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    A study in Soviet Mosin accessories for the collector that can't stop at the rifles.

    I've been collecting Mosin accessories for some time now and over the next little while, I'll post some information for those who want to collect the essentials to go with their Sovieticon Mosin firearms.

    For now, let's cover with the Ammunition Pouches that were in use during the Soviet WW2 era and beyond. There are earlier pouches that are all but unobtainable except as reproductions, and we'll skip those.

    When war began in June 1941, the Soviet Army was equipped with the Model 37 ammunition pouch. There are multiple variations of this pouch, and all of them are rare today. The example I'm showing was acquired in eastern Europe in Jan 2017 for 104 euros and that was a bargain (!) compared to what they are selling for typically. These leather pouches were used until they fell apart in large numbers during the war, and production effectively ended in 1941 shortly after the start of Operation Barbarossa, in favour of models that could be produced cheaper and faster. This means that few examples survived, and even fewer survived post-war service.

    The basically universal characteristics of the Model 1937 include 2 compartments, leather construction and a ring on the backside to clip to the shoulder y-straps of the soviet combat uniform. They are generally found in a shade of brown. These pouches can be sewn constriction, riveted, or a combination of both. The front tongue can be solid, or Y-shaped with a central cutout. There is also a very rare Kirza (rubberized canvas) version, but only a few relic condition examples are known to collectors, and they don't resemble the post-war kirza pouches discussed further below.

    The depicted example is 1939 production, solid tongue strap, riveted construction, and has a nice clear 1939 production date stamp.





    As Model 1937 production wound down, the soviets quickly introduced the Model 1941 Unified Pouch. The idea behind this pouch was to have one pouch that would replace both the Model 1937 Mosin Pouch and the Model 38/40 SVT pouch with a single issue that could store either charger clips or magazines. These pouches were also made in multiple variations and are made of leather, Vinyl leather, canvas or kirza. Similar construction variations exist as with the Model 1937, in that they can be riveted, sewn, or a combination of both. These can be found in many different colours as the Soviets used whatever suitable material they could find during the darkest days of the war. You see them in black, grey, brown, green, un-dyed leather, burgundy, etc. As of 2017, these are selling in the $60+ range for a decent example.

    The interior of the pouch contains a divider allowing two wedge-shaped cardboard boxes of 7.62x54R ammunition to be stored, or this divider can be folded out of the way and one SVT magazine and 2 chargers can be inserted, separated by a lengthwise divider. A leather pull tab is included to make the magazine easier to remove from the pouch. These were made until early 1942, though most production stopped in October 1941.

    The unified pouch did away with the back ring for the Y-straps and was simply worn on the equipment belt. The example I'm depicting is a black leather version made in 1941 with sewn construction.





    As the pressures mounted on the Soviet forces and things like beaver-chewed M91/30 receivers started to appear, the manufacture of ammunition pouches was cheapened further to get more materiel into the field against the germans. This resulted in the Model 1941 Simplified Pouch, introduced in October 1941. This was the most numerously produced ammunition pouch in WW2, the Soviet produced over 26 million of them, though most no longer exist today. Presumably as production normalized after WW2, and the model 1937 pattern was re-introduced (more on that later), most of the leftover "simplified pouches" were scrapped.

    The Simplified Pouch is characterized by a single pocket with no dividers. It has 2 simple belt loops on the back and either a button or stud closure on the front. First hand accounts show that this over-cheapened pouch was NOT popular with the troops, and few pictures exist of them actually in use. More commonly, people relieved soviet or german dead and wounded of nicer patterns of ammunition pouch at first opportunity for somewhat obvious reasons. These pouches can be had in the $30-60 range in 2017, depending on the model, construction materiel, condition, and relative rarity.

    The most common simplified pouch is made of simple canvas or fabric material like this first example. Belt loops can be leather, kirza or canvas. Although hard to make out, this one is dated 1944.





    The next most common is the leather construction variant, and the rarest is the Kirza pouch. Externally they look the same, but internally, the kirza pouch resembles canvas. Here is a rare kirza variant, sewn construction with a stamped metal closure stud. Although the date stamp is too worn to read, it's from the 1942-1944 period.





    These pouches would generally all have been worn in pairs, but at times the soldier needed to carry additional ammunition. For this reason, the "Additional Pouch" was issued. Only one of these additional pouches was meant to be worn, on the left side hanging below the standard ammunition pouch. These were always produced in canvas and could also fit an SVT magazine, but were meant for riflemen carrying a mosin nagant. There are some variations in the type of closure device and the color of the canvas, but there is not as large a variety to these as for wartime primary ammunition pouches.

    Most of these have no date stamps, but they were only made during WW2. The few that are dated are usually stamped 1941.




    That covers all the major variants produced prior to VE day.

    In late 1945, domestic production on model 1937 ammunition pouches resumed, but most often made of kirza, not leather, though some leather post-war examples are also encountered. Some 1945 dated examples are found from time to time, and this pattern remained in production, largely unchanged until the late 1950's when the equipment strap ring was eliminated (exact date not know to me).

