The Mosin Nagant is one of the most iconic rifles to ever storm a battlefield. This five-shot bolt action military rifle was used by the Russian Empire and the USSR for generations. Although the Mosin Nagant has been retired from military use, it remains a popular weapon for civilian target shooters, hunters, and collectors.
Adding a modern optic to a surplus Mosin Nagant is a great way to increase the weapon’s effective range. If you’re looking for the best Mosin Nagant scope, you’ve come to the right place.
Adding a scope to this classic bolt action is a no-brainer, However, topping this historic weapon with a standard riflescope isn’t as easy as it sounds. These 100-year-old rifles were not engineered for modern glass, so you can’t easily mount just any old optic.
If you aren’t sure where to start, we’ve got you covered. We’re going to cover a few mounting options for your Mosin Nagant. Before we’re through, we’ll also review a few specific scopes that pair well with these legendary rifles.
If you’re in a hurry and don't have time for the details, here are our best picks for Mosin Nagant scope:
- 1Burris 2-7x32 Scout Ballistic Plex Riflescope
- 2Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Scout
- 3Leupold VX-Freedom Scout 1.5-4x28
- 4Hi-Lux Long Eye Relief 2-7x32 Riflescope
- 5AIM Sports 2-7x42 Scout Scope
- 6Sniper MG4x20 Mosin Nagant 91/30 Scope
- 7Bushnell Banner 4x32 Riflescope
- 8Sig Sauer ROMEO5 1x20mm Red Dot Sight
- 9Holosun HS503CU Micro Red Dot Sight
Table of Contents
- Why the Mosin Nagant Needs an Optic ?
- Scope-Mounting Issues with the Mosin Nagant
- Best Mosin Nagant Scope on the Market Reviews
- 1 Burris 2-7x32 Scout Ballistic Plex Riflescope
- 2 Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Scout
- 3 Leupold VX-Freedom Scout 1.5-4x28
- 4 Hi-Lux Long Eye Relief 2-7x32 Riflescope
- 5 AIM Sports 2-7x42 Scout Scope
- 6 Sniper MG4x20 Mosin Nagant 91/30 Scope
- 7 Bushnell Banner 4x32 Riflescope
- 8 Sig Sauer ROMEO5 1x20mm Red Dot Sight
- 9 Holosun HS503CU Micro Red Dot Sight
- Final Thoughts
Why the Mosin Nagant Needs an Optic ?
Historical purists glower at the thought of topping a Mosin Nagant with a scope. However, adding a quality optic is a great way to enhance the rifle’s performance.
The Mosin Nagant fires a 7.62×54mmR cartridge, which has an effective range of 800 to 1,000 yards. Even highly skilled sharpshooters have a hard time accurately and consistently hitting targets at that range with simple iron sights. A quality magnified optic allows average and expert shooters alike to take advantage of the rifle’s full effective range.
Scope-Mounting Issues with the Mosin Nagant
The Mosin Nagant was designed before telescopic rifle sights became commonplace on service rifles. These rifles don’t come with Picatinny or Weaver rails, so mounting a riflescope on one of these historic weapons isn’t exactly easy.
To further complicate things, the gun’s bolt design makes drilling and tapping for a scope mount a bumpy undertaking. The Mosin Nagant’s bolt handle sticks out at an awkward 90 degrees when shooting and then swings a full quarter turn to fully operate the action. Needless to say, this aggressive handle design interferes with traditionally mounted riflescopes.
The solution is to either modify the receiver or bolt handle or to pursue a less traditional mounting position. A forward-mounted, scout-style scope is the most common solution. However, the weapon’s wooden stock and fore grip can make drilling and tapping a complicated process, even for a qualified gunsmith. Thankfully, there are several scout-type scope mounts that can be installed without modifying your rifle.
Best Mosin Nagant Scope on the Market Reviews
Since the Mosin Nagant favors a forward mounted scout scope, we’ve focused mainly on lightweight optics with long eye relief.
