M1891/30 (M91/30)

M91 30.jpg

Russia/USSR Mosin Nagant

General Specifications M1891/30 General Description:

Weight -- 8 3/4 lbs.(4.0 kg)
Length (over all) -- 48 1/2" (123.2 cm)
Barrel Length -- 28 3/4" (73.0 cm)
Stock length -- 45" (114.3 cm)

  • Manufactured from 1930 to 1945 at the Izhevsk arsenal
  • Manufactured in 1930 to 1944 at the Tula arsenal
  • Updated Dragoons and Cossacks may be found from almost any year of manufacture
  • Occasional Cut-down Model M91's from all arsenals were converted to M91/30
  • Tula manufactured hex receivers as late as 1936 along side round receivers
  • Stock styles are designated a pre-war, war time and post war
  • Length of sight base is 3"
  • Length of cleaning rod (below head) is 25-3/4"

The Model 1891/30 Rifle (Vintovka obr. 1891/30) was commissioned by the Revolutionary Military Council of the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army. Early in 1924 a committee consisting of Ye. K. Kabakov and I. A. Komaritskii, began work on modernizing the M1891, using the dragoon model as a basis. The first trial rifles were made in 1927 and by 1930 a new design had been agreed upon, which was standardized on 28 April as the "Rifle Model 1891/30" (vintovka obrazers 1891/30goda.) Production of the M1891/30 began on 10 June 1930  at Tula and Izhevsk and ceased at Tula in the spring or summer of 1942 . Izhevsk discontinued production in 1944. Because supplies of M1891 parts (barrels, receivers, stocks, etc.) were in great supply, some M1891/30s were still being made with hexagonal receivers as late as mid-1936.

M91/30's were produced using both the older hex receivers as well as the more modern round receivers. Those produced during the height of the war had at least two distinguishing features: extremely rough milling on the receiver and a high receiver wall on the left side of the receiver. Both of these measures were intentional to cut down on the milling process and to expedite the guns to the front line soldier.

Production numbers for the M91/30 are estimated as:
Year Izhevsk Tula
Year Izhevsk Tula
1930 30,000 72,000
1937 72,000 307,548
1931 47,740 108,530
1938 528,263 596,401
1932 128,111 155,340
1939 636,244 760,243
1933 134,301 104,989
1940 498,701 877,121
1934 149,565 151,051
1941 891,180 982,211
1935 59,470 77,489
1942 2,873,697 153068
1936 203,367 ?
1943 1,833,506

1944 168,000
(Data courtesy of Karl-Heinz)

M91/30 Sling Slot Variations

Pre WWII rear sling slot: Early WWII rear sling slot: Post WWII rear sling slot:
Pre WWII front sling slot: Early WWII sling front slot: Post WWII front sling slot:
Front and rear, escutcheon plate with screws Rear, no escutcheon; front, half liner pressed escutcheon Front and rear, full pressed escutcheon

M91/30 Receiver Variations

Hex receiver: Round low wall receiver: Round high wall receiver:
                                          variations 005.jpg
                                          variations 003.jpg
                                          variations 004.jpg
Izhevsk, 1930-1935; Tula, 1930 to 1936 Izhevsk, 1935-1941; Tula, 1936 to 1941 Izhevsk, 1941-1945; Tula, 1941 to 1944
Round: stepped rear tang, early Round: straight rear tang, late
91-30endcaps 010.JPG
91-30endcaps 008.JPG
91-30endcaps 013.JPG
Stepped rear tang stock inlet Straight rear tang stock inlet
Refurbished, bolt channel blued Non-refurb, bolt channel in the white

Other Common Variants

Handguard brass end caps: Handguard painted steel/tin end caps:
Unpainted steel cap, no rivets: Copper cap, copper rivets:
MO end
                                          caps 011.JPG
MO end
                                          caps 009.JPG
Aluminum cap, copper rivets: Brass cap, brass rivets:
91-30endcaps 016.JPG
91-30endcaps 017.JPG
Formed spring band retainers: Machined spring band retainers:
Plain stock near rear band: Grooved stock near rear band:
Button Band (1930-1932): Split Band (1932-1945):
SCW-Bband 025.jpg

