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Old 07-24-2018, 11:11 PM   #1
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Default Mosin Ammo, Accuracy, and Reloading

Lets talk mosin accuracy loads, commercial ammo, reloading techniques and tools for success. Ive been loading up my 54R (I have a '43 Carbine) and it is PICKY. I just adjusted my sights recently after noticing that the previous owner had them pushed all the way right, and it HATES tulammo 147 gr ammo. It seems to dislike 150-ish grain ammo in general, so I'm moving up to 180 Gr 303 boolits.

Current load that I have to try is 180 Gr bullet pushed by 44.7 gr of 4320. Pending results. I also have 238 gr hunters supply bullets I am going to mess with sooner or later. Bore slugged at .314/.312, so .308 bullets are out of the question, at least for now, while I can find the .311 bullets that I need. What works for everyone else?
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Old 07-24-2018, 11:22 PM   #2
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4-6 inch groups work for me.

I've yet to slug a bore but I have plenty to tryout.

I have a box of Hotshot 180gn? ammo supposedly from Serbia for Century.

I got my best group out of a Finn 91/30 with it @ 1.49"

I've got some Lee? dies and look forward to setting up a bench for exactly what you're doing now.

Looking forward to how this thread develops.
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Old 07-25-2018, 12:31 AM   #3
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Well the carbine is probably a different animal than a long barreled 91/30 rifles but my PU shoots pretty good with 150gr .311 sierra pro hunters in front of 45 grains of IMR4895 powder. Not pushing it hard. I think that was 2625 fps.

I have some IMR3031 I thought about trying in my carbines since it is faster than the 4895 and the barrel length is shorter. If and when I ever get the chance....Subscribing....
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Old 07-25-2018, 10:54 AM   #4
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the 1960s Czech surplus worked great for me in 3 different Mosins.
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Old 07-25-2018, 11:11 AM   #5
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4-6 inch groups work for me.

I've yet to slug a bore but I have plenty to tryout.

I have a box of Hotshot 180gn? ammo supposedly from Serbia for Century.

I got my best group out of a Finn 91/30 with it @ 1.49"

I've got some Lee? dies and look forward to setting up a bench for exactly what you're doing now.

Looking forward to how this thread develops.
I shot a 1-3/8" group out of my M39 at 100 yards with Bulgarian surplus.
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Old 07-25-2018, 08:06 PM   #6
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yer just stoned oli


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Old 07-25-2018, 09:48 PM   #7
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My SAKO M39 is the most accurate of my Mosins. I picked up a couple of cases of what was supposedly surplus "match" or "sniper" ammo (faded greenish color boxes, I think/ wood case) quite a few years ago, and it will shoot close to MOA with that.

It will also shoot near MOA with cast loads consisting of a .313 Lee 180 over 13.5 grains of 2400 in Lapua brass.

Haven't worked as much with my 91/30, 38 or 44, so about all I can say is around 4" at 100 with surplus, and I have not had the success with cast that I have in my M39.

Other than a few hunting loads using Hornady .312 150 gr SSTs in the Lapua brass over either IMR4064 or H414, most of my handloading efforts have been with cast bullets.
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Old 07-26-2018, 02:39 AM   #8
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One thing to add, is that, as with most rimmed (or belted) cases, neck sizing only, and using brass only in one particular rifle, is going to improve accuracy with the additional benefit of extending case life.

Also, a chamber cast, to get an idea of the throat of your barrel, can help determine optimum bullet seating depth the same as slugging the barrel can determine optimum diameter.

(I guess that's two things, maybe three)
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Old 07-26-2018, 02:46 PM   #9
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To be fair, the Finnish M39 almost shouldn't be considered a Mosin-Nagant. Mosin's are capable rifles but without some work, with the rare exception, they're adequate at best.

That said, I have a 1944 Russian Mosin that I can get 1.25 MOA out of now that I've shimmed it and tweaked the trigger.
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Old 07-26-2018, 03:38 PM   #10
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To be fair, the Finnish M39 almost shouldn't be considered a Mosin-Nagant. Mosin's are capable rifles but without some work, with the rare exception, they're adequate at best.

That said, I have a 1944 Russian Mosin that I can get 1.25 MOA out of now that I've shimmed it and tweaked the trigger.

i had a Finnish one years ago and got rid of it. Groups were terrible compared to my beater 28 Tula or 1944 M44. Both of them hold 2-3 MOA with open sights and LPS ammo. However, the M44 cannot shoot anything over 148 gr as it doesnt have the twist to stabilize heavier projectiles. Groups open up to..almost 8 inches @ 100 yards.

