View Full Version : Westinghouse Mosin Nagant info needed

January 21, 2011, 11:34 AM
OK...so I'm also looking at a Mosin Nagant in trade.

I know NOTHING about them. Less than nothing actually. Looking at the pics below, can I get some info on this rifle?

Any help appreciated.


January 21, 2011, 11:49 AM
Looks okay to me except the stock looks its been sanded or had the finish scraped off. Heres a few questions:

Is there an SA in a box stamped on the left side of the chamber? If so its a Finnish army marking which will make the rifle worth a little less than one that hasnt been to Finland.

Do the numbers on the bolt, receiver, floor plate, and butt plate match?

Whats the bore condition?

January 21, 2011, 11:58 AM
Only have pics of it right now...not actually in my hands.

I DO have one that shows SA on the receiver, so I guess that it has been to Finland. I am not able to see if all the numbers match yet. Stock also looks lighter than those I have seen, so I dont know if it was refinished or sanded, etc.

Value with Number's Matching? Without?

With a little searching I see the Westinghouse is one of the more preferred, but did not know they sent some to Finland. S

Mike Armstrong
January 21, 2011, 12:34 PM
That stock looks like it may have been covered with Cosmoline metal preservative which turned solid with age, and then somebody removed it with a scraper and removed most of the stock finish as well.

The Mosin Nagant rifles marked with the Finnish Army acceptance stamp SA weren't SENT to Finland by the US manufacturer of your rifle, the US Govt., or anybody else as far as I know. Some were TAKEN to Finland by Bolshevik forces trying to establish a Soviet Finland after the 1917 collapse of the Russian Empire, and then captured by Finnish nationalists who set up the modern Finnish Republic. Some were simply retained by Finnish soldiers in the former Czarist Imperial Army who defended Finland from the Bolsheviks when the Empire collapsed and Finland declared her independance. That's one huge bunch that ultimately were accepted into Finnish army and Civil Guard use when the Finns established their republic and set up a national army later.

Another huge bunch were TAKEN to Finland by the Red Army in 1939 when they invaded Finland. The Finns captured hundreds of thousands of these in the first phase of that war, and marked them with the SA for re-issue to Finnish forces.

There are also Mosin Nagants that were manufactured in Finland between the wars and captured Mosin Nagants that were re-manufactured on Russian, US, and French manufactured recievers. None of these look like your rifle; they have distinctly Finnish modifications from the original Russian specs.

The US manufactured Mosins for the Czar's Imperial Army at Westinghouse and Remington. Many of them never left the US because of the collapse of the Czar's government in 1917. Yours is likely one of those, but that is hard to tell. Some were used by US forces in our attempted intervention in Russia during the Russian Civil War following 1917--we actually issued US troops Mosins to use in Russia. I don't know how to identify those, except that I believe that all of them were US manufactured like yours. Others were used as training rifles here in the US, some rechambered to .30-06 (A bad idea). If yours won't chamber the Russian 7.62x54R round, chances are good that it is one of those. Not for shooting in my opinion, but I'm no expert.

There ARE experts over on the Mosin Nagant forums at www.gunboards.com/forums You can get a lot more info there by registering, posting any questions, and posting your pix.

Interesting piece of history you're looking at!

January 21, 2011, 12:44 PM
Wow Mike...very interesting. This rifle still chambers the 7.62x54 round.

January 21, 2011, 03:22 PM
Mike's info is correct, but I have some info to add.

IIRC all Westinghouse Mosin-Nagants are marked "1915" regardless of the actual year of manufacture. They were made from 1915 to 1917.

