Russia/USSR Mosin Nagant
|General Specifications||Model M44 Carbine General Description:|
Weight -- 9 lbs.(4.1 kg)
The Red Army needed a shorter rifle, better suited to modern combat than the M91/30. Since the bayonet was still seen as an important part of the Soviet soldier's equipment, the M38 did not meet the need. The M1944 (M44), a new carbine based on the M38 was developed. The only major difference between the M38 and the new M44 was the addition of a side-folding bayonet. The Izhevsk Arsenal began production of the M44 in 1943, with 50,000 carbines built for combat testing. The M44 was officially adopted in 1944.
Production numbers for the M44 are estimated as:
As the M44 was based on the design of the M38, the major difference is the attached folding cruciform (tri-fluted) bayonet. The flat back side rests against the stock when locked rearward, and the stock has a recess cut into the right side to accommodate.
Typical Barrel Shank Markings Found on the M44
|Izhevsk M44, 1943-1948||Tula M44, 1944|
Refer to Barrel Shank Marks link for a more complete listing.
All M44 production took place after the Soviets had adopted the Round Receiver as the platform for the Mosin Nagant. In general, early production utilized the High Wall receiver, and late production utilized the Low Wall receiver. However, a small percentage of M44's can be found with Hex Receivers or Round Receivers with earlier tang dates than 1943, and presumably taken from the M91/30 when damaged barrels were scrapped.
|M44 Round High Wall receiver: Tula 1944, and Izhevsk 1943 to early 1945.||M44 Round Low Wall receiver: Izhevsk from late 1945 to 1948||M44 Hex Receiver: Either arsenal (uncommon)|
Sight Styles, Barrel Sleeve and Bayonet Lug
Unlike the M91 and M91/30 with the dovetail base, the M44 rear sight attachment is nearly identical to the M38 design, as a band around the rear of the barrel, and pinned into place. The major difference is a slight convex curve over the elevation slider travel, and forward rounded ears for the leaf pin placement. The rear sight leaf is graduated 1 to 10, in hundreds of meters, for a range of 1,000 meters.
|M44 Rear Sight Leaf and Slider:||M44 Rear Sight, side view||M38 Rear Sight Base/Band and pin, for comparison.|
The Front sight, like the M91/30 and M38, is a post and globe which is attached to a dovetail on the front barrel sleeve, which also serves as a bayonet lug. Early front sights are the same width as the M91/30 and M38, and can be of a single piece milled globe, or a two piece stamped and spot welded globe. Late front sights are a wider single piece milled globe, and are fitted to the second pattern front barrel sleeve.
|M44 Early front sight: Two piece globe, narrow base||M44 Early front sight: One piece globe, narrow base||M44 Late front sight: One piece milled globe, wide base|
Front Barrel Sleeve: Dovetail Sight Base, Bayonet Lug, and Lock Ring Collar
The first pattern Front Barrel Sleeve has a narrow dovetail sight base, and a Single Eared Bayonet Lug. The mating Lock Ring Collar has a concave (female) latching mechanism.
The second pattern Front Barrel Sleeve has a wide dovetail sight base, and a Double Eared Bayonet Lug. The mating Lock Ring Collar has a convex (male) latching mechanism.
|M44 First pattern 'Single Eared Lug' Front Barrel Sleeve and Concave Lock Ring Collar||M44 Second pattern 'Double Eared Lug' Front Barrel Sleeve and Convex Lock Ring Collar|
Lock Ring Variations
|Straight Ring: No Bevel, No Shoulder||Ground Bevel inside Cylinder, Shoulder||Milled Bevel inside Cylinder, Shoulder||Minimal Bevel inside Cylinder, Shoulder||Open Notch Outside Cylinder, No Bevel, No Shoulder|
Stock Features, Barrel Bands, and Sling Slot Variations
Stocks are found in solid birch and laminated birch. The earliest stocks were solid, later stocks can be either solid or laminate. Below are many variations.
|No Wrist Crossbolt (Laminated or Solid)||Solid Stock with Wrist Crossbolt||Laminate Stock with Wrist Crossbolt|
|No Barrel Band Relief Cut: Solid Stock, uncommon||Small Barrel Band Relief Cut: Solid Stock||Large Barrel Band Relief Cut: Solid Stock||Large Barrel Band Relief Cut: Laminated Stock|
|Milled Steel Buttplate: Machined Countersink||Milled Buttplate: Flat, under side||Stamped Steel Buttplate: Stamped Countersink||Stamped Buttplate: Protruding, under side|
Barrel bands and retainer springs are consistent throughout production and refurbishment.
|Rear Split Barrel Band and Stamped Steel Retainer Spring||Front Split Barrel Band and Stamped Steel Retainer Spring|
The two sling slot variations are pictured below. First, war-time stocks have no escutcheon in the rear, and a half liner in the front. Late war and post-war stocks have pressed escutcheons on both front and rear.
|War Time: No Escutcheon Rear||War Time: Half Liner Escutcheon Front||Late and Post-War: Pressed Full Escutcheon Rear||Late and Post-War: Pressed Full Escutcheon Front|
Model M44 Carbine Configurations
1. Features (present on trial carbine): Integral folding bayonet. Round, high wall receiver. First pattern front barrel sleeve w/narrow front Sight Base, and Single Ear bayonet lug. Concave recess on locking ring collar. War Time Stock with no rear sling slot escutcheon and half-liner front sling slot. Narrow front sight and base
2. Features (Eliminated/Added): Eliminated high wall receiver, and added low wall receiver. Eliminated first pattern front barrel sleeve w/narrow front Sight Base, and Single Ear bayonet lug. Added second pattern front barrel sleeve w/wide front Sight Base, and Double Ear bayonet lug. Eliminated concave lock ring collar, and added convex lock ring collar. Post-war Stock with full pressed sling slot escutcheons at both new production and refurbishment.
1 or 2. Features (Eliminated/Added): Same as either above, except with laminated stock - which saw limited action during war time, and was also installed post-war or at refurbishment.
- Variant #1 : Description #1
- Variant #2 : Description #2