Modernizing and Accessorizing the Mosin Nagant

By CTD Blogger published on in Firearm Accessories, Gear Guides, Rifles

It’s probably the most popular military surplus rifle on the market today. Ammunition for it is cheap and plentiful, and how can you pass up a rifle you can buy for less than $100? Yes, I’m talking about the Mosin Nagant. These century old rifles can be found in abundance in gun stores, pawn shops, and gun shows across the country. Most for around $90 – $100. We’ve recently had trouble keeping them in our inventory with a price point of less than $80. That’s right, for just $200 you can buy a functioning rifle and a spam can of 440 rounds of ammunition. It’s hard to find a better deal than that.

But, let’s face it. This rifle is at least 55 years old, and many are pushing 100. It is not a modern sporting rifle by any stretch of the imagination, but it can be affordably upgraded to take modern optics and accessories.

Probably the most common question we get is from customers who want to mount a scope on their Mosin Nagant. By and large, most Mosin Nagants were only designed to be used with the factory iron sights. Some rare sniper versions were made and outfitted with optics, but these are fairly expensive and difficult to find. Your typical 91-30 Mosin was not designed with optics in mind, but it can be upgraded. Our most popular conversion is the Mosin Nagant scope mount from Advanced Technology. It includes a new bolt to convert your straight handled bolt to a more modern bent bolt. While this kit does require some skill in gunsmithing, an individual with a rudimentary knowledge of the art will be able to install the kit with minimal effort. This Mosin scope mount kit includes everything needed to mount the scope rail, including hardware drill bits and a tap.

After fitting your Mosin for a scope, you may find the century old wooden stock to be somewhat lacking. Older wooden stocks are often cracked, and modern glass-filled nylon replacements represent a significant reduction in weight and recoil. Advanced Technology manufactures a synthetic stock for the Mosin Nagant that is quite literally a drop in installation. You’ll likely spend longer removing the barrel bands from your old wooden stock than you will fitting the barrel and action into this new sleek Monte Carlo style stock. It’s a tight fit, so take your time and work carefully.

The new Monte Carlo stock features proper sling swivel mounts, so you’ll no longer be relegated to using the traditional “dog collar” style sling mounts. The new synthetic stock is also perfectly suited for use in the field as it is incredibly durable and waterproof. This makes it ideal for hunting, where all types of weather conditions may be encountered. Of course if hunting is your goal, you may find the camouflage version of the stock more suitable for your rifle. This stock from Advanced Technology comes in Mossy Oak Break-Up camouflage and is also a “drop-in fit” stock that requires no gunsmithing.

Not all accessories for the Mosin Nagant are new technology. Some traditional items are still incredibly useful for operating your vintage rifle. Stripper clips in 7.62x54R make reloading your rifle quick and easy, and they are convenient ammunition storage devices as well. Most ammunition for the Mosin is older military surplus rounds. A broken shell extractor is a very useful tool which can quickly restore your rifle to service should an old cartridge suffer a case head separation which may otherwise render your rifle useless.

The Mosin Nagant is a classic rifle once used by nations throughout the world. The fact that it is still in use by some military units is a testament to the versatility and durability of this old warhorse. Still, time marches on and there are a number of ways you can upgrade and sporterize your classic war rifle, turning it into an effective and accurate hunting arm. Once properly oufitted, you’ll find your old Mosin looks ready to go for yet another 100 years.

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Comments (18)

  • General Protection Fault

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    I’ve got to agree a bit with PortHolio, at least on the classic guns that are still in good condition. To me, there’s little that’s quite as tragic as seeing some classic old gun that someone has taken a saw, drill, spraypaint, or whatever to.

    On the other hand, these Mosin-Nagants are generally fairly common and plentiful, the drop-in upgrades are easily reversed, and there are a fair number of these guns that are never going to be mistaken for Safe Queens.

    So, treat these great old pieces of history with a little respect, but if you’ve got a common, beater example around, it’s hard to beat a Mosin-Nagant as the foundation of a little creativity.

