Mosin Light Trigger Fix

I mentioned in my previous post and range report that the trigger on my new old Mosin-Nagant M44 is way too light. So light that I could get it to release by gently bouncing the butt of the rifle on the floor.

I ordered some new parts from Tennessee Gun Parts but, in the meantime, I decided to see if I could do something about the problem.

The Mosin Trigger System is the essence of simplicity. It basically consists of three pieces, the Trigger, the Bolt stop and the Cocking Piece.

The Cocking Piece is at the rear of the bolt body.

The firing pin passes through the bolt body and is screwed into the Cocking Piece knob.

The end of the Bolt Stop with the Sear passes through a hole in the top of the trigger, the Sear then hooks a protrusion on the Cocking Piece preventing it from moving forward with the bolt body.

When assembled on the receiver, it looks kind of like this.

The Firing Pin spring places the Firing Pin and, thereby, the Cocking Piece, under spring tension. The rifle is Cocked and Locked.

When the trigger is pulled, it pivots on a pin and acts as a lever, the trigger pulls the Bolt Stop down until the Sear disengages from the Cocking Piece.

The Cocking Piece moves forward due to the Firing Pin Spring pressure and propels the firing pin into the cartridge primer and the rifle goes “Bang.”

When the Bolt Stop and Trigger are installed in the Receiver, the small “tail” at the end of the Bolt Stop rests against the receiver. The Bolt Stop screw places spring tension on the Bolt Stop which holds the Sear in place until the trigger is pulled.

What I determined is that the Sear was either worn, or filed down to the point where it no longer protruded enough past the edge of the receiver to fully engage the Cocking Piece. The end result was that a sharp blow (sometimes, a not-so-sharp blow) to any part of the weapon could cause it to fire without the trigger being pulled.

The fix was simple: I just used a flat jewelers file to remove some metal from the small “tail” on the Bolt Stop that rests against the receiver when installed. This allowed the Sear to protrude more and engage better with the Cocking Piece.

I went slowly and only removed enough material to make the rifle safe. The trigger pull is still very light for a military rifle (I’d guess about 4 pounds…I don’t have a trigger pull gage) but it will no longer fire when jarred.

I’m still glad that I ordered the spare parts (I ordered a firing pin, Cocking Piece and Bolt Stop) because I’d rather firm up the pull even more but don’t want to make the “tail” on the Bolt Stop too thin. Besides, it never hurts to have some spare parts just in case. Of course, this rifle is so simple, there are very few spare parts needed and so inexpensive that it may be cheaper just to buy a spare rifle.

Even so, I like having spare parts for my rifles. I guess I’m just a belt and suspenders kind of guy and you never know when the supply might dry up. I’d like to pass my firearms on to my kids and grandkids so I want them to be able to keep them working for a good long time.

Mosin Info

This is good info so I didn’t want to leave it delegated to comments. From Straightarrow:

That light of a trigger on a mosin is an indication that something is wrong. I have four, two m-44’s, m-91, and a 91/30, all have heavy triggers. I had to lighten one with a very little polishing to take out the gritty feel. BTW, m-44’s are made to be shot with the bayonet extended. Point of aim should change for you from one configuration to the other. Try it both ways. One of mine was way different, the other was just a little different. You will love mosins, they are absolutely idiot proof and tougher than a 25 cent water buffalo steak.

I hope you enjoy it. All your surplus ammo will be Berdan primed, so even if it says non-corrosive, it is corrosive. A good first step when cleaning it to get out the corrosive salts is first pass a hot water and ammonia patch through the barrel a few times. It neutralizes the salts, then you can finish cleaning it as normal. I highly recommend the ammonia/water mix for the first few passes. I never thought I would clean any gun of mine with water, but these benefit from the neutralization of the corrosive salts.

you are aware I hope that you must enter the carbine in your bound book? Also, you cannot move your collection of anything in the bound book without BATFE’s permission, should you change residence. And they can come inspect at their pleasure.

Two of the reasons I never got a C&R, but each to his own. Happy shooting, these are great pieces.

The most accurate piece of any make I ever fired was a mosin M-59, which unfortunately I had bought to refurbish as a gift to my son-in-law. I hated to give it up. But a gift doesn’t count unless it counts to the giver. Have fun.

One more thing, surplus ammo has two flash holes in the head. You will need domestic brass to reload with boxer primers, effectively.

