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Presenting an all Tula marked 1943 M91/30 Sniper. Refurbished, yes. But in near pristine condition. I have only seen one other gun like it.

Let The Feeding Frenzy Begin! Ladling the bloody chum into the choppy waters. Sharks, have at it. Pick it apart, please! Be honest. Give praise. Be brutal if needed. But feedback is wanted. Also, where did this gun get its refurbishment? And how did it appear in this country, in this configuration?

No import marks on this one. Every part is Tula. Deep re-bluing, rear sight in the white, stock has oil finish. Real or fake, it has got to be the most gorgeous Tula M91/30 that I have ever seen.

I have my own thoughts, but what say you? Pics. Lots of them. And thanks for looking.










































 

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Looks fishy to me. The mount is a repro I believe, it isn't Tula, look at the machining marks. Also the style of font on the bolt doesn't look right to me.
 

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Should have specified. Gun is all Tula marked. Mount has no arsenal stamp, just the 1958 stamp on the outside face. Made of milled steel.
 

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I have seen a few other all tula marked snipers from the IO lot..

Tula mounts will generally have a star on the back side somewhere. They are normally stamped not EPd(though that does happen on occasion) so its got that going for it anyways.
 

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(crossposted from Sniper Rifle forum)

OK, this thread is salvation for me (my wife is watching the parade and I hate parades). :laugh:

First thought (and question): the acceptance mark on the stock looks like an Izhevsk acceptance mark-I can't tell conclusively, but it's a circle with "ГП" inside, right? Also, the Tula star is a bit "different", notably with the arrow being larger than usual (though it's possible that they could have slightly different variants of stamps).

Other thoughts: I don't know much about postwar scope mounts, but the mount doesn't look like any wartime Tula I've seen. The scope knobs are unusual for a Progress, (though there is a '43 Progress with that type knobs in Ratnik's PU scopes thread). There isn't a super good view of the area where the bolt handle meets the bolt body, but in the bolt serial pic, the weld looks a little different from any I've seen. Also, the texture of the bolt face where the serial is stamped is a bit different (as is the texture of the floorplate).

The stock was almost certainly refinished after import, and my gut feeling is that many other features have been manipulated.
 

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(crossposted from Sniper Rifle forum)


The scope knobs are unusual for a Progress, (though there is a '43 Progress with that type knobs in Ratnik's PU scopes thread)
I almost sure, that during small period of time Progress make experiments with scope knobs - they produce scopes with krasnogorsk style caps. From the first view they look asolutely identical, but there are few small differences.
According to observations, number of produced scopes with such caps was near 5000.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I have seen a few other all tula marked snipers from the IO lot..

Tula mounts will generally have a star on the back side somewhere. They are normally stamped not EPd(though that does happen on occasion) so its got that going for it anyways.
This is not an import marked rifle. And I doubt that the scope refurbishment or mount fitting were last done in the Soviet Union, nor the US.

No Soviet refurbishment stamps on the metal or wood, and none scrubbed away, either.
 

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In the pics of the barrel near the front sight, the entire area looks way smoother than average for a '43 Tula-no sign of lathe marks. And on the pic of the right side of that area, the radius of the barrel looks somewhat flattened off under the sight. This rifle could have possibly been a Cole's import with the mark scrubbed off-their mark was in that area and was pretty small (and often shallow).
 

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Someone that knew what they were doing put a lot of work into this one, and I think it looks very good.
Too good to be "original", but I'd rather have this than a 'real' one. (OK, I want both.)
Congratulations !

Phil
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
That rear site in the white makes me think Yugo? Denny
I studied this gun, and researched hundreds of "humped sniper" threads over a couple of months. None of the fake snipers came even close to this quality, or configuration. And I also considered the Yugo connection, as the rear sight is a telling feature.

My thoughts, only....



There are many similarities between this gun and my Polish sniper. Methinks the one above may very well have sneaked into the US via Poland, too.