    Here are both variants of the post-war kirza model 1937 ammunition pouch, the leather ones are identical but made of leather (obviously). This is the ammunition pouch that was most commonly encountered when the bulk of M91/30 refurb rifles started to appear in North America in the 2000's. These are the pouches the soviets packed with the rifles after their large refurbishment program and most are unissued, as the SKS45 and AK47 were primary issue arms when the pouches were made. These were meant to arm conscripts in the event of WW3 or as foreign aid to budding communist nations.

    The bottom variant is an earlier pouch made in the late 1940's or early 1950's that retains the equipment strap ring. The date stamp is too worn to read. The top pouch is made in 1960 and no longer incorporates the ring on the back. These post-war pouches can be found for under $15 a piece in 2017 due to the sheer numbers that were imported.





    In 1950, the DDR (East Germanyicon), as part of war reparations, was pressed into making very nice leather Model 1937 ammunition pouches for the Soviet military. These are well made and were sent to the Soviet Union where they were both issued, as well as stored, in large numbers. They can be found for sale online pretty easily and are more expensive then post-war kirza pouches, but not expensive compared to wartime pouches. You often see them in the $25 range and they are often used by re-enactors as they look like a common variant of the pre-war pouches when worn.





    Lastly, we have perhaps the last pouch variant made for the Mosin Nagant before the former soviet states began disposing of their mosin nagant rifles. This pattern resembles somewhat the Model 1941 unified pouch, except that it is configured with a permanent divider suitable only for 7.62x54R ammunition on charger clips. An SVT mag cannot be inserted. One source I read claims these are meant to be interchangeable for the Mosin and SKS and that production was begun in the 1950's. That said, I have never seen one dated earlier than 1978 and I can't make an SKS charger guide fit in this pouch correctly. I don't know the official model designation of the pouch and I haven't yet seen it published. My example is dated September 1979.





    So that about sums it up, though I have read that a wooden pouch, that copied the pre-1937 stiff leather pouches of imperial design, was also made briefly during WW2. I don't have an example and they are exceedingly rare. There may be a few other very rare variants that none of us are likely to encounter also
    Союз нерушимый республик свободных Сплотила навеки Великая Русь. Да здравствует созданный волей народов Единый, могучий Советский Союз!

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    Next I'm going to cover some of the cleaning tools issued with the Mosins. I like the screwdriver tools personally, and there is a tremendous variety of styles and markings on these. I'm only going to cover some of the major variations.

    The original mosin screwdriver was a multi-tool blade set in a wooden handle. These date back to the advent of the imperial mosin and were made up until around 1930. The only real difference between the imperial versions (1918 and earlier) and the Soviet versions (1919 and later) are the markings.

    Here, I'm showing an imperial era Remington-made screwdriver a soviet era Tula-made screwdriver. The Remington versions are a bit unique in that they had walnut handles while most other variants are birch. As an aside, the Finnishicon forces favored this pattern of screwdriver tool, and when they ran out of Russianicon ones, they made their own with Finnish maker markings, but that's another story!




    In about 1930, the Soviets switched to a tubular-style self-contained cleaning kit and screwdriver to roughly coincide with the modernization of the M1891 Dragoon into the M91/30 infantry rifle.

    These have a knurled outer surface and the body becomes the screwdriver handle, or the cleaning rod handle, and a muzzle cap for protecting the rifling from the cleaning rod. Inside the kit was a nylon brush, a blade screwdriver, and a cleaning jag. You find the blades both with firing pin protrusion gauges and a simplified version without the gauge notches (like the one I pictured). All versions have a firing pin wrench notch for adjusting pin protrusion, regardless if a pin gauge is provided.

    There are also a couple patterns of tube housing. The Tula-made version I'm showing here has a depression in the larger tube that locks into the notch on the smaller diameter tube section, but there is also a pattern with protruding tabs that clip into notches on the other half of the tube.

    These are really quite rare and when they are located, are often missing pieces. Production ceased in 1941 in favour of a simplified tool kit, roughly around the time the Soviets started making manufacturing shortcuts to deal with the German invasion.





    In 1941, a much easier to produce stamped screwdriver was introduced that required no hand assembly, and no wooden handle. These were stamped out with pressing does in great numbers, but some versions were short lived and are harder to find.

