If you’re looking to add an optic to your ol’ Russian warhorse, you need to consider these Mosin-Nagant Scope Mount Options.
What Are Some Of The Top Mosin-Nagant Scope Mount Options:
While not the top candidate for a Night Force ATACR or other high-end glass, adding a scope to your Mosin-Nagant proves worthwhile. Similar to any rifle, an optic vastly enhances your accuracy potential behind the trigger and certainly proves beneficial if you plan to use the Russian icon for anything other than range toy. Hunting and any sort of Sisyphean accurizing project you have in mind for your Nagant are two that come to mind.
This raises the question: How exactly do you go about getting a scope on a more than 100-year-old design that was most certainly not engineered for the addition of glass?
It’s a dicey row to hoe, rife with some serious considerations before jumping in. It’s not simply potentially the drilling and tapping that makes this ride bumpy, but the fact the rifle must be modified to even work with a scope. Good news, once you’re over some of those hurdles, there is a slew of Mosin-Nagant scope mount options that not only provide rock-solid mounting platforms, but also do a bang-up job of modernizing the rifle. But before we get to them, we first must consider what stands in between marrying your rifle with a scope.
Minted in 1891 with the common infantry soldier in mind, neither Sergei Mosin nor Émile Nagant put much thought into an optic ever being added to their creation. Which is fairly obvious, given the Mosin-Nagant’s bolt. Its handle sticks out at 90 degrees when in battery and throws 90 degrees in operation. What that adds up to is a bolt handle that comes into major conflict with most traditionally mounted scopes.
By and large, there are only two ways around this conundrum. You modify the bolt handle, bending or replacing it completely—either the handle or the bolt itself—so it doesn’t run smack dab into your scope. Or, you settle upon mounting your scope in a more non-traditional position.
Drill and Tap
Mosin-Nagant scope mounts have to be, well, mounted. While some options require minimal modifications to get in place, others are quite a step up in gunsmithing, particularly those that require drilling and tapping. Unlike most modern rifles, the Mosin doesn’t come with this convenience as part of the package, which means you’ll have to do it yourself. Though, the real question should be: Should you do it yourself?
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For those who have spent time learning the basics of gunsmithing and have some machine-shop knowledge, the answer is a resounding yes. For those who fall outside this sphere, a moment of reflection before charging into the Dunning-Kruger Effect might prove valuable.
While drilling and tapping a rifle isn’t gene editing, it does take a certain amount of know-how, finesse and safety goggles. You might fly blind into the task and pull it off smashingly or you could go down in flames with a real Bubba tabletop gunsmithing fiasco. The argument could be made there’s no better rifle to FUBAR than a Mosin-Nagant, given their relatively economical price. But if you love yours and don’t have the mechanical aptitude to do the job right, swallow your pride and take it to a gunsmith.
Time was few folks would have raised a ruckus about modifying a Mosin-Nagant. Slews upon slews or home gunsmithing jobs fandangled some rifles into near Frankenstein’s monsters. When the supply of sub-$100 Mosin seemed endless nobody except historical purest seemed to raise an eyebrow over the projects. Now with the rifle becoming more expensive and cherished for its place in world events, mangling one up for the sake of a “tacticool” experiment is frowned upon.
Does the Mosin-Nagant scope mount count as tarnishing a classic? I suppose that all depends on who you are. From my perspective—especially with systems that allow you to revert the rifle to its original state—not so much. These provide the best of both worlds, the rifle’s integrity is preserved without the shooter having to be a slave to convention. Other scope mounts, however, require more radical modification to function—such as cutting off and reconfiguring the bolt handle— which might require a bit more consideration before commitment.
Ultimately, it’s your rifle and you can do what you like with it in the bounds of the law. But, before you break out the hacksaw and oxy-acetylene torch you should be plum certain you want to cross that Rubicon—because there’s no going back. To digress to another historic military rifle, some love their sporterized war-trophy Mausers, others wish they had the original 98K. With this in mind, a few years down the line where do you think you’ll stand with a Mosin-Nagant?
