Why the Mosin is the best starting weapon

The Mosin-Nagant is a bolt action rifle in Escape from Tarkov. It is a readily available weapon used by new and old players alike.

If you’ve never used the Mosin before, it is one of the best starting weapons in the game, due to its cost, availability and damage potential. If you’re already using it, you might be missing a few tips to realise its full potential.

Where to get the different varieties of Mosin?

The first Mosin variant available to the player for purchase is the Mosin Infantry Carbine. This can be purchased from the vendor Prapor at the starting reputation Level 1 and is available regardless of which edition of Tarkov you have purchased.

Two other varieties of the Mosin will be available through level one Prapor: the Mosin rifle and the Mosin rifle (sniper). The Mosin rifle variant will be available through purchase, much like the carbine – the sniper variant however is only available through a barter trade and will not be easy to access for new players.

It is advised to begin with the Mosin Infantry Carbine. Out of the two available for purchase, this is the shorter and cheaper of the pair. This is also advised, as while the other variant has higher accuracy and lower recoil, neither of these can be fitted with scopes at this stage. The ranges you will be using the Mosin for in early games will be closer, valuing faster aiming time and weapon handling. This is where the Infantry Carbine is the better pick, benefiting from its much higher base ergonomics (ergonomics in Escape from Tarkov is a stat that dictates weapon ADS times and other factors such as arm stamina drain).

Once your PMC reaches level 15, you will have access to any form of the Mosin via the flea market, though this can be expensive to buy from players directly. A better purchase option is that after reaching level 15, you will now have access to Prapor Level 2, where the aforementioned scoped variant of the Mosin, previously available via barter, will now be available for purchase with roubles.

Why should you use the Mosin?

Like many weapons in Tarkov, the Mosin is defined by the ammo it uses. The Mosin fires 7.62x54mm rounds which is one of the hardest-hitting ammo types in the game.

This ammo type is also available straight away from Prapor level one, in the form of LPS gzh rounds, which are relatively cheap at a few hundred roubles per round. It boasts a strong penetration value too, of 42 and a damage value of 81. This means that these rounds will comfortably break through class 4 armour 84% of the time, and even has a chance to penetrate class 5 armour.

Quick tip: If a round has over 10x the penetration value versus the class of armour its being used against, you have over a 80% chance of penetrating it in most cases.

It is important to note that most players in Tarkov, regardless of level, will only be running a class four helmet, as class five and six variants normally come with heavy drawbacks to hearing and visibility. With a base damage of 81, the basic rounds available for the Mosin will kill most players in a single shot to the head and two shots to the thorax if they have class 4 or lower armour. In early wipe, it is unlikely players will be running class five or above armour.

Mosin Quest Synergy

The Mosin is useful for some of the more difficult quests in Tarkov, notoriously the Tarkov shooter quest chain provided by the trader Jaeger. These quests range from killing AI scavs at a distance, eliminating targets with leg shots and killing other players at close ranges without optics. Using the Mosin in the early game will make you more proficient when using the Mosin for these later tasks. Levelling your sniper skill early will make these quests less painful in the long run.

Two late-game quests in particular, Psycho sniper and Wet-Job Part 6, require your sniper skill level to be at 8, unlocking the coveted M61 ammunition for purchase. By using the Mosin early game as your go-to weapon, you will easily reach skill level 5 by the time these missions are unlocked.

Mission tip: the mission Mentor currently offers three skill levels for 50,000 EUR, turning this mission in when reaching skill level 5 will allow you to meet the requirements to both these missions simultaneously.

What ammo is best for the Mosin?

For the early game in Escape from Tarkov, the best ammo available will be LPS gzh. As you progress through the game and gain reputation with the vendors while improving your hideout, other munitions will become available that serve as consistently great ammo. The following three are in our opinion the best choices:

7.62x54mm R LPS gzh

The PS gzh is a direct upgrade to LPS gzh with 45 penetration and 84 damage. This can be found in raid or looted from sniper scavs, and can also be purchased from Prapor at level 26 making it a solid choice at this level. The 84 damage of this round is another benefit, with a PMC only having 85 health to the thorax, it is possible to kill a PMC with two shots to the thorax even if the first did not penetrate due to blunt damage. Even though this round has a 21% chance of penetrating a class 5 armour with the first shot, it has an over 90% chance to kill a player using class 5 armour in two shots if blunt damage occurs, or in any instance where a PMC has taken a single point of damage prior to the thorax.

7.62x54mm R LPS gzh ammunition in Escape from Tarkov
7.62x54mm R LPS gzh ammunition

7.62x54mm R BT gzh

The BT gzh ammo has 55 penetration and 75 damage and can be found in raid and on sniper scavs. Keep an eye out on the weapon your scav is holding before you enter a scav run – the single-shot MP-18 is a semi-common scav weapon that will likely net you over 80 rounds of this high-penetration ammo.

The 55 penetration quality means this round fares significantly better against class 6 armour (the highest in the game), with an 18% chance to penetrate on the first shot and against class 5, over 90%. Take note: this round does have a tracer effect and may alert players to your location when shooting from a hidden spot. Due to the round not being purchasable until level 36 from Prapor level 4, it is best used as a supplementary round used for targets with better armour.

7.62x54mm R SNB gzh

Lastly, there is the SNB gzh ammo, with 62 penetration and 75 damage. This round can be crafted in your hideout at level 20 and at workbench level 2. This round is the direct upgrade from BT gzh and has zero tracer effect. With significantly more penetration than PS, it is one of the highest penetration rounds in Escape from Tarkov. The only limitation of this round is supply, as you can only craft 80 rounds every 10 hours.

Other rounds such as the LPS gzh or the BT gzh run well as everyday ammo, but for special targets, the SMB gzh is by far the strongest reliable round to be run.

There is the 7.62x54mm R BS gs, which is one up from the SNB gzh at 70 penetration and 72 damage. However, it is not sold by the traders, and not available on the Flea Market and has no existing barter, so it is impossible to run this round consistently.

Key tips and tricks for using the Mosin

To summarise:

  • Cost-effective and available to purchase straight away
  • Fires 7.62x54mm rounds which is one of the hardest-hitting ammo types in the game
  • Plenty of ammo variations
  • Complements various quests

The Mosin also requires no magazines as it is a top-loading bolt action rifle, meaning you can partially reload between engagements without sacrificing or having to repack magazines.

It’s a very light weapon to run, especially with later stock upgrades and you can use this to quickly level your endurance early wipe, rewarding those who run lower weight kits. With the latest updates to Escape from Tarkov’s movement, this has become even more beneficial.

Always insure your Mosin, as even when killed, it is very unlikely someone will keep your Mosin due to its size. You will likely lose your high-value attachments, but the Mosin will return saving money in the long run.

When using the Mosin, even at a low level, one well-placed headshot will take down even the most geared players for some hard-earned endgame gear.

(Featured image, ArtStation, credit Vadim Spiridinov)

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