    I've depicted some of the versions collectors will encounter. From top to bottom:

    - Early version with the GO and NOGO pin gauges on opposite sides of the blade. These were only made for a very short period in 1941 and are hard to find today. Most seem to be in relic condition, but this one is not.
    - Typical 1942 or later Izhevsk-made screwdriver. The factories generally shipped the rifles with a sufficient quantity of tools, so a good many Izhevsk and Tula marked screwdrivers are still around.
    - The original factory screwdrivers were easily lost in the field, so the GRAU facilities (depots) started manufacturing screwdrivers to make up the losses. These typically have no Izhevsk or Tula markings, but will have a GRAU facility identification stamp on them. (The box with vertical line is not yet associated with a specific GRAU facility)
    - 1950 (post-war) East German made screwdriver with no pin protrusion gauge notches.
    - Post-war alternate type screwdriver with no notches (more on this below)



    Regarding the "alternate type" screwdriver - prior to Alexander Yuschenko's book M91/30 Rifles and M38/M44 Carbines in 1941-1945, it was commonly though screwdrivers of this shape were not made for the Mosin Nagant. Conventional gun show wisdom was that these were either made for captured K98kicon rifles, Lend-Lease Thompson SMGs, or were made for PPSh41 SMGs. This is likely because all of these guns recently were sold from the former soviet arms caches and imported to the west with random mosin accessories. Yuschenko shows three versions of this screwdriver that basically put this discussion to rest. The earliest versions of these had Mosin pin protrusion gauges on the side of the blade section, though all known examples are in relic condition. Later, only the pin wrench notch was machined into the side of these screwdrivers. The last version, like post-war East German made reparation screwdrivers, include no notches at all, only the screwdriver blade tip.

    I've depicted the last style made, but I also have a pin wrench notch version that I can't find at the moment (it's in storage). I'll post a pic when I dig it up.

    Now I'm going to briefly cover the wartime cleaning kit. When the tubular kit was replaced, the new kits were more than just a screwdriver. The kits were issued in a simple pouch with a wrap string or or wrap ribbon. The pouches were made from heavy canvas or artificial leather. These pouches are typically not dated, and were made identically during the war and post-war, as I write this, I don't know how to ID which are truly wartime.



    A complete kit will contain a cleaning brush, a simplified screwdriver (usually the triangular type with pin protrusion gauge notches), a cleaning jag, a swivel collar and handle assembly for the end of the cleaning rod, and either a long muzzle cover (for the 91/30) or a short muzzle cover (for the M38 and M44 carbines). Both muzzle covers are depicted here, but an issued kit would have had one or the other, not both.

    Most of the kits currently floating around are missing the cleaning brush and the pouch itself. Lately you get the screwdriver, a cleaning jag, a swivel collar and handle assembly and either a muzzle cover in a vacuum sealed plastic bag. The original cleaning brushes are getting harder to find.



    The Russians also issued an oil bottle, and several versions were used over the years. The earliest bottles were a single chamber circular bottle with the imperial eagle pressed into one side of the bottle, and "CO3" pressed into the opposite side. These are rare/expensive and I don't have one yet to show here. After the start of the soviet era, a basic round oil bottle (single chamber) with no markings was issued (see lower left in the picture).

    Some time in the 1930's (exact date not known to me), the Russians switched to a rectangular 2-chamber bottle (upper left in photo). These are marked W/H, pronounced shchalok and neft, which means alkaline solution and oil. This is the version generally used throughout WW2.

    In the upper right of the picture is the 2-chamber oil bottle that ships with most refurb mosins these days. This is generally thought to be a post-war bottle. In the lower right is an Izhevsk made oil bottle, thought to be post-war. these were issued with Mosins, the SKS and early AKs.



    The post-war oil bottles will sometimes come in an artificial leather (vinyl) case. These vary in color but are basically all the same design. During the war, the oil bottle does not appear to have had a special covering and was just carried in a soldier's pack.

    Last edited by Claven2; 05-10-2017 at 08:20 PM.
    Союз нерушимый республик свободных Сплотила навеки Великая Русь. Да здравствует созданный волей народов Единый, могучий Советский Союз!

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    Awesome thanks for the information and sharing Claven

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    I thought I would do a little work on explaining the typical Russianicon Mosin bayonets.

    There are a few forms of commonly available (and not so available) Russian issue Mosin bayonets. I don't own a Panshin bayonet or the ex-panshin bayonet variations, so alas, no photos of those - but if someone wants to sell me either, pls pm me

    From top to bottom below:

    1) Imperial M91 bayonet
    2) Forged and Machined M30 bayonet
    3) Cast and welded M30 bayonet
    4) M42 "blokadnik" bayonet




    Here is a closeup of the manufacturer marking on a typical M91 bayonet from the imperial era. They were made by all the manufacturers, in this case it is marked with the Tula hammer. The lock ring is often not marked with a maker symbol.



    Next are examples of both Tula and Izhevsk-made forged and machined M30 bayonets. Note these, if not refurbed and mixed-parts, will be maker marked identically on both the spike shank and on the button.

    Tula:




    Izhevsk:




    As pressure mounted in WW2, the GRAU field arsenal facilities had to start manufacturing bayonets to make up for shortages. Several good references refer to the very high loss rate for M30 bayonets.

    It's speculated that a couple factors were at play: 1) The bayonets were not permanently attached to the rifles, and were easy to remove. 2) The affixed bayonet made the M91/30 into a VERy long weapon that was difficult to wield in confined spaces. 3) There was not commonly issued scabbard for the bayonet.

