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This is a WWII era 91/30 Mosin-Nagant Russian Sniper rifle. The rifle has all matching numbers and is in 7.62mm x .54mm caliber.

The Mosin-Nagant was adapted as a sniper rifle in 1932 and was issued to Soviet snipers. It served quite prominently in the brutal urban battles on the Eastern Front, such as the Battle of Stalingrad, which made heroes of snipers like Vasily Grigoryevich Zaitsev and Lyudmila Pavlichenko. These sniper rifles were very much respected for being extremely rugged, reliable, accurate, as well as easy to maintain.

Today, collectors must be careful so as not to acquire a fake WWII era 91/30 sniper rifle. Many have been manufactured outside of Russia and sold as original.

  

  

The picture on the left shows the barrel crest markings as well as the markings on the rear sight. From the barrel markings we can tell that this rifle was manufactured in Tula in 1943. The receiver tang, which is located at the rear of the receiver will usually have a date stamped on it as well indicating the date that the receiver was manufactured. Unfortunately, that date on this rifle is mostly unreadable. Also see in this picture is the rear sight. To adjust this sight for distance, the operator would squeeze the buttons at each end of the bar and move it in a forward direction. The numbers corresponds to 100 meters so that moving the bar to the number 3 would indicate 300 meters.

The photograph on the right is a close up of the markings that are on the scope.

The white lettering in these photographs is not original and I added this to the item after it was fully cleaned and inspected. This white lettering is not permanent and is easily removed. To learn what I used for the white lettering, please click HERE.  

These next two photographs show the arsenal papers that came with the rifle.  

The photograph on the left is a picture of the 91/30 Russian sniper stock with the barreled receiver removed. At the time that this picture was taken I was in the process of refinishing a few Albanian SKS rifle stocks. In the background can be seen the cleaned and inspected barreled receiver assemblies of these SKS's waiting to be installed back into the refinished stocks.

The picture on the right is another 91/30 WWII era Russian sniper rifle that is in the collection. In this case though, it is considered an ex-sniper by many collectors including this author. In this picture we are looking inside the chamber. Notice how the holes for the scope mount screws have been filled in. On the other side, it is nearly impossible to see where the holes used to be. The holes are filled in and welded shut and then the receiver is reworked. The Russians removed a rifle out of sniper service for a variety of reasons including, a loss of accuracy, damage, not needed any more, and so on. To see some more pictures of this rifle please click HERE .

  

Resource:

The Mosin Nagant rifle by Terence W. Lapin

Handbook of military rifle marks 1866-1950 by Richard Hoffman & Noel Schott

Official guide to gunmarks by Robert Balderson  

The standard directory of proof marks by Gerhard Wirnsberger  

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