Crazy Idea! Do You Think It's Possible?
Posted 16 November 2009 - 10:12 PM
First we get the obvious out of the way: the barrel would have to be replaced which would take some serious skill at machining because (as far as I know) no one yet makes barrel blanks for Mosins much less chambered in 30/30.
Next we solve the feeding issue: since the Mosin has an inline magazine I think this would be fairly easy to overcome; one would simply place couple of tabs at the top so the smaller 30/30 rounds would stay in place and the bolt would push the cartridge past the tabs thusly releasing it for chambering.
Finally we have to replace the front of the bolt; Granted this would take some more serious skill at machining but if you replaced the front piece with another that is exactly the same specifications accept for the bolt face. You would need to make it smaller to fit a 30/30 round (maybe down to .508 from the current .573?) and you would probably need to replace the current extractor with one that has a longer reach (perhaps from the current .100 to .165 or .168?). Then (I would guess) you would probably need to heat treat it.
I'm just theorizing so if I'm way off please forgive me, I still have a ton yet to learn and I've barely got started in this hobby. But if this is possible, this would make one heck of an awesome deer and varmint rifle. Granted a 30/30 doesn't have the punch a 7.62x54r has but if you think about it you don't really need it. Most shots are within 100 to 200 meters or less and a good 30/30 round (with the right bullet of course) you can get up to 400 meters. Also since the 30/30 has less recoil it would be easy to make follow up shots.
So what do you experts think? Do you think this is possible?
And thanks for entertaining my thoughts.
Posted 16 November 2009 - 10:43 PM
A fellow that posts here from time to time named Clark put one of these conversions together a couple years back using a Win 94 barrel he bought from Numrich GPC. I believe he was even able to get the sights to line up. However, what he found when he was done was he could not make it feed from the magazine at all and had a hard time making it extract and eject even after he'd spent a whole bunch of time tinkering with the bolt face.
Looking at the Mosins that I own, short of milling out a new magazine, turning a new bolt head, and constructing a new magazine interrupter/extractor, I'm not sure the end result will work as well as what you started with. I hate to say it, but this may be one of those projects that sucks up a lot of time and energy but the results aren't there. I am not saying it can't be done though.
If you are looking for a bolt action 30-30, I'd try and locate an old Savage. They're really neat old rifles.
A couple things you might look doing with a Mosin are rebarreling it with an actual .311" diameter barrel (none of the current crop of surplus rifles' bore diameters are in spec) or rebarreling it with a .308" diameter barrel and cutting a long lead to allow shooting .311" bullets if you had to. Ruger did that with their Mini-30's and none of them were ever damaged that I recall. Either way would probably give 10X more accuracy than you have now. You may also relocate the bolt handle behind the rear bridge and fab up an over-the-bolt scope mount. There was a pretty article about that in SGN a year or so ago. I'd like to try it some day.
Posted 17 November 2009 - 04:00 PM
Thanks for the tip about the Mosin barrel. I'll have to look into that later. I haven't gotten that far yet. I'm still taking it apart and cleaning the cosmoline off mine.
Posted 17 November 2009 - 08:28 PM
NASA spent a great big bunch of taxpayers dollars to develope an ink pen that would write in all positions in outer space. Russians used a pencil.
Posted 18 November 2009 - 10:44 PM
I have played with quite a few single shot and bolt 30-30's. Even using spitzer bullets and loaded to the max it is far from a "400 meter" round. I would say 250yds is the farthest I would consider the 30-30 good for on deer sized game. With 150gr spitzers and loaded above the max to ~2500fps at 400 meters your down to only about 1600fps. Most bullets need more velocity then that to expand reliably. If you’re keeping to standard 30-30 pressures you’re going to be down to about 1400fps at 400 meters. Most bullets are too hard to expand at those velocities. I have shot deer with 150gr spitzers from a 30-30 handgun and have found that they expand poorly at less then ~2000fps. In talking with a couple different bullet manufactures about this most recommend around 2000-2200 fps at impact for proper expansion in their 150gr bullets. I use 125gr ballistic tips loaded to just about the max and get 2500-2600 fps depending on the gun and barrel length. The 125gr ballistic tips are not as tough and should expand fine out to about 250yards.
Another thing to consider is while the nagant is a strong action and can handle more pressure then a Winchester 94 the 30-30 case cannot. Keep it to normal book loads as the cases can't handle the pressure. Tougher cases can be made from .375 win and you can load hotter but then you’re just trying to turn the 30-30 into a .307 Winchester. If you’re looking for a rimmed .30cal round to shoot 400 meters your better off just starting with the .307 Winchester or .308 Marlin. Their basically a rimmed .308 with the 30-30 rim diameter.
