The Mosin Nagant rifle gives new meaning to imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. Of course with the Soviets, imitation was a product of the doctrine of production for the masses. This weapon was produced or re-arsenaled in many different countries during it many years of active service.

These countries ranged from the Soviet satellites to the United States. Most of the information presented here has been well documented but some has not. Part of collecting is studying the history but also the "lore" of a particular weapon.

The Mosin Nagant was produced in France, Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland, Finland, China, Romania and the United States. It was re-arsenaled in the afore mentioned counties as well as in Austria, Germany, The German Democratic Republic, Cuba, Korea, and Turkey. In terms of "production" v/s "re-arsenaled", it's a fine line to walk. In the main, most of these countries fabricated their rifles from Russian produced receivers. The defining criteria for production rests with the extent of the work performed. In the case of Finland, the work was indeed extensive in that they created completely new configurations. In other countries, it was merely a process of adding new barrels or domestically produced stocks. In others, it was simply a matter of their arsenals accepting, reconditioning and proofing an otherwise unaltered weapon.  It's hard to garner much hard documentation on the subject as the former Soviet Union kept arms production data as well as distribution data highly compartmentalized. As a result, for every "fact" surrounding the origin of the basic models, there exists some "lore". I will attempt to point that out when encountered in this section.

East Germany


Austro-Hungarian forces on the Eastern Front captured sizeable quantities of Russian rifles, and also received large numbers taken by the Germans. In 1916, guns in Austro-Hungarian service were issued with Russian ammunition. When supplies began to run short, some guns were converted in the Wiener-Neustadt armory for the standard rimmed 8 x 50mm Austrian round. The original Russian style socket bayonets were retained wherever possible, but some crude Austro-Hungarian substitutes have been reported. After Hungary became a satellite of the former union, these weapons found their way back into the inventory and the M/44 carbine was produced there after W.W.II.

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 Austrian Capture Mark


The Peoples Republic of China made Mosin Nagant Type 53 carbines. They are copied after the Soviet obr. 1944g. but were marked with "53" on the receiver and were made by factory 26 for the interior security forces.

Photo by David Franchi

Production of the Type 53 was discontinued in 1960. Some of these weapons later surfaced in Viet Nam during the 60's. Note: BATF does not recognize this model as a Curio&Relic eligible firearm.

A Chinese 7.62x39 mm single shot trainer. This rifle is very rare and is one of three brought to the states by an Arizona importer. They were discovered in a shipment of Type 53's.


M91/38 Carbine

Odstrelovaci pujka vz.54



Built on specially finished, but otherwise standard obr.1891/30 actions, this sniper rifle was developed to share a special 7.62mm ball cartridge being made for the Goryunov machine-gun. It had a pistol-grip half stock and a hand guard running forward from the receiver ring. There was a single band at the tip of the fore-end and a grasping groove beneath the back sight. Owing to the free-floating barrel, the vz.54 was accurate and dependable. However, it was never made in large numbers.

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ZG 51/91/30

After the revolution of 1948, Czechoslovakia continued to produce Mauser-type rifles. A modified sniper rifle (ZG 49 Sn), submitted to trial by Otakar Galas in the late 1940s, was developed into the ZG 51 Sn , but a change of heart--perhaps influenced by the Soviet Union--led to the development of the similar ZG 51/91/30 on the Mosin-Nagant action.



Hungarian M/44 - Photo by Jean from Tuco's

Substantial quantities of Mosin Nagant guns were made by FEG of Budapest in the early 1950's. Production centered around well made copies of the obr.1944g. carbine and the obr. 91/30 sniper rifle.


Rare Chatterault

K-H Wrobel Collection

The very first Mosin rifles were produced not in Russia but under contract in France. Russia's industrial capacity was over-taxed during the development of the M91 rifle and political circumstances forced them to turn to the only country they had a treaty with that could produce the rifle for them. France agreed to produce the rifle under contract with production beginning in 1892 and ending in 1895.


A poor quality copy of the Mosin Nagant M/91-30 was produced in the 1950's. Labeled the Type 30, it was distinguished by the large encircled five-pointed star just before the serial number on the receiver.


The earliest Polish Mosin Nagant was in the 1920's and was a converted Russian rifle with a new 7.9mm barrel. It featured a magazine altered to feed rimless cartridges. It was designated the wz.91/98/25 and had a German-style nose cap and bayonet bar. The sling swivels were on the side of the barrel band and left side of the butt. The gun was about 1,100mm long and had a 600mm barrel. It weighed somewhere around 3.7 kg unloaded.

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The most notorious Polish manufacture is that of the M/44 carbines and the lesser known copy of the M/91-30 sniper rifle.  There were also military trainers in .22 cal. produced by the state arsenal Radom.


Photo by willyp


Romania produced a large number of M/44's possibly for home defense but it is believed that their eye was on the third world export market.

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Photo by David Franchi

A 91/30 pattern rifle has emerged in the latest batch of imports . They feature a Romanian Laurel PRP Crest and proofs on the barrel shank-- markings as seen on Romanian M44's, blade front sight, and on one reported example, a windage adjustable rear sight.

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The US government has purchased more than a million M/8191 rifles from Remington-UMC and Westinghouse after the Russian revolution. Both companies had large contracts with the former Russian Imperial government to produce the Mosin Nagant. Only 280,00 of these rifles were retained by the U.S. Army and they were for the most part only used for basic training purposes. Oddly enough, many of the US acquired Mosins eventually found their way to Russia when the U.S. sent troops to Archangelsk in 1919.  The weapons were so disliked by U.S. soldiers that they were mostly abandoned in Russia when they left in 1920. Many of the Mosin Nagants purchased by the U.S. government ended up with National Guard units and sold as surplus and eventually "sporterized" and sold on the open market.  One of the conversions was done by Bannerman in 30-06 and is considered by many to be extremely dangerous to fire.