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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are about 500 pages on Mosin Nagant and I don't kow how to sort and find the following concerns.

1. I have had 4 NEW Mosins and only one had the original walnut stock. All were SA cartouche marked. Was it really necessary for the Finnish gun referb shops to jumble the stocks. To me that is Bubba at work on a production line level. Putting a Westinghouse or Remington action in a birch or beech stock is like dating outside the species. No malice intended to the Finns,

2. Is there a major problem putting a NEW or Remington back into a walnut stock? or do the Finn stampings on the stocks have to match? I don't know the consensous on this since the Finns played musical chairs not just with stocks but bolts and other metal parts as well.

3. How much of a fox paw is it to put a NEW or Remington action into a newly made walnut stock if the old stock was bubba'd and the new stock made to specs and marked as such. It is hard to get an original m91 stock. 91/30 stocks are plentiful.

4. If an original stock (in this case walnut converted by Finns to to a 28 stock) has a long sliver missing on one side forward of the stock past the lower barrel band, is it okay to splice in a matching repair part or should it be left alone? This is along where the hanguard contacts the buttstock and about 8-10 inches long. I have already had to make a reproduction handguard as there was little left of the original. I did this in early 1991 before I had access to the internet so I did not know of the existance of the collectors forums.

I believe the hanguard was destroyed and the sliver produced at the same time.
 

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The Finn's weren't concerned with keeping future generations of American collectors happy, they were being invaded by a country with an army 20 times the size of theirs and needed every functioning rifle they could find . Because of this most Finn's are mis matched but because this was done in Finnish armories it has no effect on value collector wise. If the stock on your M91 is chopped than I don't see an issue with pitting it in another Finn stock assuming you can find one. I don't think anyone is making new M91 stocks though, at least I've never seen one anyway.
 

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Repairs

See my answers in red below


There are about 500 pages on Mosin Nagant and I don't kow how to sort and find the following concerns.

1. I have had 4 NEW Mosins and only one had the original walnut stock. All were SA cartouche marked. Was it really necessary for the Finnish gun referb shops to jumble the stocks. To me that is Bubba at work on a production line level. Putting a Westinghouse or Remington action in a birch or beech stock is like dating outside the species. No malice intended to the Finns,

Stocks came out of a bin of available rebuild stocks. They didnt care who made it. They were putting stocks on barreled actions not worried about who made them or what markings were on them.

2. Is there a major problem putting a NEW or Remington back into a walnut stock? or do the Finn stampings on the stocks have to match? I don't know the consensous on this since the Finns played musical chairs not just with stocks but bolts and other metal parts as well.

There are no specific stampings that would match the stock up to a gun unless it a CG disrict marked rifle.

3. How much of a fox paw is it to put a NEW or Remington action into a newly made walnut stock if the old stock was bubba'd and the new stock made to specs and marked as such. It is hard to get an original m91 stock. 91/30 stocks are plentiful.

Your call- haveing one made may cost more then the gun though and unless your a stock maker may be better to just hunt for one online

4. If an original stock (in this case walnut converted by Finns to to a 28 stock) has a long sliver missing on one side forward of the stock past the lower barrel band, is it okay to splice in a matching repair part or should it be left alone? This is along where the hanguard contacts the buttstock and about 8-10 inches long. I have already had to make a reproduction handguard as there was little left of the original. I did this in early 1991 before I had access to the internet so I did not know of the existance of the collectors forums.

Repair's are common. Handguards are readily avialable.

I believe the hanguard was destroyed and the sliver produced at the same time.
 

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1. I have had 4 NEW Mosins and only one had the original walnut stock. All were SA cartouche marked. Was it really necessary for the Finnish gun referb shops to jumble the stocks. To me that is Bubba at work on a production line level. Putting a Westinghouse or Remington action in a birch or beech stock is like dating outside the species. No malice intended to the Finns,
What cartouche mark do you mean? There is no Finnish Army stock cartouche. Or do you mean that some joker at the depot punched SA-stamps on stocks? Not very common to see that...

If the stock was changed, then there was something wrong with the rifle or the stock was broken. When the rifle was repaired there was no use hunting walnut stocks for NEWs and Remingtons. It just did not matter. Rifle shoots straight and that's it.




2. Is there a major problem putting a NEW or Remington back into a walnut stock? or do the Finn stampings on the stocks have to match? I don't know the consensous on this since the Finns played musical chairs not just with stocks but bolts and other metal parts as well.
What stampings do you mean?

The Finnish army did not stamp stocks. Early Civil Guard owned rifles had their district ownership numbers stamped on the stocks.

And why would you swap the stocks anyway? It is historically what it is and should be left as it is. In my opinion that is.
 

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The most efficient way of refurbishing thousands of battlefield pickups is to take them all apart, cull the damaged or worn parts, sort the functional pieces into like piles, repair, replace or alter the parts to meet your standards, then reassemble the various parts into new rifles. A process much like the original assembly line. The Americans did the same thing with our own rifles salvaged from battlefields at either the divisional or corps level field repair facilities. It is an oddity, (even suspicious) for a battle rifle to fight through a war and survive with all of its original parts intact. The examples that did survive in pristine condition never saw battle. I can tell you, from personal experience, that if you give a 17-25 year old an anvil to work with, they will find some way to break it.

