The Mosin Nagant (pronounced MO-seen nah-GHAN) lineage began in with the adoption of the M1891. This model was a new rifle for Russia, utilizing a bolt design by Mosin and a magazine designed by Nagant. The rifle was 1.318 m long and featured a .450m spike bayonet. This long rifle with a long bayonet combination was quite common for the time, as so much combat theory was focused on bayoneting. The turn-bolt action seems to have borrowed from the French Libel, and has been called unnecessarily complicated. The magazine was a single stack system and held five rounds.
By the time the early 1920s came around, there were several variations of the M1891 in use. There was a decree issued in 1922 for a standardization of the M1891. This was finally adopted in 1930 as the M91/30. This was just a bit shorter (at 1.231m) than the M1891, but had many simplifications to improve manufacturing time. The rear sight was recalibrated in meters, the barren bands were simplified, and sling swivels were eliminated.
This rifle, although long and cumbersome, remained in service through WWII. In 1938 the M38 was adopted, which was a carbine-length version of the M91/30. This was issued to non-infantry personal. After learning the hard was in urban combat in Stalingrad that a carbine for infantrymen was needed, the M44 was adopted. This was a M38 fitted with a side-folding bayonet.
Because of its reliability, simplicity, and huge numbers produced (more
then 17 million M91/30s alone), the Mosin Nagant rifles were in service as late as the Vietnam war. China and
numerous Soviet Satellite countries were still producing M44s into the
1950s, making them the last bolt-action rifles used by the Soviet military.
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