Ex Dragoon

Originally intended for use by Dragoons (mounted infantry). 64 mm (2.5 in) shorter and 0.4 kg (0.9 lb) lighter than the M1891. The Dragoon rifle's dimensions are identical to the later M1891/30 rifle, and most Dragoon rifles were eventually reworked into M1891/30s. Most such rifles, known to collectors as "ex-Dragoons", can be identified by their pre-1930 date stampings, but small numbers of Dragoon rifles were produced from 1930 to 1932 and after reworking became nearly indistinguishable from purpose-built M1891/30s.

Typically, an ex-Dragoon is able to be identified by raising the rear sight and looking where the sight base is located on the dovetail. The original Dragoon dovetail is slightly shorter than the purpose built M91/30 resulting in a small space or gap. For more information on the Dragoon rifle, please see: M1891 (M91)

100 0891.JPG


Perhaps the most affordable, and common examples of a PU sniper rifle for your collection are the ones that have been arsenal re-finished and re-issued as standard rifles. They are readily recognized by their plugged scope mounting holes, which are often hard to spot from the outside, but are obvious from inside the receiver once the bolt is drawn back. Another sure giveaway is a crossed out number stamped into the left side of the receiver – sometimes ground off - and the “C” and inverted “U” found on Tula sniper rifles. Some former snipers will have the cut out for the scope mount on the stock repaired, more often the complete stock was replaced during re-building. Whether they were worn out, or surplus to requirements, it has been undetermined the reason these rifles were retired, but bore condition can vary from well-worn to almost unfired. Like other 91/30 PU sniper rifles, the exact number converted is not known, but they are far more readily encountered than intact examples. From a batch of 100 91/30 rifles from varying eras recently imported into Australia by Lawrance Ordnance in Sydney four retired PU sniper rifles – three Iszevsks and a Tula – were found.


Red Letter Series

Though it is uncertain the reason for the red coloring found on some M91/30 rifles, it is a desirable feature for some collectors. It should be noted that is adds no value to the rifle other than personal preference. This feature is typically accompanied by the "Triangle 25" stamp marking.


MO And XO Marked

MO is a barrel shank markings of unknown purpose. It is found on M91/30, M44, M38, and M91/59 Mosin Nagant models. The MO mark is most commonly accompanied by the additional stamping of a second two digit date, from the years spanning 1942 to 1953. Less commonly, a third date may also be stamped. MO marks may also appear without extra dates, or extra dates may appear without MO marks (uncommon). There are also examples with two MO marks. The rifles and carbines that exhibit this marking are all refurbished, with the majority as highly polished on the metal, and careful refinishing of the stock. They can be very attractive guns.

Double Date Triple Date, Double MO
MO end
                                          caps 001.JPG
MO end
                                          caps 003.JPG

Refurbish note

It is very common to find a random assortment of these variations on most rifles. It is not surprising to find a pre-WWII receiver on a post-WWII stock for example. As these rifles were refurbished, parts were assembled as they were available and it is evident that originality was not a concern.

Common Accessories

Current availability of refurbished M91/30 rifles commonly come with several as issued accessories. The accessories were cleaned and stored away in the same crates as the rifles. As with the rifles, individual accessories vary greatly and are often a side collection for many enthusiasts. These items are available in such tremendous volumes that they have very little monetary value but they are an interesting and noteworthy part of the Mosin Nagant history.

Typical refurbished M91/30 with bayonet and accessories
Rear "dog collar" Front "dog collar"
and sling installation and sling installation
Multi-tool with 0.75 and 0.95 firing pin depth gauges Cleaning kit: Ammo pouch and oil can:

Sniper Variants

M91 30 Snipers.jpg

Photos courtesy of martin08, member,
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