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Author Topic: My M44 1945 Mosin Nagant Carbine  (Read 1615 times)
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« on: March 02, 2014, 06:51:25 PM »

On Friday, I got a call from my FFL dealer that my Mosin Nagant M44 came in - I drove right down there because it was already 4:30 and NICS would be closing soon. So, I got there and the fellow behind the counter unboxed it while waiting for NICS to approve my transfer. I took this short video and was VERY pleased to see the condition as he handed it to me. I stopped recording and took the rifle. Mind you, this was made in 1945 which sounds like it may not have seen much action in WW2 but 1945 was the arguably most intense part of the war as the Russians fought their way into Berlin. Mind you, this Carbine (shorter than a full size rifle) was made for the exact purpose of close action fighting. Infantrymen needed a smaller rifle than the 91/30 (that's 1891-1930) standard issue rifle that is a full 8 inches longer than this M44 and the most requested issue was the need for a mounted, retractable bayonet so that the rifle could be used in close street and house to house fighting. It took from 1938 to 1944 for the M44 to be developed and 20 million were made over roughly an 8 year period. The Russians called the M44 "The gun that won the war" and although it only saw less than 2 years service in WW2, M44 was exactly what the Russian Soldiers wanted and needed.

I'm including many photos, but here are all my observations.

The over all condition Very Very Good to Excellent - and ALL NUMBERS MATCH! It was presorted, cleaned and rated by the importer and listed as excellent at Bud's gunshop. The wear on the stock you see is literally only stain deep. There is no damage to any part of the gun, the metal is near pristine blued and the bolt action is smooth and almost effortless. It was counter bored, which for reasons of shooting now is something I have no issue with. The amount of Cosmolene in and on the rifle doesn't dirty a dozen paper towels, it was remarkably cleaned. The barrel has no pitting and is shiny and beautifully rifled.

I really like, a lot! If I choose to refinish the stock, it would remove any characteristics unique to this gun. I'll likely keep it in original condition and embrace the minor scrapes it has.The bluing is beautiful, I have seen so many videos on Youtube where it is either spotty or patchy or (ugh) been completely rubbed off for that all silver look - to me that is horrible and EVEN THOUGH these are NOT rare guns and I've seen people buy 2 or more to patch together to make one really nice looking rifle, I got lucky and have a well blued and only slightly worn stock. I see no need to do anything unless I want to make it flawless on the stock which would take hardly any sanding - there are no gouges anywhere, any marring is only as deep as the finish. I could be an awesome gun refinished, it would literally look brand new, but again, I like the character it has, there is no way of knowing what action in the war this rifle may have seen, if any. That is part of its charm is the mysteries it holds.

This preselected M44 was $225 - they are not as cheap as the 91/30s which even sorted are about $80 less on the web. Mind you, we don't have the luxury of going to a Cabela's in NJ (although they are building one here) and we don't have gunshops with crates of them to choose from, so having a preselected on that had an exellent rating was my best bet. I mention above it is in Very Very Good condition, which is all I had hoped for concidering it is 70 years old next year.

In some of the photos (the ones showing the full length of the M44, you will see some warping of the photo - I took those in the panorama mode of the camera and it distorts the image a little.

So I got my first rifle and it has historical value - that is cool. The bayonet is ingeniously mounted and really adds to the look.

I've orders a spam can of 440 rounds of ammo (corrosive primers, I know) and they will be getting here on the 6th. If this snow ever goes away, we are supposed to get another 10-12 inches come morning - when it is nice enough to go to my local Army shooting range, I'll get it out there and give it a few dozen rounds through it. I know the M44 has a pretty good kick and shoots out a nice fireball because of the shortened barrel, but to think I'm likely the first person to shoot it in many decades is exciting.

