As flip as it sounds, trade it to someone with an M38 who wants an M44. The M38 is going for around $150 - $185 on Gun Broker (just bought my third) on a good day. You could also try having a gunsmith swap barrels. Numrich has stripped "fair condition" M38 barrels for $30.
My best solution would be to sell the M44 and pick up one of Classic Arms really inexpensive ($69 - $79) strike-through Nagant 91/30 rifles and sporterize that one. They're in relatively good shape out of the box and you get a slightly longer barrel with that model.
I wouldn't attempt to grind down the bayonet lug to the outside barrel wall. I'd probably leave about 1mm of material encircling the barrel instead --just for shots and giggles.