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Discussion Starter #1
I've decide to get one of these babies. I'm only going to get one because I'm out of room in my safe (maybe when I get safe #2 I can get another). So, if I must have one and only one, which should I get? M44, M38, M91/30, laminated stock, hardwood stock, Tula, Izzy, other? I've only shot an M44 and enjoyed it a lot.

What's the concensus? I bow to your wisdom... :hail:

Thanks,

St
 

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For long range accuracy, pick a M-91/30 or a Finn M-39.

For a light gun for hunting or for a huge fireball, pick a M-38 or M-44. The bayonet on the M-44 is cool, but the gun can shoot as much as 6" off at 50 yards with the bayo folded or unfolded, and the bayo adds about a pound of weight onto the gun. So the M-44 is cool, but not practical for hunting or going through the woods with.

The M-38 is a simple MN carbine.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR:

1. Make sure the gun is not counterbored (look in the muzzle, if it is smooth for the first inch or more it is counterbored)... a gun can be accurate if counterbored but usually it is not desired.

2. Make sure the numbers match.

3. If you get an M-38, make sure the stock is an M-38 stock (no bayonet cutout on the front right side of the stock).

4. If you want one for collecting and accurate shooting, spend $150-$200 on a good Finnish rifle. These guns have a "SA" stamp in a rectangle and were usually fitted with VERY good barrels.

5. Tula made rifles are generally more desired. Rifles with a hex reciever are also more desired, but an early (early 30's or any date in the 20's) Hex rifle with an Izzy arsenal mark on the barrel is more rare. Rifles made before 1930 are M-91 rifles.

6. If you get an M-44, try to get one made in 1943. That was the trial year. Also the 1947 year is fairly rare too for the M-44.

7. If you get an M-38, look for 1938 or 1945 dates. Rareish.

If you want a historic carbine that is more accurate than the tradditional M-44 or M-38 but do not want to spend $200 on a Finn, look for a M-91/59. These are M-91/30 rifles that were cut down by the Soviets during the Cold War for quick issue to all people should America invade. These rifles are as long as an M-38, but have thicker barrels. The rear sight is a typical 91/30 sight but it will have all numbers after 10 cut out.

There are hundreds of variants. It takes alot of time and studying to get them all, but with this general info you should be able to make a good choice.
 

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if i could only have one, it would be a m39, but there not as cheap as the used to be, my unisssued sako was only 200 bucks back in the day my shooter sako i have and use was 100 bucks. it will out shoot most every thing i own. my next chose would be a 91/30 there cheaper. i also have a m38 and i like it better than a m44 the bayo on the m44 is cool but it makes it uneasy to shoot i am left haned.


Ronald
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the great info. So, I think I want to get a M91/30. Where do you recommend? I've seen them at Classic Arms, AIM and Aztec. Aztec only has "ex-snipers." Classic seems to have several offerings and AIM has a couple. What's the story on Classic? Anywhere else I should look? Would hardwood or laminated be more collectable?
 

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It seems to me that the full length 91/30 makes most efficient use of that full sized cartridge. I haven't shot one of the shorter ones yet though myself.
Many of the rearsenaled hardwood stocks on these I have seen have repairs. Most are very well done, but only from a structural standpoint. They're solid repairs and well done. But they seem to use chunks of light wood to repair dark stocks and visa versa. Making it pretty wasn't a consideration. Laminated stocks should be more durable than the hardwood. The laminated stocked re-arsenaled 91/30's I saw were very nice from a "looks" standpoint.
Most ads I see for the Finnish ones it seems the best they have is good condition. The best ones are now sold off. And that's pretty worn if you want a primo shooter. I'd be happy to buy an excellent Fin gun for a fair price, but I bulk at getting only a fair to good gun with 50% finish remaining and a chewed up stock. I want a collection I can shoot, not just look at.
Since I enjoyed shooting my 91/30 so much, I plan to get a laminated 91/30 next and then a 38 model. They're so inexpensive now they are a bargain. I've seen many 44's in excellent condition, but I just don't care for that bayonet hanging off the side.
 

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My opinion, although you've already received some great advice :twisted:

I've had both. And I enjoy the 91/30 much more. The m38 and 44 to me were just show off guns for the friends. They're not amazingly accurate and they have a more stout recoil. The 91/30 feels more balanced and should give you a lot more distance (I think the difference in length is something like 8 inches!). The sights are better through the 91/30 because of the longer length of the barrel making the front site smaller and easy to aim with.

Just my opinion. :mrgreen:
 

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Ex-snipers are Russian PU, PE or PEM rifles that had the scopes and bent bolts taken off to put on other guns. Sometimes, they have better triggers, however the Soviets are rumored to also have taken the good triggers off of the ex snipers and put them on new ones.

