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I like to make jabs about other football teams, post about my love for coffee and promote gun rights on my Facebook page. One photo I posted of my Mosin Nagant 91/30 — with the caption “some of us just want a gun with a bayonet” — got me a comment that led a friend of mine on the search for the origins of my WWII era rifle.

Courtesy of Sara Tipton

After seeing the black and white image above,”Nick” asked about the bent bolt on my Mosin. Obviously, the bolt came that way. Since it did, he offered to look into whether or not this particular gun could have been used as a sniper rifle during WWII. I snapped some pictures of my old gun and sent them to him.


Courtesy of Sara Tipton

Less than a few hours later, he had a response:

It was made at the Tula factory in 1943. It may have gone to Albania. I’m not too sure about Yugoslavia. It was imported by Century Arms International. Do you see any numbers near the woodline anywhere? Did you buy this from a store and did it have cosmoline (old russian preservation grease) on it?

The only numbers near the woodline are the serial numbers put on the Mosin by Century Arms, so that wasn’t helpful. But it did come covered in cosmoline. He said it “most likely came from Yugoslavia.” So, there we have it.  I know a little more about my old gun than I did before. Thanks, Nick!

Any other information could be helpful. I’m still interested in knowing more about the history of this rifle. It’s so ugly that it’s beautiful, and it kicks like a mule, but it’s all mine and I love it. Got Mosin?

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  1. Yes, yes, I do. Mine was made in 1942, the same year my dad was born, at the Izhevsk arsenal. I like to think that it might have been taken into Stalingrad, but I have no proof of that.

    • My M44 Mosin was also born the same year as my dad (1944) Izhevsk (the rifle – not the dad). If I remember correctly, my new M38 Mosin was born there a year earlier.

      The post of this title “Got Mosin Nagant?” seems a little silly to me.

      As a CGL (cheapskate gun lover), of course I’ve “got Mosin Nagant”, plus a bunch of cheap corrosive surplus ammo to go with them.

    • If there are mismatching numbers/marks then it could be so. The izzies were definitely humped out to Stalingrad. Is it a round receiver? Is the “safety” there? If yes and no, it could very well be what you are dreaming of. Something something about no time to finish the receivers, IIRC. Look for rough tool marks…

    • Mine is also stamped 1942. Late 1942 to early 1943 the Germans took over Tula and exported all the Mosin Nagants. Only sniper rifle had original bent bolts. IF the sniper rifle remained in Russia, then it would have been taken out of sniper service. That resulted in then being retrofitted for general use. They replaced the bent bolt with a straight bolt, removed the scope and plugged the holes, and stamped a letter on each side of the serial. That’s how some of the snipers are.
      BUT, looking at your gun, very smooth machining marks, original bent bolt, and only test fired (you can tell if it’s tough to load the magazine, and I bet that it is because the date) then most likely it was captured and therefore never marked as above. It’s almost just like mine, and I have the records regarding it’s history, so I bet it’s an original sniper.

  2. The Finish rebuilds are amazing little rifles. They are a bit shorter than the Russian originals, but are much handier while keeping the traditional Mosin reliability. I got my hands on a sporterized version a few years ago for $50. It has a horrible plastic stock and somebody removed the rear sight from the original dovetail, so it’s going to take quite a bit of work to get it to function well. I might just have the receiver drilled and tapped for a scout mount, that and shortening the barrel to 18″ or so should give me a very decent and handy bolt gun.

    • Before you consider sporterizing it any further, go to and check their mosin parts section. It’s pricey, but they have a lot of Finn stuff. You might be able to rebuild your rifle back to the original config.

      I picked up an M39 a couple weeks ago. 1942 VKT (Valmet) made in a post war stock. I bought it second hand but I think it came from Classic. Receiver tang date is ’35 Tula. Haven’t fired it yet but it’s in excellent shape

      • Should have been a bit clearer, the sporterized version is a Russian M39 not the Finn. The Finn is in perfect condition.

  3. The bent bolt should be serialized. There’s a good chance it’s non original.

    This is an example of a “desnipered” gun. I suspect that some of them could be more subtle. I believe the original stock would have a cutout for the scope mount as well.

