8 Tips for Buying a Mosin Nagant on the Cheap

Susan Fernandez November 11 2021

Mosin Nagant is a classic rifle for hunting and shooting. It's great for history buffs, survivalists, collectors, and target shooters. It really is a gun that can suit anyone's needs (that isn't an insane lunatic).

Pros and cons

Before buying a Mosin Nagant you need to know all its advantages and disadvantages. There are many good things about this rifle, for example:

  • It's a cheap gun. You can get it for less than $100 if you look hard enough. Of course, there is no such thing as expensive or cheap in terms of firearms, because every weapon has its value; the price depends on how much the seller and buyer agree upon.
  • It's a great rifle for plinking, shooting cans, or bottles. The bullet will easily go through a thick tree trunk and continue to devastate the scenery behind it. This means you can have some fun without big costs if you live in a secluded area somewhere deep in the forest where nobody cares about what you do.
  • It has an outstanding accuracy even when fired by people with no experience (like my friend Vasya), but only when sighted properly. I'm not sure why this is so, maybe it's because of its low recoil.
  • You can attach equipment like a bayonet, tactical lights, or laser pointers on it (it's not good for hunting though; there are better choices). Some people even use the Mosin Nagant as a base gun to create some kind of ultimate sniper rifle. If you decide to do this - be sure that you have all the tools and experience necessary, or at least consult somebody who does.
  • You can upgrade your rifle with aftermarket parts or make it even better by adding some upgrades (the procedure is simple and won't take more than an hour). Some excellent modes include bolt-handle reinforcement, plunger tube replacement, scope mount installation, improved trigger assembly installation, stock refinishing.

The downside? There's no denying that there are some cons as well. Here is an example:

  • The Mosin Nagant was designed many years ago and therefore lacks all kinds of modern features like adjustable buttstock pistols, ergonomic grips, etc. When firing from the hip - it might be a little troublesome. The standard adjustable rear sight is not included in some models (it's in the front) so if you want to change it for night vision equipment or something else - do so before buying one, or at least know how to operate without this feature.

If you are a fan of such classic firearms and want to add this masterpiece to your collection, we will share some tips to help you save some bucks when buying a Mosin Nagant. We hope these tips will help you to get a great deal.

Look up the Current Value

The first thing you need to check is Mosin Nagant’s current price to get a reference. The price of Mosin is not stable, it was $80 when Obama banned its import, and later it became a collector’s item worth $550. Check all the websites online. If you can find a shootable Mosin at the price of $300 bucks, it will be considered a steal.

Know the Expensive Models

Some Mosin Nagant models sell multiple times the base price, especially the sniper models. They are also known as PU and are pretty clean. Their barrels were designed to be better than normal; the bolt handle was also changed, and they have Russian characters like CH, CN, or C in a circle stamped on them.

Westinghouse, Remington, and Finnish Mosin are all rare Mosin Nagant models. Do not let someone sell you a basic Mosin at a higher price. In case you are lucky, someone might be selling a rare gun without knowing what it is.  

A Wall Hanger or a Shooter?

The price also depends on the reason you want to purchase the gun. If you want a Mosin to show off, it does not need to be in pristine condition. You can purchase one with some faults like soft trigger spring and bad crown at a cheap price.

Buy Non-Matching Numbers

Avoid all matching Mosin Nagant tags, they are great collectibles but expensive, and they will shoot the same as the rifle with unmatching numbers. The Russians replaced different parts of rifles when refurbishing them, which caused the non-matching numbers. This non-matching does not affect its accuracy.

Check Pawnshops

Pawnshops are famous to sell objects at high prices. But some pawnshop owners who want to have a fast turnaround often sell guns like Mosin Nagant at a bit lower prices so they can replace them with other items. Make sure to check out because one might get lucky and snatch Mosin Nagant at any time.

Frequent Small Gun Stores

Sometimes you can find the thing you are looking for in small gun stores. They are literally treasure troves. These stores are normally expensive, but you can always try your luck. Sometimes the stores have to sell things due to limited space or other reasons.

Cracked Stocks are OK

Buying a Mosin Nagant with severely cracked stock is not bad. You can always replace the stock later. If you can buy such a rifle for $200 less than the normal price, you can install a new stock worth $100. Considering this, you will still get a bargain.

Avoid the Accessories

The imported Mosin Nagant often comes with a set of accessories. These accessories are not vital for the rifle’s functioning. So if you see someone selling Mosin with the accessories you can ask him/her to sell you only the rifle. This way, you might get a deal on a great Mosin Nagant rifle.  

Additional pieces of advice

  • Don’t Buy it Because it Looks Cool
    Most of the time gimmicky things look cool but cost a lot. This is not true for every single situation, but in general, we can say that if its price doesn’t match its value you should avoid buying it. You will be better off saving your money and getting a good Mosin Nagant rifle rather than an overpriced gimmick with no real use or value.
  • Don’t overpay for a rare one
    It is good to own a rare Mosin Nagant rifle, but make sure you pay its real price. Some people do collect rare versions of Mosin Nagant rifles and might sell them at a higher price. However, if the seller is asking for more than 10% of what it's worth, don’t get yourself into trouble by bargaining with him/her. Be calm and walk away from such sellers.
  • Test It First
    Mosin Nagant rifles are simple in design and construction, but they need to be shot before buying them. Make sure there aren’t any problems like misfires or jams when you shoot it first since these issues can lead to expensive repairs later.
  • If it's Cheap, It Might be a Fake
    If you want to make a good deal on a cheap rifle, make sure to ask the seller if it’s a real or fake one. Although fake rifles are pretty rare these days, many people still try to sell them as original Mosin Nagant rifles for extra cash without knowing they are fakes.  
  • Light Trigger is OK
    Mosin Nagant rifles have heavy triggers but this heavy trigger doesn't affect its accuracy at all. Thus, light triggers don’t matter much when buying a rifle and shouldn’t affect your decision of buying one.
  • Know Where to Look online
    Shop around online first. You can find more options on cheaper models that will still do what you need them to and more information on how to get better deals wherever you end up buying from. It is tough to find real good Mosin rifles at an appreciable price, but there’re some websites out there that offer great deals for people who are willing to spend time checking all of them out. Two basic places are Gun Broker and Armslist.
    Other than these dealers, be careful with other websites online as they might not have efficient customer services meaning you could lose your money. Always keep in mind that if you are looking for an immediate source, then there are better options for you.