Saturday, February 20, 2010

1941 Russian Izhevsk Mosin Nagant M38 Carbine

It's weird how when you have a hankering for a gun, you'll just go and buy it just to realize that some quirky things tended to be annoying with a similar gun you used to own before. So with my first Mosin, a lot of things annoyed me, mainly the sights and the weight. For one reason or another I convinced myself that having a carbine version which was shorter and weighed less would be all that I needed in order to be content. I was wrong.

So for starters the M38 is a much better buy then the 91/30, why? The weight. the 91/30 was one heavy mother and even though it was more accurate, it wasn't worth the tradeoff in my opinion. I liked the large fireball that came out of the M38 as well as the the crazy kick from the 7.62x54r round. Mine shot a little low which meant that I needed to put the rear sight at 2 or 3 notch in order to get the bull; usually other M38s will shoot high. So in the accuracy dept, it did its job at around 50 yards.

But when it came down to it, two things annoyed me. The first was the fact that the top handguard would scoot up towards the muzzle because of the recoil. It's wood, old, and is held in place with metal bands so there isn't much you can do about it without totally messing up the history and resellability of the rifle. The second was the fact that the bolt's "action" kinda sucked. Even after cleaning the hell out of it and even polishing some of the metal contact parts with some sandpaper and 00 wool, it just wasn't smooth enough. I always had to really slap the hell out of the bolt handle in order to make it move after firing off a round.

While out shooting another guy had a Mauser that I got to try out and my God...night and day difference with the bolt's "action" and the sights. That Mauser kicked all sorts of ass, go Germans. So yeah for a surplus firearm I felt that even though the Russians had made a reliable rifle that lasted through many decades, the design just had a "junky-feeling" to it. So just like that my admiration for the Mosin disappeared. It's still a good, reliable gun but I'd rather have something a tad bit more refined as my main go-to weapon.

Pros
Still fun to shoot
Huge fireball
Huge kick
Accuracy

Cons
Not as refined as other rifles
Action not smooth enough
Wood parts clunky