    Based on what I’m seeing I have my doubts. Then again, I would think it did see some sort of action.

    • It is unfortunate, but true, that millions of Mosin-Nagant rifles saw very little action during the Great Patriotic War. Stalin would bark, generals would yell and colonels would send their divisions over the top against MG42s armed with a 5-shot club and a bayonet. Most would make it a few hundred yards at best and probably never empty their first five rounds.

      After the battle the rifles would be scavenged from no man’s land and cleaned up to be distributed to the next batch of cannon fodder. At Stalingrad 500,000 Russians dead or wounded, at Ryzhev as many as 1.2 million. (Estimates vary.)

      The phrase, “Never bring a Mosin to a machine gun fight!” comes to mind.

      • *sigh* Yet another impressionable soul has watched “Enemy at the Gates”.

        Look, Soviets had shortage of a great deal of things in 1941-42, and the generals were not the brightest (worse yet, Stalin often overruled them). But most blunders were strategic, not tactical – the stupid “not one step back” doctrine resulting in German armies flanking and encircling Soviet units, and wiping them out with artillery, or even just literally starving them out. Most casualties would be from futile attempts to break out, and those who survived would become prisoners.

        But despite what you’ve seen in American movies and video games, there was no “comrades, let’s charge this here machine gun nest with bayonets, for the glory of comrade Stalin!” routine. Soviet officer corps was certainly less experienced than German, but they weren’t idiots.

        • To int19h: Yes, they weren’t idiots. An old Russian saying is: “quantity has a quality of its own”.

          To Sara Tipton: I would’ve been happier had you stayed under your rock after your disgraceful political voting statement/blog.

          • The “old Russian saying” is actually a Stalin quote (and an apocryphal one at that).

            And yes, Soviet general (and, to a lesser extent, officer) corps was less prone to worry over casualties than, say, American, or even German. But not to the extent of sending waves of infantry to charge machine guns with bolt rifles and no support until the corpses pile up high enough. WW1 lessons were learned in Russia, as well.

            Again, I know that the whole “human wave” stereotype is so pervasive in Western media – but it’s vastly exaggerated compared to reality. Even the penal battalions, in which rank and file was explicitly expendable by design, were rarely used that way in practice. Reason being that, while it looks all horrible and dramatic on a TV screen, it’s not actually a winning tactic. They will always have more rounds than you have people.

  4. My son has been bugging me for one…The LGS has them for $219….the rounded receiver and almost 300 for the hex receiver…..they do have bayonets. Are those good prices? Not even sure if it will fit in the safe…lol.
    its big and ugly……I told him to build an AR with some extra lowers i have laying around….what say you?

    • $200 is about right these days. Unfortunately, the supply of these rifles is drying up and demand is still as high as ever. Eventually, I expect these rifles to hit the $500 – $600 range for most WWII C&R rifles. Unfortunately, I have yet to get my hands on an original Russian Mosin, the only versions I own are a sporterized version missing it’s rear sight and a Finnish rebuild.

      • My dad has one he bought for $79 over a decade ago. I never liked it. When you pull the trigger, the bullet ricochets its way down the bore and comes out the muzzle sideways. Minute of barnside.

      • $200 is “right” for a POS WWII shot out, rusted-out, piece of Post-GCA-import-stamped-force-matched-non-hex junk.

        Decent Mosins have been $400-600 for several years, and the rarer stuff has been pushing a grand for a while now.

    • There is no comparison between a Mosin-Nagant and an AR. I froth at the mouth having put them in the same sentence. The Mosin-Nagant M91/30 and variants are a true battle rifle. Easy to maintain and stalwartly reliable. The AR is none of these things. It has it’s place, like in a safe or at the range. But take it to task in the real world and it will leave you wanting. IMHO the AR is like a cat. Yeah, it’s cute but basically does nothing for you. A Mosin-Nagant is like a dog. It has a mean growl and bites hard.

      • ????????????????????????????? Ok, that’s why our boys use the M4, because it is inferior to the Mosin. Makes sense. When the shit hits the fan you can certainly have your Mosin. I’ll actually be using my SCAR17, but I’d take a good AR over a Mosin any day of the week.

