I Love the Mosin Nagant. It’s my favorite military surplus rifle. My favorite model is the classic 91/30. In high school, I convinced my friends to buy Mosins when they were still pretty cheap.
The Mosin Nagant is known for a hard recoil, but the recoil differs on some designs. The perception of harsh recoil comes from the stock having too short of length-of-pull for the average American male and the steel buttpad. The rifle doesn’t fit most shooters without a simple upgrade to the buttstock.
How Much Recoil Does the Mosin Nagant Have?
The full-size Mosin Nagant Typically has about 15 ft/lbs. of recoil with common ammo. That’s a bit less than a .308 rifle. It also has a slower recoil velocity, so it doesn’t hit your shoulder too fast either. Mosin carbines have noticeably less recoil than full-length rifles.
The Mosin has a profound reputation as a mule kicker. I always found it particularly rough, and shooting a Mosin caused me to develop some pretty serious recoil sensitivity issues like flinching and anticipating the recoil.
Everyone I knew who shot one said the same thing. We all assumed that it must have been a very powerful cartridge to kick like that. We weren’t exactly right about that. Still, that’s what everybody said and everybody knew it. In reality, it didn’t have a lot of recoil, it just kicked bad. There’s a difference.
Last week I was talking with a friend about hunting rifles and he told me he had an m44 and a 91/30 Mosin for hunting. My first comment was “how do you like that recoil eh?” Now, I was thinking about that ole’ mule kick to my shoulder when he surprised me by saying “You know that the recoil is pretty light, and it hits deer like a cannon”.
It took me about three seconds to understand what was going on. The difference between our opposite experiences is that he has short arms. That’s it. Because he has short arms, the Mosin fits him better. Let me tell you, the fit is the biggest part of how harsh recoil feels to you.
I have long lanky arms. The Mosin has a shorter stock, or rather, a shorter length of pull than standard in the US. For most shooters, adding one inch to the length of pull suddenly makes the Mosin become comfortable and manageable.
The Mosin has a Crappy Stock for Recoil.
Most rifles nowadays have stock and buttpad designed to mitigate or reduce the recoil energy before it reaches your shoulder. The Mosin does not. it has a solid wood stock, a slightly goofy grip angle, and a nice steel plate for a buttpad.
The Mosin transfers almost 100 percent of its recoil into your body. Manufacturers today use soft rubber fillers or hollowed-out buttstock to reduce recoil. The Mosin’s wood and steel combo just don’t cut it for most shooters. That’s not to mention that the rifle stock is too short for most shooters.
Length of pull is the distance between the trigger and the end of the butstock. The reason the Mosin has a short length of pull is s it can be shouldered and fired decently while wearing bulky winter clothing. I find that to be pretty interesting because Russia almost never fought in the winter.
How to Add an Inch to the Mosin Nagant
The original Mosin design, almost unchanged since 1891, was designed to shoot bullets, not to feel good. I can say with certainty that ergonomics wasn’t a tern in the meeting that day.
You can add an inch to a Mosin’s length of pull with an Amazon purchase, a screwdriver, and two minutes. The AIM Sports Mosin Nagant 1-Inch Extended Recoil Buttpad is what you need. It’s under fifteen dollars, and it works very well.
You literally just remove the two screws holding the old, steel buttplate in place and use those screws to install the extended buttpad. It’s a black rubber that not only makes the rifle fit most shooters, but it reduces the recoil substantially. The Company claims it can reduce recoil by 40%. I don’t doubt it.
If you think that a Mosin has rough recoil, get one of these buttpads. There are some slip-over pads, but those can slip around and make it hard to shoot accurately. The AIM Sports Mosin buttpad is for sure the way to go.
If you use this little buttpad, I bet you’ll be amazed at the difference in perceived recoil. The Mosin has less recoil than a 20-gauge shotgun firing light target loads. If it feels harsh, it pretty much means the gun doesn’t fit you. but, that’s fairly easy to change.
How to Greatly Reduce the Recoil of the Mosin Nagant.
If you love the Mosin and really want to reduce the perceived and actual recoil, you can buy a new stock for the rifle. There are two popular aftermarket stocks for it. The Monte Carlo stock is the most popular. It’s about 80 bucks and it sometimes requires sanding here and there for a perfect fit.
It’s a fiberglass-filled stock with a rubber buttpad for recoil, and it comes in a standard length of pull so it fits most shooters fairly well. It’s a cheaper, but very functional option.
My favorite is the Archangel stock. It has an adjustable length of pull and riser height, looks very modern, and actually allows the Mosin to take Archangel’s proprietary magazines for the Mosin. that’s really pretty neat. you can adjust it to the perfect measurements for pretty much any shooter.
The stock has some massive recoil mitigation. It’s very sturdy and only takes a couple of minutes to swap out with the original. Neither of these stocks are permanent modifications so you can always go back as long as you keep the original.
I’ve used the AIM Sports Buttpad, and the Archangel stock. I like them both, but that stock makes Shooting the 100-year old Russian Beast insanely fun and enjoyable. Everyone who’s shot my rifles has ended up getting one or the other for their own Mosins.