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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The 1944 Tula survey is back! I am collecting information on all Mosins made at Tula in 1944. My primary interest is in the serial number, but I am also making note of which prefixes are observed on recycled low-wall and hex receivers.

A clear picture of the barrel shank posted here is the best way to report your number (as it allows me to see the font used in 1944 and “No”), but I appreciate any information you can give me (don't forget to mention what model it is!). I made of list of Cyrillic characters and assigned them a number if you can't post a photo, or you should be able to copy and paste these characters:

А Б В Г Д Е Ж З И К Л М Н О П Р С Т У Ф Х Ц Ч Ш Щ Э Ю Я

Contributors to the survey on the old board were as follows: rocker98, POB, Springbank, Shyquestor, royke, Denny, mrkimball, The Fall Guy, bullseye, slimedog, kh, 7.62x54r, MarkRKelley, USMCsean, lite-box, GoShoot, jimminardi, capnduane, Dave in VA, UNBLVR, ryg, LANT, capt ron, briarcliff, deerhunter71, Coogan, Claven2, Galaxieman, possumdog, akd, tjm22shot, tojones, learjet60, FinnCollector, El Capitan, toolie, ElSnapitan, N8PGP, gonefission, riotsquad, Moe, ThreeJs, Ken in Iowa, and gunhorde. If I’ve missed your name, let me know and I’ll add you to the list!


Below is a list of the serial numbers that I have observed as of 9/21/2008
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Data Summary

A quick summary of the data on the carbines so far:

1944 Tula M38s
54 reported
19 prefixes
High S/N = 1593

1944 Tula M44s
178 reported (not counting two with restamped serial numbers and two "YY" trainers)
62 prefixes (not counting the "YY" trainers)
High S/N = 1557


Interesting notes on the data so far (M38s and M44s only):

-The most common prefixes on M44s so far are KГ and 3K (8 reported each).

-The most common prefix on M38s so far is PГ (7 reported).

-Hex/lowwall receivers found on M44s in all prefix blocks (i.e. Ж_, 3_, И_, Л_, E_, M_, etc.)

-Hex/lowwall receivers found on M38s in prefix blocks П_ and P_, but these two blocks account for 35 of the 50 Tula M38s reported.

-72 unique prefixes.

-4 prefixes found on both M44s and M38s (ЖР, ИE, ИC, PM).

-2 M44s reported with obviously restamped serial numbers.

-71.6% of the carbines reported so far have serial numbers less than 1000.
-77.3% have serial numbers less than 1100.
-88.7% have serial numbers less than 1200.
-92.8% have serial numbers less than 1300.
-94.8% have serial numbers less than 1400.
-96.9% have serial numbers less than 1500.
-100% have serial numbers less than 1600.

-Only two series of M44s (M_ and Ю_) and two series of M38s (E_ and P_) have reported serial numbers greater than 1300.


Below is a graph showing the numerical part of the serial and a block of the prefixes showing which ones are known. (Updated as of 9/21/2008)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Theories And Observations

Let me start off by saying that I am not an expert in Mosin production, so if I am error on anything, please feel free to correct me.

My theories so far (these only apply to production at Tula in 1944):

1. Each individual serial number "block" represents a single days production. I base this off the fact that no carbine reported has a serial number over 1593 (with the exception of ones with restamped serial numbers – see below).

2. The first letter in the prefix was held constant and the second letter was changed. This data is based off of observed serial numbers and variations of the font in "1944" and "No" (more on this below). I don’t know if there was any logic behind this or not: hopefully more data will pin this down better.

3. M38 production at Tula ceased before the start of M44 production. Again, this is based off the font in "1944" and "No" - Tula M38s and M44s do not have the same fonts. There appear to be at least four unique variations - I've attached pictures of them below.

4. Old round and hex receivers were used randomly throughout Tula production in 1944. Without counting them all, I would say that at least half of the two-letter prefixes have at least one old receiver among them, and of the different blocks, only one (M_) does not have old receivers reported to date.

5. Based off of the data so far, I would guess that total M44 production at Tula in 1944 was between 90,000 and 100,000. Yes, I know 100k is the number commonly thrown around, but the data seems to support it:

- Adding up the high numbers of each series of M44's, the data shows a minimum of ~51k made. Assuming that the average high number was half of the total high number, you'd multiply that 51k by 2 and get 102k.

- Taking the number of prefixes times the high serial number of the M44's (61×1557) = ~95k made. I'm sure there are still many prefixes out there that are missing, but the majority of the prefixes (around 75%) have high serial numbers less than 1300. Assuming that the high numbers cancel out the missing prefix blocks, the total production of M44's would be in the 90k-100k range.

- The average M44 serial number reported so far is 629. Again, assuming that the average is roughly half of the maximum, that would be around 1300 carbines with each prefix. I don't have the data to back it up yet, but I believe that there were a total of around 70 unique prefix blocks. So, 70×1300 = ~91k.

- Along the same lines, I would estimate total M38 production at Tula in 1944 somewhere between 25,000 and 30,000 , based on the data so far.

Other things I've noticed (not necessarily limited to 1944 Tulas):

1. There are Mosins out there with dates restamped on the receiver. I have seen photos of a packing slip from a crate of M44s where the contents are listed by date and serial. It seems that if the date was illegible, it was restamped. I have observed at least one 1944 Izhevsk M44 and a 91/30 with restamped dates as well.

