"New" Mosin-Nagant and steel-core ammo safety

"New" Mosin-Nagant and steel-core ammo safety

This is a discussion on "New" Mosin-Nagant and steel-core ammo safety within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; The wife and I were a few hours out of town visiting friends, and it just so happened that someone they knew had purchased 10. ...

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Thread: "New" Mosin-Nagant and steel-core ammo safety

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    "New" Mosin-Nagant and steel-core ammo safety

    The wife and I were a few hours out of town visiting friends, and it just so happened that someone they knew had purchased 10. Three for himself and he planned to sell the others at-cost. I picked up the rifle and a spam can (440 rounds) for pretty cheap. I've already started the process of removing the cosmoline (boy that's going to take a while). I think I'm going to try boiling the metal parts that I can as that seems to work well for people. I certainly won't turn down any tips for removing cosmoline, but I think I've read most of them at this point. And I found a fairly easy and safe way to open the spam can.

    My biggest question is this: the ammo that I bought is surplus silver-tip 7.62x54r, which I believe has a mild steel core. Both the bullet itself and the jacket attract a magnet. I know indoor ranges around here won't let me shoot it with a steel core, but what kind of safety precautions do I need to take shooting outdoors? Does mild steel tend to ricochet, or does it deform like lead and drop off safely? Obviously I'll be wearing hearing and eye protection, but do I need to check my backstop for anything that might cause a ricochet, or avoid shooting steel targets? I do know that these are "light ball" rounds, not heavy rounds with penetrators.
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    Senior Member Array tubadude's Avatar
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    I haven't had any ricochets out of the ten years I've had a Mosin. I did get curious when I got it and put a hole clean through a spinning target of mine, however.

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    VIP Member Array peckman28's Avatar
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    Nothing special, though if you do shoot a steel target with it don't be surprised if that bullet zips right through it and leaves you a nice target-shaped piece of Swiss cheese there. Don't expect any indoor range to let you use it there...it will wreak havoc on their backstops. Finally, enjoy that thing! Mosins are the best surplus value out there IMO, you have done well.

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    Member Array wellpoison's Avatar
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    i havent had any ricochets either so i wouldnt worry about it. i got the cosmoline out of mine by using hot water and simple green on the metal parts and a hair drier on the stock. it worked pretty well.

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    If it is dry outdoors and your are shooting in rocky land have a fire extenisure handy sparks have caused fired with steel core ammo in CA and other places .

    Otherwise enjoy it good vaule and lot of kickes ..

    And make sure you read up on corrisve ammo ( IE lots of hot/soappy water or maybe even windex depening on who you ask is need) normal cleaning will not alwasy do the trick with that ammo .


    And any kind of steel core ammo is a no no most of the time indoores ..

    And somepeople do bake the gun so to speak to get the cosom out

    And I have found simply green is good for cosmo on AK mags so that may help with the metal parts an heating the stock up a little bit ( not the metal ) may get the cosom to drain out . It will take a while most likly though

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    Yep... a few of us were shooting into a rocky desert hillside a while back. It was June, beastly hot and humidity in the single numbers (typical for here). We managed to start a small fire with steel-core 7.62x39 ammo shooting into and around a junk pile. It surprised us, but we were also prepared and took care of it with shovels and water. When the threat of wildfire is rising, the Forest Service will advise against the use of such ammo due to the risk of fires, and when the fire risk is really high, they shut down shooting on their lands entirely.

    A few months later a few of us were shooting on some other USFS land in the Superstitions, and I was cranking out light ball rounds from my M-N. I saw a few sparks, but it was a raw December day and the ground was damp, so no worries then - but those steel-core rounds can indeed spark.

    The gun in the photo is the first of 2 hex-receiver 91/30s I got some time ago. Cleaning the metal was the easy part; getting the cosmolene out of the wood was a bear. So far I just have the one done, with the other waiting patiently. And if anyone wants to play "what's wrong with this picture," two things come to mind. First is that I'm not using the dang sling like I should be, and second, I hadn't screwed the cleaning rod into the receiver and it's started to back out under recoil.


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    Member Array Gunowner99's Avatar
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    Now that looks like fun. Love my MN's
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    VIP Member Array Jaeger's Avatar
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    I haven't been to the Superstitions since Spring Break in college about 25 years ago. That is some beautiful country! I'm jealouse that's where you shoot!
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    Found the steel cores within 2' of the target. More of a bounce off than ricochet.
    Sticks

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  10. #10
    New Member Array Bob2.0's Avatar
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    Those guns are so much fun and you can't help but appreciate the history of them as well.

    WWII artifact+power+value+the beauty of it = awesome.

