Finnish Mosin Nagant Rifles, A Brief Introduction

Mosin Nagant
Mosin Nagant Rifle
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

Bangor, Maine – -( The Mosin Nagant rifle today is well known to American shooters.

It is often thought of as being the rifle used by the Red Army during World War Two.

There is also the perception, among some American shooters, that the Mosin Nagant is a cheap inaccurate rifle. However the rifle was also used by Finland in a great number of variations. The Finns improved the Mosin design in many ways and made it shoot much better than the standard Russian Mosins.

In this article we will take a look at three of the most commonly encountered Finnish Mosin Nagant variations the M27, M28/30, and M39.

Following a civil war and the Finnish independence of December 1917, the new Finnish government would set about rearming. Many Mosin Nagants in their inventory were in bad shape, and Finland needed to setup production of new barrels for their existing receivers. This is important to note that Finland never made their own receivers and recycled existing receivers.

The Finnish had a habit of grinding off Russian symbols on their weapons since most were built from captured rifles. The best way to determine the receiver maker is by looking at the tang stamp. This requires that you take apart the rifle but it is easily done on all Mosin Nagants.

The early Finn Mosins would have barrels made in Switzerland and Germany.

Mosin Nagant M27 Rifle

Valtion Kivääritehdas
Valtion Kivääritehdas (VKT), State Rifle Factory in English, was a Finnish government-owned firearms manufacturer that existed independently in the Tourula district of Jyväskylä 1926-1946.

The regular Finnish Army would get a new rifle in 1927 that was a break from the old M91 rifles.

This rifle’s barrel would be produced by Tikka and state rifle factory Valtion Kivääritehdas. (VKT) This rifle was designated the M27 and would be shorter than the older M91 rifles.

The trigger was also improved over the older Russian rifles, and the rifle retained the same type of sights as the M91.

The M27 would see much use both in the Winter War of 1939-1940 and the Continuation War of 1941-1944. The rifle remained in production until 1940.

Mosin Nagant M27 Rifle
Mosin Nagant M27 Rifle

Mosin Nagant M28/30 Rifle

The Finnish Civil Guard had several types of rifles starting with M24, largely an upgraded M91. Later they adopted a design of their own called the M28. The M28 would be improved upon with new sights and the new rifle would be called the M28/30. The M28/30 was made by Sako, and shot well in competitions. The Mosin Nagant M28/30 Rifle would also be used heavily during the Winter War of 1939. In total the M28/30 Rifle was produced from 1933 until 1940.

Mosin Nagant M28/30 Rifle
Mosin Nagant M28/30 Rifle

Mosin Nagant M39 Rifle

The most famous and widely produced of all Finnish Mosin Nagants was the M39. The M39 represented an attempt at standardization between the Civil Guard and the regular army. It used the same rear sight as the M28/30, and also featured a pistol gripped stock.

A few early guns made by Sako did have a straight stock however. Very few M39’s were made for the Winter War of 1939, but many were produced and used during the Continuation War of 1941-1944. During this period they were made by Sako, and VKT. Post war the M39 continued in Finnish service with some barrels being made into the 1970’s.

Today Finnish Mosin Nagants are highly sought after by collectors, and they come in many different variants.

The Finnish line of Mosins represent a great improvement in fit, finish and accuracy over the standard Russian rifles. If you find an example of a Finnish Mosin I highly recommend picking it up or trying it out, as they are great rifles.

Mosin Nagant M39 Rifle
Mosin Nagant M39 Rifle
Marc Cammack
Marc Cammack

About Marc Cammack
Marc Cammack has been collecting firearms since he was 14 years old.

His interests are primarily military surplus firearms of the late 19th into the 1950’s. He has studied these in depth, and currently volunteers at two local museums providing them with accurate information about their firearms.

He is a graduate of the University of Maine with a bachelor’s degree in history. He has studied modern European and American history since the age of 9, and has been shooting since the age of 11. He currently resides just outside of Bangor, Maine.

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If I’m remembering correctly, the Imperial Russian Army Marksmanship Team (pre-WWI) set some accuracy records at Camp Perry that STILL stand. Using Russian Mosin-Nagants.

Captain America

The Finns are some really smart cookies and I would take Finnish myosin over a Russian made one any day! I’ve. Researched the history of arms development and improvement by the Finns and it’s very impressive ! Plus you’ve really got to admire such a strong determined people with all their ww2accomplishments against the much larger and fully equipped red army. Finland is the Only small country that the Russians tried to overrun that maintained its soverienity and even hurt the reds badly in battle. Looking at history again one will find that the reds ppsh it a Russian copy… Read more »

Kendra Heikkinen mclaughlin

My Finnish grandfather was a pretty popular gunsmith. He lived in South Paris.He made gun stocks from bridseye maple. His name was Eino Heikkinen. Collectors have his guns,as well as he Maine State Museum.

Marc Cammack

Kendra thanks for the info. I will have to look for your grandfather stocks next time I am at the Maine State Museum in Augusta.