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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I acquired several Mosins a year or 2 ago, among which were 3 little M91/59 carbines.

Two of them appear to have seen little if any use, or perhaps they were refurbed prior to export. Both have blonde stocks, 95+% bluing, one is a 38 Tula, the other a 42 Izhevsk. Both are import marked from Century.

The other one is decidedly different. It has a tigerstriped stock, bluing is worn, probably around 75% or so intact, and the only cartouche I can see is what appears to be a Tula star on the right side of the buttstock. Also, no import stamps anywhere, but there is what appears to be a serial # on the left side of the receiver parallel to the stock line. Can anyone help shed any light on this mystery Mosin?

 

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I don't think that's a Tula star on the stock. A small 5 pointed star is often seen on the receiver of 91/59s, and it might be related to that (maybe some kind of arsenal mark). Nice gun.
 

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You got one beautiful example!

They are all more or less mystery rifles, cut down postwar from 91/30s by an unidentified Warsaw-pact country, some claiming Bulgaria, some the Czechs. I sure don't know. Maybe Vic or someone has some new insights.

Why and where were they made?

Who carried them?

All I know for sure is that they shoot very well and quite accurately and usually appear in very good condition. I like mine very much.

Speculation on their use is just that, imagination and guesses. Railroad guards? Border guards? Local police arsenals or Stasi?
 

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Very nice 91/59. I have a Chinese Type 53 with the same kind of tiger striped stock as well, and the stock is faded a bit like the ones in your picture too. The marking on the receiver is, I believe the import stamp, you should find an import mark under the front of the barrel as well.

If you ever feel like letting this one go... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Very nice 91/59. I have a Chinese Type 53 with the same kind of tiger striped stock as well, and the stock is faded a bit like the ones in your picture too. The marking on the receiver is, I believe the import stamp, you should find an import mark under the front of the barrel as well.

If you ever feel like letting this one go... ;)
LOL...I'll keep you in mind, but to be honest, as much as I love Mosins in general, and Finns in particular, these little 91/59's really intrigue me, especially when they look like this one. Most every one I've seen has looked like it was built / modified within the past year, but this one looks to have seen some use. Add in the sling, and it's immensely intriguing. I'd really love to know where it comes from. I don't see any identifying marks on it anywhere, but I'll reexamine it this weekend.

As for an import mark...if that's what that is, it's the only one on the rifle. There is no mark that says who imported it, which leads me to wonder exactly what it is. The stock itself screams Finn to me, but there's no [SA] mark anywhere, so unless it was unmarked, then recaptured, then modified, then issued, then sold without refurbishment, I don't know what to make of it.
 

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Very interesting rifle indeed. The SN 9897 is the translated serial prefix and number from the Russian CH9897 to the English SN9897. Don't normally see 91/59s in that condition with a patina and wear on the metal like that. I like it. It's got some good character. It does appear to be in a wartime stock though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Is it reasonable to suppose that it saw action in a satellite nation or was simply a rugh and tumble war unit that saw limited refurbishment? Is there a site or source from which one might glean a better idea of the whats and wheres that a given rifle saw, based on s/n or other characteristic?
 

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SG summed it up in post 6 pretty well. There's really not much known about these still, even though they have been a known model and rifle for quite some time now. Would be neat to see a breakthrough on the 91/59s. Guess we are still waiting for the secret Soviet weapons documents cache to be discovered in some long lost Soviet bunker with Stalin's taxidermied cat.
 

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Wait -I have Stalin's cat on my warm and fuzzy Kalifornia-legal-non-evil-stock AR! (Now here's a "mystery rifle" for you...)


SG summed it up in post 6 pretty well. There's really not much known about these still, even though they have been a known model and rifle for quite some time now. Would be neat to see a breakthrough on the 91/59s. Guess we are still waiting for the secret Soviet weapons documents cache to be discovered in some long lost Soviet bunker with Stalin's taxidermied cat.
 

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Sigh...everytime I see a Tula round receiver 91/59, I kick myself. I own the other variations (Tula hex, Izhevsk round and hex, and sanitized round and hex), and passed on two Tula rounds when they were more plentiful about four years ago. Didn't see them disappearing so fast.

Anyway, those are two very nice carbines. Congrats!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Sigh...everytime I see a Tula round receiver 91/59, I kick myself. I own the other variations (Tula hex, Izhevsk round and hex, and sanitized round and hex), and passed on two Tula rounds when they were more plentiful about four years ago. Didn't see them disappearing so fast.

Anyway, those are two very nice carbines. Congrats!
I'll post pics of my other 2 by the weekend. This one is a '43 Izhevsk and is just unusual. It really has me digging for more information, but short of calling Izhevsk, I have no idea where to start. Sooner or later there's bound to be some more definitive information on these or a source that can give some concrete answers, but that's the joy of collecting Mosins, I reckon.

Thanks for the heads up on the sling, Sgt. I'll check into it.
 
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