Russia/USSR Mosin Nagant
|General Specifications||M1891/30 General Description:|
Weight -- 8 3/4 lbs.(4.0 kg)
The Model 1891/30 Rifle (Vintovka obr. 1891/30) was commissioned by the Revolutionary Military Council of the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army. Early in 1924 a committee consisting of Ye. K. Kabakov and I. A. Komaritskii, began work on modernizing the M1891, using the dragoon model as a basis. The first trial rifles were made in 1927 and by 1930 a new design had been agreed upon, which was standardized on 28 April as the "Rifle Model 1891/30" (vintovka obrazers 1891/30goda.) Production of the M1891/30 began on 10 June 1930 at Tula and Izhevsk and ceased at Tula in the spring or summer of 1942 . Izhevsk discontinued production in 1944. Because supplies of M1891 parts (barrels, receivers, stocks, etc.) were in great supply, some M1891/30s were still being made with hexagonal receivers as late as mid-1936.
M91/30's were produced using both the older hex receivers as well as the more modern round receivers. Those produced during the height of the war had at least two distinguishing features: extremely rough milling on the receiver and a high receiver wall on the left side of the receiver. Both of these measures were intentional to cut down on the milling process and to expedite the guns to the front line soldier.
M91/30 Sling Slot Variations
|Pre WWII rear sling slot:||Early WWII rear sling slot:||Post WWII rear sling slot:|
|Pre WWII front sling slot:||Early WWII sling front slot:||Post WWII front sling slot:|
|Front and rear, escutcheon plate with screws||Rear, no escutcheon; front, half liner pressed escutcheon||Front and rear, full pressed escutcheon|
M91/30 Receiver Variations
|Hex receiver:||Round low wall receiver:||Round high wall receiver:|
|Izhevsk, 1930-1935; Tula, 1930 to 1936||Izhevsk, 1935-1941; Tula, 1936 to 1941||Izhevsk, 1941-1945; Tula, 1941 to 1944|
|Round: stepped rear tang, early||Round: straight rear tang, late|
|Stepped rear tang stock inlet||Straight rear tang stock inlet|
Other Common Variants
|Handguard brass end caps:||Handguard painted steel/tin end caps:|
|Unpainted steel cap, no rivets:||Copper cap, copper rivets:|
|Aluminum cap, copper rivets:||Brass cap, brass rivets:|
|Formed spring band retainers:||Machined spring band retainers:|
|Plain stock near rear band:||Grooved stock near rear band:|
|Button Band (1930-1932):||Split Band (1932-1945):|
Originally intended for use by Dragoons (mounted infantry). 64 mm (2.5 in) shorter and 0.4 kg (0.9 lb) lighter than the M1891. The Dragoon rifle's dimensions are identical to the later M1891/30 rifle, and most Dragoon rifles were eventually reworked into M1891/30s. Most such rifles, known to collectors as "ex-Dragoons", can be identified by their pre-1930 date stampings, but small numbers of Dragoon rifles were produced from 1930 to 1932 and after reworking became nearly indistinguishable from purpose-built M1891/30s.
Typically, an ex-Dragoon is able to be identified by raising the rear sight and looking where the sight base is located on the dovetail. The original Dragoon dovetail is slightly shorter than the purpose built M91/30 resulting in a small space or gap. For more information on the Dragoon rifle, please see: M1891 (M91)
Perhaps the most affordable, and common examples of a PU sniper rifle for your collection are the ones that have been arsenal re-finished and re-issued as standard rifles. They are readily recognized by their plugged scope mounting holes, which are often hard to spot from the outside, but are obvious from inside the receiver once the bolt is drawn back. Another sure giveaway is a crossed out number stamped into the left side of the receiver – sometimes ground off - and the “C” and inverted “U” found on Tula sniper rifles. Some former snipers will have the cut out for the scope mount on the stock repaired, more often the complete stock was replaced during re-building. Whether they were worn out, or surplus to requirements, it has been undetermined the reason these rifles were retired, but bore condition can vary from well-worn to almost unfired. Like other 91/30 PU sniper rifles, the exact number converted is not known, but they are far more readily encountered than intact examples. From a batch of 100 91/30 rifles from varying eras recently imported into Australia by Lawrance Ordnance in Sydney four retired PU sniper rifles – three Iszevsks and a Tula – were found.
Red Letter Series
Though it is uncertain the reason for the red coloring found on some M91/30 rifles, it is a desirable feature for some collectors. It should be noted that is adds no value to the rifle other than personal preference. This feature is typically accompanied by the "Triangle 25" stamp marking.
MO And XO Marked
MO is a barrel shank markings of unknown purpose. It is found on M91/30, M44, M38, and M91/59 Mosin Nagant models. The MO mark is most commonly accompanied by the additional stamping of a second two digit date, from the years spanning 1942 to 1953. Less commonly, a third date may also be stamped. MO marks may also appear without extra dates, or extra dates may appear without MO marks (uncommon). There are also examples with two MO marks. The rifles and carbines that exhibit this marking are all refurbished, with the majority as highly polished on the metal, and careful refinishing of the stock. They can be very attractive guns.
It is very common to find a random assortment of these variations on most rifles. It is not surprising to find a pre-WWII receiver on a post-WWII stock for example. As these rifles were refurbished, parts were assembled as they were available and it is evident that originality was not a concern.
Current availability of refurbished M91/30 rifles commonly come with several as issued accessories. The accessories were cleaned and stored away in the same crates as the rifles. As with the rifles, individual accessories vary greatly and are often a side collection for many enthusiasts. These items are available in such tremendous volumes that they have very little monetary value but they are an interesting and noteworthy part of the Mosin Nagant history.
See: Sniper Rifles