    In any event, the GRAU facilities didn't have access to forging equipment and were under real pressures to make up the shortfalls. Their answer was to cast the collar and weld it to a full-machined spike. The end result is a considerably cruder-looking M30 bayonet. You'll not obvious weld seams, a collar that has less crisp lines and edges that was only very cursorily machined, and typically the spike flutes aren't as straight and uniform as they were cut hastily on a milling machine. Also, these will not be marked with an Izhevsk Triangle or Tula Star. Intact examples will instead have a GRAU arsenal stamp on both the body of the bayonet and on a crudely made button. This is NOT a refurb marking, but rather a manufacturing stamp showing a GRAU factory made the bayonet during WW2.




    The differences are much more obvious in this photo comparing a forged and machined Tula bayonet to a cast and welded GRAU bayonet. Pay attention to the "melted" look of the rings on the collar compared ot the crisply machined shoulders of the Tula part.



    Lastly, here is a dug specimen of the M42 Blokadnik bayonet. These were made in besieged Lenningrad from spare SVT40 blades, and in some cases, from captured K98icon bayonet blades, from 1942 to early 1944. Nearly all remaining examples are in relic condition like this one, which is in above average condition with a working mechanism. This one still mounts to a rifle and came out of a peat bog in the Courland pocket (Kurland-Kessel in German) and is made from an SVT40 blade.



    There are two variants I don't have photos of. The first is the M1891/30 Panshin bayonet which was only made for a short period between 1930 and 1932 as the M91 dragoon design was transitioning to the M91/30 infantry rifle. On these bayonets, the front sight hood is part of the bayonet itself.

    Another related bayonet is the converted Panshin where a panshin bayonet had the hood machined off so it could be used like a normal M30 bayonet. Both variants are fairly uncommon.
    Last edited by Claven2; 06-30-2017 at 02:06 PM.
    Союз нерушимый республик свободных Сплотила навеки Великая Русь. Да здравствует созданный волей народов Единый, могучий Советский Союз!

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    I've been collecting Mosin accessories for some time now and over the next little while, I'll post some information for those who want to collect the essentials to go with their Soviet Mosin firearms.

    Let's start with the Ammunition Pouches that were in use during the Soviet WW2 era and beyond. There are earlier pouches that are all but unobtainable except as reproductions, and we'll skip those.

    When war began in June 1941, the Soviet Army was equipped with the Model 37 ammunition pouch. There are multiple variations of this pouch, and all of them are rare today. The example I'm showing was acquired in eastern Europe in Jan 2017 for 104 euros and that was a bargain (!) compared to what they are selling for typically. These leather pouches were used until they fell apart in large numbers during the war, and production effectively ended in 1941 shortly after the start of Operation Barbarossa, in favour of models that could be produced cheaper and faster. This means that few examples survived, and even fewer survived post-war service.

    The basically universal characteristics of the Model 1937 include 2 compartments, leather construction and a ring on the backside to clip to the shoulder y-straps of the soviet combat uniform. They are generally found in a shade of brown. These pouches can be sewn constriction, riveted, or a combination of both. The front tongue can be solid, or Y-shaped with a central cutout. There is also a very rare Kirza (rubberized canvas) version, but only a few relic condition examples are known to collectors, and they don't resemble the post-war kirza pouches discussed further below.

    The depicted example is 1939 production, solid tongue strap, riveted construction, and has a nice clear 1939 production date stamp.





    As Model 1937 production wound down, the soviets quickly introduced the Model 1941 Unified Pouch. The idea behind this pouch was to have one pouch that would replace both the Model 1937 Mosin Pouch and the Model 38/40 SVT pouch with a single issue that could store either charger clips or magazines. These pouches were also made in multiple variations and are made of leather, Vinyl leather, canvas or kirza. Similar construction variations exist as with the Model 1937, in that they can be riveted, sewn, or a combination of both. These can be found in many different colours as the Soviets used whatever suitable material they could find during the darkest days of the war. You see them in black, grey, brown, green, un-dyed leather, burgundy, etc. As of 2017, these are selling in the $60+ range for a decent example.

    The interior of the pouch contains a divider allowing two wedge-shaped cardboard boxes of 7.62x54R ammunition to be stored, or this divider can be folded out of the way and one SVT magazine and 2 chargers can be inserted, separated by a lengthwise divider. A leather pull tab is included to make the magazine easier to remove from the pouch. These were made until early 1942, though most production stopped in October 1941.

    The unified pouch did away with the back ring for the Y-straps and was simply worn on the equipment belt. The example I'm depicting is a black leather version made in 1941 with sewn construction.