A nagant in 30-30 does sound like a fun project, but lots of work to get it to work right and have a magazine function. It would be a great deer rifle once finished as long as you take into account the limitations of the round. It is far from a humane end ethical "400 meter" deer round with any bullet. If you do decide to do it be sure to post it as I would like to see it. I really like bolt action 30-30's even with their limitations.
Posted 20 November 2009 - 09:14 PM
I'm sure you could load light 7.62x54r rounds, or probably better yet would be to neck down to 7mm or 6.5mm... That would be a lot easier, more fun, and you would get much better range then a 30/30.
On the same note, just to know if you could do it or not is pretty cool. If someone did it, that would be a VERY unique 30/30.
Posted 21 November 2009 - 09:49 AM
you can solder a bushing to the bolt face like the banner man 30-06 mosins to reduce it down to fit the 30-30 casehead, you'll also have to deepen the ejector slot & possibly deepen the extractor slot. i've considered trying to adapt a sako type extractor or an ar-15 extractor to the mosin bolt head. the ejector may have to be built up a little to catch the case & eject it.
you should be able to modify the magazine by adding shims to it to reshape the inside of the magwell to fit the 30-30 case.
Posted 22 November 2009 - 07:13 PM
Someone at one point gave me 40 rounds of 203gr bernauls & we tried them this weekend. At 75 yds we were getting a 9" drop from where we were impacting with russian surplus FMJ's. My brother shot 2 deer with them. Both did the job, but one fragmented before exitting, & the other never expanded.
That being said, after building 6 sporterized mosins now, changing the calibur has always been something that has been at the back on my mind. I think bannerman was on the right track when he converted remingington surplus to 30-06. His mistake was to take off too much barrel material so they could simply rebore the same barrels. Some day, if I can get a good price on a bannerman I may make the attempt. Most of the legwork would be done, all you'd have to do is remove the offending barrel & get someone like Lothar to make you a mosin barrle shortchambered for 30-06. It'd be a unique gun!
Posted 25 November 2009 - 01:50 PM
...while the nagant is a strong action and can handle more pressure then a Winchester 94 the 30-30 case cannot. Keep it to normal book loads as the cases can't handle the pressure.
No brass cartridge case can handle the pressure unless supported properly by the steel of the chamber. The case is merely a container for the powder, and holds the primer and bullet in proper relation to one another. It also acts as a gasket to seal gasses from escaping through the inevitable small crevices where the action locks up. The size of these crevices determines the strength requirements of the brass.
While I agree whole heartedly about keeping pressures in line, my understanding is that SAMMI pressures are based more on the rifles the cartridge is designed for and less for the limitations of the brass itself. Knowledgable handloaders keeping well within the pressures that "modern" rifles can handle upload older chamberings all the time.
Unless I am missing something I would say that if the Mosin can handle the pressure you could upload the 30-30 cautiously and safely. But again, why bother...
Posted 28 November 2009 - 06:52 PM
The only reason I thought 30/30 is because it is everywhere, cheap to reload, and it is a rimmed rifle cartridge like the 7.62x54r so I figured that would be a lot easier to switch to than say a 30-06 (and the fact that you can change a Mosin to 30-06 is new info to me, I didn't even know that was possible).
I kinda think the venerable 30/30 doesn't get enough credit it deserves. If you think about it 90% of shooting is done well within 200 to 300 yards... especially if you hunt in woods. And that's one of the big reasons why the US military switched from 30-06 to 223 (aka 5.56x45mm). Heck the little 223 that everyone seems to love has less power then the 30/30... neck a 30/30 from .308 down to 5.56mm and I bet you would get better performance than the 223 for long range. Just my .02 not that it means much.
Posted 30 November 2009 - 11:08 PM
In fact the LEE book goes as far to say that if you threw a couple cartridges in a fire they would simply burn a hole in the side of the brass and most probably the bullets would still be in the brass (given you crimped them). Of course you would never want to try it due to safety concerns.
Unless you're camping with knuckleheads! Years ago we were all sitting around the campfire and a dufus friend of mine, (with a few beers in him) randomly grabbed a handful of .22lr and chucked them in the coals...
Of course we all panicked and dove for cover but they just popped like popcorn. No chamber and barrel to control the pressure and accelerate the bullet. I wouldn't try it again, but it makes for a good story!
P.S. I don't believe the burning through the brass with the bullet in place. Just the pressure of the expanding air within the cartridge (even without the powder igniting) would pop the bullet out the end.
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