Mosin Nagant

Mosin Nagant History

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There are seven official models of the Mosin Nagant carbine and one unofficial model:

Model 1907 Mosin Nagant- Characterized by an almost full length stock, 1.17 inches from the end of the barrel, an open blade front sight, and a rear sight marked in arshini, from 400 to 2000. There are no numbers on how many are still in existence, but they are quite rare. I have been told that there were imports of this gun in the 60's from Finland I think.  This carbine is sometimes erroneously referred to as a model 1910.

The Finnish Ulaani Carbine-Ulaanikaribiinit
One of the first modifications of the Russian M1891 by the Finns to obtain the compactness of the M1907 was the Ulaani.  These modifications were made to old damaged M91's for use by the Calvary Department of Kirkkonummi (Kirkoonummi is a town in Finland).  The modification included the cutting of the barrel to aprox. the same length as the 07 which is 20 inches, and fitting a front sight of the Arisaka type. The rear sight was retained but was remarked in meters from 400 to 1200.  The stock was shortened to a length that was shorter than that of the 1907 but I have no exact measurement.  The original barrel bands were used and the standard slotted metal escutcheons were used in the stock for the sling.   I have heard rumors that there were many different lengths of barrels because only the bad part of a barrel was cut off but I have no written documentation of that fact.  You are not likely to find one of these guns as there are no known examples in U.S. collections

Model 91/24 Finnish Mosin Nagant- M 91/24 rifles  were cut down to 24 inches in barrel length and a wing protected front sight was added. There was no bayonet.

Model 27 Finnish- This Mosin Nagant carbine is fabricated from a model 1891 Russian action and a new Finnish or cut down Russian barrel 23 inches long. The stock is again a new Finnish or cut down Russian, with a through the stock sling slot and a swivel on the bottom of the butt. The front sight is a blade type with ear protectors and the bolt handle is bent down with bolt clearance cut into the stock. Very rare!

Model 1938- This Mosin Nagant carbine is 40 inches in length and has a stock that is 3.25 inches shorter. The front sight is of the hooded type with a wire pin post instead of a blade. The rear sight is graduated in meters from 100 to 1000. Many of the M38's on the market at this time were fitted with a laminated stock from an M1944, during an arsenal refurbishment, after WWII.  Carbines that have been refurbished will sometimes bear a refurbishment mark which is a small square with a line through the center. This model saw extensive use, even the ones that have been refurbished show plenty of wear and mixed serial numbers.

Model 1944 Mosin Nagant- Manufactured by Russia during and after WWII,  Hungary,  Poland, and Romania after the war. Overall length is 40.4 inches, barrel length is 20.47 inches, front sights are wire pin post, rear sights are graduated 100 to 1000 meters.  Unlike the 07, 38, 91/38 and 91/59 this carbine is fitted with a side folding bayonet.  These guns were also made using M91 receivers. Saw one at the Houston show on 8/14/99, that was dated 1945 with an early model bayonet lug.   ( part of a militaria display)
There are two versions of the front sight and bayonet, the early version bayonet mfg. from 1943 to sometime in 1945 and the later version from 1945 to 1948 or maybe as late as  1960 as I have now documented a Russian stamped with that year.  Every time I think I have this gun figured out I find one that throws me a curve.  I just purchased two Russians through the mail dated 1946, that have the early small front sight and the later bayonet lug.  These guns are in excellent shape and do not appear to have gone through a rebuild.  They also have a diamond stamped in the stock with NEC4 in it and a  circle cartouche a little larger than the size of a quarter with CCCP  oriented in it like the four points of a compass, and a smaller circle inside that with the hammer and sickle in it.  I also have a 1946, with an earlier serial number, that has the larger front sight.  All three guns are from the Izhevsk arsenal.

 Hungary: The Hungarian model was manufactured by FEG, in Budapest, from 52 through 55 and can be identified by 02 stamped on the barrel.  The 02 will also be found on the stock.

Poland:The Polish M44 designated the KbKs Wz 48 can be identified by an 11 inside an oval on the barrel which is the mark of the Radom Arsenal.  It was manufactured from 1951 through aprox. 1962. The stock is usually a little heavier than the other M44's and is made of Beech wood.

Romania:The Romanian M44 has a mark similar to the Izhevsk arsenal mark, an arrow inside a triangle ,only without the feathers.  It also has the letters RPR inside a floral wreath on the barrel.  I am not sure how many years it was made but I have only seen 1954 and 1955.

