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Thread: Rebarreling a 91/30 Mosin Nagant

  1. #1

    Default Rebarreling a 91/30 Mosin Nagant

    I found some good barrels on buymilsurp.com for a Mosin Nagant 9130 and would like to rebarrel mine. I have read many forums that say this is a very difficult task and will be very time consuming, I say bring on the challenge. I will make all the tools I need to do this, it should be interesting. I originally bought the nagant to have a rifle I could snipe with, but the bore on the one I got is no good. It has rounded lands and is a black bore like many of the Nagant's are.

    Being that I am not a gunsmith, nor have really done any gunsmithing work like this, I am asking for support from anyone who might have done this before. I have a few questions for anyone who can answer them. My first question is which way do I have to turn the barrel to take it off? I assume the threads are right handed but I have no idea. My second question is how much torque should I apply to the new barrel to fasten it to the receiver? Third question is will it be enough to buy only the go, and no-go headspace gages?...What is a field gage?

    Every thread I have ever read like this one has large numbers of replies on it to the effect of; Why not just buy another rifle since they are only $90? Well, they are not as cheap as the $35 it will cost for a new barrel (and I plan to buy and resell the headspace gauges), and I do not want to just buy rifles until I finally get one with a good bore. The bore on the rifle I bought looked very promising until I got it home and cleaned it, you just can't tell until it's clean, and I can't and won't go store to store cleaning rifles. I don't want to buy another one, and I don't care whethere or not it is worth it to do the rebarrel. So please, if you don't have any advice on HOW to rebarrel a Mosin Nagant, specifically a 9130, don't reply to this thread. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    You'll need an action wrench, some holding fixtures, reamers, gauges, and a lathe to properly fit a new barrel

    Don't take this the wrong way, but from your questions you're nowhere near ready to take on the task. It's also possible to create a dangerous situation. I'd recommend studying up what's involved as far as fit, how headspace and chamber dimensions work and then make a more educated decision. If you still want to do it after understanding the process great

    Understand too that a factory Mosin 91/30 barrel in perfect shape may be good for 3-5 MOA

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by sidewinderam9m View Post
    So please, if you don't have any advice on HOW to rebarrel a Mosin Nagant, specifically a 9130, don't reply to this thread. Thanks.
    Sorry, I didn't do a 91/30, so I won't waste your time.

    Too bad, a 91/44 is essentially identical.

  4. #4

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    I would like your advice. I didn't mean it like you took it, everyone is just posting opinions about how they think I'm an idiot for even trying. I just meant that if you have done a 91/30 and a 91/44, I would like to know how you did the 91/30....but I would love to know how you did your 91/44.

    I have access to a state of the art machine shop on campus that I can use for free if I need to. If you have the time please tell me about your project.

    Pflug, I understand more than you think, I just don't express myself well. I have done hours and hours of research, I know exactly what head space is I have just never used the gages. I have access to all the materials you say I need. I am in the top 5% of my class of mechanical engineering and will graduate in 8 months. I have rebuilt a deisel engine with very few tools, granted more than you suggested but I feel like you were being a little harsh on the colletors forum.
    Last edited by sidewinderam9m; 09-19-2009 at 03:47 PM.

  5. #5
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    You had better get permission, in writing, to work on that rifle on campus. Top 5% or not, if you don't have permission you might find yourself expelled... cover all your bases.

    From reading your other post, you are asking more from the rifle than it is capable of delivering. Anyone who tells you that you are going to print consistent 1 inch groups from an iron sighted military rifle with a new barrel is full of it. A group may fall close occasionally, but your average group will be far larger, 3 inches or so will be the norm especially if you are using surplus ammo.

    You want 1-2 inch groups, you are going to have to pay for it... hell, you can get rifles off the shelf that are capable of 1/2 inch groups, if you have the skills to do it. Save your money with a goal to purchase a rifle that has the capability of accuracy you desire.

    Go on with your project, enjoy and learn along the way... just know that all that work may not yield any better results on your targets. It just may be easier to clean.
    Last edited by Deputy Dan; 09-20-2009 at 12:51 PM.

