"What Bayonet "Thing" do you mean GSF?" I think I walked into the middle of a conversation :tumbleweed: having a tumble weed moment - lol.
From Wikipedia "In addition, in 1938, a carbine version of the Mosin Nagant, the M38, was issued. The carbine used the same cartridge and action as other Mosins, but the barrel was shortened by eight inches to bring the weapon down to an overall length of 40 inches, with the forearm shortened in proportion. The idea was to issue the M38 to troops such as combat engineers, signal corps, and artillerymen, who could conceivably need to defend themselves from sudden enemy advances, but whose primary duties lay behind the front lines. Significantly, the front sight of the M38 was positioned in such a way that the Model 91/30's cruciform bayonet could not be mounted to the muzzle even if a soldier obtained one.
The slaughter of the rear area troops, and increase in urban combat, led directly to the development of the Model M44 Mosin. In essence, the M44 is an M38 with a slightly modified forearm and with a permanently mounted cruciform bayonet that folds to the right when it is not needed. In terms of handiness, the M44 was an improvement on the Model 91/30, particularly for urban warfare; but few M44s saw combat on the Eastern Front."
Back to me. Historically, no one knew when the war would end. I was assumed that Hitler was in Berlin and also assumed that his thinking was extremely compromised near then end - both assumptions true.
The M44 was not a compromise of a long gun with a bayonet that couldn't get lost easily in the fight. It was a stand alone street fighting weapon that gave you the option of taking down a long distance when needed. It was one of the first true urban assault rifles - source the combat arms channel.
All that aside, I continue to search and read, I like the 7.62.45r.net channel, been there checking markings, etc. The shame of it is how long it took to get the M44 into the hands of the soldiers - they asked for 6 years earlier when they often got ran over as the were reloading with no bayonet as a last means of defense. Germany of course were also mowing down Russians with superior rapid fire weapons and it made moving forward to the West very tough for the Russians.
The thing I thought about from the first time I saw the Mosin, why only a 5 round magazine? It's a well balanced gun near the receiver and already just shy of 9 pounds, which would YOU rather have, a gun weighing another half a pound with 10 shot capacity or half a pound less with 5 rounds? I think I'd take the prior choice.
The allies in the rear sadly always had guns to pick up and shoot, if they ran out of ammo ortheir gun was shot and damaged. I read a few months back somewhere that long arms on both sides had nearly an 8% weapons strike that incapacitated the weapons. Luckily for those who lived, finding a replacement rifle was not hard to do, I imagine in many places they were just laying all over the ground if not already captured.
But we are not just talking WW2, we are talking many battles for the 91/30s prior and afterwords and still lots of use for the M44 in other lands, althought MOST M44 style guns were copies of the M44, so even if "mine" as an example wasn't slung over the shoulders post WW2 as allies (no more brutal than the Russians) celebrated that incredible victory.
The M44 or copied styles of it continued to fight for decade in other lands. It was a formidable weapon built well and easier to maneuver than it's older brother the 91/30 - which also kept active, as one of the world's longest used rifles. Today we get them in crates of 20 that have already been sorted of the best and most prized, so when we get to search through a crate, generally we are looking through a pack of baseball cards with all the Mickey Mantles already removed.
But as pristine as some are and the affordability of these mass produced guns, we all still have a chance to get a gun that is "great out the crate" and ideal for display or shooting or both.
If asked if I wanted to spend $225 for a pristine rifle, never fired and as flawless as a rifle can be, or have one slightly dinged which was carried and shot 70 years ago, when the world was in turmoil - I would choose carried one. I look at the NRA website (likely the best online museum I have ever seen) they take every display case they have and show every gun in the case with zooming features and many photos of each gun and offer a good amount of reading material below the gun featured. The first thing you will notice is that they don't display any pristine war era guns. All have wear and surely the NRA can get MINT conditions of most weapons, but they understand that people want to be feet from weapons that walked the walk not just talked the talk. It is a great way to let visitors (in person and online) imagine what this might have been through. A perfectly preserved 70 year old rifle on display has little draw from visitors - it's the dings and dents, the scratches and gouges that are what spikes the imagination.
Don't get me wrong, there is nothing special to my M44, I know that - but the wear I see can't be crate wear, I've seen crate wear and it leaves uniform impressions, and although this likely was crated and stuck in a salt mine for decades, I think it saw action and that makes it more valuable (to me) than something that could have been in a museum without a story to tell.
I'm now studying Mausers - looking at them at gun broker, they are a bit more expensive than the Mosins, but window shopping is free :)