    • Do both?

      Seriously, building an AR from parts (lots of them because…legos) is fun, and a great father/son project. But, at the same time, having an old rifle is both fun to shoot and an education for a young boy or girl. Outlining and demonstrating the differences between my Mauser(s) or Enfield and even ‘modern’ bolt guns is interesting, fun, and educational.

      Having them shoulder an old, stout shooter, is also an education 😀

      “I want to shoot the old gun, dad” brings smiles when it is called out. They can shoot an AR or AK variant every range outing, but the ‘old guns’ don’t come out as much.

      I don’t have a Mosin, but sometimes wish I did.

      • I don’t have anything that is actually an old gun, but I do have two lever-action rifles. Semiautos are nice and all, but when we go out to the range, everyone wants to shoot the leverguns (including me).

    • My opinion…their popularity is due to their price, not their quality. Once that price exceeds a certain amount, it’s no longer a good deal.

    • If you don’t have a cache of 54R ammo then you’re coming in too late.

      You can get a mediocre accurate Mosin and 40+cent mediocre ammo or you can get a K31 and match grade ammo for 51c.

      Starting today with Mosin/54R makes no sense unless you’re in love with its aura.

    • Yeah, sounds about right. At these prices, if you intend to get one, consider plunking down another $100, and get a fancier version, like Finnish – they have better ergos and are usually more accurate, and they’ll certainly be valued way higher than your run-of-the-mill Izh or Tula when supplies run out.

      Unfortunately, the time of Mosin being the super-cheap option are long gone, with respect to both the rifles themselves, and (albeit to a lesser extent) the ammo.

  5. Yep, and one of my favorite range guns. Mine is a Finn M-39 with a date stamp of 1944 and has the octagon receiver and a trigger so light and smooth it almost pulls itself! The trigger appears to have been one of the Finnish modifications along with their style of stock.

    • Went down stairs and put the Wheeler trigger scale on mine….right at 2 lbs 2 oz + or – about an ounce. Funny thing is, when I went to the gun shop I got it from I was just looking for a cheap shooter and I never even tried the trigger before I bought it and took it home!

  6. Wow, what a coincidence! I just finished Dan Carlin’s Ostfront podcast and spent my lunch hour perusing the internet for Mosins. Kicking myself for not buying ten when they collected dust at stores with $79 price tags.

    • Agreed. I was brainwashed back when Mosins and SKS were cheap. By the time the indoctrination had worn off…well, you know the rest of the story.

      • I was still brainwashed (and in high school) when the SKS was $79. Fortunately, I woke up in time to get a $79 Mosin M44 carbine (2004). I just recently picked up a second Mosin, this time the M38 carbine, but paid a little more ($200) for it. The M38’s are a little less common than the 91/30’s and M44’s. I’d kind of like to get a 91/30, but can’t see paying what they cost these days. Also, I know the 91/30 won’t fit into my gun safe (lengthwise, plus the fact that the little 10 gun safe is already overflowing).

  7. I have two. A 1917 Remington with quite the war history and a 1931/1936 Izhevsk that was most likely issued to a farm owner who never used it. Love them both. There are those who thumb their noses at the Mosin-Nagant rifles. Yet, until recently, the 7.62x54R ammo was both plentiful and dirt cheap, cheaper than dirt cheap (pun intended). These are fun rifles to shoot. They make good hunting rifles, if you don’t mind the weight. And they don’t invite much investment in modification.

  8. Got Archangel stock, bipod, sardine cans of ammo and a x 40 optic? ?

    7.62x54R is still fun but mean @ indoor ranges.

    • Funny you say that….a while back I was at an indoor range a couple young guys next to me said, it was time to bring out the big boy….it turned out to me a long barreled mosin and it did have a pretty loud blast……. my son said lets shoot the FAL CARBINE with muzzle brake (all ports on the side)…(308 with 14.5 barrel and brake if you dont know)…. After unleashing 20 rounds they understood what muzzle blast truly was. Rarely do I shoot it indoors, as it clears everyone out……but my love son loves to do so.

      • Nice.

