All through the first half of the 20th Century the Russians were manufacturing and using as battle rifles the Mosin-Nagant 91/30 and its variations. Many millions were made, and after WW2 were refurbished and stored. Now they are being sold on the American market to rifle shooters and collectors. There are a number of excellent web sites devoted to the Mosin rifles and carbines for those who want both specific and voluminous information. Some people think the Mosin rifles are crude and not very interesting, but personally I think they are beautiful and fascinating. It's fun to hold my Mosin in my hands, and think that perhaps it was actually used to fight Nazis in WW2, perhaps even at the famous "Battle of Stalingrad." For amazing historic photos of that battle, CLICK HERE.
Here are some photos of my Mosin, which was manufactured at the Ishevsk arsenal in 1941, and in 1942 was assigned to the "Ministerstvo Oborony" (Ministry of Defense), so it bears an MO imprint, along with the mark 1941/42. The arrow in the triangle is the symbol for the Ishevsk aresenal.
Here are two "full figure" views of my Mosin 91/30.
Here are two photos of the distinctive Mosin bolt and receiver. Mosins are extremely simple and sturdy rifles, just right for Russian peasant soldiers of the early 20th century. The round knob at the back of the bolt serves as a safety. You pull it straight back, and turn it counter clockwise, to prevent the rifle from firing.
The rear sight is graduated in distances of up to 2000 meters. This is wishful thinking. However, a Mosin could easily hit and kill a man at 200 yards or more. Carefully selected Mosins were used as sniper rifles, and equipped with scopes. The Mosin cartridge (7.62x54R) is still in use today, and is equal in power to the 30-06 round. The normal military surplus FMJ Mosin round hurls a 150 grain bullet at about 2800 feet per second.
Here's a photo of the front sight from the "business end" of the barrel. The barrel of my Mosin has not been "counter-bored." The rifling is dark, however it looks very clean and strong, no rust or pitting at all. I wonder if it has even been fired, it looks so good. (I've shot about 20/30 round through it myself, and it is quite accurate.)
For cleaning, the bolt of the Mosin could be very easily removed by simply pulling it all the way back. Then pull the trigger with your other hand, keep pulling the bolt back, and it will slip out of the rifle completely.
Here's what the sights look like when you are holding and aiming the rifle. You just line up the top of the front sight post in the "v" notch in the rear sight, and pull the trigger. Be careful not to flinch! The Mosin kicks like a mule!
People who don't care for Mosins say that the stock looks like an oar. Maybe they are right. It does look like an oar! I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder! The stock on my Mosin shows some dents and scratches, but I still think it looks good. The round brass-lined hole is for a leather strap called a "dog collar," which is used for attaching a sling to the Mosin. There is a similar hole in the front handguard. When you buy a Mosin, you usually receive a bayonet, sling, dog-collars, cartridge holder, oil bottle and a little iron tool for measuring firing pin protrusion. These days (2007), you still pay very little for a Mosin. I got this Mosin at Darr's in Red Bank, TN, in 2007.
Isn't this a nice looking rifle?
I also have some good Russian ammo. Here's the tale of opening up the ammo can.