    And here is an example of the rare artificial vinyl leather unified pouch made in November 1941:






    As the pressures mounted on the Soviet forces and things like beaver-chewed M91/30 receivers started to appear, the manufacture of ammunition pouches was cheapened further to get more materiel into the field against the germans. This resulted in the Model 1941 Simplified Pouch, introduced in October 1941. This was the most numerously produced ammunition pouch in WW2, the Soviet produced over 26 million of them, though most no longer exist today. Presumably as production normalized after WW2, and the model 1937 pattern was re-introduced (more on that later), most of the leftover "simplified pouches" were scrapped.

    The Simplified Pouch is characterized by a single pocket with no dividers. It has 2 simple belt loops on the back and either a button or stud closure on the front. First hand accounts show that this over-cheapened pouch was NOT popular with the troops, and few pictures exist of them actually in use. More commonly, people relieved soviet or german dead and wounded of nicer patterns of ammunition pouch at first opportunity for somewhat obvious reasons. These pouches can be had in the $30-60 range in 2017, depending on the model, construction materiel, condition, and relative rarity.

    The most common simplified pouch is made of simple canvas or fabric material like this first example. Belt loops can be leather, kirza or canvas. Although hard to make out, this one is dated 1944.





    The next most common is the leather construction variant, and the rarest is the Kirza pouch. Here is an example of the leather version:







    Externally they look the same, but internally, the kirza pouch resembles canvas. Here is a rare kirza variant, sewn construction with a stamped metal closure stud. Although the date stamp is too worn to read, it's from the 1942-1944 period.





    These pouches would generally all have been worn in pairs, but at times the soldier needed to carry additional ammunition. For this reason, the "Additional Pouch" was issued. Only one of these additional pouches was meant to be worn, on the left side hanging below the standard ammunition pouch. These were always produced in canvas and could also fit an SVT magazine, but were meant for riflemen carrying a mosin nagant. There are some variations in the type of closure device and the color of the canvas, but there is not as large a variety to these as for wartime primary ammunition pouches.

    Most of these have no date stamps, but they were only made during WW2. The few that are dated are usually stamped 1941.




    That covers all the major variants produced prior to VE day.

    In late 1945, domestic production on model 1937 ammunition pouches resumed, but most often made of kirza, not leather, though some leather post-war examples are also encountered. Some 1945 dated examples are found from time to time, and this pattern remained in production, largely unchanged until the late 1950's when the equipment strap ring was eliminated (exact date not know to me).

    Here are both variants of the post-war kirza model 1937 ammunition pouch, the leather ones are identical but made of leather (obviously). This is the ammunition pouch that was most commonly encountered when the bulk of M91/30 refurb rifles started to appear in North America in the 2000's. These are the pouches the soviets packed with the rifles after their large refurbishment program and most are unissued, as the SKS45 and AK47 were primary issue arms when the pouches were made. These were meant to arm conscripts in the event of WW3 or as foreign aid to budding communist nations.

    The bottom variant is an earlier pouch made in the late 1940's or early 1950's that retains the equipment strap ring. The date stamp is too worn to read. The top pouch is made in 1960 and no longer incorporates the ring on the back. These post-war pouches can be found for under $15 a piece in 2017 due to the sheer numbers that were imported.





    In 1950, the DDR (East Germany), as part of war reparations, was pressed into making very nice leather Model 1937 ammunition pouches for the Soviet military. These are well made and were sent to the Soviet Union where they were both issued, as well as stored, in large numbers. They can be found for sale online pretty easily and are more expensive then post-war kirza pouches, but not expensive compared to wartime pouches. You often see them in the $25 range and they are often used by re-enactors as they look like a common variant of the pre-war pouches when worn.





    Lastly, we have perhaps the last pouch variant made for the Mosin Nagant before the former soviet states began disposing of their mosin nagant rifles. This pattern resembles somewhat the Model 1941 unified pouch, except that it is configured with a permanent divider suitable only for 7.62x54R ammunition on charger clips. An SVT mag cannot be inserted. One source I read claims these are meant to be interchangeable for the Mosin and SKS and that production was begun in the 1950's. That said, I have never seen one dated earlier than 1978 and I can't make an SKS charger guide fit in this pouch correctly. I don't know the official model designation of the pouch and I haven't yet seen it published. My example is dated September 1979.





    So that about sums it up, though I have read that a wooden pouch, that copied the pre-1937 stiff leather pouches of imperial design, was also made briefly during WW2. I don't have an example and they are exceedingly rare. There may be a few other very rare variants that none of us are likely to encounter also.

    Soviet soldiers also often carried extra ammunition in a bandoleer if going to combat. These bandoleers were available in a few minor variations, but generally were made of canvas or coarse, heavy cloth ranging in color from light beige to dark green material. Similar bandoleers were issued in WW1 and in the inter-war years, the chief difference being that in late 1941 or early 1942 (exact date of change is unknown), a pocket segment was left large enough to insert an SVT-38 or SVT-40 magazine, if needed. The bandoleers held ammunition in pre-loaded charger clips or sometimes in cardboard inserts, and were worn across the chest. The long thong was looped through the sewn-in loop on the other end and tied in place. Some early versions had a buckle instead, but most were these simpler tied models.