As far as the sound, I can't wait to fire this at the indoor range - I've sat through many other shooters blowing my ear protection off with their BOOM STICKS, now it's my turn. 😜

Unboxing video

























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« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2014, 07:05:09 PM »

I have several M44's but mine are sodium cyanide guns.   They fire a 38 special with a projectile of cyanide into the mouth of K9s.   They are very selective coyote killers    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M44_(cyanide_device).
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« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2014, 08:43:53 PM »

I have a 91/30 and love it.  Mine shoots 2 inches high and right consistently @ 100yds.  That old military ammo packs a real punch so I pulled the bullets and powder and made my own lighter loads with soft point bullets for hunting.  Your m44 looks great. I cant wait to pick one up myself.  Happy shooting!  Regards
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« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2014, 09:59:21 PM »

With my bum dominant left arm it's heavy gun and I'm already tweaking how to hold it while I reload. I figured out to lower the stock under my left armpit while balancing with my left hand, operating the bolt with my right hand. Then take the weight back in my right hand and raising it back up to my left shoulder.

Of course I should try to learn to shoot right handed and beat up that shoulder for a while.

But I'm not very ambidextrous and I'll end up with 2 bad arms.

It is a cool gun. Guys at work are already betting when I get my next rifle - lol.

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« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2014, 05:14:48 AM »

Sweet!!!

Love them old guns! That's one I don't have.

Edgy, have you tried shooting it with the bayonet on? I've read it's something to do with the harmonics. I've shot some of mine with and without the bayonet on and without it shoots higher. You can adjust the front sight to shoot to the left or right.

Congrads Beemaster!
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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2014, 11:42:52 PM »

Sweet!!!

Love them old guns! That's one I don't have.

Edgy, have you tried shooting it with the bayonet on? I've read it's something to do with the harmonics. I've shot some of mine with and without the bayonet on and without it shoots higher. You can adjust the front sight to shoot to the left or right.

Congrads Beemaster!
I haven't shot it with the bayonet on.  Very interesting! I will have to try that.  Thanks for the tip!
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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2014, 01:19:03 AM »

Haven't fired it yet, just got it Friday - but hope to soon. I have a 440 count spam can of 7.62X54R on its way from Arizona, arrival is the 6th, but I doubt my indoor range will let me shoot corrosive surplus ammo (actually only the primers) but still, they'll want me to buy a few boxes of theirs to shoot. Not a problem, I'll be saving the  surplus for shooting at For Dix Army Range.

Of course, we got another 7 inches of snow today (Monday that is) and I'd like it to warm up a bit, at least get into the 40s before going - it's a big open range with some nasty prevailing winds, so I'm not rushing that.

Then again, my indoor range is 25 yrds, I can almost stab a target with the bayonet lol.

I've read stuff about how the rifle is tuned to the resonance of the bayonet, but also read that's bunk - so gonna have to find out on my own. The bayonet is very cleverly attached and swung into place, that and the length was the winning factor in buying an M44. I don't doubt I'll have a 91/30 down the road, but I want to play with this one a while first.

The photos I posted don't do the finish justice - they look a harsher on the wood than in person. I am really torn at leaving it along because it is pretty dang fine, or stripping it, taking the character marks out and going for something showroom looking: and I have no doubt it will look nearly mint with some love and a bit of elbow grease. I did a lot of wood working in my younger days and I have the patience and eye for reworking it to a fine finished rifle.

I know for sure that if it were one of the laminates then I would definitely refinish the stock, you talk about beautiful finishes - they all look great.

So, I'm thinking about a week before I get it to the range, which ever one. Shooting 25 yards just doesn't float my boat too much, especially buying their over priced ammo - but at least I can say I got to shoot it, see how the recoil is, etc..

So I love it, really really do. There is one thing that stands out that makes me think it was used in the field somewhere: the front sight has been moved for windage which doesn't happen by accident or through handling - someone tapped it over toward the left about 3/32th of an inch - maybe a tad more. You can see this in the second photo I posted at the top of the page, the sight is flush on the left side, and far from centered in the dovetailed base. I don't think that would have been how it was shelved, even if they were pumping these out at incredible rates. It just seems to me that someone hammered it over for whatever distance he most often shot at.

It's cool to imagine all the scenarios at least. I can really see the collecting of historical guns, I've really never collected anything to speak of before.
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« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2014, 05:27:23 AM »

Beemaster; I don't know if the bayonet thing applies to yours. It was my thinking it was geared more to the longer barrels. I could be wrong. Also the type of ammo you buy can impact your shot group. With mine, each one is different. Some shoot the Russian ammo better and some shoot the Bulgarian ammo better.

