. If you don’t want it, sell it to a collector and buy 8 lesser mosins.

    • hey bontai, if its a flaming bomb i will trade you my 91/30 round reciever with the black version of this stock already on it!!!!!!!!!!

  4. first off the duck decoy in the ice scared me.

    cool idea, i don’t care for the look but at the same time you made it into something that you’d shoot. kinda like the difference between having and old jeep/landcruiser and keeping it pretty or hogging it out into a rock crawler.

    also looks much much cooler than those awful drop in kits for the mauser.

  5. Anything that pisses off the “must stay original to preserve the sanctity” crowd of special snowflakes is fantastic in my book. Really there are 2 million examples of “X” version of this (insert surplus rifle here) and you have the audacity, the GAUL to savage it, give me a frelling break! These special snowflakes should be applauding you because it makes their untouched version that much more valuable. Since scarcity breeds value, you’ve just increase the value of theirs by .000000002¢!

    • Yes, and see my comment above from 11:24. There are probably only a few instances inwhich an 70-100 yr old milsurp rifle like this needs to be rejuvenated. Worn out barrel but receiver still in good condition? Sure, add a new barrel and have fun. Shellac job looks nasty? Sure, strip it down to the wood and start over again. Chop up an old Enfield just to make a Jawa Ion Blaster for your Star Wars costume. Oh Hell No! UnIssued Yugo Mauser M48A drilled, tapped and turned sporterized. Please No. Maybe there are a few more occasions where you could take an old warn out battle rifle and give it new life but once you look at rifle cost, gunsmithing cost (even if you do the work yourself), parts, and time spent on project I really think for the money you could have bought a brand new rifle. Sometimes old rifles just need to be left…old. YMMV

    • Watched a little too much Farscape did we? The item that kept getting repeated in my head was, all this work and accessorizing around a barrel that looks like the moonscape under a borescope. Yikes! I am all for projects but to me the barrel and the action are the heart of and gun and if you just bondo over the rust, you still have a hoopty.

      • And it will then go out and be used rather than being lost in a closet or under a bed and shoot for 1/3rd to 1/2 have the cost of some 308 Remington 700 build that has been done just about as often as someone has stippled and put a 3.5lb connector in a Glock 19.

  6. It’s kinda like polishing a dinosaur turd to try and sell it as a diamond,
    while it may have just been a turd it was a cool and historic turd and you sure as hell didnt turn it into a diamond.
    So now all you have is a shiny turd that aint worth shit.

    • It’s worth a lot to me now, as I now own a full-power rifle cartridge rifle that is cheap and ridiculously fun to shoot. Really, it’s a freakin’ blast to take out for exploding soda cans and shooting golf balls and blowing up tannerite and punching through construction materials. It’s a range toy for me and it’s damn good at it now. Anyway, I reject your basic assertion in the first place — there’s nothing special about a Mosin Nagant but it’s a perfectly good bolt action rifle, which is why they made 37 million of them and why they were in actual service with the Soviets into the 1980’s and are still used by some psuedo-armies today. They’re a good example of a solid bolt action rifle. Nothing special, but there are dozens of examples of real turds out there (here’s one) and the Mosin is absolutely not one of them.

      …and you can’t mistake me for some sort of Mosin fanboi either. If I was, I wouldn’t have chopped mine up ;-). It’s a solid, inexpensive canvas to do something fun. If you want to. If you don’t, don’t.

    • Even if one does classify a Mosin as a turd (I don’t), the
      experience a project like this can provide a hobby or even
      professional gunsmith can be invaluable. As a bonus
      they’re cheap enough not to break the bank.

    • Turd you say. I think not the Mosin is a great rifle. The price doesn’t reflect how nice of a rifle it is. In fact the price only reflect supply and demand. Unlike the diamond industry the people with Mosin’s sell them cheap and sell allot of them. As where the diamond industry only releases limited quantities to keep prices high. shoot a thousand rounds of 308 see how it performs and then shoot a thousand rounds of 7.62x54r after you do a side by side comparison and see that they are virtually the same. And then you compare the cost to shoot. Plus the Mosin’s proven dependability.

    • you are so F*ing wrong this gun is a beast when I first shot this rifle when I got it for Christmas 2011 it rattled the china on my moms wall while we were a good 50 to 60 feet away from the BRICK house on top of that its extremely accurate I have rarely missed a target with this and I consider myself a mediocre sharpshooter plus it’s tuff as nails and some of these rifles like my m91/30 if of the PU variant can be worth up to $800 to a $1000 that’s a good gun I have seen the m91/30 PU variant for sale at $799.99 and that’s the cheapest I’ve seen it plus as someone else said the U.S mosin is also worth a lot of money do you have one have you ever shot one if not Then STFU!!!

    • The turd you refer to played no small part in the destruction of the thousand year Reich. While it never won a beauty contest, it served many millions of Soviet infantrymen well. It put down far more axis troops than the Enfield and Garand combined. I don’t own one, but know it was a dependable infantry rifle. I’d say Jeremy did about as good as one could do with customizing a Moison Nagant.

      • I’ve been watching this thread since I first posted my comment.
        I have to wonder if the same negative comments would be made regarding someone who buys a Remington 700, then replaces the stock, perhaps a new barrel or other upgrades?