You will have to make up your own mind as to what to do with the stock. Acceptable alterations are a matter of degree even among the most serious collectors. Some will not even remove the dirt and grime in order to keep a rifle "authentic", others have no problems with belt sanders and spray finishes. To simply handle a rifle removes some of it's historical authenticity, so it is all a matter of your own personal philosophy. That said, if the purpose of swapping parts is to increase the monetary value of a piece, then, in my mind, it resembles fraud. Am I a "purist"?, No, I do shoot and clean my rifles, and if one is missing a barrel band, or I break a firing pin, I will replace it. My way of handling the issue is this; if a historic firearm, as is, does not meet my standards of a desirable piece, without significant alterations, I leave it for others.
 

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Once a weapon is issued out for military service, History has a habit of impacting on its originality that does not follow todays collector criteria of correctness.

Weapons to the military are tools (any military) and parts is parts. Damaged weapons become repaired with any part on hand or become parts rifles to repair other rifles.

The Finns were no different than any other military in this regard. At arsenal / depot repair levels do not for a minute think a Finn armorer repairing a NEW Mosin stopped what he was doing to calls out : " I need a NEW manufacture sear and barrel band " or "anyone got a spare NEW stock set ?". and you can be sure no Finn armorer ever said : " Hey, who put a REM bolt on this NEW 91 ???"

Parts is Parts.

Original: that is how the rifle is when you got it. Now... did former owner swap parts on it ?

Don't flog yourself on this subject: enjoy your rifles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Bugleson, I meant the boxed SA mark on the barrel reinforce on the left side signifying a Finn or Finn capture.
I have not looked closely at the stocks for marks ( I am used to the ones on Garands, Mausers, etc. The only mark I could find on the 28 was SYT in the right finger groove.
I just wanted to check with a moderate number of people who specifically collect Mosins before I do some damage I might regret. I don't mean the extreme purist, just a general idea. I am by no means a purist, but I don't want to become a bubba, something I myself have done, but just on beaters.

I realize Finnish arsenals were not concerned with esthetics just functionality, but I did not know the time frame when the rifles were refurbished and how pressed they were. It just pained me to see three NEWs with stocks sanded down to toothpicks and not being able to get original 91 replacement stocks. I would not have ever known whether these had any stock markings. Thanks everyone for your input.

Now where is my box of antiquing paint.:crossfingers: ... Shift+R improves the quality of this image. CTRL+F5 reloads the whole page.
 

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Tracker:

Instead focusing on what parts are not "correct", focus on the fact you have SA marked NEW rifles. If nothing else, that SA means the rifle was captured by Finns and used against the Russians in WWII. Further that rifle left the USA going to Russia and most likely saw combat by Czar's forces against Germans in WWI.

Lots of history there and certainly some if not all I stated above applies to your rifles.
 

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Tracker:

Instead focusing on what parts are not "correct", focus on the fact you have SA marked NEW rifles. If nothing else, that SA means the rifle was captured by Finns and used against the Russians in WWII. Further that rifle left the USA going to Russia and most likely saw combat by Czar's forces against Germans in WWI.

Lots of history there and certainly some if not all I stated above applies to your rifles.
I agree, one of the things I love about Finnish rifles is how many of them changed hands three or four times each. The history they carry with them is awesome.
 

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CT - As has been stated above, most military armorys are concerned about functioning weapons not about correct stocks and leaving all original parts together. Including the US. Finding an as issued gun with no changes many times means the gun saw little service. When you change out all the parts, you are creating a fantasy piece, you have become bubba yourself. Don't "fix" them. Now restorations are different - I've bought quite a few actions/bubba'ed guns which I've restored. They aren't all original but better than when I've first found them.
 

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My neighbor had eight chickens which were producing eggs. He would sell them for $2/doz.

But when they started digging up my other neighbor's lawn, a feud ensued.

Now there are no more chickens around.
 

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Bubba Finn armorers? Say it ain't so...

There was only one Finn requirement - make a rifle ready for service in a desperate situation. Zaitsev wasn't a Bubba if he swapped scopes on his rifle at Stalingrad or swapped in a different production bolt in a trench - for the Finns every day was Stalingrad, a fight to survive. Those "wartime expedient measures" are a history in themselves - nobody but a desperate army would use old rifles going back to the Great War.

An "SA" marked rifle was one that was accepted by the Finn Army for service issue in late 1942, so any parts the Finns accepted on it are now the correct historic parts. Swapping parts to "correct" the Finn mismatches is in itself a bit of a Bubba move, as the Finn armorer's mismatches of parts actually assembled for battle is the wartime history of the rifle, not a stateside attempt to recreate an original it can never be due to the "SA."

The "SA" means Finn issue, not Springfield Arsenal issue or "as manufactured by NEW and ready for delivery to Russia" so don't swap out anything -it will not get more original and will lose its real mojo for sure, as future generations need to see that the Finns issued rifles with mismatched parts and those actual parts saw battle.

