The Mosin Nagant is an iconic rifle. It is second only to the AK-47 as the most prolific small arm to ever be produced. Literally, millions of these rifles were made in the Soviet Union, and they have been used since the turn-of-the-century until now. They can be found on historic battlefields dating back to World War I all the way until current day Afghanistan in the war on terror.
Millions of them have been brought out of arsenals after the fall of The Berlin Wall and sold as sporting arms in the United States. For a long time, they were dubbed “The $100 .30-06” because the rifles could be purchased extraordinarily cheap, and the Soviet 7.62x54r cartridge duplicates the performance of a .30-06 rifle.
After you get the cosmoline scraped off your rifle, you’re going to want to put a scope on it to get the maximum effectiveness out of your rifle, here are the 5 best scope for Mosin Nagant to mount up and get the most out of your rifle.
If you’re in a hurry and don't have time for the details, here are our best picks for Mosin Nagant Scopes:
Table of Contents
- Scout vs Bridge Mount
- Best Scope for Mosin Nagant on the Market Review
- Durability & Warranty
- The Verdict
Scout vs Bridge Mount
This gun was designed before telescopic sights became common place on service rifles. When this rifle first saw action, very few very specialized troops were the only ones that used optics sights. That means that there are several problems with mounting a scope on his gun.
The main problem is the bolt handle that juts out at a 90° angle from the rifle's receiver. Originally designed so that Russian troops could manhandle cartridges in severe weather, this makes mounting a scope impossible unless you have a gunsmith re-weld on a bent bolt handle to the rifle.
The only other option you have to mount an optic on this gun is to consider a scout style set up that will move the optic forwards of the receiver to where the rear sight is currently.
Many people choose the scout mount setup because it is cheaper and easier to do, but if you are trying to create a good hunting rifle having the bolt cut and re-welded is not an overly expensive process and can be done through the mail without an FFL, if you only send the bolt. Carefully consider which set up you are going to use before you decide on a scope.
Best Scope for Mosin Nagant on the Market Review
1. Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40 BDC
There’s no denying that Nikon puts out some of the finest sporting optics on the market. This scope is a collaboration between Nikon and BuckMasters to redesign the classic old 3–9X 40mm scope and bring it into the 21st century. Nikon is known for making exceptional optics of high quality and affordability and this scope is no exception.
This scope features a fully multicoated lens, O-ring sealed and dry nitrogen purged single piece aluminum body, and specially designed BDC reticle to make holdovers for snapshots faster and easier.
This scope was designed as a hunting optic, and lacks features like target turrets or ranging reticles to make this scope lighter and easier to use. In fact, there are very few features on the scope but you won’t miss any of them in your classic hunting situation.
Most people buy Mosin Nagant rifles for the sole purpose of hunting or plinking and this rifle scope is as good as it gets for a high-quality beat around rifle. This is one of Nikon’s best-selling scopes for a reason. It offers a wide array of features and benefits that make it one of the most versatile designs on the market.
For the Mosin Nagant, it may be a little large but the 9x power magnification takes full advantage of the ballistic capability of the 7.62x54, and you can’t go wrong with the classic specification of the scope.
2. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Riflescope
Vortex is one of the most innovative companies on the market today. They consistently put out extremely rugged and innovative optics with new and improved features at lower and lower costs. They are one of the driving forces in the optics market because all their scopes are designed by people who shoot, hunt and use the products that they manufacture.
This is their scout version of the enormously popular crossfire. It brings all of their features they are known for, including rugged fully multicoated optics, O-ring sealed dry nitrogen purged construction and simple and effective BDC reticles. The difference between this scope and the others in the crossfire line is the long eye relief this scope offers.
If you wanted a decent scout rifle set up in years past you had to settle for a pistol scope. With Vortex Optics now putting out such an awesome scout scope with over 6 inches of eye relief, you don’t have to settle for anything.
Everything from the fast focus eyepiece to the slim and trim objective bell of the scope performs exceptionally well in the field. That is why this line of scopes has sold so well and is so loved by hunters. It just works!
If you want the most cost-effective scout scope on the market today, that comes with the best warranty and customer service on the market, this is your scope!