        Remington Model 700 Customizations –

        Yes, Another Remington 700 Precision Rifle Project –

      • I’ve got a 1943 91/30, and customized it to the max! I have about $1200 jist in the gun without a scope…. $1750 including scope, bipod, and rail. With wolf gold, i cam hold consistent 1/2- 3/4 moa from a bipod laying prone at 100yrds. Still working ony technique, bit can currently hold a 5″ spread at +500yrds. If i could post a pic here i would…. i have a custom shilen bull barrel fitted to it…. this is the best shooting rifle ive ever shot. Out shoots any rem700 around.

  7. Gee, thanks, Jeremy. Now I have to buy another Mosin. And another safe just for the Russian rifles. And more ammo.

  8. As I was watching the video, as soon as he pulled the trigger to demonstrate it, the video went black and said “AN ERROR HAS OCCURRED”.
    I know it’s just a random Youtube glitch, but the timing made me LOL.

      • I’m betting you are correct! I love my M44 (which my wife bought for me), you don’t have to hit what you are shooting at, the concussion from the muzzle blast will flatten the bastard for you and then leave you feeling like you just got punched in the nose. I also have a ’44 PU Sniper (which my wife bougt for me). Soon I will have the laminated, hex rcvr M91/30 (also via my awesome wife). I don’t know why, but I start slobbering whenever I see a Mosin…………….the only cure for the symptom is to buy more Mosins.

  9. If anyone considers doing this please make sure you are doing it to a “run of the mill” Mosin and not something rarer, like a US made Mosin or a Finish capture or something.

  10. Jeremy, you list MSRP for all the parts, but what do you actually have invested in it (including gunsmithing charges)?

    • Exactly! This project gun cost vs new Remington 700 (or other new bolt action rifle if you do not like Remington), decent scope, bipod, ect.

    • If you were actually doing this exact same build, you’d want to plan $500 for parts including shipping cost + the optic of your choice. Beyond that…

      I’m honestly not sure it’s relevant to say, as gunsmithing costs vary a whole lot depending on where you live and who you’re dealing with. HCTC’s prices are highly competitive. I probably would have spent 3x as much were I still in California. The parts are easily available at MSRP but if you shop around you can find them for less. For instance, the Archangel stock is $179 shipped on Amazon and is $169 + shipping on MidwayUSA (but not in stock at the moment). As far as I know, the Brass Stacker mount is only available on their website and that’s the same for the See All sight right now. I’ve seen the Timney various places for like $91. The Precision Armament brake in bead blast finish was on sale at Brownells for $90 for a while but is now back up to MSRP. Plus there are obviously other scope mount options, other scopes/optics, other brakes, other stocks…

      I paid ~$70 for the Mosin itself but that was some time ago. Even today you can find “new” ones for $125-$155 or so.

      My “comparison” gun in the write-up above is the Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle, which runs a thousand bucks. Assuming you count the money spent on the Mosin a decade ago, I’m coming in a couple hundred bucks less all said-and-done. And if I did get the Ruger, which I like a whole lot, I’d still put some money into it like swapping out the Mini-14 style flash hider for something else plus it would still need an optic. My Mosin cost included the $100 sight.

  11. While you’re at it, go ahead and chop a dozen M1 Garands and put them in neon pink AR-15 stocks. Apply cerakote camo too. Most importantly, make sure they are Garands that stormed Iwo Jima and Normandy to increase the uniqueness of your bubba butchery.

    I knew TTAG loved guns but didn’t realize TTAG loved to bend guns over and sodomize them.

    • All this hatred is giving me a good chuckle.

      The thing probably cost him less than a Benjamin, they can _still_ be had for slightly over that, they are about an uncommon as cat vids on YouTube, and most importantly… its his to do with as he pleases. No one has to look at, use, or love it besides him.

      He now has a unique piece HE enjoys… what else matters?

      I’m half-tempted to attempt the camo-pink-4pos stock-Garand now… if for no other reason than to fly in the face of convention.

      • HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe ……….an Obama portrait on the right side of the stock…………

    • Mike, do some math.
      What is the base price of a decent Garand and without the Korean surplus that Obama has plugged up, how many are available?
      What’s the base price of a Mosin and how many are there?
      The inherent quality necessary for a semi-auto Garand vs. a bolt action “build as fast as we can the Germans are coming get lead down range” is vast. They would not have been able to build a Garand type rifle with the same speed or quality.
      The Russians were under the Tueller drill with the Germans charging.
      We are lucky the Russian army was as big as it was and this rifle was the only way to supply them all as they did, thus giving us, by supply and demand, a $125 rifle today.
      I know the Passenger Pigeon once darkened the skies and now there are none, but this man’s new rifle is more like the Phoenix than one of the poor Passenger Pigeons.

      • The bottom line is that this is a historic rifle. Sure, it’s common right now on the milsurp market. There was also a day when when Garands, M1 Carbines, K31’s, K98 Mausers, and SKS’s were common and could be bought by the crate. Even if you don’t give a damn about history, the rifle is perfectly fine the way it is.

        Why are people infatuated with spending money on crap to “accessorize” their rifle? Did he improve the Mosin Nagant’s accuracy? Was there a safety issue that needed to be fixed? WTF WAS THE PURPOSE? If recoil is his problem, there’s a solution for that too. It’s called puberty and it automatically changes boys into men around the age of 13. If he’s a late bloomer, a slip-on recoil pad is cheap and effective training for coming-of-age. Kind of like a training bra.

