General Protection Fault
Mosin-Nagant M44 + ATI Stock (Photos)
Blake-Hey GPF, does that M44 w/ the ATI stock still have the bayonet attached or did you take it off? If so could you post some pics of it I'd like to see how it looks.
(Please forgive my poor photography skills and the low quality of this camera - the photo doesn't really do justice to the rifles. I got myself a new camera for Christmas, so I'll try to get a couple of clearer photographs to replace this one with pretty soon.)
Here are my Mosin-Nagants, including an M44 with the ATI stock, and yes, the folding bayonet is still attached. It is not very visible in this photo, but the bayonet folds just over the top edge of the stock, with the stock actually fitting perfectly in the lower, inside groove the the cruciform bayonet.
I know there were some complaints in the customer reviews for the stock, about how much fitting was required, but mine snapped right onto the rifle - the only alterations I made was to sand down the "flashing" seam from the manufacturing process. Considering the nature of a one-size-fits-all stock designed for a rifle that was mass-manufactured under fairly primitive conditions, I guess it would be unfair to expect a perfect fit at all, but the stock seems to fit beautifully on my M44.
I didn't have to remove the bayonet to install the stock, although removing the bayonet might possibly have made getting the iron bands that held the original wooden stock off the rifle easier: removing those bands was the hard part of the installation. I suppose you could simply Dremel through the bands, but I didn't want to destroy them. I started to remove the bayonet, but that hinge screw/bolt was locked in there TIGHT and did not budge at all (and I didn't want to lose the bayonet for aesthetic reasons, anyway.) In the end, I had to open the bands up and stretch them just enough to get past the barrel, because they sure weren't going to slide off past the bayonet lug; that made a job I would otherwise consider "beginner-easy" a bit tougher - perhaps more like "determined and stubborn beginner-easy".
Aside from the barrel band issue, however, installation was easy: it was a matter of simply removing two screws from the rifle, lifting the barrel/receiver assembly out of the original stock, firmly snapping the assembly into the new stock, and tightening the screws back down.
Having two M44's in the same photo, one with the aftermarket stock and one without, might help give a before-and-after comparison, while the longer 91/30 might also be of interest to anyone interested in comparing it to the m44.
My impressions of the ATI stock:
Comfort: a big improvement over the original - I still haven't fired the gun since installation so I don't know yet about what the new stock will do for recoil, but shouldering the weapon now feels more natural and comfortable. The rifle comes with a rubber buttpad installed, which I think should only enhance the comfort of this stock.
Appearance: a big improvement - I was surprised how nice the stock looked on the rifle - I wasn't expecting very much from a fairly low-end plastic stock. Aside from that, however, the result is a bit strange in the case of the M44: the rifle now looks a lot like a fairly generic hunting rifle, aside from the Mosin's distinctive magazine and safety, and especially the bayonet, which gives the rifle a very strange appearance (not a bad thing, just strange!)
Weight: this stock feels a little heavier than the original, but it's still manageable. (Perhaps this may help against the M44's infamously rough recoil.) The stock comes with two sling swivel studs, and it was easy to install a cheap quick-detach sling, which made the heavier rifle feel surprisingly lighter when carried from the shoulder (as compared to the original canvas "dog collar" sling).
Installation: easy for a Beginner (up to "not too hard for a determined and stubborn beginner", depending on the rifle) - the M44's folding bayonet made installation a little tougher than it could have been, but I magaine beginner modders with most other Russian round-receiver Mosin-Nagant varients may find installation to be one of the easiest modifications to make.
Fit and finish: better than I expected, especially based on some customer reviews. The result looks reasonably good, and the assembly feels very solid. There were a couple of tiny gaps between the barrel and the stock, but I'm sure a basic "glassbed" project would fix that and make the whole installation rock-solid.
Conclusion: I was pleased with the results, and I do not feel at all like I got anything less than what I paid for. This is the third ATI stock or stock set I've installed (including a Dragunov-style SKS stock and a top-folding pump shotgun stock set), and this was the easiest and best-looking of the three.
Adding these photos: