Gun question.

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Gun question.

Post  dwc43 on Sat Feb 14, 2009 10:15 pm

Went to the range today and ran into a problem. See if you have any idea how to fix this one.

Mosin Nagant M91/30 firing a 7.62x54R

I have not checked it with a caliper yet, but it appears that the neck is swollen on two pieces of brass that I saved today from the range. One came out with a little coaxing, the other casing would not come out at all and the cleaning rod is too short without jag on the end of it, so I had to take it home. I installed a second cleaning rod on the end of the original and the brass came out, but not as easy as it should have.

These were factory loads. FMJ Brass with brass case. If they are swollen, what can you do to fix that problem. Maybe look for a steel case like these military rounds I have for my 7.62x39 ??

Never run into that before, but the bolt was hard to open after both rounds were fired. Both pieces of brass stuck, but only the first round ejected after some coaxing it out. So, where do I go from here?

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Re: Gun question.

Post  dwc43 on Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:04 pm

O.k. I got my caliper out and checked some shells and casings today.
Live round was .328 at the neck.
Spent round #1 was .335 at the neck.
Sent round #2 was .334 at the neck.
That's .007 difference. Is that enough to make the casing stick inside the rifle?

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Re: Gun question.

Post  txpower_ram on Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:03 pm

Did ALL cases come out looking like that, or just the two? Given my experiences with MNs, I wopuld suspect the chamber is fouled with hardened grease and God alone knows what else. I'd clean it very, very well with a chamber brush and solvent. When you think it is clean, clean it some more!

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Re: Gun question.

Post  dwc43 on Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:39 am

I only shot two rounds. The second round stuck in the rifle and I could not remove it at the range. Had to take it home to extract it. One measured .007 and one was .006 to be exact. It's already been disassembled and cleaned and oiled before it ever went to the range. I've talked to a couple others that thing it might be a head spacing problem, so I might have to take it to a gun smith and let them check it. I don't have the tools for that. I suggested a steel case instead of brass and a couple said try it, might work. We were also looking at the primmer s too. None of them appear to be the same depth on the two fired rounds compared to a live round and they have very deep dents from the firing pin as well. I'll have to check the other rounds for primer depth. It might be an ammo issue, just not sure yet. Mad

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Re: Gun question.

Post  dwc43 on Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:03 am

O.k. I talked to one of my cop buddies that's big into guns and showed him the spent rounds last night and a live one. I mentioned checking the head space. He said good idea to start with. We looked over the casings real good. We noticed that one primer was deep inside the brass and one was more flush. On the live round I brought to compare it was maybe a .0001 beyond flush. The two spent rounds have very deep dents on the primer too.

I just went and looked at all 18 rounds from the box that I fired the two rounds from. Some of the primers are different. There appears to be two sizes. And some are set at a different height than others too.

Here's a thought. Could I have been sold reloads as new rounds? If the cases are not re sized correctly you might have trouble with them in the barrel. If the brass is soft or used more than once it could easily swell and stick in the chamber.

I think I'll find some steel casing ammo and try at least a round or two and see what happens when I get a chance to go to the range again. I'm going to take both boxes to Walter and see if he thinks these are reloads or what. Plus I think I'll take the calipers to them and measure all of them and see what they come out to. I know the live round I showed Walter last night will cycle through the gun several times without any trouble, so it's trouble after it's fired for sure. Rolling Eyes


Last edited by dwc43 on Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:55 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Typo)

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Re: Gun question.

Post  dmw56 on Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:25 am

I was going to suggest having the headspace checked. That is an old gun and could be showing signs of its age. Same with the ammo. Most of it, if not all of it is surplus and the cases if reloaded are going to be old also.

I don't fire a lot of my old rifles because of that reason.

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Re: Gun question.

