View Full Version : hammer 'n sickle and the Czar's eagle crest

February 2, 2002, 07:50 PM
Bought an old Mosin-Nagant M91/30 rifle the other day.
On the hex receiver, dated 1931, are both the hammer and sickle as well as the Czar's eagle crest.
Thought that the Bolsheviks went out of their way to remove all traces of the Russian first family.
That would have included markings on all firearms.
What gives?

Is this an elaborate hoax, or a semi-rare item?
Surely there must be literally thousands of similiar rifles out there in private hands.
Aren't there?

Any help or advice is greatly appreciated.

have tape, and a counterfeit....

Harley Nolden
February 3, 2002, 04:38 AM
many nagants were captured and retained by Germany and Austria/Hungary, and were issued to their troops. This may be one of those possibly.


February 3, 2002, 05:57 AM
Thanks for your reply Harley.

Where it wound up after it left Russian soil is a moot point now.
I'm wondering how it managed to survive intact in the first place.

What about its short history after leaving re-arsenalled, yet undetected, from Ishevsk in 1931, not to mention "escaping" the inspections from Bolshevik leaders who probably would have instantly shot anyone found with it in their possession?
The Bolsheviks at the time were simply trying to solidify their control, and eradicate all remnants of the Romanov legacy.

If I remember correctly, Russia was not involved in any major conflicts during the early 1930s.
Had it been made, say 10 years later at the height of the 'Great War', when arms and men were just thrown randomly and recklessly to stop the German advance (the opening scene of Enemy at the Gates comes to mind) , then I could see how it might have "slipped" thru.

I'm not trying to make a mountain out of a molehill.
I said in my earlier post - there are probably quite a few of these "mis-matched" M91/30s out there in captivity.
I just have one of them.
But I'm curious as to why Lapkin, Gebhardt, et al, haven't written anything about this variation.

Maybe truth is stranger than fiction.

have tape, still might have a fake....

Walt Sherrill
February 3, 2002, 08:23 AM
I asked for you on the Curio & Relics list, where there are various experts, including folks very knowledgeable of the M-N line. Here's the only response I've gotten, so far.


During the early 30's the Russians still had a nest egg of older receivers.

Have your friend check the tang date to see if it is older. If this is the case, the hammer and sickle is probably on the barrel and the Eagles on the receiver(pre revolution receiver). The Eagles may be peened rather than scrubbed. In this case the eagles would have an indent over them, sort of compacting them into the receiver giving it a distorted look. Or, of course, a "comrade" may have just missed it and finished his life feeding polar bears in Siberia. :-)


If you'd like to know more about the C-R list, go to www.Cruffler.com

February 3, 2002, 11:35 AM
Thanks for your help Walt.


I posted this same question on 3 other boards.
Since late last night and into this morning, I've already received responses from 9 different individuals who claim to not only have seen similiary marked M-Ns, but own at least one each.
So I was right in thinking that there were/are quite a few laying about. Bet that I haven't heard from the last of them either.

Still, it makes you wonder why the Bolsheviks were so careless.

have tape, and the real deal.....

James K
February 5, 2002, 12:41 AM
I have seen many pre-revolution Russian weapons with the eagle intact. I don't think the new rulers cared too much about the markings on the gun as long as the guy carrying it was loyal.


February 5, 2002, 06:34 AM
Thanks Jim.
I appreciate your insight.

have tape, and another 'wall hanger'...:)

February 8, 2002, 12:50 AM
I have seen M-N 91's with the Czarist eagle, then a German WW1 era capture proof (crown over V), then a Finnish SA mark (The Germans gave them to their ally Finland in WW2) and then the hammer & sickle from when they were re-captured, one war later, from the Finns and reissued by the Soviets in WW2. Nobody back then seemed to worry about existing marks at all. Ain't European history grand? Those guns have shot at almost EVERYBODY!
In fact, one of them was a scoped sniper rifle that was a Viet Nam bring-back! Now there is a gun with history. The ball on the bolt handle was splashed open into a crater where it had been hit with a 5.56 round. That must have been exciting for the sniper when that happened.

February 8, 2002, 06:16 AM
Thanks TexasVet

It seems that Russian firearms "get/got around" more than anyone else.
Witness the AKs and SKSs, etc.

and when the 'wall' came tumblin' down, the flood gates really
opened up!

have tape, sure does look nice up on the wall....