View Full Version : Another 91/30 thread.

09-01-2009, 9:08 AM
This summer, having yet again failed to find work due to (I assume) the infamous economic conditions. I decided to find out just how much money I can earn recycling cans. It turns out, just enough to get a Mosin Nagant 91/30.

After saving up about 200$ I started shopping around. The only gun store in the Bay Area I found that had a Nagant in stock was The Gun Vault (Kerleys had a carbine but I preferred the 91/30).
The gun itself was made in Tula in 1943. The parts were mismatched, even the bolt. The front sight was dinged and the bluing on all exposed metal parts was completely gone, although it is intact wherever it was protected by the stock which also took a lot of abuse. The innards were clogged with crud.
They didn't do pricing over the phone so when I showed up in person, having inspected this gun I was surprised that they wanted 175$ for it. I could afford that but this gun isn't worth near that price. Not when it is completely mismatched with the bluing missing. Since it was a consignment gun they were allowed to haggle and I quickly brought the price down to 100$+25$ DROS. Being the village idiot that I am I left to think about it and bought it at that price the next day.
Turns out I could have gotten this thing for 50-75$ easy. It is a total clunker.
When I picked it up with the help of one of my friends that drives we decided to go shooting. So I tried to clean this thing up with all the Shooter's Choice I had and then I figured that would have cleaned out some of the gunk. It did, but not all of it.
We went to Sunnyvale Rod and Gun and it was pretty crowded so we were put on a waiting list. After we got our turn I set up the Nagant only to find that the bolt wouldn't go in battery. I pulled it back to find the bullet I chambered was stuck and that there was still plenty of grease gluing it in there. So the rangemaster poked it out from the front with a bore rod, I attacked this gun with my cleaning kit again and I tried to chamber another round again. Same problem. It just didn't want to go in battery.
The only way we found we could make it shoot was by removing the bolt, attaching a round to the bolt face with the extractor holding it in place and then carefully sliding the bolt assembly into place. We only managed to fire off 4 rounds that way before we decided to just bag it and go home.
Right now this gun is sitting in my garage soaking in Hoppe's #9. One thing I found out is that there is also severe copper fouling in the bore. Although other than that the grooves and crown are in good shape.

Anyone know why it could be failing to go in battery? How I could fix it? Is the headspacing miles off?
One thing for sure, next time I'm shopping around for a surplus gun or any gun for that matter if I have doubts of any kind about it I'm not putting my money down no matter how low the price tag is. But really, what should I expect for a rifle I paid for by recycling cans and bottles?

09-01-2009, 10:15 AM
I can't be entirely sure what you mean by not going in battery. There could be a million different varieties of it not chambering correctly. But if you mean it's wanting to jam itself on the way in, did you try feeding from the magazine? Push the cartridge all the way down into the magazine so that the bolt goes forward on an empty chamber. When you pull the bolt back, a cartridge should pop up and be pushed forward by the bolt.

Some Mosins, for some reason, just really love being fed from the magazine. Unlike on Remingtons and whatnot, the rifle just doesn't function very smoothly simply dropping the cartridge in and pushing the bolt forward.

I recommend you really clean the ever loving @%^& out of this rifle, though. Get a 20 gauge phosphor bronze bore brush, chuck it onto an electric drill, dip it in Hoppe's, and run it in the chamber. Make absolutely sure you're not running it into the barrel or anywhere it might contact rifling. Run it a few rotations, then check.

Do a "safe cork" on the rifle's barrel and fill it full of solvent. A "safe cork" is corking the barrel without actually inserting a solid piece of something into the rifle. Wad a patch up into a ball, and plug the muzzle end. Then take plastic such as from a garbage bag, and wrap it very tightly around the muzzle of the barrel. Tighten it many times with a rubber band so that no liquid can leak out of it. Fill that solvent to absolute max, all the way up the chamber. Set it upright in a corner somewhere, and heck, let it sit for days if you can. Use the best, most pure solvent you can find--Hoppe's bench rest will work.

09-01-2009, 10:58 AM
I think it is an exractor problem. The bolt goes forward but doesn't want to go down all the way. I think the extractor isn't catching the rim of the cartridge and if it doesn't do that the bolt won't lock in place. That's why we were able to fire it without any problems when we attached a round to the bolt and then inserted it that way.

09-01-2009, 11:10 AM
You mention grease still in/around the chamber. Get out the tiny tools and clean out the small extractor recess if it's full of gunk. It's located from 12 o'clock to about 5 o'clock outside the chamber opening. Grease/gunk in there could prevent chambering a round.

If that's clean, you might indeed have a very rare headspace issue. To fix, you need a new, slightly shorter bolt head. Not hard to procure, but it's hit/miss until you find the right match (they're not sized so you can't say, I need a 4.5 or anything like that).