Saturday, September 10, 2005

New Mosin-Nagant and Ruger P-90 Range Report

After the girls went down for their afternoon nap I drove over to Surplus City to see if he had anything neat in stock. I looked at a few interesting toys, including a mint-condition HK-94 carbine. It was sweet, but he was asking $2400. Since that's a bit out of my price range I just picked up another Mosin-Nagant.

The rifle I got today is an M1938 carbine made at the Soviet Ishevsk arsenal in 1941, and subsequently arsenal refurbished. The workmanship on the metal, while not outstanding, doesn't have the "gnawed out of steel by beavers" look typical of Mosin-Nagants made from 1942 - 44. As with most M1938s I've seen, it has an M-1944 stock, identifiable by the cutout for the '44's folding bayonet. The stock is laminated wood (a fancy term for plywood) finished with varnish. It's stamped with a square with a diagonal line through it, indicating the rifle was arsenal reworked. The bore is in excellent condition and I didn't see any obvious pitting underneath the bluing on any of the metal. As with every other M1938 I've seen, save one, the muzzle has been counterbored. The action is pretty smooth for a Mosin, although my M1891/30 and Finnish m/39 have better triggers. Not bad for $115 OTD.

The M1938 came without any accessories, so I need to find an appropriate sling. I already have plenty of Soviet 7.62x54R in clips, the M-N combo tool, and a mag pouch or two. Once equipped with a sling, the M1938 would make a dandy gun for bumming around with in the woods. It's light and handy, and points well. It's main drawback is the rather unergonomic safety, and it might be faster to get into action with the safety off and the bolt closed on an empty chamber.

While I couldn't shoot the Mosin tonight I was able to go to the Lower Providence Rod & Gun Club indoor range with my dad, and brought along my Ruger P-90. I picked this up back in June and up until tonight it had 116 rounds of Sellier & Bellot .45 ACP Ball through it without any issues. Earlier this week I received from Midway two more OEM magazines and a Bianchi 5L holster, so I really wanted to put some more rounds through it.

I brought along 3 boxes of .45 230 grain FMJ ammo. One box was Wolf while the others were Federal American Eagle. Incidentally, the Ruger manual specifically states that the gun is made to shoot any factory .45 ACP made with brass, aluminum, or steel cases.

I started off with the Wolf. It fed and ejected flawlessly, but two rounds failed to fire the first time the hammer dropped. Both rounds went off on the second strike. I've shot a fair amount of Wolf ammo previously in .45 ACP, .223, and 7.62x39 and this is the first time I've had any problems. I'll continue to buy it but for practice only, and may get the chance to practice immediate action drills. As with my Springfield M1911, the Wolf ammo shot as accurately as American-made ammo.

The American Eagle ammo was cleaner and less smoky than the Wolf. I had one instance of premature slide lock with it in one of the new mags. My mags are numbered. One time when running magazine #3 the slide locked back after the seventh round, leaving the 8th round sitting on top of the feed lips. I ran several magazine-fulls through the magazine after this malf and had no issues. I'm not sure if it's ammo or mag-related, or just a case of poop happens. With a single possibly gun-related malf in 216 rounds I am comfortable that the Ruger is a gun I can stake my life on.

After 150 rounds, 50 of which were rather dirty Wolf, the Ruger cleaned up in about 10 minutes using only Ballistol. As an experiment, I am using only Ballistol for lubrication and cleaning of the P-90 for the first 500 or so rounds. So far, so good. After about 500 rounds I'll clean the gun with Hoppe's No.9 to see if I can tell any difference in the results.

Dad shot his S&W Model 627 (".357 Mag - Eight Times") and Model 625. The latter, especially, is scary accurate, which mirrors my brother's an my experience with our 625s.

No comments: