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Sunday, February 06, 2011

New Topic, New Toy

I bought a Russian Rifle. This rifle is commonly known by its two developers; hence the name, Mosin-Nagant. For the history behind this rifle, I direct you to the Wikipedia page dedicated to it. My rifle would be referred to as the Model 91/30.

There are several reasons why I purchased this rifle. One, it has a simple design, with a bolt action. The children and I have been looking into getting a bolt action rifle, and this one has a history of being very reliable and fun to shoot. Two, it is very inexpensive. Some of these are advertised for less than $100. Three, they are very accurate, even with just iron sights. Four, it is an historical item; ours was manufactured in 1942. Five, they are very tough. The ammunition leaves a corrosive residue in the barrel, so one has to clean the rifle immediately after shooting. Some folks recommend pouring boiling hot water down the barrel to clean it. This was intriguing to me. Everything about this gun is fascinating, and to really understand all aspects of it will take some time and study.

I went to a local gun store on Thursday, taking my student driver with me so he could get some icy road condition driving experience. We saw a lot of cars and trucks in the ditches, and Gus got to slide along on the ice for a while. It was worth it to give him some practice in adverse weather, and to patronize a local merchant.

As one can see below, this is a rifle with a bolt action, and a non-detachable magazine which carries 5 cartridges. This model has a wooden stock and a detachable bayonet. It also came with two magazine pouches, a sling, a can for holding oil, and a small pouch of tools. I need to figure out what all the tools are for.

The rifle was packed in a substance called 'cosmoline,' which looks like brown vaseline. It appears as if the gun was dipped into a container of this stuff. This will be one of the first things I shall do with this. Note the goo in the action below:

One thing I did do was bless it with holy water. It occurred to me that this rifle probably saw action in World War II, and with the Russian troops it may have been an instrument of oppression of civilians as well as a combat weapon. Carolyn and the children and I recently read of some of the horrible things that were done by the Russians as they drove through Germany - and how the Russian people suffered as well under Josef Stalin. I recommended that some of the older children consider reading One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn to get an insight into life in the Soviet Union. I felt better after blessing the rifle.

Even with all the goo in it the action is smooth. There are an assortment of markings on the receiver, including a new serial number placed on it when it was imported into the United States. There is a website which lists all the markings known and the explanation for most of them. This type of rifle was made in Russia, the United States (during World War I), all other Soviet bloc countries, and Finland. The Finnish versions were taken from Russian soldiers who died while fighting Finland; these rifles were then revised and put back into service against the Russians. Like I said, the history behind this rifle is really fascinating.

These guns are accurate. They were used by snipers during the Second World War. Here are some women soldiers/snipers proudly displaying their 'scoped' versions of the Mosin Nagant.

I shall keep the blog posted as I take this thing apart and get it ready for some target shooting.

1 comment:

MightyMom said...


Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation

Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation
Now restored with the help of some cement!

Prayer to Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation

Mary my mother, take my hand today, and all days.
Lead me away from all occasions of sin.
Guide me in fulfilling your last words in the Gospel,
"Do whatever He tells you."

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