Top Mosin-Nagant Scope Mount Options
Brass Stacker Universal Fit Scout Scope Mount
If you want to retain the integrity of your Mosin-Nagant, yet step up its aiming system, Brass Stacker’s Universal Fit Scout Scope Mount is the way to go. What makes it attractive is you don’t have to drill and tap your rifle, yet you still get a rock-solid platform for your long eye-relief scope.
Brass Stacker pulls this off with an ingenious mounting system that utilizes the Mosin’s rear sight block and recoil lug attachment point. The only gunsmithing involved is knocking out the ladder sight’s retention pin, which sometimes is easier said than done. Nevertheless, it’s a more streamlined process than many other options. What you get out of the deal, aside from ease of installation, is a Rigid all-steel 5/16” x 8” MIL-STD 1911 Picatinny Rail, fit for most any long eye-relief optic. As a bonus, if you want to return to iron sights, the Universal Fit mount allows you to do so with ease.MSRP: $125
S&K Mosin-Nagant Scope Mount
With an extensive history of whipping up scope mounts for old military rifles, S&K has a solid handle on creating workable systems. And few options out there function to the same level or with the same ease as its Mosin-Nagant Scope Mount. Again, this is an option that allows you to revert your rifle to the original form if you wish, given it attaches via the rear-sight base.
The only complex matter—in some cases—is getting the ladder sight pins out, but with patience (a blowtorch if they’re soldered in) it can be done. It also stays in place well, especially if you follow instructions and use Loctite Blue to ensure there’s no creep in the screws. Needless to say, this is a scout-scope configuration, and the accompanying right accommodates scopes with 1-inch tubes. Aside from the simplicity of installation and maintaining the originality of Mosin-Nagant, S&K’s scope mount is also small, and thus overall unobtrusive. MSRP: $88.50
Rock Solid Industries Mosin-Nagant Scope Mount
Plain and simple, Rock Solid Industries Mosin-Nagant scope mount more than lives up to the company’s name. Plus, it opens up your optics options. A full-length rail, it can handle nearly any scope you mount with any eye-relief you desire. Even better, it will keep it right in place.
This is thanks to a hardy three-point attachment system and the use of the rear sight base as a support. Yes, the unit requires a bolt handle modification (they sell upgrades) and drilling and tapping the rifle, which is fairly involved. But the effort is well worth it, especially if you want something certain to keep your scopes zero in the roughest of conditions. Rock Solid makes models for both round and octagonal receivers, so make note of which you have when you order—one does not work with the other. MSRP: $65
Crazy Ivan Mosin-Nagant Scope Mount
As robust as the day is long, the Crazy Ivan Mosin-Nagant Scope Mount allows for a traditional above-the-receiver scope placement. The price paid, however, is the effort required to get the unit attached. The base itself is a down-the-line drill-and-tap job, with the mounting plate screwing on to the side of the receiver. Where things get a bit trickier is modifying the bolt handle.
The good news, Crazy Ivan sells several top-quality upgrades. The bad news, it requires cutting off your Mosin’s original bolt-handle and welding on the replacement. Though, the company does sell one no-weld option that attached via epoxy. A nice touch, the Picatinny rail is mounted on a Weaver-style quick detach system, making it simple to switch between optics and iron sights. MSRP: $64
Sniper MG4X20 Scope And Mount
The Mosin-Nagant M91/30 PU Sniper Rifle was perhaps the most successful sniper-rifle system of the Second World War. And while authentic specimens are still available they tend to command top dollar. A sidenote, fraudsters are more than aware of this and churn out knockoffs like the dickens, so if you go this route, buyer beware. However, you can avoid these turbulent waters with Sniper’s MG4X20 scope and mount, which gives you everything you need to turn your M91/30 into replica of the historic sharp shooter.
Overall, the system—mount and scope—are fairly faithful recreations of the original and perform up to snuff. Though, the optic is 4X, whereas original wartime scopes were 3.5X—that’s should prove a small detail for many. The scope mount is made of steel and is a dead ringer for the real McCoy—side mount, removable, with gross elevation screws and the like. Sniper even sends everything you need to drill and tap the receiver. However, the system—similar to any that replicate the sniper rifle—requires extensive modification of the rifle, including extending and bending the bolt handle and inletting the stock, in addition to drilling and tapping. Make sure you’re up to the job. MSRP: $398.99
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