• 1942 M91 Finnish Mosin Nagant (Mfg by VKT using a 'B barrel')

    1942 M91 Finnish Mosin Nagant (B-Barrel)
    (Mfg by VKT using a 'B barrel')

    (Click PIC to Enlarge)

    Caliber: ....................... 7.62x54R
    Barrel Length: ............. 31.5 in. (800mm)
    Rifling: ........................ 4 groove, right hand twist, 1:9.5"
    Overall Length: ............ 51.5 in. (1308mm)
    Weight: ....................... 9.5 lbs (4.3Kg)
    Magazine capacity: ...... 5 rounds.
    Qty mfg: ..................... Approximately 4000 to 5000 B-Barrel M91’s made 1942 barrel blanks from Belgium, but assemble post-war. (approximately 105,650 M91’s produced by Finland in total)

    Canadian Collector Market Value Estimate: $

    Source: The Mosin-Nagant Rifle by Terrence Lapin, ISBN: 1882391217, Mosin Nagant

    1942 M91 Finnish Mosin Nagant (B-Barrel)

    (35 picture virtual tour)
    Observations: (by "Claven2")
    Note: Pics of rifle provided courtesy of Milsurps.com moderator Claven2.

    When Finland gained independence at the end of the Finnish Civil War in 1918, captured Russian M91 infantry rifles were available to the fledgling government in relatively large numbers. The Finns therefore wisely chose to adopt the M91 as the standard infantry rifle. Money was too tight to purchase large quantities of any new weapon, and it made sense to equip the army with rifles capable of firing ammunition from Finland's most likely opponent in any future war, that being Soviet Russia.

    Throughout the 1920's and 1930's Finland embarked upon an aggressive venture to buy up as many surplus M91's as they could locate on the world market, often by trading off non-standard equipment to countries with surplus Mosins to sell. This increased both the supply of usable rifles, and also the supply of spare parts from the unserviceable rifles which were broken down for that purpose.

    By the 1920's, many of the M91's in inventory had seen continuous service since the early 1890's and were deteriorating beyond serviceable condition. SAT, a firm in Rihimaki, produced about 200 new barrels to be fitted to rifles and the Finns began to use the Italian Salerno method to reline some of the rifles with unacceptably worn rifling. These rifles are referred to as the "P-series" M91's and will generally be devoid of the original Russian roll-stampings and be marked P-25, P-26 or P-27. A longer term solution, however, was needed and the relining of older barrels was halted in 1927.

    At the same time that barrels were being relined, the Finnish firm Tikka began manufacturing new M91 barrels. Production was relatively slow and from 1925 to 1927, only about 10,000 barrels were produced and fitted to rifles.

    In 1927/1928, most M91 production was halted when the Army and Civil Guard adopted the M27 and M28 service rifles respectively. In 1939, on the eve of the Winter War, the combined armed forces of Finland were in the process of adopting an even newer rifle, the M39. By the time hostilities started, however, only 10 of the new M39 rifles had been produced. Finland was facing a desperate shortage of arms given the size and scope of the looming conflict and M39 production could not be ramped up quickly enough to relieve the shortfall. As a result, the Finns once again began to produce the venerable, tried and true M91 infantry rifle.

    Much debate has taken place about why the M91 was put back into production instead of the M27 or M28/30, but it is important to note that Sako had already switched over its production facilities for M39 production and the M27 required the manufacture of many new parts. Finland still had huge stores of M91 parts that required little or no alteration and the production facilities were already in place. Additionally, many of the Finnish soldiers being called up for service had trained with the M91 rifle and knew it very well.

    New M91 barrels were manufactured at VKT from 1940 to 1942 and Tikka from 1940 to 1943 when production of the newer M39 and the Finnish M30 (the Finnish version of the M91/30) made production of further M91's unnecessary. At this point, Finland had manufactured approximately 77,000 M91's during the years of the second world war. Finland later went on to manufacture a number of M91 rifles from available parts in the post-war years. Additionally, a number of M91's were cut down and rebuilt into M39 infantry rifles well after the close of the second world war.

    WW2 era m91's can be found in both newly made Finnish stocks with round wartime finger-jointed spliced fore-stocks, sometimes also with a dovetailed and spliced stock toe, and also in older re-used Russian M91 stocks. The rear sights will generally be renumbered by the Finns in Meters, and often will have a 150m or 200m range setting added. The front sight is generally notched at the rear to improve visibility and is often a little taller than original Russian sight blades. The Finnish re-issued Russian M91 bayonet will often have the locking hasp channel slightly enlarged to clear the taller front sight. A variety of sling provisions can be seen on these rifles, including original Russian slots and "dog collar" buckled straps, Russian slots with wire hangers fitted and Finnish solid escutcheons fitted over the slots with integral wire hangers. The barrel will be new manufacture, while most of the remaining metal parts, including the receiver, will be re-manufactured from older Russian parts. Generally, only the barrel and bolt will have matching serial numbers, though sometimes the butt-plate and magazine floor-plate were either scrubbed or renumbered as well. Often they retain their original Russian serial numbers, either lined out or not. Occasionally, the receiver will bear an older serial number dating back to before it fell into Finnish hands.

    Post-war M91's generally follow the pattern of the wartime models, aside from the barrel markings. In 1942, Finland purchased approximately 13,000 M91 barrel blanks from Belgium. These barrels are marked with a "B" and 1942, though some also have VKT firing proofs, Liege firing proofs and/or "D" chamber modification markings. It is not known why VKT did not assemble these barrels into rifles during the war, though it is possible the barrels may have been delivered after wartime M91 production ceased in 1943. Arms production restrictions forced upon Finland by the cease-fire terms of the Continuation War are the likely reason why the B barrels were assembled into M91's using spare receivers and/or damaged earlier rifles as a source of actions and parts. It is not know what year these rifles were made, but all B barrel rifles were assembled post-war despite the 1942 barrel markings. It is believed only about 4000 to 5000 B barrel M91's were produced. The remaining barrels were than reconfigured and used to assemble M39 rifles.

    Collector's Comments and Feedback:

    1. The depicted rifle is an excellent example of a Finnish post-war produced M91 made by VKT. It exhibits a typical Russian imperial M91 stock recycled into Finnish production. The receiver bears markings indicating its past history as an Russian Imperial era M91. It was likely purchased by the Finns in the inter-war period or captured during the Finnish war of Independence.

    Collectors should look for matching numbers on the bolt and barrel. Most post-war production M91's saw little use and were put into war reserve storage. As such, most will still have generally nice bores with only enough wear to account for their use during training.

    Generally, the barrels and stock should look newer than the rest of the components which were re-manufactured from much older parts. Often bolt and receiver bodies will show evidence of older wear or pitting which has been cleaned and refinished over. This is relatively common and the rifle invariably left the Finnish arsenals in this condition, though a receiver with older pitting may make for a useful bargaining point when buying one of these rifles.

    Some of these rifles will be counter-bored, import marked or have the serial number stamped or electro-pencilled into the receiver. The counter-boring was done by the Finns and should not greatly affect value, if at all, while the import markings and receiver serial numbers were done at the time of importation to the US or Canada. As with most surplus rifles, examples which do not bear these non-original markings will command a premium, as will the presence of the Finnish arsenal inventory tag. ........... (Feedback by "Claven2")
    This article was originally published in forum thread: 1942 M91 Finnish Mosin Nagant (Mfg by VKT using a 'B barrel') started by Badger View original post
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