Mosin Nagant 1891 CO2 BB Rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Mosin Nagant CO2 BB gun
The Gletcher Mosin Nagant 1891 CO2 BB Rifle (gun) is extremely realistic.

This report covers:

  • Piercing the first cartridge
  • Daisy BBs
  • Hornady BBs
  • Umarex BBs
  • Shot count
  • Trigger-pull
  • Some observations about the test gun

The first Mosin Nagant 1891 CO2 BB Rifle I tested didn’t work out very well. I noted a gas leak when the first CO2 cartridge was pierced, and that started a list of problems that plagued the gun right up to the velocity test, where it failed altogether. So, I ordered a second gun from Pyramyd Air and that’s the one I’m testing today.

All the general remarks made in Part 1 still hold for this second gun. It’s just as heavy and rugged-looking as any Mosin Nagant firearm. But when I pierced the first CO2 cartridge I noticed a difference.

Piercing the first cartridge

There was no gas leakage when I pierced the first CO2 cartridge in this gun. I never heard so much as a hiss. And the gun started shooting right away.

Daisy BBs

The first 4 shots with Daisy Premium Grade BBs all registered in the 340-350 range. That was approximately the velocity at which the other gun had shot, so I thought nothing of it. But shot 5 came out at 440 f.p.s. After that, the gun shot in the 400s with everything! It was like it needed to be awakened after a long sleep. Once awake, it came to play!

I disregarded the first 4 shots and started the string with shot 5. The next 10 shots with Daisy BBs averaged 430 f.p.s. I was pausing at least 10 second per shot, if not a little more. The low on this string was 421 f.p.s. and the high was 440 f.p.s. A 19 f.p.s. spread from low to high. At the average velocity, this BB generated 2.09 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.

Hornady BBs

Next up were Hornady Black Diamond BBs. They averaged 437 f.p.s.; but during this string, I paused for about 2 minutes to take care of other work, and the velocity rebounded partially. The low was 426 f.p.s and the high was 444 f.p.s., and the spread was 18 f.p.s. Th muzzle energy was 2.16 foot-pounds.

Umarex BBs

The final BB I tested was the Umarex Precision Steel BB. They averaged 432 f.p.s. for 10 shots, and this time there was no unusual pause in the shooting. The low was 420 f.p.s. and the high was 446 f.p.s., so the total spread was 26 f.p.s. At the average velocity, this BB produced 2.11 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

Shot count

How many shots can you expect from one CO2 cartridge? Given the rather high velocity, I estimated a lower number than I got. I figured the power might drop off after 50 shots, but shot 55 was a Daisy BB going 430 f.p.s. Shot 65 was another Daisy that went out at 394 f.p.s. That signaled the start of a long decline in velocity. Shot 75 was traveling 354 f.p.s., and shot 85 went out at 301 f.p.s. By that time, I could hear the power bleeding off. Since I didn’t want to stick a BB in the bore, I stopped shooting. Eighty-five shots from a single CO2 cartridge is a lot to get from a 400+ foot-per-second airgun.

Trigger-pull

The trigger is single-stage, and you can feel the pull as the pressure increases. It isn’t exactly creepy, as in starting and stopping, but the blade does move as the pressure increases. It breaks between 3 lbs., 4 oz. and 3 lbs., 12 oz.

Some observations about the test gun

I said in the beginning that this Mosin is exactly like the first one — other than the leak. Well, that’s not entirely true. I noticed that this gun’s removable clip that houses both the BB magazine and the CO2 cartridge does not like to be installed if the bolt is closed. It really helps to open the bolt before installing the removable clip. The hollow nose of the bolt goes around the top of the clip that contains the valve when it’s forward, and on this gun the fit of the bolt over the valve is very tight.

I note, also, that the bolt on this gun is tighter and needs more effort to cock than the bolt on the previous gun. That’s probably the fit of the bolt over the valve. It’s still much easier to work than the bolt on a Mosin Nagant firearm.

We’ve successfully gotten through the velocity testing, and accuracy comes next. I hope this gun is accurate because I really like it.

69 thoughts on “Mosin Nagant 1891 CO2 BB Rifle: Part 3

  1. “It’s still much easier to work that the bolt on a Mosin Nagant firearm.”

