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30-30 Mosin Nagant ?

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#1 tinkerfive

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 07:07 PM

The previous Mosin Nagant sporter thread reminded me of something I've had
in the back of my mind for a while.

My very first mil surplus to sporter was a M44.
I've tried everything and the best I can get from it is around 2-3MOA.

While I don't particularly mind the fireball you get from a carbine length
barrel with 7.62X54R, it's damn loud!

I've got a few .30 cal Remington take off barrels and was thinking about
possibly rebarreling the M44.

I hadn't checked into it too much ( too many Mausers in line first ), I was
just wondering what the collective wisdom of my fellow board members
had to think about the idea.


#2 swamp_thing

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 07:15 PM

I don't know if this is in fact true, but I have heard from everyone that has talked about it that the barrels are nearly impossible if not totally impossible to remove from these guns. Now I am not saying it cannot be done, because obviously many hundreds of thousands were done by the arsenols. If it is doable, I myself would like to know because with the cheap rifles and the possibilities they offer I would sure get set up to do so. They would be great for most rimmed cartridges. If there are those that have rebarreled them please tell us what you know about it. swamp_thing

#3 gunnutty

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 07:21 PM

Why not reload the cartridge with a mild faster powder and lighter load?

4198 and RL7 and excellent powders to play with to eliminate the muzzle blast. You can handload to any 30-30 velocity you'd want.

#4 sonic1

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 07:24 PM

i worked on this for several days..the bolt face is easy to modify but the feed ramp
was my problem..i even reworked the cartidge hold down lever so it would hold the smaller case ..but never over came the ramp problem..the bolt passes though
the ramp so you just can"t narrow it up..i"m sure some bright smith has over came this problem some how..a .44 mag looks like a better bet..
i:ve take barrels off 2 , did"t have any problems..

#5 swamp_thing

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 07:31 PM

Thanks sonic1 for the reply. This confirms that they can be changed. Guess I will have to think a bit harder about getting a couple of donor receivers to play with. swamp_thing

#6 Doble Troble

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 08:33 PM

I like the faster powder idea.

You've probably already figured this out but it took me a bunch of barn door groups before I figured-out that 0.312 bullets were better in the MN. My M38 went from trading fodder to coveted accurate milsurp.

I use the .312 150 gr Hornady SP at 2.940 OAL over 53 gr AA4350 (it still breathes fire). Its almost as accurate as my Garand, and I bet if the sights were as good it might be better.

If I were going to rebarrel I'd be thinking of something dramatic - like a .444 Marlin or .405 Win or 45-70. You can always load down, sometimes its fun to be able to load up too.

#7 roscoedoh

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 09:28 PM


Contact Clark. I seem to remember that he rebarreled a MN to 30-30 not too long ago. I further remember that he said it didn't feed worth beans and ended up rather frustrated with the whole project.

Don't freeze to death before I get up there... huh.gif


#8 z1r

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 09:47 PM

Be prepared to do some boltface work. the .30-30 rim is only like 512" while the MN is closer to .550".

I'd do like everyone else said and just download if you want a .30-caliber.

#9 MorgansBoss

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Posted 22 December 2005 - 08:32 AM

Ya'll just aren't going to rest till you get me started back into that danged MN project are you? rolleyes.gif

Some of you may remember me messing with an M44 some time ago. Changed the barrel to a 444Marlin - yup, the barrels DO come off, they're tight but doable. There are two major stumbling blocks to MN conversions as opposed to something like a Mauser.

First off, as z1r said, there is the bolt face and extractor. The 7.62x54R has a massive head size for a small to medium bore cartridge. My original idea was for a 30-30 to, but I think the difficulty in reducing the bolt face and re-positioning the extractor would be more trouble than its worth if even possible. Especially when M340 Savages in 30-30 regularly sell for $200 or less.

Secondly, again as someone already pointed out, the magazine is also specifically designed for this unusual size and shaped cartridge. Adapting it to something else is a nightmare! In fact it was the magazine "issues" that finally prompted me to put mine aside until someday when I have more time and patience.

On the plus side - it made a neat little, well balanced, big bore carbine. I used a "new" but long stored away M94 Win. barrel from Numrich that only cost me a few bucks - around thirty as I recall. The shank was too small and required some "inventive measures" but once screwed together the few test shots I fired with it (about 50) proved accurate and recoil, while stout, was manageable in the "supposed to be walnut but turned out to be stained hardwood" stock I got from center fire systems.

If I HAD TO make a recommendation to someone who insisted on building a sporter on one of these, my advise to would be to stick with the original chambering. There is a lot of potential in the rifles themselves and much of their inherent ugliness can be improved, but due to the peculiarities of the cartridge, the alternative choices are slim to nil unless you have a lot more time and money than most folks.

#10 swamp_thing

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Posted 22 December 2005 - 07:42 PM

Well, having had time to mull this all over and already being a fan of the 7.62x54r I have to say I agree that leaving them in the original caliber is the way to go. As for sportering them you all already know that I am a MN junkie. I do like them as they come from the factory and am even more fond of the sported versions. Something about that hump stock is hard to get used to. It does grow on a fellow with time though.
There is also an advantage to sporterizing the Mosins that most don't consider. Since very few people are into them the market is overwhelmed with good specimans. Maybe I should quit trying to talk others into doing this!! laugh.gif swamp_thing

#11 Harrisbg

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Posted 22 December 2005 - 10:33 PM

I wasn't a big fan of the M-N until I bought a Finnish M39 with a good bore for cheap, and found that it shot as good as I could hold it at 100 yards with the cheap Romanian ball ammo that comes in the big sardine can. Tight groups are the beer googles for me when it comes to cosmetically "interesting" looking rifles.
I wonder if a cartridge like the .450 Alaskan, or something like it, based on the .348 Winchester case, would work without as many problems.


