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 Rimfire conversion for a Mosin Nagant?

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Zeiss Ikon

Posts : 135
Karma : 8
Join date : 2012-03-10
Age : 58
Location : North Carolina

PostSubject: Rimfire conversion for a Mosin Nagant?   Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:37 pm

I've been looking at the Hammond Game Getter since before I got my 91/30, thinking it was a pretty neat way to do low power, low cost shooting, but the expense prevents having a number of them and the process of single loading puts follow up shots in the muzzle-loader time frame. Filling the cartridge head, drilling and reaming the off center .22 chamber (used with power loads made for concrete nailers) are beyond my skills and equipment -- but drilling a hole centered in a cartridge head isn't difficult (at least if you start with Boxer primed cartridges), and a .22 LR chamber reamer is pretty basic (especially if length isn't critical and it need only be used on cartridge brass and epoxy filled into the case head).

Problem is, the Mosin Nagant is a centerfire rifle, and the .22 blank power loads are rimfire (same case and head as a .22 Long Rifle, though the actual case before crimping is a bit shorter). Well... For under $50 plus shipping, I can get a spare bolt head with extractor, firing pin, and firing pin spring. After fitting for headspace, fill the existing firing pin hole in the bolt head and drill a new one .135" off center, cut the firing pin at the front surface of the spring lug, and use the cut-off to make a new firing pin (with return spring and some kind of retainer) to run in the new firing pin passage (simplest might be to cut the pin short and braze on an offset pin to run in a slot, except cutting that slot is likely to be interesting; running an angled pin is simpler to machine, I think). Cut the spring to about 3/4 of its original length and stretch it to make a weaker pin suitable for the thin .22 case rim. (For those who like a challenge, one could, in theory, convert the bolt head to a rocker type dual firing pin that would strike both rimfire and the original Berdan primers, though the strength of the Mosin's firing pin spring could lead to problems with piercing rimfires).

Once I can convert my Mosin to rimfire in minutes, it's a simple matter to make up a ten or fifteen cases like a Game Getter, but with the power load centered, so as to be able to actually carry stripper clips loaded with "rabbit loads" (000 buckshot sized to groove diameter or +.001", propelled by the rimfire power load) for either tactical practice or actual small game hunting. The ability to load the cases at home, in controlled conditions, instead of in the field between shots, can't hurt accuracy, and the Game Getter is reputed to be pretty decent with the lower power loads -- and there's still plenty of power there for rabbits and squirrels, but with a round that won't carry far (the low velocity round ball should be non-lethal beyond a quarter mile, at most).

Okay, it's probably more practical to continue my shotgun primer conversions and use pistol powder -- but one can dream, right?

(Edit to add: with this firing pin conversion, a slip-in barrel sleeve and chamber adapter combination might be a possibility to be able to shoot actual .22 rimfire ammunition, though loading the .22 rounds one at a time in the Mosin's action would tend to lead to lots of dropped rounds).
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