OK well I know it’s been a long time since my last post, I’ve been going crazy rebuilding the site after a software upgrade went horribly wrong. But I’m back with good news for us Mosin Nagant owners who have always wanted an easy way to remove the recoil bolt from our stocks without damaging the part.
Right Tool For The Right Job
If you’ve ever tried to remove the recoil bolt from a Mosin Nagant rifle you’ll find it’s not an easy task. Often I’ve resorted to needle nose pliers or some other tool to try and remove that bolt with out damage. Most of the time resulting in a nasty scratch that I need to fix. Well no more, enter the MNSW Mosin Nagant Recoil Lug Nut Spanner Wrench. This little lug nut tool makes short work of removing or tightening that recoil bolt. Steve Wait at Brass Stacker was kind enough to send one out for me to test, This thing is a real must have for the Mosin Nagant owner and collector.
Interesting Side Note
I’m currently taking apart a war time stock for refinishing so I grabbed MNSW and started to remove the bolt. I was shocked when I found out how loose that bolt was. It was so loose that it easily turned in the stock, This started me thinking about could this effect the accuracy of a standard Mosin M91/30 and I believe it will. I’ll post more on this later.
Back To Our Story
The MNSW fits into a standard 1/2 inch socket, you can then use a ratchet or T handle to remove the cap side of the bolt. Once that is removed you simply push the other side out. I will say I was shocked at how much cosmoline was trapped under the bolt. The one thing I would recommend is perhaps using an magnetized socket. Or magnetizing the tool or adding a small bit of electrical tape to the sides to keep the MNSW in the socket. With that being said this is the only criticism I could come up with for the product. The price is right as well at a cool $10.75 us. If you have a Mosin Nagant you really should have one of these in your kit.
Stay On Target
Hawke Sport Optics
Who are they you ask? Well for over 30 years Hawke Sport Optics has been the leading optics supplier in Europe. They are also the number one selling scope in Europe. And while they may not be as well known here in the States as some other scopes with bigger price tags you’ll see here that they offer more bang for the buck.
I’ve owned may types of scopes over the years, from expensive to low budget and so when I comes to mounting a piece of glass on a rifle I need a scope that works for my shooting style. Being a left handed shooter seems sometimes to presents extra challenges, one of which I always seem to come up against is eye relief. Another issue with the Mosin Nagant is recoil, Mosins simply do not play well with cheap scopes and will quickly show a scopes vulnerabilities.
Hawke Sport Optics Endurance 30
The Endurance 30 is one of Hawke’s higher end scopes, the one I wanted to test was their 3-12X50. When the Endurance 30 arrived the first thing I noticed is it comes in a case. No not some flimsy cardboard thing but a substantial foam lined metal edged case. The Endurance 30 also comes with screw on metal dust caps as well as a lens cloth, but for some reason Hawke did not offer a sun shade for this model. While it’s a 50 on the objective bell the sun shade from a Hawke Nite Eye with a same sized objective did not fit. This is not a huge deal by any stretch, but it would have been a great option.
So after mounting the scope on the LaRue tactical mount and leveling it on the rifle, I began to set up for proper eye relief. First thing I noticed is just how good the eye relief is on this scope. Hawke specs says 3 to 4 inches, I needed about just a little over 3. I did not have to struggle to get the proper scope eye alignment at all. The optics are so bright and clear and it the large rear ocular that almost makes you feel like the scope is part of you. I guess I could describe it this way, with most scopes you feel like your looking down a tube, slightly off alignment and you can’t see. Not with the Endurance 30, this one feels like your eyes are part of the scope. Absolutely beautiful.
Hawke Endurance 30 3-12x50mm L4 Dot IR Waterproof Rifle scope bring you superb clarity in those crucial moments at dusk and dawn when you’re most likely to bag that big buck. Built with a Japanese-engineered 30mm optical system, the Hawke Optics Endurance 30 3-12x50mm IR Riflescope offers a brighter image and wider field of view than traditional riflescopes. Each Hawke Endurance 30 Riflescope is machined from high-grade aluminum using the very latest precision manufacturing techniques. The one-piece mono-tube scope body is engineered to be 25% stronger than conventional riflescopes. This guarantees a stronger, more accurate and reliable riflescope that will give years of service on any rifle, in any weather.