    Most bandoleer variants had 6 pockets and each pocket usually was loaded with 3 chargers, two with the bullets facing down and 1 in between with the bullets facing up. This allowed the carry of an extra 90 rounds of ammunition in the bandoleer. The most common ammunition pouches each held 30 rounds and were worn in pairs for a total of 60 rounds. The Additional Pouch, if worn, could carry up to 8 chargers of ammunition, or total of 40 rounds. If both ammunition pouches, the additional pouch and the bandoleer were all worn, the soviet soldier would be carrying 190 rounds of ammunition for the Mosin rifle.

    Although hard to make out with the black ink on dark green canvas, this example is stamped 1942r and is made of heavy canvas.





    Often, ammunition was provided to the soldiers in cardboard packets pre-sized to hold 15 rounds (2 chargers facing downward, one facing up between them). These were meant to be dropped right into the various cartridge belt pouches, or into the bandoleer or additional pouch. This is a typical WW2 era cardboard packet:






    Next I'm going to cover some of the cleaning tools issued with the Mosins. I like the screwdriver tools personally, and there is a tremendous variety of styles and markings on these. I'm only going to cover some of the major variations.

    The original mosin screwdriver was a multi-tool blade set in a wooden handle. These date back to the advent of the imperial mosin and were made up until around 1930. The only real difference between the imperial versions (1918 and earlier) and the Soviet versions (1919 and later) are the markings.

    Here, I'm showing an imperial era Remington-made screwdriver a soviet era Tula-made screwdriver. The Remington versions are a bit unique in that they had walnut handles while most other variants are birch. As an aside, the Finnishicon forces favored this pattern of screwdriver tool, and when they ran out of Russianicon ones, they made their own with Finnish maker markings, but that's another story!




    In about 1930, the Soviets switched to a tubular-style self-contained cleaning kit and screwdriver to roughly coincide with the modernization of the M1891 Dragoon into the M91/30 infantry rifle.

    These have a knurled outer surface and the body becomes the screwdriver handle, or the cleaning rod handle, and a muzzle cap for protecting the rifling from the cleaning rod. Inside the kit was a nylon brush, a blade screwdriver, and a cleaning jag. You find the blades both with firing pin protrusion gauges and a simplified version without the gauge notches (like the one I pictured). All versions have a firing pin wrench notch for adjusting pin protrusion, regardless if a pin gauge is provided.

    There are also two patterns of tube housing. The first had protruding tabs that clip into notches on the other half of the tube, my example was made at Tula and has a crossed-hammers proof mark. These were prevalent from about 1930 to about 1937.





    The second version I'm showing here has a depression in the larger tube that locks into the notch on the smaller diameter tube section. These were made starting in 1938.





    These are really quite rare and when they are located, are often missing pieces. Production ceased in 1941 in favour of a simplified tool kit, roughly around the time the Soviets started making manufacturing shortcuts to mosin rifles to deal with the German invasion.

    In 1941, a much easier to produce stamped screwdriver was introduced that required no hand assembly, and no wooden handle. These were stamped out with pressing does in great numbers, but some versions were short lived and are harder to find.

    I've depicted some of the versions collectors will encounter. From top to bottom:

    - Early version with the GO and NOGO pin gauges on opposite sides of the blade. These were only made for a very short period in 1941 and are hard to find today. Most seem to be in relic condition, but this one is not.
    - Typical 1942 or later Izhevsk-made screwdriver. The factories generally shipped the rifles with a sufficient quantity of tools, so a good many Izhevsk and Tula marked screwdrivers are still around.
    - The original factory screwdrivers were easily lost in the field, so the GRAU facilities (depots) started manufacturing screwdrivers to make up the losses. These typically have no Izhevsk or Tula markings, but will have a GRAU facility identification stamp on them. (The box with vertical line is not yet associated with a specific GRAU facility)
    - 1950 (post-war) East German made screwdriver with no pin protrusion gauge notches.
    - Post-war alternate type screwdriver with no notches (more on this below)




    Regarding the "alternate type" screwdriver - prior to Alexander Yuschenko's book M91/30 Rifles and M38/M44 Carbines in 1941-1945, it was commonly though screwdrivers of this shape were not made for the Mosin Nagant. Conventional gun show wisdom was that these were either made for captured K98kicon rifles, Lend-Lease Thompson SMGs, or were made for PPSh41 SMGs. This is likely because all of these guns recently were sold from the former soviet arms caches and imported to the west with random mosin accessories. Yuschenko shows three versions of this screwdriver that basically put this discussion to rest. The earliest versions of these had Mosin pin protrusion gauges on the side of the blade section, though all known examples are in relic condition - including the example I have above which was WW2 battlefield dug. Later, only the pin wrench notch was machined into the side of these screwdrivers (top screwdriver, second photo). The last version, like post-war East German made reparation screwdrivers, include no notches at all, only the screwdriver blade tip (bottom screwdriver, second photo).

