Mosin Vs. Mauser Shootout!

Alex C.
by Alex C.

During the first and second World Wars, Russian and German infantry were armed with Mosin Nagants and Mauser 98 rifles respectively. Thus, the Eastern Front twice saw these two rifles pitted up against one another in countless engagements.

In this installment of TFBTV, Alex and Miles drag out a 114 year old Gewehr 98 and a 72 year old Mosin Nagant to see which rifle is superior!

Thanks to our sponsors Ventura Munitions and Grizzly Targets.

Weapons featured:
Mosin Nagant M91/30
Gewehr 98 “Mauser”

The full transcript …

– Hey guys. It’s Alex.

– And Miles.

– And today on TFBTV we’re going to do the Mauser verses the Mosin challenge.

I caught a lot of flack in a video I did a while back about the top five infantry bolt action rifles, and I didn’t include the Mosin-Nagant, because quite frankly, I’ve owned several of them and none of them have ever impressed me in any way, aside from them being cheap, which is a pretty good feature actually.

– Yeah.

– So what we’ve done today is I’ve got a World War I era, actually 1901 production Mauser Gewehr 98.

This is actually an interesting one because it was made in Wartenberg and has a Ulm proof mark on it.

So it actually predates the 8×57 IS cartridge, but it was upgraded to IS and the Lange Vizier sight was accommodated.

And Miles is using a M91/30.

The 30 variant is a little in-aneristic, but the big differences are it’s got a round reciever, it’s got meters on the sights instead of arshin eye, and then it’s got a different front sight arrangement.

So basically we’re going to do some tests and see if the Mausin is in fact on par with what the Germans were using in both world wars.

Let’s get to it, Miles.

– Good thing. Let’s do this.

– Alright guys. So the first test is going to be who can get off ten shots fastest.

So that’s going to require five shots, a reload with a stripper clip, and five more.

All right, let’s get ready.

– All right.

– All right, shooter ready? – Ready.

– And go.

(guns fire) – Done.

(Miles exclaims) (gun fires) – You beat me there, Alex. You beat me pretty good.

– I beat you by a pretty fair margin there.

– Oh, definitely. Definitely.

– So score one for the German empire.

– Yes, yes, yes.

– As you can see, we’ve got targets at 100 meters.

I’m going to be doing five rounds with the Mosin-Nagant.

And Alex is going to do five more with the Mauser.

(cocks gun) (gun fires) That is a pretty tough bolt, especially after you get after a while. Shooting after a bit.

Just getting that bolt over that top, it really gets stuck there, something the Mauser doesn’t have a problem with.

– All right guys. So now it’s the Mauser’s turn.

We’ll see how I do at a 100 meters.

(gun fires) One hit.




And I missed the last one. Dang it.

But, score one more point for the Mauser.

– All right. We’re going to put these rifles through their paces, we’re just going to do a little movement to contact type drill.

Simulate walking around on the western front somewhere, on the eastern front.

And we’re going to be walking around, and a bunch of Germans appear over there and we’re going to simulate that.

So, from up here.

Moving around, oh we’ve got contact front.

(gun fires) (smacks bolt) (Miles grunts) (gun fires) I’m out! So, did pretty good.

Oh, and we’ve got one more.

(gun fires) (smacks bolt) That bolt handle.

That’s getting really stiff doing these reloads.

It’s just getting caught all the time.

I would not want to be an Ivan in a hurry, that’s for sure.

– All right guys, it’s time to do walk and fire with the Gewehr 98, we’ll see if it can best the Mosin again.

(gun fires) And out.

All right, all in all I think the Gewehr 98 did a pretty good job, however the Mosin still did pretty good.

While this edged it out I think, what I think we learned is that running and shooting with a bolt action rifle is pretty dang hard no matter what rifle you have.

All right guys, so we did quite a bit of shooting today with both the Gewehr 98 and the Mosin-Nagant and I think we came to the conclusion that the Gewehr 98 is a better gun.

– I think I came to that conclusion before the shooting started.

– The good thing about Mosins, is they’re a good way to get into shooting inexpensively, because starting with a large center-fire cartridge might sound silly, however it does help you work out things like your flinch and stuff.

I mean, if you learn how to shoot on big gun when you move to smaller bore guns, it’s going to be easier.

As silly as that sounds, there is some truth to it I think.

– And it’s got the whole historical aspect, as well.

Sure, they’re cheap and everything, but this one is date marked 1943, middle of World War II.

If the historical aspect does it for you, this will get you there.

Good way to start off a collection.

– Absolutely. You can buy a very significant piece of history for- – 150 bucks.

– Just over 100 Bucks. Yeah.

– Whereas a good Mauser’s going to cost you quite a bit more than that.