  6. #6
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    if you have a state of the art machine shop make your own barrel . you can get drawings for heavy barrels and can make one that will hold good patterns. be sure to true the bolt and the action also. bedd the action also. if you want a tack driver this is the way to go. most places will charge 3 to 5 thousand for a gun that all this has been done to.

  7. #7
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    Hi Fellows,

    Thanks for your input to this young man. I HOPE he will be open minded enough to UNDERSTAND what your telling him.

    I have been fooling with rifles for over 40 years. Yes, sidewinderam9m I'm older than color TV!
    I have bought a few rifles that were "JUNK / shot out" & all they needed was to tightup the action screws, tight up the scope mount, or preform a good cleaning & other simple stuff.

    Don't get me wrong I WILL help some one. but If your "a know it all" I will buy your "JUNK" & shoot the eyes out of a knat with it next week!

    sidewinderam9m, have you ever had a "real" shooter watch you shoot? Over the years I have been helped by a former MARINE or DI that was kind enought to help with what I was doing wrong. .... You know it helped me win a few big matchs in three states.

    Please keep us informed of your progress.

    Best, point6

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by point622000 View Post
    Hi Fellows,
    Yes, sidewinderam9m I'm older than color TV!
    Well I'm older than black and white tv and a retired "sliderule" PE. Rebarreling (or attempting to rebarrel) is an admirable goal which will teach you more hands on in "strength of materials" and physical application of forces/mechanical engineering than you will learn in school. Its all about torque and resisting moment - thats the tough part. Some mosins have very tight barrells and often rust or freeze compounds in the threads. Probably be better to make the vise and wrench at school and the gunwork elsewhere. I wouldn't let one of my grad students do any gunrelated anything on university grounds due to hysteria and politcal damage that would result.

    ANyway think 4"x4" blocks of mild steel. aliminum rec, sleeves and 3/4" steel action wrench plus a 20 ton hydraulic jack.

  9. #9
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7Kry...eature=related

    Look around there is lots of help on You Tube!

    Best,
    point6

  10. #10

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    I feel like I need to state that I never planned to work on a barreled receiver on campus unless it is legal (which it probably isn't, I'm not stupid), there are other machine shops I can gain access to. The on campus one is just the best....

    I would love to be able to do what the guy on that youtube video does.

    I think everyone is getting hung up on my 2 moa statement, that is not my goal I just thought that would be nice. I would be happy with 3 or 4 moa. I already have a tack driver in .223 that will shoot better than I can. I just haven't shot enough through a rifle yet, mostly because it's so expensive. If I really wanted a big tack driver I would save up and buy another rifle.

    Anyway, I really just hate the dark bore on my rifle. It makes me sad...if I had a clean shiny bore and could hit a steel plate at 500 meters with it, I would be happy. I couldn't care less what moa it shoots if it will do that, but it is the dark bore that bothers me the most. I tried everything to clean it, for some reason I just don't like a gun if I can't get it clean and have it shoot good too.

  11. #11

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    Vintovka....20 tons? Will this barrel really need more than 3 or 4 hundred foot lbs of torque to break it free...even if I heat the receiver?

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    They're (hydraulic jacks) not that expensive. Me, I favor a basic bolt-down barrel vise, and my boss has a welding table that has been drilled for it that goes about 1800 pounds. We move it around with a fork lift when it needs to go someplace.

    Now as to barrels, I have pulled more Mauser and Enfield barrels than I have Mosin Nagant tubes, but some of those were very, very tight. The basic thread is a standard right hand thread, and it breaks loose like a lug nut. You do not want to have any play in your action wrench. If that slips, and your barrel is one of the "RustoFreeze Rotchakokoff Specials" you can distort the receiver ring and turn your Mosin into a paperweight.

    If you decide to buy a reamer, let me know, I might be willing to buy you out of it after you are done.
    Pistol keeps me safe.
    Shotgun keeps me fed.
    Rifle keeps me free.

  13. #13
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    Sidewinder,

    What kind of groups did you get with the old barrel?

    It will be interesting to compare the before and after groups.

