Tuesday, June 17, 2008

American Rifleman on the Mosin Nagant in U.S. Service

Continuing our “rifle of the month” feature on the Mosin Nagant, the June 2008 issue of American Rifleman magazine ran a feature article on the Mosin Nagant in U.S. service, unflatteringly entitled “Ugly Duckling”. This author happens to LIKE the look of the Mosin Nagant, but to each his or her own. The article is actually quite good and focuses primarily on the Mosin Nagant Model 1891 rifle produced in the United States for the Imperial Russian government by Remington and New England Westinghouse.

An interesting tidbit that I hadn’t known was the actual price of a Mosin Nagant rifle and bayonet in 1916 - $30 in the original contracts for both Remington and N.E.W. (though after the Bolshevik revolution and subsequent default on both contracts, Uncle Sam bought many of the rifles at the fire sale price of $20 each to keep the two vital arms making plants solvent). Using the inflation calculator a $30 rifle in 1916 would cost just over $600 today (and conversely a $20 rifle in 1916 would run around $375 today). As a collector, these are interesting numbers because near mint condition Remington and New England Westinghouse Mosin Nagants can be had for between $350 and $500 today – roughly equal to the original purchase price adjusted for inflation.

Remington M1891 - 1916 Production

After purchase by the U.S. Army, the M1891 was officially adopted as a “Substitute Standard” rifle. The official designation was “U.S. Magazine Rifle, Model of 1916”. As compared to the Model 1903, the M1891 is a bit ungainly, though several were used in training. In 1918, the M1891 was sent with American troops to Russia in the North Russian Campaign – largely because the large stock of 7.62x54R ammunition in the area simplified logistics. Initially deployed to prevent North Russia (Murmansk and Archangel) from falling into German hands, the Americans ended up fighting communist forces on many occasions.

Remington Receiver Marking

The article also details other campaigns where U.S. forces utilized the Mosin Nagant, as well as the difficulties encountered by Remington and N.E.W during initial production. If you’re not an NRA member and don’t get American Rifleman – SHAME ON YOU! Join here. For the rest of you, I hope you enjoy this well-written and informative article as much as I did.

Until next time!!!


eric said...

Every gun collector should have at least one of these in their safe. I just got mine recently for $90:


Talk about cheap fun!

Fingolfen said...

Oh yeah - I've got several of them myself... lots of fun!