What is it about Soviet Rifles...


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InkEd
March 24, 2013, 12:48 PM
What is it about Soviet rifles... that I like so gosh darn much?:evil:

They just have this real mystique to them and even seem a little taboo because of the Cold War.

We were taught to fear the Russians like strangers with candy. Anyone under the age of 35 imagined Russians were either 60 year old farm women with handkerchiefs on their head that spent the day raking away the dirt in front of a grass-roofed mud-wall farm house or young soul-less men that marched lock-kneed in fur hats with an AK behind tanks in Red Square! They did this EVERYDAY without exception from morning until night. A few also worked in gloomy factories that made gigantic bombs with CCCP painted on them while the sound of hitting an anvil echoed on a loop. Also, they were all evil and hated freedom. Don't even talk about it or you might catch communism amd die. That was Russia in our imaginations. :D

The AK platform has a real underdog appeal.
It's a basic design that was designed by a guy without any real engineering background but it continues to compete (and even beat) many different more advanced designs. Like everything else designed by them it has a very crude look to it and you even wonder if it will work without falling apart. They launched the first satellite into space...and it was made out of old TV antennas and two colendars stuck together. The space race was between NASA with sleek billion dollar rockets against ol' man Alovski's grain silo with some missiles welded to the side. Lastly, their whole army is armed with a rifle made after-hours in a machine shop. :uhoh: However, they ALL worked and did the job.

It's just interesting to me... and it's not just the AK either.

Take a look at the Mosin. And it's wonderful ergonomics. The average Russian man is not especially tall (about 5' 8") ... so let's make the rifle 4' long and add a foot long bayonet! That way when you place the buttstock on the ground the tip of the bayonet will be right at eyeball level so that when in camp you can see them easily and not accidentally impale your face while going back to your tent following your dinner of vodka and propaganda poster soup. 100 years later, people brag about the winning a used one on Gunbroker for 10x the original production cost! Needless to say, they still shoots as accurate as half the new rifles on the market. Go figure.



Does anyone else have a fondness for any of those "whacky" Russian rifles?

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CLP
March 24, 2013, 01:00 PM
meh...

meanmrmustard
March 24, 2013, 01:14 PM
I have a soft spot for Russian guns, but mainly those that were captured by the Finnish.:D

InkEd
March 24, 2013, 01:25 PM
LOL at captured by the Finnish!

meanmrmustard
March 24, 2013, 01:27 PM
LOL at captured by the Finnish!
They're just too damned accurate to ignore.

ball3006
March 24, 2013, 01:49 PM
Finnlander Mosin Nagants are the greatest. I am a big fan of them....chris3

nathan
March 24, 2013, 02:25 PM
Its about the legacy of the Cold War and rise of communism and socialism.

If you are into Britsh Imperialism that lasted a good 400 years and occupied 1/3 of the world landmass, then you d be awed by the British rifles such as the Lee Enfield s.

JohnnyK
March 24, 2013, 02:33 PM
akaholic

The_Armed_Therapist
March 24, 2013, 03:36 PM
Price. If Springfield 1903s were selling for $99 like the Mosin Nagants; and the M1 Garands were selling for $249 like the SKSs; and ARs were selling for $499 like AKs, then FAR fewer people would touch the Mosins, SKSs, or AKs. (Pre-panic prices, of course...) That's it. LOL

klover
March 24, 2013, 03:43 PM
were made of the same steel, but you can't get a Mig that you like their rifles so much, comrade.:p

Sam1911
March 24, 2013, 03:49 PM
What is it about Soviet rifles...Kind of like drinking PBR, I think. Got sort of an underground cachet to them. First time someone tries them they are astonished to find that they're both cheap and effective.

You're probably an ironic hipster.





:neener:

mf-dif
March 24, 2013, 04:08 PM
There cheap (where), reliable, and made from steel and wood. The calibers the guns are chambered for are some good ones too.

7.62x54R big boom
7.62x39 good punch
7.62x25 super fast pistol round

cyclopsshooter
March 24, 2013, 04:33 PM
And it just got even more fun for me now that I figured out a good way to do the blood red shellac. Chips just like the real thing!

tryshoot
March 24, 2013, 05:21 PM
Don't leave out the 9x18.

Pilot
March 24, 2013, 05:46 PM
Don't leave out the 5.45. :D

wlewisiii
March 24, 2013, 05:53 PM
Well, I have a Chinese Type 53 to cover the action family in the collection.

But I can find Mauser types just as cheap and I like the look and feel of them better. A nice Oberndorf made M1909 or Brno made VZ-24 contract rifle? I'll take one of them any day as my preference.

It's nice that there are so many options and that we can both find rifles that we can equally enjoy the use of in the field and on the range.

fireside44
March 24, 2013, 06:05 PM
We were taught to fear the Russians like strangers with candy. Anyone under the age of 35 imagined Russians were either 60 year old farm women with handkerchiefs on their head that spent the day raking away the dirt in front of a grass-roofed mud-wall farm house or young soul-less men that marched lock-kneed in fur hats with an AK behind tanks in Red Square! They did this EVERYDAY without exception from morning until night. A few also worked in gloomy factories that made gigantic bombs with CCCP painted on them while the sound of hitting an anvil echoed on a loop. Also, they were all evil and hated freedom.

Haha, I like your description. I kind of felt the same way only as kids we were always talking about whether we'd whip the soviets in a war and who had the better small arms and fighter jets.

The AK platform has a real underdog appeal.
It's a basic design that was designed by a guy without any real engineering background but it continues to compete (and even beat) many different more advanced designs. Like everything else designed by them it has a very crude look to it and you even wonder if it will work without falling apart.

They work every time you squeeze the trigger. I think therein lies the beauty. Also, if you hate cleaning guns like me I much prefer it over AR stuff. They are accurate enough. I liked Sam's PBR analogy, but maybe it's cause I like PBR, lol.

The mags, in my opinion, are the key to the whole operation. Nuclear war-tough. I still like the FAL better for it's superior sights, ergonomics, and harder hitting round but my budget definitely prefers the AK. I can afford to shoot that thing frequently. Neither of them need much cleaning. As for the mosin nagants, I hate them. Crude pieces of crap and would take an M1917 over them any day of the week and twice on sunday. But they do work and are cheap!!!

bds
March 24, 2013, 06:17 PM
There cheap, reliable, and made from steel and wood.
Yup, and you can even make one out of shovel steel and wood - http://www.northeastshooters.com/vbulletin/build-yourself/179192-diy-shovel-ak-photo-tsunami-warning.html

This has been added to my bucket list and first project I will pursue after my retirement in 8 years.

From this,

http://i1178.photobucket.com/albums/x368/_ak_74_/shovel_ak/06.jpg

to this!!!

http://i1178.photobucket.com/albums/x368/_ak_74_/shovel_ak/52.jpg

http://i1178.photobucket.com/albums/x368/_ak_74_/shovel_ak/54.jpg

Scrumbag
March 24, 2013, 06:31 PM
Do love the SKS. Not a brilliant design in many ways, but a hoot to shoot!

undeRGRound
March 24, 2013, 06:39 PM
I have a soft spot for Russian guns, but mainly those that were captured by the Finnish.:D
yup! M39 FTW!
Going for around $400 online...

msrfrog
March 24, 2013, 07:18 PM
I also love the commie stuff.
I have a unconverted saiga 7.62. Glad I didn't convert as I live in commie NY.
Now I want a mosin . One reason is there is actually ammo for it at gander!

InkEd
March 24, 2013, 07:38 PM
Definitely not a hipster and I am a little offended by that comment. (You couldn't just call me a "little less despised" like a kitten murderer or serial arsonist.) LOL

No cheesy facial hair, I hate sweaters and v-necks, My pants fit properly, there's not single piece of IKEA furniture in my house and the only "vintage" clothes I own is a hat that belonged to my Grandpa. Nor do I drive a hybrid car with liberal cause bumper sticker.

Lastly, the only "cheap" beer I drink is Miller High Life.... because I have CLASS! (It's the "Champagne of Beers" after all.) LOL!

I'm a heavily tattooed metal guy with a shaved head from the south (so I also have ages redneck tendencies.) I could probably have passed for roadie for Pantera if that helps you get a mental picture.

InkEd
March 24, 2013, 07:40 PM
How funny is it they put a scope on the shovel AK to shoot groups.

undeRGRound
March 24, 2013, 07:41 PM
Definitely not a hipster and I am a little offended by that comment. (You couldn't just call me a "little less despised" like a kitten murderer or serial arsonist.) LOL

No cheesy facial hair, I hate sweaters and v-necks, My pants fit properly, there's not single piece of IKEA furniture in my house and the only "vintage" clothes I own is a hat that belonged to my Grandpa. Nor do I drive a hybrid car with liberal cause bumper sticker.

Lastly, the only "cheap" beer I drink is Miller High Life.... because I have CLASS! (It's the "Champagne of Beers" after all.) LOL!

I'm a heavily tattooed metal guy with a shaved head from the south (so I also have ages redneck tendencies.) I could probably have passed for roadie for Pantera if that helps you get a mental picture.
LMAO!!!

Correction: MILLER is the Champagne of Beers,
Miller Lite tastes great and is less filling! LOL:D

InkEd
March 24, 2013, 07:53 PM
fireside44:
Comrade! The reason you don't like the Mosin is because you are spoiled and weak from capitalism! You probably prefer your rifle stocks and toilet paper to be free of splinters. REAL men have hands and rear-ends that are HARD LIKE IRON from many hours toiling away state-owned factories and toilet facilities. LOL!

InkEd
March 24, 2013, 07:56 PM
"Correction" Correction:

http://www.millerhighlife.com/ageVerify.aspx

:D

Personally, I like well-aged 2010 vintage. LOL

jason41987
March 24, 2013, 08:48 PM
as much as i dislike the color red, i absolutely love the red hue the russians use on their rifle... i absolutely hate the ergonomics of just about everything they make, but they still have an allure i cant ignore, leading me to own a bunch of soviet designed rifles (nagant, sks, AK-74.. might even get an SVT-40 or a ppsh-41 soon)

fireside44
March 24, 2013, 09:00 PM
Comrade! The reason you don't like the Mosin is because you are spoiled and weak from capitalism! You probably prefer your rifle stocks and toilet paper to be free of splinters. REAL men have hands and rear-ends that are HARD LIKE IRON from many hours toiling away state-owned factories and toilet facilities. LOL!

I had an M44 that looked like it had been carved from steel using a butter knife. Crude to say the least. But mostly it was the pitiful safety feature, virtually unusable, that I hated. Makes the AK safety seem so ergonomic and well designed. Maybe I should've kept it, but it was one more gun to feed and usually I keep only what I use. I am not a collector of guns. I like to abuse my stuff and see if it breaks. If I don't use it I pass it along.

meanmrmustard
March 24, 2013, 09:08 PM
I had an M44 that looked like it had been carved from steel using a butter knife. Crude to say the least. But mostly it was the pitiful safety feature, virtually unusable, that I hated. Makes the AK safety seem so ergonomic and well designed. Maybe I should've kept it, but it was one more gun to feed and usually I keep only what I use. I am not a collector of guns. I like to abuse my stuff and see if it breaks. If I don't use it I pass it along.
Who uses the safety on a Mosin?

fireside44
March 24, 2013, 09:32 PM
Who uses the safety on a Mosin?

Not me, I sold it after I saw how poorly designed it is. Need popeye strength to work that thing. I think I fired the gun twice.

meanmrmustard
March 24, 2013, 09:36 PM
Not me, I sold it after I saw how poorly designed it is. Need popeye strength to work that thing. I think I fired the gun twice.
Fair enough.

Or...don't load it til needed.

Better yet: I leave the bolt in its forward, but unlocked, position when taking it out to my tree stand. This way I can safely carry the rifle about. If I spy a deer on the way, I can throw the bolt handle down, and squeeze off the shot.

Ohio Gun Guy
March 24, 2013, 09:51 PM
my mosins perform much better, after I very carefully get the cosmoline out of the chamber. I've use every kind of solvent, but found a good old soaking in break cleaner (Non chlorine, test to make sure it doesnt remove bluing) and buffing of the chamber with a mop does the trick.

The bolt is then servicable (not enfield or mauser smooth, but very workable)

leadcounsel
March 24, 2013, 10:04 PM
Fantastic weapons. Russia made several of my favorites, the AKs, SKS, and Mosin Nagants.

The appeal is the simplicity and rugged design, effecitve at reliablility and acceptable accuracy for their purpose. What more does one want from a weapon?

I also like the Tokarev.

As another member mentioned, the calibers are also ideal for their purpose.

Sam1911
March 24, 2013, 10:21 PM
Definitely not a hipster and I am a little offended by that comment. (You couldn't just call me a "little less despised" like a kitten murderer or serial arsonist.) LOL
...
I'm a heavily tattooed metal guy with a shaved head from the south (so I also have ages redneck tendencies.) I could probably have passed for roadie for Pantera if that helps you get a mental picture.

Well my apologies! (And Dimebag, RIP!)

:)

Ohio Gun Guy
March 24, 2013, 10:22 PM
^^^ I like them as well. I'm in the younger group that does remember the Cold war, and the last days of the USSR. You never saw anything from Mother Russia at gun shows. Perhaps it's that that makes them interesting.....

I think a lot of the faults we ascribe to the Soviet designs come from our frame of reference. They built things for huge conscript armies. These rifles they produced do 95% or better of what the West produced at likely 25% of the cost. Yes an AR is a bit nicer than an AK, but it's also a quarter the cost (Current prices and .gov regulations not withstanding). I think most honest gun enthusiasts will admit that most ww2 bolt action rifles were to some degree better than the Mosin Nagant 91/30. But nobody else made anywhere near the numbers of mosins produced. If forget the exact figures, but I think 1 year of Mosin Nagant Production (While the Germans were shelling the factories) is as much or more than the combined production of the other models for the entire war, by thier respective country.

Sam1911
March 24, 2013, 10:26 PM
The Soviet Union set up their factories to make things like Mosin Nagant rifles, SKS carbines, and AK-47s/AKMs/AK-74s, (along with heavier stuff) and simply go, go, GO. They made millions and millions, and sent them to every corner of their union, and to all their outlying puppet states -- and then sent the technology, including whole factories to those places as well, and told them go, go, GO!

The eastern bloc was very long on mass production and rugged reliability (with weapons at least) but very short on efficiency and inventory control.

If you get the chance, read C.J. Chivers' The Gun (http://www.amazon.com/Gun-C-J-Chivers/dp/0743270762/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1325997511&sr=8-1). Tons of great info in there about this stuff. I don't have the book right to hand at the moment, but he cites one of the ex-eastern bloc countries (Bulgaria I think. Maybe it was Romania.) as conducting an inventory during the last decade to try and figure out how much of their military gear was still sitting around and hadn't been stolen and/or sold on the black market. At the time, even with all the losses, they had on hand one hundred AKMs for every single soldier in their army. :scrutiny: :what: Wow.

undeRGRound
March 24, 2013, 10:32 PM
"Correction" Correction:

http://www.millerhighlife.com/ageVerify.aspx

:D

Personally, I like well-aged 2010 vintage. LOL



:banghead: D'oh!

My bad, either I need to use my reading glasses on the computer now
or turn up the magnification LOL!!!
I'd have a High Life OR a Lite with ya, Bro!!!
Or even a High Life Light! :D CHEERS, InkED!

Good Post, wish I had a couple AK's instead of this really nice AR I got...
Ammo is so much cheaper and easy to get... saw 20rd for $6.99 at Gander,
10 box limit! Anyone know where is the best place to get a decent AK or SKS???
(Keeping the AR BTW) :neener:

Lj1941
March 24, 2013, 10:37 PM
:cool:I like the Soviet weapons because #1 They are functional #2 They are resonably priced #3 You can buy the ammo without taking out a a bank loan #4 Most of them are C & R weapons which I can buy without a lot of red tape.The calibers are fairly good for their designed purpose. I own 3 long guns and 3 handguns in Communist Bloc calibers.The rifles are in 762x54R and 762x39.The handguns are in 762x25,762x38R & 9x18. 2 of the three are good shooters and the 762x38R is a neat piece of history to look at.That's my story and I'm sticking to it!:)

meanmrmustard
March 24, 2013, 10:41 PM
:banghead: D'oh!

My bad, either I need to use my reading glasses on the computer now
or turn up the magnification LOL!!!
I'd have a High Life OR a Lite with ya, Bro!!!
Or even a High Life Light! :D CHEERS, InkED!

Good Post, wish I had a couple AK's instead of this really nice AR I got...
Ammo is so much cheaper and easy to get... saw 20rd for $6.99 at Gander,
10 box limit! Anyone know where is the best place to get a decent AK or SKS???
(Keeping the AR BTW) :neener:
Armslist is literally littered with SKS.

Check your local listings. Bring us price information. Don't be gouged.

