The Mosin–Nagant M91/30 is a bolt-action, internal magazine military rifle, developed by the Imperial Russian Army in the late 1800s, and used by the armed forces of the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and various other nations.
I bought it because it is on the ATF’s Curio and Relic list, so I can buy them direct from the wholesaler. When I bought mine, it was $110 including shipping. (due to the current politics it has increased some). The Mosin is one, if not the, least expensive military caliber rifle available.
Not only is the gun inexpensive, military surplus ammunition is also commonly available. You can normally purchase it in either 440 round cases on stripper clips, or 880 round cases without stripper clips. I find both costs nearly the same. My strategy is to buy the first case with clips, and then reuse the clips.
Sometimes the rifle comes with a bayonet, but then nearly always come with a small tool kit and magazine pouch. The tools are essential, as the triangular screwdriver is used to measure the protrusion of the bolt (that is the subject of a whole separate post).
Some may think themselves poorly armed if you hand them a WWII bolt action designed back in 1892, but during WWII a Finnish soldier named Simo Häyhä earned more confirmed sniper kills than any other combatant in any major war (he killed 505 enemies with his Mosin and 200 more with his 9mm submachine gun = all in under 100 days). I think any gun will do if you have the will and the skill, but I digress.
There are several different variants of the rifle, but the most common is the 91/30. It is possible to buy the 91/30 in case quantities of 20 in a large wooden shipping crate for less than a single AR-15.
You can also buy a spam can of 880 rounds of military surplus ball ammunition for less than the cost of a couple bricks of .22long at a gun show (around 80 dollars).
Due to the fact that you can buy a rifle and close to a thousand rounds in a battle proven combination for around $200, it is my intent to buy one every couple months so that if the poo ever is flung I can outfit all those latecomers that “come to my house” – at least the ones that bring food and have sense enough not to complain…
This is my first experience shooting this rifle, I had heard horror stories about how much it kicked, and how loud it was, and it WAS louder than other 30 caliber guns I have shot, but it did not recoil that much – especially since it is a heavy rifle.
I did get the impression that it is capable of much more accurate fire than my offhanded quick test demonstrated. I hope to have some time to really test this gun out.
The only thing I have to say as a warning to others thinking about this gun as part of a disaster armory, or just looking to get a cheap plinking gun – ALL surplus ammunition for this is corrosive. That is not a big deal as long as you clean the gun well after each range session. If you take it home and forget about it after shooting corrosive ammo, you can (and probably will) ruin the gun.