    Is that code for you don’t need to hit the bolt handle with a 2×4 to get it to open? 🙂

    Regarding the shot count vs velocity estimate… If the longer (than usual for a pistol) barrel is responsible for the higher velocity that might explain why this gun gets a lot of shots. Well that and the fact it doesn’t waste gas on a blow-back feature.


  2. The force needed to operate the bolt on many different military rifles can vary by quite a lot. Some rifle designs ( Krag, Lee-Enfield, 1903 Springfield, etc.) are famous for their smooth and easy operation. The same cannot be said for many other rifles, especially those made in wartime, field rebuilds, and mismatched bolts. I have a Finnish m 39, an ex dragoon( 1922), and a m1891 (1898) that are very smooth and easy to operate. I have seen other MN rifles with stiff, hard to operate actions. BB, you seem to have a stiff MN. Ed


    • When it comes to Mosin-Nagant rifles, its not just wartime construction, field rebuilds, and mismatched parts which give it a reputation for the action being hard to work. There is also the interesting interaction of liberal applications of cosmoline to preserve the guns by the Soviets and the lacquer applied to military surplus cartridges. If you don’t get all the cosmoline out of a Mosin-Nagant rifle and then shoot military surplus ammunition, the heat from the fired cartridges melts the cosmoline and lacquer together making it “difficult” to operate the bolt. At least without the use of a 2″x4″. I believe the technical term for it is sticky bolt syndrome. 😛



    • Also the spiral faces on the bolt body and cocking knob often had the machine marks left on them. The first thing I do to any mosin I buy is eliminate all machining marks. I’ve found it to make a significant difference. I also polish all sear engagement surfaces and end up with a 4 lb trigger 😀


  3. First impressions firing the new Colt SAA BB revolver:
    Miscellany: The writing on the blued bbl doesn’t bother me at all.
    BBs make the ‘cartridges’ look like they have primers. Loading these ‘primers’ reminds me of my handloading days.
    B.B. mentioned that the cartridges are about the size of .357s. They have the weight of loaded .357s too. Feel good in the hand when loading them into the handgun. They look like they’re made of copper, so I wonder if they will eventually discolor from handling. I’d like to buy enough extra cartridges so I did not have to stop and reload after each 6 shots. I believe B.B. mentioned he got 80 shots from each of his CO2 cartridges, so that’s how many cartridges I’d like to have.
    I’d originally planned to push each BB in from the back without removing the cartridges from the cylinder. But my kidney medications have poisoned my system to the point where I am too shaky to do this. So I am removing the cartridges and pressing the BBs into the base like in Paul Capella’s online video suggestion.
    While loading, I dropped two of the cartridges onto the concrete floor, a distance of about 3’. Neither cartridge lost its BB.
    I wish the loading aperture in the bottom of each cartridge were slightly magnetic. That way, if I ever get rid of the shakes, I could more easily load the BBs into the cartridges while still in the handgun.
    My holster and web belt arrived the next day after receiving the Colt. The gun looks be-a-uti-ful in the brown, hand-tooled holster! I strongly recommend you get one. Remember that they’re only $35 from PA and come in both brown and black. One is even offered with a cross-draw option. And no, PA doesn’t pay me to suggest these things! I’ve never owned a SAA holster before so I was unfamiliar with the hammer loop. Mine required lengthening, which they give you enough extra leather to accomplish, although pulling on it is a little stiff at first.
    I said in my original post that the ivory grips were a turnoff for me. But seeing them sticking out of the holster made me change my mind: they look really nice that way.
    I bought the size 5x web belt because my waist is 56” and the 4x only went to 55”. It was about $10, for us old timers who’ve eaten a few too many doughnuts in the past. As far as I know, PA does not sell these, so Google them. If you’re young, with an appropriate size waist, you might want to Google a gunfighter belt and holster combination, where the holster is below the belt line so it can be grabbed more easily. I’ve seen them for around $70-80 online. Of course you can always go whole hog and get the famous Arvo Ojala rig for $500, made by his widow.
    The Crosman Powerless CO2 cartridge loaded without a single hiss. You tighten it with a key that projects from the side of one of the grips. I found this a little awkward, so you might prefer to use a hex wrench instead. I haven’t had time to check, but it looks as if the hex wrench that comes with the Umarex P.08 will fit the Colt SAA.
    I began with Umarex BBs, but switched to Daisy Premium Grade BBs after about 3 cylinder’s-worth (18 shots). I poured the Daisys from their 8,000-rnd holder. At one point they didn’t pour very well so I upended the container more, forgetting that there was a larger opening at the back of the container. This resulted in BBs scattered all over the floor, which took a while to pick back up.
    I set up an 8” Birchwood Casey Dirty Bird multi-colored splattering target and shot from an MTM Case-Gard bench rest table 15’ from my Silent trap. The shakiness that made me give up trying to fit BBs into the cartridges while still in the pistol also played havoc with my aim. I wound up pressing my left thumb down against one of the cylinder flutes to steady the Colt while it rested on a towel. [Please do not try this with a real SAA firearm!] But after 4 cylinders shot this way I wedged the bbl into the forward notch of an MTM Case-Gard Predator Shooting Rest, and thereafter managed to place most of my shots into the smaller center ring.
    For my sixth and final cylinder, I moved to within 8’ of the target and shot from the hip. I guess all the shooting I did with my Colt .22 lr SAA growing up on my dad’s farm back in east Tennessee must have stuck with me, as I was able to place 5 of 6 shots into the center circle.
    I fired 57 shots during this outing, including 6 shots without pellets to get a feel for the pistol after I first loaded the CO2 cartridge, plus one extra shot at the end of each 6 pellets (and no, I didn’t look down the bbl while doing this last shot each time!). After 4 shots no more Pellgun oil sprayed from the Colt and it settled down and did a real good job of target shooting. Would have loved to have knocked a soda can across the back yard, but I don’t believe our neighbors would have put up with this.
    Being 68 and having grown up watching many, many TV westerns, I can heartily recommend this Colt SAA, especially at this price.
    OK, so as Porky Pig says, “Th-th-th-that’s all folks!”