YZ
March 24, 2013, 10:51 PM
The bolt safety in Mosin rifles was built with no consideration whatsoever for the future needs of pampered American men. No Red Army soldier ever complained.

Seriously, safety features aren't exactly what the Soviet weapons of all kinds have been famous for. Beside that, the Mosin-Nagant was designed in the 1880's. It had already been outdated before WW2 began.

fireside44
March 24, 2013, 11:01 PM
The bolt safety in Mosin rifles was built with no consideration whatsoever for the future needs of pampered American men. No Red Army soldier ever complained.

Summary execution is a great deterrent.

-v-
March 25, 2013, 03:33 AM
I think one of the draws of Russian weapons is also the different their manual of arms and a different view on weapons. As Ohi Gun Guy pointed out, the Russian philosophy is "it has to be good enough." The Mosin was a good enough bolt action rifle, the T34 was a good enough tank in WW2, and the AK remains a good enough assault rifle. Their true strength lies in their ease of manufacture and reliability. What the Russians learned in WW2 was that logistics and numbers win wars. The Panzer IV was a more refined and better tank then the T34, but the fact that the Russians built more T34's then Germany built tanks of all types gave the '34 a serious edge. The Tiger I, II, and Panther tanks were superior to anything on the battlefield...when one of them actually was reliable enough to get to the battlefield.

Likewise, the AR is a superior rifle versus the AK, but considering IzMash was able to make something like 40,000 AK's in a single day during the depths of the cold war meant that this slight advantage of the AR would be instantly buried under the sheer availability of the AK - and the AK could do 95% of what the AR could. I call that 'good enough'!

In some regards they AR-15 and the AK also have some interesting intersections. The AK was built as a throw-away rifle. It would be issued with 4 magazines, and the whole setup was bomb proof. When the barrel wears out, toss it in the scrap pile and get another. The AR was built with the idea of single use disposable magazines, but every other part on the AR could be switched out, changed, and replaced with minimal hassle. If the barrel is worn, replace the barrel, if the bolt is old, put a new bolt in. Standardized parts at its finest....except for the magazine. That whole single use magazine thing never panned out, and now we are stuck trying to make a throw-away magazine last many uses....oopse!

Inebriated
March 25, 2013, 04:11 AM
I'm not too into Russian guns, but the AK will forever remain my favorite rifle.

ifit
March 25, 2013, 04:36 AM
i also have a fondness for russian firearms, have more of them than anything else in my safe:)

undeRGRound
March 25, 2013, 05:40 AM
Armslist is literally littered with SKS.

Check your local listings. Bring us price information. Don't be gouged.
Thx MeanMrMustard!

68wj
March 25, 2013, 07:48 AM
I have been intrigued by most, but only the VZ.58 has gotten me to spend my money. Fantastic rifle.

Deus Machina
March 25, 2013, 08:09 AM
I'm a fan of soviet hardware of most kinds.
Sometimes some countries' search of perfection or price-vs-quality leaves things unable to function or tough to repair (German methods, anyone?) when 'good enough' means it actually works.
When Germans need a part for Gewehr 1947 model E Mk3.6 and none else will work, and Americans may need that particular barrel wrench, and Japanese guns function when they're not supposed to (one of the Nambu pistols), Ivan can drop any of 27 million bolts into his rifle and go.
And if only 17 million of them would work, and those are on the Western front and he's on the Eastern, he can force-fit the stuff with tools that any basic handyman has in his garage.
As a practical engineer in training, the best design feature of any product is that it functions. All the time.

stubbicatt
March 25, 2013, 09:22 AM
I follow your historical bent on this thread InkEd.

I remember cowering under my little school desk in 1966, waiting for the mushroom cloud to appear that would vaporize my family, and I remember hoping that my mother could find a little desk to hide under and be safe like me. I remember all of the propaganda forced on me as a child in the USA, by my teachers, et. al. We were told so many different untruths. I remember being afraid to try to learn anything about the USSR for fear of being labeled a communist, which was illegal in those days. May still be illegal for all I know, though now they have created other bugbears to focus my fright upon, and which the .gov may joust with to show me that they have it "all under control."

No first amendment infringement by making membership in a political party illegal, now is there? Nah....

I think about the USSR in 1925 or thereabouts, when the Reds had consolidated power. The industrialization which took place in the following few decades is remarkable. To start from zero to producing weapons superior to long industrialized Germany by 1945. Give credit where it is due. The Germans copied many of the design points of the T34 in their Panther, and the SVT40 in their Gew 43, and even later in the G3 and the Belgians in their FAL.

Once I sort out the Xenophobia, and cull through our own propaganda, and try to see the accomplishments of those people of those days without filtered lenses, I can see great progress, remarkable in itself. It is unfortunate about the Stalinist death warrants etc... :uhoh: (Not at all like the Patriot Act which allows warrantless arrests and the suspension of Habeas Corpus, nor the right to a trial, if one is designated an "enemy combatant," or the missile rather than a trial if you are an American accused of a domestic crime, residing abroad... but I digress.)

As far as Soviet weapons design goes, nobody in his right mind who has ever used or handled a SVT40 can call that design crude or non ergonomic. That is an elegant, refined, rifle, with technology way ahead of its time. And this was designed in the mid 30's, and built in the 1940's while bombs were dropping on the factory, in a country with no history of industrial endeavor, whose government initiated industrialization maybe 10 years earlier! The SVT 40 makes the Garand appear crude and stone age by comparison. Try shooting 200 grain 30-06 ammo in a Garand... You can shoot 200 grain or even 145 grain ammo in the SVT40 without any damage to the rifle whatsoever. Versatility and integrated design are apparent in that rifle.

The Mosin Nagant was hopelessly outdated by the time the war broke out, but again, nobody can persuade me that it was inaccurate, and it in many ways proved itself up to the task. The Soviet sniper corps performed remarkably in that war, and outshone their contemporaries in the field with that old, clunky, rifle, shooting ammunition with powder made out of old sweatsox and dirty knickers.

The Nagant "gas seal" revolver? Pretty anemic cartridge, but the NKVD and other death squads roaming the battlefield found it adequate for their nefarious purposes, and the design itself is certainly singular. It is fascinating to study. The PPsh, and other weapons, crude, but easily manufactured, and very effective. The PPS, manufactured in Leningrad while under seige, by a disparate series of little workshops scattered about the city, by people who had never manufactured anything in their lives. That is a testament to the will to survive, and not be enslaved by the "master race."

So to me, when I hold these weapons I can marvel at their design, and the ease of manufacture. They are effective when the tactics for their deployment suit their strengths. Given the place from where the designers started, very much an agrarian economy, with very little manufacturing ability, the designs are even more remarkable. :cool:

That the fledgling Soviet experiment was able to repel an armed force which up until Operation Barbarossa had been undefeated... whether by the Poles, the French, the British, or anybody, using these "poor quality" weapons, says a lot about tenacity and grit. I remember reading somewhere that of all the men born in 1923 in the Soviet Union, 3% survived the Great Patriotic War.

InkEd
March 25, 2013, 10:57 AM
Great post!

The tenacity of the Soviets is one thing that is never questioned.

Aaron1100us
March 25, 2013, 11:33 AM
I love them as well if you can't tell? :)

Russian Dragunov Tiger
181866

Bulgarian made but still Russian design. SLR-101S
181867

Sent from my SCH-R760 using Tapatalk 2

tmccray45
March 25, 2013, 11:49 AM
I too have a few Russian rifles (three 91/30's, 2 M44's, 2 SKS's, and one Makarov pistol. I really enjoy taking them all to the range.

"Stubbicatt" triggered a memory from my childhood having to do with the Soviet Union.
I too remember having the "duck 'n cover" drills in elementary school. "If you see a bright flash, get under your desk as quickly as you can and link your hands behind your neck." As I recall, the Soviet Union was this nebulous unseen hoard of people who had nothing but hatred of everything that the bright and virtuous United States stood for.

Then, in 5th grade, my eyes were opened a bit. Mrs. Lewis was the teacher that will always be my favorite teacher - the teacher that believed in questioning everything. She taught us French, we watched advanced science movies, she taught a bit of algebra and geometry, and we were all encouraged to read much beyond our grade level. She even went out in the woods, picked some wild mushrooms, and cooked them in class so that we could experience "foreign" foods. (I lived in a fairly poor area of a county outside Washington, DC.)

One day, Mrs. Lewis announced a class trip. We were going to take a school bus into Washington DC and were going to visit the embassy of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics - the USSR. (This would have been in 1955 - McCarthyism was still running strong. The worst thing you could be was a "commie".)

I remember walking down the street with the rest of the class and turning into the grounds of the embassy. We went through the doors of a rather imposing Victorian building and the whole time I was thinking that all of us were going to be kidnapped, taken to the Soviet Union, forced into a labor camp, and we would never see our parents again.

A member of the embassy staff came out, gave us a brief talk and handed out copies of a big magazine called "Soviet Life". Inside were pictures of happy peasants harvesting wheat, happy factory workers making stoves and refrigerators, happy children in school. Not a picture of a jet or tank could be seen. He served cookies to our class - again, I was sure that they were laced with a drug that would make us compliant with their wishes. (Remember this was 5th grade and my imagination knew no bounds. . .)

After we finished our cookies, the embassy finally "released" us and after the bus ride back, we returned to the embrace of our mothers and fathers. I kept my copy of "Soviet Life" for many years, but during one of my moves, it was misplaced. (Because it was 1955, I'm sure that the entire class was photographed as we made our way into, and then out of, the embassy. Some "government man" had to wonder why those kids were going to visit the Soviet embassy. Perhaps it was a mass defection.)

YZ
March 25, 2013, 11:57 AM
Stubbicatt
I appreciate your thoughtful comments. As you discard a lot of old wash, just be careful not to toss away the baby. It seems easy today to poopoo the soviet threat back in the 60s or early 80's but it was real. Most of the propaganda I have read was largely true, if not in every detail. How do I know? Trust me.
--------------
Born in the USSR
Grew up in Leningrad
Junior lieutenant Navy Reserve
Uncle was born in 1923, gravely wounded in the spine. One of the 3% I guess.
Dad also fought in WW2, wounded lightly. Both are alive today.

-v-
March 25, 2013, 12:22 PM
An other one that's left out: The TT33 handgun. For anyone who has ever disassembled one: simplicity personified. Truth be told, I'm always more then a little surprised that little guy can even function, considering the entire trigger pack is 6 parts counting the 2 pins, spring, and housing. Yet, it somehow provides a relatively good trigger pull and a rather ingenious safety method for a service pistol: Half cock locks the trigger and the sear, and moving it to full cock unlocks everything. Other neat features: integrating the magazine feed lips directly into the gun. No worries abut damaged magazines that way.

YZ
March 25, 2013, 12:42 PM
Yep, that's modularity, ahead of its time. This refined simplicity is born out of ingenuity. In the Soviet times, when much of everything else lingered in mediocrity, the best and the brightest were drawn to weapon engineering. Their efforts were underwritten and ultimately rewarded by their employer, the state with no checks or balances.
Feodor Tokarev of the TT was imperial Russia's legacy. He improved on a classic JM Browning design (1908 if I remember correctly?) -enough said.

Prince Yamato
March 25, 2013, 12:55 PM
I've always liked Soviet weapon design, especially the way the cartridges use the same casings (necked down) to save in production costs. It's something I think we could learn from to save manufacturing costs. Easier to produce one size and cut it than multiple different sizes.

Robert
March 25, 2013, 01:16 PM
The PPSH43 I shot was pretty neat. Other than that, meh.

Pointshoot
March 25, 2013, 01:51 PM
I first got interested in eastern Bloc rifles many years ago when I read an article on putting a scout rifle together with a Mosin carbine. The attraction was that the guns were very cheap, ammo was very cheap, and you could work on them without fear of damaging a valuable gun. I came to appreciate the simplicity & ruggedness of the Russian designs. A lot of people in the West put down these guns. The designs aren't as refined as ours. Like Soviet type military equipment designs in general, - they went with simple/reliable/tough/make a lot of 'em as a philosophy.

YZ
March 25, 2013, 02:03 PM
Soviet firearms are what they are. Clever designs, originality, uneven workmanship, unforgiving ergonomics (AK, no bolt stop), optics as an afterthought. For their mechanical engineering, they are fun to study. They are also historic artifacts. Not everyone's cup of tea, nor should it be.

stubbicatt
March 25, 2013, 05:48 PM
YZ did I understand you to have served in the armed forces of the Soviet Union? I'll bet that was an experience.

As far as throwing the baby out with the bathwater, I'll heed your suggestions. I am happy your uncle and father are still alive, a remarkable feat in longevity to be sure.

I know nothing of Soviet crew served weapons other than initially their automatic grenade launcher had a bad reputation of exploding one in the breach, killing the crew, and sympdet of the remaining ordnance.

Would be a treat to hear of your experiences some day.

I still think the SVT 40 is an elegant and thoughtful design with many forward thinking features, which remains unparalleled, and even more remarkable that it was produced in that day and age in that economy. Remarkable.

YZ
March 25, 2013, 08:37 PM
I was never in active duty. Escaped it just narrowly. Was on a boat one summer as a student, then used to get pulled off work once or twice a year for some dumb exercises, a rough equivalent of the National Guard duty plus a lot of booze. My weapons experience was limited to AK, even that not much because of the assignment. Learned the Mosin actually after I left the USSR in late 80's. Firearm ownership was limited to single shot or double barrel shotguns. Never touched the SVT but your opinion of it rings true.

undeRGRound
March 25, 2013, 09:03 PM
@YZ: You are an interesting fellow! Love to hear more of your experiences,
and even second hand stories from your father and uncle... Would be a very
enlightening session to be sure!

philoe
March 26, 2013, 12:34 AM
There is a certain allure to their weapons.

Kalashnikov creating the AK-47? Probably pure propaganda. Look up Hugo Schmeisser.

YZ
March 26, 2013, 12:36 AM
An interesting story above described a field trip to the Soviet Embassy. The US Consulate in Leningrad was a few blocks away from my elementary school. No visits there. The mansion was guarded by the KGB dressed as plain policemen, ostensibly to protect it from intrusion. The real goal was to block any contact with the population.

Our school had English as foreign language, but nobody would even suggest that, hey, let's drop by the neighbors' some time. The Consulate had a billboard outside with photos and the most innocent depictions of life in America. People just walked by, maybe slowing down to take a glance. The very few who would stop and spend time reading, took their chances of being photographed, ID'd, possibly questioned later... maybe not.

Americans, on the other hand, visited our school often. Mostly teachers. I remember singing and tapping with my class to entertain a bunch of delighted American schoolteachers sitting in the back. They gave us little gifts like Wrigley's chewing gum. That was no small deal. It was currency, real trade value, not sold anywhere legally. But we boys knew better. Everyone knew about poisoned candy distributed by spies and saboteurs in the movies. We decided to test the gift on a black beetle found in the schoolyard. The beetle refused to eat Wrigley's gum. I wish I could remember whether it was Doublemint or Juicy Fruit. We tried our best to make the beetle have it. Finally the beetle died. Aha. The evidence was clear.

Another highlight was a visiting teacher from Seattle. Cultural exchange, I think, so we could send our people accredited by the KGB to America. It was the time of Nixon-Brezhnev de-escalation policies. She was very enthusiastic and optimistic (especially compared to our folks) She had a wild laughter. She showed us a documentary about the Moon trip by Apollo 11. I was older then. It was awesome. No such footage had ever been shown on TV or in theaters.

I was in high school when a delegation of American students came. I had fought rarely, but just happened to have a black eye that day. I didn't want to embarrass my teachers and stood back. The Americans spotted me, and all of a sudden I was in the center of attention. They wanted to know how I got it. I was shy and could only mutter 'boxing" to their great delight. (It was really an accidental briefcase hit).

Things get pulled out of memory like ribbons from a hat.

p.s. i strayed away from the topic. will tell some ww2 stuff as time permits. appreciate your interest really

YZ
March 26, 2013, 12:52 AM
There is a certain allure to their weapons.

Kalashnikov creating the AK-47? Probably pure propaganda. Look up Hugo Schmeisser.
I thought so, too, for a long time. Schmeisser was interned in Russia (basically, detained) for several years after WW2. He worked with Kalashnikov. When he finally was allowed to return to West Germany, he kept mum about his Soviet years. Refused to talk. It is easy to surmise that he had been told to keep his mouth shut, or the long arm of the KGB would reach him anywhere.

Not so simple with Kalashnikov. He did design some improvements to the existing weapons even before WW2, and was talent-spotted by Marshal Zhukov himself. To this day he also hasn't muttered a word on Schmeisser's contribution to the AK project except just recently stating that he had "helped". That doesn't mean anything, but in the 90's, when the floodgates of information opened in the former USSR, not one person stepped forward and told the real story. That was the time when everyone tried to get rich, or at leqast not remain poor, by all means possible. The KGB had weakened its control temporarily. Larger monuments crumbled, yet nobody disavowed Kalashnikov. This much we do know.

