Rifleman Q&A: What's the M91/59 Mosin-Nagant?

by
posted on December 31, 2021
right side bolt-action rifle carbine wood stock gun surplus Russian guns

Q. I have recently begun collecting Mosin-Nagant rifles as they are both affordable and historically interesting. I had picked up what I thought to be the “basics”—a Model 91/30, a Model 38 and a Model 44. While at a gun show recently, I saw what was described as a “Model 91/59,” but it looked like a Model 38 carbine to me. What is this rifle?


A. The Model 91/59 is an odd little footnote in Mosin-Nagant history. While there is some disagreement within collector and historian circles regarding these rifles, the consensus opinion is that they were standard Model 91/30 rifles that were shortened to carbine length in 1959 by the Russians. Although at first glance it appears to be similar to a Model 38 carbine, it is in fact different.

gun rifle parts closeup sights number wood metal

The most unique and interesting feature of the Model 91/59 is its rear sight. Unlike an M38 that has a true carbine rear sight, these rifles have standard Model 91/30 rear sights with the upper range markings milled off. The ranges left are from 100 to 1,000 meters, with 1,100 to 2,000 having been removed. Another is the “1891/59” marking added on the top of the receiver, in addition to the original markings such as manufacturer and year of production.

These rifles would make a great addition to a Mosin-Nagant collection as they are unique and generally not very expensive.
—Michael O. Humphries


This “Questions & Answers” was featured in the March 2005 issue of American Rifleman. At time of publication, "Questions & Answers" was compiled by Staff, Ballistics Editor William C. Davis, Jr., and Contributing Editors: David Andrews, Hugh C. Birnbaum, Bruce N. Canfield, O. Reid Coffield, Charles Q. Cutshaw, Charles M. Fagg, Angus Laidlaw, Evan P. Marshall, Charles E. Petty, Robert B. Pomeranz, O.D., Jon R. Sundra, Jim Supica, A.W.F. Taylerson, John M. Taylor and John Treakle.


To subscribe to the magazine, visit NRA membership page and select American Rifleman as your member magazine.

Latest

Henry Repeating Arms New Original lever-action rifle right-side view silver engraving gun rifle carbine
Henry Repeating Arms New Original lever-action rifle right-side view silver engraving gun rifle carbine

Hand-Engraved, Silver-Plated New Original Henry Rifle Heads To Auction

There are few places in the country more impressive than The Cody Firearms Museum for history buffs and firearms enthusiasts, and Henry Repeating Arms, Baron Engraving and Davidson’s have created something special to support the facility.

Rifleman Report: Shall Not Be Infringed

As of this writing, the people of Ukraine are locked in a life-and-death struggle with the invading Russian military in the most significant warfare seen in Europe since World War II.

This Old Gun: U.S. Model Of 1842 Musket

By the latter part of the 1830s, most of the major powers finally let practicality overcome economy, realizing that it was time to switch their small arms over from flintlock to percussion. Britain and France were among the earliest, with the United States following suit in short order—the Americans fielding the handsome Model of 1842.

Preview: Brügger & Thomet Unigrip QD With Bipod Foldable

Externally configured as a standard vertical fore-grip, the B&T Unigrip QD With Bipod Foldable, as its name suggests, also features a throw-lever Picatinny-rail attachment clamp and more.

The Armed Citizen® May 23, 2022

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

2022 Rifle Of The Year: Ruger 10/22 Competition Rifle Left-Handed Model

Now in their 20th year, the Golden Bullseye Awards are chosen annually to recognize the firearm industry’s best new offerings. Here is this year’s winners as selected by the editors of “The World’s Oldest And Largest Firearm Authority.”

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.