The Hawke Endurance 30 Scope features an 11 position side rheostat, controlling the variable brightness of the L4 Dot fast target acquisition reticle – perfect for close and long range hunting situations. The Hawke Endurance 30 3-12x50mm Rifle Scope w/ Illuminated L4 Dot Reticle will outperform all other riflescopes in the same class. The mono-tube styling and side rheostat are guaranteed to look and perform better on your favorite rifle.
L4 Dot Reticle – Based on the popular 30/30 reticle, with a fine top post to ensure the target is not obscured. The illuminated dot offers quick and accurate placement. Eleven brightness settings ensure you always have the proper brightness for your hunting situation.
30mm mono-tube design handles the heaviest recoiling rifles
Fully multi-coated optics for maximum clarity
L4 illuminated reticle for quick target acquisition
1/4 MOA fingertip turrets for easy adjustments
Coil erector spring secures internals during recoil
Coarse knurled magnification ring
Screw-in lens covers protect your investment
Rated for all calibers of firearm
Waterproof, Shockproof, and Fog Proof
Hawke Worldwide Warranty
1 x Hawke Endurance 30 3-12×50 IR Rifle Scope, Illuminated L4 Dot Reticle
1 x Screw-in Lens Caps
1 x Lens Cloth
1 x CR2032 Lithium Battery
1 x Instruction Booklet
1 x Allen Wrench
Hawke Endurance 30 3-12×50 IR Rifle Scope, Illuminated L4 Dot Reticle
Field of View ft @ 1000yards: 32-8.2
Field of View m @ 1000m: 10.5-2.7
Eye Relief, inches: 3.9-4.3
Eye Relief, mm: 99-109
Length, in: 14.4
Length, mm: 366
Weight, oz: 24.2
Weight, g 686
I took the Endurance 30 to my local range to put it through it’s paces, I had installed it on my newest custom Mosin MosZilla Mk III and really didn’t know what to expect from the rifle or the scope. It was late in the afternoon and the lighting was very flat. So after doing some test shots to get the rifle on paper, I sighted the scope in and was ready to try her out at a longer distance. I placed a new target out on the range and waited for the range master to call the range hot. I settled in behind the scope, Once again that large rear ocular was bright and clear. I could clearly see the target in that flat light. I fired five shots and waited for the range master to call a cease fire and the range cold, that seemed like forever. I didn’t have a spotter or a good pair of binoculars but what I could see through the scope looked promising. As I walked up to the target you should have seen my face I was greeted with this.
The range where I shoot also has lights for night shoots but there is that period at dusk where the light is low and the lighting was not turned on, For some cheaper scopes this is a problem, but it wasn’t and issue for the Hawke scope, I simply used the lowest setting on the L4 lighted reticule and kept on shooting. After 40 rounds 7.62x54R ammo was sent down range the the scope was still holding it’s settings. In fact my 2 boys were able to get on target with this scope without any adjustment for them. Now they want one too..
Hawke has produced some very nice scopes in the past, But I must say this one has to be my favorite so far. In fact I like this scope so much I’m actually looking for another one of these for MosZilla MK IV. Great Scope at a Great Price.
Stay On Target
MosZilla MK I
Well it’s been a while since I did any updates to the original post about MosZilla, but as you can see I’ve been quite busy. MosZilla MK I received some repair work to her stock due the the fact that it originally was not pillared or bedded, The fact it had a heavier barrel caused the tang to strike the stock each time it was fired which caused some minor damage. This has been totally repaired and the stock is now pillared with Rock Solid pillar and action screws, it was also bedded with Devcon. Another huge improvement is original AR15 style scope mount was tossed and replaced with a LaRue Tactical SPR E 139 mount. This lowered the scope and made for a really solid scope mount. The trigger system that was installed gave lack luster performance and was very inconsistent. So that was replaced with a Timney Trigger and a custom trigger shoe. Now the trigger breaks at a very consistent 2.5 lbs
MosZilla MK II
This is probably the most technical of the three rifles, It’s foundation is a Aaron Henderson “Raven” stock that is heavily modded. Features include cheek and LOP adjustments from Stock Positioning Systems. Another feature is the RSI scope mount, pillars and action screws. A Timney Trigger fitted with a trigger shoe makes for a great light trigger. The stocks fore end incorporates a European style accessory rail, and Max Shepard did another superb job on the custom bolt handle. Teludyne Tech Industries cut the barrel to 24 inches and installed the Straight Jacket Barrel system with their muzzle brake. Optics are Hawke Sport Optics Varmint Side Focus 3-12×44. The Varmint is an awesome piece of glass. It’s really accurate and it’s great in low light as well.
