My First M39 Finn

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Mar 21, 2012
Ventura County, Ca.
It finally arrived and so far, I am very happy with it. The build, trigger feel, sights and even the feel of the bolt is very different than any of my Russians. It looks nice and I hope it will be a good shooter.

I like that it is a 1968 "Sneak" M39, interesting history there. Can anyone identify how old the receiver is on this rifle?










Nice looking rifle! Congrats on the find. I like the M39 Finns. I think that is what Caribou's wife uses up in Alaska on the tv show. She a danged good shot with it, translating to the rifles are very accurate.

Very nice! One of my most prized rifles is a 1970 M39. The myth is that they were built to get around Soviet restrictions imposed by treaty, but apparently they were simply being used to fill in for worn out M39 training rifles. They do tend to have a lot of cosmoline infiltration in the stock grain. Unfortunately someone somewhere along the line dipped the mostly unfinished stocks in the goo. I doubt it was the Finns--probably some importer. But the end result is that for the unissued ones in particular you've got to contend with the seeping yellow goop. No easy way to get it out if yours has been subjected to it. Sunshine and rags are probably the very best method. Time and heat are the cure.

I find mine prefers light ball surplus but also does exceptionally well with Woodleigh .303 215 grain slugs. Not sure why. The barrel and sight assemblies are far heavier than the Soviet 91/30's, which makes the rifle stiffer but also means they can burn you once you get a few dozen rounds down range. I'd suggest letting it cool off a bit or wearing a glove if you're going to be doing a lot of stance shooting.
You'll be able to get a date by looking underneath the tang.

But looking at your pics, you can see a dimple on top of the receiver where the Finns ground off the double headed eagle Peter the Great crest. So you're receiver is likely from a M91.
Looks like a regular Mosin Nagant bolt to me. If there is no date under the tang, the receiver is most likely a New England Westinghouse. Try Privi ammo. My M39 shoots one inch groups with it all day long if I do my part.....The brass is reloadable too. However, with that kind of accuracy, why bother.....chris3
Interesting historical tip jobu07, thanks!

I still need to take it down when I have some free time. Unfortunately there has been zero downtime to play with my rifles lately, work, work, work to pay for them all. I have a 500 round case of Prvi brass ammo just waiting for me to shoot it and I am now reloading so I will be working up my own loads for this rifle.
Make sure to give it a very through scrub. I can see dried cosmoline on the steel, and you esp. want that out of your chamber and receiver. I use a .45 phosophorous brush (the surplus kind for 1911's) and elbow grease along with mpro spray to get it out of the chamber and receiver areas.

Also, first time out get it nice and hot at the range and before you leave dose it again with spray to loosen up any remaining cosmoline. A full strip down is usually a good idea for the steel parts, including the bolt and trigger group. There's cosmoline hiding in there. The wet stuff is annoying but the dried stuff can cause sticking.

Another way to de-cosmo the steel is black powder style with very very hot near-boiling water, but this can burn you if you're not set up for it and you will need to quickly dry and lube the hot steel.
Nice find right there. Nice thing about these M 39s is that the front sight can be moved in a matter of seconds by just loosening the opposite screw then you can make fine adjustments on your windage. They do tend to shoot a little high at 100 yrds but if you get a higher front sight then thats easy fix.

The surplus ammo 54 R are way too cheap to resist so you did very well.
Very nice. My two M39s are older builds but are built on 1896 and 1897 receivers.

Neither is as nice as yours though...enjoy.
Cosmo has it right about the boiling water, and the heat of the water transferred to the metal will dry itself. Same same for dissolving the salts fromthe priming that attract moiture to your bores steel after shooting; boiling water dissolves and flushes the salts of the corrosive priming and drys itself.
Boiling water is the best Xtra step to add if your shooting milsurp ammo, a boiling water flush, then scrub, then rinse with boiling water, and clean as normal.

water on steel sounds so wrong, but it isnt, as long as its HOT, and it will dry itself, and of couse, you gotta oil the clean bare steel to keep it happy :D

Oh ya, Chattralt didnt mark a year on the recivers they made, I belive 1891-1895. If you have a Chattralt made reciver, you will find a large threaded hole, a "Grease hole" where the barrel threads into the reciver.

NEW used a, E marking.

Never know, Finns scrubbed recivers, but dateless under the tang ones are eith American or French made.
best find in 2011?

My SKY marked M39 is a free floated barrel, and can make patterns on tagets that barely travel outside 1"-1-1/4" @100 yards.
When I first purchased it and dismantled for cleaning and inspection I discovered some thin wooden shims between the upper hand guard and the lower stock out toward the muzzle barrel clamp so I investigated.
The wooden stocks had been relieved/scraped and strategically shimmed to result in a free float with the stock clamp tightened up.
It is one of my least expensive terrificly accurate rifles. Mil-surp - antique - and all!
It is really hard to choose my favorite between this Finn & the bring-back 98 that were both found and purchased the fall/winter season of 2011.
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