In the 1930s, the Soviet Union determined it was necessary to upgrade their primary infantry rifle. This led to the Mosin Nagant 91/30, one of several rifles that makes up the second most produced firearm in history.
The 91/30 continued closely in the lineage of the earlier M91 rifle in the fact that it retained a 29 inch barrel length and overall length of 48.5 inches. Production started in 1930 and continued through the end of WW2 (1945). It first was attempted to be replaced by the SVT-40 and the M38 rifles. However when war broke out production was continued due to availability of parts and tooling. Production was finally ceased (By the USSR) in early 1945 as the model was fully replaced by the M44 Mosin Nagant.
The primary differences between the M91/30 and the M91 are as follows –
- A non-ramping rear sight that sits flat against the barrel of the rifle.
- A hooded front sight post
Additionally as the rifle was produced closer to WW2, the USSR fit some models of the 91/30 with PE, PEM and Zeiss scopes. These were issued to snipers during ww2 and saw significant usage.
By some estimates, there are over 60 million Mosin Nagants in existence, most of which are of the 91/30 model. As the Soviet Union phased out bolt-action rifles, many were sold to foreign countries or given to pro-communist rebel groups. The Mosin Nagant in all models (Including the 91/30) are still in usage today due to the accurate and reliable nature of the rifle.