Model 91/59 Mosin Nagant- All reports indicate they were made in Bulgaria from M1891 and M91/30 Mosin Nagant rifles during the Cold War.  Further information from some of our Arms and Military contacts in Bulgaria indicate that they have no knowledge and do not think they were manufactured in Bulgaria.  Even further investigation indicates I was right the encircled T is not a Bulgarian mark as we were told but a Czechoslovakian firing proof that can be found on numerous Czech arms including the CZ38's that Germany sent to Bulgaria during WWII.  They were rebuilt in Czechoslovakia!!  The 59 looks like the 38 with a longer rear sight that was from the 91/30, milled to remove the meter marks from 1100 to 2000.  The stocks appear to have been cut down from rifles, with the sling slots having escutcheons that screw in and the simple fold over type, along with plain slots in the wood.  I have one with a stock from a model 44 and also have stocks that are made from both beech and birch.  I also found from a Russian friend that the 91/59's were sent to North Korea for their use.

Model 53 Mosin Nagant- This carbine is a carbon copy of the Mosin Nagant M44, manufactured in China on machinery furnished by Russia in the early fifties. (1953) Chinese markings, the stock and sling seem to be the only differences.  I have found that  many of the bayonets on Chinese guns are of Russian manufacture, possibly from guns or parts furnished during the Korean War or when they received the machinery.  The carbine was manufactured from 53 through 61 and many were given to the Viet Cong during the Vietnam war.  The receiver will be marked with one of three factory codes all for the same factory, 26, 26 in a triangle or 296

Model 91/38 Mosin Nagant-  This carbine closely resembles the 91/59 and the M38.  It is manufactured from an M91 rifle , occasionally an M91/30, cut down to the same length as the 91/59.  The front and rear sights are the same type used on the Model 44, although the bayonet lug has been removed from the front sight,  sometimes very crudely by grinding.  The stock is usually from an M44 although I have seen at least one without the bayonet groove.  The theory that the carbines were made/refurbished in Czechoslovakia and have a T inside a circle on the receiver to indicate so has been the accepted thinking, but Karl-Heinz Wrobel has talked with Czech arsenal techs and they told him that they were not made in the arsenals.

North Korea
There are some North Korean marked M44's, but I cannot find out if they were made in Korea or elsewhere and just marked with the Korean star inside a circle on the left side of the receiver.  We do know that China supplied arms and materials to Korea during the Korean Conflict.

Good reading material:
The Mosin- Nagant Rifle by Terence W. Lapin  and   Rifles of the White Death by Doug Bowser.

Model 1907
This variation was shown for sale in the Bannerman catalog of 1927.  Note front sight has wings as described for a Ulaani but the other part of the description does not fit.

Photograph Karl-Heinz Wrobel

Another variation of the M1907 This variation has a front barrel band with bayonet lug from a Steyr M95 and M95 bayonet It also appears to have Finnish sling swivels.  This excellent photograph was taken and sent to us by Karl-Heinz Wrobel, author of "Drei Linien Die Gewehre Mosin-Nagant"   A fine article on the M1907 Mosin Nagant carbine can be found on the Mosin Nagant Dot Net web site written by Karl-Heinz Wrobel.  It will provide all the current published information on this type of carbine.
Anyone with an interest in the Mosin Nagant should have a copy of the
"Drei Linien Die Gewehre Mosin Nagant "


Photographs Dan Reynolds

M27 Carbine-Tikka 1933
It was issued to border guard bicycle unit at the outbreak of the Winter War near the Karelian border.

Mosin Nagant M91/59
This gun was made in Tula in 1940, as an M91/30 and then remanufactured in 59 or there about as an M91/59 with an M44 stock

This is a rear sight from a model 91/30 with the elevation marks from 11 to 20 removed by milling them away.
Note the front sight and the length of barrel in front of it.  Compare this with the model 38 in the next pictures.

Mosin Nagant M38
This gun was made in Izhevsk in 1943. It was refurbished after the war, with a mark indicating so, using a laminated M44 one bolt stock. Overall length is 39.75 inches.
Numbers all match except bolt, stock not numbered.

Mosin Nagant M38
This is just like the one above except for the two bolt stock, numbers are matching and the bolt is not a restamp  Stock has no number.  These two guns have seen major use as they are very worn and only have 60% blue left.

Front sight is a little smaller in the barrel band and the barrel is shorter in front of the sight compared with the 91/59

Note double bevel on adjustment bar.  This was pre war and was eliminated during later years.
Mosin Nagant Model 91/38
Receiver mfg. in 1904

Model 91/38 front sight made from late model  ( 1945 or later) M44 sight with bayonet lug removed
Model 91/38
Model 91 Cossack receiver with M44 rear sight M 1944 stock and hand guard


This a 91/30 with 91 receiver and grenade launcher.  Pictures are the copyrighted property of Gene Whitehead, not to be reproduced without his permission.

1998-1999-2000-2001-2002-2005 RK Smith & Dan Reynolds