MachIVshooter
March 26, 2013, 01:30 AM
I like the SVT and the Drag. Other than that, not a huge fan of Russky guns. I do have a Mosin and a nice Tula laminate SKS, but they're really just a necessary part of the collection, not favorites.

I prefer the M1 Garand to the SVT. It is a more solid, more robust firearm, and a bit more compact.

The Mosin is my least favorite bolt action milsurp. It's crude and lacking in ergonomics.

The Dragunov is a neat rifle, but performance-wise, it really can't hold a candle to the AR-10, so exotic looks and exclusivity are really the only things it has going for it compared to other DMR type rifles.

I will give the Russians that their stuff works, but is almost universally lacking in refinement.

-v-
March 26, 2013, 02:45 AM
YZ - That and looking at the various iterations of Kalashnikov's and the other designer's firearms during the trials to create what became the AK-47, and intermixing evolutionary approach can be seen. Kalashnikov's original rifle had more in common with a FN-FAL (minus the bolt) then it does with what we know of as the AKM.

At that time, since intellectual property was property of the people, each design team was encouraged to adapt any successful elements from other design groups' designs. If I recall, Schmeiser's main contribution could be traced back to figuring out how to properly heat treat stamped AK receiver without having it warp. After all, he was the world expert on manufacturing stamped firearms.

The very high rejection rate of the old approach to heat-treating AK receivers is the reason for the milled AK. I think I recall figures as high as a 50% rejection rate on the original stamped receivers .

I haven't read in detail, but I suspect what Shmeiser contributed to the AK was the approach of heat treating only the holes in the receiver as well as the rails that are then riveted in. This actually produced a better design as the receiver now had an ideal mixture of harder metal around the pins to withstand the direct force, and softer more flexible metal throughout to flex under the stress of firing. Literally the best of both worlds.

I know nothing of Soviet crew served weapons other than initially their automatic grenade launcher had a bad reputation of exploding one in the breach, killing the crew, and sympdet of the remaining ordnance. Can't comment on their AGLs, but I frequently hear that the PKM machine gun is the best GPMG ever made. Very accurate and lighter then a M249, and with the legendary Russian reliability to boot.

YZ
March 26, 2013, 10:49 AM
UnderGRound
There have been people of my background who made it pretty far. There was a guy in the apartment building where I grew up with the wood burning stoves. He wrote dissident poetry, was convicted, exiled, ended up in the US, became congressional poet laureate, and won a Nobel. Josef Brodsky. Another one actually went to a military academy in Leningrad, and retired recently as department chairman at Harvard. A few former spetznaz are around making a living by teaching classes. My Soviet past still confounds some people, and I am not in the business where it's a plus. Makes it fun to have conversations here. Not like some blogs I read previously. The acrimony, the anger, the childish arguments to no end. Good to be taking the high road.

aka108
March 26, 2013, 11:37 AM
Their weapons are strong built, simple, reliable and accurate enough for their intended use. Not much is going to break and no small parts to lose in the field.

YZ
March 26, 2013, 11:55 AM
Speaking of Russian rifles, there is one rarely mentioned anywhere. It isn't military or soviet. It is a .22lr semiauto with a 10 round banana clip named Baikal m161 or close. Molded polymer body resembles the cx4 beretta carbines. No rifle has better fit my shoulder. You know that feeling -hey, this one is for me. It has a tall blade front sight, and a fully adjustablee pistol target rear sight. It is held together by a single well hidden screw. With the screw out, it comes apart to reveal an improved 10/22 action. The recoil spring is in the rear, and the receiver opens up in the back, again by removing one pin. Then the bolt assembly falls out. Compare to the 10/22 where the bolt assembly must be removed and reinserted from the top, against the spring pressure. Also, the charge handle is positively secured to the bolt, no chance of just ripping it out. If you are famiar with AK you would recognize the style - simplify. It is not without flaws. The bolt stop lever spring is flimsy and prone to failure. Not by design, mind it, by the built quality. Still a reliable and accurate shooter. My second one cost me $280+shipping.

68wj
March 26, 2013, 12:10 PM
Not by design, mind it, by the built quality.
I think that is the heart of any pro/con discussion of Russian designs (firearms or otherwise). It really shows the robustness of the design when it can overcome poor manufacturing and still perform as needed.

nathan
March 26, 2013, 12:20 PM
They just plainly works.

ThePenguinKnight
March 26, 2013, 12:25 PM
Speaking of Russian rifles...
When I was browsing around the internet looking for my first 22lr rifle, I somehow discovered the Tula TO3 line, and despite being rather humble looking rifles, I chose the TO3 78-01. I will never part with that rifle if I am at all able. Not quite as consistent as the CZ452, but at 1/3rd the price and significantly lighter, i still like my rifle better. Russia makes some fine shooters, even if you look beyond the military arms.

I have developed a taste for Russian designed weapons. I only have the TO3 78, TO3 99 (semi auto version of the 78), m91/30, and Saiga AK, but i hope to expand my collection as time goes on. I am no fan of Communist philosophy, but they can produce some mighty enjoyable weapons.

YZ I really enjoy reading your stories. I hope you feel comfortable and continue to share :-)

hang fire
March 26, 2013, 01:24 PM
I have a soft spot for Russian guns, but mainly those that were captured by the Finnish.:D
Double dittos on that.

YZ
March 26, 2013, 02:10 PM
Ready for this? Dad fought the Finns.
It was the Continuation War of 1941-44.
Finland had recoiled from Frozen Hell, the Soviet conquest in the winter of 1939-40.
Note the timeline. The USSR was in a friendly pact with Hitler. Poland had been divided in the fall, and Germany had been at war against England and France. Then the Red Army attacked Finland, sustained enormous casualties, and finally overwhelmed the Finns with all its weight. The Nazis gave Finland no support. The Molotov-Ribbentrop nonaggression pact was at work.
The French and the British denounced the aggression but did nothing.
In 1941 came the reversal. Germany invaded the USSR. The Finns recaptured their territory and helped seal Leningrad from the north. They were not allied with Germany. They were co-belligerents, fighting their own war. Strange bedfellows, but as the Russian saying goes, can't strike one verse from the song. It happened. The US never declared war on Finland, the only non-axis power fighting their Russian ally. That was likely the reason the Russians did not capture or lay waste the whole country this time.
In 1944, the siege of Leningrad had been lifted, the Soviets went on the summer offensive. Dad was in the Red Army unit that forced a strategic river. The most dangerous moment of reckoning was when his commander ordered him, a young teenage private, to walk near the front line. The officer wanted to see if there were Finnish snipers hiding in the trees. My Dad was not shot at. He survived, and with him my future life. He never got a medal, just a "good job".
Other than that, he recalls running or marching ahead in a bombed-out forest, already flattened by Soviet artillery and tanks. Dead Finns were everywhere. When the troops sat down for a meal, the bodies were right next to them. So they marched and fired their PPSh until the order came to stop. Finland sued for a seizefire. Stalin was surprisingly willing to accept, apparently to placate the Allies.
My Dad has always reserved admiration for the resilient, hard working Finns. He visited as a tourist during Khruschev's temporary thaw in soviet policies. He also says they were vicious marksmen. They used to stay behind up in the trees as the enemy advanced, and picked out officers. Many red army commanders wore the enlisted men's uniforms.

Cosmoline
March 26, 2013, 02:19 PM
It isn't just a Communist thing. Remember the Mosin-Nagant was designed in 1891, long before the rise of Lenin. The Russian philosophy of arms is different from the American. They tend to favor weapons that embody the old proverb, "the best is the enemy of the good." They don't go in for the switches, levers and gadgets that Americans tend to prefer.

That philosophy produces arms that are renowned for reliability in extreme conditions, easy to field strip and repair, and rarely "improved" with changes. There's a lot to admire about them.

If you want to see what happens when you combine the stalwart Russian designs with adaptive and innovative western approaches, you just look to the Finnish variants. Dozens of sub-types, many design changes and accurizing experiments. Some of the experiments like the "wings" in the M27 were a real failure. Others worked well. But in the span of a few decades the Finns made more changes to the Mosin than the Russians did over a century. It's a telling difference.

You can take this sort of thing too far of course, but I also think you can tell a lot about the British from the SMLE. That constant class warfare is embodied in the magazine cutoff. The rifle is a technical marvel but absolutely not friendly to field stripping. So there's a built-in hierarchy within the design. Yet at the same time it's a design the users took and ran with, learning how to shoot it in unorthodox ways to increase the rate of fire. And the cutoff was pulled in the middle of the war, something of an admission that the soldiers would need to be trusted.

Neo-Luddite
March 26, 2013, 02:20 PM
I came late to the AK, after decades of deriding 'commie hardware'. And so yes at midlife+, I must admit ~ An AK is certainly no M-1, but an M-1 is *NO* AK. And there is truth in the Soviet axiom; Great is the enemy of Good. I've got almost 5K through my as yet un-cleaned Cugir AK over seven years; it hasn't failed once. Within 200 yards it is a terror.

newglockguy
March 26, 2013, 02:24 PM
Because that 7.62x39 round is so fun to shoot out of the SKS and AK platforms and the 7.62x54r makes a big boom too =)

morcey2
March 26, 2013, 02:39 PM
In Soviet Russia, rifle collects you.

I got into them because they were cheap to shoot and interesting. I'm a WWII buff and love the history behind them. I've got a couple of Finn captured M91/30's and I know that they've been to war because the Finns couldn't afford for them not to be. It's also fun to be able to have a 70+ year old, $90 rifle that was considered obsolete by many at the time it was produced out-shoot a $1200 brand-spankin-new rifle. Doesn't happen with every one, but it does happen. :)

Matt

chrisTx
March 26, 2013, 02:39 PM
The Soviets were creative. Who would have ever thought about making a rifle with a muzzle blast so large, that upon firing, the enemy ducked for cover from incoming artillery fire. Long live the M44!

stubbicatt
March 26, 2013, 03:01 PM
I prefer the M1 Garand to the SVT. It is a more solid, more robust firearm, and a bit more compact.

The Dragunov is a neat rifle, but performance-wise, it really can't hold a candle to the AR-10, so exotic looks and exclusivity are really the only things it has going for it compared to other DMR type rifles.
You are of course entitled to your preferences. However, while I really like the Garand, I would like to see you shoot some 200 grain special purpose bullets through it side by side with someone shooting 200 grain marker or incendiary or tracer bullets through an SVT. How many rounds do you suppose you will get out the tube of the Garand before the weapon fails? How many rounds the SVT? If you were to say that the Garand is a heavier rifle, I would not dispute that. However, 8 rounds compared to 10, a detachable box magazine, ready acceptance of stripper clips, muzzle brake, all these features of the SVT are objectively better than the Garand. If you add in the early SVT model's ease of accepting optics, there really is no comparison.

In some ways advances in technology spares firearms. In other ways it doesn't. The Dragunov SVD is an early 1960s development, which has no parallel of which I am aware in the US inventory of that time. Closest thing to it is the M14 I guess, if decked out with a scope. Even then, scoping a M14 has been an elusive goal, until recent times. As a dedicated marksman's rifle, the SVD has pretty much held a solitary place in any Order of Battle until recently, vis the USA, which has only recently developed tactics which employ a DMR.

The SVD was eclipsed by the MSG90 by H&K as deployed in the German army, but until then, it was the best, and only, such rifle in any nation's inventory, AFAIK. (PSL excluded).

As far as an AR10 (not the first generation AR10 as designed by Stoner prior to the M16), this is a very recent development which exploits modern metallurgy and production techniques, along with a design which allows for a fully floated barrel. In rested accuracy with quality ammunition it will shoot tighter groups. Even so, I would only rate as "equivalent" an AR 10 to the SVD, and "inferior" if one evaluates optics side by side. The hasty "choke" rangefinder on .mil SVD allows for much quicker ranging, and the elevation knob allows for instantaneous range adjustment. Windage evaluation and compensation on any scope is going to be the same, and not readily addressed in any purely optical solution of which I am aware.

On the other hand, if one has the time, and is shooting from a prepared defensive position, the AR 10 with a mildot reticle, deployed with a shooter and a spotter, will probably be better suited to that type of tactics than a SVD. If on the offensive, the mildot reticle and mil/mil elevation knob is not as well suited to hasty SDM marksmanship as will be an SVD.

It is my opinion that even today, with the incremental improvements made to the SVD since its introduction all those years ago, it is a contender in its role. Other than the MSG90, which I deem slightly superior to the SVD, there is nothing in US inventory which is its better.

YZ
March 26, 2013, 03:24 PM
In Soviet Russia, rifle collects you.

I got into them because they were cheap to shoot and interesting. I'm a WWII buff and love the history behind them. I've got a couple of Finn captured M91/30's and I know that they've been to war because the Finns couldn't afford for them not to be. It's also fun to be able to have a 70+ year old, $90 rifle that was considered obsolete by many at the time it was produced out-shoot a $1200 brand-spankin-new rifle. Doesn't happen with every one, but it does happen. :)

Matt
Matt:
Which $1200 modern rifle did your Mosin outshoot?

YZ
March 26, 2013, 03:45 PM
If you want to see what happens when you combine the stalwart Russian designs with adaptive and innovative western approaches, you just look to the Finnish variants. Dozens of sub-types, many design changes and accurizing experiments. Some of the experiments like the "wings" in the M27 were a real failure. Others worked well. But in the span of a few decades the Finns made more changes to the Mosin than the Russians did over a century. It's a telling difference.
.
The Finns built the Valmet submachine gun in 1926. The Soviet PPSh types were based on it.

Finland has long been home to a reputable firearm industry well beyond its own military capacity. Another example is the Czech Republic. That said, even the Finns are mortals. I bought once a Tikka rifle because of its super slick bolt action and the rep to boot. It turned out to be accurate for the first 15 rounds or so. When the barrel heated up, I couldn't hit a barn wall.
Russian firearms have this advantage, the expectations are low. So when they perform, they bestow happiness. When they don't, well, commie weapons, could be worse.

morcey2
March 26, 2013, 04:12 PM
Matt:
Which $1200 modern rifle did your Mosin outshoot?

Remington 700 of some type in 30-06 v. Hungarian M44. Both were shot with iron sights and handloads by the same person (Son-In-Law who is a great shot and has much better eyes that I do.) The Remington consistently had 2.5" 5-shot groups. The Hun consistently had sub 1.5" groups.

Once the scope attach to the remington, it wasn't even a contest but I wasn't going to put a scope on the Hun to continue the test.

My SIL's father wouldn't believe it and that's where the $1200 comes from. He complained for a week.

Matt

YZ
March 26, 2013, 07:16 PM
The sights on the Mosin are actually good for deliberate shots, and the rifle weight helps in a contest. I used to own an m44. It may be that the folded bayonet serves as a muzzle weight.
The infantrymen have always been encouraged to dial in the estimated distance. The only legacy part on the original ak may have been the Mosin rear sight.

morcey2
March 26, 2013, 07:51 PM
I think the sights had a lot to do with it. I'd take the mosin sights over almost any mauser sight any day, even though I have more mausers. It gets more that way every year I get older. :)

Matt

YZ
March 26, 2013, 11:17 PM
My 1946 Izhevsk M44 was apparently unfired when I got it, but it shot high at any distance. From what I've heard, soldiers were not allowed to tinker, each had to learn his rifle and adjust his aim accordingly. There is an easy way to fix it though, if anyone reading this needs it.

YZ
March 27, 2013, 01:04 AM
The hasty "choke" rangefinder on .mil SVD allows for much quicker ranging, and the elevation knob allows for instantaneous range adjustment. Windage evaluation and compensation on any scope is going to be the same, and not readily addressed in any purely optical solution of which I am aware

I miss those hasty adjustments dearly. Would buy such scope in a heartbeat
, but all I've seen were AK mounted surplus at gunshows.

hang fire
March 27, 2013, 01:13 AM
The Soviets were creative. Who would have ever thought about making a rifle with a muzzle blast so large, that upon firing, the enemy ducked for cover from incoming artillery fire. Long live the M44!
Concussion grenade and falme thrower combo.

ElPasoCounty
March 27, 2013, 01:36 AM
The reason that Russian & Eastern block rifles are so popular is because we ran out of the Surplus US stuff at the local gun store.

I remember as a youngster you could pick up a Garand or Springfield at just about any good gun shop. Back then you didn't see very many folks with SKSs or Mosins...Or an AK copy of any sort. It's the market that has made them popular...

I've demiled hundreds of Ex Warsaw Pact designed/produced firearms in all different flavors. I'll probably never see that many stamped and cast parts in one place in my life again...

The crates they came in were cool though.