    • JoeB on Orcas,

      Happy to see you got up the motivation to “put ‘er to the test”. Sound’s like once you started, you really got into it. And, “quick draw” no less ! Not sure I would even try that myself.

      Nice “report” as well. Short of pictures and a graph or two,..you got a real review going on there.

      Have fun and take care, Chris


    • JoeB,

      I’m more interested in modern military replicas than historical ones like the Peacemaker, but just had to drop a line and say this was a very nicely done report. Despite your physical challenges, also sounds like you’re a pretty good shot on the quick-draw, too!





  4. Hello B.B and the other regulars of this blog. I have a question regrading gun repair. I purchased a colt commander and after using the gun a bit, the co2 valve striker appears to be loose or no longer connected. The gun will fail to fire over 90% of the time and the striker usually will strike other parts of the magazine. Is there any way to fix this problem?

    I have had this problem happen twice, the first time I sent the gun back to where I purchased it and they just gave me a new lower receiver. This lower receiver also suffered from the infamous tanfoglio witness 1911 safety malfunction, which has steadily become worse over time.

    I appreciate any input. Thank you


  5. Everyone,

    I had this conversation with a shooter on my facebook page. I’m reposting it here so others with Webley Patriot rifles can help him:

    Chad:
    i am one of your followers and i know your a busy man and i hate to bother you but i need some answers ,, i had a discussion with you the other day about scope mounts ,, i have a 25. cal webley patriot , and i have been through 3 different products from pyramid air trying to keep my scope still ,, now they have sent me a utg drooper rail for my gun ,, now i explained to them over and over i do no have barrel droop , but they said to put this on my dovetail for an adapter for my leapers accushot scope and use the utg rings that came with the scope ,, now after over a month of waiting i got the rail today i put it on the rifle and it looks way too high ,, but i have not tried to adjust it yet ,,, before i go out in 30 degree weather and try to adjust my scope ,(which i had no problem zero ing ) will this rail work or be too high ,,, thank you

    B.B.:
    The Webley Patriot stock isn’t well-suited for a high mount. You’re going to feel unnatural looking thru your scope. I can do it, but I have to put my chin on the rifle’s comb to look thru the scope, and I get that’s what you’ll have to do. The Patriot is a challenging rifle to scope because of its horrible recoil. I don’t know what your problem is. Is it that the mount won’t stay in place or is the scope moving inside the rings? I really wish we’d talked about this on my blog so that my other readers could have benefited by the answer and possibly supplied an answer on how they solved the same problem. There are 60,000+ readers on the blog, and I’m sure several hundred own this same gun.

