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M91 Features

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The early years: 1892 - 1909

    When production began in 1892, the Mosin looked quite different. It had a finger rest behind the trigger which was a throwback to the Berdan 1 and the Krnka

Model 1869 Krnka

Model 1869 Krnka

Model 1869 Colt Berdan 1

Model 1868 Colt Berdan 1

Flat rear sight

    From 1891 to 1909, the M91, Dragoon, and Cossack rifles all used a flat style rear sight, similar to the later 91/30 rear sight. This sight was calibrated for the original bottlenosed 7.62x54r bullet. When the spitzer cartridge came out around 1908, this rear sight was changed since it could not be used with the new cartridge. Because of this, only a very small amount of these rear sights still exists today

Izhevsk Flat Rear Sight

Tula Flat Rear Sight

Sestroretsk Flat Rear Sight

Sling Swivels

    From 1891 to 1907, newly produced M91s did not have holes in the stock for a sling. Instead, it used the same attachment method as the old Berdan and Krnka rifles - a front sling swivel attached to the barrel band, and a rear sling swivel attached to the trigger guard assembly. Almost all M91 stocks were retrofitted with escutcheons after The Great War, so it is very rare to encounter a M91 today which has not had its stock modified

German Captured WW1 Mosin with bayonet adapter

1894 Izhevsk M91 with no escutcheons

Magazine Checkering

1893 Chatellerault magazine with checkered floorplate

    From 1892 to 1893 the sides of the magazine floorplates were checkered. This made it easier to grip when opening the bottom of the magazine for maintenance. It was removed after 1893 because when the rifle was over your shoulder, the checkering would wear through clothes during a long march

Tula magazine with checkering

Tula Pattern

Chatellerault magazine with checkering

Chatellerault Pattern 

Recoil Lugs

    From 1892 to 1909, Mosin stocks did not have recoil lugs. The bottle nosed cartridge was low enough pressure that no additional reinforcement was needed for the stock

    After the Russian army adopted the new M1908 spitzer cartridge, the higher pressures were starting to crack stocks. For a single year, in 1909, newly produced Mosins had a hard wooden recoil lug in the stock. Some older rifles were likely retrofitted as well in 1909

Receiver Grease Hole

    Before 1894, Mosin receivers had a threaded grease hole on the left side of the receiver. The idea was that the screw could be removed, which would expose the barrel threads, and this would allow the barrel threads to be greased which would make it easier to remove the barrel. This was removed to simplify and speed up production

1893 Tula with grease hole

1893 Chatellerault with grease hole

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