Legendary, powerful, dependable, and affordable are all the proper way to describe a Mosin Nagant. The Mosin Nagant is by far one of the most popular bolt action rifles in the United States, especially for an import.
However, the Mosin suffers from one big flaw… its design is over a century old. The Mosin Nagant evolved over the years with a variety of small, and important improvements, but the design is still from 1891. The iron sights are an ancient design, and way behind modern sighting methods.
Adding an optic to the Mosin is the best way to modernize the rifle. Adding a scope isn’t always easy. There are different methods, some involve a bent bolt, and other involve long eye relief scopes. It’s not an easy as an installing a scope on your AR 15 or mounting a scope to a .22LR Rimfire Rifle, but it’s becoming more and more common.
Let’s look at 8 of our favorites. After our comparison grid, check out the mounts you’ll need when mounting your scope and a detailed write up on each scope in more depth.
Mosin Nagant Scope Comparison Grid:
|VIEW ON AMAZON:||MAGNIFICATION:||FULL KIT:||WEIGHT:|
|Nikon Prostaff 3-9x40||3-9x40||No||13.7 oz.|
|Vortex Optics 4-12x40||4-12x40||No||14.6 oz.|
|Bushnell Banner 3-9x40||3-9x40||No||13.0 oz.|
|Leupold VX-1 3-9x40||3-9x40||No||11.2 oz.|
|Aim Sports 2-7x42||2-7x42||No||14.6 oz.|
|Firefield PU Mosin-Nagant||3.5x||Yes||1.9 lbs.|
|AIM Sports Mosin Nagant Kit||2-7x32||Yes||Unknown|
|Ultimate Arms Long Eye Kit||2-7x32||Yes||Unknown|
Now that you’ve seen a preview of our top picks, let’s talk mounts. You will definitely need one before you mount your scope. We’ve linked two of our favorites for you directly below so you have the proper equipment in place before you start buying your hardware. We also recommend adding some Loc-tite to your mounting screws when you install your mount.
Top Scope Mounts for a Mosin Nagant:
There are tons of optics that well suited for the Mosin Nagant once you have the appropriate mount. Here are 8 of the best scopes for the Mosin Nagant and the reasons why.
The Top 8 Mosin Nagant Scopes:
Now that we’ve gotten scope mounts out of the way and you know you can put just about any optic you want on your surplus rifle, let’s take a look at the best scopes for the job that will make your backup rifle into a serious survival tool.
There’s lots of optics choices to choose from, but we’ve got it narrowed down to some of our favorites. Let’s jump in.
1. Nikon Pro Staff 3-9×40:
Nikon is a legendary company that produces just about everything you can imagine in the optics realm. This includes rifle scopes, cameras, binoculars, and a lot more. The Pro Staff is their flagship line of affordable and reliable optics.
The Nikon Pro Staff in 3-9x40mm represents one of the most versatile options for magnification and size. The Nikon Pro Staff is a fully multi coated optic that uses a standard eye relief. For this you’ll need a scope mount as well as a bent bolt for your Mosin Nagant.
The Nikon Pro Staff has a little over 3 inches of eye relief, so the recoil from the Mosin Nagant isn’t going to give you scope eye. The Pro Staff has zero reset turret for easy zeroing and it makes field adjustments very easy.
The Pro Staff is a nitrogen filled and O ring sealed. This makes it dirt and waterproof, as well as fog proof. This shock proof optic will easily shrug off the mighty 7.62 x 54R’s recoil. The Pro Staff is made entirely from aluminum and uses Nikon’s popular BDC reticle.
The BDC reticle allows you to accurately compensate for range. Nikon’s scope is both high quality and very affordable option for the Mosin Nagant.
2. Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12×40:
Vortex Optics has made quite the name for themselves in the last few years. They’ve been producing both premium and affordable optics for every shooter and every goal. The Diamondback 4-12×40 is a great optic to pair with the Mosin Nagant.
The Diamondback is one of their more affordable optics for long range shooting. When paired with the Mosin Nagant you have one of the most affordable and reliable scoped rifles on the market. The Diamondback in 4-12×40 is an excellent medium to long range scope.
It does have a standard eye relief, so a bent bolt and proper mount is needed. The Diamondback is tough, and made from a solid, single piece of aluminum. Single piece scopes are more durable and precise by design.
The glass in the optics are fully multi coated and provide a clear, and glare free picture. The BDC reticle is well suited for shooting long range and has markings to compensate for wind. The Diamondback’s magnification ring very smooth and glides as you increase or decrease the magnification.
The optic is designed for hunting, and made to withstand the elements. This involves being both shock and waterproof. Like your Mosin Nagant, this scope will take everything you toss at it.
3. Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn 3-9×40:
Hunting is generally done in the early morning and early evenings. Animals tend to move when it is a little cooler and a little darker. They feel safer and this creates a premium time for hunting.
The challenge this creates is being able to see your target. Bushnell created an optic specifically designed to meet this challenge. If your Mosin Nagant is a hunting rifle, then the Bushnell Banner is an excellent optic to go with.
The Bushnell Banner Dusk and Dawn is fully multi coated with a proprietary blend to emphasize the available light while hunting. This is known as the Dusk and Dawn Brightness Coating. This coating truly transfers every available sliver of light to the shooter.
This creates a clear picture throughout the entire day, or at least until the sun is completely down. The Bushnell Banner is a well-made optic that is shockproof, waterproof, and is nitrogen filled to prevent internal fog build up.
The Bushnell Banner has a fast focus eyepiece that is perfect for hunting. Getting on target when hunting is very important, and the faster you get on target the better. A generous eye box makes it simple to get a clear picture rapidly.