    Also it may not matter since you are very interested in dong this but did you check the crown to be sure that was not the problem?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by sidewinderam9m View Post
    Vintovka....20 tons? Will this barrel really need more than 3 or 4 hundred foot lbs of torque to break it free...even if I heat the receiver?
    I built my vise to handle p14 and p17 enfield and like the extra gripping power it provides. Have only one fully working arm/hand and like hydraulics so i can control pressure by number of pumps easily.I designed my wrench so te head detachs from the handle so i can
    Mount the wrenchhead on the receiver and place it in the vise without the handle in the way. I can also choose handle length for torque
    I found that those little thin buisness card size magnets they give away fro advertising work great to protect the rec. ring from wrench marks. The magnet hold them on during the tightening process too.

    Make a tool right and it will serve you for life

  15. #15
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    Hi Sidewinder,

    Your barrel does not apper to be a total washout.

    You might want to use some 0000 steel wool on a old cleaning brush with some JB bore paste on it! This will help get the gunk out. Chore boy real copper pads work well to clean out the crap.
    Hoppie lead & copper remover works wonders TOO, it is a brass screen that is fitted over a proper size rubber stopper. It is pushed down the bore & it cuts all the crap loose.

    I have cleaned a few M/N rifle that had layer over layer of copper plating, powder & hardened gunk in it.
    The bores acrually looked 100% better & shot better too. My last step is to get a lead bullet & cut a few marks in it.
    Load it up with JB bore paste & some oil. Long strokes up & down the barrel. flush & reload the lead bullet with a little more JB paste. It will make a BIG diffrence in you barrel.
    I normally screw the lead slug on to the cleaning rod & match the rifleing to a true fit to the bore.
    I'm NOT joking when I tell you I have spent a total of 10-12 hours cleaning one M/N rifle bore. It was worth the effort she is a keeper!

    PLEASE:
    Don't be afraid of a dingy looking bore! It is ALL about how it shoots! That is the ONLY test for a rifle! Lookin good means NOTHING!
    Check your action screws, CHECK the crown & READ & understand the helps the guys are giving you! good ammo is aBIG plus too.
    I bought a SKS & it was a UGLY shooter. Went from Chinese yellow box ammo to some East german & some Winchester white box! It was a SWEET heart! I still have that SKS has to be 20 years now!

    Best,
    point6

  16. #16

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    The crown is difficult to check because it is counter bored...looks smooth to me, I definitely can't make out the lands even in good light, which obviously isn't good. I have about 6 hours into cleaning the barrel and was unable to get it any cleaner, though I never tried the products point 6 suggested. They sound like they would work so I may give it a try. I honestly don't know why but I still really want to re-barrel the rifle. I am having loads of fun and am learning a lot. I think I may actually want to look at career options as a gunsmith.

    As far as the groups go I don't have a scope so I haven't really tried...I am afraid to invest in a scope with the barrel looking the way it does. I feel like if I bought a scope, and the rifle turned out to be accurate, it wouldn't be that way for long because the bore would tire out quickly in its current condition. I realize looks don't matter, but it seems like the dark bore would contain things that would slowly deteriorate the inside of the barrel, and that turns me off. Correct me if I'm wrong on this...

    Vintovka, your setup looks nice, looks expensive though. Definitely wish I had one of those, but don't think it would fit in my apartment.

    I built the headspace gauges already and checked the headspace of the current rifle; it was about .066-.069 in. Now if I can just figure out how to take that barrel off based on what is available to me I would be set, and I really dont want to cut the old barrel to do this.

    For those who know about the receiver wrench...does it just fit onto the back end of the receiver? That is the only place I see that I could fit a wrench to and it seems like it would be possible to spiral the receiver by applying torque there....am I wrong on this? I think someone on the collectors forum was talking about his friend who destroyed a receiver by over-torquing it to get the barrel off...

    I want to thank everyone for their time and advice. I think it's awesome that you guys would take the time to help me out.
    Last edited by sidewinderam9m; 09-23-2009 at 08:10 PM.

  17. #17
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    [QUOTE=sidewinderam9m;1034058]

    As far as the groups go I don't have a scope so I haven't really tried...I am afraid to invest in a scope with the barrel looking the way it does. I feel like if I bought a scope, and the rifle turned out to be accurate, it wouldn't be that way for long because the bore would tire out quickly in its current condition. I realize looks don't matter, but it seems like the dark bore would contain things that would slowly deteriorate the inside of the barrel, and that turns me off. Correct me if I'm wrong on this...
    [\QUOTE]

    you don't need a scope to check its accuracy. it has sights on it for a reason... use em and see how it shoots.