Post  dwc43 on Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:53 am

I just got this one and wanted to try it out. Should have done some more homework on it. I found this page yesterday and sent it to a friend. It tells all about my gun. Mines a Westinghouse. I'm probably going to have it checked out by a smith and if I can't get good ammo for sure, then I most likely will store this one away. Was really looking forward to firing off a box full the other day though. It's got a pretty good little kick with that round and that long barrel too. Smile


I see a date stamped on it 1915, but I did not think they were made before 1929. I'll have to check on that. Learn something new everyday.

The American Mosin Nagants
Text and Drawings From Terence Lapin

The outbreak of World War I in August 1914 caught Russia seriously short of military weapons. The existing stockpile of small arms was inadequate to arm Russia’s huge army, and the situation became rapidly worse through the expansion of the armed forces and the normal loss of weapons by capture, accident, and otherwise.

jimwesting.jpg (23092 bytes)

US Westinghouse Mosin Nagant Model 1891

By the second year of the war the small arms deficit had became critical. Russia sustained frequent defeats at the front, and at one point was suffering a loss of rifles at the appalling rate of 240,000 per month. Despite the purchases of some 2,461,000 rifles from foreign sources during the war ---among them Arisakas from Japan and Great Britain, and Model 95 Winchesters from the U. S.--- and the capture of 700,000 rifles from their enemies, the Russians never acquired a sufficient quantity of firearms for their troops.

In 1915 the Tsar’s government ordered 1,500,000 M1891 infantry rifles and bayonets and 100,000,000 rounds of 7.62x54 mm ammunition from the American firm Remington-UMC, and an additional 1,800,000 of the rifles and bayonets from another American company, New England Westinghouse.

American-made Mosin-Nagants are easily recognized by the makers’ names prominently stamped above the chamber. There are two varieties of the Westinghouse logo. The character next to “1915” on Westinghouse rifles which looks almost like a lower-case “r” is the Russian abbreviation for “year”; it is commonly used in writing dates in Russian. All Westinghouse M1891s are dated 1915, although they were made from 1915 until and including 1918; Remington rifles show the actual year of manufacture. The mark used by Westinghouse on its M1891 parts looks like a capital H with an extended center bar in the form of an arrow pointing right; Remington-made parts are marked with an R-in-a-circle.

Both Westinghouse and Remington made their M1891 furniture from American black walnut. Westinghouse stocks are identifiable by a cartouche on the left side of the butt, consisting of a circle about 7/8” in diameter containing the Russian words englishcontract1.jpg (2716 bytes) (pronounced “Ahn-GLEE-skee zah-KAHZ”), meaning “English Contract”. The inscription is in old-fashioned Russian; the words look somewhat different in the modern language because of orthographic changes made by the Bolsheviks in October 1918.

The meaning of this “English Contract” inscription has been the source of much misinformation: it was not placed there “to fool the Germans about where the rifles came from”, as I once heard a dealer at a gun show say; nor does it mean that the rifles were transshipped via England. The machinery at the Westinghouse factory in Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts on which the rifles were made was owned by the British government, which also acted as surety for payment for the first million rifles; that is why the rifles are marked “English Contract”.

During 1915-1917 Remington produced 840,310 M1891 rifles, of which 131,400 had arrived in Russia by January 1917. In the same period Westinghouse made 770,000 rifles; 225,260 were delivered to Russia by January 1917.

As early as February 1916 Westinghouse tried to persuade the U. S. government to buy M1891s of its own. Although the War Dept. expressed some slight interest at the time the matter did not proceed further until after dramatic events occurred a year later.

In February 1917 revolution erupted in Russia and the monarchy was overthrown. This was not the Bolshevik Revolution; that took place later in the year, in November (October in the old-style Julian calendar Russia used at the time, hence “Red October”.) Late in 1917 the Russian government defaulted on its contracts with Remington and Westinghouse. The Russians refused to pay for the guns, claiming the rifles were of poor quality, but this was untrue: the American rifles were actually better-made than the Russian ones. The real reasons for default were simply the Russians’ shortage of ready cash and their unwillingness to pay.

