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 A Small Primer On Mosin Rifles 
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Seems there may be a bit of confusion on Mosin Values these days. I would like to present a collectors and buyers primer to those who are venturing into the Mosin realm.
First off, all Mosins are not created equal. Yes, you can buy one of the Balkan refurbs for $100 or so at most Sporting outlets. These are in essence a $100 rifle. Many have reworked stocks, mismatched parts, and are counter bored. While none of these are detractors from shooting grade rifles, it does set them apart for collector rifles.
What most serious collectors are looking for in Mosin rifles is condition, Matching Numbers, Small or no import Mark, non counter bore, and of course date of manufacture and arsenal.
Believe it or not The French were the first Builders of the 1891 Mosin at Chateraullt. Russia did not start full scale production until 1894-1895. The United States also built many for the Czarist government Via Remington and New England Westinghouse. There are many variations of these rifles. The ones I am going into detail on are the ones most commonly found on todays market.
The average $100 Mosin today is the 91/30 rifle that was used in the millions in the Great Patriotic War by Soviet Soldiers. It has a varnished stock(applied as a preservative after the war, before being placed in storage), is caked with cosmoline(an oil based metal preservative), has been used by satellite countries of the Soviet Union, has been refinished/refurbished, and is commonly counter bored. Counter boring is a term used to denote a rifle that has had 1/8" to 1 1/4" of rifling removed from the crown of the muzzle of the barrel, to help improve a worn crown area. It Commonly looks like this:
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It generally comes with a sling, Oiler, Bayonet, Tool Kit, Large Billboard Import mark on the receiver. It is a fine shooter and general utility rifle.
Some of these rifles, even though sold at $100, may have more value, if they have a Hex receiver, Different blade front sight, Early date, are not counter bored,or have a correct early stock with clear stock cartouches. Different Years have different production numbers. Lower production numbers for the different years add value.
Collector Mosins are a different breed from the Average $100 rifle. They have little or no varnish, correct stocks, small or no import marks, and a bright shiny bore with no counter bore. Many Finnish Rifles are of this breed. They have finger mortised stocks, were re finished during or after the War,and Have hang tags or other acessories. Here are a few fine examples:
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There are other variations that are even rarer than these. The M 24, M 27 area few of the rarer models. The M 91 and M 39 are a few of the more common Finn Mosins.
There are also M 44's and M 38's available to collectors today. The M 91/59 is also a not so common variation that is available in small numbers also. These three models are now very popular with collectors and shooters today, due to their shorter length, and the incredible fireball they emit when fired. They are as Follows:
M 44 with attached Bayonet
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The M 38 Carbine with No Bayonet attachment. Generally Not issued with one
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The M 91/59 is generally the same as the M 38, except for the ground of sight markings on the rear sight leaf, and the 91/59 markings on the receiver ring. Rear sight looks like this:
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Receiver markings are thus:
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Now That we have identified The Models, Lets talk Value. In a nutshell, the Most Valuable from Most to least is as follows:

Non Refurbs:
M 1891/59
M 1938
M 44
M 91/30
Refurbs in the same order. Value is placed on production numbers, condition provenance, import marked, counter bored, production date..in a nut shell, originality.

As an example can anyone guess the value of this 91/30?:
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Believe it or not this Finnish Capture "41" Continuation War Capture and Finnish Stocked rifle is $250-$275. So as You can see, not all Mosins are $100 Rifles.

These are great value for the money. They are a very simple and robust rifle that fire a very powerful and in expensive cartridge. Ammunition generally is $80-$90 a 440 round tin. Maintenance is relatively simple and field stripping requires a minimum of tools and knowledge, With the 203 grn SP Brown Bear ammunition, they are capable of taking all North American Game. With Milsurp ammo they are accurate enough to be used as a SHTF rifle and you would not be under gunned in a fire fight. Here is the simple 3 pages given to untrained troops heading into the fray at Stalingrad. The river crossing took 30-40 minutes and this was the training most raw recruits were given...It's that simple and robust of a design:
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So in a nut shell, great price, long history, easy to operate, and very robust design come together to make an inexpensive, fun rifle for the hunter, recreational shooter, and SHTF prepper.



