Monday, November 25, 2013

Shooting the Mosin Nagant M91-30 Sniper Rifle

The Nosin Nagant may be the most storied rifle of all time.  Adopted in 1891 by the Imperial Russian Army and used in the Boxer Rebellion, the Russo Japanese War, the First World War (by Russia and Germany), the Finnish Civil War, the Spanish Civil War, the Winter War, the Second World War, the Chinese Civil War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and in limited use in numerous Middle East wars to the present day. There may be several conflicts I’ve forgotten. The rifle has gone through several minor modifications from the original model 1891. These included barrel length and sights and several telescopic sight models for sniping use.

Most countries have divested their supplies of M91/30s to the surplus rifle market.    This has included the latest model of Mosin sniper rifle, the Model 91/30 equipped with a 3.5 power PU telescopic sight.  The 91/30 sniper was replaced in Soviet service by the SVD rifle starting in 1963, however it still serves irregular forces. It was certainly used by insurgents in Iraq and perhaps in Afghanistan also.

The 91/30 sniper is a pleasure to shoot, the recoil is manageable and the scope offer clarity and a decent field of view. The scope is very old school and quite simple with a simple bullet drop compensator.  The scope must be matched to the rifle. And excellent explanation and instructions are here on How to Sight a Mosin Nagant Sniper.  The excellent shooting qualities of Mosin 91/30 are well known to military rifle collectors and shooters.  The rifle performed above expectations in World War II and in subsequent conflicts.   In truth, in the modern rifle era, the M91/30 is labeled a designated marksman’s rifle.  It’s technical performance is bested by most civilian hunting rifles.  However, riflemen can appreciate the good accuracy and other shooting qualities of the 91/30 Sniper.
This target was fired in the prone unsupported position at 100 yards.

The targets shown here were fired at 100 yards in in sub-freezing weather with the wind chill in the single digits.         
This target was fired from the prone supported position, more steady than the target above.
The ammunition used was 174 gr COMBLOC surplus. This case cracked during the firing session. It was the only one out of 60 rounds total.

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