Mosin Nagants, current prices and availability.

Hi All,

I’ve been sucked down the rabbit-hole of looking at Mosin Nagants recently as I’m new to shooting and I like the historical aspect of them.

From what I’ve seen, my options are:

  • Claremont Firearms, cheap list price, good range of 91/30s, M38s, M44s and Finnish reworks. However I got quoted $180 for postage (WA to VIC) which soured me on it all.

  • @bentaz has pointed out to me that Owen’s Firearms in QLD has Type 53s for very cheap. Images are not super helpful on their website and the guns look pretty rough, which is fine considering the price and their history, I just don’t want anything that is unsafe or missing parts.

Gun shows. Have been to a few and seen only a handful of Mosins, all 91/30s and all upwards of $800. Not really sure why?

I think I understand that basics of what I am looking for (eg. difference between pre-war and war dates, Ishevsk vs Tula and round vs hex) but if there is anything else I need to know, or where I should be looking let me know.

Cheers!

You are on the right path.

Militaria Expos - bit of rip off, but offer what you think is right and they usually take it. Also understand that collectors will pay a lot more than shooters. I suspect you want to shoot, so you are going to be a lot more picky in some areas and a lot less picky in others. For example, you will want a shooter, not a rusty pipe. While collector may pay for that rusty pipe a premium if it’s in the exact year and markings, etc. So you got to know why something is so expensive (just ask and point out that if there is no specific answer that you think it’s worth X and that’s what you are willing to pay) and know when to walk away.

Before you make a choice, ask yourself what do you actually want?

Russian? Chinese? Finnish? Does it matter? What about year/range? Does that matter? It’s good to have those parameters. Do you care what factory? Personally, I wanted Russian 91/30 made between 1940 and 1944. Like a legit, Mosin war horse. Some people want all to collect, some people want what is perceived to be the most accurate (Finish). So ask yourself why and what first.

  • Hex barrel - rare and demands a premium (but also pre-WW2, so depends what you want). In fact Tzar era I believe, so quality and safety (over the years) may be something to stay away from if you want to blast small satellites into orbit.
  • Tula factory - for some reason, just rare in Australia, so you should come to terms that you will most likely get Ishevsk stamped rifle (if going for the Russian made one or Soviet to be exact).

Now, ask yourself what do you actually want?

  • Finish (M39 I think) - get it from Clearmont and that’s that.

  • M38 - get it from Clearmon and that’s that (if you can find it). However, make sure they pick one with original stock. During Russian refurb, they slapped M44 stocks on M38. almost the same, but has a grove for folding bayonet, M38 does not. So make sure they pick one that has original stock (if there’s a range). M38 was an interim short lived carbine, between 91/30 and M44, so I’d get one fast if that’s what you’re after and preferably post 1944.

  • M44 - just wait and watch online or post wanted ad. However, again, Clearmont may be an option. Personally, I’d post an ad, because they are nothing special and there are heaps around. Maybe $550 max is what they worth.

  • Soviet 91/30 - now, this is my favourite, also the most common and cheapest. Maybe $400 - $500 (really not more than that, unless you are getting accessories and sexual favours with it).

  • M38, M39 you are limited to years.

  • M44 went on for a while, so pick a year - war, post? etc. War for authenticity, post-war for quality, etc.

  • 91/30 - this is when you got to make a pick for the year and then look for those.

  • Some come with cleaning rods, so make sure they are included. If not, subtract $50 from price, but personally, I wouldn’t even bother. They are common enough to find one complete.

That’s about it, off top of my head. I am sure I left stuff out, but ask away…

Example:

Post war M44 (because it has metal inserts where sling goes).

https://claremontfirearms.com.au/collections/military/products/mosin-nagant-m44-028

Now look at this M38:

https://claremontfirearms.com.au/collections/military/products/mosin-nagant-m38-008-7-62x54-1

Note the grove cut on the stock:

M44 (note the bayonet grove cut outs) WW2 era wood (no metal inserts) on M38 carbine. No good.