    Now I'm going to briefly cover the wartime cleaning kit. When the tubular kit was replaced, the new kits were more than just a screwdriver. The kits were issued in a simple pouch with a wrap string or or wrap ribbon. The pouches were made from heavy canvas or artificial leather. These pouches are typically not dated, and were made identically during the war and post-war, as I write this, I don't know how to ID which are truly wartime.



    A complete kit will contain a cleaning brush, a simplified screwdriver (usually the triangular type with pin protrusion gauge notches), a cleaning jag, a swivel collar and handle assembly for the end of the cleaning rod, and either a long muzzle cover (for the 91/30) or a short muzzle cover (for the M38 and M44 carbines). Both muzzle covers are depicted here, but an issued kit would have had one or the other, not both.

    Most of the kits currently floating around are missing the cleaning brush and the pouch itself. Lately you get the screwdriver, a cleaning jag, a swivel collar and handle assembly and either of the two muzzle covers in a vacuum sealed plastic bag. The original cleaning brushes are getting harder to find.



    The Russians also issued an oil bottle, and several versions were used over the years. The earliest bottles were a single chamber circular bottle with the imperial eagle pressed into one side of the bottle, and "CO3" pressed into the opposite side. These are rare/expensive and I don't have one yet to show here. After the start of the soviet era, a basic round oil bottle (single chamber) with no markings was issued (see lower left in the picture).

    Some time in the 1930's (exact date not known to me), the Russians switched to a rectangular 2-chamber bottle (upper left in photo). These are marked W/H, pronounced shchalok and neft, which means alkaline solution and oil. This is the version generally used throughout WW2.

    In the upper right of the picture is the 2-chamber oil bottle that ships with most refurb mosins these days. This is generally thought to be a post-war bottle. In the lower right is an Izhevsk made oil bottle, thought to be post-war. these were issued with Mosins, the SKS and early AKs.



    The post-war oil bottles will sometimes come in an artificial leather (vinyl) case. These vary in color but are basically all the same design. During the war, the oil bottle does not appear to have had a special covering and was just carried in a soldier's pack.



    Next, I'm going to cover some Russian/Soviet Mosin bayonet essentials.

    There are a few forms of commonly available (and not so available) Russian issue Mosin bayonets. I don't own a Panshin bayonet or the ex-panshin bayonet variations, so alas, no photos of those - but if someone wants to sell me either, pls pm me I should mention all photos in these posts are my own, and of things I have in the collection, unless specifically noted otherwise.

    From top to bottom below:

    1) Imperial M91 bayonet
    2) Forged and Machined M30 bayonet
    3) Cast and welded M30 bayonet
    4) M42 "blokadnik" bayonet




    Here is a closeup of the manufacturer marking on a typical M91 bayonet from the imperial era. They were made by all the manufacturers, in this case it is marked with the Tula hammer. The lock ring is often not marked with a maker symbol.



    Next are examples of both Tula and Izhevsk-made forged and machined M30 bayonets. Note these, if not refurbed and mixed-parts, will be maker marked identically on both the spike shank and on the button.

    Tula:




    Izhevsk:




    As pressure mounted in WW2, the GRAU field arsenal facilities had to start manufacturing bayonets to make up for shortages. Several good references refer to the very high loss rate for M30 bayonets.

    It's speculated that a couple factors were at play: 1) The bayonets were not permanently attached to the rifles, and were easy to remove. 2) The affixed bayonet made the M91/30 into a VERy long weapon that was difficult to wield in confined spaces. 3) There was not commonly issued scabbard for the bayonet.

    In any event, the GRAU facilities didn't have access to forging equipment and were under real pressures to make up the shortfalls. Their answer was to cast the collar and weld it to a full-machined spike. The end result is a considerably cruder-looking M30 bayonet. You'll not obvious weld seams, a collar that has less crisp lines and edges that was only very cursorily machined, and typically the spike flutes aren't as straight and uniform as they were cut hastily on a milling machine. Also, these will not be marked with an Izhevsk Triangle or Tula Star. Intact examples will instead have a GRAU arsenal stamp on both the body of the bayonet and on a crudely made button. This is NOT a refurb marking, but rather a manufacturing stamp showing a GRAU factory made the bayonet during WW2.




    The differences are much more obvious in this photo comparing a forged and machined Izhevsk bayonet to a cast and welded GRAU bayonet. Pay attention to the "melted" look of the rings on the collar compared to the crisply machined shoulders of the Izhevsk collar.



    Lastly, here is a dug specimen of the M42 Blokadnik bayonet. These were made in besieged Lenningrad from spare SVT40 blades, and in some cases, from captured K98 bayonet blades, from 1942 to early 1944. Nearly all remaining examples are in relic condition like this one, which is in above average condition with a working mechanism. This one still mounts to a rifle and came out of a peat bog in the Courland pocket (Kurland-Kessel in German) and is made from an SVT40 blade.



