Mosin Nagant Models

The Mosin-Nagant rifle is a military rifle that is  bolt action and is fed by an internal magazine. It was created by the Imperial Russian Army from 1882 to 1891. The Mosin-Nagant was used by the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, and other nations.

There are several different Russian variations of the Mosin-Nagant rifle. This article will explain them.

Variants in Russia/USSR

Infantry Rifle Model 1891

This was the most common weapon of choice of the Red Army and Russian Infantry from 1891 to 1930. There were a few modifications made to the rifle between 1891 to 1910.

  • Sights were changed
  • Reinforcing bolt through the finger groove was included (because of the adoption of the 147 grain “spitzer” round
  • Steel finger rest behind trigger guard was eliminated
  • New barrel bands put into place
  • Slot sling mounts replaced the traditional swivel ones

Dragoon Rifle

This rifle was created for use by the Dragoons, or mounted infantry, and was approximately 2 1/2 inches shorter and nearly a pound lighter than the original M91. The dimensions were the same as the M91/30 and most of the Dragoon rifles were actually reworked into M91/30s. These rifles, called “ex-Dragoons” by collectors are easily identified by their pre-1930 date stamps. However, there were a few Dragoon rifles that were made between 1930 and 1932, and after they were reworked, it became virtually impossible to difference between them and the M91/30s.

Cossack Rifle

This rifle was created for the Cossack Horsemen, and is almost exactly the same as the Dragoon rifle, but is sighted to be used without a bayonet. The Cossack rifle was issued without a bayonet.

Model 1907 Carbine

This model was made 11.4 inches shorter than a little over 2 pounds lighter than the M91 for cavalry, artillerymen, signalers, and engineers. It did not take a bayonet because it was stocked almost all the way to the front sights. This rifle was produced at least until 1917 in limited numbers.

Model 1891/30

This model is the most prolific of the Mosin-Nagant rifles. It was made as standard issue to the Soviet Infantry from 1930- 1945. Most of the Dragoon rifles were actually converted to the standards of M1891/30. In World War II, it was most commonly used as a sniper rifle. Early versions of this sniper rifle came with a 4x PE or PEM scope, which is a Soviet copy of the Zeiss scope design. Later, the rifles were equipped with simpler, smaller 3.5x PU scopes because they were much easier to produce. Since the scope was mounted just above the chamber, the bolt handle was exchanged with a longer, bent version on the sniper rifles- called the “bent bolt” by collectors and shooters of the Mosin-Nagant rifles. This was done so that the sniper could work the bolt without the scope getting in the way. This design was based on the Dragoon version with these modifications:

  • Rear sights were flat and the sights were restamped in meters instead of arshinii
  • The hex, or octagonal, receiver was replaced with a cylindrical one. The early 91/30 rifles and converted Dragoon rifles actually kept the hex receiver. These are much less common and therefore much more desired by collectors.
  • The blade on prior weapons were replaced with a hooded front sight

Model 1938 Carbine

This rifle is a carbine rifle that is based on the M91/30 design that was made from 1939 until 1945 at the arsenal in Izhevsk and in 1940 and 1944 at the arsenal in Tula. These were made for use by the noncombatant and second echelon troops. These are highly sought after by collectors because there were very few of them made in 1945. It is basically a M91/30 with a shortened barrel and stock- 40 inches overall versus 48 inches long for the M91/30. This carbine model was made so that a bayonet could not be attached- even the standard M91/30 model bayonet could not be attached to it. However,  as a wartime expedient, many of the M38 carbines were actually fitted into M44 stocks. For collectors, the M38s in the correct M38 stock command a much higher premium than the M38s in M44 stock. In 1944, the M38 was replaced by the M44.

Model 1944 Carbine

This rifle was introduced late in 1944 and remained in production until 1948. From 1943 until 1948, they were produced at the arsenal in Izhevsk and in only in 1944 at the arsenal in Tula. Specs for the Model 1944 carbine are very close to those of the Model 1938, except for this model has a side folding cruciform spike bayonet permanently attached to the side. A groove for the bayonet is in the right side of the stock. In addition to being used by Soviet Union, they were used by many of its satellite nations.

Model 1891/59 Carbine

This model is most commonly referred to as the “91/59.” These were created by simply shortening the M91/30 rifles to specified carbine length, with the rear sight numbers slightly reduced to create a much smaller shot range. These are nearly clones of the M38, with the exception of the smaller rear sights. The markings on the receiver “1851/59” suggests that these were created in, or possibly after, 1959. It was believed at one time that Bulgaria or possibly another of the Soviet countries performed these conversions to get ready for a Western invasion- which never came. Recent evidence has inferred that the M91/59 was produced in Bulgaria as a conversion from the M91/30s used in the war. Total production of these carbines isn’t known- figures range from one to three million.


This is the sawed off rifle. There were various irregular forces and even common criminals that would cut down the Mosin-Nagant rifles to the size of a pistol so that they could easily conceal them during the Russian Revolution and the civil war that followed. Most of these lacked sights, since they were crudely made. After the Russian Revolution came to an end, the amount of Obrez bolt action pistols became scarce because the Bolsheviks took over the arsenals and got their hands on the Model 1895 Nagant Revolver stocks. This variant is the rarest Mosin-Nagant and therefore, are highly prized by gun collectors.


This sniper rifle is a newer one, designed around the year 2000, as an effort to use up the surplus of M91/30 rifles that were still being held in storage in Russian. They were developed and manufactured to order by the Central Design Bureau for Sporting and Hunting Arms in Tula. Even today, this rifle is used by some of the law enforcement agencies in Russia.