1 Burris 2-7x32 Scout Ballistic Plex Riflescope
This scout-style riflescope from Burris features a slim, low-profile design that works well with the Mosin Nagant. With 9.2 to 12 inches of eye relief, this scope is perfect for mounting in front of your receiver.
The Scout Ballistic Plex is made with high-quality optical glass that is multi-coated for brilliant brightness and clarity.
Burris designed this scope to tolerate rough use and tough conditions and still hold true. The main housing is made of a single piece of durable aluminum. All of the scope’s internal components are precision gauged and hand-fitted to resist shock. The scope also features a double internal spring-tension system that holds a rock-solid zero regardless of external shock and vibration.
One of the best features of the Burris Scout Scope is the Ballistic Plex reticle. This simple, graceful design is one of the most effective trajectory-compensating reticles on the market today.
2 Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Scout
The Crossfire II Scout Scope is a tough, affordable optic which makes a nice compliment to the Mosin Nagant (which is also tough and typically cheap).
Despite the economical price tag, the Crossfire II is made with quality lenses that are fully multi-coated with anti-reflective treatments. These coatings reduce glare and maximize light transmission, so you can enjoy crisp, bright images, even in low light. The optical quality is impressive for an optic in this price range. The crisp, clear sight picture is a major asset when engaging long-range targets, which the Mosin Nagant is quite capable of doing.
The Crossfire II also features Vortex’s exclusive Dead-Hold BDC reticle. This versatile reticle works well for hunting and target shooting at ranges where estimating holdovers is a must.
3 Leupold VX-Freedom Scout 1.5-4x28
Leupold is famous for making rugged hunting scopes with impeccable optical quality, and the VX-Freedom Scout scope is no exception.
This scope is engineered with an ultra-light, one-piece main housing made from 6061-T6 aluminum. The tube is lightweight, yet incredibly durable, and is filled with nitrogen gas. For reliable waterproof, fogproof performance, the main housing is also sealed with rubber o-rings.
The VX-Freedom Scout features a simple Duplex reticle that is located on the second focal plane. The uncluttered design and consistent reticle size provides minimal target coverage at maximum magnification for greater long-range precision.
Hunters will particularly appreciate Leupold’s Twilight Light Management System. Using proprietary lens coatings, the system produces incredible brightness and clarity by reducing glare, increasing color contrast, and maximizing light transmission. Twilight Light Management is particularly beneficial when shooting in low light conditions.
4 Hi-Lux Long Eye Relief 2-7x32 Riflescope
This quality riflescope from Hi-Lux Optics features extra long eye relief. Although it seems like the relief stretches for a mile, it's actually only about 8 to 14 inches. That distance makes this scope totally workable as a forward-mounted option on your classic Russian rifle.
The optics on this scope are polished to photographic quality and fully multi-coated with Diamond Tuff14 optical coatings. These coatings add an extra layer of protection to fragile optics and boost light transmission to increase image clarity.
The scope’s Duplex reticle provides a solid aiming point while maintaining a clean aesthetic that nicely compliments the classic design of the Mosin Nagant.
5 AIM Sports 2-7x42 Scout Scope
If you don’t want to drop a ton of cash on a scope for your Mosin Nagant, this scout scope from AIM Sports is a highly affordable option. This budget-friendly optic is milled from a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum. The one-piece construction eliminates points of stress, producing a strong, sturdy optic capable of enduring punishing recoil. The main housing is nitrogen charged and sealed, making it fogproof and weather resistant.
The AIM Sports Scout Scope features green fused multi-coated lenses that are designed to enhance light transmission. They also provide crisp resolution while protecting delicate glass surfaces from scratching and smudging.
6 Sniper MG4x20 Mosin Nagant 91/30 Scope
If you aren’t a fan of forward-mounted scout scopes, you can always go a more traditional route. This is a replica of the original PU optic used by the Russian Army during World War II. This is a traditional 4x fixed scope that even features a period appropriate three-post reticle.