    Chad:
    it is the scope moving the rings on the rifle ,,, the scope is still inside the rings if there is somewhere else you would like to have this discussion im game let me know

    B.B.:
    Yup. The Webley Patriot is a scope-breaker. I wrote an article about Leapers True Strength scopes. They take a beating and keep on working! I wrote about this line of scopes on Pyramyd Air’s website:
    https://www.pyramydair.com/article/They_asked_for_it_Leapers_scopes_July_2005/23

    They beat these scopes with a hammer. To test the durability, I mounted one on a Webley Patriot (the older one…made in England — the newer ones are not as powerful and are made in Turkey by Hatsan). I shot 750 pellets through it, and the scope never failed. Read the article. I think you’ll be impressed with the durability of the True Strength platform. Make sure you use a good mount, too.

    Chad:
    Actually that is what i just switched to on my webley is leapers accushot swat scope and it is just awesome ,, for the money i really cannot say enough good things about it ,,, but still having a problem with it walking back when being shot ,, so now i am waiting on pyramid air and there 4th solution for this ,, so when this adapter gets here i will see if this will stop the movement?? if not i have no more solutions , i really do not think pyramid air does either ,, but i agree 100% about the leapers ,, thanks godfather!

    B.B.:
    You have to use the right mount for the older Webley Patriots. If you read the article I referenced in my previous comment, you’ll see that I was very specific about what to use. However, the mount I used was made by B-Square. Sportsmatch makes such a mount, too. In fact, Pyramyd Air started stocking these mounts because they needed them for the FWB Sport air rifle. Here they are:
    https://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/Sportsmatch_30mm_Rings_Fully_Adjustable_High_11mm_Dovetail/4353
    https://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/Sportsmatch_1_Pc_Mount_1_Rings_High_11mm_Dovetail_Fits_FWB_Sport_Webley_Patriot/5261
    https://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/Sportsmatch_1_Pc_Mount_1_Rings_Medium_11mm_Dovetail_Fits_FWB_Sport_Webley_Patriot/5262
    https://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/Sportsmatch_1_Rings_Medium_11mm_Dovetail_Fits_FWB_Sport_Webley_Patriot/5263

    Chad:
    i guess not so much scopes ,, but mounts,, i have a 25.cal webley patriot ,, and i cannot get ANYTHING to hold the scope still!!,, pyramid air has recommended 3 different products and none of them work ,, i have 22 air rifles in my collection and this is the only one i have issues with


  6. Hi everyone…

    A little update on the mainspring issue with my Diana 31:

    The kind folks at Sportwaffen Schneider are sending me a new standard spring free of charge. That’s great service, isnt it?

    So I’ll use that and see how long it lasts. If it breaks, I will consider BB’s advice and maybe order an aftermarket spring.

    I still wonder…. Have you guys had spring trouble with your HW45? In some guns, the spring seems to break after 10.000 shots and in some it doesn’t. Mine hasn’t got that many shots on it yet…

    Stephan


  7. It’s nice to see this one works. Lots of power. Now, if the accuracy is there it will be good to go. It reminds me of the old “Mare’s Leg” lever gun which was/is a 92 Winchester cut down.

    Mike


  8. B.B.,

    Now my excitement about this replica has renewed!

    I just went over to Gletcher’s website, and they plan to release a full carbine (Model M44) version of this! Oh MY! I suppose a “carbine” of the incredibly long Mosin Nagant means it is actually about the length of most other vintage military rifles.

    And, get this, it seems it will come with a canvas sling and a BAYONET!

    When it comes to air guns, I think we are in a second golden age.

    Michael



  9. B.B., glad you having better luck with this one. Like I’ve said before, this isn’t the gun for me. But, I will be watching to see if this thing tests out well. If so, I’ll be hoping and waiting for the manufacture to put a full size stock on it and extend the tube out to at least 16″. Then I’d be up for it!


