Want to radically change the personality and performance of your Mosin Nagant rifle? You know, the old school Russian rifle that was made in obscene numbers (some say more than 37 million) from the late 1800s through the mid 20th Century. There are a variety of ways to tweak your old battle rifle. One of the most striking products for bringing a Mosin Nagant rifle into the modern era of material, design, accuracy and ergonomics is the American Made Archangel Opfor AA9130 Mosin Nagant replacement stock.
I have read many folks quick dismissals of this stock on the grounds that it is just an aesthetic change and made of cheap plastic. In fact, the look is what first grabbed my attention. Archangel sent a black Archangel AA9130 stock and accessory Picatinny rail for review as part of our Mosin Modernization Project. We used it on our “Modern Mosin Sniper build”. After installing the AA9130 stock on our updated mosin and shooting it many times over the past few months, my experience suggest that some (if not most) of the nay sayers are selling the Archangel AA9130 OpFor stock well short.
Exactly who Bubba is can be confusing since there are multiple camps, each with their own description of Bubba.
To the Purist, Bubba is anyone that makes ANY changes to a Mosin from it’s original military parts, condition and configuration. Bubba is a defiler worthy of a public stoning. Maybe even a firing squad. For the Purist, the mere existence of the Archangel stock for Mosins is Bubbatastic blasphemy. While I respect the Purist passion and have a rack of Mosins that I treat with a Purist’s reverence, I also feel sorry for them as they really are missing out.
Others take more relaxed approach and only assign to Bubbadom those who make permanent mods to a Mosin, or a more rare collectable Mosin. Limited modifications on the leadt collectable Mosins are accepted and may even be celebrated.
And then we have the self described Bubbas of the world, who happily hack, drill, mill, and weld anything that doesn’t get away fast enough.
For the Limited Modders and Bubbas with an open mind, the Archangel AA9130 stock offers one of the easiest and most thorough Mosin modernization transformations available. And installation requires no permanent modifications at all.
Some reasons an Archangel AA9130 stock might be right for you:
Let’s be honest here, not everyone appreciates the aesthetics of the late 18th Century. Beat up wood stocks in the various unnatural shades of the reddish brown lacquer preferred by Crazy Ivan are soooo last Century.
Given the simple two-screw stock attachment on Mosins, it is easy to upgrade to the modern Precision Rifle look of the Archangel stock.
I won’t criticise anyone that upgrades their mosin purely for looks. I especially like the look of the desert tan Archangel stock. However, I tend to think there are more compelling reasons.
I am 6’4″ tall with obnoxiously long arms. Apparently, the Russian soldiers the Mosin was designed for were more, um… “vertically challenged”. I like rifles that allow the stock length from the rear receiver tang to the shooter’s shoulder, called ” length o pull”, to be adjusted to better fit my dimensions. The Archangel stock not only allows the length of pull to be adjusted, but also has a height adjustable cheek rest to help the shooter get consistent proper alignment with their aiming optic.
Additionally, standard Mosins don’t benefit from the modern pistol grip stock configuration, which is arguably more comfortable. The Archangel stock improves trigger hand ergonomics via a more vertical grip orientation as well as adding palm swells and valuable storage space inside the pistol grip.
I said REMOVABLE MAGAZINES!
Can you tell this is a big deal to me?
A huge shortcoming of the original Mosin Nagant configuration is the 5 round fixed, non-removable magazine. Loading the standard Mosin is typically accomplished via the use of a stripper clip with 5 round inserted in front of the open bolt, pushing down the 5 rounds past the interruptor, then removing the stripper clip. It is every bit the pain in the butt that it sounds like.
If a modern scope has been added to the top of the Mosin receiver, then it will likely block stripper clip loading access such that rounds must be added to the Mosin one at a time.
The Archangel removable magazines are available in 5 and 10 round capacities and solve both of these problems. For many that wish to add a scope to a Mosin rifle, the Archangel stock is the obvious solution. It should be noted that the first magazine I tried with the Archangel mosin stock had issues retaining the rounds when not installed in the rifle. A quick call to customer service resulted in a new magazine that works properly being delivered a few days later.
Pillar receiver bedding
A time proven method to improve the accuracy of a rifle is to install rigid cylinders of a specific length to hold the receiver at the right distance from the trigger assembly and firmly in relation to the stock. Installation of bedding pillars is often a gunsmith job, which can be pricey. The Archangel AA9130 OpFor stock comes with bedding pillars installed.
Free floated barrel
Even very modest modern rifles often have free floated barrels. ie. Barrels that do not touch the stock at all. Standard Russian Mosin Nagant rifles are usually not free floated. The reasons free floating the barrel improves accuracy can be complex, dealing with the flex and harmonic resonance as the bullet travels the length of the barrel and exits. Lets just say that a free floated barrel is often more accurate than an otherwise similar barrel that is not free floated.
Often, but not always.
Barrel tension block
There are a variety of Mosin models, with different barrel lengths and thicknesses. Even within the same model there can be wide differences in how accuracy is effected by free floating. Finland was taken by Russia and fought against Russia at various points during the heyday of the Mosin. The Finns were known to apply a variety of tweaks to Russian Mosins to make them more accurate. Sometimes they would free float the barrel, other times they achieved better accuracy by applying pressure to the barrel.
