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I posted up a bit of my experiences at the Reno show last weekend, but here is the full story with pictures now :)

It was the wife's birthday Friday and being the wonderful and thoughtful husband that I am, I knew she would LOVE to go to the Reno gun show so I told her I would take her to Reno for the weekend and left out the part about the gun show until we were on the way there... everyone loves surprises right? She does like to gamble a bit, so she wasn't too disappointed to be headed to Nevada. She ran a 5K race with her sister Saturday morning, so I met them there at the race and we headed up. We got to Reno at 3PM which is way later than I had hoped, as the show is only open until 6. I left her in the casino with $100 and ran to the convention hall and got started. As I was walking around, I remembered the last time I was there, thinking there must not be many lever action rifles left in the USA that aren't currently in this room!! I was almost running around the tables, scanning every rack and table for the familiar magazine housing of a Mosin... once in a while I would see something like an Argentine or old Belgian Mauser and I would stop, thinking the magazine looked like a Mosin, but I was disappointed. In all, I think I saw 6 that first day, and 4 more the second day... so 10 mosins out of maybe 2,000 rifles total I would estimate.

Close to the end of the first of two rooms I finally found a guy with a vertical rack who had 3 Mosins on it!! Woo Hoo!! He had a 1942 Tula 91-30 with CH above the star (actually it looked like I H because I couldn't make out the top and bottom of the C), a Hungarian M-44 with a missing bayo, and a 1944 M-38. The M-38 caught my eye as it was in a mid-war stock with no sling slot reinforcements and no bayonet cut, so it was a true M-38 stock. It was missing the cleaning rod, but otherwise a good and all matching refurb. $159 and yes I am kicking myself for not buying it. BTW, all three were $159 each.

I got into the next room and saw a few more here and there, nothing special. Then I see a guy walking with an M-39 under each arm, almost like crutches ;) so I ask him "hey where did you buy those?" and he explained he was selling them. I asked what they were, meaning which arsenal, and he says "Russian Mausers" (actually, he wrote RUSSIAN MOUSER on the door tag...lol) I look them over and ask how much... the next few minutes is a blur as I was trying to stay focused and not look like I just got dealt a Royal Flush. Next thing I know he was walking away with some cash and I walked away with 2 Finns!!

They were both SAKO M39s in original wartime stocks, beautiful bores, all there, matching, etc etc. I screwed around a bit longer and left. When I showed the wife she gave me the usual look like "what the hell is wrong with this guy... more of those same rifles??"

The next morning my friend calls and tells me he has my Nagant pistol I have been wanting to buy... oh crap, I just spent the money on the M39s. I ask the wife... "hey we can go back to the show and sell one of those rifles and pay for the pistol" so she agrees and back we go. I go in the show, find my buddy, buy the [SA] marked nagant and walk around the tables. I see 4 M39s I didn't see the day before, so I ask the guy if I can look at them. All 4 are SAKO M39s in nice shape, but one is a straight stock and in the right serial range. I look at the tag... $225!! haha. OK. Poker face again. I'm still broke so I walk away and the next aisle over this vendor asks about the rifle I am carrying. Starts telling me about Finland history... lol.. He buys the M39 for $250 so I turn around and stuff $50 in my pocket and wave the 2 fresh $100 bills in the guy's face that has the straight stock... yep, it's a deal. Woo hooooooo. So now I have a straight stock SAKO that I want to keep and I need to get rid of the other SAKO in the car. So I head out the door and I text the wife with "good news honey, already sold one, headed to the car to get the other one" and she replies with "that's funny, I just saw you taking a rifle to the car..." oh crap :D

I spent the next 2 hours walking around with the SAKO and it was late in the day so no takers, although I did have a lot of dealers offering $200 for it. I'm going to list it up on the trader I think. Here are the pics:











 

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70 front sight and matching stamp on barrel:



Odd J stamped firing pins... both M39s have the same mark:



Tula bolt head, never seen it stamped on the side like this, it's usually on the lug:



All the original Finn grease on the bottom, and it's still there:



1895 Tula antique:

 

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PURDEY! Now I wish I had made the drive out there. Lord knows the shows around here have been WAY overpriced lately.
 