  10. This still ranks as one of the weirdest gun designs of all time. Take the longest military bolt action rifle and cut it down to the size of the pistol. Replace the steel shod buttstock of the original, which will wallop your shoulder, with something shorter with a smaller cross-section that will concentrate the force even more. Take the short barrel of the M44 which already has a fireball like a flamethrower and make it even shorter. Kiss your hearing goodbye. It should be shootable as an airgun, but what are you trying imitate? And what does accuracy mean if it doesn’t even look like you can get an ordinary benchrest position? Sheer curiosity will keep me following this.

    The Mosin is renowned for having one of the stiffest actions. In part, I think that may be because of cosmoline build up. On the other hand, the robust construction of the rifle may contribute as well. The official military manual on the Mosin says that its maximum firing rate is 20 shots a minute which is not exactly blistering. On the other hand, there are people on YouTube who can make that bolt move as fast as just about any other model of rifle. I think I may have discovered a technique! The secret of a fast bolt throw for the Mosin is to use your face, your cheek specifically. The rifle is so narrow that the stock tends to roll in your hand when lifting the bolt. The key is to maintain your cheek weld and provide a brief impulse in the opposite direction at the same time. The opposed forces of your hand and face will lift the bolt with ease.

    Perhaps this was at work in the following historical scene. Russia had a corps of 2000 women snipers in WWII of whom only 500 survived the war. Current theory holds that a military unit will disintegrate after taking 50% casualties so that says something about this unit. On the other hand, I don’t know if this casualty rate was different from the male counterparts or the rest of the army in this theater. Anyway, one of the survivors describes an incident where a German soldier was taunting her and even engaging in a bit of harassment by going to the restroom in full view. She said to herself, “I’ll show you something,” and proceeded to empty her rifle at the guy and some other soldiers. Her own comrades dragged her back by her legs just as counterfire began with enemy mortars. I bet she was working that bolt quickly.

    Catastrophe! Last night I was inspecting my armory. There on my Savage 10 FP, the first firearm that I ever bought on my own and for which I suffered grievously in the transfer, I found traces of rust on the oversized bolt handle! I have tried to keep the gun lubricated with Ballistol, but maybe I got careless and salts or something on my hand got deposited on the bolt handle and enabled rust formation. So, how do you use Ballistol to remove rust? I’ve tried wiping vigorously with a t-shirt, but it doesn’t quite remove everything. (The rust is pretty minimal.) Do I need some other scouring agent? I don’t want to abrade the finish which will make the rust form faster.

    Matt61



    • Hi Matt! I wanted to add a gentle reminder that when removing rust…..remember it is an oxide! So,do NOT just keep working the same piece of cotton or steel wool or whatever once it has removed rust on it’s surface.Keep using fresh material because the rust itself becomes an abrasive! Consider this if you will; aluminum is softer than steel…..but aluminum oxide is what we use to grind & sharpen steel blades!!
      Just my $.02




      • B.B.

        I was exaggerating when I said some groups looked like I used a shotgun. But this is what got me thinking.

        The other day I shot a 10 shot group with my 460 Magnum that was the best ever with that rifle .393″ center to center. Seven of those were in a group .213″ center to center the other three were low and right bringing the group to the .393″ . I keep looking at this target because I can’t believe I shot a .393″ @ 25 yds with a 460 Magnum. Now I‘m thinking maybe I can group even better. Who knows but “Rifle/Scope cant” is definitely something


      • B.B.,

        The one “cant test” I remember, here I presume, showed (both) the groups,…grouped to the lower left.

        This was despite you rotating the scope fully left and fully right in the rings.

        I did not understand it then, and do not now. I would have expected something like….one group lower left and the other lower right.

        I think it was here,….any thoughts on this?