    I cleaned the cosmoline off of mine but it still sweats every time I shoot it and the barrel gets hot. I keep wiping it away. I've heard another great way to do it is to leave it in your car on some towels in the heat of summer to bake it out. I was reluctant to use the oven as I didn't want to breath the vapor

    My ammo seems to have a steel core, but I've not noticed any ricochet problems. I've punched through a few metal targets though at the outdoor range.

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    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    Well I got it mostly cleaned up last night. Stripped it completely down and boiled the small parts, then wiped them down with Gunzilla till they were sparkly clean. The wood I wiped down real well and sat in front of a space heater and wiped periodically. I think I got the cosmoline completely out of the small parts and almost completely out of the barrel, but I'm under no illusions I got it all out of the wood. I'll probably just take a rag when I go shooting and wipe it down when it starts to seep.

    I did my research on the markings, and what I have is a 91/30 manufactured in 1943 at Tula. It has a CH on it, which was apparently a marking Tula used for rifles that were manufactured to higher specs for snipers, but this one doesn't appear to have ever been tooled for a scope. That's apparently fairly common. The only mark I'm not really sure about is a big 97 stamped in a couple places.

    Given the number of rifles out there, I don't think there's going to be any real value in leaving it the way I got it, so I'm probably going to sand down the wood and re-finish it at some point after a few shootings have worked some cosmoline out. I'm hoping to take it out for the first time this weekend.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paaiyan View Post
    Well I got it mostly cleaned up last night. Stripped it completely down and boiled the small parts, then wiped them down with Gunzilla till they were sparkly clean. The wood I wiped down real well and sat in front of a space heater and wiped periodically. I think I got the cosmoline completely out of the small parts and almost completely out of the barrel, but I'm under no illusions I got it all out of the wood. I'll probably just take a rag when I go shooting and wipe it down when it starts to seep.

    I did my research on the markings, and what I have is a 91/30 manufactured in 1943 at Tula. It has a CH on it, which was apparently a marking Tula used for rifles that were manufactured to higher specs for snipers, but this one doesn't appear to have ever been tooled for a scope. That's apparently fairly common. The only mark I'm not really sure about is a big 97 stamped in a couple places.

    Given the number of rifles out there, I don't think there's going to be any real value in leaving it the way I got it, so I'm probably going to sand down the wood and re-finish it at some point after a few shootings have worked some cosmoline out. I'm hoping to take it out for the first time this weekend.
    A few shootings won't do much for that. There are a lot of decent suggestions out there for getting the cosmoline out of the wood, most of them involving heat (big watt bulb inside a garbage can, etc.). I started with AZ summer heat, then some hardware-store wood stripper with boiling water and a scotchbrite pad in a few iterations with drying in between to see which parts were still 'bleeding.' Once it stopped oozing except in the small nooks and crannies, then I started the final sanding and finishing. I used a medium stain, then several coats of thinned varnish with a light sanding between coats. This has arrested any further bleed-out which likely would have continued in the heat out here. Boiled linseed oil is a favorite finish for a lot of milsurps, but it won't keep the old cosmoline from continuing to bleed.
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    New Member Array Bob2.0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    A few shootings won't do much for that. There are a lot of decent suggestions out there for getting the cosmoline out of the wood, most of them involving heat (big watt bulb inside a garbage can, etc.). I started with AZ summer heat, then some hardware-store wood stripper with boiling water and a scotchbrite pad in a few iterations with drying in between to see which parts were still 'bleeding.' Once it stopped oozing except in the small nooks and crannies, then I started the final sanding and finishing. I used a medium stain, then several coats of thinned varnish with a light sanding between coats. This has arrested any further bleed-out which likely would have continued in the heat out here. Boiled linseed oil is a favorite finish for a lot of milsurps, but it won't keep the old cosmoline from continuing to bleed.
    Let's see pictures!

    With the millions of rifles they made, this one isn't going to be an investment, but it is still seeping with history, cosmoline, and coolness. It is fun as heck to shoot too. Although it doesn't take long to appreciate how rough things were on the soldiers that depended on them.

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    Picture!

    mosin_small.jpg
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    Senior Member Array Chuck808's Avatar
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    A new indoor range just opened, and instead of a bare steel backdrop they have it covered in a thick rubber material. They say we can shoot any steel core, and anything up to 50BMG and its just fine. The only thing that we cant shoot is birdshot, because it doesnt have energy to lodge into the rubber and bounces back.

    Anyway, no other indoor range lets me shoot this surplus steel core ammo. One range wanted to test it, and asked if they could cut a bullet in half to see its composition. I have the same ammo you do, and its a very thin jacket, and nearly the ENTIRE weight of the bullet is steel. I have shot it on standard indoor backdrops that are bare steel before I knew better, and before the range knew better. Sparks something fierce.

    Ourdoor ranges should let you shoot it, as long as youre firing into a dirt mound.

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