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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I think you will agree that it is solved beyond a reasonable doubt.

Almost all Finn (SA) marked blued bolt guns are Russian/Soviet dragoons and 91/30s that we have assumed are Finn captures. But they probably aren’t Finn captures but rather Finn purchases.
There is very convincing circumstantial and physical evidence that explains the situation. We need to look outside the regular world of Finn Mosins to explain this.

If you search Google you will see that many experienced collectors think Finn blue bolt Mosins are the result of a refurb at some unknown arsenal (probably in Finland it has been thought). Up until recently, I can’t find any board posting or article that suggests a plausible idea of where that arsenal was or why just Soviet/Russian 91/30s and dragoons (not Finn M27s,28s, 39s,etc) typically have these blue bolts.

These blue bolt guns have some unique characteristics that often happen together but are not associated or found with any other Finn guns:

-Blued bolt
- Renumbered Floorplate and/or Buttplate – in a font not seen by other Finn guns four or five digits are used
- Starburst (or two Starbursts) or Kru1 Eagle HZA mark on wrist only (NOT a Waa)

Three guns with the combination above have been reported with AV1 arsenal tags from 1944 (that means they have been sitting in the arsenal since 1944 and not refurbed since then)


Occasionally, you will see a Finn marked gun that has only one of these characteristics on my list show up by itself but not in combination with the rest of the characteristics on my list. I’ll explain why I think that is in a minute.
Ok so where are they from? They are very likely Finn purchases from the Germans and were arsenal refinished in the German eastern depots. I’ll explain more below about how a few of us have come to this conclusion.
Early this year I picked up a 1936 Tula 91-30 that was SA marked, and had three of the characteristics I list above: the blued bolt, arsenal tag and renumbered floor/buttplate, PLUS it was F.L.P. Mi. Marked.


For those of you who aren’t familiar with the F.L.P. Mi. mark, it is strongly suspected to be a a German property mark for Nazi occupied Latvia (1941-1944) with "Mi." possibly being short for Mitau (now Jelgava). You may have seen recent Russian refurbs with this mark. There are some other known recent refurbs marked FLP Riga (Capital of Latvia). So clearly my Finn marked F.L.P. Mi. was from the Germans. But how did this gun get to Finland?

The only Finn recorded wartime sale of Mosins from Nazi Germany to Finland was approximately 57,000 in June of 1944. It would be perfect timing for my gun. Vic’s article about 91-30s mentioned many were in poor condition and only used for parts. I don’t know the original source of this information but it has been confirmed by Finn members in other places.

When I posted this gun in another thread, I started putting two and two together. With the F.L.P. it must have come from Germany in that shipment in 1944. My gun hasn’t been issued since the 1944 hangtag. F.L.P Mi. marked. And it had a blued bolt.

Then I remembered I also have a Kru1 HZA Marked dragoon (verified by Vic as real) with a blued bolt. Hmm. Both guns with German marks have blue bolts and renumbered parts! So I have two guns with German marks, blue bolts and renumbered floor/buttplate. I made a post about the F.L.P. Mi. in January and suggested that perhaps the Germans did the blue bolts.

Member RyanE replied, “ Bluing unfinished bolts was a typical practice of German depots. French Lebels and Berthiers, Dutch Mannlichers, Yugoslavian Mausers, Mosins, etc. were very often reblued during rework and the bolts were included.” He also mentioned that starbursts stamped into the stock – they are also German eastern depot characteristics from Posen and Krakau known on other guns. In addition, the Germans liked matching parts and the restamping of floor/buttplate on their refurbs and this fits their approach to reworked guns also .
So I started to look at other blued bolt Finn Mosins posted here and on other forums – many had the same characteristics: Starburst or Kru1 stamp, blued bolt, renumbered floor/buttplate – many with the same font as on my guns. I found at least 8 other examples of these characteristics together. I could find no previous references to the German connection and Finn blue bolt Mosins .

I'll mention again that these characteristics are NOT seen together on any other Finnish guns or with known Finn refurb processes.

But wait a second, there are a few Finn guns with only one trait – like a blue bolt, a Kru1 mark or a starburst but not all together on one gun. Someone recently posted a Tikka with a Kru1 stock that was sanded. I also found an M39 pictured with blued bolt. I go back to Vic’s article – poor condition for many of the 57,000 guns – so the Finns many of these for parts. My guess is that many of the guns we see with just a blued bolt or just a starburst or just a Kru1 mark are the parts that the Finns recycled.

Probably only a small percentage of these guns met the Finn’s criteria to stay together in one piece as purchased. (the article from Vic states this specifically that most were parted out)
With 57,000 guns you might wonder why these blued bolt/Kru1/Starburst guns and parts aren’t common. We don’t know what percentage of the 57,000 were actually refurbished at the German arsenal. Just by the relative rarity of these guns, I’d guess only a small percentage of what the Finns bought were German re-worked guns and the rest were given to the Finns as is without any work done on them.