The U. S. companies had incurred substantial expenses in tooling-up for and making the Russian rifles, and the default meant financial disaster. In January 1918, to rescue the American firms, the U. S. government agreed to buy the rifles in Westinghouse’s inventory as of January 4th, plus another 200,000. The government also contracted to buy the 78,950 still unpaid-for M1891s then in Remington’s warehouses and an additional 600,000 rifles. Even so, Remington lost a considerable sum on the deal and had to wait several years for the American government to pay its bill.

Deliveries to Russia slowed to a trickle, and soon ceased altogether. The U. S. kept 208,050 of the rifles it bought, some of which were issued to National Guard units, state militia, and similar entities; others were used by the Army, mostly for training purposes. In July 1918, the U. S. Army Ordnance Corps’ Engineering Division officially designated America’s new weapons the “Russian Three-line Rifle, Caliber 7.62 mm. (.3 inch)”, and had them marked with its “flaming bomb” insignia, an American eagle, and otherwise. Some collectors refer to the American Mosin-Nagants as the “Model 1916”, although that term was not used by either the Russians or the Americans. In its records the U.S. Army almost always referred to the guns simply as “Russian rifles”.

A few U. S. Mosin-Nagants were altered to take the Pedersen Device, a semi-automatic conversion system with which Remington was experimenting towards the end of World War I for use on the ‘03 Springfield. A basic blow-back system with a unique bolt, this apparatus was designed to fire a strange little .30 caliber round similar to French 7.65 mm long pistol ammo. The government destroyed the devices and special ammo in 1931, although 20 devices were preserved for posterity; the Springfields were resupplied with standard bolts and simply placed back into military service. The altered rifles ---Mosins and Springfields--- can be identified by an oblong slot cut into the left side of the receiver, which served as an ejector port. A surviving example of these M1891s would be the Holy Grail of Mosin-Nagant collecting. (At least one is alleged to have existed as late as the mid-1950s, but I have not confirmed this as a fact.)

U. S. Army documents from the time make it clear that the military thoroughly disliked the “Russian rifles”, and a large number of those still on the Army’s books were in serious disrepair through neglect and abuse as early as the beginning of 1919.

After the war ended in November 1918, the U. S. government gave 77,000 of its M1891 rifles to the government of the new country of Czechoslovakia. In December these guns went directly from Remington’s Bridgeport, CT facility to Vancouver, Canada; thence to Vladivostok, in Siberia. Contrary to “gun show wisdom” this was not a clandestine operation. Although some of the rifles were used, as intended, to arm the Czech Legion (ex-POWs then fighting the Bolsheviks in eastern Russia), many of them were never issued but remained in storage at Vladivostok, where some were destroyed by accident and sabotage, some rusted away, and some were stolen. The rest just vanished, almost certainly sold illegally in China by the Japanese--- another interesting story.

Other U. S. Mosin-Nagants also made their way to Russia in 1918 via the Arctic port of Archangel, where they were carried by some of the American troops sent to intervene in the civil war then raging between communist and non-communist Russians. This use of the unpopular guns was based on the theory that it would be cheaper to use locally-available ammunition rather than to add to the expedition’s expense and baggage by shipping cartridges halfway around the world for use in standard-issue Springfield M1903 rifles. Most of these American Mosin-Nagants were abandoned in Russia when the last U. S. troops left in 1920.

The U. S. government sold its remaining M1891s as surplus during the 1920s, many to individual Americans for the princely sum of $3.00 apiece; they had cost the taxpayers $30.00 each when the government bought them from Remington and Westinghouse. These rifles were popular as cheap shooters for years, and some were made into hunting- and sporting rifles in the 1920s and ‘30s. One of the commercial sales was to Bannerman’s, the great New York City military surplus house, which had the guns converted to fire the common .30-06 round; the rifles have the new caliber stamped on their actions. These guns can still be found but should NOT be fired: the conversions were not done to modern safety standards and these rifles are considered dangerous to shoot. Though interesting as collector’s items, they should be deactivated by removing the firing pin, or clipping the end off the firing pin, or by any other means to ensure that they cannot be fired by accident or design.

