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Mosin Nagant: Curing Sticky Bolt

Updated on September 16, 2012
Mosin Nagant
Mosin Nagant | Source

The Mosin-Nagant is a magazine fed, bolt-action rifle manufactured for several decades by the now-defunct Russian Empire and Soviet Union. There are millions of military surplus Mosin Nagant rifles around the world, for a relatively cheap price. Surplus guns are commonly coated in cosmoline, a type of metal preservative. Preservative buildup can result in a sticky bolt and cause difficulty ejecting and loading rounds. Curing a sticky bolt is very easy to do, and can be done at a gun range with limited supplies.

Supplies Needed

  • Gun cleaner solvent
  • Lint-free cloth/rag

The cocking bolt of a Mosin Nagant rifle.
The cocking bolt of a Mosin Nagant rifle.

Curing a Sticky Bolt

  1. Fire a few rounds until the barrel and chamber are hot. The heat of fired rounds loosens gunky buildup inside the rifle, thus making it easier to clean out.
  2. Dip a section of a lint-free cloth into the cleaning solvent, then use your finger to work the rag into the chamber.
  3. Fire a couple more rounds and repeat the cleaning process with the cloth and solvent.
  4. Repeat the previous steps until the bolt slides smoothly backwards and forwards while ejecting a spent casing and loading another.


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