A lot of people would say the 98 is the best bolt action rifle ever made, I would argue that it is as well.

So I guess a more accurate test is, these were introduced in 1891 and adopted then, would maybe be something like an Argentine Mauser, or Spanish Mauser would be a better comparison.

– A Mauser versus Mauser.

– Well, no. Like if you squared off an older Mauser design, one of the cock and close Spanish Mausers, or even a G88 commission rifle, that’s not technically a Mauser, would be more appropriate.

However, in the context of World War I and World War II, the Germans had a better gun. It really is.

However, Miles actually brought something forth.

There’s a challenger that could potentially dethrone the Mauser.

– Definitely. Definitely.

– Now, what gun is that, Miles? – The Lee-Enfield.

– Miles says the Lee-Enfield’s a better gun, so I think it would be cool to do a part two, where we do the same tests with an Enfield, because it’s indisputable you can fire an Enfield faster.

– Mm hmm.

– At least most people can, I would say.

So yeah, that would be a cool part two.

But until then I would like to thank Ventura Munitions for providing the ammunition for these old war horses here.

– And Grizzly Targets, we shot the heck out of them today.

These are some high powered rounds we were throwing down range.

– We keep trying to destroy them, but we don’t have much luck there.

So anyways guys, this is Alex C.

– And Miles Vining.

– We’ll see you next time on TFBTV.

If you’d like, maybe drop a comment and hit that subscribe button.

– Until next time.

Alex C.
Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.

More by Alex C.

Join the conversation
2 of 121 comments
  • Gunsandrockets Gunsandrockets on Sep 20, 2015

    As a followup I would like to see the same Mauser vs the MAS 36.

  • Brian M Brian M on Sep 21, 2015

    Even my russophilic self will admit that the Mauser is a far more polished design than the Mosin. The Mauser is a more finely tuned piece of engineering. This, however, does not leave the Mosin as an inherrently inferior piece. More has to be analyzed to make a conclusion about a system than just the surface elements.

    Something to be analyzed must be the degree of difference between the two. Given that the two have fairly similar accuracy and firepower, especially given the limitations of the magazine and manual operation, it must be concluded that these are in employment terms not drastically different firearms. The Mosin's bolt has the primary fault of having a short handle. The Mauser's bolt handle is much longer, which gives an advantage in torque for manipulating the bolt. Of course, a bolt should not be difficult to operate -- if a milsurp bolt is sticky, take it out, bathe it in paint thinner, dry it off, and then completely drench it in automatic transmission fluid. Also apply fluid to the receiver if you wish. Do this and actuate the bolt one hundred times in order to drastically ease the action.

    The Mosin action does have the advantage of simplicity. It's very rugged, tough, and is very resistant to malfunctions. All the parts are also extremely tough.

    The Mauser sights are more suited for target shooting, because the notch is so narrow and the post is so fine. This makes greater precision easier, but makes rapid acquisition more difficult. The broader Mosin notch and wider post are easier to pick up, but not quite so fantastic at achieving optimal precision.

    It is possible to operate both without taking the gun down from the shoulder, provided one does not jam their face right up behind the receiver. The Mosin action is immensely strong, perhaps matching the Mauser on account of having larger, thicker locking lugs, and a bold handle that would have to go through several inches of steel receiver wall to hit the shooter if it blew up.

    The Mauser's safety is indisputably more user friendly. It's also nice to have a bolt that's all one piece, although this means getting pushed out of headspace puts a Mauser down permanently, whereas the Mosin just needs a bolt head change. The multipart Mosin bolt also can vent more gasses, providing an extra layer of safety to the shooter.

    For an army, the price is vital. This is where the Mosin really shines. The Mosin is extremely inexpensive, unlikely to have significant maintenance needs, and is extremely easy to produce rapidly with a minimum of skilled labor. Remember that Russia had lost about 80% of its industrial capacity to Germany in 1918 when it bowed out of WW1. Remember that Russia very seldom made large quantities of arms in peacetime. This means of the at least 17,000,000 91/30 rifles made, almost all of them were produced from 1940-1945. The Kar98, meanwhile, was produced from 1935-1945, during which time they produced around 14 million in a country with a far greater industrial capacity and a lot more time and did not have its industry almost completely wiped out twice in roughly 20 years. Remember that Germany also forced everyone they conquered to build Mausers, too, and many of those countries alone had better industrial capacity than the USSR. The Mosin's enormous advantages in manufacture and price made it a war winning rifle, because money and resources that would have had to go to infantry rifles, a relatively unimportant class of materiel, instead were able to be allocated to more important things like machine guns, artillery, mechanization, and armor.

    Conclusion: The Mauser is more like a competitor's gun. The Mosin is a soldier's weapon.