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I am cleaning and inspecting the real early M91 I got at auction and have been kind of perplexed by what I am finding. This rifle has the real early stock with no sling slots, no recoil lug, and Tula marked ink matched via penned numbers on the barrel channel to the rifle. I thought at first this rifle had never had a hand guard on it but in looking at the barrel closely it looks very much like the area between the two barrels clamps has been very well protected by something all these years as the blue is almost perfect. It had no guard there when I got it but it now looks to me like it had one. I checked all the hand guards I have and they are all about a 1/2 inch or more too short? Were these early stocks dimensionally different? In comparing the finish on the exposed sides of the barrel to what would have been under a hand guard something was there? Why doesn't a spare M91 fit right? Ahh the wonderful questions these old babies ask sometimes! Any thoughts appreciated! Bill
 

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Pre 1909 M91 had sling swivels on front barrel band and magazine well, if I remember correctly.

Early M91 handguards had small metal tabs that protruded, and fit under the barrel bands. Look at the barrel bands, and see if there are any indentations in the bands, where the small metal tabs of the handguards would fit.

I seem to recall thet very early M91's did not have a handguard, but I cannot remember what the dates were.

I am sure that someone with better memory than I will correct any errors I have made.
 

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1900 should have handguard. I have early config 1899 w/handguard. I'll measure this evening.
 

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Mr. Flashy Pants
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Handguards were added within the first or second year of production.

I'd like to get a clarification by those that know on exactly when several early features came or went.

Handguard, 1893?
Rear sight change, 1908?
Barrel bands; early with front swivel, early with no swivel, late.
Sling slots?
Magazine sling swivel?
Crossbolt; none, wooden 1908?, steel?
Finger spur, 1893?
Cleaning rod, short to long, 1893?

If we can get a consensus on these I items I plan to create "digital photorealistic illustrations" of M91s in the various configurations and add the information to my website for everyone to reference.

TIA
 

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Interesting topic.

I have a 1916 Tula that is wearing a very early stock. It has a wooden repair where the original finger rest would have been. (I think it is on mosinnagant.com where it mentions the finger rest being used only in 1892-1893)

The stock does have the screw-in slots though. Would these have been added, say, when the finger spur repair was added?? Was it common to add the sling slots to the older stocks?

T
 

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Good questions, no answer from me. I've noticed a number of Mosins that have the "repair" where the finger rest would have been. Some were 91 rifle stocks, but also some 91/59 & 91/38 carbines. I wonder if some of them really were an actual repair. Have you pulled the buttplate off yours & checked for a date?
 

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Handguard, 1893?
I think it was a bit later like 1895
Rear sight change, 1908?
Yes but many rifles had not been changed when WW1 began
Barrel bands; early with front swivel, early with no swivel, late.
The front swivel was used in 1899 but that is about all that I can state
Sling slots?
No sure. I think also around 1908
Magazine sling swivel?
1908
Crossbolt; none, wooden 1908?, steel?
Steel came in around WW1 - the start
Finger spur, 1893?
Cleaning rod, short to long, 1893?
Yes
 

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Mr. Flashy Pants
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I think it's safe to say that most older stocks were upgraded and the sling slots were added, around 1908 as Brent says, although I've seen some inconclusive evidence that it might have been a year or two later. The finger spur was supposed to have been removed much earlier but some weren't at all as evident by their current existence and I'm sure some were removed at various times when rifles were in for other repairs, etc. I don't think there would have been a single time when all M91s were called in to have sling slots added and finger spurs removed, but it might have happened that way for a few rifles.

Battleship Potemkin is a Soviet movie made in 1925 about an event that took place in 1905. The M91s in the movie have sling slots, but they wouldn't have in 1905. The ones used in the movie could have been new production when it was filmed or might have been older ones that were upgraded. I just think it's interesting that they weren't any better than Hollywood at "getting guns right".
 

