91 mosin

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by lead, Apr 12, 2006.

  1. lead

    lead Well-Known Member

    May 16, 2004
    A local pawn shop has a couple 91/30's in, and came up with a 91 model. It has the old style rear sight, about an inch longer then the 91/30's, If I remember right it was dated 1915.
    Will the milsurp ammo out there shoot safely in these older rifles? Any other things I should consider if I get this rifle?
    It's priced at $120, same as the other rifles he has. All numbers matched.
  2. RussianRifle

    RussianRifle New Member

    Jan 19, 2006

    First, milsurp 7.62X54R should do just fine in an M91.

    Things to consider for an M91? Other than the usual things when buying any milsurp (bore, crown, headspace, etc), there are a couple things that are sometimes issues with M91s. Does it have a cleaning rod? Many don't, but that shouldn't be a show stopper. I believe Tennessed Gun Parts sells a repro one.

    Handguards for M91s are also sometimes an issue. Again, some M91s are found without handguards, and the handguards themselves are a little hard to come by. REALLY earlier models (before the one you mentioned) didn't have a handguard.

    I now have four M91s. Of the eight barrel bands, only three are not stripped. Again, these can be hard to come by. Check them on the rifle you're considering. Barrel bands that won't tighten will allow the handguard to slip forward (and possibly fall of) while you're firing. Kind of annoying and pretty embarassing. Also remember that the M91 barrel bands are threaded backwards. That is, to loosen the screw, you have to turn it clockwise, and counter-clockwise to tighten it.

    You might also check to see if the M91 was Finn captured. An SA stamp in a box on the side of the receiver, a usually prominent "D" overstamped on the receiver, usually somewhere near the date, and lines through the Arshin range markings on the rear sight (often with meters stamped on the other side) are all indications that the rifle had been captured and remarked by the Finns. Finn captured M91 are sometimes in better shape and are valued a little more by many collectors.

    Of course, if the Imperial crest(s) are still on the gun, that would be a plus. Is it a Sestroyetsk, Remmington or New England Westinghouse receiver? Also generally worth a little more.

    As a minor collector, I prize the history of these rifles. A 91/30 is a fine example to have, and most likely would have seen action in WWII. But an M91 may have been used on either side in the October Revolution of 1917, or by the White Russians later, and/or been used anywhere in the Russians' fight against the Nazi invaders. And they're becoming less common.

    Sorry for the long post, hope this helps.


  3. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    I don't see very many 91s less than $100 any more, so it would probably be a good deal if it's in any kind of decent shape. I doub't you would find a Finn at that price now, though, but if you did it would be a steal. While the two piece stock is usually the give-away on a Finn, you MAY find one in an original Russian stock, then the easiest way if you don't see the SA, usually in a box, like if it's worn, is look at the rear sight.

    The Russian sight on 91s is measured in "arshini" (1 "Arshin" = one "pace" in archaic Russian....supposedly the walking pace of the Czar {which one I don't know!}...something like 28") (Illiterate Russian peasants would understand "paces" better than "yards" or "meters" anyway...) but after the Finns captured them one of the FIRST things they did was "line out" the arshini markings and renumber it in meters on the other side...and the middle marking is now a strange "8.5" or "8 1/2"
  4. lead

    lead Well-Known Member

    May 16, 2004
    Thanks guys. It's the history behind the old gun that always attracts me.
    I think the gun must be Sestroyetsk, I didn't see any English on it. I'll have to look for other markings.
    Hopefully I can get back there this weekend.
  5. cpt.bales

    cpt.bales Former Guest

    May 14, 2006
    phoenix, arizona
    you can get 91/30 rifles here in arizona for like 80 bucks. i got my M44 for 86 dollers. it was in awesome shape. looked like it had never been fired. dated 1946.
  6. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Actually the Finns rebarreled theirs to .308, actually sometimes closer to .307. But I shot only Russian and Albanian milsurp through my M39 and Finn 91, with no problems, Lapin says it should not be a problem (and you KNOW the Finns used LOTs of caprtured Russian ammo...but then again I probably only shot 100 rounds or so total through my Finns, so it's not a long term test or anything...Lapin says the "tighter bore" is why the Finns are "generally" better shooters with Russian ammo....

    But you should still be careful and check for pressure signs if you do..
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