I hope this information at least gives the prospective Mosin Buyer and owner a a small Idea of the fact that Mosin rifles come in many styles, conditions, collectability, and price ranges. Not All Mosins are created equal. In My eyes they are all great rifles and I would recommend to anyone looking to collect or Buy their first rifle to check out Mosin-Nagant.Net and 7.62x54r.com websites to gain an even better understanding of these wonderful and fascinating rifles...

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Last edited by Mohawk13 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:37 pm
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SO good, I made it a sticky!


Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:08 pm
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I Just wanted to add that if anyone needs help buying their first Mosin, or needs an appraisal on an existing rifle, or even a Nagant Pistol, feel free to contact Me here. I have been collecting these rifles and pistols for over 20 Years and have a wealth of knowledge to share....Good Luck and Happy Hunting.....
I did not even get into snipers and ex snipers, as they are a sub culture all into themselves..Apologies to the PU, PO, PE, and PEM Collectors

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Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:20 pm
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Mind adding to the write up, with some info on what makes them an interesting, or particularly worth while rifle?


Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:33 pm
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Consider it done..

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Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:34 pm
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Great writeup, Pete! I think you'll get some folks drooling. thumbsup

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Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:42 pm
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Hey, one of those 91/30's look mighty familiar LOL.

A few other things to watch for. Ex sniper rifles... these were sniper rifles that either due to reduced accuracy, or simply having too many in inventory were returned to 91/30 configuration. They are most readily identifiable by the presence of plugged screw holes visible inside the left hand side of the receiver, and depending on if the original stock was kept as well, there may be repair to the stock that filled in a notch cut for the scope mount. These guns sometimes command a small premium, and people have often with good success rebuilt them as sniper rifles with reproduction or original parts.

1943 M44's. There were 50,000 built as prototypes and they turn up.
1945 91/30's. Rare
1944 Tula M44's
Any Mosin built in 1920
1938 Izveshk M38's
M38 carbines in M38 stocks (No cutout for the bayonet. Many were refurbed and placed in M44 stocks after the war)
MO stamped Mosins. These were marked as belonging to the Soviet Ministry of Defense. They usually command a small premium

There are others but these first popped into my head.

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Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:43 pm
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Great additions. I tried to keep it simple and just stuck to the common ones encountered today..Thanks Steve...and Yes that 1943 Izzy is the one I received in trade from You. I love it. Great shooter..


Ammo Primer is in the works, and I hope to have it up By tomorrow....

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Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:50 pm
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Well what a great start! I just couldn't let this one get too far off without saying at least something about these fine Russian rifles. Really do like the Russian nomenclature in Russian, I had found those handy little exerts and have them on my computer. There is so much to Mosins and Mosin collecting, that there's not really any easy place to start on them either. Pete is definitely right tho, not all Mosins are created equal. The trained collector can spot a counterbored refurb 2 isles over at a gun show, and identify someone walking around with that telltale rifle slung over the shoulder half way across the gun show too. But on the other end, just a glance as you're walking out of a pawn shop, the Mosin mag catches your cranial nerve 2 and low and behold, you're OTD with a B barrel M91 for $150. The hunt, the history, and what you can tell as to where some of these rifles have been just at a distant glance is what draws me to collecting. For collectors, that alone is a good reason to hit up the pawn shops and garage sales. You never know, you could find, "the one". That's why I do it.

I recall quite some time ago at a gun show in Puyallup, or a WAC gathering at a fairgrounds site that will remain unnamed for the sake of the innocent, a fella being rather disgusted with my reply to his query as to how much I was selling my "M38" carbine for. I informed him the price was $350. He gave me a surprised and rather rude sigh and immediately about faced and went to pound sand (I presume). I attempted to ask if he knew what it was, but he kept on walking. To the uneducated, or unaware person who is new to Mosin collecting, as Pete stated, not all Mosins are created equal. This "M38" was indeed a Russian carbine, but was certainly more than meets the eye. I regret selling this one, and still wish I had it. It was only the 3rd one I had ever seen in the live (maybe a couple others on auction, one of which I was able to acquire). The nomenclature of this rifle is called the M91/38 carbine. The one in question was stamped Izhevsk and dated 1905. It looks just like the M38, but there are some noticeable differences.

