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Thread: Fake Finnish M39-SOV VKT mount

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  1. #1
    Senior Member OxfordAndy's Avatar
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    Fake Finnish M39-SOV VKT mount

    So...bought a 1937 PEM scope which was advertised on Gunbroker and Ebay by a guy out of Pleasant Hill, Oregon using the name 1950chieftain on both sites. I will provide full details on request via PM.

    The description said the scope was of museum quality and was mounted in one of the very, very few Finnishicon made VKT (Valmet)scope mounts for the M39 rifle. He guaranteed it was genuine as it was a family heirloom (his grandfather had fought in Finland in WW2)....so having compared the available information to photos of known originals, it looked possible.

    Prior to buying, I asked the guy to confirm that the scope was fully functional. He did and offered a refund if I was not satisfied. But...when asked about being able to prove provenance on the mount, there was no answer.

    Subsequent to my purchase, I have been contacted by a number of guys who have seen this mount/scope combo offered on a variety of sites over the past two years...each time with different descriptions, small detail changes to try to make it look more authentic and different pricing....BUT always the same guy and basic mount/base/scope.

    Unaware of this at the time and based on the security of the payment mechanism and his written offer of a refund, I took the plunge.

    Couldn't be happier with the scope but....within minutes of opening the box and looking at the mount, doubts started to surface.

    Pics and descriptions

    This will probably take a couple of posts due to the file sizes. I have posted these in original size so that you can see as much detail as possible - maybe more than I did. If you spot anything that I missed....please add to the thread.

    First a general overview:

    The Mount

    Pics from each angle of the mount/base combo:











    The mount is made of machined and blued steel with what appear to be fine brush/polishing marks on each surface. But the patina and condition did not seem appropriate to a 70 year old mount/scope that would have seen hard use in combat in a severe climate.

    Scope Rings



    The scope rings are well matched and fit tightly together and hold the scope tightly. The ends of the scope rings are not perfectly rounded but appear to have a flat end and radiused curves at each end. This is consistent on both the top and bottom parts and does not appear to match pics of originals whcih appear to have a more constant radius at the ends.

    Makers Stamps



    There are both S.A and VKT stamps on the right side of the mount but there no serial numbers stamped into the mount. The font and spacing of the S.A stamp do not look to be the same as other pictures I have seen. To my eyes, the space between the letter seems too small and the "S" looks to be a far more "modern" font and the tails of the "S" do not appear consistent with other photos. Also the paint in the stamps is 100% present - no gaps, wear patches, discolouration - that seemed a little strange to me.

    Thumbscrew tighteners



    The two thumbscrews fit the threads well and function well. They have a flat head with slightly rounded/radiused edges similar to pictures of originals.

    Close inspection of all screws shows some light oxidation on the threads as well as in the slots on the heads. These are one of the details that have changed over the times this mount has been advertised and are now very similar in appearance to those posted on mosinngant.net's M39 page.

    Overall the edges of the mount seem crisp and sharp (with some minOr nicks) and the general impression is one of quality.

    "Issues"

    However there are areas that appear somewhat at odds with the feel of the steelwork are:

    1) Dovetail end stop



    The dovetail end stop does not sit flush with the end of the mount on the left side - there is a noticable protrusion:

    The grub screws that appear to hold this endstop in place do not feel to be smooth in the threads.. On the left side of the mount the grub screw has a percectly flat machined head that sits flush with the outside surface of the mount when fully engaged. On the side where the stop protrudes the grub screw has a much rougher surface to the head and does not feel smooth in the threads or sit flush with the outer surface.

    2) Dovetail tensioner





    The screw that holds and tightens the dovetail tensioner does not engage with any threads on the tensioner itself unless screwed fully into it, to a point where it is impossible to insert the base onto the mount as the screw is protruding fully through the tensioner bay about 1.5mm. As a result the screw is very loose when the mount is assembled and prone to falling out. I would fully expect this to result in significant difficulties in holding zero when mounted on a rifle and used for the purpose for which it is intended.

    3) The Base





    The base is of a much rougher appearance to the smooth blued finish of the mount. There are no signs of any brushing on the top and bottom surfaces - these have a pitted/cast type appearance and are of a more matte finish - closer in texture and appearance to parkerizing than the polished blue of the mount. But I do not think it is parkerizing.





