"Forced matched" bolts on 44s?

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by cointoss2, Mar 3, 2003.

  1. cointoss2

    cointoss2 Guest

    polishshooter
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    (12/19/01 1:15:54 am)
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    I posted this in the AIM one, but maybe you wouldn't see it so I'll do it again, I'm curious...

    MOST 44s I've seen or owned until recently have the (or "a")full serial number on the bolt body including all numbers and letters, just like any other 91 or 91/30.

    LATELY however, I've been seeing 44s with what appears to be a highly polished, maybe ground and polished, area on the bolt-body where the serail number is, and then only the last three numbers of the serial number from that gun stamped in LARGE type, larger than any other type on the gun. Done pretty well, but....

    I have NEVER seen such a bolt on a mismatched gun...

    SOOOoooo...is this the High-tech version of the dreaded electropencil "force match?"

    Done pretty well, so maybe at the rearsenal, but I have NOT always found the rearsenal marks on these 44s...COULD it be Century or InterOrd playing games?

    I wouldn't put it past them....
    We must make war as we must; not as we would like. - Field Marshal Kitchener, 1915

    Bob In St Louis
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    (12/19/01 7:32:50 am)
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    I saw a lot of these on the last batch of Russians I got from SOG. Here is the rub though - some of the bolts were mismatched to the rifles. I believe these were an arsenal rework of some sort in the past, but were not stamped with the arsenal rework mark. Therefore, I believe these rifles were a batch of "Soviet Aid" supplies to another Eastern European country, which subsequently reworked and rearsenaled the rifles - Ipso facto, no Russian arsenal rework mark. The bolts were probably new manufactured in whatever that country was. In all of the M44s I have examined, I have only seen one (a Hungarian) with the electro pencil "forced match" number.
    Crusty Cruffler of Fine Spanish Pistols - Eibar Rules!

    Moskovskyya
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    (12/19/01 9:24:35 am)
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    Genlemen, I have caught alot of flack from collectors in the past for what I'm about to tell you, but... whatever!

    I have restored Mosins for years, not in an attempt to try and deceive anyone, rather to put the rifles back to a mechanical condition "like new", and a visual condition of a 50+ year old battle rifle. This includes professional removal and replacement of damaged areas on the wood, even to the point of fingerjointing the thing. When I find a piece that has a acceptable bore, and overall worth several hours of slow painstaking labor, I will do whatever is necessary to make an attractive safely functioning piece that someone would want, and feel safe firing.

    When I finish the chamber polishing and the head space check, test fire, and all is well, I polish off the old sn perfectly, and restamp (with an alignment jig) the receiver number. This is not to confuse anyone, there are no arsenal refinish marks, it is simply to indicate that this is the bolt that belongs in this rifle for safe operation! I have lately been stamping only the last 3 digits. No arsenal, as far as I am aware has ever done this, it simply a way of indicating professional rematch without being fraudulent.

    This one I'm working on now is an 1898 hex 91/30 with a 44 barrel. I would wager the bolt has been change 50 times in its life. I do not believe there is a Mosin, anywhere that has the original bolt. When you see a matching number, it is because of trying to fool people, or it has been rematched. So, there is what I think are the differences... deception, forcematch, (someone elses word), or rematch (my word).

    Don't be fooled, if it matches, why, it just can't be original, and it it somehow were, how could you be sure?

    Bob In St Louis
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    (12/19/01 9:52:21 pm)
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    These rifles I have examined have come directly from the distributor - they were imported that way, not something reworked here, unless the importer is doing it.
    Crusty Cruffler of Fine Spanish Pistols - Eibar Rules!

    kdub01
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 71
    (12/22/01 5:23:56 pm)
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    Reminds me of the regular that comes to the gun range almost every day. The other day he showed up with a "41" that he had bought at a discount store for $49.95, plus $70 worth of ammo. After getting the paper wrapping off and cleaning the gunk off enough to shoot, the thing looked like it had been used for driving railroad spikes and the bore was like looking down a gravel road. Had some sort of green epoxy smeared over both sided of the stock thrubolt. It was keyholing at 25 yds! We all had a good laugh - he said the worst thing about the purchase was the $70 in ammo he would have to eat!

    Bob In St Louis
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    (12/23/01 10:18:23 pm)
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    I looked closer at the bolts - some of the mismatched rifles I have are the highly polished bolts with only three or four digits - so, they are likely a later bolt, that was switched around even later. Another mismatch I noticed was a Russian M44 with 1944 date - the bolt was a Polish bolt! I recognized the serial number series from other Polish rifles I have had. These things are a mish mash.
    Crusty Cruffler of Fine Spanish Pistols - Eibar Rules!

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 2501
    (12/24/01 12:18:19 am)
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    Moskov, I have no problem with what you do, and kind of think it's a good thing...as long as you include on the bill of sale or something that you "matched" it..after all, you did...

