This week I took on the project of sighting-in the Mosin Nagant Mod. 91/30 rifle that I wrote about a couple of weeks ago. The first time I shot the rifle it shot about 4 inches high and about 5 inches to the right at 50 yards. This was a rifle that had been in storage since the late 1940’s.
In order to zero the sights I had to adjust the front sight since the rear sight is stationary. The front sight fits into a steel block attached to the barrel with a Dove Tail arrangement. This allows the sight to be moved left or right. A search on the internet for instructions on how to adjust the front sight revealed the best way to move the front sight was to use a hammer and a punch. What I found was after about 60 years of storage the paint and cosmoline protective coating had solidified around the front sight making it extremely difficult to move. Applying the hammer and punch method did not work. What did work however was using a propane torch like plumbers use for soldering copper tubing. Applying heat to the base of the front sight melted or freed up the caked on material. Then, with the use of a hammer and punch I was then able to remove the front sight.
A little time spent using a mechanic’s file cleaned up the dove tail, inside and out and removed all the rough edges. A little lubrication and the sight was ready to be re-attached.
Adjusting the front sight to get it zeroed in was a snap using an adjustment tool that I found on the internet. As you can see from the pictures below, the tool fits over the barrel, grips the base of the sight and has a thumb screw to push the dove tail. The tool came from the South Carolinas Gun Company in Greer, South Carolina.
After my initial adjustment my first two shots at 50 yards were about 3 inches to the left of center. This indicated that I had the front sight too far to the right (as you sighted down the barrel). A quick adjustment moved the point of impact to about 2 and 3 inches to the right of center (the difference in height of the shots was due to my aim). One more adjustment brought the point of impact to just about center. I was able to place two shots almost through the same hole. The sight adjustment tool made it easy to make the proper adjustments. I highly recommend it. It is a lot easier than using a hammer and a punch.
As you can see from the picture of the target, once I got the sights adjusted the rifle shoots pretty accurately. At this point I ran out of ammo so I didn’t get to shoot at any farther distances. Longer distance shooting will have to be done on the next trip to the range where I will again be ”Having Fun With Guns”.