        Yes, muzzle brakes indoors – also very mean. I’d say ban them from indoors but, I am also mean. Kidding, they are a menace, but most indoor places put them down the end away from others when they can.

  9. I got a 1929 dated Russian Tula rifle that I purchased from a friend a few years ago. I think it’s a converted Dragoon rifle.

    This website has an identification guide that’s pretty handy.

    • Interesting since the revolution ousted Nicholas II in 1917 and he was executed in 1918. Would love to see pictures of the markings. There might be a story there.

      • Will try to get some pictures. They didn’t start changing the markings until 1930, even though the tzar was overthrown in 1917. That’s when they changed all existing rifles to the 91/30 pattern. All dragoon style rifles manufactured prior to 1930 were updated to 91/30 pattern to bring them in line with the newly manufactured rifles and received the new markings. So yes, it’s not “Tzarist era”, but the factories were still chugging along making rifles the old way until 1930.

  10. Finnish M39. I wanted a Mosin, so I got the BEST kind of Mosin. I out-shoot guys with Mausers, Springfields, and Garands.

  11. No.

    I chose Swiss over Russian. Then I chose that same decision again like 7 or 8 more times. Not really sure, I’d have to go count them.

    • As you should. Both of these are venerable weapons that will never let you down. They really don’t make them like they used to. I never turn down an opportunity to buy either at a reasonable cost. A $200 Norinco makes a really good trunk gun.

        • Truly the key to recovery is admitting you have a problem. It’s a big step, and I a proud of you for admitting your failures. Now get off your arse and do something about it! -:)

    • The SKS is no longer “worth it” in my opinion. At like $330 for a cheap low quality chinese, I can get a radical arms AR15 for $499, or build my own AR for even less. Mosins and SKS prices are over-inflated in my opinion these days. Too many people think they are something amazing, and for that price, they are not.

      • I wholeheartedly agree the prices are inflated. Yet these can be bought at excellent values if one is diligent. My last Mosin cost me $175 and came with a spam can of Yugo ammo and all of the assorted tools, bags, and oil can.

      • I lucked out on my $375 ’68 dated Yugo M59/66 (not the later A1 with the night sights) but you’re completely right. I like my milsurps salty, so the recent batch of Type 56’s with Albanian connections and battle damage are cool, but aside from that not much else appeals to me. Then again, I’m not old enough to remember the days when $100 bought a brand new Norinco + spam can of 7.62×39 so I can’t be too bitter about current prices.

        • I am that old, and back then if we felt like going shooting, we’d just drop by the gun store on the way to the range, and pick up a gun and ammo for drinking money. Except we’d keep the gun.

          I do regret selling the dozen or so extra Norinco AKs I collected over the course of a coupla years, but I also (sorta) regret buying a new KX instead of the used Superbird I could have gotten for the same money in ’77. C’est la vie…

      • I’m not so sure about that, SKS are still a good bargain. I mean, when you head down to Canadian Tire, you can pick up a nice Russian refurb for around $250, and then grab some nice surplus ammo crates and… uh… nevermind.

      • I think the prices reflect the fact that these guns are no longer produced (or, in case of Chinese SKS, not imported – unlike Canada, which is why it’s still cheap and worthwhile there), and supply is dwindling. You may consider them too high from a purely pragmatic, “how well does it shoots” perspective, but remember that there’s also the collector angle there.

        But, yes. If all you need is a gun that goes bang, you might as well get an AR, cheap as they are these days. Sure, it’s more like $500, but that’s a brand new one, and SKS is used – so it’s not even an apples to apples comparison.

        • That’s correct. It is not an apples to apples comparison. The point was, you pay a little more and you get a brand new, higher quality rifle, the point of which was to illustrate that the SKS wasn’t “worth it.”

          If someone likes SKS’s and likes collecting them, then that is a different story altogether – agree.

  12. I would if they were still going for a single Benjamin. For two to three Benjamins, I’d rather get a Czech, Yugo, or Turkish Mauser. I do want a Finnish M39.

  13. I have a 1938 Tula. When I go shooting in a group (of people who aren’t POTG), everyone always asks about it and wants to shoot it.

    I snagged it for $100 back in Nov 2011. By the same time the next year they had skyrocketed past $200 a piece and Sandy Hook ,only made it worse.