MosZilla MK III
Nick Named (Siberian Tigress) this rifle started life as a TTI Straight Jacketed barreled action that belonged to one of our forum members. It shot really well, but he wanted to use some of the components for another rifle project, I was really happy when he asked me if I was interested in purchasing unit from him. This is truly what one would call a parts gun, Built from parts from my parts box and others purchased. Bluegrass Stock Company was contacted and Morgan Stapp created an awesome custom curly maple stock based on their Tactical design, it was modded with a 1.25 inch barrel channel to accommodate the TTI Straight Jacket. I had picked up some really excellent quality parts off ebay, I found a perfect magazine, I purchased an unmarked floor plate as well as an unissued seer screw, trigger pin. I need a few bolt components so I procured those as well. Max Shepard did another custom bolt handle for me but this time it was threaded to allow for a different style bold knob. Pacific Tool and Gauge got the call for this with their 7.00 bolt knob. I’ve also created a really cool mod for my bolts that allows them to cycle really smoothly, so this mod was installed in this rifle too. It took a little work but bolt head spaced perfectly. I fitted it with another Timney Trigger and shoe setup as well. First time out at the range after doing some test shots to dial the Hawke Endurance 30 scope, as matter of fact I had 3 shots touching in the bull at a 100 yards. I must say this is one of the best scopes I’ve ever shot with, it almost feels like the scope is part of you. This is truly one sweet “Kitty”
Will there be a MosZilla IV
Most likely, I’m chatting with TTI at the moment about their Next Gen Straight Jacket system, according to Rob Miller and Alan Adolphsen this new process makes for a substantially lighter barrel, in fact I was told they add less than a pound to the rifle. I would love to try one out and see the performance. I’m also considering doing a custom barreled 7.62X54R but instead of the typical .311 bore having it barreled with a true .308 bore, something like the M28/76 but with a bull barrel. With a plethora of .308 bullets out there the possibilities are mind boggling, in fact there are some really hi tech .308 bullets out there that would be really fun to try out. I’ll keep you guys posted as to which way this next build will go.
Well that’s it for now, keep your eyes peeled for another custom soon.
Stay On Target
MosZilla III (Siberian Tigress) gets a Timney
This rifle looks to be quite the shooter, so when it came to adding a trigger system I decided to go with Timney Triggers. My original MosZilla build had several different types of triggers installed and I really wasn’t happy with their performance. After I installed the Timney in the original MosZilla my groups tightened up and my trigger break was so consistent, that I have become somewhat spoiled. So when this project started the only trigger I wanted to install in MosZilla III was the Timney.
Prep For Installation
This rifle was built from parts, The action was already fitted with a Teludyne Tech StraightJacket Barrel System but that was it. If your doing this to an existing rifle your going to need remove the trigger and the seer spring but make sure you keep the seer screw and the trigger pin, your going to need them later. So after checking to make sure the trigger pin was the proper diameter and I had a trigger screw at hand, I began what is a very simple install.
So installation starts with taking your old trigger pin or in this case one I just bought, and sliding into the old trigger pivot point on the side opposite the safety lever. Then through the Timney assembly and stopping when the pin is inserted and flush with the action. The safety lever on the opposite site of the trigger will prevent you from going all the way through. Make sure you then use the provided hex wrench to tighten down the locking screw located in the back of the trigger assembly. This prevent the pin from slipping out of the action.
Next is the seer screw installation, make sure the hole on the trigger assembly is aligned with the hole in the receiver and insert the seer screw and tighten it down. Make sure you do not over tighten the screw, snug is good enough. Once the seer screw is installed and snug turn the action over and work the trigger to make sure all is well.
Next I inserted the bolt in the action and made sure the the bolt cycled properly. It’s better to find out now if you have an issue than later. And while I’ve never had an issue with any Timney Trigger I have had issues with building bolts from spare parts. If you have some snap caps available you might wish to try and dry fire the action to make sure your trigger brake is correct also. I have found that while you can have the trigger set at the factory for a specific poundage, your firing pin spring my cause the trigger to be slightly off. Now is an excellent time to test it while it’s out of the stock. It’s easily adjusted so do it now. This also gives you a good reference point as your build proceeds. This way if you do have any issues with your stock or pillars binding on the trigger you’ll know right away.
Ready For Action
For the Mosin Nagant owner this is the best 100.00 you’ll ever spend, The consistency and quality are unsurpassed. As a custom builder I’ve tried them all. And I won’t put anything else in my builds.
There is one other trick that I use on my rifles that puts the icing on the cake for this trigger assembly. Years ago I heard some long range shooters singing the praises of trigger shoes. They were telling me that a shoe totally changes the feel of the trigger, actually making you think the pull is much less than it actually is.
Finding trigger shoes these days is not that easy task. It seems that they are considered old school, and have fallen out of fashion. As luck would have it, I happened to stumble across a shoe setup that looked extremely promising. Oddly enough it was made for a paintball gun. Who would have thought? This inexpensive shoe had the proper curve and a shape I liked. The price was right also at about 5.00 each. I purchased several to bring home to experiment with. Be aware that these shoes do not work straight out of the box you’ll need to have the channel for the trigger opened up about 0.020 of an inch. They are also chrome plated so be careful, I messed a few up by being too aggressive with the cutter and sander and the chrome simply pealed off. This is not a big deal since they are aluminum and can be polished to look quite nice.
Now that I have it figured out it’s not a problem. Once installed you’ll not believe the difference in the comfort and feel, your able to squeeze the trigger with the tip of your finger. It actually makes a 2.5 lb trigger feel even less. Once you try it you’ll be amazed.
Well that’s it.. Your Timney Trigger system is installed and your ready to put the action in that new stock (or your old one). But that is another article however..
Stay On Target
Sneak Peak at Top Secret Project
OK well that’s a little dramatic I’m sure, but I’ve been keeping this one under wraps while I worked on the MosZilla II project. Nicknamed Siberian Tiger the rifle consists of a 22 inch Teludyne Tech StraightJacket that was purchased from it’s former owner. The previous owner had stripped all the parts from this barrel to use on a UK59 barreled project rifle, he knew how much I like the TTI stuff so I was able to purchase it from him.
The stock was custom built by Morgan Stapp at Bluegrass Stock Company out of Kentucky. Sitting on top of all that pretty curly maple and steel is a LaRue Tactical scope mount that places the Hawke
Optics Endurance 30 scope just where it needs to be. Let me tell you this scope is phenomenal. Bright clear and man what a field of view. This rifle will also be fitted out with a Timney Trigger, when it comes to a Trigger for me there is no other choice, I will more that likely add a trigger shoe on this rifle too. So far the stock had been pillared with Rock Solids Industries pillars but I won’t bed the action yet until I have the trigger fitted and installed.
Will keep you posted as this build progresses.
Stay on Target
Well the good folks at Teludyne Tech have finished their work on installing the StraightJacket Barrel System on MosZilla MMII, (Gee I hope they sent me a shirt) It arrived at my FFL Friday and they were totally blown away that this was a Mosin Nagant. I’m going down to do some paperwork so I’ll grab some photos while I’m there. I can’t wait to see the final results.
Stay on Target
And please remember to VOTE your rights depend on it.
Once is not enough
Yes your reading correctly, after the success I had with the first MosZilla project rifle I’ve decided to up the anti a bit and start work on MosZilla MKII.
So What’s Under The Hood?