The total number of Mosin-Nagants made by the two American companies is debatable. Although the Russians contracted for 3.3 million of them it seems likely that only about 2.5 million M1891s were actually produced here. Some never left this country, but many more have come ”home” as imports over the past four decades bearing, like campaign medals, the markings of the impressive number of countries in which they served.

Terence Lapin

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Re: Gun question.

Post  dmw56 on Mon Feb 16, 2009 2:24 pm

I have a MN M91 that was built in 1910 pre-revolution. I don't shoot that one. I do have a 91/59 carbine that is an arsenal rebuilt 91/30 that is in like new condition. I also have 2 others both 91/30s, one pre WWII and WW II. And you're right that have a substantial kick to them.

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Re: Gun question.

Post  txpower_ram on Mon Feb 16, 2009 6:00 pm

I have a 1941 mosin $75 payed in cash.

I think your right about reloaded rounds. I havent seen brass 7.62 x 54r unless its factory. Are there names on the bottom of the cases? are the same?? different??. Try the steel cased ones. Be warned though many steel cased ammo is corrosive. I got some silver tipped steel cased sh*t and it was corrosive. The dealer lied to me!!! Anyway, I think wolf makes it?? The rifle is good for practice shooting but, as far as scope mounting. I wouldnt go to all that trouble for a cheap commie rifle. If it were a mauser I'd scope it.

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Re: Gun question.

Post  dwc43 on Mon Feb 16, 2009 6:21 pm

No names, just some markings. Both boxes are the same. So, it's a toss up at this point if it's reloads or not. Had no intention of putting a scope on this one. It's numbers matching so I am going to leave it be. Besides, I can shoot from the irons just as good as I can from a scope. Very Happy

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Re: Gun question.

Post  txpower_ram on Mon Feb 16, 2009 7:38 pm

I like semi auto rifles better than bolt action. The only bolt action i really like are the mauser and or the r 700.

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Re: Gun question.

Post  dwc43 on Mon Feb 16, 2009 7:41 pm

Looking into getting a new Rem. 700 with a bull barrel and bi pod and a very big scope for some long range reach out and touch someone kind of shooting ... lol. Laughing

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Re: Gun question.

Post  txpower_ram on Mon Feb 16, 2009 7:47 pm

Well now if there are markings, they could be old commie brass that was reloaded but never was trimmed.

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Re: Gun question.

Post  dwc43 on Mon Feb 16, 2009 7:55 pm

I just picked up 4 live rounds at random. They are marked 71 and 88. All of these marks are across from each other too. 31/56, .321./52.12, 31/56. Have no clue what any of that means. The slash mark separates the top number from the bottom number. They are right across the primer from each other. Other friends agreed that they may be reloads cause factory loads can repeat the depth of the primer on every round. Very Happy

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Re: Gun question.

Post  txpower_ram on Tue Feb 17, 2009 3:04 pm

Try the steel cased ones, im curious now.

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Re: Gun question.

Post  dwc43 on Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:13 pm

I will as soon as I have some time to locate some steel case rounds and get back to the range. Very Happy

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Re: Gun question.

Post  RapidTransitTracy on Wed Feb 25, 2009 12:06 am

On the subject of reloads, I'm not sure the original brass is Berdan or Boxer primed. Boxer primed is easily reloadable. Berdan primed brass is not impossible to reload, but the brass must first be modified to "Boxer" type, which is a more tedious task and usually resereve for calibers that have hard to find brass and, therefore, makes the tedious task much more necessary for those who plan to shoot those calibers frequently. (cheaper than buying those hard to find calibers)

I have several reloads that my father did before he passed. Some were early in his trial and error period. Specifically for my 6.5 Swedish Mauser, some of the reloads chambered tightly, but once fire-formed, ejected easily. Which is what SHOULD happen, which is also why I tend to agree with the train of thought that points to the rifle, not the ammo. I would carefully check the chamber for damage, fouling, etc.