2. There are carbines where the entire serial number was restamped. I have no idea on these, but they are fairly uncommon: I have seen one and heard of another. I would assume that this is not unique to Tula M44s, but haven’t seen it on any other year/model yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Radom1935 - Thanks for the pictures.

Mosinmeister - No clue on the 91/30, but I appreciate the contribution. That's an excellent photo of the date - it'll help compare it with the fonts on the M38s and M44s.

Gunhorde - Not a typo, just an odd coincidence. I have a photo of "407" running around here somewhere. I actually checked that myself before posting the new data.

Again, thanks to everyone for their contributions!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Gunny71,
Congrats - that is the lowest number reported so far. Of course, that doesn't place it in any sort of timeframe (other than very early in that day's production perhaps), but it's a neat one anyway.

28 mosin,
Thanks for the contribution and the note on the receiver. Kr413 is actually in my personal collection - it's built on a hex receiver, so that helps prove there is no order to hex and round receivers (in that same prefix block, 114 and 283 are round receivers and 878 is a hex receiver). So, now you know who to send yours to once you're bored with it!

Thanks again for contributions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Latest Update

Gentlemen,
Thank you for the continued contributions: I revised my "Data Summary" and "Theories and Observations" posts (2nd and 3rd from the top) based on the latest data, and against my better judgment, I even stepped out on a limb and estimated some total production numbers...
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Thanks!

All,
Thanks for the continued contributions. I've revised the data summary and observations posts, but there isn't much new to report.

Voyto,
Is there any way you could post a photo of the prefix and date stamps on your carbine? I am especially interested in the number 4s in the date. The "П" prefix was used on Tula M38s in 1944, but these used different fonts from the M44s in the date and "No". Perhaps this is a new prefix for M44s, but I suppose there's a chance it could also be an M38 with a bayonet added.
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Thank you all for the contributions - I've revised the data summary and observations posts, although there isn't really any groundbreaking news. I think that 6 Tula M38s have turned up in the past few months

Avenger-
Is there any chance that you could post a photo showing the barrel shank? Is there a chance that the first character in the prefix could be a "Л" and not a "П"? This is the first carbine reported with either the ПЮ or ЛЮ prefix, so I want to make sure I have it in the right place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #80 · (Edited)
Assuming that "OP" means Original Poster, I'm still lurking around. I guess I haven't posted an update for a while, so I've updated the first couple of posts in the thread. Not too much new - several carbines have been added, but they haven't led to any revelations. Keep them coming though!
 

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Discussion Starter · #91 ·
Thanks everyone

Wow, lots of Tulas coming showing up lately. No new prefixes or high numbers since the last update, but the list is now up to 163 M44s, 50 M38s and 19 M91/30s. Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #118 ·
All: I haven't updated this for a while, but thank you for the continued data. Again, not much new to report except for Palimino Stripe's reported КБ prefix, which is one I hadn't seen before.

AK Shooter: Congratulations on picking up a Tula M44 for your first Mosin. The "NR" stamped above your serial number is the English "translation" of the Cyrillic letters "HP". I believe that's something that the importer CAI did several years back. They probably added the serial number (with the English letters) to the side of the receiver as well. I'm not sure about the circles with crosshairs, but would guess they're some sort of rebuild mark. Chances of being used in WWII (in one capacity or another) would probably be around 100%. Worth: probably $150 to $250, depending on condition and how badly someone else wants it. The star on the bolt head indicates Tula production, with the triangle and arrow being Izhevsk. The Izhevsk parts are probably not original to the gun, but nearly all Mosins went through a rebuild or two in their day, so having mixed parts is very common. If you have any more questions, you might want to post them on The Collector's Forum: there's much more traffic over there, so you'll likely get more insight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #133 ·
Thanks for the continued updates. I've updated Post #2 to reflect the new numbers, although there is nothing new to report on the carbines: all of the ones added have fallen within the ranges reported before. All data is appreciated though.

There have been a few new 1944 Tula 91/30 prefixes reported since the last update, although I still only have data on 30 rifles (as compared to 178 M44s and 54 M38s). Two items of note:

1.) Serial numbers on 91/30s have been reported up over 3000, with 3 more in the 2000-2999 range. This is much higher than any of the carbines: either they were cranking out more rifles or using a different numbering system (i.e. not changing numbers on a daily basis). Perhaps the Soviets decided that making carbines and rifles at two different plants was inefficient and decided to shift most rifle production to Tula and most carbine production to Izhevsk? We may never know for sure...

2.) 91/30's seem to have both variations of "1944" and "No" markings, leading me to believe that production was concurrent with both M38's (early) and M44s (late).
 

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Discussion Starter · #154 ·
Thanks for the updates everyone. It's been quite some time since I've updated my list, but I've just gone through and added everything in. No new prefixes or high numbers on the M38s and M44s, so any previous guesses that I had on them remain the same. There are a few new prefixes on the 91/30s, as well as a high serial of 8913 (BH- prefix), which is way above the next highest digit of 3305 range. Not sure what to make of that one.

Feel free to post any new '44 Tulas here and I'll add them to the list, and thanks again for all the submissions to date.
 
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