AIM offers both the round and hexagonal receivers. Buyers get a quality military surplus rifle for a price cheap enough to not to have to worry about the gun. Additionally, 7.62x54R surplus ammunition is both affordable and plentiful, and should remain that way for the foreseeable future. The only real complaint shooters have with these surplus rifles has been a lack of affordable, quality scope mounts (for those that choose not to use a scout-style mount). For those that do prefer a scout mount, there are many solutions on the cheap (NcSTAR 2.5×30 Illuminated Scope/Rings/Scout Mount Combo), and also helpful is this detailed article by Junior Doughty. For those that prefer a more traditional mount, affordable options have been limited and often involve some sort of compromise.
Jmecks Scope Mounts has an interesting solution that allows shooters to retain the use of the factory iron sights ($92.95 in steel or $88.95 for the new, 8 oz. lighter aluminum version). It mounts using a proprietary band that wraps around the receiver and is installed using simple hand tools. The positive is it does not require drilling into (or otherwise permanently modifying) the gun, and it is U.S. made. Using this type of scope mount with a standard rifle scope will require modifying the bolt handle. To solve this problem there are a few solutions. You can modify it yourself using a new bent bolt, have someone else modify it for you, or buy a new bolt outright. The modification cost ranges from around $30 for a DIY-type kit to $75 for a new bolt with bent handle installed. There are a few aftermarket stock options that are affordable and simple to install (ATI Mosin-Nagant Stock). Throw in some rings and an optic and you will have built a gun that will be at home on the range or on the ranch. While many of the aftermarket accessories for the Mosin-Nagant can cost equal to the price of the gun (or more) by themselves, they remain welcome additions to an already great firearm. In summary, a surplus Mosin-Nagant offers contemporary shooters a very affordable, user-configurable long range military rifle.
Photo shows Jmecks standard see-through scope mount, courtesy Jmecks.
Surplusrifle is by far the most informative and helpful Mosin-Nagant resource available for free online. You should start your research there.
Rock Solid Industries sells a very well-designed drill and tap scope mount, new bent bolt handles or complete bolt assemblies, aluminum bedding pillars, and they can modify your bolt. They have a “Tips and Tricks” article available here.
The Boltman specializes in bent Mosin-Nagant bolts.
Mosinparts LLC also specializes in bent Mosin-Nagant bolts.
Buymilsurp.com has Mosin-Nagant parts and accessories, and offers custom services.
Tick Bite Supply also has various Mosin-Nagant parts and accessories.
Datamancer has a detailed post on Calguns.net that shows how he built a 10-round Mosin-Nagant magazine. Richard Johnson also has an article on Datamancer’s modifications.
Datamancer’s 10-round magazine.