Archangel equipped their OpFor AA9130 stock with a barrel tension adjustment block which allows the builder to try the barrel free floated or with a user adjustable amount of upward pressure applied to the the bottom of the barrel.
The Mosin Nagant trigger can often be tweaked by a skilled gunsmith to have a reasonable pull weight and decent break. However, my experience is that it is rather difficult to get a light Mosin trigger that is also drop safe… And safety is kind of important. Speaking of safety, the Mosin Nagant lacks a modern trigger safety.
Timney Triggers, one of our favorite trigger companies, makes an adjustable, single stage trigger for the Mosin Nagant that includes a lever operated trigger safety. We HIGHLY recommend the Timney Triggers Mosin Nagant trigger for anyone that likes a crisp, short throw trigger. However, adding a Timney Trigger to a standard Mosin requires some inletting of the wood stock on the right side above the trigger. While removing wood to make room for the trigger safety lever maybe easy for some people, others either aren’t comfortable inletting the stock, down have the right tools, or just don’t care to.
The Archangel stock makes the upgrade to a Timney Trigger easy since it comes with an easily removable filler in the place where the safety lever will reside. No inletting of the Archangel stock is required.
As noted earlier, the removable magazine allows for easy loading even when a scope is installed over the opening in the receiver. While this technically does not make the rifle itself more accurate, the addition of a magnified optic usually helps the shooter to more precisely aim the rifle, effectively making its use more accurate. Check out our Mosin Scope Mount article for various options to mount a scope on a Mosin Nagant rifle.
Adjustable Comb Height and Length of Pull
Allowing the rifle to be fit more precisely to the shooter can go a long way to making a rifle more accurate. The Archangel AA9130 OpFor stock has a cheek rest that can be adjusted vertically (comb height) to help the shooter more naturally align their eye with the scope or iron sights. As noted earlier, I also appreciate that the length of pull can be adjusted… longer for me, shorter for those with shorter arms. My only complaint is that the adjuster knobs can be a bit difficult to turn.
Adding a bipod, flashlight (or “torch”, if you are tacticool), laser, camera, or other accessory to a standard mosin may be possible, depending on how skilled Bubba is with duct tape or zip ties… But it is not considered good form. Far better is the Archangel stock’s more modern model AA124 1913 Picattiny rail system (optional) that allows simple addition or removal of accessories via a standard 3 inch rail section can be attached to the bottom of the Archangel AA9130 stock handguard via 3 included Allen screws in a matter of minutes. Additionally, the Archangel mosin stock has a Quick Disconnect QD sling swivel mount on the underside of the forend, and two QD fittings near the rear of the stock, one on each side.
Here is the bipod we chose for our Mosin Modernization Project – Modern Mosin Sniper build, the Atlas Bipod.
But it is cheap plastic
Yeah, it is plastic, but I think this is a good thing. Plastic stocks do not need to have a finished applied, so no more of the famous flaking Russian varnish. Far less worry about dinging or scratching the more durable plastic stock. And a plastic stock is far more dimensionally stable as temperature and humidity change. Speaking of humidity, plastic stocks don’t rot or hold damaging moisture up against the gun’s metal quite the way wood does if the rifle gets really wet. I love a nice flamed finish Mosin stock as much as the next guy, but for a rifle I plan to shoot, I prefer a stock that I won’t worry about getting scratched.
If you are the type to paint your rifle, then you will be pleased to learn that the Archangel AA9130 stock takes Cerakote and Duracote well.
Pretty simple. There are detailed instructions in the package, but here are the basics:
- Remove the barreled action and trigger/mag assembly from your donor mosin
- Place the barreled action in the top of the Archangel stock
- Install the two action screws. One is inserted up from the bottom, forward of the mag well and onto the receiver lug, the other is installed down through the receiver tang.
- Check trigger and interruptor range of motion and function. It may be required to remove some material from the stock if it interferes with either.
- Install the bolt in the action.
- If also installing a modern scope, then you may need to install a downturned, bent bolt so that the bolt handle does not hit the scope or mount.
- Also check whether the barrel is totally free floated, or if any material needs to be removed along the barrel channel. Depending on barrel outer diameter, a section of PVC pipe wrapped in sandpaper can make removing the right amount if material easy.
In my installation of a 1932 Izhevsk 1891/30 with Timney Trigger I chose to remove the barrel tensioner block and install the AA124 1913 Picattiny rail. After dry fitting I also had to inlet the left side of the receiver well to allow the interruptor to move properly. The whole installation process took less than 20 minutes.
Unless you just have “a thing” for the old wood stocks, I struggle to understand why anyone would NOT put their mosin in one of these stocks. Ok, maybe that is a bit strong. I actually like the ATI Monte Carlo stock for a Mosin Brush Gun, as it is a bit lighter and easy to carry. However, for any sort of supported shooting, whether it be off of a bench, shooting rail, or the ground, the Archangel mosin stock is really hard to beat. I would like it to be lighter and for the adjustment knobs to turn more easily. Otherwise, it has served well in our testing and continues to impress. If I could only have one Mosin, I think I would put it in the Archangel mosin stock.
Gallery of Archangel AA9130 images