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This balkan import m91 is a very interesting and unusual example. I have seen a large number of these rifles, but I only vaguely recall one other example the sported the Austrian WW1 AZF arsenal marking. It is my first mosin of any variety that has the AZF stamp.

This rifle is also unusual in that there are no import markings anywhere on the rifle. There is also no serial number added to the receiver which is typical for these. The rifle doesn't look like a pre '68 import from before when import marks were required. My guess is that it was simply missed by the importer. The stock is in about the best shape of any balkan import I have ever seen, and is dated 1916 under the butt plate. There are no pinecone stamps that I can see. The rifle also sports a cleaning rod which is usually missing with these imports. The bore is quite good and easily passes the bullet test. Although the handguard shows a good sized ding, overall this rifle is in the best condition of any of my balkan rifles that do not use a later Romanian made stock. The tang also matches the barrel, so it has the added bonus of antique status. The crests are defaced as is typical, and there is the "wedge' behind the rear sight spring. The cleaning rod is odd. There is a distinctive step behind the knurled head. I haven't seen that before. Any ideas on that?

A big thank you to the seller. I'm thrilled to have this rifle.


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Super Moderator
Field Editor ~ GUNS Magazine, Co-Author ~ Serbian Army Weapons of Victory &PH - Kudu Safaris
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Hello racerguy,

Nice rifle! Nice find! Congratulations.

Regarding the clearing rod, while it's hard to tell from your photo, it appears as though there are turning marks on the rod and that the step looks recently machined? My best guess is that the rod is a repro, though it's hard to be 100% certain of that without seeing it first hand.

As for it being from the Balkans, this is most likely the case based on the scrubbed Imperial Eagles and the knowledge that the vast majority of M91s that were last imported in the 1990s all came from the Balkans, as opposed to any particular font, be it Russian or Austro-Hungarian font.

Well done! Hope she shoots as nice as she looks.

Warmest regards,

JPS
 

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That is a very nice rifle that was probably almost 20 years old when captured in WWI! Very, very nice. Congratulations on it.
 

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Oak Leaves with Clusters Member
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It is nice to see the Balkans getting more popular. I wondered if I was crazy to pick up a couple 2 or 3 years ago when they were considered inferior because of the scrubbing/pinging of the eagles. I thought to myself then that scrubbing was a part of history and added them to my collection. Now I'm feeling better.

And racerguy, that is a nice looking Mosin.
 

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Field Editor ~ GUNS Magazine, Co-Author ~ Serbian Army Weapons of Victory &PH - Kudu Safaris
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Hello nwellons,

How is scrubbing an eagle any different than stamping an "SA" in one or two places on the barrel of an Imperial M91? In both instances, the markings added or the markings removed have become part of the history of the rifle. Also keep in mind that the eagles were NOT scrubbed during WWI, but afterward. None of the countries that used the M1891 Three-Line rifle during WWI bothered to scrub any of the imperial markings. The Germans, Austro-Hungarians and Turks stamped markings in addition to the original Imperial Russian markings, not in place of them. The scrubbing if Imperial eagles came much later after the communists were in power.

The Serbs, Montenegrins and Romanians were all supplied with M1891 Three-Line rifles before or during WWI. Imperial Russia was their ally. None of these countries bothered to scrub eagles that represented an Ally during WWI.

Just my $ .02 worth based on personal observations.

Warmest regards,

JPS
 

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Nice rifle for sure. A few years back I picked up a 1895 Tula that came with identical cleaning rod. My rifle was in very nice shape compared to many of the imported CAI from the 1990's. No import marks, but most of the common "Balkan" trademarks. My cleaning rod looks newly mfg. Have no idea but I would guess post import era. But only guessing on my part. On mine the scubbing of the crest was very minimal in comparison with most of my other Balkan 91's. Thanks for sharing. Regards, John.
 
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