Best Scope For Mosin Nagant [Reviewed 2021]

Best Scope for the Russian Mosin-Nagant

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Ahhh yeah! The Mosin Nagant Rifle, a history lesson from before World War II. If you have been around the rifle world for a while, you have seen, hopefully, shot, one of these surplus rifles, and man, I love them.

Back when a military rifle was a bolt action, with the handle sticking straight out the side, holding about ten rounds, of heavy-hitting 30 calibers (or 8mm if you were a German soldier). The rifles of that day had the ladder rear sight, and if the shooter could do it, that Rifle can put a bullet that far downrange.

Some Mosin Nagant scopes, or I should say the Russian military issued the PU scope, and with a low magnification and small objective, they still have awe-inspiring numbers count. 

If you are not familiar with the PU Scope, you will have to look on the internet, and we don't have enough space here to cover that subject. I have not used one myself, and maybe I should refinish a Mosin Nagant Rifle in original to have one.

Most of the gunsmithing I do on rifles, for practice and to see what can be done with a surplus rifle, I make a modern version of one flavor or another. 

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Products

BEST FOR CLEAR IMAGE

Vortex Optics Diamondback

Vortex-Optics-Diamondback

Vortex Optics Diamondback

  • Diameter: 40mm
  • Magnification: 4-12x
  • Length: 11.9 in
BEST FOR DURABILITY

Vortex Crossfire II, 2-7x32 Scout Rifle Scope

Vortex Crossfire II, 2-7x32 Scout Rifle Scope

  • Diameter: 32mm
  • Magnification: 2-7x
  • Length: 10.5 in
BEST FOR LONG RANGE

Primary Arms 4-14x44 SLx

Primary Arms 4-14x44 SLx

  • Diameter: 44mm
  • Magnification: 4-14x
  • Weight: 25.2 oz
BEST FOR DURABILITY

Nikon ProStaff 3-9x40

Nikon ProStaff 3-9x40

  • Diameter: 40mm
  • Magnification: 3-9x
  • Length: 12.4 in
BEST FOR CLARITTY

Leupold VX Freedom 2-7x33

Leupold VX Freedom 2-7x33

  • Diameter: 33mm
  • Magnification: 2-7x
  • Length: 11.04 in
BEST AFFORDABLE SCOPE

Leupold VX-1 3-9x40, Compact Riflescope

Leupold VX-1 3-9x40, Compact Riflescope

  • Diameter: 40mm
  • Magnification: 1-9x
  • Length: 12.39 in
BEST FOR LONG RANGE

Bushnell BT 1040 Tac Optic

Bushnell BT 1040 Tac Optic

  • Diameter: 50mm
  • Magnification: 4.5-30x
  • Length: 13.2 in
BEST FOR LONG EYE RANGE

AIM Sports Scout Scope

AIM Sports Scout Scope

  • Diameter: 32mm
  • Magnification: 3-12x
  • Length: 10.9 in
BEST FOR RELIABILITTY

UTG 3-9x32 BugBuster

UTG 3-9x32 BugBuster

  • Diameter: 32mm
  • Magnification: 3-9x
  • Length: 8.11 in

The purest will call this "Bubbaing" the Rifle, which is up to them. I like guns that shoot, and I can enjoy them. I collect them when they can't be fixed any longer and can sit on the shelf then.

I am going to look into a few different styles of Rifle builds today. Some Long Range Shooting, some Scout Style Rifles, mostly hunting rifles, and some brush guns, which ll into the hunting style, so maybe not a lot of time on them.

The Mosin Nagant is versatile and has many companies building after-market parts and refurbishing parts for this surplus rifle. You can find many different stock replacement choices, from a standard hunter or a Monte-Carlo-style hunting stock to a precision style, fully adjustable stock.

If you are a refurbisher, the wooden stocks are usually in very rough shape, but if you are up to the challenge, they are made from great wood and can have lots of attention applied to bring them back to beauty.

Let us get to the Mosin Nagant scope choices and the scope mounting options for this Rifle. Right upfront, I will warn you the scope mounts, for the most part, will require the bolt handle to be bent or replaced with a bolt handle that is drilled and tapped into the mounting boss of the old straight handle. 

It honestly is easy if you are good at metalworking and have a large helping of patience. They offer a bolt handle replacement that cuts off the original and then "screws" in a new handle to keep from making the bent bolt handle approach. Look into all of them and make your choice; once it is done, it is done forever.

9 Best Scopes For Mosin Nagant

1. Vortex Optics Diamondback

Vortex Optics Diamondback

The Diamondback line from Vortex is great for a take it everywhere rifle. This line is one of the more affordable of the Vortex line of riflescopes. 

