Russian 1891/30 PU 7.62x54R Mosin Nagant Sniper Rifle  SKU: F3MOSIN9130PU

$549.95 Quantity:    


FFL/03 Collectors License Required.

Genuine WWII Russian Model 1891/30 PU 7.62x54R caliber Sniper Rifles. 1943-44 dated Rifles manufactured by Izhevsk. Complete with Authentic PU Scope & Mount. Incredible opportunity to buy a Real WWII Russian Sniper Rifle. Barrel condition is not guaranteed, however, the bores we have inspected have far exceeded our expectations. Arsenal refurbished post WWII. This is a small lot of Rifles we just received.

   
 
INTRODUCTION
 
“The principal task of the sniper is the destruction of the most important enemy targets he can find. Officers, observers, scouts, liaison officers, enemy snipers, gun crews, trench mortars and machine guns, anti-tank rifleman and motorcycle skirmishers are to be his primary targets. He shall “blind” enemy armored car and tank drivers by firing at their vision visors. He is capable of independent action under the most difficult conditions of battle.”
 
This statement was from an official Soviet military publication dated October of 1943. It clearly shows the importance the Red Army gave to the sniper in its ranks. The Soviet Union more so than any other combatant in W.W.II, used the sniper in the greatest numbers and capacities. The sniper was a key element in the doctrine and actions taken by the Red Army on a platoon or company basis. He served as the eyes and ears as well as the unseen soldier that bogged down and created fear amongst the enemy. No other nation involved in W.W.II fielded as many snipers as the USSR. Both men and women served in this capacity to a devastating effect.
 
Orders were often given on the platoon or company level to directly support the actions of the group. Whether it is for scouting or the elimination of key enemy personal in preparation of an attack or in defense, the sniper was always involved. In a defensive position, as the Soviets found themselves so often in the early portion of Operation Barbarosa, the sniper served as an observer to enemy movements. These observations were quickly relayed back to the company commander and up the chain of command. When need be the sniper used his hidden position to slow the enemy advance and to hamper armored vehicles with aimed fire at the driver’s slits with 7.62mm AP rounds.   The Soviet policy was to operate the sniper in pairs or teams, a shooter and an observer to record necessary data or scout for targets. Many times the snipers formed small groups of 3-5 to bring concentrated fire upon advancing troops, resulting in slowing the advance with a devastating effect on morale not to mention manpower. Often times the Soviet sniper allowed the advance to pass by his concealed position in order to bring fire upon the officers directing the attack from the rear. When operating in these groups it was not uncommon for the observer or other team members to be armed with a sub- machine-gun to provide close quarters support should they be detected.
 
m/91-30 PE and PEM (1932-1940,1942)
 
The Soviet Union took the task of telescopically aimed riflemen very seriously early on. The use of snipers to “tie down” enemy troop concentrations was not lost on the Soviets in their brief experiences in the First World War. In response to the use of snipers by both sides in the conflict, the Soviets began testing and obtaining optical sights from aboard, primarily from the Carl Zeiss company in Germany. The serious experimentation with telescopically sighted rifles began in the mid 1920’s. Initial experimentation began by mounting commercial scopes then military contracted optics upon the m/91 Dragoon.
 
During those early years of the Russian sniper program, the Soviets did not have the ability or equipment to mass produce optical lens's and so forth. Partly due to money nd partly due to facilities. So in the infancy of the Soviet sniper program of the early 1920's the Red Army had to look elsewhere for optical equipment and mounts. The primary source of fine optics in that day was Germany. So orders were placed for several different optical sights from makers such as Zeiss, Busch, Hensoldt and Voightlander to name a few.
 
 
The purpose of these scopes was to conduct trials with various mounting systems provided. The spit bridge tube by Zeiss was tried but found to be over complicated. The version that drew the most attention was a side mounted bracket with base developed by the Gustav Genschow company known as "GECO" commercially by the logo for "Genschow Company". This mounting system was a large dovetailed base that allowed a mating split ring one piece mount to be slid on and affixed with a large thumb screw. The rings were solid and required the scope to be silver soldered in place. After many trials and errors the decision was to proceed with roughly 170 of these types of mounts fit to Mosin Nagant rifles model 1891 (dragoon length as this was the standard length in 1926). Two types were used. The first had no provision for the range plate on the side of the mount. That was because the scopes were made with range graduations that were not based upon the 1907 cartridge in 7.62x54r. The shooter was supposed to "memorize" the correct adjustments. This style of scope and mount was known as the Dynamo 2. This system used a large thumb screw that was attached to the base by use of a small chain attached to the front of the mount and to the thumb screw itself so it would not be lost. This system was used on rifles assembled at the "Dynamo" shooting facility run by the NKVD at the time and became known as the D-2 system. The scopes used were the Zeiss manufactured optics whose components were made in Germany and assembled then shipped to the Zeiss affiliate Nedinsco located in the Netherlands. This allowed Germany to circumvent the restrictions placed upon them by the Versailles treaty that ended WW1. The scopes sold through this outlet are marked with the Nedinsco logo  and  such a marking was to indicate that they were purchased "commercially" and not under a militray contract.
 
