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RUSSIAN MOSIN NAGANT RIFLE, 1938

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RUSSIAN MOSIN NAGANT RIFLE, 1938

Carbine version of rifle used by the Russian Army during WW2 Dated 1944 During the Russo-Turkish War, Russian troops armed with mostly Berdan single-shot rifles engaged Turks with Winchester repeating rifles resulting in alarmingly disproportionate casualties. This emphasised to commanders a need to modernize the Imperial army. The Russian Main Artillery Administration undertook the task of producing a magazine-fed, multi-round weapon in 1882. After failing to adequately modify the Berdan system to meet the requirements, a "Special Commission for the testing of Magazine[-fed] Rifles" was formed to test new designs.

Sergei Ivanovich Mosin, a young captain in the Imperial army, submitted his "3-line" calibre (.30 cal, 7.62 mm) rifle in 1889 alongside a 3.5-line design by Léon Nagant (a Belgian). When trials concluded in 1891, all units which tested the rifles indicated a preference for Nagant's design and the Commission voted 14 to 10 to approve it. However, more influential officers pushed for the domestic design, resulting in a compromise: Mosin's rifle was used with a Nagant-designed feed mechanism. Thus the 3-line rifle, Model 1891 (its official designation at the time) came into being.

Production began in 1892 at the ordnance factories of Tula Arsenal, Izhevsk Arsenal, and Sestroryetsk Arsenal. Due to the limited capacities of these facilities and the newly formed Franco-Russian Alliance, an order of 500,000 rifles was placed with the French arms factory, Manufacture Nationale d'Armes de Châtellerault.

By the time of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904, approximately 3.8 million rifles had been delivered to the army. Initial reactions by units equipped with the rifle were mixed, but this was likely due to poor maintenance by under-trained infantrymen used to Berdans.

Between adoption of the final design in 1891 and 1910, several variants and modifications to existing rifles were made.

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