#12 gunnutty

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Posted 22 December 2005 - 11:24 PM

The biggest problem with coverting to another cartridge is the magazine.

The 7.62 X 54R is a short, fat, stubby thing. Actually, discounting the rim, I think it's a damn, fine cartridge. It performs almost as well as the '06 in terms of out-of-the-muzzle performance.

The M-N magazine is made specifically for this cartridge. Anything with a longer body or larger diameter caliber just won't work as-is.

I think an easy solution to getting a different cartridge to feed is the .405 Win. The rim and base diameters are VERY close. The .405 is around 0.100" longer, but that's close. I'd do the following:

1. saw the magazine immediately behind the integral magazine feed ramp.

2. mill or file the feed ramp 0.100 deeper, add the bevel incline back.

3. individually heat each side of the magazine shoulder stop red, then flatten between two steel plates, eliminating the shoulder.

4. weld the two magazine parts together again (eliminating the shoulder should lengthen the rear of the magaine enough so the two parts will meet or actually overlap a bit.

5. mill the underside of the reciever opening to match the taper of the .405 (plus the width of the magazine walls).

6. assemble the mess, check for feeding, and tweak as necessary.

7. open the magazine opening in the stock to accomidate the wider magazine.

Half hour job, right? Heh. No, it'll take some work. I don't view this as that different than shortening a M1917 magazine box, straightening the bottom strap, and re-drilling the forward guard screw hole. Where there's a whip, there's a way.

The .405 would be very fun in an M-N. It's probably the closest fit of any cartridge, other than a wildcat based on the 7.62X54R.

#13 MorgansBoss

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Posted 23 December 2005 - 08:04 PM

"assemble the mess, check for feeding, and tweak as necessary"

Your "idea" is pretty much what I did with my 444Marlin project. Used a length of square bar stock inside the heated magazine to re-shape it though. It was the
" check for feeding, and tweak as necessary" part that finally sent her to the back of the rack though. Take my word for it, "tweak" is a very conservative term for what it takes to make these things feed with fat, blunt cartridges! blink.gif

#14 gunnutty

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Posted 23 December 2005 - 08:30 PM


The M-N follower assembly is a marvel, isn't it? When running the heavier rounds through the magazine, I wonder if the follower springs are strong enough to lift the bullet end of the cartridge?

I'd love to see some details photos of what you've done. My M-N is just sitting here, waiting for something to be done to it.

I have an old American Rifleman article in which the author notched the receiver after the stripper clip guide and moved the bolt handle back accordingly. Much easier to manipulate, and expands the scope base opportunities. A rear base could potentially straddle the clip guide hump.

I picked my M-44 up for a song at a show. It's a Polish model (so I was told) and in very nice condition. I'm very impressed with the metalwork and function. Much better looking than some of the WWII era Russian models I've seen.

#15 Guest_z1r in Tx_*

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Posted 23 December 2005 - 09:20 PM

Me, when I finally cave in and build a Mosin it will be with a .308 bore barrel and slightly tight neck. Then, I can use all the great .308 match grade bullets out there.

#16 swamp_thing

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 08:13 AM

z1r, I guess you are saying that you would stick with the 7.62x54r cartridge necked down to the 308? That would certainly solve all the feeding problems while opening up a much larger field of bullet choices for these rifles. In fact, the lee dies come with a 308 expander so it would be ready for such loadings. What would you do for a reamer? Would you have one made to chamber for the 308 neck? swamp_thing

#17 Clark

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 05:58 PM

To get the 91/30 to 45/70 single shot, I had to grind a special tool to open the bolt face.
I have shot that gun.

The $15 like new Win 94 barrel from gunparts took some real math to make a bushing the would make headspace AND get the sight dovetails to line up without using a reamer.
And then there is the milling the extractor relief.
my next to the Russian's cut

That gun is a single shot, but I have not shot it yet.

I had no hopes of getting the wrong rimmed case to feed. The Finns put a dimple in the magazine to try to get the 7.62x53R to feed, and it is the right cartridge!

So far I have a VZ24 that feeds 300 Win Mag, and that was hard enough.

#18 Semi nut

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Posted 25 December 2005 - 02:25 PM

Has anyone sent out to change an barrel from an military to an target barrel that will shot 308 bullets?? I was thinking of doing just that to ER Shaw.

#19 Guest_z1r in TX_*

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Posted 25 December 2005 - 06:38 PM


Yeah, pretty much just a .308 version. I'd get PTG to grind me a reamer. You could simply get a removavble pilot version and get a .300" bushing bvut it would be better with a tighter neck as you surmised. I'd check with PTG to see their custom grind price but I bet it is cheaper to buy a solid pilot ptg from Midway, then send it to PTG to have them convert it to removable pilot and at the same time ask him to regrind the neck. I'd send him a copuple of cases run through your die with bullets seated so he can grind the proper clearance.

#20 swamp_thing

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Posted 25 December 2005 - 07:28 PM

Thanks z1r for the info. It definately sounds like a good way to go with one. I will check out the reamer costs and go from there. swamp_thing

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