The Bushnell Banner is an excellent, and very affordable option for hunting with a Mosin Nagant.
4. Leupold VX-1 3-9×40:
The Leupold VX-1 is Leupold’s entry level optic. They are commonly on the most affordable side of a company that produces optics in the thousand-dollar range. The VX-1 allows rifle enthusiasts to own a Leupold without the typical price tag that comes with their higher end scopes.
The Leupold VX-1 is a very simple scope, but a very well made scope. Due to the affordability you aren’t getting a lot of bells and whistles. What you are getting is a scope that has became an expert in the basics.
By becoming an expert in the basics, it is a clear, durable, and very reliable optic. The lenses are fully multi coated and finished with Leupold’s Multi coat 4. This provides a stunning 92% light transmission.
The VX-1 is a tough optic, and is even backed by Leupold’s outstanding warranty. If you somehow manage to break a water, fog, and shockproof optic then you are still covered by Leupold.
The VX-1 is designed for a variety of applications, including long range shooting and hunting. Strapped to a Mosin Nagant you get an affordable but high performing set up. The VX-1 and its long range reticle is the perfect option for shooting beyond 500 yards.
The VX-1 is a well thought and impressive optic, especially when you consider the high quality components it’s manufactured with.
5. Aim Sports 2-7×32 LERS:
Aim Sports is nice little company that produces a wide variety of different budget friendly optics for a variety of purposes. This particular model is one of the best for the Mosin because it is a long eye relief scope.
Long Eye relief means the scope is usually 8 to 12 inches away from the eye, but you can still see right through it. This is perfect for the Mosin because it is a simpler way to mount a scope, and you don’t to replace the bolt or tap the receiver.
There are a variety of simple mounts you can use without permanently altering your firearm when attaching a long eye relief scope. The Aim Sports model gives you the option of variable magnification out to an impressive 7 power. Most long eye relief scopes tops out on magnification at a much lower level.
The Aim Sports 2-7×32 uses a simple 1-inch scope body that’s compatible with a massive variety of scope rings. The scope also weighs only 14 ounces, which is quite light. This is an important factor when you remember the scope is so far forward. A heavier scope will likely throw your rifle off balance.
The Aim Sports is a much simpler option to mount, especially if your Mosin Nagant is a historically significant rifle. Tossing it on your rifle is simple, and your rifle can be converted back to its original configuration.
6. Firefield PU Scope For the Mosin Nagant:
Back in the time when the Mosin Nagant was the primary infantry rifle of Russia there was several variants. One such variant was the Sniper variant. The Sniper variant used a PU side mounting scope with a fixed magnification.
The Firefield PU Scope is a direct copy of this original historical scope. It utilizes the same reticle, mounting style and magnification so it is historically accurate. The Firefield PU scope’s side mounting device does need to be installed via a gunsmith.
The PU Scope is perfect for keeping your rifle historically accurate and harkening back to the days of old. The PU Scope by Firefield is an affordable option compared to actual scopes produced in the 1930s.
The PU Scope’s fixed magnification is quite low, but it does allow for engagements out to 500 yards on man sized targets. The three post reticle is interesting, and quite precise. It’s new to western eyes, but the Russians love it enough to continue using that reticle to this day.
7. The Aims Sports Mosin Nagant Kit:
The Aims Sports Mosin Nagant Kit is the ultimate accessories kit for the Mosin Nagant Fanatic. It features the Aims Sports 2-7x32mm long eye relief scope, which as you’ve read above is perfect for the historical Mosin Nagant. This scope is shock, water, and fog proof, as well as precise and offers excellent variable magnification.
Includes with that scope is the rings necessary to mount the scope, and a picatinny rail. This picatinny rail matches the scope rings and replaces the standard rear iron sight. This allows you to alter the weapon only temporarily.
It can be altered back immediately and on demand. The picatinny rail system is also dynamic enough to allow the mounting of different scopes if you prefer something like a red dot.
It’ll mount essentially any long eye relief scope that uses standard scope rings. To top the scopes off you get a set of scope caps to keep the lenses nice and safe.
The Aims Sports Mosin Nagant Kit also includes a nice rubberized and padded stock. It’s perfect for taming the nasty recoil of a standard Mosin Nagant. There is also an old school Mosin Nagant sling that has always been the best sling option.
8. Mosin Nagant Combo Kit:
The Mosin Nagant Combo kit is a slightly more affordable kit for the budget Mosin owner. The Mosin Combo kit is much smaller, and is only the essentials. This kit is still well made and affordable for any Mosin fan.
The scope is a 2 to 7 power long eye relief scope. It’s lightweight, shock, water, and fog proof as well. The reticle is a simple, and effective duplex style reticle.
The Mosin Nagant combo kit also comes with a basic scope mount that is very compact and simple to install. It swaps out with the standard rear sight with ease. The kit also includes the surplus pic rail and even comes with a new plastic stock if you feel like ditching the old school wooden stock.
The stock is made in the United States and the kit is a good option for anyone on a budget.
A good optic will work wonders on a Mosin Nagant. It’s an accurate and powerful rifle that is perfect for hunting. Topping it off with a good scope is an excellent way to improve accuracy, shoot further, and see your target. It’s also one of the better rifles you can buy if you are looking for a reliable rifle on a really tight budget.
Most Mosin Nagants can be found for a very reasonable price in the US, allowing you a little more freedom to dress it up with the best mosin nagant scope options you can find. While we wouldn’t necessarily take a Mosin Nagant over an M1 Garand, it’s a good option and a great backup rifle for anyone that’s self reliant.