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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, I am new to the forum, but not new to Mosin's. I started with the typical m91/30 and blasted off to m44's, m38's, DDR marks, 2x and 3x MO's, and have since found myself obsessed with [SA] Finnish Capture and Made Mosin's.

This will be a series of threads to gain as much info on them as possible, much of which I have researched and know but there are always things I don't know as well! Also, information as to their collector value as well would be appreciated.


Tang is "915r" matching original barrel. I was told due to the fact that it was overseas and [SA] with such a late serial, it was likely used in the Polar Bear Expedition and perhaps by an American Soldier?
:)





 

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Hello and welcome. From my understanding NEWs were not dated on the tang, I would be interested in seeing a picture of the tang if at all possible..

The rifle was made under contract for the Imperial Russian Armed forces during the first world war. Following that, this one somehow got into Finnish hands and served in their armed forces until import into this country. The stock is either a Russian M91 or a 2 piece Finnish replacement, it is hard to tell if it has a splice. But it is not the original stock, they were made in american walnut.

Another FYI - all Westinghouse were dated 1915; however they were made from the beginning of the contract till the end of it. Some stayed in the country.. but those are the ones that were on the back end of the run when the reds took over government. SA marked rifle would most likely not have served in the united states armed forces in any case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you again! I might have been wrong and this has a blank tang, I keep taking pictures of them one at a time and not labeling the tangs.

So, to set it straight:

Tula 1937 - Tang 1937
Bohler Stahl m24 - Tang Blank
NEW m91 [SA] - Tang Blank
Finnish m24 - Tang 904r

Also, this is a Finnish 2 piece stock to add to the info.
 

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NEWs tangs were marked on the top. Two factories are indcated by thier marking.




Some times the Russians in haste would put an acceptance stamp over the marking.
 

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TopGun RMNP-

There are no records which would indicate the rifles issued to the Polar Bears. However, I believe higher numbers could very well have been held in England, then issued to the troops in Aldershot before they left for Archangel. I have one, #1071821, which went over. No SA, but appears to have been Finn modified. Found one diary notation of a Polar Bear, indicating that he received NEW #1000680 with bayonet #1155419. US surcharged started at approx. 117xxxx.

southridge
 

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The tang is marked M for Meriden. If you look up Meriden and Westinghouse rifles, you should get some history. The other two are H for Chicopee Falls Hill plant and E for East Springfield plant.

Sent from my KFTT using Tapatalk 2
 

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Yes, NEW receivers are marked atop the rear tang. Yours appears to be <-M. NEW receivers were not arsenal or date marked underneath the rear tang. All NEW barrels are dated 1915 from the factory. Remington M91s were marked under the tang, with a circle R arsenal mark. Rem M91 dates were marked on the barrels (1915-1918).

Just because a rifle has a barrel date on it, doesn't necessarily mean the receiver/tang date will match. With all the refurbing the Russians did (this will pertain more to 91/30s but most of the time do match) and all the rifles the Finns swapped barrels/receivers on, there's a much greater chance a Finn captured rifle may not have a mated barrel/receiver. I have never heard an M24 won't have a tang date. Receivers could be any arsenal, of any year of their respective productions.

Very cool info out of a diary south. I have A NEW in the 1019000 my records indicate. I also had another, that is serialed 1229000 SCW NEW.

I just got done reading a book M co 339th Infantry in North Russia by Joel Roscoe Moore. Findable by google search, and read it online for free. His recounts of the time there. There was mention about the Russian rifle not shooting well when they were trying to shoot a rabbit.
 

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Some comments found in readings: US troops when issued No1MkIII Enfields complained they were POS and when issued Mosins said the same thing. History of WWI and WWII for Brits and Russians hardly validates that "US/American" GI opininon ~ we Americans are very biased on Made In USA , especially so with fire arms that a soldier has to trust his life with. Back in the day: that bias was very strong. One can respect that but not have to agree.

On the SA marked NEW here, a nice rifle indeed. The Finns happened into NEW and REMingtons by many means including purchase. Yours could be a rifle sent on the NEW contract , used by Czarist troops against the Germans in WWI, used in Russian Civil War (with Reds or Whites), remained in Red Army and was lost in Russian Finnish war & captured by Finns and put into Finnish service. The SA definitely indicates it was in Finn service.

Fact: It went from USA and ended up in Finland. That we know. What is not debatable is this rifle has seen a lot of service and quite possible a lot of war and history. Beyond the condition of the rifle here, the possibilities of long history make this a very desirable piece....my opinion. Definitely an old soldier who soldiered hard !

I have one like it, I bought it in 1995 for the reason it had such long history. At that time, such SA marked NEW and REM rifles were $38 at Roses Dept. Store outside Ft. Bragg, NC. They had about 100 on the rack and every one was a NEW or REM. At the time, no one much cared about Finn rifles nor Mosins .
 

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We'll never know for sure on those NEWs. but the diary notation does lend credibility to the notion of the higher pre-US numbers going in some part to the Polar Bears. The M91s were sighted in with bayonet attached. Would that then mean sighting issues in trying to hunt with your M91 w/o bayonet attached? If so, good time to be a rabbit in NR!

southridge
 

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A very nice find -congrats! Welcome. We will never know the real story of your rifle unless it learns to talk, but here are some ideas.

Most likely in my opinion your rifle was part of the Helsinki Arsenal, the largest Czarist-era arsenal outside of mainland Russia. The Helsinki Reds captured this key arms depot in the Finn Civil War and then lost it again to the Whites.

The late date may indicate shipment elsewhere but I don't see the multiple US inspectors' stamps typical of those accepted for US Army use by the Springfield Arsenal. Instead, I think that is a Russian acceptance stamp. Vic? Any thoughts?

I wonder what happened to your receiver? Peening and some sort of banging around?

Lenin is also said to have shipped in a whole trainload of arms to Finland to support the Finn Reds and those rifles stayed in Finland as well, perhaps including German captures or recaptures as the Germans supported the Bolsheviks and Lenin, of course. As said above, it also could have been a German capture from the Russian troops in WWI, then being bought or traded to Finland later postwar (post WWI, that is, when the Finns gathered arms as best they could.)

A whole ship load of German-supplied Mosins lies at the bottom of the sea off Ireland, where Germany tried to get them to Irish rebels and got sunk by the Brits, so a lot of Mosins were definitely in German hands to give out as they wished, with the Germans supporting the Finn Whites against the Reds.

It seems unlikely to be a Polar Bear rifle - that story is told with nearly every Finn NEW or Remington I see for sale these days, but "never say never" when it comes to Mosins!

The distinctive Finn "SA" means that the rifle was stamped for Finn Army arsenal acceptance in the latter part of 1942 when these marks were put on, deemed acceptable for Army use in a difficult time when every rifle counted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Amazing possibilities and accurate historical information all! The possibilities seem endless, but she sure has seen a TON of the planet. I have not shot her yet, bought it from an older man in SC that said he's collected Mosin's for a while and this one is "dead on" at 100yds, where he has to aim low or low right with his other ones...
 
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