Original Antique Imperial Russian Mosin-Nagant M1891 Three-Line Infantry Rifle by Tula serial 215779 - dated 1897

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. These are so very rare, and this is only the second example that we have had in decades. A real pre-1899 Antique Russian Mosin-Nagant M1891 Full Length Rifle, more officially referred to as the "Three Line Infantry Rifle, Model of 1891." This example was never converted to the 91/30 standard, and is still in the original full length. It does have the stock cross bolt for use with the heavier "Spitzer" bullets used, and has the sling slots in place of swivels. It has lots of issue markings, and is marked with serial number 215779 over the chamber. The bolt is non-matching, and is marked with the "Bow and Arrow" marking of Izhevsk Arsenal. There is also an SA inside a rectangle, for Suomi Armeija (Finnish Army). However, the Finnish did not convert this example to their M/91 standard, and is still in the original configuration.

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.

The official designation of this model is 3-линии пехотная винтовка образца 1891–го года which translates to "Three Line Infantry Rifle, Model of 1891". It has the cross bolt to reinforce the stock against recoil, and the flip up 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 have been crossed out, and new measurements in meters added in hundreds of meters (12 x 100 arshíny = 8 1/2 x 100m).

The receiver displays an Imperial Russian Double Headed Eagle across the chamber ring over Cyrillic letters Л К, which is also seen on the end of the barrel.

The markings on the barrel are:

(Imperial Eagle)


These markings indicate original manufacture in 1898 at the "Imperial Tula Arms Factory", one of the most prominent in Russia. Reconstructed in the 19th century Tula Arms Factory became one of the most prominent arms factories in Europe. In 1879 the plant started production of the famous Berdan rifle with an improved bolt. Workshop was organized by a model where created their own models of small arms and hunting weapons. Increased production of various products: single- and double-barrel muzzle-loading shotguns, breech-loading center-fire rifles. Designer Sergei Ivanovich Mosin took part in devising damascus steel technology used in production of barrels. He also designed a bolt-action rifle which was put to testing along with a rifle developed by Émile Nagant. In 1891, as a result of complex tests Mosin's entry was chosen over the Belgian design and it was adopted by the Imperial Russian Army as the three-line rifle of 1891.

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 the expected dents, dings, and other damage from long service. It has been refinished, probably several times, and currently has a lovely dark brown color to it. The metalwork is in good shape, with the finish worn to a grayish patina overall. It still retains the original cleaning rod, which is in good shape, still threading properly into the stock. The rifle cycles well, with a crisp dry fire.

The bore shows clear lands and grooves, with a mostly bright finish, showing some oxidation and fouling in the grooves. There is only a little bit of rounding to the grooves, so it did not see extensive service. The first 4-5mm of the bore has been counterbored, thought to improve accuracy by removing worn lands at the muzzle.

A wonderful piece of Russian and Firearms history! Ready do display.


Year of Manufacture: 1897
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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