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Old May 1, 2013, 06:54 AM   #1
LED
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The American Mosin

Has anyone had a chance to compare a Mosin built by Remington or Westinghouse during WW1 to the Russian original? Any differences in quality?
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Old May 1, 2013, 11:34 AM   #2
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I personally have yet to ever find one in person, in fact the first few months I owned a mosin I had no idea that american contractors made the 1891 and thought somebody was pulling my leg when they said they found one with remington markings.

I don't know of anything special other than the small numbers that were made which makes them hard to find.
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Old May 1, 2013, 11:43 AM   #3
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Small number only relative to the estimated 10s of millions Russian production. Remington alone got an order for 1 million, Westinghouse for 300K if I remember correctly. Not all made were delivered, many remained in the US. Scrapped or recycled, I don't know, but not stockpiled in the US arsenal. They were already obsolete in the 30's. Chances are not many Americans cared to own them.

Last edited by LED; May 1, 2013 at 05:05 PM.
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Old May 1, 2013, 06:19 PM   #4
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I have a NEW 91 but haven't found another 91 to compare it to. They just aren't common. Not surprising it's well worn compared to all my other Mosin Nagants. BTW mine has [SA] stamps.
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Old May 1, 2013, 06:23 PM   #5
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SA as in Springfield Armory?
Any rollmarks?
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Old May 1, 2013, 07:22 PM   #6
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SA is a finnish government property mark.
Suomi is the finnish word for Finland.
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Old May 1, 2013, 07:27 PM   #7
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Sorry its finnish stamps witch would make it a little less rare than a plain NEW. It looks like [SA]. I dont really deal online and havent found another 91's in local shops or many interesting 91/30's. Its been awhile since i collected so im a bit fuzzy on my mosin history. Its worn down to bare metal it looks but its my crown jewel. One day i hope tp own a Remington.
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Old May 1, 2013, 08:05 PM   #8
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I believe the US made had better finished metal parts and tighter tolerances. I have read that the tighter tolerances were a complaint of the Russians, due to the frigid temps causing stuck bolts. I am lucky enough to have several of each. Not one is a complete original, all of them saw war and show it. One has the US eagles and flaming bombs markings. Us soldiers were issued MN 1891s, to fight Bolsheviks, before the Polar Bear Expedition in Arkhangelsk, Russia. Some 50,000 more, supposedly were sent to Vladivostok, Russia to supply the Czech Legion, in hopes that they would re-open the Eastern Front or fight the Bolsheviks. I have seen complete US made US rifles on the online auction sites. They can go for up to $1200; they are beautiful. I have never seen a completely original Russian or French (Chatellerault) made M1891. Several of mine are SA marked, so they saw Finnish military service. It seems that they tried to keep US components together when they could. Perhaps they believed the US made rifles were better finished. Some of the SA marked rifles have very smooth triggers and actions. They are such a heavy, long sighted platform, they can be remarkably accurate for nearly 100 year old, war scarred rifles. I'm not that good a shot and need glasses to see OK, but I can break clay targets at 100 yds consistently with a few of my better shooters.
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Old May 2, 2013, 06:36 AM   #9
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DE i would love to see pics!
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Old May 2, 2013, 08:54 AM   #10
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CLC, if you go to the 7.62x54r.net websight, you will find a wealth of information. There is info on the entire history, including pics, of the round and the weapons designed (based on the original M1891) to fire the round. There is the Gunboards Forums website too. The Collectors page usually has a thread or two running with pics of Remington or New England Westinghouse M1891s. You may have to register to see some of the pics. But you can do a search and see a few beautiful, completely original US M1891s that a few of the collectors own. If you are interested in Mosin Nagant's, these are the two must sites to visit.....for a start. I will look into what it takes to post pics here and try if I can. Good Luck.
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Old May 2, 2013, 10:05 AM   #11
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The have been persistent claims in the Russian media that the US-made Mosins were inferior in quality. Not the tight tolerances, but sloppy workmanship, everything from falling apart to the hard edges cutting hands. Such accusations are typical in the culture always on a lookout for foreign subversion. One cannot, however, dismiss them out of hand. That's why it would be extremely useful to know what the real owners/shooters think. I hope someone steps up before this forum expires.

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Old May 2, 2013, 06:42 PM   #12
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LED, I am certainly no expert. And, I doubt that there are very few folks around that have ever had the opportunity to handle/shoot many completely original M1891s, from any country. If no one can step up to the table here, you can go to the Gunboard's Forum, Collectors site and ask them. There are several members from Finland and Russia, so you can get a wide range of opinions. I think that might turn out to be a fantastic topic. Might turn into another war involving the venerable M1891.
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Old May 2, 2013, 08:26 PM   #13
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Admittedly, its a small statistical sampling, but I have a New England Westinghouse M91 that came through Finland, a Russian Tula M91 made in 1917 and a Finnish made Tikkakoski M91 made in 1943.

The NEW rifle is just as good as the Russian or Finnish one.
The notion that the American made rifles were inferior must have come out of Russian xenophobia.
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Old May 2, 2013, 11:02 PM   #14
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Mike G,
Here is an incomplete list of Russian complaints.

Weak magazine spring.
Weak interruptor (a proprietary metal part built into the receiver to guide the rimmed cartridge into battery). Both caused misfeeds.
Sharp edged hex receiver (cuts hands).
Jamming due to dirt and mud (not clear whether tight tolerances were blamed).

Quoted is the general from the Chief Department of Artillery who supposedly visited the Remington facility in 1916 and complained about the sloppy assembly work. According to him, parts of the already assembled rifles were hammered and bent into shape by workers. Another reference points to the Grand Duke in charge who recommended to annul the contract with Westinghouse altogether because its rifles could not pass quality inspection..

