Restoration - Mosin-Nagant

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Project by Eric M. Saperstein posted 09-25-2013 01:06 AM 3453 views 2 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Anyone of you can pickup one of these rifles – and as you’re all woodworkers look at the stock! It glows warm and rich with very little effort. It’s beaten and worn, but shows the heritage of combat. This very rifle may have held the ground the Germans would have otherwise forsaken.

World Wars brought on massive military buildups, and of course Russia was a huge producer of firearms. Prior to the world renown AK-47— Avtomat Kalashnikova (Russian: Автомат Калашникова), referred to mostly as a Kalashnikov; simply saying “AK” will immediately infer a visualization of the rifle around the world. The AK had predecessors, the most famous of all being the Mosin Nagant conceived during the Russo-Ottoman War (1877-1878) this bolt action five round internal magazine repeating rifle held an assortment of complexities, but offered a huge advantage as a repeating rifle with a new 7.62×54R high powered cartridge.

Revisions resulted in the M91/30, the 1891 concept revised in 1930. From there an estimated 17.5 million rifles rolled out of Russian factories alone. Step back, and take a moment; manufacturing might and the simplicity of the design allowed the sheer numbers of rifles required to arm the Russians towards holding back back the German invasions to be produced. The rifle brought Russia in line with the German Mauser, English Enfield, and American Springfield. The rifle remained prominent through WWII until 1949 when the AK-47 was accepted by the Russian Military.

After the war millions were bathed in cosmoline and packed into arsenal storage; hidden from the Russian people as the Soviets gained control. Here’s just a tidbit of history; CITIZENS are armed – SUBJECTS are disarmed. As Russia modernized they happily unloaded the surplus rifles around the world, a seemingly endless supply reached the hands of the American people. If a Soviet invasion ever did play out, how ironic would it be that the rifles that drove the Germans out of Russia would play a hand in driving the Russians out of America?

OK enough with the politics and propaganda, we’re artists and restorers not lobbyists. This 1942 Mosin Nagant arrived in standard oily condition. It is now battle ready; just a few hours of work and only four coats of Waterlox tung oil on the stock. All the original leather, straps, tools, and the bayonet are intact. Its worth the time and effort to gather and restore artifacts, equipment, and military pieces.

More historic rifle restorations are pending!

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

12 comments so far

View MedicineMan's profile


108 posts in 2975 days

#1 posted 09-25-2013 01:52 AM

That’s a very nice restoration, and good woodworking, too. Are they expensive? Where do we look for them? Thanks for the post.

View LesB's profile


2201 posts in 3951 days

#2 posted 09-25-2013 02:00 AM

Nice job. We don’t think of the Russians as making quality weapons in those days.
Now you put it on the internet the NSA knows you have it )-;

-- Les B, Oregon

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

766 posts in 3756 days

#3 posted 09-25-2013 02:27 AM

Thanks !

Eh, I’m sure the NSA, the FBI, and DOD all have trackers on me by now and with an ex-g/f who’s NJSP computer crimes (and she’s damn good at it) they can get anything else they need. Besides if you have a smart phone anyone with a few free minutes to jailbreak/root it can do whatever they want to keep tabs on you!

As for picking one up – we have had this deal going if you’re in NJ/PA or the area. They are usually found at any gun show or commonly picked up a crate at a time by local gun shops.

They are found from $139-$259 (unless they are sniper or rare models then higher) – and are reasonably priced to shoot and easy to maintain and operate. Parts are everywhere but unlikely you’d ever wear one out.


We are continuing our deal for Russian 91/30 Mosin Nagant’s 7.62×54R surplus rifles. Excellent condition $179 – includes shipping – plus $10 PICS and PA sales tax.

CALL 215-297-5444 (General Defense Outfitters) to reserve an excellent condition rifle at $100 … deposit required to lock in your purchase. There are lots of excellent rifles available so please KEEP ORDERING! Hoping the good rifles are in by month end, we have excellents available now and more pending on order that arrive within a week.

These rifles are from arsenal storage – packed in cosmoline, they come with bayonets and accessories as shown below. Yes – you MUST clean them yourself or join us in November for a cosmoline party.

Rifles rated as excellent will have matching #’s. Some pitting and imperfections will be apparent – if its cosmetic then it is as-is. Any safety issues will be addressed as appropriate. Rifles are 70+ years old – but are known worldwide to be reliable, accurate (military accurate), powerful, and great fun to shoot.

Surplus ammunition remains readily available at reasonable prices less than $.25 per round – the best deal we have fund is Sportsman’s guide for the $.17 per round range. Stocks and other accessories are readily available. They are easy to break down with a single tool that comes with the rifle.

