Mosin Nagant, What can you do with one of those?

Mosin Nagant rifles are not the first place you might look for an action to build a custom rifle.  However, consider that most of the Mausers worldwide have already been depleted.  

There are fewer good quality surplus military bolt actions available in the market today.  Those that are available seem to be more collector grade and bargains are becoming a thing of the past.

For this reason we started looking at the Mosin Nagant as a possible source for actions for custom projects.  Of course these guns are totally different than a Mauser or Springfield so you must approach them as such. 

Quality of the actions varies widely because as military guns they were made in numerous factories in many countries.  Some under war conditions.  Below are some pictures of three actions showing the differences in machining from action to action.
Mosin Nagant Rifles, Today's Bargain!

















Hex receiver Nagant.  Often considered more desirable.Rough Maching on Mosin Nagant Receiver.Nice round receiver Mosin Nagant Rifle action. 

With so much variation in the quality of actions the approach to what to do with them has to be thought out.  We decided that rough actions make great "Truck Guns" That is inexpensive utility rifles that can be kept handy for everyday work on the ranch or farm. 

This concept is prefect for the do it yourself gunsmithing project.  American Technology International (ATI) offers some easy to use upgrades for the Nagant rifle.  They offer drop in injection molded sporter stocks in two colors, black and brown.

They also offer a scope mount and bolt handle kit.  This kit is designed to give you a conventional sporting rifle when done.  It's low cost and easy installation are a good choice for the DIY gunsmith.  We took less than an hour to install the bolt handle and scope mount in our shop.
ATI Bolt handle and Scope Mount Kit, for the do it yourself gunsmith. 
The instructions that came in the ATI kit were easy step by step directions.  The only thing we really did different was to use a center punch to set up for drilling the hole for the bolt handle mounting screw.

We did not like the look of this bolt handle but it is funcitonal and makes for a fast and easy conversion of the bolt to work with the ATI scope mount.  Which is designed for Weaver style scope rings, and a conventional rifle scope.

I once asked an optics expert how he chose the scope for any given project.  He said, "Always buy the best optics you can afford, the scope can make the rifle."  Pretty sound advice.

Transfer punch before drilling and tapping bolt handle mounting scerw hole. ATI scope mount and bolt handle kit installed.
At left, transer punch was used to mark the location for the mounting screw.  We also used red Loctite on the handle base and screw with we assembled it.  You don't want your bolt handle to come loose, ever!

At right is the ATI scope mount and bolt handle fully installed.
Black ATI injection molded plastic stock installed on the Mosin Nagant rifle.

The Sporterized Nagant shown hear has less than $150 in parts and less than two hours of labor invested. 

What a great truck gun!


Next we will look at building a Scout Rifle from the Nagant, which is what this action is best suited for.
 

If you would like to learn about the basic operation of the Mosin Nagant check out the podcast on this subject at: http://gunsmithingradio.com/podcast/2012/1/9/mosin-nagant-episode-10.html

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