I have 2 original Tula 43 snipers, you feed them 202 gr Extra Soviet Brass Match ammo (mega rare shit that came through Sportsmens Guide and they had no clue what they had) and on good day the rifle will hold a solid MOA using 3.5x original PU scope. My only beef with those is the trigger. I wish it was a little bit lighter for a sniper gun.
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Old 07-29-2018, 12:48 PM   #11
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I headed to the range yesterday with those 180 gr sierras over 4320 (44.7 gr) and wow! what a difference. The group size dropped to ~3-4 MOA between me and a friend of mine, neither of us being particularly good shots, which is way better than what I was getting with the 150 gr tula being all over the place. I did also try some 150's over 4895 and they shot pretty well, but it liked the 180's better.

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I have some IMR3031 I thought about trying in my carbines since it is faster than the 4895 and the barrel length is shorter. If and when I ever get the chance....Subscribing....
This is an interesting point and one I have thought about a lot, IE using a faster powder in a shorter barrel. The answer I have gotten, and came to agree with to some extent, is that a faster powder wont do exactly that because the powder burns within the first few inches of the barrel. Now, I agree with this in as much as the fact that its proportional to the pressure curve, and past the first couple inches, the pressure drops and the powder stops burning. This means a properly burning powder for the cartridge and bullet is independent of the gun. I am very interested, however, in how a faster powder works, like 3031, because I would love to know.

I have used RL19 for this powder, but not with 180 gr bullets yet, As i mentioned above I have had very good success with 4320, and a recommended accuracy load (from Sierra, i think) under the 180 gr bullet is IMR 4350 (could have been H4350, someone correct me if iI'm wrong on that), and that was in carbine test rifle. If you do end up testing that, let me know! I love 3031 as a powder so if it works good in that rifle, especially with 123 SST or 150gr bullets, then that would be valuable for me!
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Old 07-29-2018, 10:21 PM   #12
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most of the commercail ammo i use ends up stringing vertically.
203 grn brown bear seems to shoot pretty well
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Old 07-30-2018, 12:05 AM   #13
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I shot a 1-3/8" group out of my M39 at 100 yards with Bulgarian surplus.
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yer just stoned oli




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Old 07-30-2018, 09:34 AM   #14
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Old 07-30-2018, 11:57 AM   #15
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awesome!
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Old 08-01-2018, 01:07 PM   #16
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my sons 91/30 is a real great shooter, but seems to prefer s&b 180 grain loads...he tried brown bear 230? grain and couldnt get it to group well.using a Bushnell red dot mounted on rail on rear sight base.
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Old 08-02-2018, 02:02 PM   #17
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A couple of other points that may help you get the most accuracy out of that 91/30 or other old Mosin or any milsurp.

One, the barrels, while often still capable of good accuracy, carry fouling in the barrel from often less than optimum wartime ammunition and cleaning regimen. Fouling can be from the bullets, the powder and the primer, and it is pressed into the pores in the steel and built up in layers of one type over the other.

Early on Russia used cupro-nickel as bullet jacket material(as many military powers did) and it leaves a nasty hard to remove fouling that can seriously degrade accuracy. Our own armaments people found this out in the Springfield.

I have found a multi pronged attack works best. First a foam bore cleaner that you can let sit overnight, followed by serious scrubbing with a brass brush(repeated as necessary. Then an ammonia based cleaner like Sweet's for the bullet/metal fouling and more scrubbing. I also use some hot water and a little dish soap, because there are some things that require water as a solvent.

You may need to repeat the cleaning regimen a number of times depending on the crud build up. I have an M38 Carcano that I bought over ten years ago that I am still cleaning crud out of. It has gotten better accuracy-wise(but will probably never be a precision rifle)

I know others that have reported good results with electric bore cleaners like the old Outer's Foul Out or homemade versions, but have never used them myself.

How do you tell if it's clean? Well the accuracy improving is one clue. Beyond that there are a number of small "bore-scope cameras" for sale on Amazon for not much money, that USB to your PC and give you a worm's eye view of the interior of your rifle bore(they are handy). Also what the patches look like when you run them through with the various solvents, greenish or blueish residue when using ammonia based solvent means they is still cupro-nickel or gilding metal fouling.

The second thing and easy to check, and if not too bad, easy to fix, is the crown. A nick or dent in the inside of the barrel, just at the end, will definitely affect accuracy. Sometimes it's as small a nick you can not see well and only feel by running your finger around the crown, or using something like a Q-tip and noting strands of fiber that may get caught. Cleaning wear is also an issue. This is why you see counter-bored Mosins, to cut back the worn rifling and give the barrel a good crown for the bullet to exit flying straight.

If it isn't too terribly bad you can often get quick, positive results by chucking a round headed brass screw or rivet, larger than bore size, in an electric drill, coat it with fine valve grinding compound and center it on the bore and slowly and carefully true up the crown.

If there is extensive wear, a ways back, from cleaning rod use, then shortening and re crowning, or counter-boring may be the only options, and you'll have to decide if its worth it.

Or you could just get a Finn M39
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Last edited by Sigiloso; 08-02-2018 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 09-03-2018, 09:47 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Sigiloso View Post
A couple of other points that may help you get the most accuracy out of that 91/30 or other old Mosin or any milsurp.

