Monday, August 18, 2014

Finnish Mosin Nagant M39 rifles and a guy who knew how to use one.

The For Collectors Only series of books on military rifles is a bit hard to find, and a trifle expensive.  If you're interested in one particular type of rifle, it's the way to go.

I'm a big Mosin- Nagant fan.  They are sturdy rifles, robust and reliable.  They require little maintenance. Mine have had a lot of rounds through them over the years, and I can count the number of parts I've had to order in 30 years on one hand.  That's a big contrast with some of my other old bolt guns.

Ammo is still easy to find, either commercial or surplus, although I'm sure the Golfer in Chief will figure out a way to tie Russian ammo in with his inane "sanctions" before long.  If you don't have all you might need for the foreseeable future, this would be a good time to get some. I know AIM surplus and Southern Ohio Guns have cases in stock, and I believe I saw it advertised in The Sportsman's Guide as well recently.

You can still get Mosin Nagant model 1891/30 rifles at a reasonable price, though again it's hard to say how long that will be true.

However, if you want a good shooting, well built, well balanced rifle, try to find a Finnish Model M39.

The Finns fought the Russians just before World War II, and again during the War. Even though they had only a tiny army and virtually no air force, they administered some serious drubbings to the Red Army before they were overwhelmed by the sheer numbers coming at them.  In the process, they acquired large numbers of Russian Mosin Nagant Model 1891/30 rifles. They rebuilt them and turned out an exceptional weapon in the process.  The different types of rebuilds are all covered in the book above. It's complicated, and you literally can't tell the players without a program, so the book is very useful.  In the 1980's and 1990's, you would occasionally see these rifles for sale , on offer from the big surplus dealers.  I got five of them over the years, and I think they came from Samco Global Arms, Century International Arms, Southern Ohio Guns, Zanders Sporting Goods, and a pawn shop. They are all sweet rifles.  Now, you might see one on an online gun auction site, but it has been awhile since I've seen them for sale in any quantity.

Two good books on the the Russo Finnish wars are:


You might also want to read about Simo Hiya.( There are different spellings of his name on the net)
 This guy was a sniper in the Finnish Army, with 542 to 700 confirmed kills, depending on what you read.

 I s**t you not.


  1. I love my Finn M39. One of the best-shooting surplus rifles I own. And those Finns did not play.

    1. No. They were pretty hard cases. The more I read about that period of history in that part of the world, the more I admire them. The rifles are excellent. As I often think these days, when those were easily available I should have bought more of them.

  2. Hey Harry,


    I got one of them Mosin Nagants, 1931, hex receiver.

    I got it back on black Friday last year at a gun store for $100.00.

    I still need to clean all the cosmoline off. just have not had the time to mess with it. I'm planning on using WD-40 at first, then Hoppes No.9 on the metal parts. I will leave the stock in the sun to sweat out the cosmoline.

    Any advice on cleaning this Russkie Beast???

    I found a site on youtube where some guy is making ten round mags for the Mosin by changing out the existing five round mag. Also there is a nifty muzzle break I gotta check out too. I think with a few minor mod's. It will make a nifty bolt gun.

    One question, is 7.62 by 54R manufactured in the U.S. ?????

    I don't plan to pump a whole lotta rounds through it so If its expensive, no big deal. I just don't want my supply cut off and I don't want to use corrosive ammo (I got a couple of them spam cans just in case I gotta shoot fuzzy, wuzzy bunny rabbits for food with that giant BB gun)

    1. CC, I wouldn't mess with the rifle in terms of changing out the magazine or anything else. They are highly desirable collectors items, but if you "sporterize" them they lose their value. Also, they are hard to find, unique historical artifacts and it would be a shame to damage them. You can reload the Mosin Nagant with stripper clips so fast that the extra five rounds capacity you would gain is negligible anyway. If you can't find any stripper clips I will send you ten or so from my personal stash.

      Corrosive ammo just means mercuric primers. They last a lot longer than modern non corrosive ammo as far as storage life. In a bolt gun, you just clean the rifle three days in a row and you're fine. You can use purpose made cleaner, Allegheny Arsenal makes it last time I checked and that's what I use, or you can use hot soapy water on the bore, bolt face, etc.

      You got that rifle, in the cosmoline, for $100.00! Damn, I wish I had been down there when you found it, assuming they had more I'd have bought me another five or so. You were really lucky to find it and smart to buy it.

      When I have a weapon with cosmoline on it, I sit it out in the Georgia sun and let the cosmoline melt out. Then I wipe it down really good, give it a thorough cleaning. Then I wipe it down again, I use Pledge Wipes on the wood, and Rem Oil wipes on the metal.

      You can buy Silver Bear or Brown Bear 7.62X 54 almost anywhere in the states, or at least you could before The Pimp President started putting little tiny sanctions on the Russians, because that ammo is Russian. I have not heard that Russian ammo has been embargoed but it wouldn't surprise me. Winchester makes it, here in the U.S.A. with Boxer primers, it's part of their "metric ammo" line. It's not cheap but it's reloadable. I bought two full cases when it first came out but haven't fired any of it. I shoot old military surplus in bolt guns when I can. I save the more modern, non corrosive stuff for guns that are semi auto, like my SVT-40's. That's because the semi-autos are so much harder to field strip and clean.

      You achieved a major score getting that rifle for $100.00. I am consumed with envy.

  3. I have often been tempted by the 91/30s, but from what I've read it can be a hit or miss situation on getting a good shooter. When the prices were under a 100$ it was worth it but now my local Cabelas has them for right around 200$ and it just seems a bit to steep to chance it. Wish I'd kept that Swedish Mauser Carbine I sold 25 years ago when times were hard.

    1. Mosins work well for me because living where I do, it's unlikely I will ever get a shot at anything out past 100 yards, and almost certain I will be shooting at ranges considerably less. The foliage here is very, very thick and even in winter the underbrush limits firing distances. You can still get the Model 1891/30 rifles for around $140.00. Even five years ago you could buy them in excellent condition, with sling, oil can, bayonet and magazine pouches for about $60.00 if you had a C&R and could deal with the sellers directly. Did you have a Swedish Model 1936 carbine? Those are really fine rifles. I have two, bought back in the 80's.

    2. Yes, here in Maine its the same. Woods everywhere, so like you we are limited to 100 yd shots. I have a WW2 era model 94 30-30 that is light enough to lug around the woods. The Swedish Mauser was a 1894. Though there was some question as to whether it actually started life as a carbine or just an awful good conversion. It did have the turned down bolt though the trigger had been replaced for a Timney.

    3. Some of the model 1936 rifles were originally long guns which were reworked. Maybe yours was an 1896 reworked.