The only ammo issue I would think of is, (regarding reloads), if they were loaded too hot.

I'm by NO means an expert, but my father became one, and my limited knowledge comes from him and his experiences.

Hope this helps if you have not already figured it out. cheers

RTT

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Re: Gun question.

Post  dwc43 on Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:32 am

I don't think these have been hot loaded. Too much empty space inside of them if you shake them, or at least it sounds like there's too much dead air in there. I've located plenty of ammo. Just need to get my order in. Might order it Friday. A friend of mine wants me to order some stuff for him and said he'd give the money Fri. so we will see. www.cheaperthandirt.com and www.sportsmansguide.com have rare ammo and other ammo too for good prices, especially in bulk. Still going to try the ammo thing first, since it's easier and then if there's no diff, it's going to a smith to find out what the deal is. Very Happy

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Re: Gun question.

Post  RapidTransitTracy on Wed Feb 25, 2009 11:26 am

OK, hope things work out. Let me know what you find out.

Keep in mind though, a higher power reload may be as simple as using near the same amount of a different brand or type of powder, so the space you feel when shaking the round may not help determine that.

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Re: Gun question.

Post  dwc43 on Wed Feb 25, 2009 11:30 am

That's true, but these have a lot of empty space in them. I've never noticed one before that had this much dead air in them. I'll let everyone know when I find out. Kinda ticked that day. I really wanted to shoot that gun and site it in. I think I have a line on a newer model of the same gun. I may buy it if the price is right and hang this one on the wall due to it's age. Very Happy

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Re: Gun question.

Post  RapidTransitTracy on Wed Feb 25, 2009 11:39 am

I traded an '85 Daytona Turbo Z for a Mosin-Nagant and a Schmidt-Rubin K-31 recently. The Mosin went to my buddy Todd and he says it's a REAL sweet shooter. I have yet to shoot my K-31. I need to get some ammo for it.

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Re: Gun question.

Post  dwc43 on Wed Feb 25, 2009 11:49 am

I thought I saw some at www.sportsmansguide.com . I get there catalog and I think I saw some in there. You might check the prices and see what they have. I should be placing an order to them Fri. While you are online, check the AR15 question and see if you have any input on that one, please.

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Re: Gun question.

Post  RapidTransitTracy on Wed Feb 25, 2009 12:01 pm

Will do. I've found ammo in the Sprtsman's guide and in shotgun news too. Plus at some other online stores. Just need to decide what type and how much I wanna get.

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Re: Gun question.

Post  dwc43 on Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:43 pm

Update on my problem. I got another box of ammo today at the Franklin Gun Shop. Loaded two rounds in the mag and went to close the bolt and that's where it all went wrong. The bolt stripped the ammo from the mag and chambered it, but you could not fully lock the bolt handle in place. It's straight up 0 when the bolt is open and dead on 90* when closed. With these rounds, it wont go past 45 to 55* closed. It did eject the shells just fine though.

Grabbed a couple from the old box at random and they cycle through just fine. Tried two more at random from the new box and same thing happened. Can't close the bolt on the round. So, there has got to be something wrong with this rifle and it's time to take it to the gun smith when I get a chance. Evil or Very Mad Mad

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Re: Gun question.

Post  RapidTransitTracy on Fri Feb 27, 2009 6:03 pm

Hmmmm, sounding more and more like a headspace problem now. Hope things work out with it!! Keep us posted.
Also, have you gotten an answer on your AR-15 question yet? I've not been able to get hold of my AR buddy yet, but if you got an answer I won't keep calling him! Laughing

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Re: Gun question.

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