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Hubris begets Nemesis
7,751 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Last Saturday I went to the pubic range. I was hoping it would be
empty since it was 9am and 23 degrees F. Arriving, I spotted two
camo dressed guys who were already shooting. As I got closer I saw they were holding Mosin Nagants,
one 91/30 like mine and the other was a M38, the carbine version. As I started brushing the snow from a bench a couple
of stations away, I heard them speaking Russian.

We ignore each other until I pull my MN out of its case. They
stopped shooting, looked over, put their weapons down and then started walking towards me.

"You shoot Russian rifle?" I hear, in a thickly accented voice.

"Yeah", I said, "I've had this Mosin since I was a kid."

"We have Russian rifles too. We are Russian."

" I see that", I replied, wondering where this was going. So I
continued. "My rifle is from the Tula Armory, 1936.

"I am from Tula!" one of them beamed. They spoke more Russian
and then I head "Comrade!" shouted in unison. They were beaming
as they come over to shake my hand.

We shook gloved hands and then they began pummeling me with questions.

"Is there a tool to adjust the front sight?"

"Do you know how many Mosin Nagants they made?" ("They" being the
Russians, of course.)

"My bolt is sticking, do you know why?"

I happened to know the answer to that one as I saw they were shooting
surplus sliver tipped ammo that was lacquered.

I suggested they shoot one of my Winchester rounds and I try one of
theirs. They didn’t believe my American ammo was real 7.62x54R. I loaded
and fired a round and my rifle didn’t blow up, which seemed to convince them.

" Da. American. Good stuff. But too expensive."

We then exchanged a few rounds, shoot them, lacquer in my gun, non- lacquer in theirs. Both cycled fine.

"Your breach and bolt need a good cleaning. You probably have a bit
of cosmoline left on a surface where your ammo touches the rifle. The
rifle heats up, making the cosmoline soft and it grabs the lacquer round and it sticks. That's why it’s jamming", I tell them.

They speak Russian and start to laugh.

One of them turns to me and in his thick accent says, " We laugh
because fate brings two Russians to the woods of PA in winter to
shoot Russian weapons. And then an American shows up with the same
Russian weapon and knows how to fix them."

I laugh too. And for the next hour we are, indeed, comrades.

3,376 Posts
Actually in Russia there are quite a few old weapons in the hands of the general public. You have to remember what happened in WW2. They were producing guns at one end of the plant and giving them to soldiers and civilians at the other end to shoot with right now. In Russia as in many other European countries you will find the predominate shotgun round to be a 20 gauge. The Nagant is considered to be an obsolete weapon in Russia. Even in they third world allies it has been replaced with the SKS or AK action.

You will find a number of folks from that part of the world living all over the US. When they get here they like to buy weapons they are familiar with. Most don't call you comrade since that went away in the early 1990s. I am puzzled that they did not know how to fix their own weapons. Most Russians train on that action in 22LR. I have a Polish version of the weapon in my collection. Glad you enjoyed you time with them.

Hubris begets Nemesis
7,751 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
These guys weren't ex- military. Maybe 30 or 40 years ago they might have been, but not now.

They seemed more like citizens who wanted to hunt and shoot guns that were inexpensive (and Russian).

One of them also had a Marlin 336, which he loved.

"Cheap and it always works!" he told me.

I had to agree.
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