An interesting Mosin-Nagant. Help, please?

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Jan 6, 2006
First, I'm neither a collector nor expert on these interesting rifles. However, I do have one in my possession which is very special--it's been in the family since 1951--and quite possibly a direct capture from communist forces. I only recently decided to see if the darn thing is shootable.

Based on internet pictures, I at first thought it might be a Russian M38. However, some sources suggested production of M38s stopped in 1944, and this is clearly marked 1945. Also, the muzzle detail suggest that it might have had an affixed bayonet, a la M44, which had been subsequently removed. So, I'm now of the opinion that it is indeed a M44 sans bayonet.

The receiver, bolt, and magazine floorplate all have matching numbers: TT7201. There is no sling, cleaning rod, or (if a M44) bayonet.

My interest is not in any collector value, but rather, in returning it, if possible, to a safe shooting condition, retaining as many original parts as possible. In any case, I plan to keep it as a family memento.


My father served in the U. S. Navy during the Korean Conflict. He was in Pusan, South Korea, in 1951 when he acquired the rifle from a casual acquaintance who was in the U. S. Army. My father's belief was that the rifle was captured from the communist forces, and had a brass plate affixed to the buttstock stating as much. As a side note, the plate was formed aboard ship from a 5 in. shell casing.

My father's interest in the rifle was that of a war souvenir, and it has not been fired since he acquired it. According to him, he only cleaned and refinished the stock. Sometime in the 1960's when my brother and I started target shooting with .22 rifles, my dad attempted to ascertain the caliber and availability of ammunition for the Mosin-Nagant with the thought of shooting it. Unfortunately, he did so by making a plaster casting of the chamber. Unfortunate because I'm not sure how well he cleaned it after the process. Anyway, apparently he couldn't get reliable information about the ammo and the rifle was returned to the gun rack for about forty years.

Fast forward to last weekend.

I completely disassembled the weapon and cleaned all parts. There was virtually no surface rust on any of the metal parts, just a dull patina and a general greasy residue, dried oil. Definitely not Cosmoline. The firing pin is broken at the tip, and the extractor is broken.

The bore and chamber were extremely dirty and, presumably rusty, based on the reddish-brown sludge removed. I scrubbed the bore with solvent soaked bore mops, bronze brush, and also with Remington Bore Cleaner which is mildly abrasive. I cleaned the chamber by spinning a sized bore mop saturated with cleaner attached to a drill. This is a preliminary cleaning, and I will do more, but I wanted to be able to determine the condition of the bore and chamber. From what I can see, the bore is heavily pitted. The chamber seems not too bad, except possibly for the area around the throat which seems to have had more rust. I will try to get some pictures of the bore and chamber when I can.

I hope you find this piece interesting. Anything you can tell me about it would be appreciated.





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