    BUT, there are plenty of "matched" MNs, out there, usually at premium prices, but somethimes even at wholesale...at least M44s...

    When the whole piece is in used condition, NOT "Like New" (although I have seen some LN I believe were NOT redone...)
    ...and EVERYTHING matches, reciever, bolt, buttplate, and mag floor plate, with the FULL number, including letters, or cyrillic markings, I believe it is a match...

    I agree, MOST are mismatched, if they saw any extensive service, like ANY weapon...just like US stuff...but JUST like you CAN find matching Garands, Carbines, 03s etc, even if MILLIONS of them are mismatched as a rule, I think some of the ones I've seen, and owned, are actually matching, not just rearsenaled...

    And considering how MANY 44s were made, and that almost NONE actually saw issue, wartime service, except 43-44-45 Russians, Hungarians, and the relatively few given or sold to China, Korea, and Vietnamese, I think it is much easier to believe a 44 might be a matching, than a 91 or 91/30, of which virtually ALL saw action and probably were rebuilt...

    The 44s, especially post-war Russians and the other country's manufactured after 1950 WERE mostly stored for "future use..." (for issue when "We" invaded???) except for reserves, Police, etc...the Regular armed forces at the time were using the SKS, then the 47...
    We must make war as we must; not as we would like. - Field Marshal Kitchener, 1915

    Moskovskyya
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    Posts: 23
    (12/24/01 5:13:58 am)
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    Im sorry for the length, but I couldn't get it any shorter.

    Polish, I can offer you a further example of an original Russian "all matching" M44. I bought it in 1992, century import marked, crylic characters in the numbers. Anyone would say it was new. It was mummy wrapped and had a hang tag with a Russian inspectors signature, lot numbers storage numbers etc. There are no rearsenal markings at all, its an Izhevsk. Looking at it closely there was nothing to be found that indicated that it was anything but new, and unfired! There wasn't even one scratch on the rifle anywhere, not even a single handeling dent or scuff. The metal was highly polished deep rich "Weatherby looking" blue, beautiful glossy "expensive furniture looking" wood. I thought when I bought it, that it was a new 1948 unissued piece that had been stored in a salt mine or something waiting for WWIII. It was perfect. Thats why back then I paid $250. Later as I collected and studied more on the former soviet union, and their need for "democracy" money I developed my current belief. The problem is, this rifle "was" perfect! Why, because the Russians, or the Century wizards made it look that way to sell to collecting Americans. I'll guarantee you sir, that there has never been and will never be a battle rifle made this clean by Russia or anyone else for that matter. Its just to much un necessary effort! It was rebuilt, and numbered to SELL, and the fact that it was rearsenaled, or wizzo refinished was hidden! Someone wanted the prospective, not fully knowledgable collector to believe it is new unissued.

    So whle I agree with you for the most part, many of these matching colletor rifles have been expertly matched for a purpose, and as I mentioned in an earlier post, there is just hardly no way to really know unless it was done to good to be true.

    I also have a friend who has a Poish M44 thats very excellent matching that he paid a ton for, CAI import with insufficient head space. Even though the numbers say so, how can it be an all matching rifle?

    I have several more examples of thngs like this that I have discovered over the years that have given me the opinion that many matching rifles were forced for profit, especially in the last few years since cruffling has risen so sharply.

    I've been collecting since 1967, back then most of what you saw was dept store imports and bring backs, there weren't that many matching rifles then, and no one really cared! Why, is it now that collecting has evolved to a level that matching is so importand, is there suddely so many "matching" firearms.

    Xracer
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    (12/24/01 10:49:22 am)
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    I don't know diddly about M44s.....or most collectables, for that matter.....but......

    When I was in Navy boot camp, we had what was called "Service Week", where the entire Company had to do KP. I was sent to the shooting range where the "boots" fired M1 Garands and M1911A1s in a "Familiarization Course"......after which, the rifles and pistols had to be cleaned. We disassembled the weapons (25 to 50 of 'em), dumped all the parts in a large wire basket and sunk it into a 55 gallon drum of "cleaner" (smelled like kerosine). After a half hour, the parts were taken out.....a bore brush was run thru the barrels, and the whole pile of parts was blown off with compressed air. We picked out the similar parts and put them in seperate piles, then reassembled the the weapons, lubricating the parts as we assembled them.

    No attempt was made to match any particular part to any particular weapon. If any of those rifles or pistols ended up with even ONE part that it originally had when it left the factory, it was purely a coincidence.



