The Mosin Modernization Project – Modern Mosin Nagant Sniper Rifle – install

If you are new to the Mosin Modernization Project, here is the intro. Part 1 of the Modern Mosin Sniper build This is Part 2 Part 3 of the Modern […]

If you are new to the Mosin Modernization Project, here is the intro.

Build #2: Mosin Nagant Sniper Rifle: Installing the Upgrades

For the list of parts and overview of this build part 1 of the Modern Mosin Nagant Sniper Rifle upgrade is here.

Mosin Nagant Archangel sniper build - shortened and threaded barrel with Huber 1" square brake

Mosin Nagant Archangel sniper build – shortened and threaded barrel with Huber 1″ square brake

Barrel work 

Shorten, thread, crown and install muzzle brake on 1932 Izhevsk Mosin Nagant 91/30, refurbished by Molot Oruzhie Ltd. 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:

  • Cut the barrel to 21″ (as recommended by Rock Solid Industries)
  • Threaded the barrel for 5/8″ – 24 threads to time and installed the
  • Crowned the barrel with a 11 degree target crown (as recommended by Rock Solid Industries)
  • Installed the Huber Concepts – HUBER Square Brake in .308. Most folks cut the threads and use a crush washer to time the muzzle brake. The guys at Bluegrass Gunworks went above and beyond to time the threads so that the muzzle brake aligns perfectly without the need for a crush washer.
Mosin Nagant Archangel sniper build - Rock Solid Industries scope mount

Mosin Nagant Archangel sniper build – Rock Solid Industries scope mount

Install scope mount
You will notice a trend developing… we opted to rely on the pros to install the scope mount as well. Rock Solid Industries provided their Mosin Nagant MI-24C 91/30 Rail System for use on this sniper configuration rifle. I opted to ask Bluegrass Gunworks to install the MI-24C 91/30 scope mount while they had the barreled action for barrel work. While the RSI MI-24C 91/30 scope mount attaches to the front pivot of the rear scope mount on mosin rifles, it also requires that 3 holes be drilled and tapped in the receiver. While this is well within our capabilities at Gear Report, we are looking to maximize accuracy on this build and wanted the scope mount installed perfectly. Bluegrass Gunworks install of LOT of Rock Solid Industries parts, so we knew it would be right if we let them install… and we were right. It looks perfect and is “rock solid”.

Install the ProMag Mosin Nagant Archangel OPFOR rifle stock

Finally, something that I did myself!
I asked Pro Mag for this stock since I happen to like the maintenance free, durable, all weather aspects of polymer stocks, and this build called for the aggressive looks, accuracy and ergonomics upgrades of the ProMag Mosin Nagant Archangel OPFOR rifle stock.

Installation of the ProMag Mosin Nagant Archangel OPFOR rifle stock was REALLY easy.

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

I found that the ProMag Mosin Nagant Archangel OPFOR rifle stock comes with an insert below the barrel that is to be removed the rifle uses a banded rear sight.

Mosin Nagant Archangel sniper build - relieving the stock to fit the RSI bent bolt

Mosin Nagant Archangel sniper build – relieving the stock to fit the RSI bent bolt

Mosin Nagant Archangel sniper build - stock inlet to accept RSI bent bolt

Mosin Nagant Archangel sniper build – stock inlet to accept RSI bent bolt

The 91/30 does not, so it could remain in place, but the insert sat just high enough that it interfered with the free floated barrel. I took off the barreled action, removed the insert and reassembled. And with that, the ProMag Mosin Nagant Archangel OPFOR rifle stock made not contact with the barrel, allowing it to be completely free floated.  there is also a small insert that can be placed in the foregrip of the ProMag Mosin Nagant Archangel OPFOR rifle stock to place pressure on the bottom of the barrel if free floating does not Mosin Nagant Archangel sniper build - Jeff shooting from Hyskore ten ring shooting benchprovide ideal barrel harmonics. We have not shot this build enough yet to know whether experimentation with a bit of vertical pressure on the bottom of the barrel will help accuracy.

