• 1941 M1891/30 Mosin Nagant

    1941 M1891/30 Mosin Nagant
    (Mfg. by the Izhevsk Arms Factory)

    (Click PIC to Enlarge)

    Caliber: ....................... 7.62x54R
    Barrel Length: ............. 28.75 in. (730mm)
    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 17.475 million (In production from 1930 - 1945)
    Qty Mfg: ..................... Approximately 12.5 million (conflicting number is according to mosinnagant.net)

    Canadian Collector Market Value Estimate: $

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

    1941 M1891/30 Mosin Nagant

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

    The rifle model 1891/30 (vintovka obrazets 1891/30 goda in phonetic Russian) grew out of a desire by the Russian military's desire to update the older Three Line Rifle model 1891 which had been in front line service since its year of adoption. The older rifle had proved overly long an unweildy for use by cavalry and special troops, and the M1907 carbine had proved too short and fragile for infantry use. Though the Communist Soviet forces would eventually revisit the carbine concept in 1938, in the 1920's they sought to adopt one rifle to serve all units of their armed forces.

    It was decided that the new rifle should be based on the existing Dragoon/Cossack rifle platform with some changes to the design to make it more durable and easier to manufacture. Primary among these changes was the switch from the old imperial unit of measurement, the Arshin, to the newly adopted metric system. Additionally, the older Konovalov sight system had proved prone to breakage and was resource intensive to manufacture. A flat tangent sight in the Mauser style was chosen as a replacement.

    Other changes included simplification of the machining employed in the manufacture of the bolt body, a globe-type front sight that better framed the target for snap-shooting, and a handguard of simplified manufacture. The hexagonal receiver was retained, as were the milled band springs, etc. found on the Dragoon rifles which had then been in service for nearly 40 years.

    In 1936, it was decided that further economy of production was warranted. The design of the 1891/30 was revisited, resulting in cost saving manufacturing changes that altered the look, but not the design characteristics of the rifle. The "hex receiver" (which is actually better referred to as a "half-octagonal" receiver) with its intensive machining at precise angles was dropped in favor of a more easily machined round receiver borrowed from the original trials rifles submitted by Col. Sergei Mosin and Belgian designer Leon Nagant in 1891.

    After Soviet Russia's entry into the "Great Patriotic War" (or World War 2 as it's called in the West), even further manufacturing economies were sought. [as a side note, russia entered the war on June 22, 1941 when Germany's armed forces launched Operation Barbarossa - the unprovoked invasion of the Soviet Union] The barrel bands were changed to simplified stampings, the band springs were changed to heat treated stampings, the receiver was changed to eliminate the machining to the side wall resulting in the change from "low wall" configuration to "high wall" configuration. Eventually, the receiver tang steps were dropped, the receiver's inner barrel collar was omitted, the rear bolt guides were left unmachined, the trigger became a raw forging, surface finishing of the receiver, barrel and magazine were dropped altogether and even sling slot escutcheons and stock finish sanding were eliminated to speed manufacture as the Nazi war machine closed in on Moscow, Leningrad and Stalingrad. The enemy was indeed at the gates and rifles made in 1942 and 1943 reflect this point all too well.

    Throughout all, however, the M1891/30 retained virtually complete parts interchangeability and functioning. Like the Lee Enfield, even bolts were interchangeable as headspacing was accomplished by changing only the bolt head. In 1941 the Tula factory was even completely moved to another city and re-established with very limited effect upon overall production.

    The M1891/30 earned and indeed retains a reputation as one of the simplest and most ruggedly reliable service rifles ever fielded by an Army. It could be maintained by untrained peasant conscripts, be manufactured quickly, cheaply, and in numbers and could be repaired easily in the field with limited spare parts and gunsmithing ability. These same traits make it a popular milsurp rifle in the collections of enthusiasts even today.

    Collector's Comments and Feedback:

    1. The depicted rifle was manufactured at the Izhevsk arsenal in 1941 and has all matching serial numbers. Unlike most Mosin Nagants on the market today, it has not been re-arsenalled in the post-war timeframe. This particular rifle likely went straight from manufacture to the front against Finland during the Continuation War which broke out on June 25, 1941. The rifle is completely unchanged and in a condition representative of its first being issued in 1941. It has not been rebuilt in any way by either Finland or Russia. Finland altered it only by applying a discreet SA property stamp. Even the original shellac stock finish and manufacturing cartouches are intact which is uncommon even for a Finnish captured rifle as most saw their stocks refinished in pine tar and subsequent heavy use at the front. After the war, these captured rifles were placed in war reserve storage, the M39 being retained as the issue arm and Finland's stock of M91 rifles were retained for training recruits.

    It is important for collectors to note that rifles with all matching serial numbers should be valued higher than the same rifle with mismatched serial numbers. Many of these Finnish captured M91/30 rifles underwent repair in Finland during the war and received mixed parts or new woodwork. Reworked rifles often only have the bolt matched to the barrel and this is considered matching on a Finnish reworked Soviet Mosin, but rifles with all original stamped matching Soviet serial numbers are often more highly coveted. Of course, rifles without importer stampings will carry a premium due to their enhanced state of authenticity. Though this rifle is not counterbored, counterboring was a common practice during refurbishment. While some collectors avoid arsenal counterbored specimens, acuracy is usually above average from these barrels due to the fresh barrel crown. Its impact on pricing will be an individual consideration.

    The majority of Mosin Nagant M1891/30 rifles found in North America that are not arsenal refurbished and retain original finish and matching parts will invariably be rifles captured by Finland during the Winter and Continuation Wars. This rifle is one of those.
    ........... (Feedback by "Claven2")
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