USUALLY, ex-snipers are more accurate. They usually have a stock repair on the left side of the stock where the scope mount was. These guns were restored to regular 91/30 specs but again were still hand selected for their accuracy.

If you want a regular M-91/30, look for:

1. A hex recievered rifle.

2. A "K in a circle" stamped on the barrel. This mark is believed to be an accuracy mark put on rifles that achieved higher than standard accuracy.

3. Non war dates usually have better finish.

4. TRY to find one with a stock numbered to the rifle, and with the mag floorplate not lined out and renumbered. This would suggest a non-rearsenaled gun which is worth more than a standard refurbished gun.

5. If you can find a M-91, get one. These look like the standard M-91/30, but have an unprotected front sight (no globe around it) and some are Dragoon style, which means their rear sights look like a zig-zag and are usually marked in Arshnis, an old Soviet measurement based on the human pace). Many M-91 rifles were brought to M-91/30 specs by changing the front sight and re-marking the rear sight in Meters if it was a Dragoon... you can tell this was done by the date on the barrel. However, if it is "SA" stamped, it may very well have been a barrel change done by the Finns.

Other desireable markings:

1. "MO" stamped on the barrel. This is the Soviet ministry of defense mark.


There are many other markings... thousands, litterally. I can only go over some of the highlighted ones, like SA or MO or K in a circle. Also, another semi-unsual one is the Y in a circle. This is not a known mark, most experts think it is a black-powder proof, but it shows up on rifles as late as 1947 which makes me very leery of that theory.

ETA: here is a more complete overview of the markings http://www.russian-mosin-nagant.com/arsenalmarks.htm

ETA2: the sticky bolt issue can be fixed by using a .410 phosphorous-bronze brush in a drill with a patch of Flitz or M.A.A.S. polish. Use the .410 brush with the polish as a chamber brush, running the drill both directions on the chamber for about 30 seconds. Take off the dirty patch and add a clean one, and keep going untill the patches come out relatively clean. This usually fixes the sticky bolt issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok. I just ordered a 1932 Tula Hex receiver M91/30 in excellent condition. Unfortunately the mag floor-plate is force-matched, but the bore should be in excellent shiney condition. The stock also looks pretty good. I'll post some pics when she arrives.

Thanks for all your help! I'm excited to pick this baby up. :grin:

St
 

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Congrats! Make sure to get us pictures when she arrives.

Oh- and be carefull with the bayonet. Sometimes they get stuck on the muzzle of the rifle as they were mismatched at the end of WWII. If it gets stuck, use the triangle tool that comes with your MN to get it off.
 

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SIGthusiast said:
Ok. I just ordered a 1932 Tula Hex receiver M91/30 in excellent condition. Unfortunately the mag floor-plate is force-matched, but the bore should be in excellent shiney condition. The stock also looks pretty good. I'll post some pics when she arrives.

Thanks for all your help! I'm excited to pick this baby up. :grin:

St
Mmmm...hex Tula...mmmm good stuff! You will like the rifle. Don't worry about the fact that the floor plate is lined out. All the current imports re-arsenaled, weather or not it is stamped matching,lined out and restamped or lined out and electro penciled. I have had stamped matching ex-Dragoons from the 20's that had war time bolts and stocks. I've had stamped and matching war time rifles with early bolts...etc.

Some things to look at on your new rifle are the sling slots and the bolt. There are 3 diffrent sling slot styles. The earlist use a screw in metal escusion,the middle years use a pressed in metal one of the same basic shape and the war time expediant. This one is has a slot in the wood and will sometimes have a small strip of metal in the slot. The early bolts have a shoulder at the bolt root. The later ones simply have a smooth transition to the handle.

Looking forward to the pics on this one.
 

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You are missing a sling type... the one with no rear swing attatchment on the stock, but with it instead on the magazine rivet :grin:.

Yeah it likely won't be on a 1932 gun but it is just an odd thing I had to bring up.

The M-38 non refurb was purchased by my friend from a guy with a bunch of refurbed rifles on the table... you get lucky sometimes.
 

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Actually I missed 2, :goof: there is also the one with a round hole for the rope hole sling.

As far as the # stock goes. The consensus on that seems to be non Soviet,at least so far as original issue. It in and of itself might be a sign of refurbing perhaps one of the Army level depots?

I have owned 60-70 Mosins at the least,plus a number of SVT-40s including an all original Finnish capture. The only rifles I had with the stock numbered to the action were the SVT's and the odd Finn. I was wondering about that when you posted it. None of the used rifles I have owned had that so I posted a note about it at Gunboards. Vic flat out said that it was not Soviet. A number of other guys had rifles with it. Only a couple were not Finnish. At least one was a post war carbine.