    I'm amazed at how many people modify their guns, put scopes on em, rebarrel them, without ever shooting them. see what you have before you start messing with it.

    and a dark bore won't dissolve because its dark. its still good metal, just with a light pitting on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sidewinderam9m View Post

    As far as the groups go I don't have a scope so I haven't really tried...I am afraid to invest in a scope with the barrel looking the way it does. I feel like if I bought a scope, and the rifle turned out to be accurate, it wouldn't be that way for long because the bore would tire out quickly in its current condition. I realize looks don't matter, but it seems like the dark bore would contain things that would slowly deteriorate the inside of the barrel, and that turns me off. Correct me if I'm wrong on this...
    Clean your weapon. If you properly clean your weapon after every session you won't have to worry about corrosion.

    With a dark bore you just spend more time and effort cleaning than you would a shiny bore. If you shoot it and immediately clean it you might find a decent looking bore under all of that gunk. Be warned though, some bores, no matter how much you clean, will never get completely clean.

    Above all else clean your weapon.

    One of my most accurate mosin's has a dark bore and no matter how much I clean it, I still get grey patches. I've just learned to accept that...
    Fine Print:
    The preceeding opinion should be considered only as an opinion and not legal advice. In no event will the poster, Unbekannt, be held liable to any party for any damages arising in any way out of the availability, use, reliance on or inability to use poster's opinion or any information provided by or through the poster, or for any claim attributable to errors, omissions or other inaccuracies in, or destructive properties of any information provided by or through the poster.

  19. #19

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    I've used the Iron sights...I was able to keep ten shots on a target from about 100 yards. I don't have a range finder yet so I don't know how far away I really was. I wouldn't be surprised if the rifle shoots better than I do, as there was no discernible groups on the target. I just haven't become friends with the MN trigger yet. I just figured that in order to take the human element out of the game as much as possible to know how well the rifle performs I would need a scope, a good bench rest, and an accurate measurement of distance.

    However, this project started out with me thinking I could get a super accurate MN like I see on you tube by just changing the barrel. Most of the people here have told me that isn't going to happen, and I've accepted that, so now I just want to do it for the challenge and because I am having fun and like the learning process. If the end result is a great shooting rifle then I will be more than happy. If the end result nothing better than what I already have, I will be happy. If I end up going nowhere, well at least I still learned something. Either way is acceptable to me.

    Unbekannt....I just feel like a proper cleaning of the weapon involves removing all of the visible gunk inside the barrel... I would love to be able to properly clean my MN, but I have a very high standard for a clean weapon. I don't think I will ever be able to just accept that my MN has a dark bore. That is probably part of my problem here......
    Last edited by sidewinderam9m; 09-24-2009 at 11:40 AM.

  20. #20
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    A change of direction perhaps, it seems that you have a dark bore on a milsurp barrel and want to change to another milsurp barrel for improved accuracy; you may be running in a big circle. As I understand military arms, the tolerances are generous to promote reliability not tight to promote accuracy. (don't bust my b-lls for this statement please) If you are trying to rebarrel for accuracy try something a little different, check out the aftermarket barrels; there is E.R.Shaw among many others that make custom barrels. You would have the option of buying a barrel or shipping off your rifle for gunsmith installation. Talk to one of these companies and measure the bullet diameter for the loads you intend to shoot; get the tolerences to where you want them. I have played with the idea of rebarreling a Mosin to another (rimmed) calibre such as 30-40 Krag, but have more ideas than money. You also need to be aware that a poor trigger pull like my Mosins have is not going to help accuracy; so even with a match grade barrel you may not get what you want in the accuracy dept. It would be a shame to put the amount of thought and labor into this project and use a second rate barrel; look to upgrade and I believe you will get what you want.

    C.W.

  21. #21
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    Hi Sidewinder,


    Your not going to win a road race in a car that you have never driven before. You MUST know YOUR equipment well, before you change the springs or blower pressure boost settings.