YZ
March 27, 2013, 09:14 AM
I hear every now and then at work, "my teenage son wants an ak for his nteenth birthday!" I think the video games have a role here, badass images and all. When asked I suggested a new AR back when those were $200 more or so.

kerreckt
March 27, 2013, 09:33 AM
During my working life I was involved with eastern bloc small arms a great deal. I quickly learned there is a real genius about them. Even things that we first thought of as flaws or poor design was indeed an intended design feature. The first thing that comes to mind is the loose tolerances by our standards. We recognize that now as making them more dependable with a variety of ammo and the lack of cleaning. My involvement started in the 1970's when most Americans had not seen much less dis-assembled and mic'd an AK47 or a RPG. I went into it with an attitude that these things were certainly inferior to what we had. Other words typical American arrogance. I quickly gained a great deal of respect for their understanding of the intended users of these arms and their level of training or lack of training. This continued to the day I retired from firearms evaluation work. These folks are crazy like a fox. I don't think our government still fully appreciates their way of thinking and the design genius that results.

Sergei Mosin
March 28, 2013, 12:17 AM
A friend of mine once described the Mosin-Nagant as "for peasants, by peasants." There's more than a little truth to that. It's as close to soldier-proof as a rifle can be.

I like my Mosins for their variety, for their history, and for being able to assemble a nice collection without breaking the bank. And I really like the fireballs the carbines make. :)

cal30_sniper
March 28, 2013, 01:04 PM
Remington 700 of some type in 30-06 v. Hungarian M44. Both were shot with iron sights and handloads by the same person (Son-In-Law who is a great shot and has much better eyes that I do.) The Remington consistently had 2.5" 5-shot groups. The Hun consistently had sub 1.5" groups.

Once the scope attach to the remington, it wasn't even a contest but I wasn't going to put a scope on the Hun to continue the test.

My SIL's father wouldn't believe it and that's where the $1200 comes from. He complained for a week.

Matt

Sounds like your son in law needs to learn how to shoot iron sights. Adding a scope doesn't make the rifle any more accurate, it just makes the shooter more accurate. I would certainly agree that the mosins have a better sight picture than Mausers though, little contest there. That V/inverted V sight picture is absolutely awful for trying to lay down groups.

Last week at the range, I had my SA M1A Bush Rifle, my SA Garand, my Savage 10 in .308 with a weaver K2.5 scope, and my 1908 Brazilian Mauser. My buddy went out with me and brought his 1932 manufacture Tula M91/30 hex receiver. Using military ball ammo, the Mosin was the most accurate of the group. The M1A, the Savage, and the Garand all averaged 2.5MOA with HP and HXP surplus ammo respectively. The Brazilian shot about 3" groups with PPU ammo. I picked up his Mosin, and using Tula steel cased ammo, layed down a 5-shot 1.5" group at 100 yards. So yes, the Mosin was more accurate than a $1200 rifle (the M1A). Then again, the M1A is significantly shorter, a semi-auto, and utilizes detachable magazines and a sight picture that is much quicker to get on target. I also picked up a box of my handloads right afterwards and shot a 1.4" 5-shot group out of my M1A. I have no clue what the Mosin would do with handloads, because I don't load for that caliber. None of them would hold a candle to my Swede rifles however.

morcey2
March 28, 2013, 01:14 PM
Sounds like your son in law needs to learn how to shoot iron sights. Adding a scope doesn't make the rifle any more accurate, it just makes the shooter more accurate. I would certainly agree that the mosins have a better sight picture than Mausers though, little contest there. That V/inverted V sight picture is absolutely awful for trying to lay down groups.

Last week at the range, I had my SA M1A Bush Rifle, my SA Garand, my Savage 10 in .308 with a weaver K2.5 scope, and my 1908 Brazilian Mauser. My buddy went out with me and brought his 1932 manufacture Tula M91/30 hex receiver. Using military ball ammo, the Mosin was the most accurate of the group. The M1A, the Savage, and the Garand all averaged 2.5MOA with HP and HXP surplus ammo respectively. The Brazilian shot about 3" groups with PPU ammo. I picked up his Mosin, and using Tula steel cased ammo, layed down a 5-shot 1.5" group at 100 yards. So yes, the Mosin was more accurate than a $1200 rifle (the M1A). Then again, the M1A is significantly shorter, a semi-auto, and utilizes detachable magazines and a sight picture that is much quicker to get on target. I also picked up a box of my handloads right afterwards and shot a 1.4" 5-shot group out of my M1A. I have no clue what the Mosin would do with handloads, because I don't load for that caliber. None of them would hold a candle to my Swede rifles however.


He knows how to shoot quite well with iron sights, but the sights on the remington were lousy. He can shoot 1" groups all day with my 1903 and my Marlin 60 (50 yards for the 22).

Completely agree on the swedes. It's on my very long short-list.

Matt

cal30_sniper
March 28, 2013, 03:09 PM
He knows how to shoot quite well with iron sights, but the sights on the remington were lousy. He can shoot 1" groups all day with my 1903 and my Marlin 60 (50 yards for the 22).

Completely agree on the swedes. It's on my very long short-list.

Matt

True, and deserving of correction. Some rifles have some really lousy sights that are not conducive to accuracy at all. Still, the Rem 700 is designed for use with a scope, with backup irons only as a dire necessity. Comparing the Rem 700 with cheapo iron sights not really designed to be used to a Mosin with very good iron sights designed to be used exclusively isn't very fair at all. I'd also think you'd be a bit hard pressed get anything close to $1200 for a used Rem 700 with only iron sights unless it had some serious work done to it. The Mosins are good rifles for what they are. Enfields, Mausers, Springfields, or good sporting rifles, however, they really can't compare to.

meanmrmustard
March 28, 2013, 04:58 PM
True, and deserving of correction. Some rifles have some really lousy sights that are not conducive to accuracy at all. Still, the Rem 700 is designed for use with a scope, with backup irons only as a dire necessity. Comparing the Rem 700 with cheapo iron sights not really designed to be used to a Mosin with very good iron sights designed to be used exclusively isn't very fair at all. I'd also think you'd be a bit hard pressed get anything close to $1200 for a used Rem 700 with only iron sights unless it had some serious work done to it. The Mosins are good rifles for what they are. Enfields, Mausers, Springfields, or good sporting rifles, however, they really can't compare to.
Its a shame we are talking Soviet rifles.

A good Finnish Mosin would give a good run to all those you listed.

j1
March 28, 2013, 05:04 PM
Maybe kicking the Nazi,s butts helped endear the rifles to the world.

cal30_sniper
March 28, 2013, 05:43 PM
Its a shame we are talking Soviet rifles.

A good Finnish Mosin would give a good run to all those you listed.

Shooting at targets from a stationary position, yes. If you told me I was going into combat with one, Enfield hands down. Faster, smoother action, much better sights, and much easier to weild. Second place would fall to the Schmidt Rubin, and third place to a Springfield or Mauser of any type. The Mosin would come in a distant fourth, just ahead of the Carcano/Arisaka crowd. I don't have any experience with the French or Austrian crowd, so I wouldn't venture to rank those.

The Mosin Nagant was mass produced by a bloated and nealy bankrupt empire that was desperately trying to compete as a major player in Europe. The common citizen was extremely backward, and Imperial Russia's industrial complex was extremely poor at the time the rifle was designed and introduced. Things had improved slightly by the 30s and 40s when designs such as the SVT, SKS, and AK started to appear, but it wasn't until the post-WWII era that the Soviets had the industrial or technical skill to mass produce such designs. That of course also came on the backs of millions worked to death in forced labor camps to get there (as well as a lot of scientists, technology, and capital stolen away from occupied Germany at the end of the war). Little wonder that their main issue rifle was for so many years inferior to what the western countries issued.

-v-
March 28, 2013, 06:08 PM
I guess you missed the little notice that the USSR made more SVT-40's then the US made of the "technologically superior" M1 Garand.

The Soviet and Russian philosophy in general is to concentrate technology where it will make the greatest impact. On the battlefield, the two pieces of equipment that gets you the most results are Tanks and Artillery. Soviet designs excelled in both. Rifles and small arms were not given as much emphasis because they weren't what was consistently getting the biggest results.

Plus, the AK-47 was the first mass issued assault rifle. It wasn't untill the 1960's that the US caught up and started issuing an analogous weapon. M14 is a good rifle, but its also little more then a product-improved M1 Garand, whose design specifications were driven by the Revolutionary War concept of the marksman turning the battle from long range versus the reality of the short range firefights where the side with the most volume wins.

Again, which is why the USSR also manufactured over 6 million PPSh-41 sub machine guns.

meanmrmustard
March 28, 2013, 06:15 PM
Shooting at targets from a stationary position, yes. If you told me I was going into combat with one, Enfield hands down. Faster, smoother action, much better sights, and much easier to weild. Second place would fall to the Schmidt Rubin, and third place to a Springfield or Mauser of any type. The Mosin would come in a distant fourth, just ahead of the Carcano/Arisaka crowd. I don't have any experience with the French or Austrian crowd, so I wouldn't venture to rank those.

The Mosin Nagant was mass produced by a bloated and nealy bankrupt empire that was desperately trying to compete as a major player in Europe. The common citizen was extremely backward, and Imperial Russia's industrial complex was extremely poor at the time the rifle was designed and introduced. Things had improved slightly by the 30s and 40s when designs such as the SVT, SKS, and AK started to appear, but it wasn't until the post-WWII era that the Soviets had the industrial or technical skill to mass produce such designs. That of course also came on the backs of millions worked to death in forced labor camps to get there (as well as a lot of scientists, technology, and capital stolen away from occupied Germany at the end of the war). Little wonder that their main issue rifle was for so many years inferior to what the western countries issued.
Smoother bolt than an M39? Surely you gist, sir.

Higher capacity...yup. Enfield has that down pat.

But one need only use M39 sights to experience superiority. 10 rounds doesn't amount to a thing if the other chap has hit you first. I don't know about you, but a Mosin bolt is quite fast, and doesn't operate on the "cock on close" principle. If I didn't love my M/38 Swede mauser so much, I'd be tempted to modify it.

Easier to wield? Jungle Carbine maybe? How's about an M44!

Thank you for the history lesson, but alas, we are talking Soviet rifles vs the World. The superiority of the Finnish refurbs must take a back seat on this one.

P.s: I do love me a K31. Talk about fast and accurate!

YZ
March 28, 2013, 06:48 PM
Smoother bolt than an M39? Surely you gist, sir.

Higher capacity...yup. Enfield has that down pat.

But one need only use M39 sights to experience superiority. 10 rounds doesn't amount to a thing if the other chap has hit you first. I don't know about you, but a Mosin bolt is quite fast, and doesn't operate on the "cock on close" principle. If I didn't love my M/38 Swede mauser so much, I'd be tempted to modify it.

Easier to wield? Jungle Carbine maybe? How's about an M44!

Thank you for the history lesson, but alas, we are talking Soviet rifles vs the World. The superiority of the Finnish refurbs must take a back seat on this one.

P.s: I do love me a K31. Talk about fast and accurate!
To keep it all in a perspective: Leon Nagant was Belgian. He was the original contract designer who later had to give up some ground to the Tsar' own Captain Mosin. There was nothing peasant in the 1891 design. The bolt as a matter of fact is rather complex. The Russian Imperial armories could not make them fast enough for the Army during WW1.

Also it is worth remembering, Finland was part of the Russian Empire until the Bolsheviks cut it loose. The 1891 rifle was theirs too by birthright. The Finnish culture of excellence in manufacturing produced refurbs that were better than the originals. But they did not ditch the Mosin-Nagant entirely. Apparently they saw it as a solid development platform, for the time being.

jodavk
March 28, 2013, 06:51 PM
Price. If Springfield 1903s were selling for $99 like the Mosin Nagants; and the M1 Garands were selling for $249 like the SKSs; and ARs were selling for $499 like AKs, then FAR fewer people would touch the Mosins, SKSs, or AKs. (Pre-panic prices, of course...)
My guess is that is why the majority of folks are buying them now. That combined with the availability and cost of the ammo to shoot them. I had no intention of buying anything Russian, but it happened. Now, during these times, most of my rounds going down range are 5.45x39 or 7.62x54r. That said, I have become a US M91 junkie!

meanmrmustard
March 28, 2013, 07:24 PM
To keep it all in a perspective: Leon Nagant was Belgian. He was the original contract designer who later had to give up some ground to the Tsar' own Captain Mosin. There was nothing peasant in the 1891 design. The bolt as a matter of fact is rather complex. The Russian Imperial armories could not make them fast enough for the Army during WW1.

Also it is worth remembering, Finland was part of the Russian Empire until the Bolsheviks cut it loose. The 1891 rifle was theirs too by birthright. The Finnish culture of excellence in manufacturing produced refurbs that were better than the originals. But they did not ditch the Mosin-Nagant entirely. Apparently they saw it as a solid development platform, for the time being.
All very good points.

Iirc, the Finns were double dealing, and had allegiances with the Germans as well.

Nagant didn't have a whole lot to do with the design, probably why you don't hear a lot of folks calling a 91/30 a "Nagant". I like the revolver, though.

YZ
March 28, 2013, 08:45 PM
All very good points.

Iirc, the Finns were double dealing, and had allegiances with the Germans as well.

Nagant didn't have a whole lot to do with the design, probably why you don't hear a lot of folks calling a 91/30 a "Nagant". I like the revolver, though.
Mustard
That is the version traditionally favored in Russia. Mosin, if you noticed, was a purebred homegrown, always an advantage there, under the tsar, and even more so under Stalin and his successors. Nagant, in fact, alleged bias and threatened to sue. (Some people here are wondering today, whether the AK should have been named Schmeisser) I am still waiting for the definitive history on the subject.

meanmrmustard
March 28, 2013, 09:08 PM
Mustard
That is the version traditionally favored in Russia. Mosin, if you noticed, was a purebred homegrown, always an advantage there, under the tsar, and even more so under Stalin and his successors. Nagant, in fact, alleged bias and threatened to sue. (Some people here are wondering today, whether the AK should have been named Schmeisser) I am still waiting for the definitive history on the subject.
Magazine spring attachment is hardly evidence of a bias.

I'm doing my homework, but other than that, not seeing a whole lot of Leon in the Mosin.

YZ
March 28, 2013, 09:36 PM
Nagant's beef was that the high commission had voted for his design but was overruled by the commanding general. Sergey Mosin may have won the day. What I am saying is, the fact that the rifle was not nicknamed Nagant in Russia should not be mistaken for evidence in Mosin's favor. Those were the times when St Petersburg was renamed Petrograd to "russify" it.

stubbicatt
March 29, 2013, 09:46 AM
Each of these small arms designs has its strengths and its weaknesses when compared to the designs of its contemporaries. No question.

Mean, you don't have to like these designs. It's ok. You don't have to like the system which built them either... It's hard to be an advocate for slave labor at gulags. One can point the finger at Soviet "thievery" of German capital and talent at war's end, (where did I read about the Germans stealing all of that artwork from occupied France..., or the US "employing" German rocket scientists), trying to detract from the design or the qualities of these weapons of iron and wood.

Nonetheless, these rifles are pretty slick. Some are very accurate. Most have been through the grinder. For those who appreciate these firearms, they are enough.

:)

Col. Plink
March 29, 2013, 12:39 PM
Many beautiful things come from Russia!

meanmrmustard
March 29, 2013, 02:33 PM
Each of these small arms designs has its strengths and its weaknesses when compared to the designs of its contemporaries. No question.

Mean, you don't have to like these designs. It's ok. You don't have to like the system which built them either... It's hard to be an advocate for slave labor at gulags. One can point the finger at Soviet "thievery" of German capital and talent at war's end, (where did I read about the Germans stealing all of that artwork from occupied France..., or the US "employing" German rocket scientists), trying to detract from the design or the qualities of these weapons of iron and wood.

Nonetheless, these rifles are pretty slick. Some are very accurate. Most have been through the grinder. For those who appreciate these firearms, they are enough.

:)
I think you misunderstand my stance on Soviet rifles.

I am an advocate of the Mosin, and a staunch supporter of all things Kalashnikov.

To quote a quote of a quote of fellow member "caribou", who I think will agree with me in terms of the Finnish Mosin rifles: "Only accurate rifles are interesting".

YZ
March 29, 2013, 05:17 PM
I think you misunderstand my stance on Soviet rifles.

I am an advocate of the Mosin, and a staunch supporter of all things Kalashnikov.

To quote a quote of a quote of fellow member "caribou", who I think will agree with me in terms of the Finnish Mosin rifles: "Only accurate rifles are interesting".
Must be the same guy who said only knives that cut, airplanes that fly, and bourbon that smells bourbon are interesting.
Seriously though, the Mosins had to be accurate. Like other bolt action rifles, it's what they do. The Kalash was built for firepower. Then it gets demilled and neutered into a semi-auto, and people notice it's not a tack driver. A Mosin can fix that.

cal30_sniper
March 29, 2013, 05:42 PM
Each of these small arms designs has its strengths and its weaknesses when compared to the designs of its contemporaries. No question.