    Moskovskyya
    Member
    Posts: 24
    (12/24/01 10:39:12 pm)
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    Xactly Xracer, if an issued battle rifle was ever used for anything, for any period of time, it was probably cleaned in some simular way, or was repaired by replacing parts. Most military rifles will fall into that category. But, as Polish has posted, if there is a more likely "real Matching" piece, it would be the M44's, as well as the Swedes, & Swiss rifles that would have the best chances.

    As for American rifles, they don't. The only ones I think possible are ones that were stolen a couple hours after issue and sent home!

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 2514
    (12/25/01 5:47:27 pm)
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    Hey X, I can BELIEVE that from a Swabbie, hell, they probably qualify Marksman if they can tell the range officer which end the bullet comes out of...BUT I don't think you'd find a Gyrene or even a dogface mixing parts from 50 rifles together to clean them, ....THEY know what a rifle is for... \

    Moska, I have a pretty decent 1944 Russian, no rearsenal marks, but with a post war stock...VG to EX, Bolt and Buttplate match, but not floorplate...I know I might be all wet, but I tend to believe the bolt is matched on those that have other parts mismatched...if somebody was going to go to the trouble of "faking it," I would think they would have gone whole hog, do you agree?

    But I AM skeptical of the "unfired" 44s on the market too...

    That may be one of the reasons I really like the "dragged through the rubble only once" 91/30s better...NOBODY expects a "matching," and you get EXACTLY what you are paying for...a well worn, tired, scarred, abused, but usually still functional, battle veteran...the history of them alone compensates for the "looks" of just about any Model 44....

    I have a 1948 "beater" non-matching Russian 44 I'm refinishing right now...when I'm done, it will be my "shooter/Scout..." Metal is great, wood is beat up...

    ...except for the fact it has a WARTIME bayonet lug/front sight...did they change them around too during rearsenal? Never saw that before....


    And Moska, since we are "confessing..." I have to admit, I have switched parts among guns as well...I have gotten excellent metal in beater stocks in the same shipment as weapons with no finish, worn metal in "perfect" wood...yes I HAVE switched them before, and sold the "beater,"not often, but at least twice...am I going straight to Hell?

    Both times, it was Wartime metal in post-war stocks, I figured no-way they were original stocks anyway, what difference did it make switching one last time? (And I would guess I am NOT the only collector that does this, too...)


    We must make war as we must; not as we would like. - Field Marshal Kitchener, 1915

    Moskovskyya
    Member
    Posts: 25
    (12/25/01 6:21:26 pm)
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    Yes Mr. Polish agreed> In your second paragraph where you mentioned the matching bolt and other mis matched parts and why not completely fake it? Good question, for which I think there are 2 prety good answers. #1, it is either the original matching bolt. #2 someone does what I do, they replaced parts etc. checked head space, then numbered the bolt very nicely to indicate that this is "NOW the correct bolt for the rifle due to the missing original. Therefore, it is the current matching bolt, "NOT" the original matching bolt.

    But you sir are absolutely correct, If anyone wanted to fake one, their fraud wouldn't stop without doing all the parts.

    PS these M44's, 38's, & 91/59's are a real blast to shoot at night aren't they?

    polishshooter
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    Posts: 2520
    (12/26/01 1:51:40 pm)
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    ABSOLUTELY the flame alone is amazing, and can be seen sometimes during dull days at the range too! Definitely grabs people's attention...somewhere is posted my report of my "First Annual Soviet Bloc New Year's Eve Salute" from last year...

    (and no matter WHAT you hear, the rototiller I forgot about downrange that caught a round from the Hungarian 44 was already junk... )
    We must make war as we must; not as we would like. - Field Marshal Kitchener, 1915

    kdub01
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    (12/26/01 10:15:43 pm)
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    I wasn't going to say anything, Mike!! (Heh, Heh, Heh!!)

    Bob In St Louis
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    (12/27/01 9:33:31 pm)
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    Is it still sitting there waiting to catch another round this New Year's Eve?
    Crusty Cruffler of Fine Spanish Pistols - Eibar Rules!

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 2534
    (12/28/01 12:46:03 am)
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    No, Bob I junked it...but my "burn barrel" just MIGHT need some new areation holes...

    A few other guys in my subdivision shoot a little at midnight New Years Eve, but since I started using 44s I have the LOUDNESS and FLASH titles covered...

    Years ago I had it covered with the M95 Steyr, but I think the 44 has even it beat...
    We must make war as we must; not as we would like. - Field Marshal Kitchener, 1915

    Moskovskyya
    Member
    Posts: 31
    (12/29/01 1:09:58 am)
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    You guys may know that I live in Georgia near shooter45. I'm currently in a hotel room in California far away from my "shootin irons". I will be here & will not be able to participate in any kind of a rural new years "flash show", ya'll have fun! I'll just sit here with a cold bier, holding my east German MAK Wishi'n! (the MAK is the C&R content)

    Happy New Year folks, enjoy much, and be safe!

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