I have to correct my numbers. NEW was contracted to build over a million rifles, as well as Remington.
Your sample is small but very valuable because it is also random. Getting your response would be fantastic.

DE- Russians have a long memory span. They dredge up old stuff, and often manipulate it, catching their opponents off guard.

Last edited by LED; May 2, 2013 at 11:18 PM.
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Old May 2, 2013, 11:11 PM   #15
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Have one here my grandfather got new after WW-1 for $3.75 I belive it was on price. Still works just fine after more horse life times than I can think of. It has spend most of its life on a horse in a old Krag GI boot. Fit and finish is like comparing a 1930s smith and wesson to a AK vs Russian Nagents.
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Old May 3, 2013, 12:48 PM   #16
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I picked up a cheap 1918 Remosington which had been sporterized sometime in the '60s. It has a Lyman brass bead front sight, the longer tapered style rather than the early straight band.

It looks to have been a saddle rifle as well by the brown patina.

The neat part to me is seeing the Remington Armory stamp below the Imperial Russian crest.

Hard to compare accuracy, as this one is really pitted, probably from all the surplus ammo ran through it!
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Old May 3, 2013, 03:35 PM   #17
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Where in the world have they all gone? References say only 19% of remosingtons were delivered. The government actually bailed out Remington by purchasing much or all of its surplus, after the new regime in Russia annulled all national debt to the West.
DE is probably right sending me to Gunboards... I just don't like site hopping, registrations and all.
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Old May 3, 2013, 05:22 PM   #18
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LED, if you are interested enough you should go there. It is an excellent site with very helpful folks; much like here. Every US rifle had to be inspected by a team of Russian inspectors. And, they left many inspection marks. Thru the various Russian governments, they continued to try and purchase M1891s from Remington and New England Westinghouse. Supposedly the Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin governments even tried to buy them from the US, after our government took over the rifles from the two companies. The reason there aren't many "original" M1891s left is because many of the rifle components can be used to build the various other models. I have seen (and bought one) M91/30 rifles out of a crate at a gunshow that had several Remington components on the bolt assembly. The rifles were clearly refurbs from a Ukraine depot. And, I have seen many other models at shows with Remington and NEW parts. The Finns bought all they could get to make their various models. We sent some 50,000 to Vladivostok to try and arm the Czech Legion. Thanks to the Brits the soldiers (and sailors of the USS Olympia) were issued US made M1891s to fight the Bolsheviks at Archangesk, Russian for the Polar Bear Expedition. As a matter of fact, the Brits were responsible for setting up and getting the NEW contract. That's why many of the NEW rifles have a "English Contract" cartouche on the butt stock. The Abraham Lincoln Brigade supposedly carried some US M1891s in the Spanish Civil War. What a round! 7.62x54r is still in service today!
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Old May 3, 2013, 05:48 PM   #19
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I got to handle an all correct Westinghouse in excellent condition.

The fit and finish were far superior to any Russian or Finnish rebuild I have handled.
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Old May 10, 2013, 09:33 PM   #20
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its higher quality, and ANY part on the american version will fit on the other mosins built elsewhere but not vice versa


a buddy of mine got one and we compared to my russian, its just machined better, everything looks finely polished and made, were as on the russian you can see some of the cheapness that went into its construction
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Old May 11, 2013, 12:54 PM   #21
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Did you have a chance to compare the magazine springs, or any snagging when a round is stripped off the mag into battery? THAT'S what the Russians supposedly complained about in 1916 and to this day! Any cycling difference at all with your eyes closed?

Last edited by LED; May 11, 2013 at 01:16 PM.
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Old May 11, 2013, 01:56 PM   #22
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no issues it seemed smoother action but comparing the magazine spring id say it was close, if i wasnt looking for it i wouldn't tell

the only real Difference i could tell was the bolt movement as well as trigger action, it was more constant pull and smoother but overal id say its just better built structurally wise, and looked nicer

my mosin has had issues with talua round loading, they jam sometimes, no issues with Winchester and brown bear rounds save for winchester weak spots in primer metal.
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Old May 11, 2013, 04:50 PM   #23
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When the Bolsheviks took over Russia, they immediately defaulted on most Tsarist contracts.

That left many rifles (Winchester Model 95s as well as American-made Moisins) undelivered.

The US Army took many of the Moisins and used them for recruit training stateside. That freed up US service rifles to go overseas.

After the war, most were purchased by Francis Bannerman as surplus.

It's unclear what happened to most of them, but many were sold in the US for a few dollars.

Bannerman also was responsible for an extremely DANGEROUS modification to the Westinghouse Nagants.

His company "converted" some hundreds or thousands to fire US .30-06 ammo.

Basically they ran a chambering reamer in to lengthen the chamber to proper dimensions, and cut a half moon out of the receiver ring so that the longer US ammo would fit easily.

I'm not sure if they did anything to the magazines or whether they were just single shots.

Given that the 7.62 Russian round is significantly larger at the case head, these rifles got a reputation for occasionally blowing up.

Somewhere around here I have a Bannerman catalog reprint from the 1920s. I'll have to dig it out and see if there are Moisins offered for sale.
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Old May 11, 2013, 07:40 PM   #24
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Yep, they had to spread out the mag well to accommodate the .06 round.

Finland NEVER manufactured the Mosin-Nagant receiver- all originated in Russia or the Soviet Union. All of the "M" Series Mosins were rebarreled by the Finns.

Link on the Bannerman conversions:

http://www.mosinnagant.net/global%20.../bannerman.asp
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