The second system produced at Dynamo had an improved scope that allowed lateral adjustment for windage on the side of the tube and a slightly modified mount. The mount now had a ballistic plate attached to the side that allowed the shooter a quick reference as to the proper setting of the range on the elevation dial for the 54r cartridge. Also the chain was removed from the mount as it proved bothersome in snagging on clothing and items..
 
By the 1930’s the Soviets had adopted a style of mount and scope based upon Zeiss designs, and had begun production. The adoption of the model 91/30 fitted with a telescopic sight of Soviet manufacture but based upon Zeiss designs, and reportedly manufactured with machinery purchased from Zeiss, was in 1931. By the following year of 1932 the first rifles were in production and being distributed to the Army. The rifles were fitted with a unique over the bore mounting system that incorporated a base that mimicked the hexagonal shape of the receiver. The base was retained on the rifle with 6 screws, 3 per side and often time’s silver soldered as well.  The mount was a uniquely Soviet design. It was a two-ring set up with a rectangular shape. The center being open to allow use of the rifles iron sights should the need arise. It was retained upon the base by two large thumbscrews. These screws when tightened forced a triangular wedge against the angled rail of the base. A block retained in the rear of the mount provided the correct placement in regard for forward seating of the mount.
 
This system was fairly effective in providing a reasonable self-zeroing effect. The scope was of a 30mm tube diameter and initially was focus adjustable by means of a knurled focus ring on the rear ocular. Some transitional versions are known and have been examined that use a focus ring set in front of the rear lens housing. These examples are dated between 1935 and 1937 and seem to bridge the gap in PE production changes between the PE and the PEM.   A standard European three-post reticule was used.
 
This system was fairly effective in providing a reasonable self-zeroing effect. The scope was of a 30mm tube diameter and initially was focus adjustable by means of a knurled focus ring on the rear ocular. Some transitional versions are known and have been examined that use a focus ring set in front of the rear lens housing. These examples are dated between 1935 and 1937 and seem to bridge the gap in PE production changes between the PE and the PEM.   A standard European three-post reticule was used.
 
Also at this time the base for mounting the scope was changed as well to correspond to the newly modified receiver shape of the Mosin Nagant m/91-30 in the later half of 1936. This new base was changed from the earlier hexagonal shape to the round interior needed to fit upon the new round receivers.
 
It was retained in the identical fashion as earlier and the mount was not changed at all. This version of the rifle, top mounted scope and round receiver remained in production for approximately 1.5 years, until 1938. Another version of the round receiver base also appeared at this time, 1936-1937, in extremely limited numbers. This base utilized only two screws-front and rear of the base on each side. This base was used with the transitional version of the PE/PEM scope with the tube mounted focus ring. This base and configuration is the rarest of the PE/PEM styles and only a few are known. It was produced in extremely limited numbers prior to the return of the six screw version as reported by my friend and colleague Karl-Heinz Wrobel, author of Drei Linien Die Gewehre Mosin Nagant.
 
In 1938 the PEM was again modified to a newly adopted mounting system. This system moved the base and the optical mount to the left side of the receiver in a “long side rail” configuration.  This new system used a raised wedge shaped rail upon the base to retain the mount. A protruding pin mated to a slot in the mount indicated full seating of the mounted optics. The mount itself was retained in place by a lone thumb screw that was conically shaped at the tip to provide a self seating capability when screwed into the corresponding hole in the base. Again a “self zeroing” system was attained. The new mounting system incorporated the PEM scope again and was used until the rifle was discontinued as a sniper in the spring of 1940. The rifle was discontinued in favor of the self-loading SVT 40 fitted with optical sights that were specifically produced for the rifle. These short optics would later be redesigned and fitted to the venerable Mosin Nagant in a sniping role only two short years later. The “side mount” PEM is a respectable sniper but its weight was increased dramatically by the large base and mounting system. It is the heaviest of the Mosin Nagant snipers at 10.5lbs compared to 9.5lbs for the earlier versions using the “top mount” system.
 
