Gone Outdoors

How to Clean a Mosin M44

by Si Kingston

Mosin M44 rifles are designed for military use and, therefore, made to withstand tough conditions and various temperatures. They generally don't require any special care, but the rifle barrel can become saturated with residue and the Mosin M44 external parts can also become clouded with debris and rust. Accumulated debris in the barrel can also cause the gun to explode. Frequent cleanings will keep the rifle clean and free of rust. It is also recommended that you store the Mosin M44 in a cool and dry place when it is not being used. This will also prevent rust.

1. Ensure that the rifle is unloaded. Double-check the magazine, receiver and gun chamber for bullets. You can also point in a safe direction, then squeeze the trigger to verify that the Mosin is not loaded.

2. Pull the bolt to the rear. When the bolt is fully rearward, depress the trigger. This will unlatch the bolt and you can then remove it entirely from the action.

3. Soak a cloth patch with powder solvent. You can use any commercially available solvent, as long as non-corrosive ammunition has been used. If you've used corrosive ammunition, you can use either a solvent specifically designed to clean corrosive materials or a liberal amount of soap and water. You can also use an ammonia-based window cleaner for cleaning corrosive materials.

4. Place the soaked cloth patch over the barrel opening. The cloth patch should be large enough to rub the inside of the barrel clean, but not so large as to cause resistance as it is pushed through the barrel.

5. Push the cloth patch into the barrel with a cleaning rod. The cleaning rod should be 32 inches or longer, so it exceeds the length of the barrel. As the cloth patch is pushed down through the barrel and out of the other end, it will wipe the sides of the barrel clean.

6. Swab the barrel with a new soaked cloth patch and the cleaning rod. You may need to repeat this process several times, using clean, soaked cloth patches until you are satisfied that the barrel is clean.

7. Swab the barrel with a clean, dry cloth patch. Push the dry cloth patch into the barrel with the cleaning rod to dry the inside of the barrel. Repeat this process with additional dry cloth patches until you are satisfied that the inside of the barrel is dry.

8. Wipe the exposed metal parts like the sights, barrel and butt plate with the solvent. Dry these parts with a clean, cloth patch.

9. Access the magazine so you can wipe it down with a cloth patch soaked with solvent. To access, push back the floor plate release button on the top of the barrel with your finger. Swing the floor plate open, and then squeeze the free ends of the floor plate and the follower underneath together. This will allow the hinge at the end of the floor plate to be pulled free of the magazine housing. Once you've cleaned the magazine, dry it with a clean, dry cloth patch.

10. Clean the barrel action with a soaked, cloth patch. Depress the spring keepers that hold the bands to the rifle. Lift the hand guard, and then remove the action bolts at either end of the rifle. The barreled action can now lift out of the stock. Once you've cleaned the barrel action, dry it with a clean, dry cloth patch.

11. Soak a cloth patch with oil or lubricant. Wipe all parts, including the inside of the barrel, with an oil-soaked patch.

12. Reassemble the gun in reverse order once cleaning is complete.

Items you will need
  • 10 to 20 cloth swatches
  • Powder solvent (or soap and water or ammonia-based window cleaner)
  • Cleaning rod
  • Oil or lubricant