    I just fired about 50 rounds from the rifle I mentioned earlier, it is shooting better groups every time. As I said I had 10-12 hours in cleaning the barrel. The barrel was much improved with all the tricks I used.

    You know what, after the 50 rounds & MORE cleaning the barrel looks better
    (Shiner & sharper) it takes less cleaning to get the green out! The rifle in question is a 1901 M/N

    I "REALLY" would not fool with (your) the barrel till you fire about 200 rounds in it!
    In this way you will get to "know" the M/N trigger, spend a few $ on better trigger OK smart move!
    Someone is selling Finn triggers on this board, it just drop into the M/N rifle
    The Finn trigger are much better than a standard Russian trigger.

    PLEASE learn for US! We have made ALL the errors you seem to want to make, again.

    A REAL match barrel is a good thought. Just understand your TOTAL investment in time & money will be high. I'm betting you will loose intrest in the project very quickly & will not have a thing to show for it.
    Resale value on your dream gun ( with a match barrel) will be nill.

    I'm speaking with 40+ years of shooting experiance behind me. It is amazing what a good hand load will do for a old rifle or pistol.

    I mentioned before, I bought a gun with a "shot out" barrel. With a good cleaning & the correct bullet it shoots in the same hole quite often. LOL The younger guys have a ball with my old toys!

    In any event GOOD Luck,
    point6

  22. #22
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    Default Rebarrel

    Sidewinder, you want to rebarrel your rifle and these others are trying to talk you out of it. I say go for it. It is not as easy to rebarrel a MN as a Mauser but if you mess up, you have not lost much and I'll bet you don't mess up.
    First, you need a good action wrench that fits the front receiver ring properly. Too far back and you will twist the receiver and have the paperweight already mentioned.

    Second, you need a good barrel vice. This does not have to be massive, mine is made from a 6"x6" piece of 1" steel plate and two grade 8, 1/2" bolts. I'll take some pictures and post them tomorrow. I made it 35 years ago and it has served me well. It is bolted to a heavy work bench. Both the receiver wrench and barrel vice could be made in your college machine shop. I have brass bushings to fit most barrels, shims will make them fit anything. Powdered rosin on the barrel and bushings keeps things from slipping.

    You do not need a field headspace gauge. The action should close on a go gauge and not on the no-go. If it won't close on the go, deepen the chamber, if it closes on the no-go, set the barrel back one thread and start over. Reamers and gauges can be rented for about 1/2 to 1/3 of new cost. If you plan to rebarrel three rifles, buy the tools. If not, rent them.

    I too am a Mechanical Engineer so understand that you just HAVE to do this. Go for it.

    Finally, get out and get a good job! Here in Texas, we need 1200 more engineers per year than we graduate from college. It is a wide open field. One more thing, make it you goal to get your professional license. It takes 4+ years and two rigorous exams but the rewards the go with the PE after your name are great.

    Kenneth Patton, P.E.

  23. #23
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    Default Cleaning Alternative

    Sidewinder,

    You may want to try an electronic bore cleaner before you take that next big step. Think about it!

  24. #24
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    If you have junk and time, do as you please.
    There are even actions for sale out there with barrel stubs.
    You need to learn by doing and its time to put down the books and see if you can do it, so go for it. Just dont expect symapthy here if you cant get it done right. Many a Forum guy "restores" various Mosins in variuos states of degration;parts missing, mismatched, damaged, sanded, refinnished, ect, ect...Your barrel swapping, if indeed you cannot clean up the barrel, is just another "restoration. Just no scopes, bipods Piccatinny railes or forend flashlights and you might get off the hook. :D

    OK, you have that Mosin.


    Now buy yourself an M-39, you deserve to have
    #1 another Mosin,
    #2 something to measure your present barrel, and ,if needed, the rebarrel , against in the accuracy aspect.
    #3 what the heck, have a nother Mosin :D

  25. #25
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    Hi Sidewinder,

    Your last message was on 9-24 -09 how are you doing with your project?

    I'm sure you know there are 5-6 of us waiting to hear about your adventures!

    Best to you & BE SAFE,

    point6

  26. #26
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    If interested, in surplusrifles sporterizing section there is a thread showing someone doing this, and home making an action wrench.

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