Built like a standard hunting Mosin Nagant scope, this one is not giant in its objective lens, and that is nice when you break some trail in the pines, less to gab a branch or two as it hangs off your shoulder.

The Rifle I discovered some stuff regarding the rear iron sights removal not-to-dos will soon get itself equipt with a Diamondback 3-9x32 scope.

And by soon, as a gunsmith, that term is relative (more relative when it is cold as hell in the shop) as soon as I figure out how to make a scope mount on the mill and lathe, plus I see many hours with the file in my future.

Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40 Reticle

The rear iron sight on the Mosin Nagant rifle can be tapped off.  A raised dovetail is left, very nice for some available Picatinny rails to slide right into place. Well, I also know if you get carried away and file that off to look super shiny, now you have to create a miracle.  I say gunsmiths do all the time, and the truth is – we are usually fixing a mistake, and it works out BOOM! Magic.

So, back to the Diamondback, this cope is built like all Vortex options from Aircraft Aluminum, covered by the lifetime warranty, and all the rest.

The Diamondback can be had with the reticle in the second focal plane. This keeps that reticle the same size when you adjust the magnification. Your holdovers can be affected, so more practice is needed, and when is that ever a bad thing.

With the Diamondback Dead-Hold BDC reticle, graduated for MOA, the drop compensator will work for your Rifle. The lens glass is fully multicoated for maximum light transmission. A fast-focus eyepiece will make keeping that critter in focus.

The turrets are metal-to-metal precision ground and have a zero reset. The main tube is one inch and fits with Weaver or Picatinny rings, depending on how you and your gunsmith set up this Rifle. O-ring sealed and Argon purged, make this Vortex shockproof, fog, and waterproof.

Vortex-Optics-Diamondback-5

Vortex Optics Diamondback

The price of Vortex Optics Diamondback varies, so check the latest price at

You may want to know about vortex diamond back with higher magnification, Check out our detailed Vortex diamondback 4-12x40mm Review

2. Vortex Crossfire II, 2-7x32 Mosin Nagant scope

mosin nagant scout scope

Now, let us discuss the next idea that makes the Mosin Nagant Rifle so sweet, a scout rifle. Yeah, I know, they are weird but think about it a second, this Rifle can do some tactical work and then precision by closing one eye. What a combo!

I wrote an article on scout rifle scopes a while back, and you can read that here on this link.

This Mosin Nagant scope is a perfect high-quality option to mount halfway down the gun with long eye relief. I talked about that rear iron sight before, get the suitable scope mount, some weaver rings, and it all fits right on the dovetail. 

The best part of all that is you don't have to have the bolt handle bent to fit the Mosin Nagant scope on the gun. The bent bolt is not a bad thing, nor is it all that hard, and a gunsmith can handle that for you if you don't feel up to that challenge, easy money.

With a very long eye relief, this optic is unique, to say the least. The main tube is 1 inch, so that it will fit with all of the Mosin Nagant scope mounting rings out there. 

The reticle is Vortex's own V-Plex in MOA and located in the second focal plane. So, when you twist that magnification ring, make sure you know what that does to your reticle and bullet impact.

The lenses are coated with Vortex Optics proprietary coatings the increase light transmission. O-ring sealed, the main body is nitrogen purged to ensure fog proof, waterproof, and shockproof. 

The body is a hard anodized matte black coating. The turrets are capped hunting rifle style, so they are right where you left them all the time.

If you know Vortex Optics at all, you know about that fantastic warranty, what more can you ask for, cost? Yep, this one is right in the sweet spot to make it happen on your own Mosin Nagant scope rifle project, just don't grind off the rear iron sight base.

Vortex Optics Crossfire II

Vortex Crossfire II, 2-7x32 Rifle Scope

The price of Vortex Crossfire II, 2-7x32 Rifle Scope varies, so check the latest price at

Check out our detailed Vortex Crossfire II 1-4x24mm review if you are looking for similar options.

3. Primary Arms 4-14x44 SLx

mosin nagant scopes

For everyone that wants to take a surplus rifle and make a long-distance shooter, this Mosin Nagant scope is for you. You will need to get the bolt bent as we talked about, a scope mount covering the bolt action, and secures on the back of the housing. 

Get your solid Picatinny Rail mount, preferably a solid one-piece, not really the place for Weaver-style rings. Also, you need to replace the wood stock completely, not a modified until like a deer hunting rifle, and the trigger for sure.

When you have all of that done, it is time to look at the Primary Arms SLx Orion. Primary Arms is uber durable, clear glass, light transmission to equal everyone. I can't say enough, they are great.

The Primary Arms Orion places the reticle in the First Focal Plane, with the ACSS reticle in MOA, and the BDC is calibrated in 30.06 when you order it. How can you beat that? 