One, the barrels, while often still capable of good accuracy, carry fouling in the barrel from often less than optimum wartime ammunition and cleaning regimen. Fouling can be from the bullets, the powder and the primer, and it is pressed into the pores in the steel and built up in layers of one type over the other.

Early on Russia used cupro-nickel as bullet jacket material(as many military powers did) and it leaves a nasty hard to remove fouling that can seriously degrade accuracy. Our own armaments people found this out in the Springfield.

I have found a multi pronged attack works best. First a foam bore cleaner that you can let sit overnight, followed by serious scrubbing with a brass brush(repeated as necessary. Then an ammonia based cleaner like Sweet's for the bullet/metal fouling and more scrubbing. I also use some hot water and a little dish soap, because there are some things that require water as a solvent.

You may need to repeat the cleaning regimen a number of times depending on the crud build up. I have an M38 Carcano that I bought over ten years ago that I am still cleaning crud out of. It has gotten better accuracy-wise(but will probably never be a precision rifle)

I know others that have reported good results with electric bore cleaners like the old Outer's Foul Out or homemade versions, but have never used them myself.

How do you tell if it's clean? Well the accuracy improving is one clue. Beyond that there are a number of small "bore-scope cameras" for sale on Amazon for not much money, that USB to your PC and give you a worm's eye view of the interior of your rifle bore(they are handy). Also what the patches look like when you run them through with the various solvents, greenish or blueish residue when using ammonia based solvent means they is still cupro-nickel or gilding metal fouling.

The second thing and easy to check, and if not too bad, easy to fix, is the crown. A nick or dent in the inside of the barrel, just at the end, will definitely affect accuracy. Sometimes it's as small a nick you can not see well and only feel by running your finger around the crown, or using something like a Q-tip and noting strands of fiber that may get caught. Cleaning wear is also an issue. This is why you see counter-bored Mosins, to cut back the worn rifling and give the barrel a good crown for the bullet to exit flying straight.

If it isn't too terribly bad you can often get quick, positive results by chucking a round headed brass screw or rivet, larger than bore size, in an electric drill, coat it with fine valve grinding compound and center it on the bore and slowly and carefully true up the crown.

If there is extensive wear, a ways back, from cleaning rod use, then shortening and re crowning, or counter-boring may be the only options, and you'll have to decide if its worth it.

Or you could just get a Finn M39
Did you ever use JB BORE COMPOUND? You are using almost same thing in that valve grind stuff, but this is MEANT for rifle Bores......you won't believe what comes out.
BenchRest Boys & varminters swear by it & I have used it ALOT on every old rifle I ever got my hands on,
Takes a little patience ,but if you reload , you have more than enough,
You just patch that Bore with it & work it over& over then clean it with your
solvents & if you really want to get ALL the crud out repeat it till it shines....
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Old 09-03-2018, 11:44 PM   #19
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Did you ever use JB BORE COMPOUND? You are using almost same thing in that valve grind stuff, but this is MEANT for rifle Bores......you won't believe what comes out.
BenchRest Boys & varminters swear by it & I have used it ALOT on every old rifle I ever got my hands on,
Takes a little patience ,but if you reload , you have more than enough,
You just patch that Bore with it & work it over& over then clean it with your
solvents & if you really want to get ALL the crud out repeat it till it shines....
I have a jar of it on my bench with the other cleaning stuff. It does work well for tough jobs, I am just a little leery of its abrasive qualities and use it sparingly, cautiously and as a last resort. Depends on the rifle.

I am probably over thinking it, but just my two cents, as even lapping a bore, can be a good thing in certain situations.

Then again Sweet's or other ammonia cleaners can be dangerous as well, if left too long in the barrel.
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Old 09-04-2018, 06:25 PM   #20
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I have a jar of it on my bench with the other cleaning stuff. It does work well for tough jobs, I am just a little leery of its abrasive qualities and use it sparingly, cautiously and as a last resort. Depends on the rifle.

I am probably over thinking it, but just my two cents, as even lapping a bore, can be a good thing in certain situations.

Then again Sweet's or other ammonia cleaners can be dangerous as well, if left too long in the barrel.
OMG yeah ,Sweets can be, but not if you be careful......you reload & you know what you are doing & why , you can handle this ,no sweat Brother...
JB can't hurt your guns...if it makes you feel better, the guys with $2,000. ++Benchguns w/ HART Barrels use it all the time , don't be scared of it ,it's not that abrasive, I think I'd be more afraid of the valve lap compound because that IS meant to cut metal ,right?

I cleaned every 'old' rifle I have/had & the onesI bought used, that were cleaned for decades with the "old fashioned" method,ie: Hoppes#9patches or copper solvent, etc just had so much built up fouling from those decades that you would not believe what came out of SUPPOSEDLY 'clean' BBls.

They actually felt like they'd been lapped when you cleaned them again after shooting , no drag on the patches [know what I mean?]
It really gets a Bore CLEAN
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