Edgy; With some of mine I had to put a stone on the end of my drill and wallow out the inside of the bayonet attachment before they would go on. Some just popped right on without any effort.

Here's a link for good info on just about everything concerning the mosins; 

http://7.62x54r.net/

Most of the time around here you can get ammo pretty reasonable at gun shows. Here's where I've bought a couple cans online;

 http://www.aimsurplus.com/product.aspx?item=A76254R&name=Russian+7.62x54R+147grn+FMJ+440rd+Can&groupid=40
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« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2014, 06:00:08 AM »

Nice looking rifle.  IMO; Size and style matters  Wink 

Reminds me of an old, worn SKS (early 60's era) I have in the arsenal, a personal favorite.  Its still one of the most accurate weapons in my possession, at both long and short range.
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« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2014, 11:33:47 AM »

the Russian troops who entered Berlin predominantly had Thompson Submachine guns.  I would really rather have one of those. 
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« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2014, 12:26:12 PM »

"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 Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2014, 03:14:28 PM »

I think I had mentioned that the trigger on my M44 was very light, amazingly and the exact opposite of my Ruger SP101 22LR revolver which has about a 11lb trigger pull - shooting the Ruger all day would be exhausting in double action only.

I knew the M44 was close to my Glock 19 gen4 which I know comes in at about 5.5lbs according to factory specs.. But it bugged me at what weight the M44 broke at and I don't have a trigger weight scale, but I do have a very good digital kitchen scale (weighs up to 8 pound in very accurate 2 digit past the decimal point numbers. I love to use this for measuring sandwich bags full of 100 rounds of .22 to take to the range. No need to count, I weighed 100 (actually weighed 105 also cause 525 rounds come in the Champion Bulk 22 boxes I have) so I weighed once, now I just zero out a bowel and toss in .22s until I match my weight previously charted. It is a flawless way to quickly count ammo - BTW I measure the weight in grams for best accuracy.

So I ran a strong cord across the scale and to the trigger of the M44 and Glock. The Glock came in at 5lbs 7oz and the M44 came in at a whopping 4lbs 10 oz. It was obvious to me (by feel) that the M44 was crisper and lighter than the Glock, but that's 13 oz less break. Very cool, I've seen M44s measured before and most break around 7-9 pounds, not sure why I have such a light trigger, I'm sure I got lucky on the milling, etc., but what a sweet trigger pull it has. I've had the gun totally broken down the day after I got it, wanted to make sure NO cosmolene was hiding, mind you it was presorted and cleaned before I got it, and I could hardly get any cosmolene from it anywhere. There was more in the box with that brown wax-paper material (Now I know that is stuff you should keep - who'da thought) but the shipping box and wrapping papers all went to the trash, my wife said it stunk and it sure did have a strong odor, so I trashed both. By time I had used Goo-be-Gone on the whole exterior, the smell was neutralized and have not heard a complaint since.

I just wanted to finish the update on the rifle and that was about all I remember I left out. I think I mentioned that the bolt assembly was something I found plenty of Youtube videos about, or it might still be apart - pretty ingenious if (like me) you had never had one apart before.

I always knew collector items are worth more with the original wrapping, but of course this isn't the original wrapping and in theory the gun really isn't worth a whole lot. But mind you, the same gun 4 years ago was worth half the price and as more and more surplus is sold, prices surely have to go up. Mosin's are the dirty little secret of inexpensive, decently made (expertly made when quality was the only issue) and how can you beat 440 rounds of 7.62x54R for around $80 TODAY!!

It's definitely the gun you want if money is an issue, if history is an issue, if ammo prices are an issue and if affordable restoring is what you want to learn - what a great gun to practice all the restorative techniques you might want to do on a much more valuable weapon. I love the thought, especially the 91/30s "Buy two and make one good one!" if looks or the best firing are important to someone, that theory is ideal. If number matching is your goal, then restoring the gun may be needed to get a really good looking gun. No matter what, Mosin's are a lot of gun for the money and I got lucky in the numbers matching and general condition departments.

