Shooting range restricts Mosin Nagant?

A shooting range near here has the following for one of its rules:

This is the only rule that they have for any specific model of weapon. What is it about the Mosin Nagant that would make them have this rule?

That is really weird, E_C_G. It’s just the Russian’s version of an 30-'06, and a bolt action at that. You’d think they’d have a similar edict against a Garand, which could conceivably have a gun runaway on the shooter, rather than a bolt action.

I could also see such a rule if you fired any of the gigantic magnum revolvers, due to their tendency to double-tap into the ceiling (or the shooter’s head). But I can’t see why they’d have that for a Mosin.

Do they have a web site? Maybe there’s an explanation on there. Or we could email them and ask. Or the person reading the sign could ask.

I can only offer a WAG, as I’ve never shot one myself, but it may be that they are concerned about clearing the rifle of rounds that remain in the magazine. This is a little safer with some designs than others. But I don’t doubt that the rule is in place because SOMEBODY with an M-N put a few rounds where they didn’t belong.

Most of the indoor ranges I use won’t allow any form of shot when you use a shotgun. You can fire a 3/4 oz. slug at 1600 fps, but God forbid you should fire #6 shot.

Here is the web site:

The rules are here (pdf warning):

There is no explanation on the web site.

Total guessing, but these rifles are very old, mostly poor condition, and the ammo is not much younger. Therefore lots of jamming involved when cycling the action. These rifles are also very cheap and often purchased by those with limited income and limited firearm knowledge. Put a jammed rifle, crappy ammo and limited knowledge together and you end up with a very dangerous situation for all involved.

This is an outdoor range, but they have similar rules for shotguns.

Sticky bolt? Cosmoline is a pain to clean out of those chambers, even when you think it’s clean. Repeated firing heats it up, and then the bolt get stuck without hammering the hell out of it. Of course you can just drop the magazine, so it sounds like partial laziness.

Either that or they had one specific event that went bad, and are overly restricting things.

I found an e-mail link on their web site and sent them an e-mail. If they send a reply I’ll post it.

There are a few ways in which a MN Model 1891 (and descendants) could have a cartridge go off with the bolt still open by the action of ramming the next cartridge in the magazine, which would cause the bolt to fly back at the shooter and pieces of the cartridge case become dangerous fragments too. For example:
-move forward but don’t fully close the bolt (by pushing the bolt handle down), then cycle it back. The live cartridge won’t be extracted because the extractor doesn’t click down until bolt is fully closed. Then ramming forward the next cartridge in the magazine would push the point of the next bullet into the primer of the still chambered round
-fire the gun but extractor fails, ram next cartridge onto empty one blocking the chamber, it might explode though it’s not as likely to explode as first case
-allow the protruding rims of the cartridges in the magazine to get entangled (most late 19th/20th century bolt action rifles fire ‘rimless’ cartridges) then when one is rammed it carries along the one beneath it in the magazine. Generally that would just jam the gun though, not cause a cartridge to go off.
-other more freakish stuff with bent extractor hitting the primer, piece of previous cartridge stuck to bolt face etc. that hits the primer will ramming the next round, etc.

Also assuming such an accident, 7.62x54r rounds often have steel cartridge cases which could make the fragments more dangerous.

All these would be much less likely if gently chambering the rounds one by one by hand, blocked chamber would be realized, no two rounds at once etc. rather than by pushing forward the bolt, perhaps sharply.

But, none of these are absolutely unique to MN, nor are rounds always steel cased nor steel case rounds unheard of otherwise. I would guess this is based on such incidents having happened at the range with MN’s but not with other types, not that they could only happen with MN.

The Mosin-Nagant has something of a reputation for rupuring and exploding, as in this example. Whether is is any worse than other rifles of its era or not is indeterminate; given the sheer numbers of this rifle that were produced and still in use in secondary and developing nation military and paramilitary roles using fifty or sixty year old ammunition, if this were a common problem you’d think it would be more widely known, but it only takes one or two credible incidents for a firearm to be considered suspect.

I use to do work at an outdoor range that prohibited the SKS due to its proclivity to “auto-slam” fire when dirty. I had only seen this happen once, and it only fired three rounds rather than emptying the magazine, but it was enough for me to avoid that model despite the attractively low cost of the rifle an surplus 7.63x39 mm ammunition.


That’s interesting, e_c_g. Most shotguns do a pretty good job of keeping the pattern relatively tight. I’ve been shooting at public ranges where the guy next to me was putting 7.62x39 everywhere but on the target and I would think that would do a lot more damage to the mechanism than #6 shot.

As far as another post that suggests M-Ns might be in bad condition…I’ve never been so scared as when an inexperienced couple brought a new Lorcin in and were assigned the lane next to mine. Between clearing jams with the muzzle pointed every which way but downrange and general “blow-upability,” I was in a heck of a lot more danger than someone shooting an old rifle.

But I digress…

I would just add though that MN’s in altogether bad shape, or perhaps certain ones produced in times of great stress on the production system, can outright explode when fired, bolt locked, even with a cartridge chambered by hand. The prohibition on chambering rounds from the magazine with the bolt seems more likely IMO to stem from particular ways (some given above) that can result in MN cartridges exploding with the bolt open, rather than structural failure of the whole gun.

I’m not a firearms expert in the slightest, but based on what people in this thread have shared so far, that’d be my guess, as well – they’ve posted a restriction for that particular model of gun, because they had had a past issue involving that particular model of gun.

Maybe even (and of course this is the wildest of WAG’s) one particular person, who has a love affair with this particular gun, and is an unsafe operator.

They’re old rifles of varying and questionable quality. They often have magazine/floor plate issues, spilling ammo everywhere. Loading one at a time at least prevents this common malfunction.

Are all the Mosin-Nagants floating around the original guns? I was under the impression there were a lot of replicas around, but I could be mistaken. Certainly there are plenty available every time I walk into a Big 5 store in SoCal, and it’s not the kind of place you go for an “antique”/specialty gun–unless there are so many originals available that it’s exactly the kind of thing a cheapjack chain would stock.

Their original guns but many have been cobbled together from different parts. The Mosin-Nagant was produced from 1891–1965 with 50,000,000 total built so there’s no need for any replicas but from my understanding most which came to the US weren’t wholly original, instead they would take good stocks and mate them with different good bolts and so-on so they could be sold for higher prices. There wasn’t that much major variation with Mosins so interchangeability isn’t that big of a problem but it also meant you would find weird things with fit and finish where a stock was much older than the bolt and vice-versa.

Maybe true, but that’s typical of pretty much every milsurp gun. Ones with matching serials on all parts command a premium. I’m not sure if there are any big exceptions (K-31?).

could it be due to the rimmed ammo and if not loaded carefully could result in rimlock?
dealing with that could cause an inexperienced user to be less then careful in removing the jam.