View Full Version : Gunsmith in OC area to do headspace work on a Mosin?

Nomake Wan
05-17-2011, 11:17 PM
Like the title says, I'm looking for a gunsmith nearby who knows a thing or two about Mosins to do headspace adjustments and such. Since it was fully disassembled, cleaned and oiled I at least don't appear to have the 'sticky bolt' or trigger problems I've heard of, but the bolt closes pretty hard when rounds are chambered. It cycles fine without rounds in the chamber so I'm pretty confident it's headspace, extractor, or both.

Any recommendations? Much appreciated!

05-17-2011, 11:51 PM
Id just buy another mosin instead of getting a gunsmith. Heck he might charge more than the guns worth

Nomake Wan
05-17-2011, 11:54 PM
Id just buy another mosin instead of getting a gunsmith. Heck he might charge more than the guns worth
Which is kinda why I figured I'd ask around, to see if someone knows somebody who can check it out for something reasonable. I can check it on my own for just a smidge under 50 but then I can't do much about it.

I'll keep it in mind though if the whole smithing thing doesn't work out. Might pay to grab a set of those headspace gauges just to gauge future purchases, I guess.

7.62 Charlie
05-18-2011, 12:28 AM
What ammo?

Nomake Wan
05-18-2011, 12:31 AM
What ammo?
It did it with both my Tula 148gr non-corrosive FMJ and my buddy's milsurp. It's not impossible to close or anything, and it's not like I have to slap it closed (my buddy does though), but it's definitely tougher than I think it should be.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ch679nDyVfE Me firing
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1rc4Vog-dk My buddy firing

Not that you can really 'tell' without feeling it, but maybe it'll give an idea. We were firing the Tula FMJ ammo in those videos.

05-18-2011, 3:54 AM
Try visiting the website 7.62 x 54r.net and post your concern there. I've seen lots of people express the same concern on the forum there and get told that it is normal, to a certain extent, for the bolt to be a little hard to close. I'm no expert but they are.

05-18-2011, 4:03 AM
Try Bolsa Gunsmithing in Westminster a call 714-894-9100, link below


05-18-2011, 6:49 AM
Try Bolsa Gunsmithing in Westminster a call 714-894-9100, link below


hell yeah baby! they have been around FOREVER!

05-18-2011, 8:58 PM
Saddleback Valley Gun Center, (949) 582-9581

I have purchased a couple of guns from them over the years, and had some gunsmithing done, all satisfying transactions. They are a "Mom and Pop", old school kind of shop. I would guess they could help you, give them a call and ask.

05-18-2011, 10:24 PM
Is the extractor recess at the mouth of the chamber clean? Gunk gets in there sometimes and causes hard bolt closure (no place for the extractor to go).

Also verify your extractor hasn't slid forward, out of place.

Mosins have such loose tolerances that they almost never have headspace issues.

The way to remedy headspace issues is to swap out the bolt head (part with extractor). That's what determines headspace on a Mosin.

05-19-2011, 10:10 PM
well I also noticed that his mosin didn't have the original bolt (ground off number and new ones scribbled on) so I wonder if that might be part of his issue.

05-19-2011, 10:41 PM
Since the Mosin fever has taken you and that usually leads to more of them in the future may I suggest you buy a go & no go gages set for the 7.62x54r caliber. You can then always know if your new purchase is in spec or not. Most all Big 5s will let you check before buying one and so will most honest gun shops. A set of the gages are about 45 a set if you look around and on the side, you can make a buck or two if others ask to have theirs checked at the range or wherever. You will prpbably find on a check that the rifle will fall into a go catagory and some will even enter into the Field gage size which is the almost to full on worn out size (unsafe). For the bolt to close hard it is other than a tight head space unless you have a new barrel or a bolt that is really far off in build. If you have another rifle or a friend who does try the bolts from other rifles to see if the problem is still there on closing on a round. Be careful not to fire one off in the house or garage as the wife will stop all future buys of the rifle...LOL Be Safe

Nomake Wan
05-19-2011, 11:13 PM
Sidewaysstarion's sniper bolt seemed to work fine when we swapped at the range the other day. Sadly since his mosin is sporterized and scoped I couldn't try my bolt in his gun, but his worked in mine.