  14. Nope.

    I understand why lots of people like them, but they don’t do much for me, and I’m not about to re-configure my safe to fit one in there.

    • Back in March I diagnosed someone’s Chinese Type 53 carbine that was keyholing every round at 25 yards. 3/5ths of the way down from the chamber, it looked like someone had taken a shop router and cut three or four inches of rifling completely out of the bore. Someone fvcked up at the factory, big time. That discouraged me from buying one, to put it lightly.

  15. Da, Tovarich. Right now, I have a 91/30 all original and all matching, 91/30 restocked in a Boyd’s thumbhole stock (it was an experiment, and as a result it will go back to the original configuration), and an M44. They are all C&R.

    The M44 is a blast to shoot — figuratively and literally. It’s my favorite range gun. The muzzle flash lights up the whole place.

  16. I bought most of mine when I was broke in college. I’ve since sold all but the most collectible variants as my tastes and understanding of firearms has improved. Literally every other mil-surp rifle I own is superior in fit, finish, smoothness, and accuracy. Eventually Mosins will dry up and the prices will rise to Lee-Enfield or RC Mauser levels and you will see the love affair with them, fade very quickly as price is really all they have going for them. Finn made rifles are the exception as they used Russian actions to make quality rifles out of the platform.

    • The interesting and unique ones have long since dried-up. All that’s left is WWII production post-GCA junk. Amusing as a novelty, but the serious collector already has a hundred and fifty variants from before that war, and knows that any “sniper” rifle imported post-GCA’68 is most likely a fake.

    • The lady at behind the counter at the gun shop I frequented:

      “I told you it would be cheap and could reach out there. I didn’t say it would be accurate.”

  17. BTW, a 91/30 ex-sniper should have plugged mounting holes for the scope. If there are no holes, plugged or otherwise, it’s not an ex-sniper. It’s just a 91/30 with a turned-down bolt. RGuns brought over a bunch of them a while back, and you might have one.

  18. I used to. 🙁 I don’t regret selling it, it was the right thing to do at the time, but I surely miss it. It’s such a cool piece of history. And I made sure it was MY gun.

    Hope you enjoy yours as well, Sara!

  19. I have 2. A 43 tula and a 42 Izhevsk.

    The Izhevsk only had a few dings so It is unmodified.

    The Tulas stock finish was realy rough. I sanded it down and refinished it. I also added one of the aftermarket pistol grips. I have no plans to do anything more to them.

    If I every cam across one with a broken stock it would be tempting to drop it in an archangel stock.

  20. My first Mosin was a $99 1938 Tula. Some drunk Ivan machined the bolt face improperly at the factory, so it wouldn’t chamber a round right out of the box. $10 and a new bolt head later, it was a horrible first impression. Fired half a spam can through it, did Iraqveteran8888’s home trigger job, refinished the stock, and later sold it to a friend who was getting into guns.

    Last fall I found a 1933 MO marked 91/30 that had been cobbled together into a sniper, it was originally a PW Arms import. The base was original but the mount and scope were Chinese crap made by Fireforce. Apex had some high quality repro PU scope/mount combos made in Ukraine around 2008, so I bought one. After thorough application of blue Loctite and three hours fidgeting at the range, I got it sighted in at 100 yards. Snipers built on pre-war receivers aren’t historically accurate, so I don’t feel bad shooting this one often. Did the trigger job on this one too, which makes a world of difference.

    Finally picked up a secondhand Finnish M39 a few weeks ago. Haven’t fired it yet, but it’s true what they say. These really are target rifles in a military outfit.

  21. Had the great good fortune to stumble across Mosins back when they were easily secured for under $100. Fell in love with the history, the Mosin mystique, the cheap ammo, and 7.62x54R ballistics.
    Had a great Christmas one year where each of 4 boys received fully outfitted (bayonet, sling, spam can of ammo, etc.) The pics of all 5 of us holding functional pieces of history still make me smile.
    Have added M44, an few 100+ year old M91s, and a rifle that escaped having it’s Tsarist eagle beaten into oblivion. Sadly, I didn’t foresee the prices rising until too late to react, so never acquired an early Remington or a Chenault (sp?) version.