        This reminds me of the buffer fad of the early 2000’s with AK’s, when it was popular to waste money on an overpriced piece of rubber that served no purpose except to reduce reliability… because the vendors that sold such products said they would make you cool.

        Well, it’s on to the next snake oil. Today’s hipsters have decided to put picatinny rails, tactical stocks, and .50 muzzle brakes on antique bolt action rifles. Tomorrow they may decide to commit group castration because it will make them low drag.

        Go ahead and drink the Kool Aid if you wish, but I’ll pass.

        • Sorry, comrade, but one rifle out of seventeen million means nothing. Jeremy built a fun range toy, and you’re just tr0lling.

        • ” If recoil is his problem, there’s a solution for that too. It’s called puberty and it automatically changes boys into men around the age of 13. If he’s a late bloomer, a slip-on recoil pad is cheap and effective training for coming-of-age. Kind of like a training bra.”

          Translation – I can’t think of a logical argument that would defend my point and support my views, so now I’m just going to insult you and call you a little girl.

        • “WTF WAS THE PURPOSE?”

          I thought I made that really clear. Fun. It’s going to get shot and enjoyed a hell of a lot now.

          I understand your feeling that it’s horrible because it shows a lack of respect or value for an old battle rifle like the Mosin, but if I didn’t respect or value it I would have never spent money on it and I would have let it continue rusting away. The BEST possible outcome for this gun otherwise would have been as a wall hanger and hopefully I’d spray it with something every now and then to limit further corrosion. That is not a noble end for an old battle rifle. Becoming a modern looking beast that gets shot a whole lot and explodes cinder blocks and soda cans and tannerite out on the range should make it a lot happier. In my eyes. If it could talk I think it would agree.

          I’m sure we could also get into a long debate about what actually makes something “historical,” too, but we should probably avoid that palaver. I recognize that the Mosin Nagant family of rifles has history, but certainly not everything that’s old is “historical.” I do not feel like my sub-par (even when it was freshly arsenal-refinished and in the cosmoline) example of an incredibly common rifle that had one foot in the grave from rust offered anything to the history of the Mosin Nagant by remaining in non-numbers-matching rebuilt “original” condition or degrading further. Nobody would have learned about the Mosin Nagant had this gun gone on the wall in my office or died under the bed. Now people ask about it when they see it, they’re shocked to find out that it’s a Mosin (if they previously knew what a Mosin was), and they learn about the Mosin Nagant and its history from me at the range and from any research they may do later. It’s doing a service to the legacy of the Moist Nugget, IMHO.

    • An M1 Garand action in a bullpup stock! When you shoot the last round it “TING”s the clip right into your cheek!

    • I have to say, some people like to think that a disservice was done to the russian military because someone took a super cheap gun and made it their own. Well Mike there is a very broad line between cheap and priceless and it seems you cannot see it. It starts somewhere between “they made 37,000,000” and ends somewhere around “Wyatt Earps Peacemaker.” I applaud this guy for fitting this gun to his needs instead of using it as a 7 foot long paperweight. It sounds like you need to go buy a case of these guns at the pawn shop and bury it in your back yard so you can sleep tonight…oh did i mention…a case of mosins goes for around $1200.

      • You expressed it very well. ” It starts somewhere between “they made 37,000,000″ and ends somewhere around “Wyatt Earps Peacemaker.”
        Imagine someone owning an original Ming Dynasty Vase.
        It’s their Millions which they paid for it.
        Don’t they have every right to smash it to pieces if they want?
        Others would gasp in horror for destroying such a relic but, they don’t own it.

  12. Mosin Nagant heavy? It weighs 4 kg (9 pounds), that is not heavy.

    Other than that, cool rifle, why didn’t you use a scout scope?

    • I wanted to try this See All thing and actually didn’t want magnification on this gun for whatever reason. I was considering a red dot before I found the See All! Also fair to say that I didn’t feel like spending as much as most scout scopes cost.

        • I think they feel heavier than they are because a stock 91/30 is twice as long as the shooter is tall… 🙂

          Compared to a shorter, “handier” modern rifle, they feel bulky and heavy, even if the scale doesn’t bear that out. Strapped across your back, the Mosin isn’t any heavier. Shooting offhand with that 28″ barrel hanging out in front of you, it definitely feels heavier than, say, an SKS (which weighs about the same but is something like ten inches shorter).

        • Maybe it’s the Russian “ergonomics” that make it feel heavy haha. I think just “unwieldy” would have been a more apt description.

    • The trigger would help for sure. Having an optic of some sort would help. But, in terms of mechanical accuracy, I doubt it really changed a lot. Maybe on certain versions of the Mosin free floating the barrel would help. The truth is that I didn’t do “before” groups and this was never a target gun for me. My Mosin was not a shining example of the breed and groups were never as good as you can expect from a Mosin Nagant in general. The bore also had become pretty darn rusty. It cleaned up okay but it wouldn’t be fair to shoot it for accuracy due to the somewhat degraded condition. It’s still plenty accurate enough to reliably hit soda cans off hand at 30-40 yards, and that’s truly as far as my accuracy concern goes here. It’s just not the rifle I would build if I accuracy from a rest were at the top of my priorities list. I doubt it will ever punch paper other than sighting it in. It’s a range toy for blowing up random targets in the ‘gravel pit’ 😉

    • As accurate as the shooter is skilled. I hate seeing these questions. I really do. If I can take a worn out m16a4 that you can watch a sun rise through the upper and lower (I’m talking the upper wiggles horribly bad just touching it (Yes. Any ex-military here that has been to hand-me-down posts like Baumholder will tell you that they get rifles that are on their last leg to fight with)) and plink four shots with an inch spread at 300yrds with iron sights, so could anybody else. It’s in the skill. Most any rifle can be accurate if you know what you’re doing.