Thanks for the advice. I too thought it would be good to grab a set of gauges if I'm planning on fixing this gun by buying another. Would be silly to buy another one with the same problem and the only way to check is to have the tools. A good investment.

Thanks everyone for the advice as well. Saddleback is a shop I was planning on going to to check out a Kar98 for a friend of mine anyway, so I'll just go sooner than later. I'll also check out Bolsa Gunsmithing.

Fate, the extractor recess in the receiver has a little film on it, but it's not seriously gunked up. As for the extractor itself, it does look like it might be a little off, but as this is my first Mosin I'm not exactly sure. It does look like it's aligned as far as the bolt face is concerned. Here are some photos, hopefully they help.

http://imageshack.us/m/694/7861/img3572e.jpg The receiver.

http://imageshack.us/m/535/7382/img3590h.jpg Extractor.

http://imageshack.us/m/853/7650/img3596l.jpg Bolt face.

Thanks everyone!

05-20-2011, 10:49 AM
First, you don't need the go/no go gauges for a milsurp rifle unless you are rebarreling it. The FIELD gauge is the correct one to use to just safety check it. Older military rifles are built on very loose specs (especially Mosin Nagants) so they will function in mud, blood and the sands of hell. A rifle could very well fail a commercial no-go gauge and be 100% safe. For the Mosin, there are some coin-type gauges that you don't have to remove the extractor to use.

On to your bolt head/extractor. I really don't like the look of that bolt head. It looks splayed like it withstood a KABOOM. There should NOT be a gap on the sides of the extractor. **I WOULD NOT FIRE THE RIFLE FURTHER WITH THIS BOLT HEAD** Replace the bolt head (Mark Kubes/Numerich), check with field gauge if you must (reality is with Mosins' loose tolerances, if it chambers a round, it's likely fine).


Above is your bad bolt head. Below is what it should look like:


05-20-2011, 1:53 PM
Oh and when you replace the bolt head, KEEP your extractor! They're getting harder and harder to find.

05-20-2011, 2:57 PM
Try Bolsa Gunsmithing in Westminster a call 714-894-9100, link below


I asked Bolsa what they would charge to cut and recrown the barrel on my SKS. They said $0, because they would not work on eastern block milsurp stuff. Treated me like I was a freakin leper.....so not so impressed with them.

They do have a solid quality rep on stuff they don't refuse to work on.....

Nomake Wan
05-20-2011, 4:34 PM
Omniman, I had a similar experience. The closest gunsmith to my home and work has a similar "No Commie Guns Because We're Americans" policy.

Thanks a bunch to Fate who helped me out big time. I'll be ordering a new bolt head today so I can get this all sorted out. Will update with progress once I have it.

05-20-2011, 6:55 PM
Glad to help. It really should be a simple fix.

Nomake Wan
06-14-2011, 9:24 AM
So about a month later I finally have the bolt head cleaned up and on the rifle and got some more ammo. With the new head on the cycling is much smoother (especially the loading stroke, which was pretty tough before) but occasionally the extractor will grip the round too hard and keep it there. I'm hoping that when it's gripping an empty casing instead it'll work better.

Now to put in some range time to put it through its paces! :cool: Thanks for all the help!

Nomake Wan
06-16-2011, 1:01 AM
Finally hit up the range today and put 20 rounds of Yugo surplus through it. Cycled a lot better than it used to, fired fine, and the primer impact point looked spot-on. Still, when I disassembled the rifle for cleaning, the bolt head looked off again. The new bolt head looked pretty darn good when it arrived, so I'm wondering... is my rifle deforming the bolt head while firing? :confused:



Or am I just being paranoid? Perhaps another few boxes of ammo?