    The ends of the base have horizontal score marks which appear coarser to the finishing marks on the mount.



    On the underside of the base there is evidence of grouping of three or four distinct punch parks centred around 10.5 - 11mm from one end. I believe this to be where a locating lug (seen on some repro mounts for easier alignment/recoil resistance) has been machined off and then an attempt made to diguise this.

    There are no other visible marks on the base.

    Dimensions



    Dimensions of the mount and related parts are as follows.

    I do not have an electronic caliper so all measurements are using a manual caliper marked in mm and 1/16" divisions.

    Apologies for providing a mix of Imperial and Metric measurements. I have tried to provide the measurement that exactly fitted to a marked division on the scale or could be easily determined as a fraction thereof. I hope that is OK.

    Mount

    OAL = 80.5mm
    Width = 32mm (at base)
    OAH = 74mm

    Scope rings Length = 2 1/6" (slightly over 49mm but not 50mm)
    Scope rings width = 10mm
    Scope rings thickness = 4mm (measured at screw hole), 2mm (measures at top of ring)

    Scope ring screws OAL = 13/32" (slightly more than 10mm)
    Scope ring screws head diameter 4/16" (slightly more than 6mm)

    Dovetail depth = 6mm
    Dovetail max width = 22mm (at widest part)
    Dovetail minimum width = 19mm (at narrowest part)
    Dovetail end stop (front to back) 12mm
    Dovetail tensioner OAL = 2 1/16" (slightly under 52.5 mm)
    Dovetail tensioner screw OAL = approx 11/32" / 8.75mm
    Dovetai tensioner screw head diameter = 6mm

    Thumbscrews OAL = 14mm
    Thumbscrews Head diameter = 10mm
    Thumbscrews head thickness = 4mm

    Base

    OAL = 47mm
    Width at bottom = 37mm
    OAH = 27.5mm

    Thickness of the base is slightly under 3mm on both the vertical and angled sides of the hex.
    On the top surface it is slightly over 11mm from the underside to the highest part of the dovetail.
    It is around 8.75mm from the underside to the bottom of the groove down the centre.
    The groove is about 8.5mm at it's widest point

    The only other measurements I took were the screw holes.

    These are counter sunk with 3/16" diameter hole and a widest diameter of 7.5mm at the surface of the mount.

    I will be getting a local engineering shop to verify the thread sizes of these screws....my suspicion is that they are likely to turn out to be Imperial. I will update this post as soon as I have that information.

    If I have left anything out or you think it would be helpful to have more pictures of any particular aspect, please let me know.

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    Senior Member OxfordAndy's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Just got back from the engineering shop...

    The bloke there described the screws, with the exception of the thumbscrew, as "highly unusual, metric-derived". He said he would not be able to get these as standard, but he could make them up if asked. Interesting.

    For reference:

    Thumbscrew = M4 x 0.5 pitch
    Scope ring = M4 x 0.7 pitch
    Dovetail tensioner = M2.2 x 0.45 pitch (a VERY odd one!)

    Make of it what you will......

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    As crude as some of the Russianicon manufacturing has been, is it possible this is the real deal?

    BTW, Very interesting, detailed and informative post.
    Bill Hollinger

    "We're surrounded, that simplifies our problem!"

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    Senior Member OxfordAndy's Avatar
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    Bill, through a friend on another forum I have tried to get these pics and details to Vic Thomas for his evaluation.

    A number of issues remain unresolved with the seller: The fact that it has been advertised for so long with different versions of the story behind it, morphed into a more cosmetically accurate representation of the photo reference on mosinnagant.net and that the seller avoids any requests to confirm provenance all raised my suspiscions.

    Initially he was not very interested in the issues or a refund.

    The refund was only offered after I asked him if he would rather I filed a complaint with the Oregon Department of Justice, Financial and Internet Fraud department. He then rolled over like a puppy....

    Maybe I had the Holy Grail in my hands and let it go? But.....I'm happier with an Accumount repro and the money in the bank right now.

    Incidentally, the finish on the base is VERY similar in appearance to the Accumount version I have. Although the built in cant appears less on the Accumount base.

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