Mean, you don't have to like these designs. It's ok. You don't have to like the system which built them either... It's hard to be an advocate for slave labor at gulags. One can point the finger at Soviet "thievery" of German capital and talent at war's end, (where did I read about the Germans stealing all of that artwork from occupied France..., or the US "employing" German rocket scientists), trying to detract from the design or the qualities of these weapons of iron and wood.

Nonetheless, these rifles are pretty slick. Some are very accurate. Most have been through the grinder. For those who appreciate these firearms, they are enough.

:)

I wasn't trying to imply that the plunder of Nazi technology and capital at the end of the war was a bad thing. To the victor go the spoils, and the Soviets had more to do with defeating the Third Reich than anybody else. I was only implying that it had a big hand in the design of later weapons such as the AK.

I guess you missed the little notice that the USSR made more SVT-40's then the US made of the "technologically superior" M1 Garand.

The Soviet and Russian philosophy in general is to concentrate technology where it will make the greatest impact. On the battlefield, the two pieces of equipment that gets you the most results are Tanks and Artillery. Soviet designs excelled in both. Rifles and small arms were not given as much emphasis because they weren't what was consistently getting the biggest results.

Plus, the AK-47 was the first mass issued assault rifle. It wasn't untill the 1960's that the US caught up and started issuing an analogous weapon. M14 is a good rifle, but its also little more then a product-improved M1 Garand, whose design specifications were driven by the Revolutionary War concept of the marksman turning the battle from long range versus the reality of the short range firefights where the side with the most volume wins.

Again, which is why the USSR also manufactured over 6 million PPSh-41 sub machine guns.

The SVT has never been respected for reliability or durability. A neat design, but nowhere near the rugged main battle rifle that the Garand was for the US. The Garand did have a few shortcomings, and most of them were fixed in the M14. Sure, its a heavier rifle than the AK. It also speaks with a lot more authority.

I believe that the title of first mass-issued assault rifle would go to the Sturmgewehr series of rifles. They made nearly half a million of them during WWII. Not really what you would call a limited production assault rifle, and it beat the AK into service by a long shot. The only reason the Germans didn't make more is because the war ended before they could (not to mention what the allied bombing campaign did to production before that). The AK may not have copied its internal design, but it certainly copied the layout and concept.

Don't even get me started on the "spray-and-pray" mentality. There's a reason why US Marines are universally feared in combat. A lot of it has to do with the combination of excellent rifles and fine marksmanship that have historically been utilized by the individual Marine. Just ask some of the Iraqi insurgents how well spraying large volumes of fire with their AKs in short-range firefights worked out for them...

Smoother bolt than an M39? Surely you gist, sir.

Higher capacity...yup. Enfield has that down pat.

But one need only use M39 sights to experience superiority. 10 rounds doesn't amount to a thing if the other chap has hit you first. I don't know about you, but a Mosin bolt is quite fast, and doesn't operate on the "cock on close" principle. If I didn't love my M/38 Swede mauser so much, I'd be tempted to modify it.

Easier to wield? Jungle Carbine maybe? How's about an M44!

Thank you for the history lesson, but alas, we are talking Soviet rifles vs the World. The superiority of the Finnish refurbs must take a back seat on this one.

P.s: I do love me a K31. Talk about fast and accurate!

The Mosin has decent sights for what they are, barrel mounted tangent sights. The Finns are even better, maybe the best of that design of sight. In my opinion, neither of them hold a candle to the receiver mounted aperture sights found on the 03A3, Garand, Model 1914/1917 Enfield, or Enfield No 4 series. They are faster to use, more accurate, and obscure much less of what you are shooting at. They also don't require crawling up on the rifle to adjust the range.

The Finns, just like their Swedish cousins, were very, very good at making accurate rifles. I think the Finn M39 rifles really are something, but they're still a Mosin at heart. Like the AK, it's a clunky and awkward weapon compared to its western contemporaries. The Mosins made for mediocre battle rifles and poor sporting rifles. Cock-on-opening or not, the bolt is smooth but awkward to operate, and nowhere near as fast as the Enfield. Compared to any of the Mausers, it's so-so, and I think the speed of either would be a toss-up based on operator skill. I have found that the Mauser design is much easier to work from the shoulder than the Mosin, at least for a relatively short guy.

Barrel length plays a large role in how handy a rifle is in combat. It also plays a big hand in reducing recoil. The Enfield, Springfield, and K98k Mauser were all designed with a 24-25" long barrel. I've found that due to this, they handle quite a bit better than the 91/30 (which used the same ridiculous 29" barrel length of most of the WWI era Mausers) in any kind of non-static use. I've also always thought that the Soviets went too far when they cut down the Mosin to make the M38/M44. A 20" barrel in that light of a rifle with that powerful of a cartridge makes for very punishing recoil. Maybe acceptable if you're only firing a box of ammo at the range, but I couldn't even imagine shooting and fighting with one all day long for months on end.

As has already been mentioned before, if they weren't so cheap, and they didn't shoot readily available and cheap ammo, Russian/Soviet rifles wouldn't be nearly as popular as they are with American shooters today. The Finns are the exception, and their price certainly reflects that.

cal30_sniper
March 29, 2013, 06:03 PM
I guess you missed the little notice that the USSR made more SVT-40's then the US made of the "technologically superior" M1 Garand.


Also, just where might one find this little notice? The numbers that I'm seeing show that the US made about 4 times as many Garands as the Soviets made SVT-38s and SVT/AVT-40s. Not to mention that our standing army was only a fraction of the size of the Soviet Army.

meanmrmustard
March 29, 2013, 06:52 PM
I wasn't trying to imply that the plunder of Nazi technology and capital at the end of the war was a bad thing. To the victor go the spoils, and the Soviets had more to do with defeating the Third Reich than anybody else. I was only implying that it had a big hand in the design of later weapons such as the AK.



The SVT has never been respected for reliability or durability. A neat design, but nowhere near the rugged main battle rifle that the Garand was for the US. The Garand did have a few shortcomings, and most of them were fixed in the M14. Sure, its a heavier rifle than the AK. It also speaks with a lot more authority.

I believe that the title of first mass-issued assault rifle would go to the Sturmgewehr series of rifles. They made nearly half a million of them during WWII. Not really what you would call a limited production assault rifle, and it beat the AK into service by a long shot. The only reason the Germans didn't make more is because the war ended before they could (not to mention what the allied bombing campaign did to production before that). The AK may not have copied its internal design, but it certainly copied the layout and concept.

Don't even get me started on the "spray-and-pray" mentality. There's a reason why US Marines are universally feared in combat. A lot of it has to do with the combination of excellent rifles and fine marksmanship that have historically been utilized by the individual Marine. Just ask some of the Iraqi insurgents how well spraying large volumes of fire with their AKs in short-range firefights worked out for them...



The Mosin has decent sights for what they are, barrel mounted tangent sights. The Finns are even better, maybe the best of that design of sight. In my opinion, neither of them hold a candle to the receiver mounted aperture sights found on the 03A3, Garand, Model 1914/1917 Enfield, or Enfield No 4 series. They are faster to use, more accurate, and obscure much less of what you are shooting at. They also don't require crawling up on the rifle to adjust the range.

The Finns, just like their Swedish cousins, were very, very good at making accurate rifles. I think the Finn M39 rifles really are something, but they're still a Mosin at heart. Like the AK, it's a clunky and awkward weapon compared to its western contemporaries. The Mosins made for mediocre battle rifles and poor sporting rifles. Cock-on-opening or not, the bolt is smooth but awkward to operate, and nowhere near as fast as the Enfield. Compared to any of the Mausers, it's so-so, and I think the speed of either would be a toss-up based on operator skill. I have found that the Mauser design is much easier to work from the shoulder than the Mosin, at least for a relatively short guy.

Barrel length plays a large role in how handy a rifle is in combat. It also plays a big hand in reducing recoil. The Enfield, Springfield, and K98k Mauser were all designed with a 24-25" long barrel. I've found that due to this, they handle quite a bit better than the 91/30 (which used the same ridiculous 29" barrel length of most of the WWI era Mausers) in any kind of non-static use. I've also always thought that the Soviets went too far when they cut down the Mosin to make the M38/M44. A 20" barrel in that light of a rifle with that powerful of a cartridge makes for very punishing recoil. Maybe acceptable if you're only firing a box of ammo at the range, but I couldn't even imagine shooting and fighting with one all day long for months on end.

As has already been mentioned before, if they weren't so cheap, and they didn't shoot readily available and cheap ammo, Russian/Soviet rifles wouldn't be nearly as popular as they are with American shooters today. The Finns are the exception, and their price certainly reflects that.
I'm seeing a lot of subjectivity here.

Other than the cheap part.

Which only proves that an industrialized Soviet Union could make "crappier weapons" fast, and in large numbers. Hence, a flooded modern market.

While I agree Mausers are finer rifles, you'll notice a deteriorated craftsmanship with later K98Ks during the war, mainly in the stocks and roughness of steelwork and machining. I hold the Swede Mauser in high regard, which was a fine gun from start to finish.

The Enfield...heavy as the Mosin, literally. I don't see that 4" more of barrel making the Russian gun more unwieldy. You've got "Mad Minute" training and ten rounds. That's where I've found the weapon to accel over the Mosin. But not the Finnish.

TCBPATRIOT
March 29, 2013, 09:08 PM
I like Mosins and AKs.

Ignition Override
March 30, 2013, 05:12 AM
meanmrmustard:

The Enfield #4 Mark 1 and 2 series must be as good a rifle as any MN, as these Enfields were the first to be built with rear aperture sights.
The LE ladder sight seems to be the best, compared to the dual 'flip'. I replaced a flip sight with a ladder on one of my #4s.

The 7.62x54R cartridge is more powerful than .303, but it seems to me that it is more difficult for anybody using the MN with normal iron sights to hit a fairly distant target.

I've only looked through the sights of the M-39, but are they somehow better than those on the typical 91/30 or MN 44, 38, 91/59 types?

meanmrmustard
March 30, 2013, 05:52 AM
meanmrmustard:

The Enfield #4 Mark 1 and 2 series must be as good a rifle as any MN, as these Enfields were the first to be built with rear aperture sights.
The LE ladder sight seems to be the best, compared to the dual 'flip'. I replaced a flip sight with a ladder on one of my #4s.

The 7.62x54R cartridge is more powerful than .303, but it seems to me that it is more difficult for anybody using the MN with normal iron sights to hit a fairly distant target.

I've only looked through the sights of the M-39, but are they somehow better than those on the typical 91/30 or MN 44, 38, 91/59 types? I can't really agree that its necessarily more difficult to hit long range with a Mosin due to cartridge type, but sights do make the difference. Although, I've not had the experience of inability, nor hindrance. Just, not as quick?

The sights of the M39 are much superior to those you've listed. Which doesn't take a whole lot. The M28 sights being the basis, the M39 wears a shorter rear battle sight with more precise notch, and the tell-tale front dog ear with thinner post. While minuscule, it is different from other "Soviet" rifles in that its only 1" from the muzzle rather than the nominal 1-1/2". Not much, but its something.

http://62x54r.net/MosinID/MosinM39.htm

Ash
March 30, 2013, 07:52 AM
To keep it all in a perspective: Leon Nagant was Belgian. He was the original contract designer who later had to give up some ground to the Tsar' own Captain Mosin. There was nothing peasant in the 1891 design. The bolt as a matter of fact is rather complex. The Russian Imperial armories could not make them fast enough for the Army during WW1.

The bolt is less complex than a Mauser and is only made up of 7 parts. The Mosin has more than a passing relation to the Berdan II, which was an American design. But in Russia, they didn't even call it a Mosin all that much, they called it "Three Line Rifle." Mosin was responsible for the action and bolt. His first magazine was a butt-stock loading tube that was not as good as other rifles. If you look at drawings for Nagant's rifle, it was not the same rifle.

As to production problems In WWI, armories everywhere were not manufacturing fast enough. Springfield could not manufacturer 1903's fast enough So Remington and Winchester had to make M1917's (twice as many as 1903's), Remington also made Bertheirs for France, P14's for Britain, and Mosins for Russia, not to mention that Winchester was making M1895's for Russia while S&W and Colt Made revolvers for Britain (as did Garate and Trocoala). Spain also manufactured every kind of pocket auto for the parties involved - yet Russia had no problem manufacturing its own stocks of M1895 Nagant revolvers.

Also it is worth remembering, Finland was part of the Russian Empire until the Bolsheviks cut it loose.

The Bolsheviks did not cut Finland loose, Finland declared independence. The Bolsheviks allowed it to happen, but then supported an insurgency that became a civil war in the 1920's between White and Red Finns where thousands died.

The Mosin is a superb design that as a military design out-lasted the M98 Mauser as a military-issued arm. Granted, that was in sniper actions alone, but the Finns and Czechs issued Mosin-action snipers into the 1990's and 2000's (the Finns still have theirs in reserve). The Finnish M28/76 and Tkiv-85 sniper rifles (the latter remains in service) were built on Imperial Russian receivers and can accept any bolt ever made for the Mosin. The VZ-54/91 was essentially an updated M91/30 issued in 1991 and maintained in Czech arsenals until the second decade of the 21st century. These were issue rifles, not merely stored in crates like Yugo Mausers.

That is not to imply that the Mosin was some how the best action ever made, only to point out that it did the job, and did so well enough for armies to issue rifles based on it into the 21st century (making it a design that spanned parts of three centuries). The Finns could have easily have adopted some other design, but chose the Mosin in the 1980's for their sniper rifle. Ditto for the Czechs. While politics played roles (it always plays roles everywhere), the rifles were solid enough to justify that. Stalin might have preferred Tokarev as a designer, but even his favoritism could not keep the SVT-40 in production.

meanmrmustard
March 30, 2013, 09:29 AM
^^^To add to this post, which I could not have written better, I'll add this:

It is also popular belief that the Reds were only superior to other armies in size. I'll agree with this; however, thrusting a weapon into the hands of untrained millions a good army does not make.

Russia's invasion of Finland proves this: Farmers armed with modified weapons of those of their invader ran around for years in the snow slaughtering, starving, and driving out the enemy. In the hands of learned warriors, even a farm implement becomes deadly.

YZ
March 30, 2013, 01:57 PM
The Bolsheviks did not cut Finland loose, Finland declared independence. The Bolsheviks allowed it to happen, but then supported an insurgency that became a civil war in the 1920's between White and Red Finns where thousands died.

I appreciate your interest in the subject. Without saying, Finland was not expelled from the RSFSR. It declared independence. The timing was good, as the bolsheviks could not afford another civil war front right outside Petrograd. And they had to keep their word on the self determination. The Sovnarkom voted on it and decided to let it go, armed with the Marxist theory that a socialist revolution there was imminent.

Ash
March 30, 2013, 03:30 PM
My interest in Finland was helped most by the Finnish Embassy in the US. I wrote them for some ready material and a giant box of hardbound books on early history, the Winter War, Mannerheim, and others arrived in response. I figure a book sent by the Finnish Embassy was probably going to tell it as accurately as it could be.

InkEd
March 30, 2013, 03:59 PM
Yeah... an embassy is a government institution. They will give you "the official" approved version of information on any subject. Ask the German embassy for information about the late 1930s to early 1940s. Somethings will probably "not be mentioned much" so to speak.

YZ
March 30, 2013, 05:20 PM
The Finns ensured their lasting independence by instituting a quiet self-sensorship in the press against publishing anything that might anger the USSR. They always hated to discuss that.

I wonder if anyone has information on whether the Soviet Union supplied Finland with AK components, or the Valmets were entirely Suomi.

Ash
March 30, 2013, 07:34 PM
No, Ink, they sent a number of books, including one written in the Soviet Union that really trashed the Civil Guard and blamed Finland for the Winter War. Unless you know what books I received, you really can't make any kind of conclusion.

Ignition Override
March 30, 2013, 09:36 PM
meanmrmustard:
Good points.
At least the MN sights seem much better than most Mauser sights.
And if somebody can shoot a Russian MN as well as an Enfield #4, that's some very developed skill.

Ash:
There was a Finnish ocean liner parked on a Miss. River levee at Baton Rouge LA after Katrina. The blue Finnish flag emblem was on it.
Supposedly it provided rooms for people with no home. Seem to remember that it was for displaced college students.
Whether that was initiated by a Finnish corporation, or by the Finnish Embassy (or both), it was nice to see while on a jog from a hotel.

I have no idea whether any other foreign cruise lines or Naval Forces might have provided ships for hurricane refugees.

stubbicatt
March 30, 2013, 09:43 PM
I don't know my brothers... but tomorrow I go to the slaughter of countless clay pigeons armed with my trusty Mosin Nagant and Tokarev rifle.

They will never see what's coming...

(Of course, with my declining eyesight, I may never see them either!)

meanmrmustard
March 30, 2013, 09:47 PM
I don't know my brothers... but tomorrow I go to the slaughter of countless clay pigeons armed with my trusty Mosin Nagant and Tokarev rifle.