These 91/38 carbines were cut down M91 or Dragoon rifles by the Czechs sometime during the Cold War era. They had sleeve sights installed on the barrel just like an M38. In every case I have seen, remnants of the original dovetail for the rear sights can still be seen, ground down and rounded to contour with the barrel for installation of said rear carbine sights. The receivers in every example I have seen, are of hex shape, with barrels of Imperial date. There are Czech arsenal marks on the top receiver flat. The stock could be an M38 or M44 stock, most of which were placed in a Czech M44 stock. For these reasons, this "M38" was priced so high. They are hard to find, and surely there will be a fair amount of people that have never heard of this model before.

1895 Tula 91/38
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At the wrist area on this Czech M44 stock, we can see what look to be diagonally running light brownish colored lines. It has been suggested by other more seasoned collectors than myself, that these rifles were wrapped in wax paper and put in to storage by the Czechs and left to sit. The twine they used to tie the wax paper around them with is said to have made those light marks on the stock. I have examples of this on both of my 91/38 carbines I currently have.
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1894 Sestroryetsk 91/38
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It may be rather hard to make out, but the Imperial Russian script of Sestroryetsk with the single arrow arsenal stamp on the barrel shank. This one is dated 1894, my oldest Mosin in any form.
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And the one I let get away :(
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Interesting to note: The small star atop the barrel shanks on all three of these rifles, must be indicative of the Czech procedure. Tula certainly did not start using any stars to stamp their mark during manufacture in 1895, or Sestroryetsk, or Izhevsk for that matter! I am not aware of the meaning of this star either.

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Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:33 pm
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Great Addition to the post. I did not mention these as they are a very specialized form of collecting. That is a wonderful piece with much History. Thanks For a fine write up.

Anyone else chime in, as I see this being a great thread for info. Goes to show, not all Mosins are created equal!!

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Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:28 am
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Mohawk13 wrote:
I Just wanted to add that if anyone needs help buying their first Mosin, or needs an appraisal on an existing rifle, or even a Nagant Pistol, feel free to contact Me here. I have been collecting these rifles and pistols for over 20 Years and have a wealth of knowledge to share....Good Luck and Happy Hunting.....
I did not even get into snipers and ex snipers, as they are a sub culture all into themselves..Apologies to the PU, PO, PE, and PEM Collectors




Why should I buy a Mosin over other surplus rifles like the 03-A3 or an Infield?

Convince me why the Mosin is the better choice and I might buy one :thumbsup2:

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Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:37 pm
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$100 dollars for the rifle. $80 for the ammo= $200 after taxes.. Ammo is cheap and easily acquirable. Round/Rifle combo is generally accurate...With practice...which You can afford to do as ammo is cheap.

Average 03A3 in today's market is $600-$750 and up. .30-06 surplus is drying up and .50-.75 cents a round. Most O3's and O3A3's are collectors items, and prone to firing pin breakage....Not very cost effective.

Same thing with Enfields..High acquisition cost, ammo and spare parts drying up.


When You boil it down...Why would You not go with a Mosin???

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Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:46 pm
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You can buy a crate of 20 Mosins for the price of three Springfield 1903's.

Now, you got your very own parts department.

Factory 30 06 runs about thirty bucks a box for 20 rounds, more for the fancy stuff.

Cheapest military surplus 30 06 ammo out there right now is Korean surplus, 400 rounds for $262.18 - plus shipping. Just under $300.00 delivered.

That kind of money buys you three 440 round spam cans of bad ass Russian ammo - delivered. 1320 rounds.

Okay, go have fun shooting the carp out of your Mosin store of rifles.

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Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:22 pm
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What kind of optic mounting options are there?


Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:12 pm
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Optics can be mounted to an OEM scope mount, and/ or a number of after market mounts based on standard rail compatibility for scopes.

There is a company doing a reproduction of the original WW2 mount and scope that looks cool. A turned down bolt handle is a must.

There are kits out there to adapt conventional bolts, or, you can just pay up, and buy a complete Mosin snipers rifle already kitted out with mount and optics.

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BE ON NOTICE:
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You are hereby notified that you are strictly prohibited from disclosing, copying, distributing, disseminating, or taking any other action against me with regard to this profile and the contents herein. The foregoing prohibitions also apply to your employee, agent, student or any personnel under your direction or control.

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Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:30 pm
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