  22. I’ve got a 1943 “Izzy” 91/30 that’s rough but reliable and pretty accurate, and a Chinese 53 that doesn’t have a busted-up or rotting stock. 53 has a good trigger, too!

  23. 1941 Izzy. Tough, reliable and, in a pinch, can be used for pole vaulting with the bayonet attached!

  24. I’ve got four, three 91/30’s and an M44. One of the 91/30’s is a beater that I bought to upgrade with an archangel stock, Timney trigger, and maybe do a scope / bent bolt upgrade. Yes, I know it’s a waste of money, but it’s a fun rifle.

    • Sadly it would serve her right, seems how she’s not voting Trump. A non-vote is a vote for Hitlery.
      “..if they ever get the vote,God help us.”
      Rooster Cogburn

  25. I have an issue with the earlier sks comments, about them being overpriced, etc. Sks’s are overbuilt, beautiful pieces. Have u ever looked at the bolt? Built like tanks, and good craftsmanship. Way better than the average modern ar. Sks just had the bad luck of coming out right before the ak. If manufacturers were to build a faithful modern reproduction, it would cost thousands of dollars. Way more than the standard ar.

    • Could not agree more. I don’t own an AR and probably never will. But I would never turn down another SKS. These are top notch rifles. The 7.62 round has virtually the same ballistics as the 300 BLK and is excellent for just about anything out to 200 yards. They are simple, easy to clean and maintain, and are flawlessly reliable. Oh, and did I mention the ammo is cheap and plentiful? Or is that plentiful and cheap? Whichever.

  26. I had a 1943 Mosin Nagant M38 from Izhvesk armory. It was a very rough made rifle and counter-bored at the muzzle. Understandable at the time it was made. It was a fun gun to shoot and I actually killed 3 deer with it. I smoothed the trigger and tried to accurize it somewhat but hitting an 8″ pie plate at 100 yards was about the best I could ask of it. I eventually traded it for a very nice Win 1200 12 gauge.

    I would like to replace it with an M39 sometime in the future.

  27. 91/30 and a M44 $100 and $80 respectively back in like …’05? Both came with complete kits that included their sling, oil can, brushes etc.

    A decent one will shoot alright and will chew through that ammo powered by flammable, vodka soaked dirt that the Russians called gunpowder. I will say however that when buying a Mosin that’s not a Finn it’s a bit of a crapshoot. Both of my Mosins work just fine and shoot rather well for what they are. However I’ve seen people hit the jackpot on the shit lotto for Mosins and get ones that are complete garbage.

    Really, if you’re gonna get one of these rifles it’s best to have someone who knows a bit about them help you select one that’s not junk. At this point they’re still cheap enough to be worth the price tag but I expect the retail price will continue to climb.

    I will point out that the rifle, if you’ve got a decent one, becomes a lot more accurate if you roll your own for her to digest. Getting primers for 7.62x54R is a bit of a pain but it can be done. A friend of mine who’s a 54R nut rolls his own. I’ll see if I can get him to do a write up on reloading those steal cases. He does it and does it well but it requires a different approach than reloading brass and I think the max number of times he’s willing to reload it is two.

    • I can tell you I have some experimentation to do with my M44. If you chamber a round of Hungarian surplus in it is leaves riffling grooves in the round! I’ve gotta find a different ogive and see if I can take care of that. It has symptoms of over pressure too so the surplus may be more of a 91/30 thing. It may need a reaming of some kind.

      Reloading wise there are a few makers of boxer primed 54R brass out there. I’ve had enough of the steel cases split at the neck and shoulder I’d be leery of reloading them. See above about over pressure potentially though. The bullets are likely one of the big problems, I’d think you’d be in to .303/.7.62X39 bullets to make one shoot well which obviously limits selection.

      The era of the “cheap, okay rifle” being a Mosin is gone. For what they go for now I’d spring a few dollars more and get into something like an Axis. Way more gun for the money and ammo in contemporary calibers with a lot more factory choices (and ranges in quality line) and wal-mart availability are out there. All good stuff in my opinion.