They will never see what's coming...

(Of course, with my declining eyesight, I may never see them either!)
You will do fine, Comrade.

smithman 10
March 31, 2013, 12:56 AM
I bought a 91/59 from an old gent about 10 years ago. For years I thought it was a Model 38 until I read in and article about the 91/59.

All I know is that it's great fun to shoot and has respectable accuracy at 100 yards with iron sights (I'm 65 years old, mind you).

Plus it's light and easy to carry.

Oh yeah, I think I gave him $100 for it.

I've got a 1903A3 and a M1 Garand, both from CMP, a Colt A2 and a bunch of other rifles. But I think shooting the Mosin is as much fun as shooting any of the others.

I've always been tempted to try a Tokarev pistol but have resisted so far.

-v-
March 31, 2013, 04:46 PM
The SVT has never been respected for reliability or durability. A neat design, but nowhere near the rugged main battle rifle that the Garand was for the US. The Garand did have a few shortcomings, and most of them were fixed in the M14. Sure, its a heavier rifle than the AK. It also speaks with a lot more authority. An yet, the M14 still was a product improvement of the M1 garand that still ignored the lessons learned from WW1 and revisited in WW2. We could say that the Hakim was an even better rifle since it was even harder hitting with the 8mm Mauser Cartridge, but its also acknowledged that for the typical battlefield experience that most firefights happened at under 300 yards. Sure a full power cartridge is useful in a more special purpose application such as in a sniper rifle or DMR setting, but for a main issue rifle?

I believe that the title of first mass-issued assault rifle would go to the Sturmgewehr series of rifles. They made nearly half a million of them during WWII. Not really what you would call a limited production assault rifle, and it beat the AK into service by a long shot. The only reason the Germans didn't make more is because the war ended before they could (not to mention what the allied bombing campaign did to production before that). The AK may not have copied its internal design, but it certainly copied the layout and concept. In that regard, every assault rifle has copied the layout of the STG44. The pistol grip, the butt stock, the detachable box magazine, select fire capability, and an intermediate rifle round is sort of what makes an assault rifle an assault rifle. I'm not really sure how you can call superficial similarities copying. There's only so many ways to put a gas piston on top of the barrel and a magazine sticking out the bottom without having the form look identical. Heck, we might as well drag the FN FAL into this argument, as its a much closer copy of the STG-44 in internal workings and layout then the AK.

Don't even get me started on the "spray-and-pray" mentality. There's a reason why US Marines are universally feared in combat. A lot of it has to do with the combination of excellent rifles and fine marksmanship that have historically been utilized by the individual Marine. Just ask some of the Iraqi insurgents how well spraying large volumes of fire with their AKs in short-range firefights worked out for them...The reason US marines are feared is because they are well trained and disciplined to establish fire superiority and to use their rifle sights. Fighting insurgents is no different then fighting Crack/Meth gangs in Chicago. Both have about the same level of training with their firearms, and a similar mentality. The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have been basically policing actions. We aren't facing trained standing armies, we're facing a bunch of untrained thugs with guns who use them to intimidate the populace. Drawing parallels between how a bunch of criminals (and I include the Iraqi and Afghani insurgents in the category of criminals) use firearms with how a standing army would employ similar arms is dubious.

Again, the Soviet approach was they wanted to be able to send more rounds at a German squad then a German squad was sending towards them - to establish fire superiority. That's why the sub machine gun was favored and why volume of fire was also favored. It consistently gave results in firefights. Suppress, maneuver, destroy.

If you consider this spray and pray, then by the same regard the US is just as guilty of using those tactics. We expend what? 20,000 rounds of ammunition for every casualty we cause right now? I'll admit that I'm not too read-up on the current numbers, but have heard of figures as high as 40k rounds per casualty.

The numbers that I'm seeing show that the US made about 4 times as many Garands as the Soviets made SVT-38s and SVT/AVT-40s. Interesting, last time I checked Wikipedia, it actually listed that there were more SVT-40's made then M1's, but I do see that has been corrected/changed.

Ash
March 31, 2013, 10:04 PM
"In that regard, every assault rifle has copied the layout of the STG44."

Which of course copied the Thompson submachine gun in layout.

cal30_sniper
March 31, 2013, 11:49 PM
In that regard, every assault rifle has copied the layout of the STG44. The pistol grip, the butt stock, the detachable box magazine, select fire capability, and an intermediate rifle round is sort of what makes an assault rifle an assault rifle. I'm not really sure how you can call superficial similarities copying. There's only so many ways to put a gas piston on top of the barrel and a magazine sticking out the bottom without having the form look identical. Heck, we might as well drag the FN FAL into this argument, as its a much closer copy of the STG-44 in internal workings and layout then the AK.


Which is exactly my point. Every modern assault rifle is descended from the STG-44 (which itself was an improvement of the earlier MP43). You claimed that the AK was the first mass issued assault rifle. It wasn't. It might be the most prolific, but it certainly wasn't the first.


An yet, the M14 still was a product improvement of the M1 garand that still ignored the lessons learned from WW1 and revisited in WW2. We could say that the Hakim was an even better rifle since it was even harder hitting with the 8mm Mauser Cartridge, but its also acknowledged that for the typical battlefield experience that most firefights happened at under 300 yards. Sure a full power cartridge is useful in a more special purpose application such as in a sniper rifle or DMR setting, but for a main issue rifle?


This has absolutely nothing to do with Russian rifles. The only reason I mentioned the M14 was to compare the design of the M1 Garand to the inferior SVT-40. The "product improvement" of the M1 Garand is still in front-line combat service with the world's leading military today, 80 years after the design was first created. We're not talking combloc satellite usage because they're too poor to afford anything else. We're talking front line use by the world's best military. That alone says something for the ruggedness and combat effectiveness of the M1 action. The SVT-40 on the other hand was canned as early as 1942 because it was ineffective as a combat weapon and prohibitively expensive to produce. If you really want to see the disparity, lets compare apples to apples. The M1 Garand and the Mosin Nagant were the head to head competitors for a main battle rifle. The SVT/AVT-40 and the BAR were more equivalent as infantry support weapons that each side used. You'd have to have something screwy in your head to carry either of the Soviet weapons into combat instead of their American counterparts.

The reason US marines are feared is because they are well trained and disciplined to establish fire superiority and to use their rifle sights. Fighting insurgents is no different then fighting Crack/Meth gangs in Chicago. Both have about the same level of training with their firearms, and a similar mentality. The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have been basically policing actions. We aren't facing trained standing armies, we're facing a bunch of untrained thugs with guns who use them to intimidate the populace. Drawing parallels between how a bunch of criminals (and I include the Iraqi and Afghani insurgents in the category of criminals) use firearms with how a standing army would employ similar arms is dubious.

Again, the Soviet approach was they wanted to be able to send more rounds at a German squad then a German squad was sending towards them - to establish fire superiority. That's why the sub machine gun was favored and why volume of fire was also favored. It consistently gave results in firefights. Suppress, maneuver, destroy.

If you consider this spray and pray, then by the same regard the US is just as guilty of using those tactics. We expend what? 20,000 rounds of ammunition for every casualty we cause right now? I'll admit that I'm not too read-up on the current numbers, but have heard of figures as high as 40k rounds per casualty.

Establishing fire superiority is not done by simply putting more rounds in the air. Establishing fire superiority is accomplished by putting more rounds on target. Historically, at a time when the rest of the world's militaries were training to engage formations of men at 600 yards, the US Marines were training to hit individual men at 600 yards. This superior marksmanship was proven again and again in combat through both world wars all the way up into the present. The same tactics are continued today, as evidenced by the lack of a full auto capability on Marine Corps rifles. They use 3 round burst for short range engagements, mainly because the 5.56 is incapable of immediately incapacitating an enemy with a single shot unless you hit the central nervous system. There is not and never has been any Marine Corps doctrine for aimlessly filling the air full of lead in the hopes of hitting more enemy troops.

This application is where the AK fails as a weapons platform. Both accuracy of the rifle and power of the round itself prevent it from being an effective weapon for delivering point shot kills beyond 200 yards. Many are not effective beyond 150. The greatest use of the AK in combat has consisted of poorly trained guerrillas using them to spray the air full of lead. I am not aware of a single time in history where this strategy has resulted in a victory over an enemy trained in marksmanship and fire control. In that application, the M16 is a superior weapons platform when compared to the AK. The M14 is even more effective under certain combat environments. Now, for urban or jungle warfare, there are different considerations. That's the only real element which I think the AK would shine in the hands of a capable soldier.

And to answer your question, yes, the US Army has been a quite frequent subscriber to the "spray and pray" mentality in the last 50 years.

Interesting, the last time I checked Wikipedia

This is why Wikipedia and sources like it should always be taken with a large grain of salt. Common sense would indicate that the main battle rifle of the USA, which was produced from 1937 to 1956, would almost certainly have a greater production number than a secondary Soviet support rifle with was made only in 1941 and 1942, during some of the worst times for Soviet industry production, and never fully integrated into the Soviet military. The improper source is a common mistake. The snappy comment accompanying such clearly incorrect information was a little over the top.

cal30_sniper
April 1, 2013, 12:26 AM
I'm seeing a lot of subjectivity here.

Other than the cheap part.


What is subjective about a rifle that is shorter, has twice the magazine capacity, a much faster operating action, nearly double the sight radius, and has a superior sight picture, being better? Even though the Russian Nagant and the Enfield No 4 weight the same (~8.8lbs), the beloved Finn Nagant checks in at over a pound heavier (10lbs even) due to the heavier barrel and thicker stock that was used by the Finns. Those are all facts which completely set aside accuracy, which obviously varies wildly due to age and condition, and personal preferences such as stock shape, etc. I could see an argument being made for the Mosin being equivalent to a Mauser/Springfield action for combat use. However, I don't see a valid argument of how it would be equivalent to an Enfield or Garand.


The Enfield...heavy as the Mosin, literally. I don't see that 4" more of barrel making the Russian gun more unwieldy. You've got "Mad Minute" training and ten rounds. That's where I've found the weapon to accel over the Mosin. But not the Finnish.

4" of barrel length makes a large difference in the handling of a weapon. Yes, they are the same weight (except for the Finn which is considerably heavier). Off the bench, you won't notice a difference between the two. Now try moving and firing, or carrying the durn thing slung over your back through brush or over forbidding terrain. 29" barrels were conceived during an era when pikes were still considered adequate for ground combat forces. The long barrel was supposed to improve effectiveness during bayonet charges, and to slightly increase the muzzle velocity for those 1200 yard shots. Both of these ideas were proven almost completely impractical during the two world wars. Everybody but the Soviets switched to a shorter main battle rifle before WWII. The Soviets did their best to make the transition, but ended up cutting off too much, and creating a rifle that is quite punishing to shoot and notoriously inaccurate. 24-25" was seen to be ideal barrel length for effective muzzle velocity and controlled recoil. Shorter rifles in full power cartridges proved punishing to fire. Longer rifles proved punishing to carry and maneuver.


The sights of the M39 are much superior to those you've listed. Which doesn't take a whole lot. The M28 sights being the basis, the M39 wears a shorter rear battle sight with more precise notch, and the tell-tale front dog ear with thinner post. While minuscule, it is different from other "Soviet" rifles in that its only 1" from the muzzle rather than the nominal 1-1/2". Not much, but its something.

http://62x54r.net/MosinID/MosinM39.htm

Is it just that you've never fired an Enfield No. 4, M1 Garand, Model 1917 Enfield, or a Springfield 03A3? All of those use a receiver mounted aperture rear sight. The Mosin uses a barrel mounted notch sight. The aperture sight adds a foot or more to the sight radius, helps focus the target at longer range, is quicker to align due to human physiology, and obscures much less of the target than a notch sight. No contest between the two. Even though the Finnish sights are better than the Russian sights, they are still greatly inferior to what was showing up on combat rifles in the rest of the world (other than Mausers, which are roughly equivalent to the Mosin).




The bottom line when comparing Soviet/Russian weapons to their western contemporaries is resources. The Soviets were short of everything other than manpower and natural resources. Hence, they could utilize strategy which basically consisted of sending massive armies into battle armed with rifles of inferior design and manufacturing. It really didn't matter how many of their troops died, due to the vast pool of manpower they could call upon. Troop training was also very poor, which further negated the need for an accurate, rapid firing, and modern infantry rifle.

If you look at the nations with the smallest populations, notably the US and Great Britain, you immediately see a huge increase in weapon design and training. The rifles used by these countries were designed to be as effective as possible in combat, because the nations simply couldn't afford to loose more manpower than necessary. They could train existing manpower to relatively high levels of speed and marksmanship, but they could not create manpower that didn't exist.

The Soviets made cheap weapons for poorly trained troops that could live or die with little difference to the end result. The Finns took cheap Soviet weapons and made them as effective as possible given the circumstances. Even the best of these is still inferior to their British and American counterparts. Sorry, but that's just the way it was.

YZ
April 1, 2013, 12:53 AM
If you look at the nations with the smallest populations, notably the US and Great Britain, you immediately see a huge increase in weapon design and training. The rifles used by these countries were designed to be as effective as possible in combat, because the nations simply couldn't afford to loose more manpower than necessary. They could train existing manpower to relatively high levels of speed and marksmanship, but they could not create manpower that didn't exist.


One exception, the US is hardly one of the "smallest populations". It is not the fear of losing manpower, but the western culture that puts higher value on the life of every individual. Today the US population exceeds Russia's by some 100+ million, and the culture remains the same.

Finland and later Israel could serve as examples of what a limited manpower western democracy can do.

Stay safe.

Casefull
April 1, 2013, 12:54 AM
A friend of mine once described the Mosin-Nagant as "for peasants, by peasants." There's more than a little truth to that. It's as close to soldier-proof as a rifle can be.

I guess if you think being a peasant is "cool" then more power to you. You guys can have them. I grew up on a farm and have worked harder than a peasant my entire life but I sure as hell am not a peasant and want nothing to do with crudeness unless I have to. How is that for a stuck up attitude. ha ha

cal30_sniper
April 1, 2013, 01:13 AM
One exception, the US is hardly one of the "smallest populations". It is not the fear of losing manpower, but the western culture that puts higher value on the life of every individual. Today the US population exceeds Russia's by some 100+ million, and the culture remains the same.

Finland and later Israel could serve as examples of what a limited manpower western democracy can do.

Stay safe.

True note on the population today. However, during 1939, the Soviet Union had about 60 million more people than the US did. Due to forced labor policies which ran rampant in the USSR, the disparity was even greater. The Soviets were free to literally work people to death in order to produce war material. A much larger percentage of the US population was required to produce the same war materials, due to the simple fact that the US population was all working under livable conditions. Although the US had a considerably higher population than Germany, the same forced labor considerations freed up a large part of her population in comparison to the US. The US certainly didn't have one of the worlds smallest populations, but it definitely had a smaller manpower pool when compared to Germany and the USSR.

Undoubtedly, culture played a HUGE role in employment of troops, and Finland is an excellent example of this. Casualty figures also reflect this idea very well. ~400,000 for the US and ~300,000 for Great Britain vs ~3.4 million German and ~13.3 million Soviet casualties. Another consideration is cost to get troops to combat. The US had to pay not only to equip the soldier, but also to ship him overseas and send him to the front. In Russia, it was much, much cheaper to get troops to the front lines, because the front lines were right there. Hence, they could throw a lot more troops needlessly into the fray compared to the Western powers.

EDIT: At the outbreak of WWI, Russian had almost double the population of the US (~175 million vs ~90 million), and 4 times the population of Great Britain (~45 million). A much greater disparity even than WWII.

YZ
April 1, 2013, 02:00 AM
Undoubtedly, culture played a HUGE role in employment of troops, and Finland is an excellent example of this. Casualty figures also reflect this idea very well. ~400,000 for the US and ~300,000 for Great Britain vs ~3.4 million German and ~13.3 million Soviet casualties.


In fairness, the casualty figures also reflect the brutality and the duration of war on the Eastern front, more than anything else. It was four uninterrupted years of scorched earth. The disparity between the Soviet and German combat casualties is attributed to the reckless Soviet generalship, the inferior training and equipment until about 1943, and of course the doctrine of expendable manpower. I have encountered higher figures of German casualties, but don't have the numbers at the moment.

I looked up the census figures. In 1939 it was 130 million US, 170 million USSR. Not a decisive difference even then. At the time of the Nazi invasion the Soviet population was overstated by some 20 million to include Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia; the so-called Western Ukraine, Western Byelorussia, and Moldavia; and the Karelian peninsula. That adds up to make the 60 million difference you quote. Of course all those populations acquired under the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact made no meaningful contribution to the Soviet military manpower.

Finally, a disclaimer not always mentioned. Many published Soviet casualty figures are rough estimates. Lives were not only expendable, but often unaccountable. We are talking no stats, skewed stats, or made up entirely to avoid punishment or for the propaganda needs.

