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Thread: Mosin pistol in 54R

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    TRX
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    Default Mosin pistol in 54R

    [I can't remember if I posted about this before...]

    Over on another forum someone from here talked about his idea of cutting up a Mosin Nagant rifle receiver to destroy it, then rewelding it to create a brand-new "pistol" receiver.

    He got dogpiled and the thread disintegrated, but the idea stuck in my head. When a 91/30 barreled receiver showed up on Gunbroker for $19.95, well...

    I'd never taken my Mosin apart, so looking at the receiver was interesting. The Mosin bolt rides vertically, guided by the bolt handle riding the slot on top. It turns horizontal to lock, like a Ross straight-pull action. Or vice-versa, since it predates the Ross.

    What this means is there are no 'raceways' down the inside of the receiver like a Mauser. Instead, there's only a short section right behind the barrel threads.

    The Mosin receiver starts as a piece of bar stock, with everything that doesn't look like a receiver cut away. But other than some of the trigger and stock mount bits, it's close enough to a tube. If you were building a pistol you wouldn't care about the stock mount bits anyway, and you could fab the trigger housing bits from sheet metal.

    The short raceway sections at the front could be done with an end mill and a file, or even just a file and patience. Then you'd have a 100% scratchbuilt receiver.

    You'd need a lathe and a mill. It would be more work than a sheet metal AK receiver, a whole lot less than a milled AK receiver or a Mauser receiver. Probably about the same as doing a 0% AR forging.

    The reweld idea still looks interesting, particularly if you take two different receivers and use the front of one and the rear of the other. However, the ATF hasn't (as far as I can tell) made a ruling on what constitutes "destruction" of a Mosin receiver. On atf.gov there are drawings of various rifle receivers showing where they have to be cut, but the Mosin isn't one of those. I've been meaning to write the ATF and see if I could get a clarification; I guess I need to get off my butt and do it.

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    Gunco Maniac sjohnson's Avatar
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    You're right, it's a tube with any fancy millwork only present in the forward section.

    While I don't mind an AK reweld, for some reason a Mosin reweld just feels wrong, like it would be prone to fail. But, go for it (either reweld or new-built)!
    I have a daughter. I tell her, "911 is what you dial after you're raped. 1911 is what you should have before they try."

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    Gunco Veteran Markp's Avatar
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    I agree 100%, I don't think the Mosin receiver would be hard to deal with in this respect. The Mosin wasn't machining intensive to begin with.

    Mark

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    Haven't you ever picked up a mosin from a widow's yard sale?
    nudge-nudge, wink-wink.
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    Gunco Veteran Markp's Avatar
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    I think the question is, should you get a bare Mosin receiver, how would you know if it was or was not EVER an assembled rifle?

    Seems like an unreasonable test.

    Mark

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    A receiver ring with barrel and a bolt head can be the basis of a single shot pistol. Use a hammer, a short firing pin, and a custom bolt handle (that attaches to the bolt head).

    This layout is a bit like some single shot 50 BMG bolt rifles where the bolt totally removes from the receiver.

    The original rear sight base serves as a place for a pistol scope mount.

    The forward action screw (odd thread) attaches the lower receiver block/box.

    A dewat Mossin receiver with barrel and bolt head would be the place to start. Fun stuff !!!

    VD

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    Gunco Maniac sjohnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markp View Post
    I think the question is, should you get a bare Mosin receiver, how would you know if it was or was not EVER an assembled rifle?

    Seems like an unreasonable test.
    Mark
    All Mosin receivers were assembled into rifles. A no-brainer to any who have studied the firearm and its history. Especially considering the need in the early years of WWII with the Germans on the brink of defeating the Soviets.
    I have a daughter. I tell her, "911 is what you dial after you're raped. 1911 is what you should have before they try."

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    Gunco Veteran Markp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjohnson View Post
    All Mosin receivers were assembled into rifles. A no-brainer to any who have studied the firearm and its history. Especially considering the need in the early years of WWII with the Germans on the brink of defeating the Soviets.
    So you are telling me that NEVER, EVER was a mosin receiver built that was not placed in a stock?

    Somehow, I am not sure that's provable or correct. I am sure that some receivers were left for spares, tossed as blems, or otherwise never made it into a stock (despite being barreled.) Remember, until that butt stock is attached, it's NOT a rifle.

    I would concede that MOST mosin nagant receivers were made into rifles, and that probably nearly ALL were barreled as if they were to become rifles.

    It's not about what you know, it's about what you can prove. Even in the US where most of the imports are controlled, you would have a difficult time proving it, if it lacked importation documentation. Although, I would be confident in saying that any receiver with import marks would have most probably been (near 100% certainty) imported as a rifle, and thus easy to determine that it began life as a rifle.

    Mark

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    Gunco Maniac sjohnson's Avatar
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    lol, you're spending someone else's money. Federal court costs in a firearms case where any lawyer worth their salt would run, run quickly away from.

    Consider that, during the darkest days of WWII the Soviets cut manufacturing steps, recycled worn rifles, and really did implement the policy where one soldier was issued a Mosin, and the next was issued ammo with the order to follow the first and pick up his Mosin when he died. How strong would your proposed case be that an arbitrary receiver was never assembled as a rifle? A Federal prosecutor's wet dream.
    I have a daughter. I tell her, "911 is what you dial after you're raped. 1911 is what you should have before they try."

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    Gunco Veteran Markp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjohnson View Post
    lol, you're spending someone else's money. Federal court costs in a firearms case where any lawyer worth their salt would run, run quickly away from.

    Consider that, during the darkest days of WWII the Soviets cut manufacturing steps, recycled worn rifles, and really did implement the policy where one soldier was issued a Mosin, and the next was issued ammo with the order to follow the first and pick up his Mosin when he died. How strong would your proposed case be that an arbitrary receiver was never assembled as a rifle? A Federal prosecutor's wet dream.
    LOL, this is true... but the Soviets were not the only ones to make Mosin-Nagants. There were Polish, Finnish (although most are rebuilt soviet receivers), Westinghouse, Remington, Chatellerault, and others from Hungary, Romania, and China.

    I am not saying to do this without documentation that it was never a rifle, but if you have a reasonable belief that the weapon in question was never made into a rifle, I think you'd be well within your rights to build a pistol.

    Of the roughly 36 MILLION plus Mosin Nagant rifles (AND THAT'S JUST SOVIET PRODUCTION!), I am willing to bet that more than a FEW of these were never placed in a stock... Even if it were only 1 in a million, that would still be 36 rifles. So if you told me I had a 1 in a million chance of being right, that would still be 36 times over that I could be right. That would mean a production efficiency unheard of in those years. I have no idea what the production efficiency of the factories were, but even if they were able to turn 99.97% of all production receivers into rifles we are talking about 10,800 receivers that never made into a rifle.

    It's not quite the dream you make it... There are too many receiver sources and too many receivers to be completely sure that each and everyone made it into a rifle... I think the case could be made that some receivers may not have made it into a rifle. A prosecutor would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt (a high standard) that it WAS a rifle. That requires documentation of the build, not just statistics.

    Mark

    PS - We're really off in the weeds here. I think the right answer is just to mill one out yourself if you want to do this, as you correctly note, it's far cheaper than a few hours of time with a good lawyer.

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