        Thanks, Chris


  11. Michael– I am unable to find the Gletcher website that you mentioned. None of the websites that I have seen show a 1944 MN carbine, just the obrez. Can you help? BB- My mother would not have been able to remove the bayonet from the rifle. She would probably do what my grand mother did. My uncle was in the guard (national or new York?) during WW1. He came home with a Winchester 30-40 musket. It disappeared over night, and both of us searched the old brownstone for decades without success. My grand mother would never tell us what happened. However she told us what she did to the revolver an older uncle brought home. My family lived near the Bklyn navy yard. At the age of 15, my uncle Sam won it ( and a uniform) playing cards with some sailors (pre WW1). At that time my family was living in a cold water flat. She pulled up the floor boards in the kitchen and in went the revolver, never to be seen again by any of my 6 uncles. The rifle is probably still hidden in the old brownstone. Ed



  12. Edith,

    A thought on the recent “pop up” on the P.A. sight……Really, really annoying ! This blog is the first thing I click on when waking up and when I get home from work.

    Put it out there as an option,….not something I got to “go through” to get to my favorite web/blog.

    Not that you have control over all that,…..just my opinion.

    Chris




        • If that’s correct, I need to know because it’s not supposed to pop up right when you get there. It’s supposed to pop-up if you stay on a page for a certain period of time without activity. It’s a way to offer help via chat. If you click NO THANKS on the pop-up, it should stop the pop-up from reappearing during that session. If that’s not the pop-up in question, then I need to know what the pop-up says.

          Edith


          • Edith,

            Thank you for the reply. You are correct, it does take 5~10 seconds to pop-up.
            I guess it would be better in the “rolling advertising block” near the top right of the page. Besides,..if your already on their list,…you do not qualify anyways.

            I am sure you are used to all kinds of (other) site “annoyances”. It’s just me I guess.

            At any rate, I hope they go another route in the future.

            Thanks, Chris


            • Chris,

              I think we’re talking about 2 different things. You said:

              “Besides,..if your already on their list,…you do not qualify anyways.”

              What exactly does the pop-up say? It sounds like it’s an offer of some kind.

              However, I was referencing the pop-up that takes much, much longer to show up, and it’s an invitation to chat to receive help. Everyone qualifies for that.

              Please elaborate, as I think we’re talking about 2 different things.

              Thanks,
              Edith


              • Edith,

                I will say, you are very “tenacious”,…I like that.

                I just shut down and restarted,….the add says…

                Welcome to Pyramid air,..Sign up and receive 10% off on your next purchase of 150$ or more,…Valid for new subscribers only,…and shows a EUN JIN rifle,…it took 4 seconds to pop up.

                You must click on it to proceed onto the PA site.

                No big deal, just saying I wish it was not there and a bit of a cheap shot for the regulars here and on PA.

                Thanks, Chris


                • If you use the ghostery add on for your browser, you won’t get pop up windows like that, and it’ll also eliminate about 75% of the animated banners on websites as well. it lets you pick and choose what page elements it blocks.

                  Back to the M1944, I see it’s muzzle velocity is listed the same as the 1891. I hope this isn’t so, the 1891 only has a 6″ barrel.


                • Chris,

                  Thanks for clarifying. I’ve forwarded a selection of your comments to Pyramyd Air in the hopes that they can stop that pop-up from showing every time you open their site for the first time on any given day. They may ask to contact you personally. If that’s the case, may I pass along your email address to them?

                  Edith


  13. Chris–My family sold that Brooklyn brownstone in 1997. My grand father bought it in 1915. It is in the Fort Green section of Brooklyn. It would take a metal detector to find the rifle, if it,s still there. It,s possible that my grand dad had something to do with it,s disappearance. He owned a factory in Greenpoint. Ed


  14. I’m also looking forward to seeing Pyramid stock the M44 version of Mosin Nagant. The Gletcher site also shows rifled barrel pellet versions of the Nagant revolver. I’m very happy with the silver BB smoothbore I ordered and I’m sure this pellet version will be just as impressive. I’m puzzled however why the rifled modern pellet revolvers disaapeared from both Pyramid and Gletcher sites. I was about to order the SW R25 model, when it vanished.


  15. I think this “Obrez” will become a rare BB gun. It is not that attractive as a military replica. Relatively few people know about it from books and the movies. When the more popular M 44 Mosin Nagant carbine hits the market, the “Obrez” will be considered as an obscure variant, and will probably be discontinued. Unless it comes out in a movie or TV show. Actually, a Mosin Nagant Model 30 sniper version would attract a bigger market due to the movie “Enemy at the Gates”. This can be easily replicated by removing the M 44 bayonet and adding a PU sniper scope.



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