There are two schools of though when it comes to modernizing old military rifles: One school says that there is no greater sin than modernizing a gun, the other school does not care less about what other people do to their guns. Personally I take the middle ground: as long as upgrades improve the gun’s handling or accuracy, I am all for it, on the other hand I despise upgrades that do nothing but look “tacticool”

Thanks to Clay for sending us this photo of his Mosin Nagant. I like what he has done with it.


  • Jacko

    I have a

    • Jacko

      …beautiful 1932 Mosin that I would never dream of sporterizing…on the other hand, I have a bubba’d 1953 Hungarian M44 that was given to me that NEEDS it.

      • Anonymoose

        I still don’t like this tacticool stuff. I want to take my beat-to-heck Type 53 and stick it in a nice homemade wood stock, with a longer LOP, and I’m keeping the f—ing bayonet.

        • BryanS

          How is it tacticool if its functional? I see a cheek riser for the scope, a bipod for a steady shooting platform, and a detachable box magazine. Pretty standard features for the last 50 years.

          • iksnilol

            The stock while not pretty is functional. Scope mount I am sceptical of, I have yet to try scout scopes. Muzzle brakes I hate with a passion (above average hearing).

          • Anonymoose

            You can stick a cheek riser and bipod on a nugget without changing the original stock. Detachable mags are still very rare on bolt-actions, and most of their mags (the Mossberg MVP and Ruger 77/22 and American Rimfire being the only exceptions I can think of) are really expensive when you can find them because they’re produced in very low volume and unpopular. Also, I’d rather put on a PU scope or a nicer scope in PU-type mount.

  • karm42yn

    If you take the engine out of a Mustang and put it into let’s say a Fiesta, is it still a Mustang?

    • mikewest007

      I’ve seen people take the engine out of a Corvette and put it in a Polski Fiat 126p.
      Trust me, it was hilarious if you ever had to deal with a 126p in person.

      • iksnilol

        A friend of mine put a V8 engine into a VW Golf 1 + nitro. He uses it to mess with people who drive nice cars on the highway.

        • DiverEngrSL17K

          Reminds me of an acquaintance who installed a Lotus racing engine in an old, beat-up Ford Cortina passenger sedan ( remember those? ). The chassis and suspension were also upgraded to full race-spec, but it still looked like a ratty old Ford Cortina on the outside. He used to surprise the living daylights out of Porsche Carrera, Ferrari and Corvette owners at stoplights and in the twisties.

          • Argh I do remember those:-) I remember a guy in high school that took a VW Beetle and dropped a 327 out of a Corvette into what had been the backseat. He had to install wheelie bars to help get the front wheels back on the pavement. That or just turn it over backwards.

        • mikewest007

          Sounds exactly like my kind of insanity!

          • iksnilol

            Insanity? It is a lot of things but it ain’t insanity. I mean, is it insane to want to mess with people in a non-dangerous way?

    • Ryan

      Yes the Mustang is still a Mustang and the Fiesta is still a Fiesta. However if you apply the Fiestas skin to the Mustang then you have a Fiesta’d Mustang, and if you apply the Mustangs skin to the Fiesta’s then you have a Fiesta in a Mustangs skin. Hope this helps to clarify

    • Blake

      maybe, but it’s even better if you put it into one of these:

    • raz-0

      I would say this is more akin to If you build a kit car that is a fancy body over top of a VW, is it still a VW?

      Much like VW kit cars, nothing remarkable, and in the eyes of many something probably quite ugly, is the net result.

    • dan citizen

      I encounter people in my work life, it goes like this…

      “I’m building a ’36 ford”
      “was that a flathead?”
      “Oh, I’m dropping the body onto a 2004 corvette rolling chassis”
      “Then you are building a 2004 corvette”

      Not that I am against modding cars or mosins, but be honest about it.

  • Spurdo

    There are many mosins.
    This one is one of mine.

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      Very nice conversion. Although I am a traditionalist when it comes to rifles like the venerable M91/30, I still admire thoughtfully-executed versions such as yours. Since you did state that this is one of your Mosins, I would assume that you have bone-stock versions as well as special conversions that you greatly enjoy. Congratulations on having the best of both worlds!

      • iksnilol

        What’s the scope? Looks interesting, reminds me of Russian scopes aesthetically.

        • DiverEngrSL17K

          Good question. It’s hard to tell from the clarity of the photograph, but if it isn’t a modern Russian tactical scope, I’m guessing it might be a Barska AC10770 1.5-4.5 x 20 Tactical Rifle Scope.

  • Michael R. Zupcak

    Are there not better action setups for x54R?

    • Zachary marrs

      Not for bubba

    • Blake

      SVD Dragunov is nice if you can afford one, but then if you have an SVD it’s already got a “sniper” stock…

      You’ll certainly not find anything cheaper or more prevalent in this caliber than a Mosin.

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      I agree with Zachary Marrs and Blake. There are far better modern 7.62mm x 54R actions, such as the

  • Blake

    Personally my mantra is “do what you want, as long as it’s for functional reasons. You need to be able to revert it back to original condition”.

    E.G. I’m not a fan of ground-off bayonet lugs, but the aftermarket stock on my Dad’s 1954 Russian SKS makes the LoP suit him a lot better. The bolt buffer helps too.

  • Juice


  • I’m usually pretty fond of mall ninja tacticool stuff.

    But for the love of [divinity name here], don’t touch the Moist Nugget. 🙁

  • valorius

    I really like the stock.

