Educational Zone #63 – Corking a Mosin Rifle to Improve Accuracy

A while back, Tman and I ordered a few Mosin rifles that we refinished.

Here’s a picture of my two.

They both shot “Okay”, but nothing very impressive.


I shot the top one today and here’s a sample of the groups we got at 50 yards shooting Russian 1949 Light Ball.

As you can see, nothing to write home about.

In fact, most groups were even bigger than this one.

But we decided we would try a trick we’ve had some success with in the past.

We decided to place a small piece of cork between the stock and the front of the barrel to put some upwards pressure on the barrel.

Sometimes this helps the barrel “settle down” and shoot better.


I removed the barrel bands and the upper hand guard.


I then loosened the two action screws to allow us to place the cork under the barrel.


Tman then placed the cork under the front of the barrel.

There was so much room that we had to use two pieces of cork and double-up on the thickness.


We had to trim it a little to keep it from sticking out too much.


We put it all back together and you can still see a little of the cork, but I can fix that by coloring the cork with a Sharpie Pen when I get home.


Our friend Boyd had come to the range to visit with us and I asked him to give it a try.

He said that he wasn’t shooting because he broke his ankle and was recovering.

I told him he didn’t need an ankle to shoot and to get on the rifle.

Boyd is a Double Distinguished Marksman, in both Pistol and Rifle, and he can shoot.


Here's his first group after the cork.

Here’s his first group after the cork.

Then I got on the rifle and shot this one.

Not bad for 59 year old military surplus ammunition.



If you have an old C&R rifle that is not shooting like you think it ought to, try a piece of cork.

It might shrink those groups to a nice size.

2 Comments on Educational Zone #63 – Corking a Mosin Rifle to Improve Accuracy

  1. Had a similar experience with a M38 Swedish Mauser… I used folded-over black electrical tape in the barrel channel. Worked well enough that when I changed stocks to a Fajen, I built a similar pad from barrel bedding material. I shimmed the stock a millimeter or so at the front action screw, put in the barrel bedding, and let it all set up. When dry I removed the shim from the front action screw and tightened it down – had a nice permanent shim putting upward pressure at the end of the stock.

  2. P. J. L. Steinmiller // August 14, 2017 at 9:32 am // Reply

    I will give this a try. I have long suspected electrical tape, but Cork makes more sense. The Finns used thin pieces of Brass. I have also heard about shimming the barrel at the places where the outer bands are attached. That would POSSIBLY make sense: Increasing pressure, in order to dampen vibrations. Everything that we know about Physics, tells us that we need to DAMPEN vibrations — not ALLOW vibrations. I suspect that such is the reason why some Mosin-Nagant rifles are more accurate when fired with the Bayonet affixed. The problem is that there is no substitute for trial and error. The Military Surplus Russian rifles are notorious for inconsistency from one rifle to another of the same model. That is part of the reason for free-floating. For example, a given rifle may not be exactly chambered in the very center of the barrel. Hence, free-floating will not accentuate asymmetrical vibrations like shimming could. I will experiment with 4 rifles. At some future date, I will have results to post. Everybody complains about Mosin-Nagant triggers. That is not in dispute. I like cheap solutions.

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