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Buy Which? Moisin/Nagant M38 or M44?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by jjohnson, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. jjohnson

    jjohnson Well-Known Member

    Here's a question for you collectors of Russian bolt guns: I was looking at
    SOG's website and am tempted to buy either an M38 or M44, but the prices are pretty close, and I have no clue which one would be the better buy. I'm not really looking for something that has to be "military perfect," since I'd be halfway tempted one day to re-stock it and put a scope on it. Is one better than the other as a shooter? Or one easier than the other to mount a scope?

    This is one of those rifles that will likely wind up in my truck, so a few dings here and there isn't a problem, and I know that Russian military gear tends to be rugged (if not ugly:scrutiny:). Which one would YOU put in your arsenal/truck, and why?

    And, yes, I do reload, but I don't mind getting milsurp ammo and cleaning the bore - I know Soviet ammo tends to be both dirty burning AND corrosive primed:barf:.

    Thanks for any info you can pass on!
  2. Thermactor

    Thermactor member

    Get the one with the cleanest bore and sharpest rifling.
  3. MRIman

    MRIman Well-Known Member

    Well I love Moisin's,and I have lots of them.
    I'd say if your after a truck gun,go M44,next step would
    be a 91/30(very long for a truck gun),then would be an M38.
    Now if your looking for a great shooter,get a Fin M39.

    If you want some thing different,get a 91/59(cut down 91/30)
    I'm sending out my FFL for a 91/59 Saturday
  4. Kymasabe

    Kymasabe Well-Known Member

    IF it were me...I'd get the M38. The m44 has the bayonet to worry about, more weight, not allowed at some ranges. Plus, some of the guns were sighted in with the bayo extended and they don't shoot right with it folded. Eliminate all the guess work, get the M38. Anyway, alot of the M38's are arsenal refinished and in generally decent shape.
  5. Avenger

    Avenger Well-Known Member

    Other than the bayonet, they are the same. If you plan on sporterizing it, get an M44 and DON'T cut the bayo lug off. It isn't that hard to remove the mounting screw, and someday you may want to return it to stock anyway. The ATI stocks are about the only ones available, and frankly they are junk. Just get a slip on recoil pad.
    Get a Darrell Harrison mount, it replaces the leaf sight with a scope mount, and again you can return it to stock if you want. You have to use a pistol scope since the mount is pretty far forward (Scout Mount), but honestly the Mosin itself will be the weak link in the accuracy department. A 4x32 or 2-7x32 NCStar is just fine.
    I've got both an M38 and a bunch of M44s, the M38 has slightly more perceived recoil than the M44, due to not having the mass of the bayo to absorb some of the shock. BUT, the M38 has a better balance when brought to the shoulder.
  6. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

    I understand the 38 is generally more rare and saw more action than the 44 and is therefore probably not in as good of shape. If you want history, get the 38, if you want better condition (odds) get the 44.

    Heck, they're the cost of a nice meal. Get both and eat in a few nights.
  7. jpwilly

    jpwilly Well-Known Member

    Get both! My M38 with the counterbore doesn't shoot much different than my mint M44.
  8. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Well-Known Member

    I got an M44 and removed the damned bayonet. They're cheaper than the M38's.
  9. Nugilum

    Nugilum Well-Known Member

    When in doubt, always remember the "vs." rule... :scrutiny:

    Get Both! :D
  10. Mossberg88

    Mossberg88 Well-Known Member

    A buddy of mine just picked up the M44, its a great gun, although some contend the bayonet runs the risk of off-setting the weight distribution.
  11. SimpleIsGood229

    SimpleIsGood229 Well-Known Member

    If you plan on scoping it, I suggest the M44; they're much more common that M38s.

    Aside from that, all it boils down to is the bayonet.
  12. paintballdude902

    paintballdude902 Well-Known Member

    91/59 gets my vote
  13. kingcheese

    kingcheese Well-Known Member

    m38 all the way

    if you can find an m38 with a 44 date as far as year, go for that one

    that was the year most of this type of rifle was discontinued so all parts should match, and it is made to shoot without a bayonet

    a m44 needs its bayonet out to shoot like it is suppose to

    leapod i think has a drop on scope mount that goes on any nagant rear sight!!
  14. Almond27

    Almond27 Well-Known Member

    I have a 91/59 so im voting 91/59
  15. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

    The M38 is generally a better gun than the M44. Don't have to deal with the integral bayonet throwing off accuracy. It's also lighter for the same reasons.
  16. Rubber_Duck

    Rubber_Duck Well-Known Member

    Between the two in the OP, I vote for the M38. I don't like the Mosin bayos much, and the M38 is just a cleaner-looking, handier rifle.
  17. Kymasabe

    Kymasabe Well-Known Member

    I've owned quite a few Mosins and my M38 shot every bit as well as all my M44's with the exception of the one Polish M44 I owned.
    Of those two choices you mentioned, I'd go with the M38.
    If I could add a third choice, a 91/59 would also be a really goods option.
    Most of the M38's I've seen have been arsenal refinished. There isn't a whole lot of history to the average Mosin. Do some research on some of the Mosin sites to make sure you're not cutting up a rare version/varient but chances are it's an average gun. I like the M38's because they're lighter, no bayo or mount to deal with, same with the 91/59.
  18. Gottahaveone

    Gottahaveone Well-Known Member

    I've got both and the M38 is my favorite hands down. It's a pound and a half lighter, balances better, and I just don't care for that 18" piece of sharp metal on the end of the M44. But if recoil is an issue for you, you might want to go with the heavier M44 because the M38 does bump back a bit. Just my $.02 :)
  19. jws527

    jws527 Well-Known Member

    I prefer the aesthetics of the M38 - the M44's bayonet and lug are somewhat ugly, especially when retracted. However, I haven't found much of a difference between the two in terms of balance and weight (it's measurable, to be sure, but not as perceivable as some would claim). You can always remove the bayonet from the M44 if you choose. Otherwise, they're more or less the same.

    If the history is of any interest to you: the M38 is a rear-guard carbine designed for use by supply crews, artillery units and tankers and the like. It's essentially a carbine version of the 91/30. The M44 was intended from the start for use as a front line rifle (developed in response to experience gained in Stalingrad). It was intended to replace the 91/30 in that role. The M44 began production in 1943 and didn't reach the front lines en masse until the middle of 1944, but you can rest assured that they saw plenty of action on the German front (certainly in Berlin, for one). They were also used extensively in Korea. Note that there is no bayonet available for the M38, and that the bayonet lug/hinge on the M44 cannot easily be removed (though the blade itself can be).
  20. Red Tornado

    Red Tornado Well-Known Member

    I'd also go with the M38 for bayonet related reasons listed above. However I don't have a 91/59, but have considered it. I don't know how accuracy compares, but it seems like the 91/59 would have to have a sharper crown since it's been cut down.

    What says the crowd?

    Which is "generally" more accurate, M38 or 91/59?

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