The parallax is adjustable on the left side knob of the 30mm main body tube. Matte black coated for the tactical style shooter, this one is the answer.

The ACSS reticle is unique o say the least. The ACSS is basically a horseshoe-shaped reticle, with a small dot in the center, and the center post has the elevation holdovers, and the windage holdovers are along the side of that post.

Primary Arms 4-14x44 SLx

The price of Primary Arms 4-14x44 SLx varies, so check the latest price at

Want to know more about that scope? Check out our detailed Primary Arms 4-14x44mm review

4. Nikon ProStaff 3-9x40

scopes for mosin nagant

A sad day in the gun world happened when Nikon stopped making firearms gear. With that said, you can find the Nikon ProStaff on some shelves still, but you need to hurry. 

The Nikon ProStaff is nearly a direct competitor with the Leupold VX-1, and I do not say that easily, as not much is a competitor with Leupold. If you want that level of quality for a Vortex level of Price tag, you need to get your hands on one of the remaining ProStaff still in the wild.

The Nikon ProStaff is a long-distance hunter's dream come true. With e fast action magnification ring, focus eyepiece for parallax, capped turrets to keep your setting solid. The body is a 30mm tube, so make sure your choice of scope mounts will fit.

Nikon is the shooting and hunting industry-wide known for their clarity above all others. Thie proprietary multi-coating on the glass makes light-gathering seem like its child's play. 

The BDC for the ProStaff is unique and a very well-thought-out reticle design. The main post has rings for drop compensating, just put the target in the ring, pull that trigger, supper in the freezer. For closer shots, just put the reticle's crosshairs on the sweet spot, and it is time to drag to the truck.

The finish is unique for Nikon in its matte and not shiny black.

Nikon ProStaff 3-9x40

The price of Nikon ProStaff 3-9x40 varies, so check the latest price at

As Nikon stopped making scopes so if you are looking for some other option with same magnification, then must check out our guide on best 3-9x40 scopes.

5. Leupold VX Freedom 2-7x33

scope mosin nagant

The Leupold family of scopes sits very high on my list of favorites. The Leupold VX Freedom is no different and a more affordable option for the serious hunting rifle. 

The Freedom will need to be mounted on a scope mount that covers the entire receiver. So the old battle wagon bolt action surplus rifle will also need some gunsmith love to address the bent bolt handle work, or get brave, watch some tutorials and try it yourself.

The VX Freedom is Matte black finished, and that makes the Leupold gold ring stand out even better. The magnification ring is a fast action type, and the read focus eyepiece turns like it is greased with butter. 

The finger-turn turrets adjust the reticle with a fine, crisp click that feels like this Mosin Nagant scope should cost at least double.

The body is a 1" tube made from high-quality Aircraft 6061-T6 aluminum that will fit Weaver-style rings or your solid scope mount. And a good news point for new shooters, it has a reasonably long eye relief at just over 4 inches.

Leupold VX Freedom 2-7x33

The price of Leupold VX Freedom 2-7x33 varies, so check the latest price at

6. Leupold VX-1 3-9x40, Compact Riflescope

long eye relief scope for mosin nagant

If you want to create the ultimate in reliability and durability, put one of these on your Russian Rifle, and you have nothing to worry about, forever. Not just the fantastic Leupold warranty that can not be beaten, but the durable and rugged Mosin Nagant scope on an equally rugged and durable rifle.

The VX-1 is one of the few illuminated rifle scopes I would suggest for the Mosin Nagant. The reticle is illuminated, and it is called the Fire Dot. The fire dot is a tiny dot in the center of a ring in the center of the duplex crosshair reticle; see where I am going?

With the classic fas focus magnification ring and a fast-focus eyepiece, this riflescope comes to work. The turrets are finger adjustable, and the main body is waterproof, fog-proof and krypton/argon purged to fight off any thermal shock in the field or from the car to the range; it is ready.

The lenses are fully multicoated with Leupold's Multicoat 4 system that has maximum light gathering ability. This Mosin Nagant scope is as ready for a challenge as the Russian Rifle was made todo for over 100 years.

Leupold VX-1 3-9x40, Compact Riflescope

The price of Leupold VX-1 3-9x40, Compact Riflescope varies, so check the latest price at

7. Bushnell BT 1040 Tac Optic

mosin nagant scope mount

Did someone say, Bushnell? Well, here you go, and when they are on sale and you feel the need to try out your longest distance attempt, this may be an excellent place to shop. The magnification is unreal with this offering at 4.5 – 30 with a 50mm objective!

The reticle is located in the second focal plane inside its 30mm main body tube. This scope mount will need to be raised to fit that massive glass, but if you are building it with a gunsmith or doing your own gunsmithing, why not do it all the way?