This build will again feature a Teludyne Tech Straight Jacket Barrel System but this time the barrel will be cut to 24 inches instead of MosZilla’s original 26 inch barrel. After doing some research and after chatting with Alan at Teludyne Tech I decided to go with the 24 vs the longer 26.
Aaron Henderson of LowelDesigns has already completed the heavily modified version of his classic Raven stock, but this time it’s in a beautiful English Walnut. The stock has been fitted with and adjustable cheek and LOP system which comes from the great guys out at Stock Positioning Systems. Ken at RSI has given me plenty of tips and tricks plus his pillars, Screws and Scope Mount are also included in this build. LaRue Tactical scope rings and a Hawke Optics will again be my scope of choice and will give the new project rifle it’s eyes to see down range.
What No Pics?
Nope not until I get it all together, there will be a video as well. Let’s just say if you thought the original MosZilla was a head turner wait until you see her sister. Stay Tuned..
Stay On Target
No Blue Swede Here
Well I’ve been doing some research on target shooters and long range shooters. I’ve been intrigued with the use of a “Trigger Shoes” by
some of the old school guys, this seems to allow the shooter to have a better “feel” for the trigger. So after doing a little more research I decided to see for myself if it was true.
So just where does one find a trigger shoe these days?. No not at the mall, but surprisingly there are a few companies out there that still produce them. They can be however somewhat pricy, I did come across an unexpected source in Simi Valley called ANSGEAR.COM. They were selling a trigger shoe for a paintball gun that looked almost identical to one of the more expensive units on the internet. The shoes are made from aluminum and they are plated in chrome or assorted colors and with a whopping price tag of $3.95! With a price like that I couldn’t pass the opportunity up, So I ordered 4, 2 chrome 1 gray and a really cool red.
Not Quite My Size but I’ll take em
Well the shoes arrived the next day and I knew they were going to require some modification when I ordered them. My Timney Trigger has a 3/16 inch wide trigger, and the slot in the back of the trigger shoe was not quite 3/16’s so after about an hour of slowly grinding and buffing out the trigger channel I had a working prototype. ( Modders NOTE: One thing to remember when modding the channel is to keep the sides at 90 degrees, if you don’t the shoe will not sit correctly on the trigger.) While I was at it I removed a little material off each side, this was to make sure that it stayed inside the trigger guard. I really didn’t need to do this step, it was just a precaution. One thing I learned as I was working on the ANS trigger shoe is that removing some of the the material from the slot caused the chrome plating to begin to flake off. As a result I opted to simply remove all the chrome from the modded shoe and just buff and polish out the aluminum.
Installation and First Impressions
Installation was quite easy after I had modded the back channel of the shoe, it simply slips over the Timney Trigger, you may need to adjust the shoe a bit for proper alignment and then simply tighten down the shoe using the 2 set screws. The installed shoe feels quite sturdy but I won’t be able to get a real feel for it until I hit the range with it. Oh and how does the trigger feel now you ask? All I can say is WOW! I loved the pull of the Timney Trigger before I installed this but now it’s just that much more comfortable, and it seems to place the trigger exactly where it needs to be on your finger it feels so effortless to get the trigger to brake now. In fact it almost feels like your cheating. I had a buddy over tonight and he tried it and was totally blown away at this setup. Now he’s thinking of adding one to his non Mosin Nagant setup.
I have a red anodized unit that I ordered and I my swap it out for this one after I test it. I think the Red would be kinda cool to go with the Timney Trigger red color. But we’ll see. I’m currently prepping MosZilla for a day at the range, so firing test with the shoe will follow soon.
Stay on Target
The Price Is Right!
Well in my previous post you’ll see that I’ve started the path of reloading my own ammo. I’ve been slowly purchasing quality components for up my setup. I realized that before I went any further I had empty brass waiting to be reloaded but it needed to polished and cleaned. So I decided that it was time to purchase a tumbler. Now being new to the reloading scene, you’ll hear all the typical names mentioned for purchase. And some of those names come with a hefty price tag, but while looking at used tumblers on ebay I came across the SmartReloader SR787 “Dream Tumbler”. The price was right and so I decided to take a chance.
