Original Antique Finnish Captured Mosin-Nagant M/91 Infantry Rifle by Sestroretsk serial 593 with Sling - dated 1894
Original Item: Only One Available. These are so very rare, and this is one of the earliest examples that we have seen in quite some time. A real pre-1898 Antique Russian Mosin-Nagant M1891 Full Length Rifle, more officially referred to as the "Three Line Infantry Rifle, Model of 1891." This particular one was later refit in Finland to the Finnish M/91 Mosin-Nagant standard, and fitted with a new stock. It has lots of issue markings, as well as serial number 593, which is on barrel and bolt. Interestingly, there are no Finnish "SA" Markings, though it is clearly a Finnish stock. Perhaps during the rush of Wartime, they did not have time to add them.
The Russian "Mosin-Nagant" bolt-action rifle is arguably the most-produced rifle in history, with around 37 million being produced in various versions in several different countries. This number easily surpasses the Lee-Enfield, Mauser GEW98 and Mauser K98K in number produced. The reasons for this are multiple, including both the size of Russia and later USSR, as well as the long service life of this design, which is still in use today in some locations.
The history of what is known as the "Mosin-Nagant" rifle begins in the late 19th century in Russia, following the Russo-Ottoman war. During the course of the war, it became apparent that Russian troops needed a modern bolt-action rifle to compete with the rest of the world, so they started evaluations in 1889 on what would become the general issue rifle for infantry troops. Three designs were submitted, and at the time in Russia bullet diameter was measured in "line"s, where one line was 1/10 of an inch. This is what gave rise to the official name of the rifle, the "3-line rifle, Model 1891", as it was in .30cal, or 7.62mm. The name "Mosin-Nagant" is in reality somewhat of a misnomer, as the design chosen was designed by Mosin, not Nagant. However due to legal issues with Nagant over certain design aspects of the rifle, his name was attached to the design as well, leading to the name used in most of the world, the "Mosin-Nagant Model 1891". Three other models would subsequently be put into service prior to WWI: the M1891 Dragoon, the M1891 Cossack, and the M1907 Carbine.;
When Finland achieved independence from Russia, over 190,000 Model 1891 infantry rifles were already stockpiled in the ex-Russian military depots within Finland. As a result, the rifle was adopted as the standard Finnish Army weapon, and surplus Mosin–Nagants were purchased from other European nations which had captured them during World War I. The official designation of these were "3-линии пехотная винтовка образца 1891–го года" which translates to "Three Line Infantry Rifle, Model of 1891". These rifles were then overhauled to meet Finnish Army standards and designated M/91.
This entailed replacing the stock with a new one, constructed from two pieces of wood with a glued finger joint in the middle. The new stock featured traditional sling swivels fitted into escutcheons, instead of the slots used on the Russian types. This example however has the new stock, but fitted with the "slot" type Russian sling fittings. However these are then fitted with traditional sling swivels, with a very early all leather Russian type sling attached. Was the rifle captured back by the Russians at some point and then re-captured by the Finnish? Definitely some great research potential here!
As with most, this example has the cross bolt to reinforce the stock against recoil, and the rear sight correctly goes up to 3200 арши́ны (arshíny), an archaic measurement used by Russia through the first world war. Roughly equal to 71.12 cm, the ranges on the left side of the sight base have been crossed out, and new measurements in meters added in hundreds of meters (12 x 100 arshíny = 8 1/2 x 100m) on the right side. The M/91 was the most widely issued Finnish rifle in both the Winter War and the Continuation War.
The barrel displays an Imperial Russian Double Headed Eagle over Cyrillic letters Л К, in addition to the manufacturer markings and date:
These markings indicate original manufacture in 1894 at the "Sestroretsk Weapons Plant", a rare maker that we have not seen before. The industrial city of Sestroretsk is located on the shores of the Gulf of Finland, the Sestra River and the Sestroretskiy Lake 34 kilometers northwest of St. Petersburg, Russia. Sestroretsk was founded by Peter the Great in 1714 due to the construction of this arms factory, today known as the "Sestroretsk Toolmaking Factory".
The magazine housing and butt plate are marked with the Hammer proof of Tula Arsenal, Czarist markings which were discontinued following the Russian revolution and subsequent civil war. The bolt is marked with a slightly later Circled Hammer, also from Tula arsenal. It was very common for rifles in service for a long time to have parts swapped out like this.
Condition of the rifle is very good, especially considering the age and amount of service it must have seen. The stock is in good condition, with a lovely dark brown color showing the grain well. There are some cracks and chunks missing, and there is cracking around the rear of the receiver on the left side. There also are some wood fill repairs on both sides of the butt stock. The metalwork is in good shape, mostly a worn blued finish with the bright steel bolt showing a light gray patina. It still retains the original cleaning rod, which is in great shape, and still threads correctly into the stock retaining block.
The rifle cycles well, with a crisp dry fire. The bore shows clear lands and grooves with a partly bright finish, showing rounding on the grooves. There is also fouling and oxidation in the grooves. The 1/2" or so of the barrel closest to the muzzle has been counterbored, thought to improve accuracy by removing worn lands at the muzzle.
A wonderful piece of Firearms and European History! Made in Russian in 1894, and then later used against them by Finland during the WWII Era. Ready do display!
Year of Manufacture: 1894
Caliber: 7.62×54mmR Russian
Cartridge Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 31 1/2 Inches
Overall Length: 51 1/2 Inches
Action type: Bolt Action
Feed System: 5 Round Internal
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