The turrets are exposed tactical-style turrets, and this Mosin Nagant rifle scope adjusts in MilRad, not MOA. The body is O-ring sealed, and IPX7 rated waterproof.

The lenses are fully multicoated with Bushnells exclusive EXO Barrier Protection that keeps even blowing sand from harming the delicates.

Bushnell BT 1040 Tac Optic

Bushnell BT 1040 Tac Optic

The price of Bushnell BT 1040 Tac Optic varies, so check the latest price at

8. AIM Sports Scout Scope

scope mount for mosin nagant

So we have another special or specific made Scout Scope for a mid-scope mount. So, let me head off the criticism and talk about a rifle that cost under 200 bucks. 

This Mosin Nagant scope is its kin, and from what I have seen, not too shabby a performer either. I have not been around one that fell out of the handlebar rifle rack on a rocky mountain trail, so I cant attest to that much capability.

The long eye relief makes this Mosin Nagant scope perfect to replace the rear iron sights on the Mosin Nagant in a Picatinny-style mount. The riflescope is under 11 inches long, so it is a compact unit for the amount of magnification it is capable of performing. Some of these scopes can operate with 3-12 power magnification, incredible!

The aluminum main body is 1", so any style of Mosin Nagant scope mount will work, )-ring sealed, waterproof to IPX-7 (that is 30 feet deep for 30 minutes), fog-proof, and shockproof.

AIM Sports Scout Scope

AIM Sports Scout Scope

The price of AIM Sports Scout Scope varies, so check the latest price at

9. UTG 3-9x32 BugBuster

mosin scope mount

If you want handy, lightweight to carry, and lightweight to the pocketbook, this is the beastie. The UTG BugBuster seems to finish ahead of its class, and I am happy to see it for one. 

This style of riflescope has its place in the Mosin Nagant world for sure; hell, this thing may fit in the original PU scope mount, come to think of it.

The BugBuster is variable magnification and has zero locking and resettable turrets. The turrets work in MOA, but the reticle is marked in MIlDot. For some reason, that escapes me. Why not use MOA or MIlDot on both?

The reticle is also illuminated, and it is dual-color red or green for all the times of the day you may want to use it. The UTG BugBuster is shockproof, waterproof, and fog proof. 

The UTG comes with a set of Picatinny rail mounts in the package, so all you need to do is get the Picatinny rail mounted on your Rifle, and you are set.

The UTG BugBuster also sports a very impressive long eye relief, and this one I think would be great for a slug gun as well as a heavy recoiling 30 caliber Russian Surplus Rifle.

UTG-BugBuster

UTG 3-9x32 BugBuster

The price of UTG 3-9x32 BugBuster varies, so check the latest price at

Want to know how that scope works? Check out our detailed UTG 3-9x32 BugBuster review

Summary

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

Here is a list of FAQs that I am hoping we covered today in this article.

i. What is the Best Riflescope for the Mosin Nagant?

From this list, you can see there are many options to mount on your Russian Rifle. They range from pricey to affordable and have just about covered the riflescope market's entire playing field.

ii. How far can a Nagant shoot?

I don't mean this to sound like a cop-out answer, but to make it clear and usable, the Russian can shoot about the same as the Springfield 30.06 shooting the 180-grain bullet. 

So, for a hunting rifle that is up to 500 yards with plenty of power to make the ethical shot. For the steel target shooters, you are good to hit that target at 900 yards every day if you have a good bore and turn that old warhorse into a long-range shooting rifle.

iii. Can you put a riflescope on a Mosin?

Kind of obvious after this article; the answer is absolutely yes. The mounting onto the Mosin is the challenge, and you can accept that challenge as we talked about. Find the rifle scope mount you are most comfortable installing, get the forward-mounted Picatinny rail or the full coverage rifle scope mount over the action, and then use the rings on that Picatinny rail.

iv. Is the Mosin Nagant a good rifle?

I have loved this Rifle since the minute I learned about them.  The Russians used them for nearly 100 years, and they still keep shooting.  .

If you check the bore of your Rifle, and the end is rough, that is normal with military guns, just trim off the muzzle, get the crown squared away (that is up to you to research, maybe a future article), and then your bore will hit the X ring again, for a long time to come.  

The action on this Rifle, across the board, kinda sucks.  They are a military action, so a bit of pounding usually occurs, and this one can take it.  The stocks, by now, need a replacement, unless you are doing a restoration, then hunt down a good one, if you can.

I never hesitate to pick up a good Russian rifle if I find one for a reasonable price and get a bit more practice making it into the next good idea.  And, for new hunters that may want to try out hunting to see if it is their thing, what better way than an affordable, tough as nails gun to practice with? Just get the hunting ammo.

Good shooting!

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References

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