Last week, The Shooter’s Log ran a throwback article on the Top 5 Combat Rifles of All Time. The debate was lively to say the least, but the one overarching theme was a feeling that the 5.56 simply did not have enough punch. The U.S. Army seems to agree. So, last August, the Army announced the Interim Combat Service Rifle (ICSR) program. The ICSR was tasked with replacing the Army’s M4 carbine with a 7.62 mm rifle. A month later, the program was cancelled.
Posts Tagged ‘7.62x54r’
My first center fire rifle was a Mosin Nagant. I think quite a few of you may be able to say the same. The rifle cost $65, and it was a poor example of the type having suffered the indignity of having the original military stock cut short and an odd-looking pistol grip nailed to the stock. However, in 1970 money, the Nagant cost more than a nice example costs today.
I’ve seen a fair amount of sporterized Mosin Nagant rifles pass through the shooting range. In some cases, the rifles were amazing works of craftsmanship in which professionals applied their finely honed skills. Proper bedding, fit and polishing played a part in a visual symphony that was just as pleasing to shoot as it was to admire. However, those fine weapons seemed to be the exception. The vast majority of sporterized Mosins look like someone handed a belt sander to an angry hyperactive monkey with a drinking problem. This made the results somewhat lackluster. To be honest, I keep a Soviet-era Mosin Nagant 91/30 in my gun safe and I never do anything with it. Despite their relatively low price tag, I consider it a part of history and adding anything else to that rifle would take away from its character. However, I have a second Mosin that a friend threw in as part of a trade. The stock was cracked and the rings showed a fair amount of rust. The pitting wasn’t too terrible though and the bore seemed functional. It is the perfect candidate for a little aftermarket customization.
For 2013, ProMag may have come up with the right stock for my upcoming project. This stock is the first mass produced aftermarket Mosin stock that actually looks like I wouldn’t be embarrassed to carry it around. It also stands an excellent chance of improving your rifle’s performance. The company says the Archangel stock will work with either your Chinese or Russian Mosins and it is almost always a drop-in fit. The main difference between this and other aftermarket stocks is that ProMag figured out how to implement a detachable box magazine without permanently altering the original rifle. Aside from some serious custom jobs, no one has ever figured out how to do that. They also left in the ability to drop a stripper clip into the magazine from above the chamber. For those who like options, there is now more ways than one to load your gun. The Archangel comes with a 5-round detachable magazine, and 10-round magazines are also available. Just ahead of the tang, you may notice the stock is pre-inletted for a Timney trigger so no grinding is necessary. ProMag includes a spacer for this inlet in case you plan on sticking with the original. If you’ve had enough experience with how terrible Mosin triggers can be, you’ll know why this is important.
Curiously, ProMag left you an option on the barrel. The design allows for a free-floating barrel. However, the guys at ProMag realized that not every Mosin Nagant fires particularly well with a free-floating design. To address this, an optional barrel tensioner rests at the bottom of the foregrip, which you can adjust to your fussy Mosin barrel. Just behind the free-float barrel channel sits your steel pillar beds. They fit snug and you don’t have to worry about the chamber moving once tightened down. As with most Archangel products, ProMag includes an adjustable length-of-pull and cheek riser. Additionally, they threw in a storage compartment inside the grip. When you hold the stock, it is obvious it offers far more comfort for the shooter than the original. Given the proper tuning of the barrel tensioner, along with the right ammo, I would expect much tighter groups out of my banged up trade-in Mosin Nagant.
The 7.62x54R (rimmed) cartridge is one of the oldest of the modern cartridges, which uses smokeless powder. The designers never had black powder in mind. It was the beginning a new age in firearms. The new smokeless powder needed enhanced cartridges, due to the increased pressures of the new powders. In 1891, Russia adopted this cartridge for its military services. It is still in use today, 121 years later, and continues to gain popularity.
Tweaking your Mosin Nagant rifle for tighter groups is not necessarily the easiest weekend project. However, if you are the motivated type, you can finally take that step past the casual shooter and into the realm of the customized shooting enthusiast. Since I am almost obsessive about getting good groups at the range, my friends wondered why in the world I would buy a beat up old Mosin. I told them I wanted the challenge of taking an Eastern Block bolt gun and outshooting them and their fancy ARs at the range. It might surprise you that with a little ingenuity, it is possible to turn that old Soviet rifle into a finely tuned precision target-blasting machine—sort of.