Once installed the ProMag Mosin Nagant Archangel OPFOR rifle stock feels nice in the hands and has produced a very nice shooting rifle. Unlike our other build based on the ATI Mosin Nagant Monte Carlo Stock, we haven’t been overly impressed with the rubber recoil pad. Although it is far nicer than the steel butt plate that was previously on the old 1932 Izhevsk Mosin Nagant 91/30. Where the Archangel stock really shines is in the ergonomic improvements of adjustable comb height, length of pull and a more vertical pistol grip. The storage compartment in the pistol grip is a nice bonus also.

mosin nagant archangel sniper build - B&T Industries Atlas Bipod

mosin nagant archangel sniper build – B&T Industries Atlas Bipod

Install Bipod

 For this build we chose the rather high-end B&T Industries BT47-LW17 PSR Atlas Bipod: Tall with ADM 170-S Lever. This $340 bipod is not for the faint of wallet. It is designed to for performance and durability, not for Bubba to pick up at Walmart.

Install the Timney Trigger #307 Mosin Trigger Upgrade

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

Mosin Nagant Archangel sniper build - JJ install Timney Trigger Mosin Nagant

Mosin Nagant Archangel sniper build – screen grab of JJ installing Timney Trigger Mosin Nagant

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. We wanted to see if the rumors about the Timney Mosin trigger were true. Installation of the Timney Triggers #307 Mosin Nagant Trigger was really simple:

  • remove the sear screw
  • remove the trigger pin
  • remove the old Mosin Nagant trigger and sear
  • insert the Timney Triggers #307 Mosin Nagant Trigger
  • install the trigger pin and tighten the allen screw to hold it in place
  • install the old sear screw
  • drop test to ensure trigger is drop safe

The Timney Triggers #307 Mosin Nagant Trigger turned the spongy, gritty, ponderous Mosin Nagant trigger into a crisp, short, light and predictable pull with a very clean break. Timney Triggers #307 Mosin Nagant Trigger reduced trigger pull weight from the stock 8+ Lb to an infinitely better feeling 3 pull average of 3.25 Lb. And this without me having to do any tweaking or polishing of trigger components.

Mosin Nagant Archangel sniper build - ATN X-Sight Digital Day/Night scope

Mosin Nagant Archangel sniper build – ATN X-Sight Digital Day/Night scope

Install Scope

For now, this build will wear a special digital day/night scope from ATN simply because we only have it for a short period of time for review and this is the rifle that we are shooting the most right now and didn’t already have a scope assigned. Installation of the ATN X-Sight Riflescope 5-18x Smart HD Optics DGWSXS518A could hardly be easier. It has a built-in base with two tightening nuts. Simply place the scope mount base on the Rock Solid Industries Mosin Nagant MI-24C 91/30 Rail System and tighten the two nuts on the scope base. It took a bit of trial and error to find the right location on the rail, as the ATN X-Sight Riflescope needs to be rather far back for proper eye relief… if you an call it that on a digital scope. We also ordered 2 types of high capacity, high output rechargeable AA batteries (these and these) since the  scope requires more power than typical AA batteries can provide.

Test Fire

Mosin Nagant Archangel sniper build - test fire with red dot

Mosin Nagant Archangel sniper build – test fire with red dot

After cleaning, assembly and lube, test firing was in order.
Unfortunately, we did initial testing with the Ohuhu red dot, which was not remotely the right optic for this rifle… but it is what we had handy when the opportunity arose to go shoot the rifle for the first time. It performed well, but a red dot with no magnification did not provide nearly precision aim point that a sniper build requires. Then our ATN digital scope arrived and we took the mosin sniper build out to test fire with the ATN X-Sight Riflescope 5-18x Smart HD Optics DGWSXS518A… but SOMEONE left the batteries back in the Gear Report office. (ok… it was me). So we took our cheap 4-16 hunting scope off of a different rifle and put it on the Mosin sniper. And as you might expect, the cheap magnified optic failed after a few shots of the 7.62x54r cartridge’s stout recoil. Prior to the magnified optic failing the Mosin Modernization Project Sniper rifle proved to be significantly more accurate and pleasant shooting than prior to the upgrades. New batteries just arrived for the ATN X-Sight Riflescope. I will be sure to charge them and put them in the scope before heading to the range to test the scope on the Mosin sniper build.

Next… final testing for accuracy, then sending the Mosin Modernization Project Sniper Rifle to R and J coatings 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.