Monday, October 17, 2011

Guns and Gear Test - Part Two - 7.62x54r Ammo - Quantity vs. Quality

In a check to see if using quality ammo in my Mosin-Nagant M91/30 rifle would make a significant difference, here are the test results. First off this was by no means a professional test and was a very simple comparison of ammo for my own purposes.  Depending upon your own skills and abilities, you may have different results. 

The rifle used was my Mosin-Nagant M91/30 rifle and some 7-62x54r 180 grain FMJ ammo which was obtained from The source of the bulk ammo was a local gun dealer. The rifle had iron sights which were set at 100 meters (110 yards). This was also the distance to the target.
Five rounds of bulk ammo rounds were fired at the target and the results checked after each set. This was followed by five rounds of quality ammo. The rifle was also cleaned after each set of five rounds (the magazine capacity) were fired. A total of 20 rounds, 10 rounds of bulk surplus ammo and ten rounds of quality ammo were fired during the test.

All test shots were fired with iron sights from the kneeling position using the bipod on its shortest setting. There were no additional aids used other than a small table (see pic) as a gun rest. It was a clear day and the temperature was in the low 90’s with little or no wind.

A new paper target was placed on an old corrugated plastic sign after each set of rounds were fired.  Here are pics of the different targets with the results of the test rounds.

The first five rounds of quality ammo. All five rounds were on target but no direct hits.

The second five rounds of quality ammo. Four rounds were on target with one near miss (lower left which is not circled).

The first five rounds of bulk ammo. Two hits on target and two near misses (one low and one to the left of the target).

The second five rounds of bulk ammo. Two hits on target and two near misses (both low).

Here are my thoughts on the results:

1. There were no failures or jams with the quality ammo.

2. A total of nine hits were made on the target at 100 meters out of the ten rounds of quality ammo that was used.

3. A total of four hits were made on the target out of the ten rounds of the bulk ammo used.

4.There were a total of four cartridges with split necks from the bulk ammo. This was a bit unusual and was not previously experienced to this degree.

5. One jam was experienced when the primer cap separated from the cartridge and caused the bolt to hang up. 

6. A quarter-sized target is a lot harder to hit at 100 meters with iron sights than you may realize. 

7. My  Mosin-Nagant will need a scope to take full advantage of its capabilities.

8. Your son doesn't mind doing a little "plinking" with your rifle and your ammo afterwards.

9. The custom stock makes the recoil a lot more manageable. 

10. Sometimes you have to pay a little extra to get more.

The fact this ammo was reliable and had shown itself to be fairly accurate in this simple comparison test makes this 7.62x54R ammo a good choice for use in my Mosin-Nagant. While the cost is somewhat higher, the reliability and accuracy of the rounds fired more than compensate for this factor. The rifle was also significantly easier to clean because the quality ammo was non-corrosive.

Hopefully, there will be time in the near future to repeat this test and see if similar results are obtained after a second test.

Got 7.62x54R?

Special thanks also go to RW, Jr. for his help with this gear test. Thanks Jr.!

Staying above the water line!



Craig Cavanaugh said...

At 100 yards with iron sights and bulk Yugo ammo, my 91/30 did pretty well, 4 of 5 on target. The shots were high to the right, which I attributed to the wind, but fairly well grouped. My next group, aimed low-left was better. I do agree, the 91/30 can't reach it's full potential without a scope. I've got some bulk Russian ammo I want to compare to the Yugo, and I'll do that after the deer hunters get through hogging my local range...

riverwalker said...

To; Craig

The only real problem was the bolt getting hung up due to the failure of that one round of bulk ammo. No telling how long it was sitting on the shelf before I purchased it though. The humidity around here is pretty bad and may be the real culprit.

My M91/30 has a tendency to shoot low and to the left and a slight adjustment on the front sight post may fix this problem.

Next time I'm going to use some of those small red plastic disposable plates for a lot easier to see.

The front bipod also worked loose after 20 rounds and needed to be tightened but overall worked decently.

For me, shooting from the kneeling position seems to work well. Still haven't decided on a scout scope setup or to get the bolt bent and go with a more conventional scope setup.

Overall for the money invested it's a decent rifle. I did manage to find a nice used hard case for it that has worked really well...has room to store a cleaning kit as well as extra rounds.

I do plan to get about a hundred rounds of the quality ammo. Won't hurt to have something available with a little extra reliability.

Thanks Craig.


Anonymous said...

Reloading Ammo is the way to accomplish 3 objectives:
1. decrease the cost per round
2. Ensure a continual supply of ammo regardless of the market availability
3. Tune a load/ bullet to a rifle for best accuracy / custom round.

Casting your own bullets is cheap and fairly easy if you have a supply lead of wheel weights.

Anonymous said...

