Izhevsk M44 Nagant scout rifle project

Discussion in 'DIY Projects' started by Catbird, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. Catbird

    Catbird New Member

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    Hey guys! I'm still not sure how I didn't catch this site launching, but I've rectified the problem now.

    A little bit of background on me, first, for some perspective. I'm a bit of a collector of historical oddities, but I also take a lot of interest in hard-line performance data. I'm not afraid of maintenance or modification, and at the same time, I understand the difference between "old" and "valuable". Predictably, I'm no fan of the AR15.
    Frequently, I'm asked how I intend to fill the various roles a modern combat rifle could be expected to fill, in order to uphold the spirit of the second amendment.

    So, I present for your approval, my response to that question.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    THis is my ranch gun, basically what I strap on when I think to myself, "It'd be a good idea to have a weapon on me today, just in case." Obviously I don't go into Chicago much, though they might like the Soviet insignias on my sidearm! :D

    This baby came from an old unmatched Izzy M44 rifle that was a real great shooter but had been all molesticated by CAI's import trades and had a real ugly chopped-up "sporter" stock on it when I got it in '06 for $100. I mean just beautiful groupings (a little under 6" when I bought it) out at 200 yards, even using real nasty surplus ammo, after the new trigger I made for her.

    So with no collectible value left, but a huge amount of potential as a practical gun, I got to work.

    Here's the short list so far:
    -Homemade trigger, cut-down leaf spring material, keyed and tapped to screw a new sear in (welding spring steel, as I've been told, is a bad thing)
    -Overtravel stop and return spring added from household junk
    -BFH adjustment of receiver ears for more consistent sear engagement and release
    -Polishing and re-bluing of the entire inside of the receiver, polished bolt surfaces (not shiny show-polish, but a little less. The surface still holds a film of siliconized Teflon). This and the last step resulted in a bolt that glides like any off-the-shelf gun but feels more rigid.
    Now the fun stuff.
    -Installed funny-lookin' Archangel stock so my AR15-owner buddies won't make any more jokes about having wood, kept it because it feels reeeeeally nice and probably even more solid than the sporter stock that it had on it
    -Bayonet removal
    -Installation of Brass Stacker LER scope mount (very happy with this so far)
    -Homebrew bedding job with steel epoxy putty
    -COunterbored barrel 3/8" to improve crown

    These have served to get the grouping down to about 3.5" at said distance, though it's hard to say how much of that isn't due to adding a 'scope to make it a little easier to see what the hell I'm shooting at. :D

    I'm told that the biggest reason that M44's aren't accurate, beyond that they're usually beat-up pieces of turd that need to be taken behind the shed, is that when you get a good one, there's no commercial ammo that works right with it. So I'm playin' with some hand-loads for the shorter barrel to see if I can't maybe use a better slug and a better quality control on the powder to generate, maybe, a gun that will group half of that still at that range. As it stands, it's a little more accurate than my PSL-54C, and a lot more reliable and a whole hell of a lot more easy to clean. I can truthfully say that after playing with this little guy for so many years, I think I'd trust it if I had to take it into the woods and survive.
     
  2. sgthooah04

    sgthooah04 New Member

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    That looks awsome. Great job on putting it together and improving on it a bit to make it better for you.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Firearms Talk mobile app
     

  3. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The shorter barrels require a faster burn rate and staying under max for good results. Find the right mix and the results can be amazing.
     
  4. Catbird

    Catbird New Member

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    That's what I'm told! I've been asking around a bit, but people don't seem to believe that the results I'm getting with an M44 are even possible, so I might have to do some experimentation myself. Tough as it is, I don't think that'll be much of a problem if I try to go at it like a real scientist. It'll just take some time. I figure if I tinker with some real small batches of mixed powders, label my bullets and all that, I'll have some info to share. Should be good for any Mosin Nagant M44, any M38 those cool little Finnish M39's, shortened Mausers and Enfields, too! Little too cold to play with that stuff right now though, we'll give 'er a go in the spring.
     
  5. chloeshooter

    chloeshooter New Member

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    have you tried taking that bayonet lug off? I have an M44 I know it would not be easy....but it would make your very cool rig even cooler
     
  6. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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  7. Catbird

    Catbird New Member

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    The bayonet lug is actually part of a sleeve that shrouds the last 3.5" of barrel and is held in place by two perpendicular pins. It also makes up the base of the front sight. It *actually* also provides a clamping base for many M44-type flash hiders. I'm not taking it off, but what I will do is wait until I've decided on and installed a muzzle brake to grind it down, smooth it out and re-blue it to use it as a brake lug and reduce its snag profile a lil' bit.

    JTJ- THat is AWESOME, buddy, that'll save me a lot of headache and possibly a few case ruptures. :D
     
  8. Copeman60

    Copeman60 New Member

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    The stock is just as much as the gun lol. I love old mosins but that's a lot of work n time to put into a old chopped up m44 lol. But if it's what ya like then that's all that matters. You definitely have a unique taste!!

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  9. sputnik1988

    sputnik1988 Active Member

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    This is my new favorite word:p.
     
  10. Copeman60

    Copeman60 New Member

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    Haha

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  11. CardiacColt68

    CardiacColt68 New Member

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    That does look great. Nice work. Now for the BUT...

    Never, ever, under ANY circumstances, for any reason, whatsoever, is it acceptable to place ANYTHING, with the exception of cues, balls, or bridges on POOL TABLE FELT!!!!!!!

    There. I feel better now.


    Sent from my iPad using Firearms Talk
     
  12. Catbird

    Catbird New Member

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    Well, here's a thought.
    How much does an AR receiver and barrel cost? Like, $350-400?
    Then you spend that on a free-float rail kit, another $40 on a pistol grip, $35 for one of those forward-angled grips, another Benjamin on a set of flip-up irons, a fancy Magpul stock for another $150, and another $100 on a lower.

    The way I see it, this ain't no different, I haven't put a $75.99 pig in a $199 blanket, I've made a $279 rifle that shoots better than my best buddy's $850 custom Remington. :D

    CardiacColt- Came with the property! I ain't been able to get it out of the basement in 18 years livin' here, but it does make a pretty good workstation. >: D
     
  13. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    What if she's really hot?
     
  14. CardiacColt68

    CardiacColt68 New Member

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    Ok, THAT would be an acceptable exception.


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  15. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    I find there are very few absolutes when you look at things from the right perspective.:D