Gletcher Mosin-Nagant Model 1944 Part 3

Gletcher Mosin-Nagant Model 1944 Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

The Russian sharpshooter is back

By Dennis Adler

The Mosin-Nagant was the most abundant of all Russian rifles spanning more than half a century of production beginning in 1891. The Model 1944 alone exceeded 4 million and found its way into the hands of the resistance during WWII. Here the Gletcher Mosin-Nagant is paired with two other Gletcher Russian Legends models, the Nagant pellet pistol (holstered) and the TT-33 blowback action semi-auto.

The Mosin-Nagant is among a handful of legendary rifles like the Henry and Winchester lever action models, the M1 Garand, 1903 Springfield, .303 Lee-Enfield, and Mauser 98, that proved their mettle on the fields of battle and became iconic symbols, not only of nations, but of ideals. The Mosin-Nagant was a design that rose above the very history of the nation in which it was created, and played no small role in making that history. As a CO2 model it carries a remarkable heritage that spans from the era of the Czars, to the Russian Revolution, the rise of Communism, through two world wars, and into the present day, where many surviving examples of early to mid 20th century Mosin-Nagant rifles and carbines, and Mosin-Nagant design models (produced by armsmakers in other countries) are still being used. The Mosin-Nagant has had an almost unprecedented 127 years of service since 1891. So, there is a lot to be said about the Gletcher Mosin-Nagant CO2 model, most importantly that it is a worthy representative of its namesake, not perfect, but for an air rifle, quite remarkable.

Gletcher’s Russian Legends pistols and rifles cover the late 19th century to the current day. Of the WWI to WWII era models the most famous are the Mosin-Nagant M1944, Nagant pistol, and Tokarev TT-33. Unfortunately the TT-33 is not currently available (the pistol shown is a custom weathered example not sold by Gletcher).

As it measures up

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The Gletcher Mosin-Nagant carbine has an overall length of 40.5 inches with the bayonet folded and 53 inches with the bayonet rotated and locked over the barrel. An original M1944 measures 40.4 inches with folded bayonet. The Gletcher weighs 8.21 pounds, a centerfire Mosin-Nagant carbine 8.9 pounds. The 7.62x54mm R Mosin-Nagant Model 1944 had a barrel length of 20.5 inches. The external barrel on the CO2 model measures 20.5 inches (the internal smoothbore barrel is around 15 inches).

The centerfire Mosin-Nagant rifles had a fixed 5-round magazine. Gletcher rewrote the book with a removable magazine that holds the CO2 and 16 steel BBs. The release for the magazine is a spring loaded catch just forward of the triggerguard. Pull it back toward the triggerguard and the magazine drops down to be removed.
The self-contained CO2 BB magazine is an unusual shape that fits up inside the receiver. The CO2 cartridge is loaded from the left side. The seating key is also stored in the magazine and is removed from its locked position on the right side (shown) by pushing it up from the left side of the magazine…
…it is then inserted into the recessed seating screw at the base of the magazine and the CO2 can be quickly pierced with a couple of turns. Be sure to replace the seating key back into its slot. You don’t want to lose this.
With the magazine flipped around to the left side (facing the wrong direction for inserting into the magazine well), you can see the BB loading channel which has a moderate resistance follower spring and a locking follower that slips into a slot for loading. BBs are pushed through the firing port with the magazine held at a 45 degree angle. A little shake of the wrist will get the BB to drop from the firing port into the loading channel. Here you can also see the back side of the seating key (lower left) that you push in order to remove it from the right side.

The velocity tests were run with Umarex steel BBs delivering a high of 549 fps, a low of 518 fps and an average velocity for 10 consecutive shots of 524 fps. The CO2 model is factory rated at a conservative 427 fps. Velocity with Hornady Black Diamond was within 8 fps with an average of 520 fps. The surprise was the lighter weight Dust Devils which did not pick up any appreciable velocity with a high of 544 fps and an average velocity of 528 fps, just a fraction faster out of the barrel than steel BBs. A fair trade if you want to engage reactive metal targets at 50 feet. Overall this test gun delivered velocities averaging 100 fps greater than factory specs.

Pushing the release catch allows easy removal of an empty magazine…
…a fresh magazine (or reloaded magazine) slaps into the magazine well and solidly locks back into place.

The Mosin-Nagant shoulders solidly, the sling with an arm wrapped through it, is an excellent adjunct to stabilize the rifle, the bolt is quick to open and close and the smoothbore barrel true to point of aim at 50 feet with the light 3 pound, 1.5 ounce average trigger pull (trigger pull on a 7.62x54mm R Mosin-Nagant Model 1944 averaged 6 pounds, 8 ounces, so the Gletcher is closer to the trigger pull on the 91/30 PU Sniper rifles, which had a trigger pull range of 4.4 to 5.3 pounds). Trigger take up on the Gletcher is a mere 0.312 inches with virtually no stacking, just a smooth straight pull. If you can hold the Mosin-Nagant CO2 model on target it will put the .177 caliber round ball where you aim.

The bolt action is fast to work and seats a BB into the chamber.

Firing from a standing position 50 feet from the target, average 10-round groups had a spread of 1.5 inches with best 5-round groups as tight as 0.5 inches. The best accuracy was achieved with Umarex steel BBs (once I found the sweet spot with my sights) punching a best five shots into one ragged hole that was 0.5 inches from edge to edge. I was not quite as accurate with the Black Diamond or Dust Devils but my overall spreads were tighter and average 5-shot groups still measured 0.75 to 0.81 inches. At 50 feet you can kick the can with steel BBs. Actually you can hit a tin can or paper target dead center at 25 yards with a little effort and a steady hold. I averaged 2.5 inches for 5-shots fired from a resting position at 25 yards with the Mosin-Nagant and center punched a large #2 tin can (3-7/16 x 4-9/16 inches). This rifle can be a lot of fun at actual firearms shooting distances.

The large tangent rear sight is easy to see as is the globe (hooded) post front sight. For dark background targets I put a piece of masking tape cut to size around the post to make it easier to see against the target. This is easy to remove after shooting and not permanent like paint. I fired the tests with the bayonet attached and folded. It makes no difference on the CO2 model. The support arm wrapped through the sling does give you more stability than your support arm alone.
With the M1944 and three different BB loads I was able to get consistently tight 10-shot groups firing from a standing position at 50 feet from the target. My best 5-rounds cut a dime sized hole just outside the red bullseye at 9 o’clock but was part of my widest 10-shot spread of 2.25 inches in the 10 and bullseye. Average 10 shot groups measured 1.75 inches and best 5-shot groups 0.75 inches at 50 feet. With the Gletcher’s 500 plus fps average, accuracy at 50 feet was almost POA and out to 25 yards only a minor adjustment was needed and BBs were still piercing a heavy #2 tin can.

Wrap up

This was an interesting rifle the first time around and it remains one of the most authentic CO2 military rifles on the market. It is the flagship model of Gletcher’s Russian Legends line, and paired with the Nagant BB or pellet model pistols and TT-33 blowback action semi-auto (currently not available) you have a classic trio of WWI and WWII inspired airguns.

The short stick…Gletcher also has the sawed off Obrez version of the 1891 Mosin-Nagant (although it is the exact same action and magazine as the M1944). This little Mosin-Nagant is nearly as accurate as the carbine if you can give it good support.

Gletcher also has the cut down M1891 pistol variant of the Mosin-Nagant, known as the Obrez, a field conversion first used during the October Revolution of 1917, and was carried by various irregular forces and partisans for its easy concealment under clothing. It makes an exciting bookend to the M1944 carbine. For military arms enthusiasts, these are must have models, and sometimes they’re actually harder to get than the real guns!

Next week, something very special for the Airgun Experience; don’t miss it!

8 thoughts on “Gletcher Mosin-Nagant Model 1944 Part 3”

  1. Well good news and bad. The good news is this test revealed much better velocity than I have seen online, with 450 or less fps. The bad news , is here is another must have replica. Nice shooting . I have been banging the drum for higher velocity replicas to encroach on firearms shooting distances . This review supports my claim. Hopefully more to follow

  2. Editorial Notes:

    “3 pound, 1.5 pound average trigger pull”

    I think you mean 3 pound, 1.5 ounce average trigger pull.

    “This rifle can be a lot go fun at actual firearms shooting distances.”

    Actually, a lot of fun.

    Now I have a couple of questions.

    Since there is no windage adjustment on either the front or rear sight, did you need to adjust your aim to either the left or right edge of the bulls eye to achieve point of impact in the center of the bulls eye?

    The rear sight appears to be mounted on a dovetail and held in place by two pins. Would it be possible to tap out those two pins, remove the notch sight, and attach a scope mount?

    • Don’t you hate when that happens? Typos, spell check can’t find them, glad you did. All corrected.

      To answer your question, I do not believe you can mount optics that way on this rifle, at least not as they were intended to be mounted.

      • I’ve just taken my first 5 shots with the M1944 at 10 meters from a bench rested position. I’m using Umarex steel BBs. I needed to adjust the rear sight to a position between positions 6 and 7 to get the right elevation. However, the shots are hitting about 1.75 inches left of center. Without a windage adjustable sight, what’s the best possible technique with this rifle to correct for windage? Do I actually need to aim 1.75 inches right of center?

        • On the centerfire Mosin-Nagant rifles the front sight was adjustable in a manner of speaking. When the guns were issued to a soldier they were zeroed in by an armorer who made adjustments for windage by tapping the front sight left or right. Soldiers were not permitted to alter their guns in the filed. The Gletcher CO2 model does not have that capability, so yes, you have to compensate as you would with any fixed sight gun. I had my rear sight set to 5 for a distance of 50 feet and it was pretty much zeroed in for elevation. I have a tendency to shoot left anyway, so I am usually correcting right to start when using a fixed sight gun or rifle. There is no shorthand for the Mosin-Nagant, you have to fine tune your sight picture as you go. Try shooting at 50 feet if you have a place to do that. You will be surprised how well the gun works at that distance.

      • Don’t feel too bad about those typos. Very few people saw them, unlike the typo broadcast on live TV by the FOX 2 weather reporter in St. Louis this evening. In the 5 o’clock weather forcast, the weather man displayed his graphic showing high and low temperatures for the remainder of the week. The graphic said Thursday night’s low temperature will be “770” degrees F! On live TV!

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