    There are two variants I don't have photos of. The first is the M1891/30 Panshin bayonet which was only made for a short period between 1930 and 1932 as the M91 dragoon design was transitioning to the M91/30 infantry rifle. On these bayonets, the front sight hood is part of the bayonet itself.

    Another related bayonet is the converted Panshin where a Panshin bayonet had the hood machined off so it could be used like a normal M30 bayonet. Both variants are fairly uncommon.

    Another interesting area of period accessories to collect are the Soviet armorer's tools. While there are many to collect, perhaps the most useful are the issue headspace gauges. A typical set includes a GO and NO gauge. Depicted here are both (NOGO on top, GO on bottom). These ones were made in 1945.

    Союз нерушимый республик свободных Сплотила навеки Великая Русь. Да здравствует созданный волей народов Единый, могучий Советский Союз!

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    Part 2.


    I'm now going to cover the typical 91/30 slings. Pre-war slings were made of leather and had a distinctive "S" shape to the stitching. These early slings are VERY hard to find due to a high attrition rate. They were prone to rot, wear, tear and other damage after prolonged outdoor use through 4 years of war. My example has a riveted keeper and dog collars with riveted fasteners. The manufacturing date stamp is weak, but the last digit in the year is 5. So it's either a 1935 sling with non-typical riveted collars and keeper, or it was made as the war was ending in 1945 with a pre-war pattern sling body but post-war keeper and collars. The original pre-war slings are identical to this one, but the keeper and dog collars would have been stitched and likely not riveted. In either event, after 1945 you no longer see this type of sling being made with S-shaped stitching, and very few of this pattern were produced from 1942-1945.






    Next we have an early wartime web sling. This one is a finnish capture, likely from the continuation war, and would be a 1942-1944 made sling, though the manufacturing date stamp is illegible. It is SA-T stamped by Finnishicon foces post-capture. The sling is characterized by real leather re-infocements being used at the sewn loop ends. The keeper is stitched and the dog collars are mad of un-stained rawhide. In this case, the collars are sewn with heavy thread. These collars are soiled from hard use.





    This next one is a late war sling. These differ from the early war web sling in that the leather reinforcements at the sling loops are omitted to economize materials. This one also has a different variant of the rawhide dog collars that are assembled with rawhide thong stitching instead of thread. Both types were used during the war, as well as typical tanned leather stitched collars. Keepers can be either rawhide or tanned leather. Few, if any, collars were riveted on wartime slings. This one is dated 1943, though the ink stamp is faint.






    Now we look at the commonly encountered post-war web sling. In truth, the very very vast majority of slings that ship with refurb mosins or that are for sale on the internet are made post-war. Post-war production of web slings began after May 1945 and were made into at least the early 1970's. Sometimes they are date stamped and sometimes not. They are visually similar to wartime slings with identical web material and buckles, but there are obvious differences.

    Typical post-war slings will have re-inforcement patches at the loops, but they are usually made of kirza or artificial leather, and are usually only sewn around the perimeter, omitting the wartime "X" of stitching inside the perimeter stitching. Keepers and dog collars are nearly always of riveted construction. in some cases, coarse web material was used, and obviously any dates will indicate a post-war manufacturing date.

    This example was made in 1948, though the webbing is of a coarser type that makes the date hard to photograph.






    Lastly, we have a typical post-war leather sling. To the uninitiated, these can be mistaken for a much rarer and more valuable pre-war leather sling. They come in a good many variants and are often made for dressier occasions or, in some cases, are not russian at all. Bulgarian issue leather slings are particularly sold on e-bay as "russian". The sling depicted here is East-German made for Russiaicon as part of war reparations by Ulin Breitschuh in Eisleben in 1950. Notice the stiching at the loops lacks an "S" stitch pattern. The hardware is brass, while soviet hardware was always made of anti-corrosion coated steel.





    From 1949 to 1990, the Soviet Occupation zone of the former Third Reich became East Germanyicon, which was occupied by Soviet forces from 1945 to 1991 and Russian Federation forces from 1991 to 1994. East Germany was effectively a satellite state of the Soviet Union.

    At the Yalta Conference, it was also decided the defeated German territories would be on the hook for war reparations to allied nations. Unlike after WW1, no reparations were to be paid in money. Instead, reparations would be made up of German industrial assets and forced labour. Recipient countries included Greece, Israel, The Netherlands, Poland, Yugoslaviaicon and the Soviet Union.

    So why is all this important for the Mosin collector? Well, one of the reparations activities imposted on East Germany was the manufacture and supply of Mosin Nagant accoutrements to the USSR to make up for materiel lost during the war.
    Союз нерушимый республик свободных Сплотила навеки Великая Русь. Да здравствует созданный волей народов Единый, могучий Советский Союз!

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    post updated and broken into 2 posts.

    Союз нерушимый республик свободных Сплотила навеки Великая Русь. Да здравствует созданный волей народов Единый, могучий Советский Союз!

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