3. Tasco Pronghorn 3-9x 40mm Diamond Reticle
Tasco got a bad rap. They make inexpensive scopes, and in the past had a problem with quality. These days, they don’t have any problem with quality and have begun to bring decent quality scopes that are very usable in the field to the market for cheaper than many other brands.
This is an excellent example of one of their newer scopes that make a great companion for a low-cost rifle like a Mosin Nagant, it is a classic 3-9x40mm scope that is field proven and includes every feature that should be there. Multicoated lenses, dry nitrogen purged body, O-ring sealed, the features leave little to be desired.
The feature that makes this an excellent buy is the innovative diamond reticle. While many other scopes have used this reticle design in the past, Tasco has brought the scope to the market with the reticle in the second focal plane. This means that as you dial in and out of the magnification range the reticle stays the same size.
This is important for radical designs like diamonds in circles to maintain consistency with your shots. If your reticle won’t stay the same size you’ll run into a serious problem when you dial up your magnification and try to use the same holdover.
If you need an inexpensive scope for your Mosin, give this scope a look. It’s a newer generation scope that is being well received by hunters, for good reasons.
4. Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope
On a Mosin Nagant where you’ll be positioning the optic far forward, finding the correct scope to take advantage of low light situations like hunting will be difficult. This scope from Bushnell has been optimized for low light situations and fast snap shooting through the addition of enhanced coatings on the lenses, and a Multi-X reticle that provides fast holdover corrections for getting rounds on target quickly.
Bushnell makes a ton of different optics not all of which are extremely expensive, in fact, they lead the way in low-cost, high-quality optics. This is one of their most successful product lines and is the scout rifle version of one of their most popular scopes.
It is a proven 2-7x power designed that is big enough to get enough light through the optic to take advantage of all shooting light but small enough so that it doesn’t change the handling and balance of your rifle.
It is slightly larger than other scout scopes, but it is versatile in many situations and is much brighter than many other scopes in the same price range. For outfitting a Mosin Nagant rifle it’s hard to beat the combination of quality and value Bushnell offers with this scope.
5. UTG 3-9X32 1" BugBuster Scope
UTG has come leaps and bounds in recent years and is putting together a really awesome scope for dirt cheap money. This is an excellent example of one of their extraordinarily well thought out scopes that combines every feature under the sun and does it well for not a lot of money.
On the surface, this seems a pretty standard scope, 3-9x magnification, 32mm objective lens and 1-inch tube make it seem like an old deer scope. However, the body of this scope is half the size of your grandfather’s old scope. This is a decent lightweight and compact design which nestles well on just about any rifle you can think of.
It comes with features that are normally reserved for top shelf boutique brands. It comes not only with target turrets, it has a mil dot reticle, and dual red/green illumination to make sure you can always see your reticle.
Making it an even better value this scope is its quick detach base, and rings ready to be mounted up to your Mosin Nagant. If you want a high magnification and a small package and don’t mind the tactical look of this scope, you can get a ton of performance for only a little bit of money.
Durability & Warranty
One of the infamous things about the Mosin Nagant rifle is just how hard they recoil. The combination of a relatively light gun with a metal butt plate just doesn’t soak up anything in regards to the forces generated by the shot.
That, combined with the fact that people tend to be harder on these guns than others because they are cheap surplus, spells disaster for any optic mounted on these guns. To make matters even worse, many people choose scout style setups for their guns and essentially put their optics on the end of the stick that is going to be swung around in the woods.
Any optic that you choose to mount on a Mosin Nagant, especially if it is in a scout mount, will need to have a good warranty. Most every major brand on the market today selling optics offers some sort of warranty to protect their customers.
Take advantage of this warranty if you have any durability problems, the American firearms industry is known the world over for having excellent customer service and you shouldn’t have any problems getting one of the major optics manufacturers to honor their warranty.
The Mosin Nagant was never designed to be used with an optic. Simply put, it’s just too damn old. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done and the current crop of entrepreneurs leading the way on creating mounting solutions and scopes that work well with this antiquated rifle are doing a phenomenal job.
Never before has it been easier to hunt with one of these rifles, or shoot long-range and these rifles have never been more popular. With the ammo being so cheap for these guns, there’s no excuse for you not to get the best scope for mosin nagant mounted up and head out to the range.
Looking at scopes on the Internet is fun but it won’t do you any good if you never get out and enjoy shooting with them!