I recently decided to start a gun collection and I started with a mosin nagant 91/30. The mechanical parts of the gun were in great shape, and although the finish of the stock wasn't too bad, it was of low quality and chipped off easily. I also wanted to do something to personalize this rifle so that it didn't look like every other mosin nagant out there. This is what I ended up with, and I think it looks pretty decent, while at the same time saving me the money it would take to buy a pricey after market stock.
Step 1: Brief History of the Mosin Nagant
In case you are wondering what a mosin nagant is, I will describe it here. I will keep it very brief, but feel free to skip over this if you are not interested.
The mosin nagant rifle was first designed by a joint Russian/Belgian team in the late 1800's. It is most well known as one of the primary battle rifles of the Soviet Union during World War II. If you saw the movie "Enemy at the Gates", the sniper version (scoped) of this rifle is what the main character was using. It is chambered in 7.62x54r, which is similar in power to a modern .308.
Step 2: Materials
For this project, you will need:
A mosin nagant rifle
80 grit sandpaper
100 grit sandpaper
A sharp knife
Rope or Wire
Drill with wire wheel
Step 3: Disassemble Your Rifle
The mosin nagant is easily disassembled. It requires that you remove two screws, and slide off two barrel bands.
Start by removing the bolt. This can be accomplished by opening the bolt, checking that the gun is not loaded, and pulling the trigger while pulling the bolt out of the rifle. Once this is done, it exposes a screw near the back of the receiver. Unscrew this screw. The other screw is at the front of the box magazine, on the bottom of the rifle. Remove this screw as well, and then remove the two barrel bands. The two main parts of the machinery can now be removed from the stock.
The steel butt plate is held on with a further two screws. Remove this as well.
Your rifle is now disassembled.
Step 4: Sanding
I did some research on stock refinishing and most suggest that you use paint stripper, or Krud Kutter, or Easy Off Oven Cleaner, or other things to take the old finish off. I don't have a garage, and I didn't want to make a huge mess in my basement, so I just sanded the old finish off with 80 grit sandpaper, followed by 100 grit to smooth it out. You can use a palm sander to make this very easy, but be careful not to alter the shape of the stock. When you are done, it should look roughly like the photo attached. If you wish you can use a hairdryer to assist in removing the old finish. I have heard this can help, but I didn't do much for me.
When the finish has been taken off, you can use some sandpaper, or a drill and wire wheel, to remove any finish or remaining cosmoline from the holes for the sling.
At this point you need to decide how you are going to refinish your stock. If you would like to keep the traditional look, you could use linseed oil, or a varnish or stain to finish it off. I wanted something a bit different, so I used spray paint.
Step 5: Taping Off
Tape off all metal parts remaining on the stock. Use the sharp knife, in my case a hobby knife, to cut the tape around the metal parts to allow for a nice paint job without ruining the look of your metal parts. If you want to include them in your paint scheme, ignore this step.
Step 6: Painting
Use your rope/wire/string to hang your stock while you paint it. This allows for easy painting of all sides of the stock without waiting for one side to dry before starting the other.
While spray painting, keep the nozzle about 15 inches or so from the stock and make light passes. This limits runs in the paint. I did about 5 or 6 coats.
When the wood parts were dry, I removed the tape from the metal parts and applied clear nail polish to the metal parts. This both protects them from rust (because I removed the bluing in my version) and makes them shiny. I used the nail polish as a low cost alternative to a clear spray paint, and it comes with its own brush, which is good for small parts. If you did not remove the bluing/varnish from your metal parts, skip the nail polish/clear coat part.
You can now reassemble your rifle.
Step 7: You're Done
Reassemble your rifle and you are done.