      • Yeah reloading the steel cases is sketchy. My buddy does a few hundred of them a month though with no problems.

        Like I said his rule is two reloads max because the steel isn’t as friendly to repeated reloads as brass is.

        I think he was telling me someone makes 54R brass cases but I might be wrong about that. Like I said, he’s a 54R nut. I’m not in his will, but if I was I’d be salivating over his SVD collection. Oh who am I kidding, I’m salivating and trying to get on his will!

        • Prvi Partizan makes brass cased 7.72x54R. Sellier and Bellot too.
          All my x54r brass comes from these two manufacturers.
          I reload them with my cast boolits. Accuracy is better than with surplus and price per round even lower.

  28. Albania vs Yugoslavia might be a bit redundant as Albania became one of the six states that formed the post war Yugoslavia.

  29. I sorta’ wish I’d bought one for $69 at Cabelas Black Friday in 2011. I couldn’t figure out if I’d ever shoot it-oh well. Trump/Pence 2016!

  30. I might be able to contribute. Yugoslavia and Albania are unlikely points of origin. Not knowing your conversation I’m guessing Yugoslavia came up because some snipers without scopes were imported from one of the former Yugoslav countries. They are easy to spot and this is not one of those. The mount for the scope (drill holes left side of the receiver) would be open and very obvious. If it is an ex-sniper (a rifle kept as a standard infantry rifle but no longer used as a sniper) the mounting holes would be welded over, but you would still see the plugged holes on the left inside of the receiver.
    It is probably a rifle imported from the Ukraine. It could be direct from Russia though. Look on your bolt for a marking that looks like RNC in a diamond. That’s the Russian export proof mark. If it’s not there the rifle is probably Ukrainian. From the photos it looks like it has a post war replacement stock. Enjoy your rifle, they have great history.

  31. Mine is a ’43. I got it at Bud’s for 98 bucks.

    You can’t beat that for a gun that will kill any animal in North America.

  32. Had one. Kicked too hard for the then 12-year old me. Flash forward 12 more years, and I just got a chance to shoot another not to long ago, and honestly, I still don’t miss that old sh!t kicker 🙂

  33. Hello,

    Tula PU snipers should be marked with a CN or a CH (Cyrillic) near the serial number.

    Additionally, if you pull the barreled receiver from the stock, you should see holes or holes filled with hard solder or weld where the PU scope mount base attached. You may also be able to see the solder or weld on the inside of the receiver without removing it from the stock.

    Can you take a close-up pic of the bolt handle?


    Josh Smith

  34. I’ve got two.

    One is an M44 that got shipped to Yugoslavia shortly after WW2 and refurbished there. These are nice – Yugoslavians did a really good job on the stocks, oil and all. Can be identified by “1.TRZ” marking pressed into the stock.

    Another is an original Mosin of 1916 Westinghouse manufacture, that never shipped to Russia so far as I can tell – one of those that weren’t paid for due to the Revolution, and got dumped on the civilian market here in US. At some point in its life, someone has replaced the stock with a beautiful walnut one with a “pistol grip” angled stock, and the front sight with a bead post – apparently, it was a hunting rifle. Looks pretty babied, though, in excellent condition. After I got it, I put a Timney trigger in it (and yeah, that cost me more than the rifle).

  35. Yep. I own a 1943 Izhevsk that looks like it was machined with a wood rasp. Taken a few deer with it too using 203 grain Brown Bear soft points. Love that old war horse.

  36. AR: 1st world arm to kill barefoot 3rd worlders.

    AK: 2nd works arm to allow 3rd worlders to kill 1st world soldiers.

    MN: Built so both sides can kill each other with the same rifle.

  37. I picked up one years ago for about $125 at the request of my young son. With spam can ammo, we had years of fun shooting pie plate sized groups at 50 yds. He got older and was interested in the shop and tools. So, for the sake of what turned out to be a great father/son project, we did the unthinkable-cue the hate from the purists : Boyd’s stock, pillar bedded, drilled and tapped for RSI mount, Redfield scope, bent bolt, Timney trigger, hundreds of strokes with a bore brush, many more hundreds of patches, and cans of boar foam. Yes, I could have bought a new rifle for less. But the time with him and what he learned was priceless. It now shoots about moa with Hornady steel match. It was the first rifle he shot with at more than 100 yds. He was stunned at the group sizes at 200 & 300 after so many years of pie plate at 50 yds. It is his go to deer rifle to this day.