    I did update a very rough stock on a common M-44 carbine (with folding bayonet) to an ATI stock, and added a modern sling. There’s a great deal of variety between these rifles, but I got the ATI stock to work as a drop-in modification with little or no modification. The results are quite nice, a huge improvement in appearance and a much more comfortable gun to shoot. The toughest part of the upgrade was indeed, as noted, getting those bands that held the stock together off the rifle, which did leave permanent marks on the bands for the M-44 (making it a somewhat destructive procedure for those who wish to preserve a nice Mosin). Though the capability is not advertised, it seems the ATI stock does fit the M-44, bayonet and all – at least, it worked just fine on my rifle without modification.

    Reply

  • Bderby

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    I like the comment by PortHolio and I agree with preservation of historic arms. My question to him/her is how can I research the actual history behind my Mosin? I have a dual matched (barrel & bolt) Finnish M91 that I am strongly considering converting to a modernized long-range hunting rifle. I would hate to do so and then learn I just dismantled Vasily Kaytsev’ rifle (lol pretty sure its not his) but you know what I mean. I’ve tried to track the Serial # over the years randomly with no success. Do you have any suggested way to track down its history before I begin my conversion later this month?

    Reply

  • Bderby

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    I like the comment by PortHolio and I agree with preservation of historic arms. My question to him/her is how can I research the actual history behind my Mosin? I have a dual matched (barrel & bolt) Finnish M91 that I am strongly considering converting to a modernized long-range hunting rifle. I would hate to do so and then learn I just dismantled Vasily Zaytsev’ rifle (lol pretty sure its not his) but you know what I mean. I’ve tried to track the Serial # over the years randomly with no success. Do you have any suggested way to track down its history before I begin my conversion later this month?

    Reply

  • james

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    I have a 1926 tula cossack so far i have cut the stock back behind the rear barrel band sanded the stock. Stained and polyed it added the ati bolt and scope mount so far it looks s harp as a tack tack driver as well the next things i plan on doing is having about an inch and a half cut off the barrel and a mussel break added along with having the barrel and trigger gaurd powder coated flat black there really is a lot of things you can do with them the sky is the limit as well as your bank account

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  • Rick Horwitz

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    Regarding the ATI aftermarket synthetic stock for the Mosin Nagant. I own one of these and have the following concerns. First, there is only a single fastener that fixes this stock to the rifle. The stock lacks a barrel band to hold in in place on the barrel. The existing bands are too small to re-use. Also the check rest is for right handed shooters only.

    Regarding the ATI scope mount, as many have warned the drill and tap are of inferior quality. Although I aligned my scope mount correctly the pitch is off. Some people may find it okay to compensate the hairs on the scope, but this will limit the accuracy to a fixed distance. For overall accuracy shim the scope mount as needed using a bore scope laser. As for the bolt right angle kit, the verdict is still pending. The right angle bolt handle is secured by a single screw and depends on the sawn off stub to keep it stationary. This still has some play before the screw was secured, so I might add a bit of JB Weld to make it perfect.

    Reply

  • Rick Horwitz

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    I have a few comments regarding preserving the Mosin Nagant 91-30 for historical purposes.
    #1 these rifles are the most prolific weapons of any war with an estimated 20 million made. The fact that these rifles can be purchased under $100 says a lot for their collectability.
    #2 The majority of these rifles were made from 1941-1945. The workmanship was substandard during this period.
    #3 Only the Hex receiver and units build prior to the war have any true value
    #4 This is an excellent rifle for the budget enthusiast. Ammo is cheap and modifying these rifles to modern standards is still cheaper than buying an entry level 30-06 or 308 hunting rifle.
    #5 What anyone does with their rifle within the confines of the law is their business. If you are so concerned about the historical significance of this weapon, you are welcomed to purchase the remaining 5 million that are still for sale.

    As for me, I will modify, use, abuse, and eventually destroy my rifle. It was only $100, it never saw combat and has NO historical significance or collectable value, nor will it in my lifetime. A beat-up 70 year old coke sign has more value than the most pristine 91-30 rifle.

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  • HossPower

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    I know I’m late to the party on this thread, but can anyone please explain how making this gun lighter will make it have less recoil? One of my fave things about my 91/30 over my M44 is that the insanely heavy weight makes the recoil practically non-existant. I don’t see how lightening the stock will make the gun have less recoil.

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  • Necro

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    A lighter stock does not really reduce the recoil, but going from the original stock with a metal butplate to a stock with a rubbar but pad is a huge improvement.

    Reply

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