I just bought a mint condition Russian Moisin-Nagant M44 from a friend who had two. It has about 98% of its bluing. It has a shiny bore with good rifling. There is some minor pitting about 5mm on the trigger guard and the top of the buttstock plate from storage. The top handguard is banded with shiny brass bands on both ends. However, the top handguard has the beginings of a two inch hairline crack.
It was manufactured in 1945, serial number C4381, matching on receiver, bolt, and trigger guard. The manufacturer stamp is a triangle with an arrow inside. It is also stamped with the Hammer and Sickle surrounded by an oak cluster. Bayonet and cleaning rod are present.
I paid $120 for this rifle. What is its general value? Is it collectable? Should I shoot it? Should I try to fix the crack in the top handguard before shooting it? How can this crack be reasonably fixed? Epoxy? Wood putty? Thanks for any replies.