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This project started 30 years ago when I began (attempting) shooting in the 100+ year old Department of the Army’s Director of Civilian Marksmanship matches and practices. In the last decade, my equipment, reloading knowledge and shooting skills finally came together enough that I can sometimes shoot Expert, and am thus classified.

The Nampa Rod And Gun Club holds matches and practices of that fine art form throughout their April – September season. A related match is their annual Vance cusic Vietnam Memorial Match. This year, I was part of the winning team.


Four-man squads, 100-round-per-man limit, 200-yard targets, four different scenarios. New course record 477 points. AND, The Point of it being here, we each won old curio/relic Russian Mosin-Nagant rifles… totally immersed some long, long time ago in a tank of greasy, waxy creosote to prevent rust.


A few applications of Easy-Off Oven Cleaner left to soak, then rinsed off removed most of the creosote… and severely dried the stock out. The bore was unpitted, but woo-wee was that sucker full of copper! I cleaned several decades of copper coating out before I could oil it and call her done. There was some bluing lost and surface rust started that was easily fixed with a little sanding, steel wool and cold bluing.


So there you have it. I proudly model my 1933 octagonal-receiver Mosin-Nagant.

I’ve heard it is a bit mean to shoot and I am a bit of a wus on that, but perhaps if I put on my heavy Russian winter clothes and shoot as if the ammo was rare and precious I can get a few rounds down range with a smile still on my face.

Then I look at the picture of this little lady who was a formidable foe of the most feared army in the world firing a rifle pretty much just like mine… with recoil the least of her concerns.


You can read Roza Shanina’s story in the page I attached under this one.