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Here at TTAG, we love the lowly Mosin-Nagant.  I waxed historical about it last September, and Ralph just taught you all you need to know about its care, grooming and feeding.  From buttplate to bayonet, the cheap and ugly Russian utters a sturdy Proletariat challenge: Mock me at your peril, capitalist pig!  Today’s object of desire is built on a Mosin-Nagant action, but it is neither cheap, ugly, nor Russian.

The Finnish M28/76 is a training and competition rifle built from the handpicked barrels and actions of older standard-pattern Finnish Mosin-Nagants, the M28/30 and M39.  Those older Finnish Mosins were already the finest and most accurate Mosins ever built, and the handbuilt M28/76 took their best parts and combined them with a biathlon-style target stock, a bent bolt, and diopter sights.

The result was a sub-M.O.A. target rifle, and the Finns liked it so much they used it as the starting point for another sniper rifle, the ultra-rare TAK-85 shown here.  Notice the family resemblance?

TAK-85s were handbuilt in 1984 and 1985 on remanufactured M28/30 receivers (some of them dating back to the 1890s) and new-production Valmet barrels, and were topped with glass from either Schmidt & Bender or Zeiss.  Despite being built on receivers nearly 100 years old, TAK-85s were far from obsolete: the UK’s standard sniper rifle was the L42A1, a heavily modified Lee-Enfield in 7.62×51.

So I confess that the OOD headline was a bit of a teaser: the M28/76 is pretty cool (and unlike the TAK-85, you can actually buy one) but the TAK-85 is probably the ‘Ultimate’ Mosin-Nagant: both the best and the last of the line.


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  1. Any idea of the caliber on that bad boy? I’ve read that Finnish Nagants prior to the M39 had .308 barrels instead of the standard .311 .

    An old M91 of mine measured .308 on the micrometer. But who knows if she’s an exception?

  2. They’re not that hard to find right now, but there aren’t many left out there. Just like the Swedish Mausers, the supply will dry up and they’ll become scarce collectibles. This will never happen with Russian Mosins…

  3. Any blog that favors maximum individual rights; believes the rule of law and strong support of private property rights are vital for a free and stable society; believes the 1st, 2d and 10th Amendments are particularly important in protecting essential individual freedoms and limiting a voracious centralized government; yet can also make a subtle reference to a 35-year-old art film, well, that blog is my kind of place.

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