      Secondly. It’s not a tragedy to modify this weapon. Many rifles used in the war were modified by their user because the factory design sucked. Sure they didn’t have this kind of setup, but they did what they could. I bet if this was the only rifle you had and you needed to use it, you’d be singing praises if it functioned better than it did out of the box. The way the current climate of gun owners sounds, people make their rifles into a work of art and give no thought to the actual use of the weapon. I hear more “It’s a pretty gun.” Than I do “Will it function as needed if I need to defend myself?” I think that’s more sickening than modifying a weapon to be functionally sound. I mean, my rifle in the military was horrible, but it was functionally sound. If I needed to use it in my defense, pretty wasn’t the factor I was depending on. I’ve shot Mosins as is. They have problems even when they function as intended. Pretty or not, I want a functionally sound weapon if I need it. If it requires dropping in a new trigger that doesn’t stick and modding the bolt to work more smoothly, it will be done.

      I know it sounded more gruff than I meant it, but I believe people have it all wrong these days. Training makes a skilled marksman, not the equipment he is using. The weapon he uses is a tool to put those skills to use. The better he trains himself, the better he is when he does his thing. If you have to wonder about the accuracy of a rifle if you needed to pick it up off the street and use it without knowing the weapon, you’ve already lost the battle.

    • some guy on youtube, hacked one down to make it a “pistol”. 10-1/2″ barrel. He hit a gong at 300 yards with it. Not bad for a Mosin Nagant “pistol” …

  13. While I normally recoil in horror from the idea of sporterizing a military rifle,

    A) Mosins are common as dirt; it’s not as if you’re butchering a pristine 98K.

    B) That looks cool as hell.

  14. I think it’s pretty cool. I may pick up another 91/30 and modify it a bit. My ’38 Izhevsk is no rarity, but it’s just too beautiful to mess with. My ’33 is also a no no, since it has hardwood instead of laminate, and a hex receiver. I have two decent examples of both, so the next one I buy is getting parts thrown at it.

      • Better yet, buy one of those Chinese M44 clones that are a dime a dozen now, and come with pre-butchered stocks so that you don’t feel bad about doing whatever the hell you want with them.

      • That’s the route I went for sporterizing a Nagant, I bought a T53 off gunbroker. Stock was horrendous cracked plywood and not a single number matches, but the bolt glides like butter and the bore is freaking PRISTINE. A Boyd pepper stock, some elbow grease, a thorough degreasing, a spray FDE duracoat, and I’ve got a sexy fun high powered cheap to shoot rifle that looks like a Ruger guide gun at a glance for about $250 total. Its by far my favorite rifle, and the fact that I did all the work makes it even more special to me.

  15. Thanks Jeremy.
    I really like this build.
    I’m waiting for another one to pop up on the local want ads. This would be a lot of fun to do.

  16. Mosins are common as dirt ? How many times have we all heard some older gent say this is what he thought about every old mil-surp that’s now worth more than you payed for your first car and he wishes he kept his or bought a barrel of em

    • Generally agreed with you there. Same with surplus ammo. Availability of entire crates of Mosins is apparently drying up. I saw surplus .303 Brit availability dry up. In my specific case, my rusty Mosin was never going to have value. Especially if it didn’t become something that received maintenance and continued degrading. Even if I had left it new in the cosmoline, it was not a nice example of an M44 anyway. Fit and finish were sub par. I’ve seen worse, but I’ve mostly seen better.

  17. I love my MN, it is one of my favorite rifles, I love it. Bolt action, big bullet, it is a basic gun: everything you needed to send a bullet somewhat accurately down range(600m is not bad with iron sights) and nothing more. It is forever one of my favorites, I will look at getting more MNs for my collection.

  18. I have 2 38 izzies. They both shoot decent and surprise, their triggers are pretty good mosin wise.

    I have no objection to altering a mosin except for the price. You’ve got north of 600 bucks in a mosin just for the parts.

    It’s your money and your property. Do as you please. But if I was going to spend that kind of money I’d buy a more modern rifle. That’s just me.

      • Yep. I bought a bubba speciacl 03a3 springfield at a yard sale when I was 14. All the collectible and historic value of that rifle had been ruined.

        You know what. I gave sweet phuck all about that. I was a 14 yo with a sweet shooting .30-06.

        • I bubba’d(some would say) the crap out of a K98 years ago…. sort of. I was taught by a neighbor in his garage workshop how to properly headspace, tune, glass bed and assemble a rifle from boxes of salvaged parts he’d collected over the years(LOTS of years!) working with, restoring and building Mausers.

          At 15 or 16 years old my attention to detail didn’t exist but my mechanical fascination was alive and well so he taught me what I was willing to learn. What we ended up with was an extremely ugly rifle that is amazing to shoot, accurate and most of all….my first REAL step into the “big rifles”. I still get crap from people to this day on how they “can’t believe what someone did” to that rifle.