Some of you may have figured this out earlier than this year but I’ve not found any discussion on any of the boards previous to my post in January 2014 - even last week some of our experienced members didn’t understand when I made a passing comment on the forum. So I think this is a great time to bring the idea to the forum along with the corresponding evidence and I think it explains a question that has been sitting out there for a long time. I’m certain that members RyanE and Poot will have some additional contributions based on their research as well. If you have any blued bolt Finns, please post them here and make sure to include information on the bolt, font, renumbered buttplate and floorplate as well as any stock marks (starbursts or Kru1 marks).

Here are my two examples:








The 36 Tula F.L.P. Mi. and the 1928 Dragoon with Kru1 HZA marks.


Kru1 mark from Posen or Krakau


Hangtag from F.L.P. Mi. - noting gun has been counterbored.
 

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Should be noted early that blued bolt does NOT always = German capture. I've noticed several Finnish Mosins with blued bolts. But blued bolts by someone in America like you or I that thought it would be cool to blue the bolt. Just something to remember.
 

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For those of you who aren’t familiar with the F.L.P. Mi. mark, it is a German property mark for the armed Firefighting Police of Mitau (now Jelgava) in Nazi occupied Latvia (1941-1944). You may have seen recent Russian refurbs with this mark. There are some other known recent refurbs marked FLP Riga (Capital of Latvia). It is accepted as a German mark. So clearly my Finn marked F.L.P. Mi. was from the Germans.
This, unfortunately, is almost certainly incorrect. Firefighters were never issued weapons (not even handguns) and certainly would not have marked weapons to the units. They were never intended for combat or police work in any capacity. It is likely some sort of depot or repair facility (perhaps under the control of the Latvians or whoever), and my guess is that it is Luftwaffe related. There is at least one example with LZA.Li Ep'd on the receiver (simililar to the FLP.Riga guns). The Luftzeugamt (LZa) was the Luftwaffe equivalent of the Army's HZa.

No idea what FLP could stand for though.

The only recorded wartime sale of Mosins from Nazi Germany to Finland was approximately 57,000 in June of 1944. It would be perfect timing for my gun. Vic’s article about 91-30s mentioned many were in poor condition and only used for parts. I don’t know the original source of this information but it has been confirmed by Finn members in other places.
It was actually quite a bit more than that according to German documentation, though Finnish documentation seems to disagree (or is possibly incomplete).

With 57,000 guns you might wonder why these blued bolt/Kru1/Starburst guns and parts aren’t common. We don’t know what percentage of the 57,000 were actually refurbished at the German arsenal. Just by the relative rarity of these guns, I’d guess only a small percentage of what the Finns bought were German re-worked guns and the rest were given to the Finns as is without any work done on them.
It is important to remember that the vast majority of captured weapons were never marked by the Germans in any way. If it was serviceable, it was issued and used as is. They didn't stamp rifles for fun.

I would caution that a blued bolt in and of itself is not proof that it is a German reworked rifle. It is a giant flashing sign suggesting possible German rework, but not proof. It isn't hard to blue a bolt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This, unfortunately, is almost certainly incorrect. Firefighters were never issued weapons (not even handguns) and certainly would not have marked weapons to the units. They were never intended for combat or police work in any capacity. It is likely some sort of depot or repair facility (perhaps under the control of the Latvians or whoever), and my guess is that it is Luftwaffe related. There is at least one example with LZA.Li Ep'd on the receiver (simililar to the FLP.Riga guns). The Luftzeugamt (LZa) was the Luftwaffe equivalent of the Army's HZa.

No idea what FLP could stand for though.



It was actually quite a bit more than that according to German documentation, though Finnish documentation seems to disagree (or is possibly incomplete).



It is important to remember that the vast majority of captured weapons were never marked by the Germans in any way. If it was serviceable, it was issued and used as is. They didn't stamp rifles for fun.

I would caution that a blued bolt in and of itself is not proof that it is a German reworked rifle. It is a giant flashing sign suggesting possible German rework, but not proof. It isn't hard to blue a bolt.
There are certainly other reasons for the blued bolt - like Bubba. I'll change that above - but it is the combination that is the give away. The Finns no doubt used these parts on other guns from 44 on including blue bolts that became parts of other guns.

Now to the F.L.P. Mi: This has been attributed for probably 5 years and accepted by many as the FeuerLoschPolizei (Fire Fighting Police). Take this link for example:
http://7.62x54r.net/Forums/index.php?topic=11158.0

FLPMi has been extensively discussed and seems to have been accepted by many in the Mosin community - and if it isn't the case, this also would be a new revelation that should come out - but none the less we come to the same conclusion - German in origin.
 

