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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
OK, so the general consensus is that the Russians marked their captured rifles. The most prevalent and commonly found "Russian Capture" proof is an "X" stamp somewhere on the receiver, usually on the left near the serial number, but also occasionally centered at or near 12 o'clock someplace. The size and shape of the mark varies widely, from a faint partial stamp to a deep clear "X" in a Times Roman or similar font. I've also seen stamps that appear to have been done with the corner of a chisel or a flat tool of some sort, 2 intersecting marks. Here are a few of mine, and a Google search for "mauser k98 russian capture markings photos" will find you many more examples.



So some of you are thinking "Gunhorde - you idiot! You've created an RC German Mauser thread in our beloved Mosin-Nagant Forum!"

Not at all, there's a method to my madness.

I've started out this thread to show the variety of "Russian Capture marks" specifically highlighting the "X" stamp commonly found on captured German rifles.

And then there's THIS:



Seems a little odd, right? "Wait a second, THAT'S not a German Mauser...."

Correct. It's a 1943 Tula M91/30 with an 1895 Izhevsk receiver.

It gets better - it's got a blued bolt.



From everything I've been reading online, these blued bolts are "generally" attributed to German captured rifles.

The bolt appears to be original to the barrel, the Cyrillic prefix and numbers match the shank markings:
While not identical in font, the size and shape of the bolt serial # appears to be correct.



The buttplate looks good too:



The magazine floorplate is a lined-out renumbered piece, but the lined-out number here is interesting. It's of a smaller font atypical for Russian stamps, and appears to be similar to renumbered floorplates associated with German captured Mosin-Nagants. The Cyrillic matching restamped serial number appears to be correct Russian refurbished.



The receiver is an 1895 Izhevsk, re-stamped at Tula in 1943.



So, my question is - Is this possibly a German captured, Russian re-captured M91/30?

There's a small CAI import mark on the underside of the barrel just behind the front sight base.

I have another "recaptured" rifle, my 1940 Tula M91/30 with Latvian proofs "F.L.P. Mi." - which is also a matching refurbished rifle, the Latvian proofs are lined out but clearly visible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
The rest of the pics

When re-stamped, the new tang markings appear to be INTENTIONALLY offset, to preserve the original Imperial Russian markings, The 4 and 3 are widely spaced, and the Tula star is offset and only partially struck. Whoever re-marked this receiver seems to have wanted to preserve the original markings for some unknown reason. Maybe nostalgia for the old pre-war Imperial days? For the Glory of Mother Russia? Who knows. I've just never seen this intentional preservation of the earlier markings. All other examples of wartime rifles with hex receivers has the new stampings directly over the top of the older proofs.

*CORRECTION* - RacerGuy caught it, the "3" is barely visible right next to the 4. The 3 further to the right is a separate number. Thanks RacerGuy!



I realize that "typical" German captured Mosin-Nagant rifles are sometimes seen with polished rear sight leafs (leaves?).

If this was an RC rifle then the rear sight leaf was probably replaced during refurbishment. All speculation of course.


Same tang photo, inverted to show the 43 date and Tula star - the 3 to the right is a separate number unrelated to the date.



Macro enlargement showing faint 3



Steel shims both front and rear.



Tula bolt head and cocking knob.



Tula stock



Comments and conjecture welcome and appreciated, I've never seen a rifle like this before so I'd like to hear from other about these "blued bolt" rifles, and the possibility that the small "X" on the barrel shank may be a "Russian Capture" mark.

Too bad the stock hasn't got any "Kru 1" stamps on it, but I'm sure the stock was swapped out when the rifle was refurbished anyway.

Thanks in advance for any comments and/or information!

:thumbsup:
 

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I have an x on a PL marked Finn capture. Not sure what it means. The 43 on the tang isn't spaced out. I can see a faint 3 next to the 4. The other 3 I think is unrelated. I've had a couple of older receivers with a three in that same spot.

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have an x on a PL marked Finn capture. Not sure what it means. The 43 on the tang isn't spaced out. I can see a faint 3 next to the 4. The other 3 I think is unrelated. I've had a couple of older receivers with a three in that same spot.

View attachment 2258857
Thanks for the correction on the tang date, I've updated my post. I didn't see that tiny faint line for what it was until you pointed it out.
 

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I've seen "X" stamps on many Mosins, including some on the top flat of the hex of receivers that belong to rifles that were converted from M91's to M91/30's. I think a lot of these X's are proof marks and don't indicate any sort of capture status.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've seen "X" stamps on many Mosins, including some on the top flat of the hex of receivers that belong to rifles that were converted from M91's to M91/30's. I think a lot of these X's are proof marks and don't indicate any sort of capture status.
I agree that it's an unknown, and may be something entirely different. But that combined with a blued bolt got me to thinking, which is why i put up the pics and the suggestion, to get other members thoughts and opinions.

The lined out non-Russian number on the magazine plate is another interesting feature. On rifles that are documented as being German capture, that lined out number appears to be the same, a smaller non-Russian font.

This all could be just an interesting coincidence of assembled parts, but I'd like to think otherwise and wanted some opinions as to the possibility.
 

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I agree that it's an unknown, and may be something entirely different. But that combined with a blued bolt got me to thinking, which is why i put up the pics and the suggestion, to get other members thoughts and opinions.

The lined out non-Russian number on the magazine plate is another interesting feature. On rifles that are documented as being German capture, that lined out number appears to be the same, a smaller non-Russian font.