  19. I modified mine with a few differences and I cut the handle off the bolt and forged my own bent handle from a grade 8 bolt. I mounted a scope on a mount from I wish I could post pictures. This polished turd of mine is accurate as all hell. I already bagged a deer. So if you can hunt with it then it’s not just a turd.

  20. This is funny stuff. The Mosin is the Trabant of the gun world (not even Yugos). Certainly not Garand, Not M1903, Not K98, Not even anything Jap or Italian. Built by the commies to be disposable (one rifle/4 Komrade then throwaway rifle and bury Ivans).

    Think NOSINS for UKRAINE

    • Can you please stop regurgitating ridiculous WW2 myths? No, it was not 1 Mosin per 4 soldiers, not even in the worst days of 1941 – they have had ammo shortages at times, but never rifle shortages. No, it was not meant to be disposable, and most prewar rifles are actually built very well.

  21. Dude, excellent project and write-up.

    “The purpose of this build, then, was clear: fun. ” <–as far as I'm concerned, that statement (and the fact that Mosins are common as dirt) makes you immune from criticism on this.

    Only thing I'm skeptical on is that with all the parts costs you listed, plus KG guncoat, plus gunsmith fees, this is probably at or a little above the cost of a Gunsite Scout.

    Either way, looks awesome.

    • About $200 under the Ruger. Minus the 9% in taxes I’d pay on the Ruger. And the 3x higher ammo costs. And the fact that I’d swap out the flash hider AND would have to buy an optic. Including the sight, I’m a couple hundred bucks under the cost of the Ruger. The funny thing, despite all the [expected] criticism, is that I did this precisely because I like and respect the Mosin Nagant. For me this was an opportunity to save it. It had already degraded to the point where its next stop was probably a non-functional wall hanger. I think that’s a worse fate for a battle rifle. This thing now has a new life and is the bell of the ball at the redneck range in the forest 😉

      (and if you’re wondering why, if I like & respect Mosins, it was allowed to be forgotten and get rusty I don’t really have a perfect answer. It was a shared rifle for multiple family members and not everyone considered cleaning after shooting corrosive ammo a priority. It was $70 like 10 years ago and just wasn’t taken care of properly, which I suppose is an issue with all things when they are co-owned or communal. I cleaned it when I shot it but didn’t see it as my responsibility to babysit otherwise, basically. It’s mine now, though!)

      • I feel you on ammo expenses. Even the cheapest .308 practice ammo is outrageous.

        And lucky you for scoring a M44 before those prices inflated as well. These days, I think I’d snag a beat up T53 instead to do a project like this.

  22. Wow, the butthurt is strong around here. While we may(myself included,Nagant revolver post) joke around a bit and hate to see the truly rare pieces get modified, where exactly would you like to place the “red line in the sand” when it comes to your own(or someone elses) personal property?

    I think it’s interesting, it would be fun to shoot and that he has something he wanted. It also happened to be HIS in the first place so my opinions shouldn’t effect him any more than those of the whiners on here looking for something to complain about.

    I personally couldn’t justify that kind of outlay($$$) on that particular rifle but I sure as hell wouldn’t chastise him for doing what HE wants with HIS money. Factor in the innate ability of FUN to bring new shooters into the community and I’ll never understand the negative attitude some of you have.

    If some of you so vehemently dislike the idea of people modifying guns THEY own for PERSONAL pleasure…. might I suggest you form a club, mortgage all you own and buy every one you can find in your area to save them from such a travesty.

    Jeremy S., I say this with all sincerity… Thanks for sharing and I hope it serves you well.

    • Thanks! More than anything else I wanted to do it as kind of a showcase. Just to spawn ideas of what’s possible with coatings and some bolt-on parts and a little ‘smithing. It is a lot of money to put into an old rifle, but maybe somebody sees it and thinks just the scope mount would be great to turn their Mosin into a hunting gun that they use regularly, or just the X and maybe also the Y. Plenty of folks view this as ruining a rifle, but if some changes can literally save other old rifles from rusting away like mine was then I’m [obviously] all for it. Assuming, of course, that you aren’t F’ing with something rare or historical. I understand the historical aspect of the Mosin Nagant, but in my case with a late-war example that was not nice to begin with and then had deteriorated fairly substantially I think this is an awesome outcome for it to get back in normal rotation and kick some ass on the range. I think it’s happy 😉

  23. “…you have a neglected Mosin lying around somewhere…”

    Soaking up cosmoline since the spring of ’46. A hundred more years ought to do it!

    • The best part about the factory stocks is that they almost all leach cosmoline when you shoot enough to get the wood hot. Even if they’ve been cleaned over and over, they still often do it. One of the things I’ll miss just a little bit.

  24. I don’t know why people are giving Jeremy a ration over this.

    Mosins aren’t rare right now. Given the number of them built and the relatively low proportion of them that have been exported to the US so far, there’s undoubtedly many more waiting in crates, slathered in cosmoline (or the Russian equivalent thereof), simply waiting for the Russians to become hungry enough for western currency to export them.