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There are certainly other reasons for the blued bolt - like Bubba. I'll change that above - but it is the combination that I emphasize is the give away.

Now to the F.L.P. Mi: This has been attributed for probably 5 years and accepted by many as the FeuerLoschPolizei (Fire Fighting Police). Take this link for example:
http://7.62x54r.net/Forums/index.php?topic=11158.0

FLPMi has been extensively discussed and seems to have been accepted by many in the Mosin community - if it isn't the case, this also would be a revelation that should come out - but none the less we come to the same conclusion - German.
Fire "police" fought fires, not partisans or Russians. That was the job of the regiments of the Sicherungs-Divisionen, Schupo battallions, Schutzmannschaft, and the other security units.

They had no need for firearms and were never issued any.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Fire "police" fought fires, not partisans or Russians. That was the job of the regiments of the Sicherungs-Divisionen, Schupo battallions, Schutzmannschaft, and the other security units.

They had no need for firearms and were never issued any.
The challenge to conventional thinking on F.L.P. Mi makes sense. I've never seen really solid evidence that proves the story about the firefighters - but it is a story people believe - even if untrue. For the purpose of this topic on the blued bolts,it does seem to be clearly related to German Occupied Latvia.
 

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Pic of the starburst, please? Edit: never mind, see above Gunbroker link.

I'll have to check my blued bolt M91/30 and get back.

Everybody was armed in WWII (firefighters included), weren't they? Russians (pick any nation) throw flames with big hot jelly squirt guns, firefighters rush to the scene without guns, firefighters get riddled with holes without defending themselves? They had guns.
 

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Everybody was armed in WWII (firefighters included), weren't they? Russians (pick any nation) throw flames with big hot jelly squirt guns, firefighters rush to the scene without guns, firefighters get riddled with holes without defending themselves? They had guns.
These are not "combat" firemen. They fought fires in secured municipal areas, not on the front lines. They were no different in function than your local fire department.
 

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They had guns in secured municipal areas, just as civil guards or local militias, for if/when the municipalities became not so secure. They had guns. Farmers had guns. Chaplains had guns. Every organized group had guns.
 

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They had guns in secured municipal areas, just as civil guards or local militias, for if/when the municipalities became not so secure. They had guns. Farmers had guns. Chaplains had guns. Every organized group had guns.
"Civil Guards" and "local militias" are explicitly tasked with security. Firemen are not. Can you produce period photos of firemen fighting fires or rescuing civilians with Mosins and SVTs strapped to their backs?

Firemen didn't carry guns, not even handguns which is the only firearm that would make anything resembling sense. The FLP=Firemen theory is based on absolutely nothing and is wrong. Sorry.
 

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This is most interesting. I've owned a 1943 Finn marked 91/30, blued bolt, star bursts on stock for several years. I found the whole rifle to be interesting, but the star bursts interested me the most. Probably because they were sort of unique, plus they reminded me of my mothers Latvian folk design star burst embroidery patterns, examples of the genre can be seen here, http://media-cache-cd0.pinimg.com/736x/aa/bf/6a/aabf6a9503790b5161f4e24ff93d9693.jpg , not my moms designs, just generic Latvian. Yeah, I know, the star burst thingee must be common to countless cultures, but woo hoo, there may be a chance that the rifle was actually refurbed in the motherland (Latvia). I'll try to bring it out of storage, and see if I can post some pic of it later. I had posted some pictures several years ago, but it looks like the actual images have been removed.

Thank you for sharing your research and findings, keep the info coming.
 

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Why would the Germans rearsenal mosins that were parts guns? Just seems off to take a gun apart, rebuild it to destroy it again.
No, now you missed the point partially.

The Germans sold to Finland a shipment that obviously contained both re-arsenaled rifles that were usable and so called "scrap rifles" that had parts value only for the Finns.

That if those "scrap rifles" were re-arsenaled at all is a question for sure. Probably not. As I see it blued bolts found on Finnish made/refurbished rifles were clearly taken from re-arsenaled German shipment rifles which were seen unfit for service. I should suspect that many of those German re-arsenaled rifles had poor bores and were scrapped by the Finnish arsenals as even the surviving German shipment rifle hangtags are often marked as level 3 bores.
 

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Can anyone dig up the thread from a year or two ago where a picture of the transferred firearms were actually listed? I remember seeing this document, but I can't find it.
Martin,

I doubt there ever was a photo of the list here. Here are the archive documents which contain the numbers which Pat tried to get from the National Archive by e-mail but it did not work out for some reason, if I remember correctly. But the actual list, I can not remember seeing that.

The German list I saw that was posted some time ago included weapons that Finland did not acquire from the Germans.

 
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