M91/30 Mosin-Nagant


Caliber: 7.62x54r
Action: Rotating bolt-action
Barrel Length: 28.5"
Magazine: 5 round internal, stripper fed
Overall Length: 48.5"

The M91/30 Mosin-Nagant was the work horse of the Russian Army during the Great Patriotic War. It was more widely used than any other Russian arm in the war.

The M91/30 fires the 7.62x54r rimmed cartridge, which currently holds the record as the small-arms cartridge with the longest service life -- over 110 years -- and is still in some use in Russia, and can be found in use in most third-world countries in the Middle East and Asia.

The M91/30 was an update made to the Model 1891 Mosin-Nagant in 1930. Changes were made to simplify production and lower manufacture costs. The 1891 bayonet lug was removed, and a spike bayonet that simply latched around the front sight and was tightly fitted (the idea being mount the bayonet and leave it there) was designed and produced. Also the sights were redesigned as well, making the gun cheaper and faster to produce.

Coming in at just over four feet long, this rifle is definitely not what one would call handy. For this reason, several carbine iterations of the rifle would come about in Russia after the adoption of the M91/30; the M38, a short, carbine length rifle with no bayonet; the M44, more or less the same rifle as the M38, except it has a permanently attached folding spike bayonet; the M91/59, a rifle that appears to be nothing more than a cut down M91/30 stuck in an M38 or M44 stock -- it can be identified by the its long M91/30 rear sight which had the range increments beyond "10" machined off. There are several other variations of the rifle, but past these three, they become much more obscure.

This particular M91/30 is of 1942 Izhevsk manufacture (incidentally, that's the same year and factory as my M38 -- the rifles are brothers). It has a laminated stock, which is less common than the standard hardwood stock more frequently found on M91/30's. According to my unverified but more or less trustworthy sources, these M91/30's with laminated stocks were rearsenaled and warehoused in Ukraine after World War II. They were checked for serviceability, refinished, had the muzzles counter bored if need be (this rifle isn't), and restocked with the laminated stocks.