The Mosin Nagant is capable of surprising accuracy. While it may never be a Remington Special purpose rifle accurate, the Mosin can outshoot most shooters. There is plenty of evidence and actual occurrences of Mosin’s being used at a thousand yards by dedicated Mosinites and extremely capable shooters. An accurized variant of the Mosin-Nagant was even used in the Olympics by the Russians for decades. The platform isn’t the most accurate, but it’s accurate for the majority of shooters. There are a number of inexpensive things you can do to make the Mosin more accurate and really stretch the legs of the platform.
The First Step to a More Accurate Mosin – Ammo
If you want to shoot a Mosin Nagant accurately you need to take the time to shoot it, a lot. The best upgrade I can suggest is more trigger time, the more you shoot the better you’ll shoot. Before laying down a few hundred dollars on new stock or a scope, consider spending that money on some more trigger time.
Adjusting Mosin Nagant Sights
Being able to use the iron sights on a Mosin can be an excellent step in the right direction. The iron sights on the Mosin are rudimentary, simplistic enough for the peasant warriors of World War 2, but are still capable of getting the job done.
The Mosin front iron sight is a simple post, but it is adjustable. If you are hitting the target a bit high you can lower the sight to lower the point of impact. If you are hitting too low you can raise the sight to compensate. The front sight is also adjustable for windage by using a brass punch for most models. Here is a Mosin Front Sight Adjustment Tool. This is far from precise but does work. You may need to knock the sight back and forth a bit, but it does work. Some Finnish models have a simple adjustable screw that is much more precise and much easier to use. If you choose to upgrade from the original sights, TrueShot Technologies makes a great front sight for the Mosin called the Avenger 2 that when combined with a quality rear sight can significantly improve accuracy.
The rear sights are quite easy to adjust, you squeeze the locking bar and move it up and down. Like all Russian sights, you’ll notice your Mosin is a bit optimistic when it comes to effective range, and at the thousand yard setting, you are doing a volley fire.
Is the Barrel Junk?
Before you start investing in accurizing your Mosin Nagant it’s best to make sure the barrel is going to allow any kind of accuracy. An unloaded rifle, with its bolt removed and a flashlight, can answer a lot of questions. There is a large amount of corrosive ammo on the market has resulted in a variety of different barrel conditions. Corrosive ammo leads to rust, which can lead to pitting, and a pitted barrel will never be as accurate as the rifle can be. If you have a pitted barrel I suggest not wasting money trying to accurize it.
Free Float the Barrel
If you are looking to change the stock on your Mosin with the idea of accurizing it, even more, you may consider free floating the barrel. The purpose of free floating a barrel is to take any pressure off the barrel during shooting. This pressure is applied by outside forces like how your grip the weapon, a bipod, or any external force. With a Mosin, the wood could be deformed on the inside and this could place pressure on the barrel. And a Mosin you can free float the barrel by replacing the stock with something like the Archangel model. The Archangel is made to be free floated and makes it very simple to do.
The Mosin Nagant’s full wood handguard makes it difficult to free float the barrel with a factory stock. This is why many people choose to Sporterize their Mosin Nagants, which often involves trimming the handguard into a more standard hunting rifle configuration. Trimming some of the handguards allows room for fewer fail points, and also allows the barrel to maintain a lower temperature.
Bedding the rifle
How your rifle is bedded has a lot to do with how accurate it will be. If you are getting a vertical stringing in your groups more than likely your rifle is poorly bedded. This means there are tolerance and movement when fired. These little movements of the receiver can be impossible to see or feel, but even a slight movement can degrade accuracy. Bedding the receiver can be a simple and inexpensive task that requires some epoxy.
I won’t go into too much detail about the process, but you need to find a specialized firearm epoxy. This includes liquids like Acraglas gel, which is easy to find on most gun accessory websites. You’ll need to disassemble your rifle to apply the epoxy, and follow the manual to a T. This epoxy style bedding is known as glass bedding and is a good method to accurize your rifle.
Crowning refers to the barrel and how it is crowned. Crowning can affect how gas exits the barrel, which affects the accuracy of the round. If you ever decide to trim the barrel of your Mosin Nagant you’ll need to invest in a gunsmith to crown your rifle. Crowning is not something you want to do by yourself and is more than affordable for a competent gunsmith to do. Even a slight trim and a target crown can lend a lot of consistency to a Mosin platform.
An accurate firearm makes a happy shooter, and an accurate Mosin Nagant makes a broke shooter a happy shooter. The Mosin is such an affordable platform one can actually screw it up and not worry much about ruining a rifle. The Mosin Nagant is an excellent rifle for those looking to experiment and learn how to accurize a weapon. Not only that but one of the main joys of a Mosin is making it better, making it more fun to shoot, more accurate, and more versatile. Accurizing a Mosin Nagant isn’t necessary but it can do wonders for rifle life longevity.