Mosin nagants have become an increasingly popular rifle to add to any gun enthusiast or hunter’s rifle collection here in the United States over the last 20 years. They are the European equivalent of the American legend, the M1 Garand.
Let’s face it – the reason that people are picking up these vintage war rifles are that they are cheap. You can sometimes find some of the Chinese versions (Chinese 53 Carbine) of the Mosin Nagant for under $200 used at local gun shops, or online through dealers that will ship to a local FFL.
Because they’ve become so easy to come by, lots of beginners have started flocking towards buying these vintage rifles and then – you guessed it… refurbishing them.
One of the most common modifications made to a Mosin Nagant outside the addition of a good rifle scope, is the addition of an aftermarket stock. We are going to walk through our two favorite options to customize your rifle, but also some thoughts on what kind of stock you’ll want. This may come down to utility, or just plain old personal preference.
There’s four primary things you’ll want to think through as you refurbish your Mosin. Looks, Stock Material, Fitment, and the ability to accessorize.
Each of these elements brings together some challenges that you’ll need to think through. Ultimately the one that will give you the biggest headache is fitment, as some stocks require a little more “hands on” work as you add them to your rifle.
Let’s look at each of these 4 important stock selection elements in a little bit more detail.
1. Tactical, Practical or Old School
The first question you’ll need to answer when refurbishing any rifle is “how am I going to use it?” Are you customizing a range queen that will only be out at the shooting range on the weekends? Are you making a budget friendly hunting rifle? Or maybe you want to go all out and make a higher tech looking version of a foreign classic?
These are things you’ll need to think through as each purpose is probably going to have a different style of stock that accompanies it. If you are just putting together a decent hunting rifle, you’ll be more cost conscious, whereas if you want something that’s tactical looking – you probably have a bigger budget and just want to have some fun.
2. Stock Material
Stock material matters. While most aftermarket stocks these days come produced in a polymer, you can still occasionally find some that are made in vintage wood. Usually if you want a true vintage piece, you will need to go to an aftermarket wood stock manufacturer and have one custom made.
Polymer stocks are different. You can usually find these without any problem, and they usually require minimal modification to fit to your rifle. Polymer is durable and can take a beating for many years on end. Wood can too, but generally people outfitting their Mosin with a wooden stock are collectors and don’t plan on beating on their rifle too often. Polymer stocks are abundant, and are usually cost effective on a budget build.
3. Adding Accessories
Can you accessorize the custom stock you install? Some people like having bands they can attach, or mounts they can use to attach that will allow them to install pretty much any type of scope on their rifle.
The Mosin is not scope friendly right in it’s purest form, so you’ll need to look for a stock that allows you to in stall a mount or modify the stock so a mount can be installed if the stock is made from wood. Most Mosin Nagants are strap friendly, so you should have little worry when it comes to finding the right strap to carry around your rifle.
4. Rifle Fitment
So this can be a headache, or a blessing depending on the type of Mosin you have. Not all Mosins are created equal, and some stocks are better suited for fitment when you are dealing with Chinese variations, or variations from other countries.
Ultimately you’ll need to decide – is keeping your budget in check more important than the fact that you might need to spend a couple extra hours getting your aftermarket stock to fit perfectly? Only you can make that choice.
Our Two Favorites
If you aren’t going fully custom, or rebuilding with an original replica wooden stock, there’s really only two aftermarket choices worth talking about in our opinion.
You’ve got the ATI Monte Carlo for the Mosin Nagant, which is basically a polymer version of the original wooden stock. You’ll get some good mileage out of it, and is a great budget pick.
You’ve also got the Archangel Promag which is more expensive, but the stock has been used and replicated across multiple rifle platforms. Let’s take a look at both in a little more detail.
1. ATI Monte Carlo Stock
The Monte Carlo stock will give your Mosin a somewhat modern look. It will transform your rifle so it looks a little more like a Remington 700 with a shorter barrel. It’s made with a glass reinforced polymer, which is extremely durable and can withstand repeated abuse.
It’ll fit most 91/20’s as well as M-38 and M-44 variants. The price tag on it is reasonable for those working on a budget build, and if you shop around for the right rifle, you can end up with an entire build for around the same cost as buying a new Ruger 10/22.
The primary complaint with this stock focuses around fitment and the fact that some fitting/tweaking may be required to get it to mount correctly. When buying a vintage rifle, you have to be prepared that not all of them have the same specs, so expect to need to shave some parts down slightly, or some notching to get a perfectly snug fit.
2. Archangel ProMag Stock
If you have a bigger budget, and want to go to a more tactical look, the ProMag Archangel stock will do the trick. ProMag has produced the Archangel for a variety of different rifles, so seeing this aftermarket stock in the Mosin Nagant lineup isn’t a surprise at all.
It’s made with a carbon fiber polymer, that’s extremely tough and durable. It’s designed to fit most M1891 rifles as well as 91/30’s. It will also fit the Chinese carbines, and others, making this a great pick if you want an aftermarket stock without too many fitting challenges.
The best part about the Archangel is the ergonomics. Ergonomically the Archangel feels and fits better than most older stocks, giving you more feel and control with the butt and grip. The butt of the stock is also long enough to allow you have some customization options, like adding a sling or sleeve to hold and store other Mosin accessories.
While there are plenty of other ways you can accessorize your Mosin Nagant, adding an aftermarket stock is one of the quickest ways to give your rifle some extra personality. It can also make a cheap rifle look not so cheap.
Usually a full refurbish can be done for under $300, depending on where you buy the aftermarket stock, and what you have to put into refurbishing the other rifle parts, like the trigger, barrel, firing pin, ejector, and rile body.
Overall, it’s an extremely effective way to get a rifle off the ground for very little investment that can be used for years to come, and used for survival, hunting, or just a plain old range queen. Freshening up this vintage legend can make a beaten-up relic something worth handing down to your family for generations.