I just wanted to finish the update on the rifle and that was about all I remember I left out. I think I mentioned that the bolt assembly was something I found plenty of Youtube videos about, or it might still be apart - pretty ingenious if (like me) you had never had one apart before.

Whether I ever totally refurbish the wood-wear is yet to be seen. I know my Dad would have told me if he were still with us, "Leave it alone and you are touching the exact finish that someone held in their hands 7 decades ago" that would be his thinking. To sand down and stain and linseed oil the stain to him makes the gun never handled before, I totally get the thinking too, he'd say I wiped away all the history. My Dad was a tank driver, then an driver/escort for a Army General, in Germany but during the Korean Conflict - I'm happy he had a couple of neat jobs in a relatively "safe" Germany in 1950-54. Mind you, the Germans still had "love" for the Americans, but he and my Mom lived off base in a elderly couple's home and my parents room and board were the old couples main income. I'll always remember my Mom saying that when she made coffee, she'd toss the grounds in the trash until she realized the German lady pulled them out to make her own coffee. After that my Mom saved them in a jar for her - not a big deal, a it's easy to forget what just happened in that country 5 years prior.

I just realized I start days tomorrow, so if I get it to the range, it will be indoors with my wife there with me. I love when she goes to the range and she likes it too. It's less busy in the day time there and that's the only reason I go then.

I also just watch the series History of Guns, the Mauser episode, and learned a few things about the time lines of these guns and where they were and when. Cool series and Youtube has many episodes from the earliest to the latest weapons.
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« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2014, 03:32:13 PM »

Something (many things) can be said for a weapon that has proven itself…(old books and old guns are a personal passion)….as well as for the 'proven' owner of one…or more Wink
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« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2014, 07:11:16 PM »

Never thought a guy from the people's republic of NY, with it's asinine gun laws, would feel sorry for someone from another state. But I guess Jersey has us beat since they are the only state that doesn't allow FFL 03 to have C&R guns shipped directly too them.   In all other states for the mere $30 FFL 03 application fee, you can have the C&R guns (only rifles in NY) sent directly to your home and cut out the middleman and $$$.
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« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2014, 09:40:35 PM »



Edgy; With some of mine I had to put a stone on the end of my drill and wallow out the inside of the bayonet attachment before they would go on. Some just popped right on without any effort.

I noticed that my bayonet will not fit.  Its too tight.  I'll have to wallow it out like you said.  Thanks
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« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2014, 09:42:26 PM »

Beemaster; My front sight is also moved, same as yours.  Hmmm
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« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2014, 09:47:09 PM »

Beemaster; The 91/30 has (as you probably already know) a bayonet that you can put on or take off. With the barrel being so long it is said that the harmonics causing it to shoot 2 to 4 inches high at around a hundred yards. By putting the bayonet on it balances the harmonics and helps it to be more accurate. It is said that the Russians sergeants taught the recruits to aim at the belt buckle if they were closer than a hundred yards. With mine I've noticed them shooting about 2 inches high at around 70 or 80 yards. But when I put the bayonet on it dropped it back down.

Another trick folks use is shrink wrap(?) that you put on wires and heat. They take it, put it on the front sight, heat it, then trim as necessary. That makes the front sight artificially higher. I read of folks talking about a 6 inch shot group at 400 yards. Not with my eyes. I used to nail the 350 meter targets with my M16. They may have been using a scope.

Does yours come with a tool kit? If you'd like we'll take one of my bolts apart several times. I know one thing, shoot that rascal about 30 times and you got one hot chamber. You was talking about your trigger pull, that's pretty dang good. I put a trigger kit in mine to get them to pull lighter. The trigger kit consisted of a washer and something else - time for the recliner and a bowl of ice cream.
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« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2014, 03:50:13 AM »

Quote
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


My father gave me a 7.5mm French MAS-36
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« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2014, 12:10:22 PM »

the pawn shops here used to be full of mausers at dirt cheap prices. 
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« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2014, 05:39:42 AM »

the pawn shops here used to be full of mausers at dirt cheap prices. 

AGREED;  There's been an artificial 'market driven' run on guns and ammo….for….what….about 6 years now….?…..must be that FEAR thang…. Wink 

"Money, money, money, money………MO - NEY"     Ohio Players (1976-7)    laugh
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