I have both original NEWs plus those with all the Springfield acceptance stamps on them, meaning US Army acceptance, plus "SA" marked ones, meaning Finn Army acceptance with mismatched everything. Each is a historic rifle in its own right.

You could, of course, put an action whose stock is badly damaged into another stock if you had an M91 stock around to make it shootable - any Finn armorer would do that. I have repaired one Finn stock that had the whole lower butt broken off, making it useless, but normally you leave minor damage alone. A newly manufactures stock would work, but better to keep watching for a real one.

(Not to be more boring than I usually am, but the word you want is "faux pas." I do like "fox paw" much better, though.)
 

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Interesting discussion. I've met collectors who only wanted guns that looked like they came off the assembly line. They had beautiful guns everyone gushed over but paid hard for them. I've met collectors who were only interested in the action and bore, finish ran a far-distant second and was based on preventing rust. Perfectly happy with a chromed gun as long as it shot straight. Personally, I'm happy if the gun is in the same condition as the day it left government service, though the closer to the factory the better.

If you want all-NEW or all-Westinghouse MN-91's they're out there and show up regularly on auction sites, just be prepared to pay the freight. Swapping parts to get all one factory is done but frowned upon by many collectors. Finn guns, like US are expected to be mixmasters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have one remaining question. When the Finns captured weapons were they as a matter of course sent to the armories for examination and cleaning or were just non functioning weapons sent in and the ones conscripted for service just stamped on the reciever by a roving inspector. Were some stamps possibly put on after the end of hostilites when the arms were being cleaned and readied for storage?

I know its trivial, but I would like to know how methodical the Finns were to insure their men had functional weapons.
 

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Some Finn guns were put together or rearsenaled post-war. No special stamps to my knowledge. Never heard about a roving inspector before. I'm sure that there were field armorers, but they weren't into stamping inspection marks with regularity.
 

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Prior to the 1939 Winter War rifles from many sources were in the hands of both Civil Guard and the Finn Army and both had excellent armorers and superb maintenance plus upgrades of some rifles. Those days of the m27rv, the "Lotta" rifles, the 28/30s, the M27s and M28s and "Ski Trooper" variations saw great care taken of Finn rifles. Many proudly wore unit discs.

The Finns tried things like relining old barrels ( the "P" series) and, of course, made up all sorts of short and long rifles with new Finn-made barrels using old actions that had once had worn-out Russian original barrels. They also pieced together old parts to produce functional rifles, a trend that became much more vital once war broke out.

Civil Guard rifles were eventually transferred to the Army, I believe, and got an "SA" acceptance stamp in late 1942 when actually accepted for use.
Many show a "41" stamp as well, some say indicating 1941 capture.

During the Winter War and Great Patriotic War all kinds of rifles saw use in desperate times, some from rebarrelling at major facilities like Tikka, some probably slapped together at field facilities near the front from whatever came to hand. Captures, German deliveries, reworks, all somehow had to get issued and I doubt things were too organized for perfect official inspections and refurb once things got hot.

Get a copy of Bowser's excellent "Rifles of the White Death" (FleaBay) for a good look at Finn rifles in detail plus a lot of history.


I have one remaining question. When the Finns captured weapons were they as a matter of course sent to the armories for examination and cleaning or were just non functioning weapons sent in and the ones conscripted for service just stamped on the reciever by a roving inspector. Were some stamps possibly put on after the end of hostilites when the arms were being cleaned and readied for storage?

I know its trivial, but I would like to know how methodical the Finns were to insure their men had functional weapons.
 

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I have one remaining question. When the Finns captured weapons were they as a matter of course sent to the armories for examination and cleaning or were just non functioning weapons sent in and the ones conscripted for service just stamped on the reciever by a roving inspector. Were some stamps possibly put on after the end of hostilites when the arms were being cleaned and readied for storage?

I know its trivial, but I would like to know how methodical the Finns were to insure their men had functional weapons.

The SA-stamp became in use in late March 1942.

I would argue most of the old Finnish Army weapons already issued to the troops were stamped with the SA-stamp after the war when they were collected and then stored.

Captured weapons went through field arsenals and depots and were stamped there. Often captured -especially semi- and full automatic weapons - were taken immediatly in use by the troops hence not stamped but after the war.


Those weapons that went through field arsenals/depots during the war received the SA-stamp during the war time.



And by the way, if your NEW has a high serial I suspect it was originally a rifle used by the Finnish Red Guards during the Finnish Civil war as bolsheviks gave alot of weapons aid to Finnish Red Guards. Many of these rifles were brand new unissued late serial NEWS and Remingtons.
 

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Markku Palokangas describes in his book series a gruesome screne from the arms depots(the winter war if I remember correctly): The weapons came in heaps to the depots. When they thawed, the floors got covered with mixture of thawed blood and snow, wads of hair, pieces of skin, bone fragments and other less nice remains of dead russians.... -That was the starting point in refurbishing captured weaponry.

BTW the SA stamp was also used after the end of the war, so many items were stamped during refurbishing before storing in the arsenals.
 
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