Russia/USSR Mosin Nagant

General Specifications Model M38 Carbine General Description:

Weight -- 7 1/2 lbs.(3.4 kg)
Overall length - 40" (101.6 cm)
Barrel lngth - 20 1/4" (51.4 cm)
Stock lngth - 36 1/2" (92.7 cm)

  • Manufactured from 1939 to 1945 at the Izhevsk arsenal.
  • Manufactured in 1940 and 1944 at the Tula arsenal.
  • No bayonet lug since it was not intended for forward troops.
  • Some model M38s are found installed in M44 stocks
    (the M44 stock has a recessed groove for the bayonet).
  • Length of sight base: 2-1/4" (versus the M1891/30 (M91/30) at 3")
  • Length of cleaning rod (below head): 17-1/4" (verus the M1891/30 (M91/30) at 25-3/4")

Even though the M91/30 was shorter than the M1891, cavalry, artillery, signalers, and other support units still required lighter, less bulky weapons. Drawing from the role of the M1907 carbine, the Soviets adopted a new carbine, the M38 which was officially entered into the inventory in 1939. This model differed from the M1907 in that it was not fully-stocked and used the new hooded-post front sight as found on the M1891/30 rifle. The M1938, like its predecessor, did not accept a bayonet and had an improved rear sight graduated in 100s of meters, indicated by the numerals 1 through 10, stamped on the rear sight leaf. The M1938 was produced from 1939 to 1945, it was replaced by the M1944.

Production numbers for the M38 are estimated as:

Izhevsk: 2,450,000
1939 - 34,508
1940 - 162,162
1941 - 419,605
1942 - 687,426
1943 - 978,297
1944 - 167,000
1945 - Unknown

Tula: 50,000
1940 -
1944 -

General Features:

Front sight is mounted to a banded dovetail: Forward stock band spacing is 6": This 1942 Izhevsk has a war time, expedited receiver

M91/30 Rear Sight compared to a M38: Original M38 stock compared to a M44 stock:

In essence, the M38 is a bayonet-less carbine version of the M91/30. But there is a notable difference in the mounting of the sights. The M91/30 uses a welded or brazed on dovetail front and rear. The M38 utilizes sight "bands" that are pressed on and pinned into place.

M38 front sight and band: M38 rear sight and band:
                                          front sight copy.jpg
M38 rear

Model M38 Carbine Variants

  • 1939 in original, first-pattern M38 stock (series 1), Pre-war sling slot escutcheons.

Short forestock shoulder, just forward of rear sight. Short rear step on handguard.
Some early stocks exhibit no finger relief cut behind rear barrel band.
This stock had finger relief cut (round relief) added after production
1939 M38.jpg
Photo courtesy of martin08, member

  • 1939 in original M38 stock (series 2), Pre-war sling slot escutcheons.

Long forestock shoulder, long rear step on handguard.
Original production finger relief cut (parabolic cut) behind rear barrel band
1940 M38.jpg
Photo courtesy of dolk, Co-Founder

  • 1945 M38 in a M38 stock:

Photo courtesy of Junk Yard Dog, Co-Founder

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