Quote:In Russia, it was much, much cheaper to get troops to the front lines, because the front lines were right there.

The logistics of bringing troops to the Soviet front line is misunderstood. The population was spread over a gigantic land mass, most notably Siberia. In another example, 40 divisions were moved in the winter of 1941-42 from the Far East to defend Moscow. That's 8 time zones. It may have been cheaper than the American troop transport, but not because of the proximity.

cal30_sniper
April 1, 2013, 02:37 AM
Agreed on all points. However, I think it is quite fair to include the population of Soviet controlled territories in the estimates, as they were quite adept at forcing those populations to contribute to the military and industrial might of the USSR.

I think the comparison of German and Soviet casualties is a very clear picture of the strategies involved. The Germans fought a two front war, and still only suffered a fraction of the casualties of the Soviets, who fought only a one front war against Germany and her allies. The high casualty numbers themselves are in part a reflection of the Soviet willingness to huge casualties in a ground war of manpower and supply attrition. In the west, generals were usually careful only to commit troops when the chance of victory was relatively high, or the results of defeat would be disastrous. These same concerns led to the development and refinement of weapons and tactics to maximize the fighting ability of the individual soldier. Because the individual soldier was essentially worthless in the eyes of the Soviet war machine, so was his equipment. There was little need to modernize rifles when the loss of millions of men carrying millions of inferior weapons was perfectly acceptable.

YZ
April 1, 2013, 03:08 AM
Sure. I have personally known a man from eastern Poland who was drafted into the Red Army immediately after the "liberation". On the other hand, the mass deportations and summary executions that followed the westward march in the fall of 1939 were likely to diminish the Soviet gains. Also, much of the remaining population turned against the soviet power at the first sight of German tanks. The SS had no trouble recruiting locals from the Baltic states and the western Ukraine. I don't have the exact numbers, but it seems likely that much of that "new" soviet manpower went over to the other side.

meanmrmustard
April 1, 2013, 08:34 AM
This is all very thrilling, but I thought we were talking rifles?

Cal30 : Subjectivity in that the bolt can be run faster on a non Soviet rifle. Because you can, does not assume a specific standard for the rest of the world. That's a cherry picked statement. The rest of your paragraph is indeed factual, but I fail to see how the Finn is inferior due to weight. Are you stating that Finnish soldiers were really strong, or that somehow only rifles weighing 8.8 lbs were useful? I should hope not, as some AR15 load outs see that weight, even though they ride with a carbine length barrel. I'd dare say, but I think the weight aspect of your argument of superiority (which to my understanding wasnt this threads intention initially) is a little moot. Ww2 rifles were heavy, period.

4" of barrel makes a difference to you? Barrel harmonics maybe. Lets put it this way: You have your shorty Enfield, I've a 91/30. Guess who's bayonet hits first. Also, if 4" of barrel was hard to handle, you couldn't tell it by the fast moving Russian soldiers in war footage. Running like mad monkeys! The British were busy rolling fags.

I've fired many Enfields and several 03s. I base my opinion on my experience, and found neither rifle wanting, nor exuding anything grander than the Mosin, save for the Enfields magazine capacity. I can shoot them all equally well, aperture or not, but that's me. My statement was Finn vs Russian sights though.

Once again, I fail to see superiority outright based on sights and four inches of barrel. "That's just the way it is" really means the discussions closed?:rolleyes:

stubbicatt
April 1, 2013, 09:22 AM
Wow. Talk about thread veer! Hold on to your hat Molly! I step away for just a day and see what happens?!

I absolutely dispute the statement that the Garand is superior to the SVT 40 having owned and shot both. But it really is OK if you prefer that rifle. In the US these days they cost about the same, although getting magazines for the SVT40 is somewhat of an expensive proposition, as is a bayonet....

I have mine dialed in, and had a great time yesterday. The sun was out, it had to be 70 degrees, shot out to 300 yards, life was good. Put about 150 rounds thru Tokarev's thunderstick, and it performed admirably.

YZ
April 1, 2013, 09:45 AM
I think it's inevitable, when you discuss soviet rifles to delve into history. Which may well be the short answer to the original question posted.

They are just rifles, like the enfields and the springfields. Lock stock and barrel. What makes them special is what you know about their origins. Knowing that your Mosin or at least an exact copy saw the stuff of legend and lore, excites your imagination. You grab one, load, aim, and you become a re-enactor. It's all 90% mental like baseball.
As with any rifle, each model is different, but special? Without their history, not really. It's the awareness of how instrumental they have been in shaping the world we live in.
I hope to read more about them here. Great thread.

InkEd
April 1, 2013, 10:38 AM
Like it or not, the Kalashnikov pattern has been proven good (enough) for over 50 years.

We cannot ignore the fact that NOT ONLY has been an effective standard rifle for several countries BUT the basis for their ENTIRE weapons line-up! (Dragunov, RPK, PKM, Etc.)

cal30_sniper
April 1, 2013, 11:45 AM
Cal30 : Subjectivity in that the bolt can be run faster on a non Soviet rifle. Because you can, does not assume a specific standard for the rest of the world. That's a cherry picked statement. The rest of your paragraph is indeed factual, but I fail to see how the Finn is inferior due to weight. Are you stating that Finnish soldiers were really strong, or that somehow only rifles weighing 8.8 lbs were useful?

Bolt speed is by no means subjective. The Enfield uses rear locking lugs and cocks on closing. The Mosin uses front locking lugs and cocks on opening. Simple physics means that the Enfield bolt is quicker to operate than the Mosin. Anyone with similar amounts of training on either rifle will be able to operate the Enfield more rapidly.

Don't forget the location of the bolt handle itself either. The forward location of the Mosin bolt makes it harder to operate from the shoulder without losing relative head and shoulder placement, especially for someone of shorter stature. The Enfield, Springfield, and Mauser don't have this problem because the bolt is further back and thus easier to reach. The Garand obviously doesn't have this problem, because you don't have to work the bolt.

1.2 lbs is not an insignificant increase in weight. It means that the Finn is about 15% heavier than an Enfield. It doesn't make the Finn useless by any means, but it is a point in favor of the Enfield, Springfield, or Mauser. Heck, even the Garand is lighter than 10 lbs (9.5 for the Garand).


4" of barrel makes a difference to you? Barrel harmonics maybe. Lets put it this way: You have your shorty Enfield, I've a 91/30. Guess who's bayonet hits first. Also, if 4" of barrel was hard to handle, you couldn't tell it by the fast moving Russian soldiers in war footage. Running like mad monkeys! The British were busy rolling fags.

This is really getting fairly ridiculous. If 4" of barrel wasn't a large difference in a rifle, we wouldn't have M4 carbines, SKS Paratroopers, M1A Scout/Bush Rifles, K98k Mausers, M38 Swedes, etc., etc., etc. All of those rifles I just listed are approximately 4" shorter than their parent platform. I've handled and shot all of them, and found the 4" makes a great difference. Heck, 2" makes a significant difference in many rifles, let alone 4". Your comment about bayonet charges only proves as a further example of my earlier point. The 29" barrel was designed to maximize its effectiveness as a weapon in a mass bayonet charge. The Russians and Japanese frequently used these mass charges of men. Nobody else really did. Casualities were horrendous, and most nations chose to utilize their manpower more effectively, partially by using better rifles.


I've fired many Enfields and several 03s. I base my opinion on my experience, and found neither rifle wanting, nor exuding anything grander than the Mosin, save for the Enfields magazine capacity. I can shoot them all equally well, aperture or not, but that's me. My statement was Finn vs Russian sights though.


You claimed that the Finn sights were superior to all others listed. I'm not certain how that equates to Finn vs Russian. This is also coming from someone who earlier claimed that 1/2" more of sight radius was a (slight) advantage, but can't see the effectiveness of increasing sight radius by about a foot? If you're shooting from a stationary position, and actually have the time luxury to be able to pull the two planes of a blade/notch sight into relative focus on the target, they can be shot just as effectively as aperture sights. However, if you're trying to shoot with any kind of speed or movement, the aperture is far superior. The eye only has to focus on one spot (the front sight post) instead of two. This is by no means an insignificant difference.

Just because the Mosin is inferior does not mean it is worthless. It proved itself in combat and earned its rightful place in history. However, much of its success is simply due to massive superiority in numbers employed, not the superiority of the design itself. If you can't see the superiority of other western weapons which were shorter, more rapid firing, and had better sights, I don't think I'm going to be able to sway your mentality any further. Subjectivity clearly shows which was the superior design. You don't see anyone lauding the design superiority of the Carcano rifle, but looking subjectively, it and the Mosin are quite similar in operation.

Like it or not, the Kalashnikov pattern has been proven good (enough) for over 50 years.

We cannot ignore the fact that NOT ONLY has been an effective standard rifle for several countries BUT the basis for their ENTIRE weapons line-up! (Dragunov, RPK, PKM, Etc.)

Has it really though? The largest scale conflict I can think of that the AK was employed in was Vietnam. That can hardly be considered a military success for the employers of the rifle, as casualty figures of the US/ARVN vs North Vietnamese clearly show. Another example of strategies reflecting a near complete disrespect for life carrying the day over a superior equipped enemy force. The second largest conflict it has actively been used in by a major force (not a guerrilla or rebel army) was probably the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Not hardly what you'd call a stellar success either. Perhaps the Soviets found out the same thing that we did, notably that not all conflict takes place at ranges of less than 200 yards, and more frequently than you'd think, some parts of the world require you to reach out and touch someone to be effective.

The vast majority of AK use in combat has been in brush fire wars where one side or both sides have a large number of terribly trained troops that they wan't to fill the air up full of lead. The AK is great for doing that, but it makes it neither a proven or desirable combat rifle.

The M16 on the other hand has had a stellar combat record. Again, not a perfect design, but it's certainly proven itself very effective in combat (usually against AK types). Now lets go ahead and cue the "In Vietnam everybody threw down their M16s to pick up the first AK they found" comments. The early problems of the M16 are well documented. They were a result of a hastily introduced design and poor ammunition choice, not the fault of the platform itself. The design issues were rapidly fixed, and the rifle has continued with an excellent service reputation since. However, it does suffer from an underpowered cartridge, much like the AK, which limits its effective range and close range knock down power. Hence the reintroduction of the M14 in recent years.

cal30_sniper
April 1, 2013, 11:51 AM
I absolutely dispute the statement that the Garand is superior to the SVT 40 having owned and shot both. But it really is OK if you prefer that rifle. In the US these days they cost about the same, although getting magazines for the SVT40 is somewhat of an expensive proposition, as is a bayonet....

I have mine dialed in, and had a great time yesterday. The sun was out, it had to be 70 degrees, shot out to 300 yards, life was good. Put about 150 rounds thru Tokarev's thunderstick, and it performed admirably.

You might dispute that statement, but combat did not. Again, for a range shooter that has ample time to clean his rifle between sessions and doesn't have to worry about dragging it through the mud, ice, sand, and snow, the Garand and SVT-40 may be completely equitable designs. However, in combat, the SVT-40 was found to be fragile and lacking from a design standpoint. The Garand simply continued to prove itself, again, and again, and again. The same arguments of shorter length and better sights also hold true in the Garand vs SVT argument as well.

YZ
April 1, 2013, 01:36 PM
However, it [M16] does suffer from an underpowered cartridge, much like the AK, which limits its effective range and close range knock down power. Hence the reintroduction of the M14 in recent years.
Fair enough, with one correction. The M16 and the AK74 do not suffer from the underpowered cartridges. Those cartridges enable both rifles to load 30 and more rounds at a time. They were not designed for single deliberate distant shots, especially the AK. In fully automatic they offer unmatched firepower in a portable combat package. I shot both, and let me tell you, the only ones suffering were the targets, sustaining multiple gunshot wounds in less than a second. Armor piercing rounds too.

The military has ignored persistent calls for an ammo overhaul for decades. (The Israelis have just introduced the new main battle rifle, built from the scratch in 5.56 NATO). When more smack is called for, there are the M14s as you rightly mentioned, and bigger hardware all the way to 50BMG. To "cure" the lightweight battle rifles from their cartridges is to defeat their purpose and turn them into something else.

InkEd
April 1, 2013, 04:38 PM
Cal Sniper 30:

YES! The Kalashnikov IS the base foundation for the RPK, PKM, Dragunov, PSL and several other Soviet weapons like the Bizon sub machine gun and let's not forget about the "Israeli Original" designed Galil!

It's not up for debate! :rolleyes: Nobody mentioned (or cared about) how you feel it's track record is is compared to various other rifles. A little reading up on non-US history will help you realize that the AK has been in a TON of conflicts of various size.

This thread is NOT a pee-peeing (cleaned up for THR) contest about Soviet weapons versus other countries weapons!

However, if you want to make it into one... Let's be real about.
The conflicts you described as "brush wars at best", had a hell of a lot more small arms vs. small arms fighting in them than anything that we have been in since Vietnam.

The various Soviet communist invasions, ethnic conflicts and later puppet states wars for independence all had their fair share of "guy with a rifle vs. other guy with a rifle" fighting in them. That down and dirty type of fighting shows the rugged reliable of a rifle.

And let's not even getting into conflicts OUTSIDE of Europe because there is NOT even a conflict in the last 50years that did not involve one or both sides using Kalashnikov based weapons! You cannot say that the (never-ending) conflicts in Africa are not dominated by Soviet based weapons and the same for the middle east and large portions of Asia.

I am NOT saying that Soviet weapons are BETTER than those of other nations. So, you can stop arguing every post by every single person. :rolleyes: The point we were ALL agreeing upon was that be it by sheer quanity made, rugged design, simple operation, etc. the various Soviet weapons are and will continue to be venerable opponents for way longer than any of us will be on this planet.

Plus, we all "kind of like" their shortcomings/quirks as some people see them. Hence the whole point of the thread.

Cheers.

meanmrmustard
April 1, 2013, 06:09 PM
Bolt speed is by no means subjective. The Enfield uses rear locking lugs and cocks on closing. The Mosin uses front locking lugs and cocks on opening. Simple physics means that the Enfield bolt is quicker to operate than the Mosin. Anyone with similar amounts of training on either rifle will be able to operate the Enfield more rapidly.

Don't forget the location of the bolt handle itself either. The forward location of the Mosin bolt makes it harder to operate from the shoulder without losing relative head and shoulder placement, especially for someone of shorter stature. The Enfield, Springfield, and Mauser don't have this problem because the bolt is further back and thus easier to reach. The Garand obviously doesn't have this problem, because you don't have to work the bolt.

1.2 lbs is not an insignificant increase in weight. It means that the Finn is about 15% heavier than an Enfield. It doesn't make the Finn useless by any means, but it is a point in favor of the Enfield, Springfield, or Mauser. Heck, even the Garand is lighter than 10 lbs (9.5 for the Garand).



This is really getting fairly ridiculous. If 4" of barrel wasn't a large difference in a rifle, we wouldn't have M4 carbines, SKS Paratroopers, M1A Scout/Bush Rifles, K98k Mausers, M38 Swedes, etc., etc., etc. All of those rifles I just listed are approximately 4" shorter than their parent platform. I've handled and shot all of them, and found the 4" makes a great difference. Heck, 2" makes a significant difference in many rifles, let alone 4". Your comment about bayonet charges only proves as a further example of my earlier point. The 29" barrel was designed to maximize its effectiveness as a weapon in a mass bayonet charge. The Russians and Japanese frequently used these mass charges of men. Nobody else really did. Casualities were horrendous, and most nations chose to utilize their manpower more effectively, partially by using better rifles.



You claimed that the Finn sights were superior to all others listed. I'm not certain how that equates to Finn vs Russian. This is also coming from someone who earlier claimed that 1/2" more of sight radius was a (slight) advantage, but can't see the effectiveness of increasing sight radius by about a foot? If you're shooting from a stationary position, and actually have the time luxury to be able to pull the two planes of a blade/notch sight into relative focus on the target, they can be shot just as effectively as aperture sights. However, if you're trying to shoot with any kind of speed or movement, the aperture is far superior. The eye only has to focus on one spot (the front sight post) instead of two. This is by no means an insignificant difference.

Just because the Mosin is inferior does not mean it is worthless. It proved itself in combat and earned its rightful place in history. However, much of its success is simply due to massive superiority in numbers employed, not the superiority of the design itself. If you can't see the superiority of other western weapons which were shorter, more rapid firing, and had better sights, I don't think I'm going to be able to sway your mentality any further. Subjectivity clearly shows which was the superior design. You don't see anyone lauding the design superiority of the Carcano rifle, but looking subjectively, it and the Mosin are quite similar in operation.



Has it really though? The largest scale conflict I can think of that the AK was employed in was Vietnam. That can hardly be considered a military success for the employers of the rifle, as casualty figures of the US/ARVN vs North Vietnamese clearly show. Another example of strategies reflecting a near complete disrespect for life carrying the day over a superior equipped enemy force. The second largest conflict it has actively been used in by a major force (not a guerrilla or rebel army) was probably the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Not hardly what you'd call a stellar success either. Perhaps the Soviets found out the same thing that we did, notably that not all conflict takes place at ranges of less than 200 yards, and more frequently than you'd think, some parts of the world require you to reach out and touch someone to be effective.