 By the 1930’s the Soviet Union possessed a considerable number of sniper rifles. A Soviet document indicates that 54,160 rifles were produced in the PE form between 1932 and 1938. Production of the PE was very slow at first due to the complicated and time consuming nature of machining the mounts. Production in the first year of 1932 was only 749. In subsequent years, recorded numbers are as follows. 1,347 in 1933, 6,637 in 1934 and 12,752 top mount hex and round receiver PE/PEM’s in 1936. No data is given for production in 1935 as all Mosin production was slowed considerably that year. 13,130 top mount round receiver PEM’s were produced in 1937 and 19,545 of the new long side rail mounted PEM’s were made in 1938. No production numbers are available for the final two years of PEM production. (1) While many rifles were randomly selected for accuracy potential, there is an indication from my research and that of a friend/colleague (4) that “blocks” of snipers were produced at Tula. This is supported by a sampling of PE snipers all in the same letter prefix and serial number block indicating a planned production and not a random pull of rifles off the line. All Tula produced snipers, including the later version produced during wartime in 1943 and 1944, bear an accuracy mark above the five-pointed star logo of the factory. This proof is a “C” and an upside down “U” for lack of a better description of Cyrillic letters. This marking is the designation of “sniper” on Tula produced guns. The marking literally translates to " Snayperskaya Provernnaya" meaning tested for use as a sniper. .
 
Ishevsk did not mark their rifles in this unique way to differentiate them from standard rifles. The production of Mosin Nagant snipers was halted at Tula in 1940. By October of 1942, the SVT40 proved to be a failure as a consistently accurate sniper rifle. Manufacture of the Mosin Nagant m/91-30 was again ordered back to full production capacity at both Ishevsk and Tula. The need for a capable, accurate sniper’s rifle was urgently needed. Ishevsk began production of the Mosin Nagant “side mount” PEM in early 1942. This production was a stopgap to provide optically sighted rifles for the front until the newly designed and still in it’s infancy, m/91-30 PU, could be swung into full production. A 1942 dated PEM is an extremely rare rifle. Only one is reported in US collections. Tula did not produce any snipers of Mosin Nagant configuration from it’s last PEM in 1940 until it’s resumption of production with the PU in 1943.
 
Another use of the PE/PEM scope was the Finnish army during W.W.II. On every occasion that presented itself the Finnish army captured and reissued any m/91-30 sniper rifles they had. Most were returned to front line service immediately upon capture but those that suffered damage were returned to the arms depots for either repair or cannibalization of the optical components and mounting hardware. The rifles captured by Finland and in use were given a special code designation of TJ34 to hide the use from enemy spies (4). The number of rifles that were captured during the Winter War was rather small due to the Soviets doctrine trained snipers. These soldiers were not “normal” conscripts but highly trained professional soldiers and thus they did not tend to surrender easily. The bulk of Finnish captured sniper rifles came from positions quickly overrun. Soviet snipers were trained to damage or destroy their equipment in the event of defeat or imminent capture. The other problem encountered was the propensity of Finnish soldiers to keep the captured rifles as war booty and not report them. An inventory in June of 1940 indicated that 213 sniper rifles of almost exclusively the top mount PE design was in store.
 
The order was also given to begin production of 2000 telescopic sights and parts were obtained from abroad to begin this project but it was never realized and abandoned. The bolts of the m/39 were elongated and turned down to provide clearance of the mounted optics and some minor stock relief was done to accommodate the mounting of the base. Only 200 or so rifles were produced during the war. This rifle is one of the rarest snipers of W.W.II, as well as all Finnish used sniper rifles owing to the extremely small numbers produced and or captured.
 
m/91-30 PU (1942-1963)
 
The new model 91-30 PU sniper was hurried into production in 1942 as the field reports regarding the SVT40 sniper were not promising. Even after various attempts to remedy it’s first shot inaccuracy; they were not corrected sufficiently for the SVT40 to remain the primary sniper rifle of the Red Army. In October of 1942 the SVT 40 was no longer produced in a configuration that would mount an optical sight. The PU sniper rifle was an attempt to update and lighten the earlier PE/PEM and restore to the sniper the first shot accuracy that is so crucial . The Red Army was pleased with the new 3.5x short scope that was designed for the SVT series of rifles and decided to continue it’s use with the new PU in a slightly altered form. The new scope was to do away with the raised seating portion of the scope in its center that allowed proper placement in the SVT mount. It also streamlined the tube to a consistent diameter from front to back to simplify manufacture. The initial PU scopes though did however have some design features of the earlier PE/PEM scope. These early scopes were constructed using some prototype patterns, materials and design. The earliest of the scopes produced for use in 1942 had an elevation and windage housing very much like the earlier PE scopes.
 