    Sure, other mil-surp rifles have gone up in value. I find the price of Mausers to be largely incredible, given that there were over 100 million examples made. Sure, the Argentine 1909’s and the G33’s are prime candidates for sporterizing. M48’s are hardly rare, and aren’t particularly nice. VZ24’s are probably the best bang:buck for a sporter rifle conversion. I don’t cry when they get sporterized. A pre-war 98, with all the markings, matching serial numbers, pristine bore and so on? OK, that should be left alone.

    A Mosin with a rusted bore? What’s he going to do with it? Hang it on a wall? Isn’t worth doing so. Replace the barrel? OK, all the collector value is basically gone right at that point, same as when I replace the barrel on a Mauser or ’03 Springfield that has been abused. Guns are collectable only when they’re taken care of, and a rusted bore or pitting below the wood line pretty much says “this isn’t ever going to be a collector’s gun.”‘

    Oh, and nice job, Jeremy. Looks well executed.

    • You’re actually dead-on with that. In its condition its next stop was either a wall hanger or this. I understand the feelings of why you wouldn’t modify a battle rifle, but for me it was those same feelings that made me want to do it. Putting it on a wall and just attempting to limit future corrosion seems like a worse fate to me for a rifle like this than teaching it some new tricks and getting it back into the field in heavy rotation. If this rifle could talk I wouldn’t be surprised if it wanted a different coating scheme or prefers a different optic or brake, but I think it would be 100% completely and totally on board with becoming a modern looking badass fire breathing beast 🙂

    • Amen. It’s not like this is a low serial number military issue 1911 here or anything.

      I mean, I might not have dropped that much dough on sporterizing a nagant, but hey, more power to him.

    • The stuff available right now, over the counter in crates? Not rare at all. 1940s Mosins are plentiful and frankly, there’s little wrong on any level with Bubba-izing them. Plenty more where that came from.

      OTOH, Pre-Revolution, Mid-Revolution stuff is really scarce on the collector market, especially in original condition, without import marks. I recently put a 1920 Izhevsk Finnish Capture 91 Dragoon in the hands of a collector friend, and it was not, most assuredly for $125 – it was multiples thereof, and there were two collectors behind him that would have paid well over $500 gladly. (But I wanted it among comrades, where I could visit it now and again…)

      There were hundreds of thousands of Vegas made, and nobody gives two good flyin’s what happens to them. But, if you have an original Cosworth, do the world a favor and don’t tub it like some white-trash drag racer and throw a big block in it – sell it to someone who cares, and buy a turd to flush.

      Mosins? Same rule applies. How you molest some run-of-the-mill round-receiver unit is rather irrelevant, there are plenty more to collect. But please, look your rifle up, and don’t ruin something interesting. Buy a turd to flush.

  25. It’s cool, especially if it can shoot reasonably accurately. If only money was nothing. What else could you have built/bought for the same time & money? I’m guessing there are cooler things out there for the same investment?

    • Probably. But I also wanted to save this Mosin from a fate of rusting into non-shootable condition. At least in my eyes, that’s exactly what I did (despite comments implying that this is Mosin hatred, I did it because I like the thing).

      • All it takes to “keep a rifle from rusting into an unshootable condition” is a few minutes with an oily rag every couple of months.

        You went to a lot of time, money and effort to create this hillbilly abortion. No need to make lame excuses for it, no one’s going to believe ’em anyway.

  26. I’ve got a 1927 that is in beautiful shape and shoots great that I wouldn’t dream of doing this to. If I had another laying around, game on

  27. Where were your skis?
    You had snow and an outstanding 7.62x54R Biathlon rifle.

    Nice! And brings up a currently sometimes neglected aspect of firearms-
    To have fun!

  28. Very cool! I don’t have my Mosin yet, but now I’m strongly tempted to buy a 2nd – keep the nicer one alone and do cool things ala Jeremy with the other one. Although, depending on the trigger that shows up, that Timney trigger might be a quick purchase.

  29. to build a perfect mosin, there are some basic instructions.
    1. buy a mosin for under $130
    2. clean the cosmo off
    3. get it accurate at your desired distance
    4. buy more ammo for it than the media would be comfortable with.
    5. repeat steps 1-4 until your safe is full.
    unfortunately I’m stuck on step 1.

  30. As a 91/30 owner (’44 Izzy, I know it’s nothing special but still one of my favorite rifles to shoot) and milsurp lover part of me thinks this project gun is sacrilege. And from a practicality standpoint the muzzle brake is ridiculous, I don’t think even a stock M44 kicks *that* bad. All you’ve done is make the rifle that much more unpleasant for spectators (or awe-inspiring, depending on their desire for hearing damage/bigass fireballs).

    On the other hand…. it keeps a rusty old workhouse shooting and shows that a 1940’s battle rifle can still be a viable implement in a world of EBR’s. And I’ve seen far more egregious hachet jobs done to a Mosin. This was cleanly executed and with some clever mods focused on making it a better rifle, and it WORKS. That Timney trigger especially.

    So kudos good sir, this is probably the first tacticool Mosin that hasn’t turned my stomach. Thumbs up.

    • The brake is pretty practical in that it’s extremely effective at mitigating recoil and muzzle rise. It isn’t louder than normal for the shooter. For any other folks on the firing line? Yeah. For this fun build, my criteria for a muzzle device were flashy looks, flashy fireballs, and efficacy. The M11 delivered across the board. Actually, there’s less fire than I was expecting but I may have to experiment with some other ammo choices.

