• 1896 Model 1891 Mosin Nagant Rifle

    1896 M1891 Mosin Nagant Rifle
    (Mfg by Tula)

    (Click PIC to Enlarge)(Click PIC to Enlarge)

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    Caliber: ....................... 7.62x54R
Rifling & Twist: ............. 4 groove, right hand twist, 1:9.5”
Barrel Length: .............. 31.5 in.
Overall Length: ............ 51.5 in.

    Weight: ....................... 9.5 lb.
Magazine Capacity: ....... 5 rounds
Qty Mfg: ...................... 37,000,000+ (All variants - estimate)

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

    1896 M1891 Mosin Nagant Rifle

    (24 picture virtual tour)

    Observations: (by "lthilsdorf")
    Note: Pics of rifle provided courtesy of Milsurps.com member "lthilsdorf".

    The Model 1891 Mosin Nagant and its variants served the Russian military for more than seven decades and still turn up in numerous Third World conflicts to this day. While the basic design of the rifle stayed the same, there were numerous changes made over the course of its history that helped improve the overall design and upgrade the rifle with the changing times.

    The particular rifle shown here, however, is an example of an M91 that received very few of the numerous upgrades that most it’s fellow rifles received. This rifle was produced in 1896 at the Tula Arsenal.

    The stock on this rifle is an early M91 stock which lacks the holes in the stock for the use of dog collars to hold the sling. At some point the rifle received wire sling swivels, which are discussed later in the article. The stock also includes a rather rare wooden cross bolt. There are faint remains of a cartouche on the right hand side of the rifle, but it is worn enough that identification would be impossible at this point.

    The most interesting early feature of this rifle is the original flat leaf style rear sight, which was featured on all M91’s prior to the Russian military’s change to “spitzer” style bullets in 1908. As a result of this change in ammunition, the rear sights of the M91 were upgraded to the curved Kovolov sight that is most commonly seen today. While the sight on this rifle has suffered some damage at some point which gave it a slight curve, it is still an example of a rarely observed feature of an early M91.

    Today it is uncommon to find an M91 with the flat leaf sight that isn’t a Japanese captured rifle from the 1904-1905 Russo-Japanese War. Instead, this rifle shows several traits of being an Austrian captured rifle from the First World War. These traits include sling swivels typical of Austrian captured rifle stocks, possible unit markings on the top of the butt plate, and the inclusion of a very rare Austrian produced M91 socket bayonet and scabbard, which was included with the rifle upon purchase still covered in grease. There are no markings suggesting Finnish ownership of this rifle, and no evidence of being a Japanese captured rifle. While it cannot be said for certain, it would seem likely that this rifle is an M91 that missed many of the upgrades given over the years prior to 1914 and ended up being captured on the Eastern Front once World War I began.

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