1. Barrel shank was never stamped with a Tula serial, which should read as follows: No. Two Cyrillic letters, XXX.

This barrel shank is stamped in a very unusual font, no scrubbings or refurb marks, either. All other numbers are deeply, and neatly stamped.




2. War-time stock has never been upgraded with the finger relief cuts behind the rear barrel band, and never stamped with a refurb mark. It is very lightly sanded, and has an oil finish, inside and out.





3. No import marks. Metal is polished on the muzzle end of the barrel and receiver. Very deep, rich bluing as can be found on other Polish Sniper refurbs. No evidence of any scrubbed import serial on the left side of the receiver.





Rear sight leaf in the white, as on other Polish Sniper refurbs.




Mount is deeply stamped with "1958", and it has no other numerical relation to the gun - like other Polish Snipers.






It's an arsenal installed base, so this is not a made-up sniper.







And the Polish Sling is another big hint.



Hmmm.....
 

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. . . It's an arsenal installed base, so this is not a made-up sniper . . .

. . . And the Polish Sling is another big hint.
OK, as I said, I'm becoming less and less convinced that it's a hump job. However, just to play the devil's advocate, two points:

First, how could one tell whether the base was arsenal installed or installed by someone else (assuming that "someone" was reasonably competent with machine tools)? Second, the Polish sling could be considered an indicator, but on the other hand, there's a small pile of them sitting on top of my gun safe right now.
 

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What makes you think it's a Polish sling? I have an identical sling that came with a Ukraine refurb 91/30 I bought a few weeks back, green paint and all.

Nice looking sniper though, I do think it is a real one used by a country other than the Soviets.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
OK, as I said, I'm becoming less and less convinced that it's a hump job. However, just to play the devil's advocate, two points:

First, how could one tell whether the base was arsenal installed or installed by someone else (assuming that "someone" was reasonably competent with machine tools)? Second, the Polish sling could be considered an indicator, but on the other hand, there's a small pile of them sitting on top of my gun safe right now.
In collecting, and then charged with the tenuous task of stringing together a multitude of factors to make an identification, one sometimes needs to begin with some very solid and verifiable evidence, and then apply the accumulation of features to establish a high percentage of probability of an item's origin. Many SCW's don't have the the Made In USSR stamp, but the gun as a whole can be identified, usually by beginning with an established premise (i.e. specific serial number block from 1936 or 1937). Then other features such as the sanded stock, wire hangers, lack of modern import marks, etc. are accepted more readily as SCW evidence.

For my gun above, I began with the very solid evidence that this barrel shank never received the Tula Arsenal serial number stamp. It simply was never there. No other 1943 Tula that I can dig up, and I've looked at all that can be found on this forum and various other forums, exhibits this phenomenon. So, already, the immediate principle item of evidence is established. It is very different from all other 1943 Tulas.

Then, with a solid piece of evidence, one can start looking at the rest of the features with scrutiny, but with diminished skepticism. The Tula star stamped PU base follows the scheme of CH marked guns. The lathe-cut and finished mounting screw heads are not impossible to fake, but just don't have any reason to be dismissed as having been installed by Joe Machinist here in the US. They appear with no tooling marks from installation or prior removal from another gun, and look undisturbed - just like my two other verified snipers.

Now, combine the cut-out in the stock for the base. It is not a fresh cut. All exposed wood surfaces are aged with the same patina, and the tolerances are perfect, just like a Tula Factory production.

For some other identifying features, it helped immensely to be in possession of another positively known Polish Sniper.



The gun pictured above is a 1944 Izhevsk, with a Polish-marked beech stock. No doubt, a genuine example. Both guns received the same polishing of the muzzle end of the barrel and receiver. And both guns have a very generous and deep re-bluing that is not found on a typical Ukrainian refurb. Both also have the bluing stripped from the rear sight leaf - a known Polish practice.

