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The Scout

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The Scout

Postby Saberists2000 » Sat Jul 04, 2015 8:45 am

Hi everybody!

Back in 2011 I started working on Mosins with the intent to learn the craft and then move on to other types of rifles. I don't have any formal gunsmithing education or really even a mechanical background. What I do have is motivation and time. In this May, 4 years later, I finally finished my first project. I have started and finished multiple projects during that time and learned a lot, including how to weld, but this one was first out of the gate, and even belatedly it feels significant to say that it is complete.

This one started out as a regular Izzy 91/30 that was one of three that I got at a gun show in trade for a matching numbers SKS that was neither accurate nor reliable. If any of you now own that SKS, I apologize. I did warn the vendor. Anyway, the intent behind this build was to make a scout rifle a la Jeff Cooper. It isn't magazine fed, and doesn't have iron sights, but otherwise it is pretty close to his intent.

This one had an interesting looking stock on it that, apart from some flakes in the finish, was in pretty good shape. So I decided to try to hang on to it. Attached is the only photographic evidence that my work table was ever clean. It is the one with the sling on it.
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Re: The Scout

Postby Saberists2000 » Sat Jul 04, 2015 9:16 am

The first order of business was to cut the stock at the usual place and shorten the barrel to 22". I'm about 6'2", so the standard LoP on a Mosin stock is too short for me. At the time I didn't have any of the things required to fit a new recoil pad, so I went with on of the godawful aftermarket ones that use the standard holes. I also added a barrel band sling loop and an aftermarket scope mount rail to the rear sight.

The aluminum rail was a little flimsy for my taste and the set screws used to adjust it never felt secure to me (*cough* stripped the threads *cough cough*) so I drilled and tapped the sight base, shimmed it to the right height, and bolted it down with a 10x32 that I cut to length. While it was not really finished, I got distracted at this point and set it down to work on other things (for 4 years) until this spring.
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Re: The Scout

Postby Saberists2000 » Sat Jul 04, 2015 9:42 am

Back in April, having improved a lot in terms of talent and tools, I decided to pick this one back up.

The first order of business was a proper recoil pad. This one is a Kick-Eez 5/8" which was selected to get the LoP right. I trued up the rear of the stock, filled the screw holes, and cleaned 70 years worth of grease out of the divot on the top. It turned out that the ebony that I got for the fore end had enough extra on it to do an inset for the rear of the stock as well, so I set about hiding the hole.
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Re: The Scout

Postby Saberists2000 » Sat Jul 04, 2015 9:50 am

When I did the fore end, I used the cleaning rod as the anchor it. I screwed it, and then glassed it, into the main stock and then used that as the start point to trace the ebony.
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Re: The Scout

Postby Saberists2000 » Sat Jul 04, 2015 10:09 am

The existing finish was a bit fragile, and I had some trouble matching it, so I ended up refinishing the whole thing.

While I was feeling motivated I went ahead and did some metal work too. I swapped out the rather blocky scope base with one that clamps to the dovetail, swapped out the bolt handle with one from Brownells, bobbed the barrel back to 17.5", and did a trigger insert to take up some of the slack.
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Re: The Scout

Postby Saberists2000 » Sat Jul 04, 2015 10:20 am

Aside from some runs in the clear coat, I am quite happy with how it turned out. I saved as many of the proof marks as I could. I haven't shot it since I shortened the barrel the second time, but before that it was a 2.25 MOA gun.

I didn't set out to write a book, I hope it was worth the reading. Happy Independence Day everybody!
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Re: The Scout

Postby farmerboy78 » Sat Jul 04, 2015 6:14 pm

Looking good! Is that mount stable? I had that very mount and hadto get a different one because it was canted and unstable.
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Re: The Scout

Postby Saberists2000 » Sat Jul 04, 2015 7:52 pm

I haven't fired it with the new mount yet. It lines up correctly and grabs the dovetail pretty solidly,but only recoil will tell.
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Re: The Scout

Postby jaysny87 » Sun Jul 05, 2015 9:07 am

Pretty cool rifle. Good job on the ebony. You might Consider bedding the action if not just the recoil lug and tang. That will help you get more accuracy out of it for sure. :thumbup:
“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every country in Europe.”
- Noah Webster
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Re: The Scout

Postby Saberists2000 » Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:48 pm

Got a quick range report. I made it out today, and I would say that my results were promising, but inconclusive. I only got about 25 rounds through her, but what I got was as good as could be hoped for.

This rifle shot about 2.25 MOA before I bobbed it from 22" to 17.5", I really didn't expect it to improve at all, but given that I was shooting from a less than perfect rest, and a healthy dose of user error, it actually did pretty well.

I found zero with my last three rounds of a mystery 147.5gr surplus FMJBT that I picked up at a gun show years ago that has performed strikingly well out of all of my Nagants. If I could find more of it I would buy 1000 rounds in a heartbeat. At 100yds I shot with 182gr PPU and my first batch ever of 174gr SMKs.

It was 90 degrees here today, and I didn't really give it the opportunity equalize...Once I realized that I needed to let the rifle cool down, this is what I got.
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