  38. I still have the very first gun I bought, a VG condition ’29 Tula hex M91/30. I had no clue about Mosin Nagants at the time; I was looking for a decent WW2 rifle (with a bayonet & sling) that I could shoot cheaply, picked the best looking one off the wall at Dragonman’s, and handed over $90.

    Not long after buying that, I traded an extra set of marine binos I had laying around for a ’41 Izzy M38 with a refinished stock (BLO w/ urethane clearcoat) & a sewerpipe bore. It was cool in a fireball-emitting, car-alarm-setting-off kinda way, but was completely incapable of any sort of accuracy past 50m. Even though the muzzle had been counterbored, the new crown looked like someone had rodded it with a drill bit. That, along with the sad condition of the bore, made it little more than something I’d bring out at night for laughs.

    Then a few years later I met a Mosin Nagant fanboy who didn’t yet have an M38, and made an even trade with it for a nice Navy Arms import Norinco SKS (sans bayonet & lug). I noticed the receiver had been drilled/tapped for a scope mount and figured Bubba had gotten his hands on it as well, until I found it listed in the old NA catalog as the “Farmer’s Friend” with a bipod & G43-style scope/mount, but those probably disappeared long before I got it. It’s a fairly early production Norinco as well, made before they really started churning them out for the American market and quality took a dive.

    I wasn’t originally planning on getting rid of the M38, but I had been watching prices on previously cheap semi-auto combloc carbines steadily rise, figured the price parity between uncommon Mosin Nagants & SKS’s wouldn’t last for long, and jumped at the deal. It appears I was right, and I’m happy I made that trade; the last auction I watched for a “Farmer’s Friend” SKS without scope/bipod/case went for $500 & change. Still, even without the extras, it’s my most reliable & favorite carbine, and is an excellent hog gun in the thick kudzu around here.

    In any case, with both types, it seems the supply of good arsenal-refurbished hex 91/30s and Norinco SKS’s like mine have long dried up; in my area all I see now on LGS racks now are beat up dregs from Izvhesk and Yugoslavia (or ex-project/sporter/tacticool rifles). And with the hang-tags I normally see, they no longer qualify as being cheap.

    I’ve also found a few places which no longer include the bayonet, sling, and tools when someone buys a Mosin Nagant. For example; I lost the firing-pin gauge/tool during a move, and headed down to the closest LGS which sold MNs for a replacement…. only to find they wanted $15 for just that tool, $25 for the whole cleaning kit, $50 for the kit + bayonet, $75 for those with a sling, and $100 for everything plus an ammo pouch (stripper clips not included). They also had a semi-decently priced ex-Dragoon (without a sling) which caught my eye, and I inquired if the rifle came with the standard accessories, only to be informed everything was sold seperately….. except they’d generously give me five stripper clips if I bought it. In the face of such a screaming deal I passed on the rifle, and instead bought a Moist Nugget cleaning kit from Amazon for $5 (I probably should’ve bought a dozen for resale in a couple years, but oh well).

  39. Got one and love it. Tula 1943, parade rifle, in bright birch wood. With bayonet. Perfect, unused. I have just bought an adjustable front sight for it, since it shoots 9-10 inches high at 100 meters. Really cool.

  40. Yup, got mine. An M44, which is a bit shorter than the 91/30. Love that thing: reasonably accurate to 150 yards (with the pike bayonet extended), cheap ammo, lots of history, with a fireball and bang that literally shuts down the outdoor range when I bring it out.

    Just sold one of the Molot PU snipers repros, only because another shooter like it so much he offered $200 over market for it. As my eyesight fades with age, that scoped sniper needed a good home with somebody who use it at 400 yards. May have to pick up a 38 or a Finn so the M44 doesn’t get too lonely.

    Yeah, love the Mosins. Sara, so far as yours goes, some pics of any proof marks on the wood stock would be helpful in tracking down some history.

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