  31. Jeremy S,

    It seems to me that you’ve had your money’s worth of fun: Once building and shooting your unique Mosin & twice reading all the B/S and vitriol you’ve raised amongst the nay-sayers.

    I reckon you’ve done well on the re-build / resurrection of your own rifle and WTF has it to do with others?

    I accept your stated opinion that you wouldn’t butcher [Australian for “Bubba”] a good example, but others, apparently keen to impose their limited views on the rest of us, don’t seem to get that – which says, IMHO, more about them than it does about you.

    I know my 16 y.o. son, who is partially brain-washed by the current clever advertising of such weapons to think that any arm that looks “tactical” is better than any other firearm, would benefit from running such a project on a similarly U/S military arm, as it would teach him plenty about the way things were and also a bit about gun-smithing and how it all works.

    He’s just about graduated from his .22 Browning “Trombone” so I might just set him up with the job of doing so!

    By the way, I own a couple of Lithgow Mk III* Lee Enfield .303’s which have been converted to 303-25 [shooting the Roberts .257 projectile at 85gr in one for smaller and 100gr in the other for larger game respectively] and they shoot and look good, too. Millions of Lee Enfields were made, too, so I don’t feel bad about hunting with mine.

    It pays to be sensible around firearms, but that doesn’t mean one shouldn’t have fun, too.


    the shed man

    • Threading a barrel, which may or may not include cutting it to a shorter length, runs $75+ w/ my gunsmith. Some of his pricing for gunsmithing/machining work and coatings is on the site here:

      He also threaded, without changing the length, my Remington 597 Heavy Barrel and an old Western Field bolt action .22 lr. The work looks as good as anything I have seen come from any manufacturer as a factory job. The threads and shoulders are PERFECT (including how concentric they are) and he reblued the machined area on those guns really nicely.

  32. Well done, Jeremy! That is the most beautiful Mosin rebuild I’ve seen.

    I placed an old Mosin into a CBRPS stock. As much as I like the stock (drop-in installation, bullpup conversion, excellent balance, etc.), that Archangel stock is gorgeous. Coupled with the ability to use a Timney trigger and magazines…I need to start saving my pennies for another Mosin build. Perhaps sell the bullpup Mosin.

  33. I enjoyed this article a lot. Very informative since one of my hobbies is ressurrecting trashed rifles from gun shows and having fun rebuilding them into fun shooter. One day I’ll do an article about my FR-8, but that’s for another time.

    I wouldn’t use the phrase “Bubba’d” with this project. You used actual gunsmithing and real parts. I’ve seen some horrific Bubba projects and this is not one of them. Some people here need to really relax. Especially the one’s who think you spent too much. It’s a hobby and the money isn’t the point. You gave an old rifle a new life and that’s pretty cool. Plus you learned a few gunsmithing skills in the process. That’s worth a lot too.

    Nice job and great write up.

  34. Nice. Have you put it on a scale to find out the final weight?
    I see that the stock is heavier, but does the cut-down on the barrel counteract that?

    • Overall it’s a few ounces heavier. The couple inches of barrel lost and bayonet lost did lighten it up, even if you account for the large muzzle brake, but the stock basically destroyed that weight savings by being a couple oz heavier than the wood one. So we’re at about a wash here and then you add the scope mount (which is pretty darn light, but still) and an optic of some sort and you’re going to be a bit heavier depending, mostly, on what optic you choose. The math would work out differently if you were starting with a ~28″ barrel instead of my ~19″ barrel. Some of the other models have longer forends on the factory stocks plus more barrel weight.

      At any rate, if your goal is light weight then I’d chop the barrel down to legal minimum length and crown it but leave it bare (no muzzle device) plus go with a different stock like a simple Monte Carlo one, which you could even drill out internally to lighten up. Or cut down the factory wood one to remove some of the excess forend length and then drill out the inside areas of that to lighten it up. War rifle wood stocks are usually a lot lighter than most people think and going to composite/polymer usually adds a bit of weight.

  35. I did something very similar with an old Mosin when the Archangel stocks first came out. I actually pre-ordered the stock while they were in prototype, and since I was going to be making a Bubba-gun, I ordered a second hand-select hex receiver Mosin to keep as a wall-hanger. (It’s been lightly wiped, but I’m not even cleaning out the cosmoline). On my Bubba-gun, I chopped the barrel, removed the rear sight, turned the base down, mounted a Rock Solid scope mount and Rock Solid bolt with a Nikon 3-9×40, and a Firefield bipod. Yeah, it’s heavy and expensive, but it’s not as heavy as the 24″ SS bull barrel AR I built, or as expensive as the MG-53 SA conversion turned out to be. I like the look of the M11 – That may be in my future.