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Nice score there Brian, all in all a very profitable weekend.
 

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Nice score there Brian, all in all a very profitable weekend.
Thanks, yeah I sure didn't expect to find any Finns there, especially for a good deal. I was just noticing too, I don't think I've ever seen a SAKO M39 that has had the top of the receiver flat machined off like this one. They are usually ground off in a little divot like the straight stock one is.
 

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I'd definitely call that a successful gun show trip. A '41 straight stock SAKO is a pretty good score especially.

Does the mag floor plate match on either M39? I hope you can acquire that [SA] marked Nagant. Those seem to be difficult to come by! (at least I don't have one yet anyway)
 

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I'd definitely call that a successful gun show trip. A '41 straight stock SAKO is a pretty good score especially.

Does the mag floor plate match on either M39? I hope you can acquire that [SA] marked Nagant. Those seem to be difficult to come by! (at least I don't have one yet anyway)

Of all the Finns I've held, this is the first straight stock M39 for me, so I'm definitely keeping it.

Amazingly enough, both of these have matching floorplates, stamped with real small numbers.

I did get the Nagant, too. Then a few aisles down I found some surplus ammo for $6.50 per box:



 

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Nice!

Matching floor plates on SAKO M39's don't seem to be TOO difficult to find IMO, but matching ones are a definite bonus that can set a rifle apart as being more original than most others. A Matching floor plate on a 1941 SAKO M39 in a straight stock makes for a pretty nice M39 example indeed.
 

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Fun adventure Brian and good results. Beautiful '41 and '42. Nice lookin' original and not reworked pieces.

Info for you, have three original '41 straight stocked rifles. Only one has had the metal reblued. Two have the flat top receiver, no dish, one does. One has a matchin' FP, other brushed, and one with a lined out number and a new one that doesn't match the serial.

Think the straight stock wood is the finest and has the best patina. Next best '42. Maybe think a bit about sellin' your '42? Also have a '42 with a matchin' FP and a '43 SK.Y with one. M39s have lotsa' surprises. Also original '42s don't grow on trees. Nice rifles.

Lancebear
 

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Interesting thoughts Lance, I appreciate it because it got me thinking in a different direction. I never noticed that 1942 was a lower production year. I looked in my serial database and found 17,500 made in 1941; 5,000 in 1942; 11,000 in 1943; 16,000 in 1944 and maybe 1,500 in 1945.

I get so focused on the PL mark and the infamous "2" accuracy mark (if it is that) that I never even looked at the production quantities. I have a PL marked M39 from the 207XXX serial range, it belonged to Charlie, but it's not a straight stock... not sure if it has the divot or not.

Seems like I have seen the divot more on M39 SAKOs and seen the flat top more on M28s... which makes me wonder if this receiver could have been salvaged from a 28? No way to know, just speculation with no evidence.

Thanks!!
 

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Bravo, FB! Great adds to the collection. That you can do it AND make your wife happy is awesome!
I'm still looking for a Finned Nagant as well - so that is definitely my favorite of the new toys. Thanks for sharing the story and pictures.
 

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Brian...I have said it before, and I'll say it again..."I hate you!"...:laugh:

...just kidding, buddy!!...Your diligence always seems to pay off!!...congrats!!...looks like we need to talk again about creating some "gaps" in your gun safes!!...
 

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Brian...I have said it before, and I'll say it again..."I hate you!"...:laugh:

...just kidding, buddy!!...Your diligence always seems to pay off!!...congrats!!...looks like we need to talk again about creating some "gaps" in your gun safes!!...
I already got one sitting here with your name on it... I'll start looking for a few more ;)
 

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Try to save jealousy for things I do not have already. Nice PU on the rifles for sure. But for the record if you ever want to part with the Nagant let me know. NOT a serious collector of them yet, but that one is a beaut. Have a 1911, 1914 and a crappy 44 import {just hate excellent condition pistols}. As always congrats on your hunting scores. Cheers, John.
 
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