This all could be just an interesting coincidence of assembled parts, but I'd like to think otherwise and wanted some opinions as to the possibility.
Did you buy the rifle directly from the importer or the person who bought the importer? I would not think that any bolt that went through refurb (this rifle obviously did) would retain it's bluing, assuming the refurb facility ground the old numbers and restamped them to match. I would think that a bubba blue could be within the realm of possibility.
 

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This all could be just an interesting coincidence of assembled parts, but I'd like to think otherwise and wanted some opinions as to the possibility.
Denial is a technique...w/o proof, you can easily see what you want and can easily ignore what is inconvenient to your agenda. This is a interesting rifle and clearly rebuilt , it is as it stands ...a rifle of assembled parts by your own admission. Leaping to any other conclusions is speculation.

I'd toss the Blue Bolt off the menu of clues as well as font on floor plate. Get back on this X marking and hope one of the Russians who read this board have some factual information regarding this X marking. That this marking appears on RC 98K captures and some WWII era Mosin 91/30's is the thread to chase. It could be a post war assembly / inspection marking from some unknown Soviet facility or as you speculate...marking done to denote captured rifle..

We know the Soviets had an extensive battlefield recovery effort and did they separate Mosin 91/30 found from German control with this X marking and did not X mark rifles just found on the battlefield lost by Russian troops?? It would in theory run that they'd turn found rifles never leaving Soviet hands back into the weapons pool of spares but possibly send rifles back for inspection if they were taken from German control. But that is theory and reality is they probably scooped up any and all Mosin 91/30s from battlefield and recycled them directly into supply channels w/o marking them.

X on the RC 98K might indeed be capture mark , they did rebuild them . X on a 91/30...its not on all refurb 91/30 so its out there for debate.
 

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I have seen more than a few Mosins and other soviet small arms(including side arms) with the X. Mostly the X I've seen has been on refurbished rifles and I cannot remember ever seeing it on anything Finnish captured or from SCW.

Some Xs may be totally unrelated to others. My poor mans opinion for the past decade has been that these rifles received an X when they went through refurbishment as captured firearms. But obviously the Russians knew a German Mauser was a captured weapon. I'd love to know the general consensus but it's been discussed so many times over the past decade that everyone has formed their own idea of what it means.
 

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Many Luger collectors will tell you that the X is not a letter, but "crossed rifles". From there they will go on to prove that the Lugers with crossed rifles are actually Russian despite being marked with Bulgarian text. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Did you buy the rifle directly from the importer or the person who bought the importer? I would not think that any bolt that went through refurb (this rifle obviously did) would retain it's bluing, assuming the refurb facility ground the old numbers and restamped them to match. I would think that a bubba blue could be within the realm of possibility.

I obtained the rifle from a 3rd party, so I don't know the specific chain of custody. I'll see if I can find out if the previous owner obtained it directly from an importer. Whenever it was done, the bluing is over light pitting in several areas, and the rifle has seen enough use since the bluing was applied to remove some of it from the contact areas. It doesn't appear to be a cold blue job though, it appears deeper and older than a more recent bubba job.

The bolt serial # has been highlighted with a whitish substance, also the serial # on the barrel and the rear sight markings. It's the same as what's been seen with red on some rifles (rear sights and occasionally serial #'s on the barrel).

If this was done by either the exporter in Europe or the importer here in the states, then the bolt was blued before the highlighting was added to the markings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Re: "X" stamps

Denial is a technique...w/o proof, you can easily see what you want and can easily ignore what is inconvenient to your agenda. This is a interesting rifle and clearly rebuilt , it is as it stands ...a rifle of assembled parts by your own admission. Leaping to any other conclusions is speculation.

I'd toss the Blue Bolt off the menu of clues as well as font on floor plate. Get back on this X marking and hope one of the Russians who read this board have some factual information regarding this X marking. That this marking appears on RC 98K captures and some WWII era Mosin 91/30's is the thread to chase. It could be a post war assembly / inspection marking from some unknown Soviet facility or as you speculate...marking done to denote captured rifle..

We know the Soviets had an extensive battlefield recovery effort and did they separate Mosin 91/30 found from German control with this X marking and did not X mark rifles just found on the battlefield lost by Russian troops?? It would in theory run that they'd turn found rifles never leaving Soviet hands back into the weapons pool of spares but possibly send rifles back for inspection if they were taken from German control. But that is theory and reality is they probably scooped up any and all Mosin 91/30s from battlefield and recycled them directly into supply channels w/o marking them.

X on the RC 98K might indeed be capture mark , they did rebuild them . X on a 91/30...its not on all refurb 91/30 so its out there for debate.
I'll take that train of thought. While I don't think the blued bolt is a bubba job, I'll take that off the table as you've suggested and focus on the "X". I too am hopeful that some of our Russian or European friends have found or will eventually find an explanation for the "X" on these rifles. Whether it denotes a (re) -captured weapon, or is merely an inventory marking that indicated a particular piece was accounted for I don't know. Of all of the M91-30's I've ever owned, only one other had an "X" stamped on it, it was a 1923 Tula ex-dragoon with that odd ground bevel on the barrel directly behind the rear sight leaf:



As can be seen in the photo, "the "X" is clear and distinct, not 2 separate crossed lines but apparently a single stamp.

Until an additional information resource is identified, I guess all we've got is speculation.

I agree with another poster above... "If only these rifles could talk!"

:thumbsup:
 

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gunhorde,

Concerning the blued bolt. Does it appear to have been done in the states or do you think its original to the refurb timeframe (whenever that was)?
 
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