  • Axel

    I personally don’t care. I like looking at pictures of guns, no matter how stupid, if not just for the entertainment factor. If someone wants to put a 1-6 bushnell scope with aimpoints and eotechs on the top and sides of it, have a three bipods for each side, and somehow attach a high-point for backup to a mosin I’d like to see it just for the laugh.

  • Ge

    IMO the very best ‘modernizing’ (using the term loosely) was done by the Finns and their M28-76
    A huge inventory came and went around 2012. They were selling for ~$600. Anyone knowledgeable about the weapon knew they were picking up a >$2000 target rifle for a steal

    • erwos

      Problem is, not all of ’em were actually chambered in 54R. You got a 53R, you basically had a paperweight. Made it a real gamble to buy.

      • John

        Not really? If anything it gets easier to load since the 53R is essentially the 54r brass with a standard .308 bullet instead of .311. Unless you bought an expensive precision rifle just to plink away with corrosive surplus ammo….

      • Zachary marrs

        There is 0 difference between the 54r and 53r just the way the finns measured it

        • iksnilol

          There is difference between 53r and 54r:

          Round length: 77.00 mm (54R: 77.16)

          Case length: 53.50 mm (54R: 53.72)

          Rim diameter: 14.40 mm (54R: 14.48)

          Bullet diameter: 7.85 mm (54R: 7.92)

          Also, you must be a special kind of stupid to use corrosive, unlinked MG ammo in a precision rifle. A really special kind of stupid. That s*** will ruin the barrel and chamber.

          I am not saying rack-grade millitary rifles are precision rifles but Mosins are much more accurate than people expect (same applies to milsurp Mausers, contrary to what we Mauser-fans say). Most people don’t find this out since they get a rifle with a bad bore and use bad ammo in it. Then they go fountain of wisdom and say to people that Mosins and Russian weapons in general are inaccurate and are barely good enough for slinging lead. Sorry for the rant, needed to vent a bit.

          • Zachary marrs

            I use Hungarian milsurp in all of my mosins, 2 of them are 53r, and no trouble. I will occasionally do handloads, and they are VERY accurate

          • iksnilol

            Just clean it well so you don’t wreck the bore. What I meant is that MG ammo isn’t built for accuracy and match barrels are chamber sensitive. Using “wrong” casings can loosen up the chamber which is detrimental for accuracy.

            Also, is it Hungary or Bulgaria that has good milsurp 7.62x54mmR ammo?

          • Zachary marrs

            Hungarian works very well in my 9130, in my experience, mosins can be very temperamental with ammo. And don’t worry, I clean the shit out of my mosins

          • DiverEngrSL17K

            You are absolutely correct in your assertions, and I am reasonably sure a lot of knowledgeable Mosin users who are truly familiar with the rifle and such extenuating circumstances will strongly agree.

          • iksnilol

            Forgot to mention, you can use 54mmR in a 53mmR though it ain’t recommended.

            If you have a Tkiv 85 or its civilian version just stick to handloads is my recommendation.

  • DiverEngrSL17K

    Many thanks to Clay for the nicely-integrated execution of a modernized M91/30. That is the ProMag Archangel stock kit, correct?

    I am a traditionalist at heart when it comes to rifles like the M91/30, but I am also not completely adverse to a conversion like this as long as the original parts ( such as the wooden buttstock ) can be re-installed so that the rifle can be returned to its original configuration as needed, and as long as modifications do not permanently alter its mechanical workings. A good example of what I am saying can be seen in Clay’s retention of the original straight bolt handle, which is why he has to use a forward-mounted long eye-relief scope instead of a more conventional rear-mounted scope. I can’t really tell from the photograph alone, but if the muzzle brake is a bolt-on type, it would also mean that he has probably not modified the OEM barrel in any way, which adds to the value of being able to restore the rifle to its original configuration.

  • Lance

    IDK…. Depends on the year if its a postwar pu together than fine. But if you have a early war (eastern front of course) I.E .1941 or earlier than NO. I hate to see so many M-1903s wasted in the old days and see so many 03s go fro $600+. There not worth that much!!!! I say its ok but recommend to NOT sporterize any rifle. You can find a cheap used Savage in 3006 for cheaper deer hunting.

  • Nicholas Mew

    As long as it can be converted back to its original state, I am ok.

  • Dan

    Some of you “purists” need help. I don’t care if he wants to take a dump on the rifle stick a flower in the barrel and club baby seals with the original stock in flames. It is HIS gun. Not yours. He can do any mod he wants he can make it a completely usless piece of scrap metal and wood mulch. Bend the barrel in a 90° angle. Don’t care. Throw it in the river don’t care. Get a grip people

  • Cymond

    On one hand, whenever I see customized Mosin-Nagants, the phrase “lipstick on a pig” comes to mind.

    On the other hand, I was VERY tempted to get one of these stocks from Etsy. I forget who showed them to me (they might have been mentioned on TFB?). It seems they’ve added stocks for the Ruger 10/22 and Suomi M31 since the last time I looked. Great, now I have another “10/22 build” to wish for.
    (Especially if you prefer wood over tacticool)

  • Phil Hsueh

    I’m of the camp that says, it’s your rifle and you can do whatever you want with it. However, having said that, I do find it to be shame when someone takes one of these old rifles and chops it to sporterize or Bubba it but I’m perfectly fine with removing it from the original stock and dropping it into an aftermarket one, esp. when it’s as nice as the one in the pic.