MosZilla Heads Home
Well I had the pleasure of chatting with Jeff and Mark at TTI this morning, and my custom Mosin Nagant that’s nicknamed MosZilla is headed back home. All went well with her tests at the range yielding some impressive groups at 100 yards, but she’ll need some fine tuning once Mossy gets here. With the scope setup buy a right handed shooter I know the scope will be off for me. Mostly getting the proper eye relief and zeroing it in for my eyes. Along with setting up the scope I have a few more ideas for mods on the rifle.
I’m hoping to get some pics from Noel at TTI to post sometime today. If not you are gonna have to wait until next week when the man in the nice brown truck shows up at my door.
Stay On Target
I heard a rumor that MosZilla maybe at the range this weekend, I can’t confirm that until I talk to the guys out at TTI. I did send them 2 boxes of Ammo this week for tests. The first was 150 grain Prvi Partizan
And I also sent them some 182 Grain PPU Match Ammo.
According to the tracking numbers the Ammo arrived there today! Well I won’t know anything until I can talk with them again on Monday. Unless they send me an email and some photos.. Hint hint… Argh the suspense is terrible.
Want take a peek?
Well there was a little surprise in my email this morning from my friends at TTI, Noel had sent me an updated photo of MosZilla! She is nearly complete and needs to go to her range trials. All I can say is Wow! MosZilla started life as a 1934 Izzy M91/30 with a Hex receiver, I think she looks great for 77 years old don’t you? The rifle is still not complete in this photo, she is not sporting her 3 inch sunshade and and the stock is still too long for length of pull. But I think it’s looking just awesome! Now to bi pod or not to bi pod? that is the question.
You know it so rare these days to find craftsmanship but this project has introduced me to some of the greatest guys and there companies I have ever had the pleasure doing business with. I can not thank enough everyone involved so far in the building of this project. It’s not complete yet and there is more to come. Also keep looking we have another project rifle on the drawing board and all these guys will be involved again. (they don’t know it yet however).
This is an awesome video of the Mosin Nagant PU sniper. Watch close you’ll see the rounds arcing to the targets!
This is going to be a regular feature on the forum, if you have a cool Mosin Nagant you’d like to enter stop by and join the forum. This was one of the winners last year.
Here is a video I did went my boys and I went for a day at the range, we decided to bring the Mosin for a little test firing. We had a great time.
Putting Me Through The Mill!
As I mentioned in my last update there were some issues with comb height and length of pull on the stock. While it was fine for iron sited rifles it was not for scoped ones. The goal was to be able to raise the shooter eye level to a point so that the optics fall into proper alignment, Mark, Noel and Alan and I had plenty of discussions that ranged from buying a new stock to going to iron sites for Moszilla. None of that was what I really wanted to do.
So after some brainstorming with Alan and the guys at TTI, we came up with an idea. I really enjoy working with these guys, I’ve found them highly knowledgeable and they’re just very cool to work with.
So Alan began the mods by milling out the stock, during this operation he added a slot for the the new hardware that will be recessed into the lower portion of the stock. You’ll also notice that in the bottom of the milled area there has been a slot milled, this as well as the 2 holes that have been drilled to support the new hardware. The hardware is going to be custom built as well. We’ll soon have a cheek that us totally adjustable in height.
With the stock milled and hardware installed Alan begins to make a new cheek from a piece of Hard Rock Maple stock. This was hand shaped to make sure it matched the original shape and color.
As you can see the MosZilla is coming along quite nicely. The guys have done a spectacular job on the mods. There is still some more work that needs to be done on the stock to correct the length of pull issues. That will be resolved soon as well. I can’t wait to get this rifle to the range for a day of shooting. Well that is all for now, keep an eye out for another update soon.
This is just a brilliant photo. Kudos who ever had the mind to come up with it.
Well the guys at TGR/Brass Stacker are at it again, seeing a need in the Mosin Nagant community for a way to reinstall the front site on a rifle after the barrel has been cut down the good folks at TGR came up with the their “Steel Front Site Ring Adapter” Model number 090-004.
The unit is CNC Machined from solid Steel not aluminum or plastic and has set screws to hold the unit firmly on the barrel. This is a great way to be able to keep using you original front site.
This also allows for a more “authentic” look for say someone who wants to build a carbine version like a M91/59 or just a shortened “Scout” rifle. Made in the USA, it comes with a lifetime warranty and with a price under 20.00 US it’s a great deal!
So as you can see they’ve done the Mosin nagant family another great service here giving the Modders out there something else to build their “Ultimate” Mosin with. Great Job guys keep em coming! Who knows maybe I’ll buy a rifle that’s been counter bored so I can try one. I would like to see them build an adapter plate or another version so you could use other off the shelve sites or fiber optic sites (but that’s me dreaming again).
In the Beginnig
As many of you may or may not know I had purchased a Boyds Classic Mosin Nagant stock sometime ago, This was going to be my first project rifle, but then I decided I wanted to start on my MosZilla project rifle first. The original project gun was going to use the Boyds stock as it base, I had selected the Nutmeg laminate colored stock as I liked the look.
When the stock arrived it was a really beautiful piece, I was going to simply do a Tru Oil finish on it and then install the action. But then it happened, one of the users on the SOCAMO forum had won the Mosin of the Month contest with a beautiful M91/30 stained a striking Russian red with a high glass finish. So in a moment of inspiration (or madness) I decided to see if I could mimic his color on the Boyds Classic I purchased.
Easier Said, Than Done
One of the main problems with trying to reproduce a color is what color you start out with, most Mosin Nagant stocks are Beech and so it is a lighter colored wood to start with. Stripping and refinishing a beech stock is not a big deal. However staining laminate is an entirely different issue, using a laminate stock as a base has a very unique set of issues. During the process of lamination the thin layers of wood are placed under tremendous pressures with bonding agents, these typically soak in to the layers several millimeters, effectively sealing the wood in those areas. As the wood is milled away to create the stock from the original laminate block the layers are exposed in varying amounts, and so in the areas where the laminate stripes are the widest those are the thinnest layers and are less likely to take the stain evenly. After I had sanded the stock to get rid of the machining marks etc I tried to apply several coats of stain on the stock, the stain was simply sitting on top of some of wood and you could see that it clearly wasn’t penetrating into the wood. So since the stain will not easily penetrate these areas where the layers have bonded the only real solution is to seal the stock first with what is known as a wash coat, a wash coat is a very thin layer of sealer, this is used so that the stain has an even strata to work with. Make sure you ruff up the sealer with 400 grit to get the next layer to bond well. Also dry times are critical make sure you are not trying to sand a sealer that has not properly set.
So now what?
Now that you have an even playing field so to speak we need to apply the layers of stain one at a time and then lightly sand with 600 grit wet and dry sand paper or 0000 steel wool between each coat. These also need to completely dry before you sand try to sand them. I didn’t think to take photos of each step, so you’ll have to trust me on this. But be fore warned this is not a weekend project. The colors used on this project were as follows
- 1 Amber 1 coat (to accent highlighted colors)
- 2 Cherry 2 coats (basic red color)
- 3 Gunstock 1 coat to darken the red of the cherry
- 4 Merlot 5 coats (Merlot is a wine colored stain)
- Tru Oil 3 coats to seal and to darken slightly, the more coat of TO the darker it will get.
My dry times were at least 24 hrs between coats sometimes 48hrs. So after many hours and many coats this is what the stock currently looks like. I may put several more coats on sand and then polish and wax. If you take the time you’ll have a stock that you’ll be proud of.