The lens fittings were also made using the earlier brass fittings. Some tubes were manufactured using a lightweight alloy, presumably aluminum, to lighten the weight.  These scopes are extremely rare. These features were quickly abandoned in favor of the final result that emerged in late 1942-early 1943. These scopes utilized a steel tube and fittings. The tube was now streamlined to an even diameter from front to back. The windage and elevation knobs now protruded directly from the tube. A new mount and base was also developed for the rifle. A side-mounted base on the left of the receiver was agreed upon as the last previously produced PEM was. This mount was again simplified to provide a basic “self zeroing” feature. A small knob in the anterior acted as a “ball and socket” for the mount and the rear of the mount was held in place by a large knurled thumbscrew through pressure. Vertical rough elevation was done with the use of an upper and lower set screw on the base as well.
 
The base was affixed to the left side of the receiver by means of two locating pins and two screws. The screws were retained and prevented from loosening by two setscrews. (see above photo) The receiver of the new rifle also was different. The left wall of the receiver was not milled out to an angle sloping towards the wood line as in previous standard infantry rifles to reduce weight. It remained “high” to provide a “high wall” to affix and support the scope base. This feature was also used in the lean mid-war years as a time saving production procedure. This feature can also be observed on the carbine variants. After rough elevation was attained the screws were either staked or noted in a notebook of their position and not touched again and conventional zeroing was undertaken. The earliest versions of the new mount, which rose vertically then at a right angle to place the scope over the bore, utilized two small cutouts in the center portion to reduce weight and bulk.
 
This proved to time consuming and the feature was dropped in favor of two dished out slots and one large cutout. The mount incorporated two split rings that allowed the scope to be slid into the mount from the rear and then tightened by four screws, two in each ring. It was a simple and effective design. The snipers were initially not impressed with the new rifle and scope. They favored the earlier 4x scope, which provided a larger field of view and an easier eye relief. The new rifle’s scope is placed higher up so slight adjustments needed to be done before becoming comfortable with the arraignments. The rifle soon won over it’s users and became a favorite owing to it’s smaller scope which eased handling and the reduced weight from the earlier PEM. The rifle proved to be deadly accurate. Range estimation was taught by placing and measuring the amount of target mass between the horizontal cross hairs which were as before on the PE, a typical European three post design. Typical target engagements were 200-400 meters but many were undertaken at its extreme range of 900 meters.
 
Scope production was undertaken at five different optical firms. Each of these firms stamped the logo of the factory on the scope tube as well as the date of production and the serial number. Many scopes do not exhibit a date and it is not known as of yet why this is so. It is possible that these scopes are replacement or inventory models. One maker did not use a traditional date as the others did. They incorporated the year of production into the serial number of the scope. The first two digits identified the year of manufacture. An example of this would be the traditional marking of 1943 - 23455, while the other maker would mark this scope as 4323455. The dating of the scopes began in 1932 and ended in 1945 with the close of the war. PE scopes were initially dated on the rear inside the optical maker’s rectangular logo. Later PEM scopes were dated on the side of the elevation turret with the maker’s logo appearing on the rear bell.  Many PU scopes exhibit an "inspection/refurbishment” date upon the tube below the optical maker’s logo. The diagonal slashed box proof of the refurbishment often splits these. Dates observed are often in the 50’s through late 60’s. Some are marked POM 59 indicating an inspection repair in 1959. The PU remained the Red Army’s primary sniper scope through 1962 when the self-loading SVD or Dragunov replaced it.
 
Vic Thomas
www.mosin-nagant.net
www.gunboards.com
 
References
 
Soviet Small Arms and Ammunition (Both Russian and English versions)-D.N. Bolotin
The German Sniper-P.R. Senich
Drei Linien Die Gewehre Mosin-Nagant Vol 1 and 2 -K.H. Wrobel with some personal additions from this fine author
Soltiaskäsiaseet Suomessa 1918-1988-M. Palokanagas
Lt. Umro “Al” Lehikihoinen-Veteran of both Finnish wars and an invaluable asset in transcribing and translating of Finnish documents as well as personal insight
Brian Johnston- Advanced Mosin collector
International Armaments by George B Johnson and Hans B Lockhoven Vol 1-2
Guns of the World by Ed Ezell -first edition
Odstrelovacská puška vz. 54 - http://www.strelci.com

 


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