This NJ2AS Package deal is available through General Defense Outfitters ( – located outside of New Hope, PA GDO is an FFL dealer; a small shop dedicated to providing customer service and reasonable pricing by maintaining low overhead and limited inventory. Open to NJ and PA residents this package deal requires all FPID or state requirements be met in full and a face-to-face purchase completed by the final new owner of the firearm.

If you are a new shooter and this is your first firearm or shotgun – PLEASE ask questions. NJ2AS is rich with experience and knowledge, our membership includes instructors, FFL’s, gunsmiths, and lifetime shooters and hunters. Tapping into this resource is perhaps the best choice you can make if you have any questions!

Respect for firearms and a love for the rights and freedoms we have in this great nation is a requirement for this purchase. As always, we expect you all to store and use your firearms responsibly and safely.

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3610 days

#4 posted 09-25-2013 05:58 AM

Great looking rifle and piece of history.

I have a Japanese Arisaka rifle from WWII that I am very fond of. Unfortunately the Chrysanthemum was ground off by the Japs at the end of the war as was their custom. It has such a great looking war weary stock that I would never restore it. The stories it could probably tell. I found a bayonet and ammo for it last year at a gun show and it hangs on a wall in the house.

I can see where a woodworker might want to restore one of these bits of history and bring it back to life. You did a great job….................

-- mike...............

View Ben's profile


302 posts in 2838 days

#5 posted 09-25-2013 01:38 PM

I have a shorter barreled one. The stock doesn’t extend as far up the barrel and it has a folding bayonet.

-- Welcome to downtown Coolsville, Population: US! --Hogarth Hughes

View Sanding2day's profile


1015 posts in 2355 days

#6 posted 09-25-2013 09:25 PM

Thanks for the information Eric… Believe I have one of these in the safe at home, purchased it years ago and only fired it once to try it out… Did not get the sling and ammo pouches but only paid $80 so not a bad deal, will have to break it out and see what I can do with the wood. Didn’t even realize that the baynet was detachable as it folds nicely down into the foregrip/extends to make a nice far reaching screwdriver…

-- Dan

View Don W's profile

Don W

19331 posts in 3076 days

#7 posted 09-25-2013 10:55 PM

I’ve got one of those in my cabinet. I’ve Taken whitetail with mine. A note though, it kicks like a mule! Not a real pleasure vehicle.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

766 posts in 3756 days

#8 posted 09-26-2013 12:20 AM

YES – they kick hard and sharp. Fun though – I’ll have a couple more up on restorations soon, but they likely will prettttty much look exactly the same so I probably won’t feature project each one.

Most now seem to come with the accessories – a little tool that will break them down completely is nice. I ordered more ammo this week so I can test fire and enjoy them. I just HATE breaking open those spam cans as then it’s not so neatly sealed forever anymore. Oh well – I’ll have to get MORE of them!

The carbines I think some of those have the folding bayonets. I don’t have one with a folding one yet. I’d love to pickup more historic pieces. Maybe I’ll refinish an M1 one of these days. Though I like the beat up stocks on those too, probably just lightly sand them Waterlox them.

My Ruger shotgun I have to redo the stock I beat that up pretty bad hunting. Always something to do.

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

View Sanding2day's profile


1015 posts in 2355 days

#9 posted 09-26-2013 02:25 AM

Went after the M44 and came up with another wooden stock rifle from 1942 that has what looks like British and Chinese markings… Honestly don’t even recall the purchase so kind of like Christmas although I’m fairly certain the buttstock is a replacement… Both cleaned up fairly nice so thank you for the reminder and please feel free to share any info you might have on the 2nd rifle…

-- Dan

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

766 posts in 3756 days

#10 posted 09-27-2013 02:24 PM

Great – glad it inspired a good rediscovery. Stocks look nice.

I think it’s a sporterized Enfield on the top Does it say a caliber on it? If it’s 303 or perhaps if it was converted to 30-06 or 308 if so it would be restamped.

They certainly do not look to match, butt/fore stocks. But it was common to remove the top wood, shorten the forward stock and change the angle / feel of the buttstock to be more comfortable than military standard.


-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

View Sanding2day's profile


1015 posts in 2355 days

#11 posted 09-27-2013 10:34 PM

Looks right, would certainly explain the ruff looking “design” for the top… What a shame! That is much nicer… The top’s only marking is what looks like Osterr Gendarmer E… Thanks for the identification…

-- Dan

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

766 posts in 3756 days

#12 posted 09-28-2013 01:41 AM

Oh don’t fret that – there are stocks of ALL sorts available for Enfields and the Nagants – but the Nagant is in great shape I’d leave it be.

You can get some nice ones like the walnut w/ thumbhole below – various composites, laminates, all kinds of wood. Of course you can get original replacement stocks as well.

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

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