Saturday, December 24, 2011

Scope Your Mosin Nagant

Back in 2006, I was browsing the local Big 5 sporting goods store and a funny looking rifle caught my eye.  I recognized it from the movie, "Enemy At The Gates," and immediately took interest.  There were two rifles, actually.  One of them was a Mosin Nagant 91/30.  The other was the one that I bought, which is the M-38.  This is the carbine version, and it is much shorter and handier than the longer 91/30.  For $89, it was a steal.  Fast forward a few years and I eventually purchased the longer 91/30 just because some guy was selling it for $100.  The Mosin Nagant is a stout rifle.  It's crude, but it is really inexpensive.  You can buy a full size centerfire rifle in the Mosin Nagant for about $100 less than some Ruger 10/22 carbines!  The ammo for the Mosin Nagant, the venerable 7.62x54R is very inexpensive to buy in bulk, so it doesn't sting the pocketbook to plink with as much as other guns with chamber offerings in .308 WIN or 30.06 calibers.

The only drawback to most Mosin Nagants that I've seen is that you can't mount a scope atop the receiver.  It would interfere with the bolt operation.  Additionally, considering you really have to slap the bolt around to cycle it after shooting, having a scope there would not be a good idea.  The only other option is to mount the scope forward of the receiver.  But how do you do it without permanently modifying the gun?  Don't get me wrong.  I'm not some Mosin snob that balks at even the notion of restoring something or bringing the gun up to at least the late 20th century, but I do enjoy the fine lines of this odd Russian work of art, and would hate to damage it by hacking it to pieces.

Enter the Brass Stacker scope mount!

As you can see from the picture above, the Brass Stacker mount is positioned above the rear iron sights of the rifle.  All you do is remove the two retaining pins and replace them with the provided screws to attach the mount to.  Simple.  And for you guys, like me, who do not wish to permanently modify the weapon, you can go back by removing the screws and driving the old pins back in... that is if you remembered to save them and not toss them.

The Brass Stacker scope mount is an all steel design.  There are no plastic or aluminum components anywhere, making this mount as strong as the proven weapon you know you want to mount it to.  The see-through design allows you to use your iron sights even with the mount and a scope attached.  That is great because should you find yourself too close for your scope, you can easily transition back to the irons.  Plus, if your scope is damaged or loses zero, you won't be totally screwed.  Field of view with the irons will be lost, but irons are better than no irons.

Total weight for this mount with hardware and the picatinny rail is 5 ounces.  That's not too shabby for something that will need to hold up to the hellacious recoil of the Mosin Nagant.  The picatinny rail is 8 inches long, which should accommodate any scope you'd want to put on top of this weapon.  Mind you, the gun itself is only $100 or $115... or in my case, $89 (for the M-38).  The scope mount is sold by Brass Stacker for $50.  The scope you put on top probably won't be too expensive since the whole idea behind having a Mosin Nagant is to have high power accuracy on the cheap.  I've heard the Mosin Nagant referred to as the "poor man's 30.06."  If that really is your reason for having the Mosin Nagant, then this scope mount is probably for you.  But if you collect Mosin Nagant rifles just because they are cool, like I do, then this mount is for you as well.

A closer shot of the mount is shown above.  You can see the screws and nuts that replace the pins used to hold the sights in place.  The screws stick out too much for my liking, so it is something I'd definitely take a cutoff wheel to and make them fit more flush.  Plus, blue Loctite is a must in this application.  Look at the gun it is mounted to!

Sometime early in 2012, I'll be getting one of these to put on my 91/30.  When I do, I'll definitely have some stuff to say about it.  Until then, buy it and enjoy it!

Scope your Mosin!



  1. Is it holding "zero"? That's my biggest gripe about scout mounts. I've tried ones that replace the rear sight only to wind up having to sight in about every other time I go to the range. Looks very solid and I am considering purchasing one. Thanks and happy shooting

  2. I actually haven't gotten around to getting one yet. Had to spend money on new floors.