The Mosin Modernization Project – Hunting Rifle – Install

If you are new to the Mosin Modernization Project, here is the intro. And Part 1, listing all of the parts in the Modern Mosin Nagant Hunting Rifle upgrade is here. […]

Mosin_upgrade_ATI_stock (3)If you are new to the Mosin Modernization Project, here is the intro.
And Part 1, listing all of the parts in the Modern Mosin Nagant Hunting Rifle upgrade is here.

A long list of brands sent parts for this build. Here is a quick overview of installing all of the Mosin parts on the Hunting Rifle build.

Barrel work 

Shorten, thread, crown and install muzzle brake on 1943 Izhevsk Mosin Nagant 91/30. Four separate tasks, all performed by our friends at Bluegrass Gunworks. While they are most known for a range of stunning custom stocks for Mosin Nagant, K-31 Swiss rifles, they also have a close relationship with Rock Solid Industries and do a lot of install work in their machine shop independently and in conjunction with RSI.
I will update this section when we get more details from Bluegrass Gunworks. What I know for certain is that they:

Install scope mount
You will notice a trend developing… we opted to rely on the pros to install the scope mount as well.Brass Stacker sent their M9130 M9159 Go Low™Scout Scope Mount model MN9130GLM-M for use on this hunting / bush rifle. After an embarrassing incident involving a failed attempt to slug the barrel of our donor 1943 Izhevsk Mosin Nagant 91/30, I opted to ask Bluegrass Gunworks to install the Brass Stacker M9130 M9159 Go Low™Scout Scope Mount while they had the barreled action for barrel work. Unlike some Mosin Nagant Scope Mounts that use the rear sight base as part of the installation, the Brass Stacker M9130 M9159 Go Low™Scout Scope Mount requires

Brass Stacker Go Low Scout Mount M9130 - dovetail mount

Brass Stacker Go Low Scout Mount M9130 on the dovetail atop our project Mosin

removal of the rear sight base. If the Mosin rear sight base pins are secured by interference fit pins, then one might be able to simply drive or push the pins out. However, if the pins are also secured with silver solder, then heat will likely be needed to melt the solder so the pins can be driven or pushed out. While I hear that this job is well within the capabilities of most DIY gun folks, the combination of a bruised ego and limited time meant it would be best to “hire out” this job.
A couple of things to note about the Brass Stacker M9130 M9159 Go Low™Scout Scope Mount:

  • The picatinny rail atop the Go Low™Scout Scope Mount is secured by 2 hex screws which allow alignment of the rail to the barrel
  • The Go Low™Scout Scope Mount base slides onto the rear scope dovetail atop the barrel. If the barrel is not timed properly, then the scope base will be canted by the same amount that the barrel is mistimed. This is the case with our barrel, although we have yet to notice any ill effects while shooting.
  • The Go Low™Scout Scope Mount is held to the dovetail by 2 screws in place of the interference fit pins that held the rear sight base. We like easy to remove screws vs pins as they are easy for the DIY upgrader to install and can be removed easily.
  • The Go Low™Scout Scope Mount installation makes no permanent changes to the Mosin. If you ever decide to go a different direction, like putting the rear sight back on the rifle, then the rifle can be returned to the original configuration with no evidence that it ever wore a scope.
3/4" PVC with 60 grit sand paper to free float barrel

3/4″ PVC with 60 grit sand paper to free float barrel

Install the  ATI Mosin Nagant Monte Carlo Stock

Finally, something that I did myself!
I asked ATI for this stock since I happen to like the maintenance free, durable, all weather aspects of polymer stocks, and the Gear Report team universally liked the aesthetic of a traditional Monte Carlo rifle stock on a hunting rifle.

At first, installation of the ATI Mosin Nagant Monte Carlo Stock seemed REALLY easy.

  • Remove the two action screws that hold the barreled action and magazine to the Mosin Nagant stock
  • Remove the barreled action from the stock
  • Remove the magazine from the stock
  • Slide the magazine into the bottom of the ATI Mosin Nagant Monte Carlo Stock
  • Place the barreled action in the top of the ATI Mosin Nagant Monte Carlo Stock
  • Inletting the muzzle end of the ATI Mosin stock

    Inletting the muzzle end of the ATI Mosin stock

    Install the two action screws that hold the barreled action and magazine to the Mosin Nagant stock

  • Done

It took less than 2 minutes for me to complete the initial installation, and it looked really good.

