The Mosin Nagant is a historic Russian military rifle. The 1891/30 model was produced in larger numbers than any other Mosin Nagant model, making it an easily attainable collector’s weapon.
Manufacturing of the Mosin Nagant 1891/30 began in 1930 and was based off the popular Mosin Nagant Dragoon rifle. It was designed as a standard issue firearm for the Russian Red Army. In 1932, though, the gun was redesigned as a sniper rifle. The foresight was raised, the bolt handle was modified to accommodate a fixed scope, and the trigger pull was lightened.
In 1935, further modifications were made in an effort to speed up production. The former hex-shaped receiver (generally referred to as a “hex receiver”) was replaced with a cylindrical receiver (known as a “round receiver”).
Like other models of Mosin Nagants, the 1891/30 version was used by a large number of Allied nations. In fact, nearly 17 million of these rifles were produced before the end of World War II. Interestingly enough, some models of the Mosin Nagant are occasionally confiscated from insurgents in the Middle East.
The Mosin Nagant 1891/30 shoots the 7.62 x 54R bullet. When purchasing ammunition for this gun, be aware that you will have a choice between corrosive and non-corrosive. Corrosive ammunition is simply ammunition made with chemicals that will leave a salt-like film in the barrel of a gun. If this substance isn’t quickly cleaned, the barrel will rust.
Surplus ammunition is a good choice for Mosin Nagant owners. It is less expensive and often more reliable than some modern rounds. Unfortunately, surplus ammo is also usually corrosive. The good news is you can safely use corrosive ammunition if you diligently clean your weapon immediately after you finish shooting. A trick to further safeguard against rusting is to bring along a bottle of window cleaner (such as Windex) with you when you go shooting. When you are finished shooting, spray the inside of the barrel with the Windex. Then fire a single, final round through the barrel. This will help to neutralize the corrosive nature of the ammunition allowing you to wait until you get home for a more thorough cleaning.
Because of their history, reliability, and price, Mosin Nagants are highly collectible. Over the production life of this weapon, a number of changes were made to the design and some variations are more collectible than others. Gun collectors consider the Mosin Nagants with hex receivers to be more desirable than those with the round receivers. Similarly, the sniper version of the rifle is highly sought after by shooters because of its accuracy and by collectors because only 5 to 10 percent of all 91/30’s were picked to be snipers.
The Mosin Nagant 1891/30 is easy to find because of the sheer number that was produced. They are imported on a regular basis by the United States and sold to shooters and collectors. Gun stores will typically have one or two in stock at any given time and I have even seen online retailers who will sell them by the crate.
Occasionally, there is talk in the gun collecting world that the supply of Mosin Nagants is drying up. This always proves to be untrue and it is reasonable to believe that this rifle will be widely available for the foreseeable future.
Depending upon the year it was produced, its condition, and the design variations, a Mosin Nagant 1891/30 can range in price from as low as $50 to as much as several hundred dollars.