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Discussion Starter #1
Having just become the owner of a pair of beautiful 1948 M44s via the Harrisburg PA gun show (my post on that trip just vanished with the old boards), I've gotten curious about the postwar M44s. With WWII (oops, I mean the "Great Patriotic War," of course) over, where would new-production Soviet M44s most likely have been deployed in 1948? Since they hadn't been through the grind of WWII, were large numbers of them ever rearsenaled?

I've done a bit of web searching on this topic but haven't turned up anything useful. Can any of the experts on the history of the M44 shed some light on where and how the late postwar M44s were used? Thanks.
 

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Mr. Flashy Pants
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They were a second line weapon and some were sent to East Germany, and just about any where else you can imagine during the Cold War. I have post-war M44s with Yugoslavian and Syrian marks and one that was captured in Viet Nam (with papers). I have several dated 1945 with Romanian, Hungarian, and Czech marks. Others look brand new as if they were never issued or went through a rearsenal process at all, while a decent number of post war dates have turned up in the recent imports that have certainly been rearsenaled, although "lightly".
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Second line? I never realized that. Thanks, 7.62. Do you know if the postwar M44s that went through rearsenaling were counterbored, or is there not yet enough information on this to be certain?
 

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Mr. Flashy Pants
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Well, I guess they were technically 2nd line by 1948 because the SKS was adopted in 1945, but of course it didn't go into production until 1949. Therefore in reality the M44 and other Mosins would have still been a 1st line weapon. However, there were literally millions of M91/30s and M44s already issued to troops who were being demobilized so many of the late production (1948 like yours) would never have been issued. For a while it was uncommon to find an M44 in the US that was counterbored but lately more of them have shown up that way. I haven't tried to track them by date, but a 1948 would naturally have seen less use and would be less likely to be counterbored than an earlier wartime date.
 

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There would be a few that saw active service in the Baltic Republics like Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. There were still active, anti-Soviet guerilla movements there into the mid-1950s consisting of nationalists, ex-Wehrmacht and Waffen SS troops. Capture and recapture of weapons could be assumed, I'd think.

They would also likely see service in the 'relocations' that took place throughout the Soviet Union, especially in areas in which the locals had assisted the Germans. Many of the steppe peoples suffered this fate, even after distinguished Soviet service in the GPW.

Poot
 

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I have a 1952 Polish M44 in a Hungarian stock that has definately seen action. It's one of my favorites.
 

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Like you said, maybe. If this was guard duty, & I've stood guard duty, they must have been guarding against some very tough people. Even bent the front sight globe.
 

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Like you said, maybe. If this was guard duty, & I've stood guard duty, they must have been guarding against some very tough people. Even bent the front sight globe.
Guard may have fallen asleep and dropped it on the sight.
 

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I'm sure you are right.
 

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I'm sure you are both right. I should have known better. Come to think of it, I believe I dropped it when I got it out of the car & then accidentally slammed the door on it as I was picking it up.
 

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Just pointing out that either scenario is entirely possible.

At this point nobody knows for sure. Of course, burned-in shrapnel or bullet fragments would strongly suggest rough wartime usage.
 

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Mr. Flashy Pants
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The simple fact is that most of the post war M44s, of whatever country, that left Europe for Asia, Africa, South America, wherever, are still there. Most of the imports have come from Ukraine in the case of Soviet rifles and Romania in the case of "Eastern European" M44s. One exception are some unissued Polish M44s, which of course didn't see any action since they're unissued. Now these beat to crap rifles from Romania were sent there from all over Europe, but I seriously doubt that any were brought back from any of the "hot" parts of the Cold War outside of Europe. Name all the wars and battles fought in Europe from 1945 to 2000 and you've pretty much covered the possibilities for these rifles to serve. Let's see, Hungarian Revolution and Prague Spring. There may be more, but I sure can't think of them. Now, name all the places that the Eastern Bloc had guards, like borders, power stations, bridges, military bases, weapons factories, the Gulag, Berlin, etc., etc., etc. The odds on guard duty are rather long. Not to mention poor storage conditions and pretty rough handling at export (ever seen pictures of rifles strapped to pallets with steel bands?).
 

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I agree. That's the difficult part of collecting these. No records have come to the surface so far. But one thin remains, at least for me, they are beautiful, rugged, dependable weapons.
 

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Well, at least now I know what that odd looking stamp is on the breech. I couldn't figure it out for the life of me. I'd never seen that mark. Thanks 7.62-54r
 

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Youe stock is in alot better shape than mine too.
 
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