However, I would soon learn that this was just the very beginning of the ATI Mosin Nagant Monte Carlo Stock installation. Two issues caused varying degrees of headache:

  • The Huber Concepts Match Grade Stainless Steel trigger trigger has a taper above the finger bend which interfered with the sides of the trigger well in the ATI Mosin Nagant Monte Carlo Stock. This was relatively easy to rectify by inletting the sides of the ATI Mosin Nagant Monte Carlo Stock trigger well with a dremel tool once I finally figured out where it was interfering (which took me much longer than it should have).
  • The stock touched the left side of the barrel. I knew it was likely that I would have to sand away a little material along the barrel channel of
    paper to confirm mosin barrel is free floated

    paper to confirm mosin barrel is free floated

    the ATI Mosin Nagant Monte Carlo Stock in order to make sure that there was at least a 2 sheet of paper thick gap between the barrel and stock. What I had not been prepared for was a slight curve in the forend of the stock that required removal of a good bit more stock material on the left side of the barrel than the right. Since I prefer to remove a little at a time, then reassemble to check fit, I spent more than 3 hours gradually removing more and more stock material to achieve a free floated barrel.

Once properly fitted, then ATI Mosin Nagant Monte Carlo Stock feels nice in the hands and has produced a very nice shooting rifle. The ATI Mosin Nagant Monte Carlo Stock recoil pad is a VERY welcome addition to the old 1943 Izhevsk Mosin Nagant 91/30.

*Update: ATI sent another ATI Mosin Nagant Monte Carlo Stock for us to install without free floating the barrel, as this particular stock is designed to be a drop-in, non-free floated installation. We will test accuracy with the free floated and non-free floated stock and report back.

Install Bipod

Ohuhu bipod on mosin nagant

Ohuhu bipod on mosin nagant

Ohuhu, a chinese importer that sells via Amazon.com, offered a range of products for review right about the time we started the Mosin Modernization Project. We opted for their Harris Bipod / Caldwell bipod style Ohuhu 6-9-Inch Adjustable Rifle Bipod for use on our hunting Mosin. Installation is very simple and easy:

  • loosen the clamp screw
  • spread the clamp arms
  • position the clamp arms so their pins sit in either side of the hole in the sling swivel
  • tighten the clamp screw

The entire installation can be done in about 20 seconds, once you know what you are doing. Getting the clamp arm pins aligned with the sling swivel holes can be tricky, but it gets easier when you have done it a few times.

Polish Bolt and Install Bent Bolt Handle

installed the new bent bolt

installed the new bent bolt

For this operation I again deferred to the pros. The whole bold assembly was removed and sent to Rock Solid Industries. When it returned it had a sexy new down-turned bolt handle. The only other visible change is a bit of white grease poking out from the innards. A quick call with Ken at Rock Solid Industries revealed a variety of hidden polishing that had been done to the bolt. However, the biggest thing that Ken told me is that the internals really need to be CLEAN. Not sort of clean, not mostly clean, totally clean. It seems most people get lazy and never really clean their bolt inside an out. Years of cosmoline build up and cook as the rifle is fired, making a sticky, gooey mess. You can find more details on tuning your Mosin Nagant bolt here: http://www.rocksolidind.com/tips-and-tricks/

Install Mosin Trigger Upgrade

Huber Concepts Match Grade Stainless Steel trigger for Mosin Nagant

Huber Concepts Match Grade Stainless Steel trigger for Mosin Nagant

If you haven’t read our Big AR-15 Trigger Upgrade Review series, then you might not understand just how much of a difference a trigger upgrade can make to any rifle. Before our big trigger review I didn’t really understand the difference a good trigger can make. After the test I am convinced that the single biggest opportunity improvement in the accuracy and shootability of most consumer grade rifles can be achieved via a trigger upgrade. The Mosin Nagant is known to be a clunky, yet reliable rifle with wide manufacturing tolerances and often crudely made parts… including the trigger. So, the potential to improve the Mosin trigger is high. Many people opt for the easy, modular, drop-in Timney Triggers #307 Mosin Nagant Trigger with it’s ultra short, crisp and adjustable weight of pull. However, for this hunting build I wanted something with a different feel with a slightly longer pull and full adjustability. Fortunately, John Huber jumped at the chance to send his Huber Concepts Match Grade Stainless Steel trigger. Installation of the Huber Concepts Match Grade Stainless Steel trigger was really simple:

Huber Concepts Match Grade Stainless Steel Mosin trigger

Huber Concepts Match Grade Stainless Steel Mosin trigger

  • remove the sear screw
  • remove the trigger pin
  • remove the old Mosin Nagant trigger and sear
  • insert the sear and Huber Concepts Match Grade Stainless Steel trigger
  • install the trigger pin
  • install the sear spring
  • adjust trigger via allen screw on top
  • drop test to ensure trigger is drop safe
polishing Mosin sear spring

polishing Mosin sear spring

While the Huber Concepts Match Grade Stainless Steel trigger felt nice when installed and reduced trigger pull weight from the stock 8+ Lb to a much nicer 4.75 Lb, the area on the sear spring where the trigger slides was a bit rough with machining marks running perpendicular to the travel of the trigger… like a series of speed bumps on the sear spring that the trigger would have to ride across. I polished this a bit with a dremel polishing wheel which smoothed out the trigger feel considerably. I also wanted to reduce the trigger pull weight a bit and bent the sear spring in 2 places to lessen the trigger pull force, while still maintaining the proper sear engagement height and angle. It took a few tries to find the right combination of angles and trigger adjustment screw setting that gave a lighter trigger pull while still passing the drop test, but the result is a smooth pull of 3.75 Lb with a clean break.
Please, if you choose to bend your sear spring, then you must diligently test the rifle to be sure it is drop safe before loading it.

Brass Stacker Go Low Scout Mount M9130 - sideInstall Scope

When it came time to pick an optic for each of our Mosin Modernization Project builds I deferred to the experts. Brass Stacker stepped up with a budget recommendation of the NCStar SSB27522G and even offered to send one for us to test. Here at Gear Report we don’t really care what brand name is on a product. We only care whether it works or not. Even so, the NCStar brand has such a poor reputation among many shooters that I was skeptical. Brass Stacker assured me that the NCStar SSB27522G is a good Long Eye Relief scope, and a great value for the money. Brass Stacker went so far as to tell me point blank that this is the ONLY NCStar product that they actively recommend to their customers, having used a number of NCStar SSB27522G scopes on a variety of rifles with stronger than average kick over a long period of time with no issues. Installation of the NCStar SSB27522G LER scope was typical and simple:

  • mount the scope in the supplied scope rings, leaving the rings loose
  • mount the scope rings on the scope mount (leaving the rings loose in the first step allows you to slide the rings forward and aft on the scope tube to get the proper ring spacing on the picatinny rail and eye relief) and tighten the attachment nuts
  • level the scope
  • tighten the scope rings
mosin upgrade sight

sighting the scope on the EZ2C Target

Test Fire

After cleaning, assembly and lube test firing was in order.
You can see clearly on the EZ2C Target how well this Modernized Mosin hunting rifle shoots. At 25 yards it was on paper, and I walked it in towards center over several shots, putting the last 3 shots through the 2 touching holes just below and to the right of dead center.

Next… sending the Mosin Modernization Project Hunting Rifle to Hillbilly223.com for Cerakote

About Jeff

Jeff is the Editor in Chief of Gear Report and a National Shooting Sports Foundation Media member. He reports on the outdoor industry, reviews gear for camping, hiking, shooting, hunting, paddling, backpacking and other active pursuits. A USAF veteran, Jeff earned a MBA in Marketing and Health Services. He specializes in consultative selling and internet marketing. As the VP of BD & Marketing, Jeff provides sales and marketing leadership to MGECOM, Inc. and helps http://MGECOM.com acquire new clients in need of solutions for online merchants in need of Affiliate Marketing program management. Jeff founded and manages Cress Sales & Marketing LLC, offering online sales and marketing consulting and services to online merchants and service providers.