The vast majority of AK use in combat has been in brush fire wars where one side or both sides have a large number of terribly trained troops that they wan't to fill the air up full of lead. The AK is great for doing that, but it makes it neither a proven or desirable combat rifle.

The M16 on the other hand has had a stellar combat record. Again, not a perfect design, but it's certainly proven itself very effective in combat (usually against AK types). Now lets go ahead and cue the "In Vietnam everybody threw down their M16s to pick up the first AK they found" comments. The early problems of the M16 are well documented. They were a result of a hastily introduced design and poor ammunition choice, not the fault of the platform itself. The design issues were rapidly fixed, and the rifle has continued with an excellent service reputation since. However, it does suffer from an underpowered cartridge, much like the AK, which limits its effective range and close range knock down power. Hence the reintroduction of the M14 in recent years.
Please read my posts again. You're stretching here. If 4" of barrel makes a big difference to you: Golds Gym.

If bayonet charges were never a possibility, than why did the British, US, and Germans have them? Riddle me that.

Cock on closing does not a faster bolt make by the way.

My statement "better than those listed" comes from a post in response to another member, not you, with a question about other Mosin variants.

I suggest you read. Or find an Enfield thread. As the shortcomings you list are just as easily pointed out on really on arm you've listed. Poopooing an antique rifle that worked, and worked well, isn't very productive. My last tit to you, while I've experienced decent accuracy with Mosins, Eddystone, Mausers, and the Finns...I've seen nary a candle held to them by an Enfield. 4MOA from a milsurp isn't horrible, but I've not shot that large a group with any Soviet, Swedish, Finnish, American, German, Chilean, or Brazilian milsurp I've owned...other than one Lithgow that wouldn't play nice. My experience with the Enfield, mine, is that it'd be the end all WW2 battle rifle, if it could hit stuff accurately.

YMOV. If you'd like to further the discussion, feel free to PM it, as we are cluttering this thread with "VS" posts that are off topic.

stubbicatt
April 1, 2013, 06:14 PM
Some people will argue about ... well... they like to argue. -You see the same thing any time the Mini 14 is discussed, a bunch of AR15 proponents jump on and hijack the thread.

I tend to agree w/ YZ when he says:

I think it's inevitable, when you discuss soviet rifles to delve into history. Which may well be the short answer to the original question posted.


Sometimes I realize that my father, born in 1928, had horses delivering ice for the icebox when he was a child, here in the USA (well... Detroit anyways). At that time the Soviet Union was even further behind, industry wise, yet they produced weapons in huge volume and defeated a highly technologically advanced nation with those weapons, at a huge cost in human sacrifice.

I think he's right. When I hold one of these, it piques my imagination re: those highly courageous men and women of not-so-long-ago and not-so-far-away.

meanmrmustard
April 1, 2013, 06:23 PM
Many beautiful things come from Russia!
Yes they do!:p

YZ
April 1, 2013, 06:35 PM
Some people will argue about ... well... they like to argue. -You see the same thing any time the Mini 14 is discussed, a bunch of AR15 proponents jump on and hijack the thread.

I tend to agree w/ YZ when he says:



Sometimes I realize that my father, born in 1928, had horses delivering ice for the icebox when he was a child, here in the USA (well... Detroit anyways). At that time the Soviet Union was even further behind, industry wise, yet they produced weapons in huge volume and defeated a highly technologically advanced nation with those weapons, at a huge cost in human sacrifice.

I think he's right. When I hold one of these, it piques my imagination re: those highly courageous men and women of not-so-long-ago and not-so-far-away.
Mine was born in 25 and carried wood fire logs up the staircase onto the fifth floor. That building still stands but now has central heating and elevators.
That's it no more veering off

cal30_sniper
April 1, 2013, 08:07 PM
Smoother bolt than an M39? Surely you gist, sir.

Higher capacity...yup. Enfield has that down pat.

But one need only use M39 sights to experience superiority. 10 rounds doesn't amount to a thing if the other chap has hit you first. I don't know about you, but a Mosin bolt is quite fast, and doesn't operate on the "cock on close" principle. If I didn't love my M/38 Swede mauser so much, I'd be tempted to modify it.


Mustard, you did in fact directly say that the M39 sights were superior to the Enfield. You may not have meant to, but you clearly did in the post above.

As for the longer barrel, no amount of Gold's Gym is going to make doorways any wider, tree branches any higher, or brush any less grasping to that rifle carried out in front of you or slung over your back. This is why almost the entire world except Russia got rid of 29" barrels after WWI. WWI was the war of bayonet charges. Most nations took notice of how terrible the loss of life was and realized that wasn't an effective way of doing business. Most except the Soviets at least. A shorter rifle handles better at the expense of decreased muzzle velocity and increased recoil. Argue all you want, it's a physical fact.

Also, cock on closing does make the bolt just a wee bit faster to operate. A cock-on-opening must use a mechanical mechanism to cock the bolt as the handle is lifted, adding an extra stage to catch and slow down bolt movement. Cock on close removes that catch and instead uses the operator to compress the firing pin as the bolt comes forward. As long as you work it quick enough to overcome the spring pressure, its faster. If you can't overcome the spring pressure, well, Gold's Gym. ;) (all joking aside, I do find the bolt operation of the Swede Mauser to be quite annoying due to the heavy spring pressure on some rifles. The Enfields that I've handled weren't nearly as stiff)

Cal Sniper 30:

YES! The Kalashnikov IS the base foundation for the RPK, PKM, Dragunov, PSL and several other Soviet weapons like the Bizon sub machine gun and let's not forget about the "Israeli Original" designed Galil!


I never said it wasn't. Those weapons are on improvement or adaptation on the AK just like it was an improvement on other weapons before it.


It's not up for debate! :rolleyes: Nobody mentioned (or cared about) how you feel it's track record is is compared to various other rifles. A little reading up on non-US history will help you realize that the AK has been in a TON of conflicts of various size.

The conflicts you described as "brush wars at best", had a hell of a lot more small arms vs. small arms fighting in them than anything that we have been in since Vietnam.


I did leave out one conflict that involved both sides with organized militaries using the AK against each other: the Iran vs Iraq war. It, along with the Afghanistan Civil War and Soviet Occupation, are easily the biggest conflicts since Vietnam. Yes, all used AKs, but I'd hazard a guess they would have done just the same things with SKSs, Mosins, or any other weaponry they could get their hands on for free or relatively cheap. In fact, they often did.

A bunch of teens or pre-teens running around with their AKs on full-auto shooting everywhere hardly proves a rifle "good" in combat. It just means that one poorly trained and poorly equipped Army is in fact capable of beating another. Ditto on armies in the dark corners of the world running around massacring anything that moves with their trusty old AK. If I wanted to run around like an idiot swinging around a rifle on full auto over the top of my head, I can assure you the AK would be the first platform I considered. That doesn't make it proven good in combat. Like the Mosin, the AK is a simplistic and cheap design to get the job done on the tightest possible budget with the least troop training possible. That's also what makes it quite popular to the untrained and cheap masses of the American public who like to go out and spray ammo at a target 25 yards away in the hopes that they'll hit something.

I jumped in the thread actually talking about a very accurate Mosin Nagant that I fired the other day. I stayed involved because mustard and I started debating the relative merits of the Finn and other Nagants vs their western counterparts, as well as the history behind the rifles and how they were employed. That's why I collect milsurps, the history is just amazing on them. I thought that was the point of forums, the sharing of knowledge and experiences, but I didn't realize that I'd stumbled into Ink's russian rifle fanboy club where outside opinions are not welcome. :rolleyes:

I enjoyed the historical discussion Ash and YZ, always nice to get other people's respectful perspective and input on things. Mustard, we'll have to just agree to disagree on the accuracy of the Enfield. I've never fired one that was over a 2MOA gun. I have fired a Mosin M44 that was keyholing at 50 yards (fresh out of its arsenal recondition). In all military rifles, I've found that accuracy varies much more on the condition of the rifle than the design, and there are bad apples in every single group.

There's no need for a peeing contest, or to get defensive. I enjoy a good discussion on historical weapons as much as the next guy, which is exactly what we had going here. Maybe a little of topic, but not much. The history and collectibility of these rifles are intertwined, as is their cheap cost and popularity.

meanmrmustard
April 1, 2013, 08:28 PM
I do not need Golds Gym. I was Russian in another life!:D

cal30_sniper
April 1, 2013, 08:37 PM
*Red's Gym :D

meanmrmustard
April 1, 2013, 08:57 PM
*Red's Gym :D
In Russia, Gym goes to you!

Anyway, J&G supposedly has gotten M44s in if anyone is interested. Thought I'd pass that along.

YZ
April 1, 2013, 09:57 PM
Thanks Sniper.
Speaking of the M44s, many I think are sold unfired. The Mosin production figures dropped sharply after WW2, and only the carbines were made for a while. They were warehoused just in case throughout the cold war. I don't think there is any other military rifle in a pristine unfired condition, half a century since out of production, that can be bought today for about $250. You can even choose the Tula factory rollmark (red star) or Izhevsk (a shield).

InkEd
April 2, 2013, 12:01 AM
The thread title was about how we all love Russian rifles... you didn't see how it was going to be a bunch of Mosin and AK lovers talking about their favorite commie guns? :wow:

I agree with you that a better trained military with a more accurate rifle is a better fighting force than a bunch of guerillas with surplus weapons.

However, I think it is arrogant to so easily dismiss the courage and determination of those people (especially the young ones) fighting for freedom in some forsaken corner of the globe.

Are they a skilled and highly effective task force? No. Are they fighting for a cause they believe in enough to give their lives? Yes. Nobody claimed they were

I don't feel the blood they shed is filled with any less bravery than any other soldier. Whether or not, one believes they are smart or correct in doing so, is object. A rebel and freedom fighter are the same guy. It just depends on your point of view.

IMHO an untrained 14 year boy in Africa joining a rebel militia to overthrow the dictator, who's army raped his mother and then sliced off his brother's hand with a machete, is WAY MORE BRAVE than me or many other people in this world. He KNOWS he will probably DIE but it is a cause WORTH his life.

Those kids and poor people "spraying rounds over their heads" are fighting for something! Skilled or not they are BRAVE. That is the point I am trying to make here. That's all really.

To discuss Vietnam specifically, I am not a historian but from all accounts a lot of M-16s were "spraying rounds" into the jungle... basically the EXACT same way as the AK. Plus, I don't think WE can call it an outstanding success either to be honest. (The whole thing was messed up in several ways from the beginning. It was NOT the fault of soldiers. It was a lot of political mess.)

Lastly, let's not forget that we fought against mainly Soviet weapons in the Korean War too.

We (the U.S.) win most our wars because of our better trained soldiers. Our better equipment helps a lot too. However, the better equipment is more like the airplanes and high tech stuff rather than the M-16 just being so much better than the AK. Just my .02

cal30_sniper
April 2, 2013, 12:31 AM
Very well put Ink. We are lucky here in the states to have a life where even the idea of such horrible circumstances as you describe is foreign to us. It is the blood of patriots that has secured that life for us, and the blood of patriots who retain it. Let us hope that we never lose it.

From what I have studied, you are dead on in the employment of the M16 in Vietnam. You get into a very basic fire control difference between the US Army and the US Marine Corps and their employment of the primary infantry weapon. Completely different doctrine has led to very different usage of the same weapon. Most would think I was getting biased if I started comparing the combat results of each method...

Interesting aside on the aircraft too. Some of the late-WWII Soviet stuff was outstanding in performance. Give them a few years, and we struggled throughout the Korean War to keep pace with the Mig 15. It's amazing what some German technology injection can do ;)

InkEd
April 2, 2013, 12:56 AM
LOL! Very true about the Nazi technology... it was the basis for both the US and USSR space programs too.

The early Migs were superior in Korea to our aging planes. Many say the Japanese Zero was better than some of our planes in WWII. The latter statement is debatable in my opinion.

inkinskin
April 2, 2013, 04:16 AM
I just got into rifle shooting and collecting on my own in the last two years. I bought my first AR-15 last year and was absolutely hooked. I love the ergonomics, the simple field stripping, the performance, and the ability to add accessories and customize it. I bought another on Black Friday because I couldn't pass up on the price. This one out performed my first, adding to the satisfaction of my new addition of my collection.

I recently came across a guy who had a WASR 10-63 package for very nice price, and thought back to history class and all the gun shows I watched and thought, why do I need a communist rifle for? Lol my grandpa always hated them and swore he would never have one of those damn things in his house!! But I also remembered everyone saying how reliable they were and watching videos of torture testing them to the extreme.

So I did some research on the old Romaian WASR 1063. I found a mix of good and bad reviews on the rifle, most complaints were, canted sights, wobbly mag wells, & action sticking open. I decided to take a chance, especially since the guy wasn't price gouging. I finally got a chance to shoot it last weekend and man, this thing is a hoot to shoot!! I was only using iron sights and was shooting better groups than I thought I was capable of. Whoever said the AK isnt accurate isnt that good of a shot apparently. The rifle ran flawless with three different types of ammo (including surplus) and was very enjoyable to shoot.

The only thing I regret is not giving it a chance a lot sooner. This will be one that will be in my collection for a long long time and I could not be happier about it.




Posted from Thehighroad.org App for Android

YZ
April 2, 2013, 06:28 AM
LOL! Very true about the Nazi technology... it was the basis for both the US and USSR space programs too.

The early Migs were superior in Korea to our aging planes. Many say the Japanese Zero was better than some of our planes in WWII. The latter statement is debatable in my opinion.
The US historically has had a pattern of letting it slide for a while, until the time of reckoning. The latest examples are still fresh in the memory. The Zero is described as super agile compared to its adversaries at the outset of the war. It lacked armor protection. It was completely outclassed eventually when the sleeping giant arose.
A little different with the jet propulsion and missile technology. That was among Hitler's priorities. The US put its money on the atomic bomb. By the way, victorious nations have picked up advanced weaponry and tactics from the defeated enemy since the Roman times. The Nazis had been hammered with increasing force since 1942. Their small weapons research was fueled by dire necessity. So they pioneered the sturmgewehr and the RPG. The Allies and the Soviets were advancing with their SMGs and M1s, but also with more heavy weapons and manpower. One can even make a case that the Allies forced the Nazis into accelerated weapons research, to capture its results later.

Deer_Freak
April 2, 2013, 06:36 AM
I like the Mosin Nagant chambered in 7.62x54 but I don't care for the 7.62x39. I have two SKS's they are accurate and a lot of fun to shoot. But when hunting I prefer a larger cartridge.

stubbicatt
April 2, 2013, 09:03 AM
I thought Britain supplied the technology of the MiG 15? The Rolls Royce engine?

I guess the innovation of the swept wing has its aegis in Nazi Germany...

YZ
April 2, 2013, 10:15 AM
I thought Britain supplied the technology of the MiG 15? The Rolls Royce engine?

I guess the innovation of the swept wing has its aegis in Nazi Germany...
You are looking down a whole other can of worms. Yes the British gave Stalin the Rolls Royce engine. From the insider memoirs, the Soviet Government placed the request expecting it to be denied. Stalin was lukewarm to the idea, saying why in the world would they do it for us. The new Labour Government did. One has to remember, at the time there were strong advocates of sharing the atomic bomb blueprints too. Only the Korean conflict cooled it off.
"For the right price the capitalists will sell us rope on which we shall hang them". Lenin, in my translation.

InkEd
April 2, 2013, 11:16 AM
That is a great quote. I don't like it but it is powerful.

sakimoto
May 10, 2013, 04:56 PM
Watch "Enemy at the Gates" for a 91/30 fix!

Cosmoline
May 10, 2013, 05:31 PM
I found a mix of good and bad reviews on the rifle, most complaints were, canted sights, wobbly mag wells, & action sticking open.

This highlights one of the main reasons east bloc guns have a mixed rep stateside. And it has little to do with quality control in the former Warsaw Pact. The problem comes because US law makes it extremely difficult to just build these firearms and ship them over. They have to be assembled here or re-assembled to include new US made parts, non-auto receivers, etc. The stateside assembly plants run by certain importers have a very mixed record with these things. It's in the assembly that you end up with badly canted sights, wobbly furniture and even the wrong barrels. The image of angry apes with ballpeen hammers comes to mind when you pick some of these guns up. But really it's a matter of importers who don't really want to be in the gun making business and try to cut corners on it.

If you can get to a quality outfit building off quality receivers, then you can judge the final product in its intended form--or at least the semiauto version of its intended form. I just picked up an AK-74 clone from Waffen that's very nice. The sights are square and the parts all fit together. Best of all it doesn't keyhole the bullets.

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