Scope mounts for Polish snipers may or may not have any numbering to match the serial on the gun, and scopes rarely have a number that matches the gun. But the scopes do mostly have evidence of receiving a mid-1960's refurbishment.

Now, the sling. Yes, it could have been installed at any time. Our resident sling expert (Vic) has identified it as a Polish sling. But given the entire scope of factors surrounding the firearm, it is at least believable that the sling might have been added by the Poles, after full refurbishment.

Now, can I say with 100% certainty that this gun resided in Poland? No. But I can say that an accumulation of factors led me to my determination. I'll still understand detractors from my line of thought. But I'll keep this one with a semblance of pride that it is now resting in the vault with dozens of collectible Mosins. I like it! That matters the most.

Edit to add:

Another (negative reasoning) point to consider. All other "humped" snipers have a very specific look that is attempted to be attained. Addition of sniper numbers (which this example lacks), scrubbing of other marks, an accumulation of fake stamps and obvious cold bluing to cover up newly disturbed metal. These fakes, as a whole, are attempted to mimic a Russian PU Sniper, and not a Polish refurbished PU.

If faked, mine would have been meticulously re-machined on the shank, left side receiver and muzzle end of the barrel. But is was not. Original tooling marks are still visible. Nothing is out of round or ground down. And no cold bluing can be identified.

Listed at $599 at a very well known national firearm chain, it was not presented as anything "special". But I noticed that it was different - very different than Century Arms, R-guns, AIM, MOLOT, etc. And it wasn't aspiring to be a replica of any known Sniper import. Just a gorgeous gun. And, I believe, a Polish refurb.
 

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The Tula marking on the mount now that I see it again is not original but added later. Its the wrong shape. Tula secondary proofs are more squat stars not shapr pointed ones. See the others on your bands and bolt body and compare them-It could be Polish but the stock is not Polish so its a catch 22
 

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Now that I am not on my iphone I second this. The serial number is the wrong size(normally done much smaller font). I have a few pictures if needed.

Also the front has production lines where it should be flat without rings.

I am not seeing the picture of the mount where Vic sees the tula star though(but its early and I miss things).

Let me know if you want pictures of a couple original Tula mount serial numbers.
The Tula marking on the mount now that I see it again is not original but added later. Its the wrong shape. Tula secondary proofs are more squat stars not shapr pointed ones. See the others on your bands and bolt body and compare them-It could be Polish but the stock is not Polish so its a catch 22
 

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Discussion Starter #18

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Don't know if this will prove anything one way or the other, but here's a look at the bases of two of the apparently all-matching '44 Krasnogorsk-scoped Tulas from the Molot group, the top pic is one I got from AIM, the bottom pic one I recently got from Classic:

 

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I really hate to say anything bad about this rifle, but, from looking at the pictures.........

The texture of the barrel shank looks.....odd. Doesn't match any other part. Maybe acid-etched ?
Tula star and date are ground, CH and serial # are not. (Refurbed into a sniper ?)

Muzzle end of the barrel is very well polished, too well.
Bluing is nice and dark, too dark.
It was certainly reblued, but when and who ? (Sanding, and bluing inside the receiver.) Way too well-done for an arsenal re-furb.
Scope mount color doesn't match. (Certainly possible to have been installed by a good machinist.)

Floorplate and buttplate may have belt-sander marks.
Shouldn't the buttplate be stamped steel ? Are there 'countersinks' around the screw holes, under the buttplate ?
Buttplate condition is excellent, too good. Doesn't fit the stock recess well though.

Stock being finished on the inside is odd (did any arsenal ever do that ?), as is the finish type and quality.
Is there finish under the buttplate too?

Agree that the star on the mount looks 'different'. Also on the buttplate ?

I would assume nothing because of the sling.

Is the "very well known national firearm chain" one that buys used guns ? (Like Cabelas'.)

How is the rifling ? (Does its' condition match the outside.)

Still a beautiful rifle.

Phil
 
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