Sara Tipton: How a Mosin Nagant Ended My Winter Blues

It’s been difficult for me to get out and do much of anything gun related lately. Life has thrown me a few curve balls and the weather has not been playing in my favor either. Safe to say, I was itching to at least get my hands on something gun related . . .

Interestingly enough, my son (who is not yet in preschool) came to me with his box full of blocks and asked me what we can do with them. My mind immediately went to one thing. We can disassemble a Mosin-Nagant bolt.

Now, honestly, this was the hardest thing I’ve learned to do so far in the world of guns. My hands are small and I’ve been pinched and bled more times than I can count by a Mosin bolt. But as soon as I brought it downstairs to show my son, he got excited.

He jumped up and asked if we were “gonna fix that shiny thing!” His excitement makes things easier for me. When I told him it’s a bolt from my gun, the questions began to fly.

“What’s a bolt?” “How are we gonna use my blocks to fix that?” “Why does this thing smell?” (Cosmoline).

As I explained that the bolt is the part of the rifle that pushes the cartridge into the barrel so it’s ready to shoot, he got a lot more excited. My son loves springs. I couldn’t wait to show him that there’s a spring inside this bolt that we can take out and he can hold.

As I broke down the bolt, he fired more questions at me. When I asked him for a block from his box so I could compress the spring and spin the top piece off, he excitedly handed me the “biggest block he could find in his box.” When I removed the spring he jumped up and said “Oh mommy! Can I hold the spring? Please?” So of course I let him.

He went through and looked at all the other pieces of the bolt, and then said “now can we put it back together?” Of course, we did. Well, I did. He watched and narrated my every move.

As soon as my husband got home from work, all our son could talk was how “Mommy let me do fun stuff today! I got to hold a spring. And it was a big one!” And that’s how my son and my Mosin ended my winter blues.


  1. avatar Alan Esworthy says:

    Thanks, Sara! This story is the best kind of heart-warming.

    1. avatar Piece Of Cake says:

      If I put another greasy gun part on the carpet, I’m pretty sure my wife would politely ask me to reassemble the gun so she could use it on me.

      My life flashed before my eyes when I saw the bolt sitting on the light-colored rug in the living room.

      1. avatar Mk10108 says:

        “my wife would politely ask me to reassemble the gun so she could use it on me.”

        Standing in the boat with you.

  2. avatar William A. Wessels says:

    It doesn’t take much to make kids happy, love and attention pretty much covers it. God Bless you and your beautiful family.

    1. avatar The Gray Poseur says:

      Dear Mom:

      Please stop posting pictures of me on the Internet.

  3. avatar mer says:

    When’s your sons birthday? We could all chip in a buck or two and buy him a big box of different recoil springs for a 1911.

  4. avatar Mk10108 says:

    Kids brain buckets are sponges. Can’t stop the signal no matter the age.

  5. avatar James69 says:

    Nice. I’m sure you know but…….The gun should have a tear drop shaped tool to set the depth that the firing pin is adjusted to. If it’s too deep it could puncture the primer and have a mini-kaboom. Safety,safety,safety. I have 2 mosins and love them both wish I had bought 20 when they were $89.00. For a reall kick in the pants get one of the M44’s

    1. avatar anonymoose says:

      Unfortunately prices are three times that now for a 91/30, let alone an M44 (there have been no import batches of any nuggets in several years). It’s still probably the cheapest rifle you can buy though.

  6. avatar Devin says:

    Gawwww that’s a cheery and adorable little piece you wrote there. Here’s hoping your local weather shapes up soon so you can get out and enjoy your freshly cleaned mosin!

  7. avatar SkyMan77 says:

    Awesome story, thanks for sharing it. Soak up every day, they grow way too fast but you know this already.

    May Gods Blessings continue to be upon you and your family…

    Come On Spring!!!

  8. avatar AlanInFL says:

    I thought she used the Mosin on a charging snowman.

    Nice story. Next would be her son can reassemble a Mosin blindfolded

  9. avatar Buzz Word says:

    Reassemble that Mosin bolt and your kid should get an instant scholarship to Harvard.

  10. avatar Mike Betts says:

    That’s a lovely story and I’m not going to throw a wet blanket over it by suggesting that there are places in these United States where this could trigger a child abuse complaint and have Child Protective Services banging on the loving parent’s door, making this heart-warming story an American tragedy.

    1. avatar Ing says:

      It’s a good thing you didn’t mention that other stuff. Could’ve been a real downer.

  11. avatar Oggy says:

    Children love springs. it’s a ” Tigger thing”. They’re trouncy bouncy fun fun fun fun.

  12. avatar strych9 says:

    With an M44 you can use the muzzle blast to melt snow too!

    1. avatar Specialist38 says:

      And weld mild steel.

      1. avatar James69 says:

        and start a fire.

  13. avatar Big Bill says:

    Truly a wonderful story. Kids are such sponges for knowledge!
    First timke I took my Mosin’t bolt apart, I had a brain fart, and it took me almost two hours to get it back together right. 🙁

  14. avatar Bill says:

    Using that mosin in inclimate weather, particularly freezing cold weather where ice and snow rain down from the sky- Will probably make it more accurate and the mosin will probably feel as joyful as your son did.

  15. avatar Lib lurker says:

    My wife gets seasonal blues as well (though I am not discounting any other events)

    Vitamin D seems to be a real thing that can help, though the best is natural sunshine

    Happy spring soon

  16. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    Well, when you hinted that you were moving to the western part of Wyoming, I thought about informing you what lay in store for you, then thought to keep my mouth shut, so to speak.

    The western part of Wyoming is pretty hard for most women to handle. The divorce rate among couples who move there is pretty high, because most women cannot handle the winters.

    1. avatar Anonymous says:

      I’ve got an SKS barrel and receiver. I’d like to put the two together. Ideas on torque measurement?

      1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        There’s lots of variables there. If it is a pre-machined barrel, then you need to worry about gas port alignment, headspace, etc.

        1. avatar Anonymous says:

          Yep. All pre-machined. It was given to me as a bucket of parts. There is enough parts to make a whole SKS out of there. Gas tube must align with the port. Headspace could be an issue.

  17. avatar Crowbar says:

    I enjoyed your article Sara. When I got hurt at work, I started a 3 year journey of surgery after surgery. I couldn’t walk in between them, so no range trips. If I wouldn’t have had my guns to tear apart, reassemble, and generally screw with, I think I may have gone nuts. It’s amazing what a little quiet time with your firearms can do to boost your spirits and restore calm.

  18. avatar Josh Smith says:

    If you would like to do something further with your Mosin and promise to include your son, please write me with your address and I will put together a goodie package and send it your way. I’m sure you two will enjoy it!



Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email