Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mosin-Nagant 91/30: Seventy-Eight Years Of Oppression

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After weeks of research, and begging my soon-to-be wife for the green light, I bought a Mosin Nagant 91/30 at a surplus store. I got the rifle and field kit (sling, bayonet, ammo pouches, oil bottle, Nagant multi-tool, cleaning kit, and muzzle cap) for $99. A 440 round ammo tin (looks like a tuna can, but much larger) from Russia with love, costs about the same as the rifle. It is 48.5" long, and weighs about eight pounds. The trigger pull is awful--very long, sloppy, and on the heavy side, but it can be compensated for with practice. The rifle itself is only capable of maybe 6MOA accuracy--that is, it should shoot about a 6" group at 100 yards in ideal conditions. They can be altered to squeeze a bit more accuracy out of them, but not enough to justify premanently altering a piece of history.

The story here is not my Mosin-Nagant, but a history of this famous (and infamous) battle rifle. The very design of the rifle is virtually unchanged since 1891, when it was a 51.5" long "dragoon" rifle chambered for the ancient 7.62x54R. The 7.62x54R has comparable power to a 30-06, and thus comparable recoil--which is not for the faint of heart. Military "ball" style ammo should not be used for hunting, but modern hunting rounds for the 91/30 (and its brethren) care quite capable of killing virtually anything in North America.

The Mosin Nagant has many variants, but most only vary in length and country of origin (so minor cosmetic changes are common). Some commonly seen variants are the M28, and M44, which are simply shorter versions of the M91/30. What they all have in common is brutal reliability, brutal power, and a brutal history. It's parent model--the M1891 Dragoon was used by both the Bolsheviks and the Whites. Eventually it was "modernized" into the M91/30, then the M28, then the M44 and others. The Mosin-Nagant fought Germany twice, and has sufaced in conflicts around the world ever since. It made numerous appearances in Korea, and Vietnam, even holding on to be a thorn in the side of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. One hundred and ten years after its invention, the Mosin Nagant rifle is just as deadly, and will likely be with us for another hundred and ten years.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sweet weapon. Keep one warm for me if we get into a hot conflict. In exchange for a rifle, I'll give you some corn from my grandpa's plot (that is, if your dad is growing soybeans). Isn't reinventing a society based on market principles and self-defense fun?