IIRC the Imperial Russian contracts with Westinghouse and Remington were scheduled to be over well before 1917, but both contracts proceeded far behind schedule due to various problems, notably engineering drawings that contradicted one another, Russian-provided sample rifles that didn't match any of the drawings, and excessively picky and arrogant Russian military inspectors. (According to stories I've read, they were real prima donnas, known for behavior like snatching an unfinished rifle stock from an American production line worker, smashing it, then loudly berating the worker for shoddy workmanship because it broke. :mad: ) Both companies had several hundred thousand rifles on hand, unpaid and undelivered, when the October Revolution occurred. The Bolshevik government declared that the rifles weren't needed, partially due to a lack of cash and partially due to an idealistic notion that Communist revolution would soon sweep Europe, ending class warfare and ushering in an era of peace. (How'd that work out? :rolleyes: )

This threatened both companies with bankruptcy, and the US federal government quickly realized that having two of America's largest arms manufacturers go belly-up right at the start of their intervention in WWI would be a Very Bad Thing. :( The government wound up buying all of the rifles at a greatly reduced price. Some were issued to US Army soldiers for training, but the soldiers didn't like them and the logistics commanders balked, so most of the rifles wound up being resold to civilians as surplus, usually for very low prices. Many were bought by distributors and subsequently rechambered in .30-06, which, as Mike implies, is an unsafe conversion. Such rifles SHOULD NOT BE FIRED.

AFAIK the only American combat use of the rifles occurred during two generally unsuccessful and pointless WWI-era US military interventions in Russia, particularly the 1918 ANREF expedition to Archangelsk. IIRC the ANREF force was almost entirely equipped with US-built Mosin-Nagants because their main mission was to protect a large stockpile of ammo and other war material in the city- a stockpile they were expected to be able to utilize, but the Bolsheviks removed all of it before US and British forces even arrived.


ANREF forces spent a bitterly cold winter in one of the most remote cities in the world, with no real mission, very limited supplies, and a woefully inadequate number of troops to launch any sort of effective attack on the enemy. Their mission quickly became "Maintain a Defensive Perimeter and Try Not to Freeze or Starve to Death". :( IIRC they were understandably so demoralized by the time they were ordered to leave that they abandoned almost all of their equipment and weaponry in Russia.

January 22, 2011, 08:34 AM
Value of your rifle?
In the condition you listed:
Matching $250
Non Matching $175-200
The bore condition can add or subtract about $25.
The bubbaed stock is what is knocking off value for the rifle.
I have the same rifle and thoroughly enjoy it.

January 22, 2011, 08:40 AM
the clamps that pinch the two pieces of wood together around the barrel- they do not look authentic. Did they use different ones for finland ones or something or did someone use the wrong clamps before this guy owned it?

Mike Irwin
January 22, 2011, 12:53 PM
IIRC, Francis Bannerman's company was responsible for most of the American-made MN's that were rechambered to .30-06.

There was a discussion in American Rifleman some years ago about this. Those that are rechambered have a semi-circular cut in the front receiver bridge because of the .30-06's greater overall length.

Over the years apparently a number of rifles so rechambered have failed, with nasty consequences.

January 22, 2011, 01:50 PM
I'd ask for more up close, in focus pics.

January 22, 2011, 06:19 PM
Well this one is chambered in the original 7.62x54, so thats a plus. I have found out that the bolt and receiver #'s do not match. So its not a prime all original piece buts its still a FIN Mosin Nagant none the less.

I posted up over at 7.62x54 and obviously did not read the rules well enough. My thread was locked for the word "Refinish". Not bashing as I got loads of great info on the site, and i should have paid closer attention to the exact rules.

Anyways I like the rifle. Its not worth what I trading, but I may still offer a cash deal. I have not had time to get it in my hands yet even though we are maybe 15 miles apart. My second son is due any day now and things are crazy around here.

January 22, 2011, 06:36 PM
Congrats on the impending new son. I hope all goes well with the delivery and that your son is healthy.

January 22, 2011, 08:11 PM
Another good site for information is:

I have a Finn Westinghouse M91, S/N 651xxx..
The barrel bands are the early type, if you disassemble the rifle, be aware that they turn clockwise to loosen and counterclockwise to tighten. Several bands have been broken by overtightening while trying to remove them.

January 22, 2011, 09:19 PM
Cool piece of history as I had no idea that Westinghouse produced Mosins. I knew there was a reason I hang around here so much.

January 22, 2011, 10:29 PM
Remington did too.

January 23, 2011, 06:59 AM
Remington did too.

I knew Remington did but somehow I skipped over Westinghouse in my reading.