I’ll Tumble For Ya
Overall dimensions for the the unit are : 11.5 inches x 11.375 inches x 10.375 inches, The bowl has a capacity of 3.7 Quarts and can fit 600 cases 9mm or 250 cases .223R. In my case I think it should handle about 250 7.62X54R cases. You can order a second bowl to change media quickly, the SR787 bowl design allows it to be used with either wet or dry media. The heavy lid has an internal rubber seal that won’t allow the dust to escape while the unit is operating. So I purchased the unit off ebay for 43.99 with free shipping.
Today when I arrived home the UPS man was just pulling up to the house. He handed me a box and I quickly signed for it and took it in the house. Upon opening the box I found that the SR787 does not come assembled, but hey I like building things anyway. The unit is really simple to put together. The only issue I had was the hole on the lid was not opened up enough and was to tight on the threaded rod. A simple flat blade screw driver opened the plastic up quite nicely. So within a few minutes I had the unit finished and ready to rock. OK now what, Uh oh I’d forgotten to purchase any polishing media.. So a quick trip to the local PetSmart yielded a 10 quart bag of Zilla lizard litter, Zilla is made from English Walnut Shells and is the exact same stuff as the tumbling media they sell at your local reloading center but a fraction of the cost. So 14.00 dollars poorer I headed home with my polishing
media. After pouring in the walnut shell into the bowl I turned the unit on with the lid off and observed the motion of the media. The SR787 tumbler really moves things around. According to SmartReloading the tumbling action for this unit is the same as their SR100 unit which was designed in Italy by Carmelo Casano, who is that you ask? I don’t know. But that’s who designed it. OK now I can’t wait to see this thing in action, I had about 60 rounds of PPU brass sitting around that needed to be cleaned so in it went. I was really impressed to see just how the cases were being moved around the bowl and in the medium.
Wow this thing is Quiet
When I took my NRA class the tumbler we used was really quite noisy, I was worried that if I tried to run something like that at home I’d be sleeping in the garage. So I was pleasantly surprised at just how quite this unit is. No it’s not totally silent by any stretch of the imagination but I was able to run it in the next room and still not be bothered by it.
This is a very nice and affordable tumbler, it does the job quite nicely. The fact that you can order a spare bowl for around 15.00 dollars US is a big plus as well, I can see buying a second bowl for other type media. The SR787 It’s covered by a 2 year warranty and looks to be quite well built. With the fact that it is not terribly noisy I think this would be a great unit for someone reloading in a small area. If I could change anything on this unit it would be to add an on off switch to the front, but hey I can unplug the unit just as easy. We’ll see how this unit stacks up over time but for now I couldn’t be more pleased. If your looking for a nice tumbler that won’t break the bank look into the SmartReloader SR787.
Last weekend I took an NRA sponsored reloading class at Oaktree Gun Club, I must say if your considering getting into reloading it’s well worth the money. Safety is the emphasized during the entire class and rightfully so. The fact that your dealing with gun powders that if loaded improperly can not only destroy your firearm, but they have the potential to kill or injure you or others. I know there are a lot of websites that can show you how to reload, but to get instruction from someone who has been reloading properly was much more important to me. I knew this was going to be a long day starting at 8:00AM and ending at 5:00pm so I came prepared. The lessons included reloading pistol ammo which in this case was .45LC and later in the day learning how to reload 30-06 rifle ammo. This is really what I came for, but learning on the .45 LC first really preps you for the more complicated process for rifle rounds.
Best part of the day was we got to shoot what we reloaded. let me tell you there is something very gratifying about hearing the boom from a round you reloaded. And best of all I had no misfires. The instructor Brian was informative and entertaining. The class is quite fast paced and so you’ll need to make sure to take notes and ask questions. Also be prepared because there is a test at the end of the course. So after a long day I’m an NRA certified for reloading metallic cartridges! So now I’m much more comfortable with using the reloading gear that I’ve began to purchase, And while the cost of surplus ammo for the Mosin Nagant is relatively cheap, but loading custom rounds for my custom Mosin target rifles is something I can’t wait to get started on.