One other thing, the Russian capture K98's are also numbered on the stock,so are the Yugo k98's.

Q.. can you post some pics of yours?
 

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No pics, I don't have a digitial camera.

Here is my theory based on seeing several of these numbered rifles:

1. They (stock SNs) all have the same font, and a few were from different importers. None looked fresh. Not a bubbah job.

2. They (stock SNs) all appear on later dated rifles, 1944 and 1945 for the ones I have seen, after the Germans had pretty much been chased out of Russia. Thus, I think that with the time to work on guns and production demands reduced, they put more effort into the guns. Just like how 1942 and 1943 M-38 recievers are roughly finished with lighter blueing, but the finish gets better overall in the later dates (M-38s in general).

3. There are no refurbishment marks on the weapon, anywhere. No box with a slash, nothing.

4. There are no capture markings.

5. All parts are Izzy stamped, and from the same time frame (no pre-28 Izzy parts mixed with post 28 Izzy parts, etc).

6. Nothing is lined out or electropenciled.


I honestly, purely think these are Soviet guns made to higher standards with the war easing up and more time to work on guns. Another idea is that with the SKS on the horizon, the RPD in service and weapons designers working overtime the Soviet arsenals contemplated making guns for sale/distribution to communist allies rather than internal issue. Russia gave and sold millions of PPSh, DP, Mosin Nagant and SVT weapons off to fellow communist allies.

Just two possibilities, but I think the first is correct.
 

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Get one of each, if you have no room in the safe put em under the bed, lol. Get em while the getting is good, it wont last forever. I remember when an M44 carbine was 400-500 bucks because there were hardly any in this country, the supply will dry up eventually and the price will go way high. McM
 

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Q.. the problem with the theory that the serial # on the stock is factory is that there are many original stocked rifles w/o them. Also there are no factory records or research to show that this was the standard practice. We do know that some rifles got no rework markings. The K98's RC's can be found with crossed rifles and with out. They can be found w/ and w/o the # on the stock.

I think given the small number of rifles with the serial # on the stock it has to be something lower on the scale then the factory.
 

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Fireman... RECORDS?

I think the fact that there are no records is pretty much true for every aspect of Soviet arsenal work. The Soviets didn't even use a real serial number system, they did not consecutively stamp the rifles because they did not want the enemy soldiers to be able to gauge rifle production.

Capture guns were reworked untill the late 50's and stored. This gun has no marks whatsoever, and I am having a headache thinking about some Soviet arsenal re-doing the gun, but getting the blueing over the whole gun to match and also not getting ANY Tula or other factory parts in it besides Izzy.

There is no proof either way on this. We can only speculate based on inferences. But, from what I have seen, I sincerely think these are legit. Maybe it will just take more rifles comming into the country to find a "link".

ETA: another possibility. You see how many Soviet stocks were refurbished at the end of the war. Since all the guns with SNed stocks are also not refurbished, MAYBE there were alot of guns that had the stock serial numbered to the rifle, but during refurbishment, the stock was sanded down or refinished.
 

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Yes there are records. They may not be available for the public but the people that I have talked have seen them. They have been to the Tula and Izhevsk factories. They have spoken to the plant historians,museum curators etc. There is a ton of info still in Russia that is still being "discovered".

Thereis nothing remarkable about having the bluing match. I have a number of refurbs that do, simply becasue the whole rifle was reblued at once. In fact one could argue that a rifle made under war time condition has a better chance of the finish not matching. This would be due to parts blued on diffrent days and coming from diffrent parts of the factories.

I have a 34 Tula that is all Tula yet is a refurb w/o a doubt. The fact that all parts are Izhevsk on a carbine is not proof. The vast majority of carbines were made by Izhevsk so when reworking carbines there would be very few Tula parts. Also there is strong evidence that carbine specific parts were only made at Izhevsk.

Again there are many ww2 rifles with unsanded or lightly sanded stocks that retain original proofs. They don't have a ser. # on the stock.

There are a large # of rifles that have been refurbed where this was done. The Soviets did do this on post war rifles,SKS,reworked SVT's, AK's etc. All the evidence points to it being part of a rework.

My 34 Tula that I mentioned earlier has no refurb marks but is clearly a rework. The lack of a known rework mark does not mean that is was not reworked.

Lastly the guyw who know Mosins best, Vic Thomas,KH,Ted D(7.62x54r) and other flately say it is not Soviet war time. Vic even says it is not Soviet at all, that they NEVER numbered the stocks on there Mosins.
 
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