Legit M38 (no cutouts):

PU Sniper. I’d like one! This is an interesting one… As long as bolt and receiver numbers match, it’s a legit sniper. Scope will not match, because they were mix-and-match during Soviet refurb. Not a big deal. However, you need to make sure it’s a real scope and not later reproduction - you’d ask for detailed photos and start researching shape of the screw heads. Sometimes people will try to shoot blurry or around stuff, now you know why. Get back and ask for sharp quality photos in good lighting conditions. Finally, the scope mount - 99% of the time they will be reproduction, unless you order proper scope and mount from Russia which will cost as much as the rifle.

Don’t forget the M91, there are still some good ones around but most are quite worn. I picked up a Finn re-issue M91 a couple of auctions ago for $180, everyone passed it by thinking it was just another 91/30, but when I looked a bit closer it became obvious it was a 91, and examination showed the boxed SA mark. Bargains can be found.

Some good infomation there. Just remember to post pictures when you get one!

The reality is, in Australia , Mosins are much rarer than the US market.
Trying to find an specific model can, and will, be difficult.
Regarding Claremont, I recall the guy telling me that WA had been fked over with firearm transport laws and they had to use specialist couriers.
In respect to Milsurps in general, they are a labour of love. Their collectability is very subjective, one man’s jewel is another man’s turd.
All you do is monitor prices for a while, visit some gun shows and drop some coin.
Do your research, know what you are buying, know what you are looking at. Quite a few sellers at gun shows are quite frankly full of sht.
I recommend getting something from Jeff Pannan to start with. He is not the cheapest but is honest and will haggle a bit. He runs most shows in Victoria and has a large stand.
Biggest thing is be informed and be suspicious. If they claim it’s something rare, don’t take their word for it, research it.
If they spout some obscure factoid that makes this rifle special, research it.
Finally when it comes time to purchase, buy it and be happy. Stay aware of going prices and you are unlikely to get ripped off.
Be suspicious of rifles that look too good
If it’s mismatched , especially the bolt, it is not as valuable as all matching. If you don’t know how to check headspace etc, don’t buy mismatched guns.

Mechanical function and condition trumps cosmetic appearance every time.
If it’s looks like new but cycles like shit, walk away.

Mainly, Be informed, know what you are looking at. Know what markings should be present.

Don’t get sucked in by rubbish like
“Small crack in stock, easy to fix” etc.
If you don’t have gunsmithing skills, don’t buy something that needs repairs or mods to work.

Don’t buy cheap beaters if you want a shooter. That $400 SMLE is more than likely fked.

Yes bargains can be had, but that takes experience. Start with the basics and get yourself decent quality guns to start with.

2 Likes

That.

Thanks for the replies everyone.
When going to Militaria shows, is it best to have your PTAs approved and with you in case you find something or do you just get dealers there to hold it for you while you get one sorted?

Either way can work

I get one after I find something.

Just an update for those following along at home, spoke to Owen’s today. $50 for the postage to Victoria. The Type 53s are very rough but are apparently complete with the exception of the bayonets. He suggested that I email him with one I’m looking at and he’ll get it out and go over it in detail for me.

That means $160 the rifle (or $220,$250,$350 etc) plus $50 for postage, plus $60 transfer fee here in Victoria at my LGS (is that a lot?). Total of $270.

He stated that he doubts that he’ll ever get any more in. I need to have a think!

Price is very good.

Rough… Get detailed photos. If metal is good and nothing is broken or cracked on wood, you’re good. Nothing a wash, steelwool and a coat of wax won’t fix.

But a Chinese mosin - yuk.

Don’t underestimate the Type 53’s capability to shoot well. A person I knew had one, rough as hessian sacks to look at but could put 5 shots in a 4" circle offhand at 100m. The bore looked horrible, but it shot. They are also historic and were widely used in Vietnam, some of the markings on them are often Vietnamese and not Chinese. Cheers

Yeah, look, with Mosins… It’s either Russian or it’s wrong lol

That was a joke by the way.

Gathered that, could be attacked by Poland for such comments. (Funny, still don’t have a Polish 44 for all that they are so well made)

I mean, yes, but also $270. I can’t expect much better for that price.

As I said, need to have a think. Might be better to save the money for a better gun later on. I just get mesmerized by the price and history factor.

Stop procrastinating and just buy it :slight_smile:

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Owen’s one looks mungy as fuck and missing parts. Walk away.

Here (scroll through, they have a few and shipping won’t be prohibitive):

You’re welcome.

Cheers. Will have a look.