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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)

My 1928 "MO" ex-Dragoon

I put this up some time back, but in light of the continuing "MO" mystery, I thought I'd scan it for everyone. Not a clear answer, but ideas.

Don't flog me, gentlemen, as this is just conjecture with a US government source to back it up. The source is the 1957 Department of the Army.

When I visited Tula and many Russian military museums, no one knew what the "MO" and redate meant.

We have always guessed, with the mistaken "Ministry of Defense" claim topping the list, complete with stories of secret prisons, black ops Cold War special forces and all the rest to make the "MO" sale sexier. (This explanation doesn't hold water because that Ministry wasn't even created until 1953, long after the redates on many of the rifles and pistols.)

We will probably never know for sure what the "MO" means, but in 1957, the height of the Cold War, our Department of the Army published a book called "Glossary of Soviet Military and Related Abbreviations," no doubt the work of top spies in the Kremlin working on such things as "MO". (well, maybe not...)

The Army states three possible "MO" meanings (five, if you include "deliberate fire" and "small submarine chaser," my personal favorite). The ones that seem very possible are:

1) Local Defense
2) Mobilization Section
3) Motorized Detachment

To me, "Local Defense" seems likely as different oblasts like Moscow were charged with maintaining local non-Army "civil defense" units similar to our individual state's National Guard units. These rifles might have been for training, as was done in all the high schools (my wife was taught by ex-Army riflery instructors in both Ukraine and Moscow) or perhaps were simply stored for last-ditch defense or emergency use should we nuke them or other such disasters happen.
This is a reasonable possibility to my thinking as the rifles would have formally left the Red Army's arsenals and been removed from their control, a good time to remark them with the date when they left the inventories and went off Army books and onto local control, similar to the "SA" stamps showing Finn Army acceptance in 1942 or the line-outs of Finn Civil Guard numbers.

"Mobilization Section," another good possibility, was, I think, another National Guard-like civilian reserves capability, former Army veterans easily mobilized back into the regular Army, not local control, in the event of a national emergency like WWIII or the tanks rolling over the Berlin Wall toward Moscow.

"Motorized Detachment" seems less likely as these were a part of the regular Army and didn't need to have a special stamp on their weapons.


So, here's the source cover and here's the Russian right out of the manual with the Army's take on it:

 

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I've never cared much (any) about the MO Mosins but I do have a question. Has anyone seen one non refurbed?
 

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And then it could be just another unique mark by a refurb facility. Just throwing it out there. Or, our Department of the Army was fed deliberate misinformation in 1957. To many possibilities.

When the very hard fact wrench was thrown into the gears of the Military Defense argument a few years ago (make that about 7 or 8 years ago), that's when I quit collecting them. Have since sold all mine off. I would STILL like to know for sure either way though.
 

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Russians had to come up with a way to keep Americans buying their refurb M91/30s. Thus they stamped dates all over them and other markings. The MO just happens to mean "MO money" to them.
 

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There is probably a simple answer to the MO question and I keep seeing mention of some definitive book about to be published that has some info on this and DDR /1/ marking as well.

Anyone know about book ??
 

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Has anyone seen one non refurbed?
I have an MO marked ex-sniper that was refurbed like the rest, then used enough to need another refurbishment.
All others I've seen were refurbed and not used since, 100% bluing. (Guess they could have had a second refurb.)


The polishing given all of them makes me think that they were not "standard refurbs", and likely not meant to be stashed away as 'last ditch' weapons.
There seems to be a lot of them, too many for a small organization.

Wonder if the different size font of "MO" means anything ?
 

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There is probably a simple answer to the MO question and I keep seeing mention of some definitive book about to be published that has some info on this and DDR /1/ marking as well.

Anyone know about book ??
Its not a book but an article. Ruslan Chumak, who recently published an excellent history of the SVT40, will detail much of the post-war refurbishment program probably identifying more of the GRAU arsenal markings (he has already identified three of them). It will answer the 'Triangle 1' question, but I understand that it will not include an answer on the MO marking, unfortunately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, all armies have an official book of terms and abbreviations.

Otherwise the "90 day Wonders" couldn't requisition anything using the proper absurd abbreviations and cool army talk while sounding they know what they are doing.

Same for the Soviets, got to know the jargon. Can't tell the players without a scorecard.

The US Army manual I put up above is probably just a copy of the Soviet version lifted off some REMF in Kiev's desk with a bit of English added.

(I once asked my father, a WWII combat vet, what the greatest combat survival skill was. "Typing" he answered. "They had to keep me alive because otherwise we couldn't order anything - no one else could type out the forms.")
 

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My collection is revolved around an exact year. I'm collecting different guns with the 1933 date on them. I paid about a $30-$40 premium for my triple dated mo tula vs a standard 33 tula. It was worth it to me to have the variant checked off my list. To me I'm interested in what it means, however even if you guys prove to me that it's worthless I like having it in my 1933 collection
 

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My collection is revolved around an exact year. I'm collecting different guns with the 1933 date on them. I paid about a $30-$40 premium for my triple dated mo tula vs a standard 33 tula. It was worth it to me to have the variant checked off my list. To me I'm interested in what it means, however even if you guys prove to me that it's worthless I like having it in my 1933 collection
Why would you focus a whole collection around one year? Just curious.

How many 1933s do you own?
 

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Why would you focus a whole collection around one year? Just curious.

How many 1933s do you own?
Back when I only owned one mosin nagant (a 43 izhevsk ex sniper) I walked into a pawn shop that had quite a few. I ended up leaving with 3 guns. A Tula 1933, an izhevsk 1933 and a beautiful unmolested m27 1933. It got me thinking that I bet it would be different to try and collect all the ones available that would be dated that. So I got a /1\ and a triple dated mo from ncreptile..... I still do not have a 91/30 finn capture, m28/30 or a 91/59 1933 date. But as far as I can tell that's all I need yet (yes I know they'll be the hardest to find)
 
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