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Alrightly. 1899 Izhevsk M91 Infantry. Appears absolutely unused, but does have a few Tula made parts mixed in that also appear unused. Has no serial numbers anywhere. The stock and handguard lengths are identical to an all original Remington & several other later M91 Infantry rifles. Flat rear sight. Swivel on mag housing, no swivel on front band. No metal or wood recoil lug. No sling slots. Long cleaning rod & channel.
 

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Nope, no date visible date under the buttplate. Just a small symbol that looks like a russian L with back to back with a russian P.

T
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The barrel clamps are kind of inconclusive as to whether they held a guard in place so I have no help there. The stock has a 90 (for 1900 Tula I presume) under the butt plate. The mag area has a pronounced flat spot like where a finger rest might have been put at some time but there is no sign of a repair or cut of any sort. Everything on the rifle is marked Tula. I am going to pilfer a guard off one of the Remingtons tomorrow and see what that fits up like. The ones I tried today are all Finnish I believe so that could have an effect maybe too? I am just wishing over and over that this had been stored better as it had to have set quite awhile muzzle end down with perhaps the bayonet that is came with in place. The butt plate has quite a bit of rust and the top of the rifle has a bit too although Kroil Oil soaking is loosening most of it. I have never seen Russian Walnut before but I am pretty sure this is what the stock is made out of and it really looks nice along with the Tula Rondel stamp it is a nice piece of Russian craftsmanship. Soaking the bayonet has brought a nice clear marking of the Izhevsk arsenal to light and several other nice marks with a non matching serial number that is though similar in number to the rifle serial number. The Russian belt bayonet scabbard is really well worn and very dry and will require careful handling to even stay together for any amount of time. It is almost ripped through in one spot. I am trying to be patient and let the Kroil Oil do it's thing and see what evolves from this. Never even saw one this old before so needless to say I am very pleased to own it. I am learning post by post guys so keep up the good work and Thanks for all the input it is much appreciated! Bill
 

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Handguards were added within the first or second year of production.

I'd like to get a clarification by those that know on exactly when several early features came or went.

Handguard, 1893?
Rear sight change, 1908?
Barrel bands; early with front swivel, early with no swivel, late.
Sling slots?
Magazine sling swivel?
Crossbolt; none, wooden 1908?, steel?
Finger spur, 1893?
Cleaning rod, short to long, 1893?

If we can get a consensus on these I items I plan to create "digital photorealistic illustrations" of M91s in the various configurations and add the information to my website for everyone to reference.

TIA
For the rifle m/91 (the rear sight change on the shorter rifles and carbines started later)

Finger spur: order of June 4th, 1893
Cleaning rod, short to long: many changes, Dec 1893, Jan 1894, Mar 1894
Handguard: order of February 23th, 1894
Barrel bands, early with front swivel, early with no swivel, late: 1908-1910
Sling slots: 1908-1910
Rear sight change: 1908-1910

Regards
 

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More then a little confused here; but that's not hard for me. I have a M91 1897 Emperial Tula with screwed in sling slots with 3 inline Finn hangers. Serial # is N = 739xx and nothing matching on anything else. Barrel is SA and D marked [ Finn capture ] with what I assume are Issy bow and arrow on the butt plate and bolt guide and org. barrel bands to this period. Also has the cross bolt in stock. This old boy is pretty beat up with a lot of history on the stock, but bore is not that bad for a 110 years old. What would be the difference between this; and the above post. BTY this is a Russian stock if that would make a difference.
Claude
 

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Claude, if yours has the curved rear sight, sounds like it has all the M91 updates.
 

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Claude, the Finns probably rebuilt that rifle many times and it may have come to them after WWI in any configuration, too. Its current configuration is correct for a Finn rifle, but can't really tell us anything about what was originally installed on the barreled action.
 

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Sorry Bill, didn't mean to highjack your thread. And thanks to all, great info. to keep in mine. Will have a 1917 Tula - Peter the Great coming in a couple of weeks or so. Can't wait to see what history it brings.
Claude
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Hey if you are enjoying life and learning you are welcome to hijack anything I post! If everyone gets lockjaw I will never learn anything worthwhile! Cheers!
KH that little post opens some knowledge that needs to be shared for sure! Thanks Bill
 
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