The company has added a few modern upgrades. The optic uses quality glass and multi-coatings for improved clarity. The scope is also o-ring sealed and nitrogen purged to prevent internal fogging and protect the interior from harmful dirt, dust, and moisture.
The Sniper MG4x20 comes with a traditional leather lens cover. You also get everything you need to mount your optic, including the scope mount, drill bit, and screws. However, tapping and drilling this historic rifle as a DIY project comes with some risks. You should seriously consider finding an experienced gunsmith to prevent accidently defacing your weapon.
7 Bushnell Banner 4x32 Riflescope
With the right scope mount, a simple fixed power riflescope, like the Bushnell Banner, makes an awesome partner for a Mosin Nagant. The scope’s modest 4x magnification works well for most hunting scenarios, and its simple design means there’s less that can go wrong in the field. The scope also has simple, classic lines that nicely compliment the profile of the historic Russian rifle.
The Bushnell Banner features a one-piece tube construction. The housing is nitrogen purged and o-ring sealed for reliable, waterproof, fogproof performance. The scope even has an IPX7 waterproof rating. That means it can survive being completely immersed in three feet of water for up to 30 minutes without suffering internal damage.
Hunters will enjoy the Dusk & Dawn Brightness (DDB) multi-coated lenses. Bushnell utilizes special wideband coatings that increase optical brightness, especially in twilight conditions, which is when game animals are most active.
8 Sig Sauer ROMEO5 1x20mm Red Dot Sight
If you want to bring your Mosin Nagant into the 21st century, a high-tech optic like the ROMEO5 from Sig Sauer is the way to do it. This popular red dot is usually seen gracing the rails of modern sporting rifles like the AR-15. However, the optic’s unlimited eye relief makes it well-suited for forward mounting on a Mosin Nagant.
Although the ROMEO5 offers zero magnification, it does provide a 2 MOA aiming point that works incredibly well for close-quarters shooting. If you plan to use your Russian rifle as a home defense weapon (although the rifle isn’t the best option for defensive shooting), the ROMEO5 is an excellent choice.
This awesome little red dot is lightweight, incredibly compact, and surprisingly rugged. The optic is built for fogproof performance. It also has an IPX7 water resistance rating.
One of the best features of the ROMEO5 is its Motion Activated Illumination technology, also called MOTAC. MOTAC automatically turns the power on when it senses motion, ensuring your optic is always ready to go when you are. During periods of inactivity, MOTAC powers down to save energy and extend the life of your batteries.
9 Holosun HS503CU Micro Red Dot Sight
The Holosun Micro Red Dot is another high-tech option for your vintage Mosin Nagant. Red dots have unlimited eye relief and are parallax free, which make them well-suited for a scout-style mount. The Holosun Micro has a compact design and an ultra low profile, which also pairs well with the classic Russian rifle.
The Holosun is anything but vintage. This thing is crammed with cutting-edge modern features like Shake Awake Technology and a backup Solar Failsafe.
This red dot sight features a 2 MOA center dot surrounded by a larger 65 MOA circle. This design is great for intuitive shooting, especially on close-range or fast-moving targets.
Because there were so many rifles made in their heyday, there are a slew of surplus Mosin Nagants available for modern shooters. This means shooters can get a vintage rifle for incredibly cheap. Not only are the rifles inexpensive, the rounds they shoot are also incredibly cheap. The Mosin Nagant is also pretty darned fun to shoot, which makes far an awfully fun (and reasonable) day at the range.
Whether you use your Mosin Nagant for recreational shooting, hunting, or personal defense, a quality optic is one of the best ways to increase accuracy. If you’re searching for the best Mosin Nagant scope, any of the options on our list will definitely promote more consistent shooting.
No matter which optic you choose, practicing with your rifle/optic set-up is the only way to improve proficiency. And since these rifles are so fun to shoot, that sounds like a great excuse to hit the range.