Sorry for running on so long, I just love these guns and am always happy to see someone else appreciate them. Those Russians were small arms geniuses.

Thanks my friend.

I was pretty sure the trigger pull wasn’t right. I can’t imagine a rifle designed for infantry use with that light a pull. I’ll start troubleshooting and see what I can come up with.

You are absolutely right about them being “idiot proof”. The design is the essence of simplicity but very effective. One thing about the Russians: they definitely had the “KISS” concept down pat.

As far as cleaning, I had read to just use warm soapy water to get the salts out so that’s what I did after my first shoot. I have a shallow tub that I use when cleaning cosmoline out. I used that to run warm soapy water through the barrel and receiver, then cleaned it normally after that.

Does the ammonia work better than soapy water? I’ll try that.

She’s already entered into the book. I did quite a bit of research before getting my C&R. The advantages are getting shipping right to the house which enables me to shop around and get the best prices, some places give dealer discounts to C&R licensees, and I can shop out of state without having to futz with an FFL (and pay their fees).

There are some disadvantages but the potential for uninvited visitors isn’t as bad as it sounds. The ATF can inspect at any time only with a warrant. Without a warrant, they can inspect once a year to ensure recordkeeping compliance or in the course of a “bona fide criminal investigation” and those inspections may be conducted “at the election of the licensed collector” at the nearest ATF office rather than the home or site of the collection. In other words, the only way they can legally just drop in and inspect your home is if they have a warrant. They could do that whether you have a C&R or not.

There is also the fact that the .gov now knows for sure that I’m armed but that is not much of a big deal for me as I also have a Concealed Handgun Permit which pretty much answers the question already. My understanding is that the “permission to move” thing is primarily to make sure you don’t move someplace where your collection is illegal. Not bloody likely in my case so I’m not worried about that. I generally try to stay as law abiding as possible so I decided that the benefits outweighed the costs. It is a personal decision though that each person must reach on their own. I wouldn’t make a recommendation either way regarding the issue.

Thanks for the good info. If I have any more questions about Mosins I know who to ask.

Range Report

I finally got my first C&R purchase.

I bought a Mosin-Nagant M44 carbine from J&G sales. They had them on sale right after Christmas for $60 (normally $80).

It wasn’t cosmolined up too badly (at least I could get the bolt open). I cleaned her up this evening and took her for her first outing to the range. I think I’m going to call her Marina. That name evokes visions of Russian sturdiness but with just a hint of elegance. I think it fits.

Anyway A couple of things stood out right away. First, the trigger pull is EXTREMELY light for a military weapon. Anyone out there know if this is normal for Mosins? I checked out the bolt stop, trigger and cocking piece, nothing seems overly worn. It just seems that the bolt stop and cocking piece barely make contact so that just a hint of pressure on the trigger makes her go bang. Before going to the range, I cocked her a couple of times and tapped the butt on the ground, I could get the cocking piece to release and dry fire just by tapping firmly on the ground. That can’t be right. Do I need to replace the cocking piece or bolt stop? Any thoughts?

I decided that it was safe to fire, even with the light trigger, as long as I was careful.

I took her to the 25 yard indoor range just to get the sights on paper and test her out. The light trigger does make for a nice feel, but I still think it’s a bit too light. She almost goes off just from me thinking about pulling the trigger.

The second thing that stood out upon the first shot: she kicks like a mule! My shoulder is sore after 20 rounds.

I’m definitely going to have to get a recoil pad for her.

Anyway, I had heard that stock Mosin sights tend to shoot way high so I was pleasantly surprised when she printed right on in elevation and about 3 inches left. A couple of taps to the front sight and she was right on the money at 25 yards. With no rest, just resting my elbow on the tray at the range, I painted about a 2″ group. Not great but I think I was flinching a little bit. Did I mention that the recoil is…um…stout?

I actually like the straight bolt handle because I’m left handed. With the straight handle, I could reach across the top of the rifle and work the bolt with my left hand with no problem. When I tried to use my right hand, I had to bring her down from my shoulder which made it awkward.

Anyway, I’m very happy with my purchase, she is clean and seems to shoot well at least at short range. I’m going to plan a range trip to Creeds this weekend so I can test her out more thoroughly and zero the new scope on the SKS to 200 yards.

I’ll let you know how it goes.