Cool. I don't own one of these surplus rifles, should have got on that gravy train a long time ago. I thought ammo would dry up quickly (like the Swiss 7.5) - boy, was I mistaken! The Vulture of Remorse sure does have a sharp beak!

Have you checked out the cartridge converters sold by Sportsmans Guide? One of them is chambered in 7.62 x 25, that round used in Tokarev pistols. Only around $15 - $20 dollars, might give those a whirl. I love my .32acp / .308 Winchester, sure does make that deer rifle a bit more versatile.

One Fly said...

I'd say this was a pretty decent test and the results reflected that. Good stuff. That little mark is very hard to see out there that is for damn sure.

riverwalker said...

To; anonymous 6:57

I agree on the points you make about reloading but it does require some extra cost for reloading equipment and the time to learn to do it properly.

Thanks anon.


riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 7:20

Haven't checked into cartridge converters but may be something to consider.

Thanks anon.


riverwalker said...

To; One Fly

You've got that right when it comes to seeing a quarter-sized target at a 100 meters.

When comparing some of my previous shots with this rifle, things seem to indicate that it is shooting low and a little to the left. I will probably try to adjust the front post on the sights to see if this makes a difference.

Thanks One Fly.


Anonymous said...

I picked up a Nagant mfg'd in 1932 for $125 at a gun show this year as well as 440 rounds of surplus Russian ammo from 1977.

I can hit paper 100% of the time at 50 yards without a problem. and 90% of those shots are always within 6" of dead center. I figure the other 10% is just me.

I can hit paper about 75% of the time at 100 yards and the ones that hit are usually within 10" of center, and the usually a 5" group or less.

I find the rifle the hardest in my collection to aim and that's using sandbags. I can imagine having to run and shoot standing upright with this rifle, I'd probably would not have made a good russian WWII soldier unless I was told to just put rounds down range.

The other thing about this rifle is loading. If you use a clip you need to make darn sure that the rim over laps the next round correctly or you'll be jammed up. Took me a good hour of looking at the rifle and asking "why is it jamming" and then I realized.

Stay safe shoot straight!

riverwalker said...

To: anon 9:24

I've found mine easier to load one cartridge at a time from the top without using a stripper clip. Loads fairly quick and no jamming.

As far as accuracy, I've shot it enough that I feel confident that adjusting the front sight some will help solve the problem of some of my shots being low...which has been pretty consistent with this rifle.

I've also had better results shooting from a kneeling position but that may be just something I'm more comfortable with and accustomed to when shooting.

Thanks anon.


Anonymous said...

I have 2 of the Mosin Nagant rifles. One is a tula manufactured rifle all original from Russia. The other I have had the bent bolt kit, scope rail and a monte carlo synthetic stock installed. The monte carlo stock does cut down on the recoil, and I have fitted a 3-9x40 scope on it. I have only fired Russian and Yugo surplus ammo. At 100 yards, the surplus ammo is all over a 18x24" paper target. I havn't tried any "quality" ammo, but am curious as to how it will do. I will post my results after I have had the chance to get some.

Anonymous said...

I have had the opportunity to work on, shoot, repair and sporterize Mosin Nagant 44's & 91/30's for over 7 years now. I only sporterize ones that Bubba has already butchered which I usually find in pawn shops. If the bore is decent and the action works well and the price tag does not exceed $100 Ia m willing to invest enough time and money to give them new life as a good deer rifle. I have done so for cheap several times for some local country boys who do not have the $300 plus bucks for a Walmart special. With a little TLC like floating the barrel, pillaring the action, adding a recoil pad, re-crowning and adding a $50 scope from Ebay, I able to give these young guys a decent deer rifle to help put meat on the family dinner table. I myself have taken my share of deer with my customized Mosin from as far as 200 yds using Wolf 150 gr. SP ammo, so I always tell the young country boys to invest in at least the Wolf ammo. I have one Mosin that started life out as a Hex 91/30 That Bubba had cut the barrel and stock on. The bore was pristine much to my surprise, so I cut another inch off the barrel, re-crowned it and then set the action in an ATI synthetic stock after I pillared the action, making sure the barrel was free floated. I buffed the trigger to reduce the pull, installed a bent bolt handle on it, drilled & tapped a B-Square scope mount w/a Simmons 3-9X40 I had and sighted it in w/ Wolf 150 gr SP ammo. The thing will shoot 2 " groups at 200 yds all day long. I have a great deal of respect for the ruggedness, simplicity and history of the weapon. The purists can knock it all they want, but the fact remains that the Russians with their Mosins drove the Germans with their Mausers into abandoning their invasion of Russia. Granted, the extreme weather conditions played into that history being made, but the truth remains that the Mosin held its ground against some of the toughest battles where it was called into action.

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