  36. I like it. Though the I’d think that the mass of that huge break is countering the handling benefits of shortening the barrel.
    I’ve been thinking of doing bubbaing to a mosin the problem is every time I buy one and clean it up it ends up being too pretty to alter. I used teak oil on my last stock refurbishment. I’m up to two m91/30’s and two t53 Chinese, and still can’t bring myself to remove the front sight/bayo mount and scout mount a red dot. Then remove stock from barrel band forward, maybe the next one will be in worse shape and be sacrifice worthy…

    • The brake weighs quite a bit less than the bayonet and couple inches of barrel that were removed. And that’s on my M44, which only had like a 19″ barrel. If you’re chopping down a model with a 28″ barrel then you’re coming out way ahead. And, of course, you could choose any brake or no brake. Whatever floats your boat. I wanted this one so on it went. By no means do you have to do the same haha

  37. Ive got a numbers matching mosin that someone sporterized (and did a horribad job at it) at home. Bought it for $200 2yrs ago, few hundred rounds threw it. LOVE IT. but i dropped it off at my gunsmiths today for an overhaul. Total cost with current scope, $200 buy price, $690 in overhaul. glassed bed, full floated, timney trigger, archangel stock, barrel cut to 20in, threaded/capped, repair bolt (moron who did bent bolt-kit jacked it up), new type of scope mount (since the same person screwed the ATI setup), and a coupla other minor things. So after it is all said and done, I will have a rifle that will post nice groups at 300m for roughly $900. I will post it up when it is finished with shot groupings.

  38. Dumb question here; does the coating cover the interior of the barrel? Does it protect against corrosive surplus ammo?

  39. Love it love the fact you had fun building and still have fun shooting it. Whiners – I don’t care if it is the last gun used by King George if the man owns it he can use it as a tent stake, its his.

  40. like the way that barrel turned out. do you know what colors were used? a bit color blind, I am not allowed to choose any colors at all!!!

  41. Love it!! I was looking at one of these stocks yesterday. Love my mosin as it is, but I plan on doing ALL of this when funds allow… With the exception of the digital camo. Never been a fan. Now one of those home grown camo jobs using leaves off the trees in my backyard as masks…? You betcha! What brake size did you use? I read that a 15×1 is the correct one for a mosin, but I plan on slicing 7″ off my barrel.

    • There is no correct thread pitch. There’s no “original” thread pitch, as I don’t believe any were threaded. I chose the standard .308 thread pitch of 5/8-24 so the market for muzzle brakes is huge. The AK-47 standard thread pitch (14×1 LH) would probably work just fine. Bottom line: you can choose to thread it however you please as long as it leaves sufficient barrel thickness.

  42. I have 2 mosin nagants and I can tell you that one of them is going to look similar to the build in this article. I am looking around right now for parts and going to do it rather similar to this one because I love the look of this one..

  43. Jeremy, you took a rusted-up old rifle, that wasn’t getting used, into something useable. That’s always good news. A gun is meant to be used, not just sit there.

    I personally would choose a black finish and a Boyd’s walnut riflestock w/ LimbSaver, but that’s just personal choice. It’d still probably be a GunKote finish like what you used. I’ve seen that stuff. It’s tough and looks good.

    Mosin barrels can shoot pretty well even if pitted, as long as the rifling’s still reasonably strong all the way out to the crowning. Glad that yours was still in good, shootable condition. Were I in this situation, I might’ve gone for a 24″ aftermarket barrel in something between a “sporter” and “varmint” profile, with a muzzle brake. My personal reason for that is best velocity with a practical-length barrel for this capacity of round.

    For those who don’t like what Jeremy did…folks, it’s *his* rifle, not yours. He put it back into practically shootable condition, and that’s a good thing.

    – T

  44. How has the scope mount held up since it was mounted through plastic? I really like this idea but I’m wondering how much wiggle you get after a few hundred rounds with that set up.

    • Piggybacking on the question about how the Brass Stacker Anchor Point scope mount is holding up, over time. I’ve seen a lot (…and own a few) P.O.S. scope mount products for Mosin’s, but this one looks pretty solid. I too have the Archangel stock and am a little concerned about drilling the stock, stability due to the mod, alignment of the drilled anchor point pin, etc.

      I’m not going quite as far with the modification as you, but I do agree that adding/modifying some things on my Mosin has made it a lot funner to shoot, more accurate, and just plain gets it out in the desert firing more often.

      As for ruining the “historical value” of a Mosin, the more MN’s we “trash”, the more valuable the pristine “collectors” become! We just need to get about 90-million friends to do the same thing…
      No thanks necessary, collectors!

    • FYI it mounts to the recoil lug, not to the stock. In the factory stock there’s a hole in this location and the Brass Stacker Anchor Point mount goes through it without even touching the stock at all (the brass stacker site actually says “no contact with stock”). It clamps to the recoil lug part of the receiver. With the Archangel stock, you just have to drill a large enough hole for this bolt to go through. Even if it was a huge hole there wouldn’t be any play in the scope mount, as the mount is not held in place by the stock at all.

      Hope this makes sense.

  45. I am doing a similar build and was wondering if you had problems with the barrel being non concentric for the muzzle brake? If so how did you correct for it? It seems my barrel after being cut down is 1/8 thick wall on one side and 3/16 on the other. With the barrel only being 5/8 overall and needing 5/8 threads for the M11 brake, it doesn’t leave much room to correct for threads.

    • Mine was slightly off but not bad. This can be an issue, and the easiest solution is doing the threading as nicely as possible leaving as much wall as possible on the thin side while obviously still leaving appropriate threads on the ‘thick’ side and then, if needed, opening up the baffles in the muzzle brake to ensure there is adequate clearance for the bullet. That’s really the bottom line, actually — bore out the muzzle brake if needed. If the brake is going to be off-center from the bore due to the bore being off-center in the barrel, then bore out the brake to make room for the bullet. Don’t F the threading job or the barrel trying to center things, just F the brake a little bit 😉