Mosin-Nagant Rifle, the Definition of Never Say Die ~ VIDEO

Opinion on the lasting legacy of the Mosin Nagant Rifle.

Mosin Nagant Rifle
Mosin Nagant Rifle

Ft Collins, CO –-( “Nations have no perpetual ‘allies,’ nor ‘enemies.’ Nations only have ‘interests.’” ~ Lord Palmerston in England (1835), but re-quoted many times by subsequent politicians, from Charles de Gaulle to Henry Kissinger.

Mosin-Nagant Rifle

During WWI (before the USA, in the aftermath of the sinking of the Lusitania, got actively involved), the USA was, at least officially “neutral” and was thus merrily supplying arms to many active combatants, particularly Russia and the UK.

Russia bought American-made 1895 Winchester lever-action Rifles, as well as American-made Mosin-Nagant bolt-action Rifles from Remington and Westinghouse. Some Mosin-Nagants were delivered, but the 1917 Russian Revolution saw the installation of a sinister new government, and Russia, consumed with its own internal conflict, promptly dropped-out of the War.

Mosin-Nagant Schematic
Mosin-Nagant Schematic

The new Communist government ultimately refused to make any payments to Remington, nor Westinghouse, so the US government partially bailed-out both companies, in the process taking possession of large numbers of American-made Mosin-Nagants.

Most of these were retained by the USA in military warehouses and eventually sold as surplus for pennies on the dollar. Many are thus still in private possession by Americans today.

After the War (and the Russian Revolution), many rifles still in the Russian inventory were sold to Spain during the eruption of the Spanish Civil War.

Many more ended-up in Finland. Some were purchased by the Fins, but most were captured during the Russo-Finnish War (The Winter War) of 1939-40.

Finland gained its independence from Russia in 1917, during the Russian Revolution.

A brief armed struggle followed between the “White” Finnish and “Red” Finnish. White Finnish forces won, and Finland after that wanted no connection with the USSR, except that they adopted (the Finnish version of) the Mosin-Nagant Rifle.

It was, in fact, a copy of an iron-sighted Finnish Mosin-Nagant Rifle that famous Finnish sniper, Simo Hayha, used to terrorize Russian invaders during the Winter War.

The term “Mosin-Nagant” was manufactured by the Western press. The rifle never went by that title in Russia.

Mosin was Russian. Nagant was België. Both submitted rifle designs to the Russian military in the 1880s. The “Mosin-Nagant” bolt-action rifle that was ultimately adopted by the Russian Army in 1891 was mostly Mosin’s creation, but with design features borrowed from Nagant.

Mosin-Nagant rifles gathering dust in Russian military warehouses for many decades were eventually made available for export to the USA, but only when the USSR broke-up in 1991, and as a result of the break-up. It was only for a brief period, and nothing has come out of Russia since, nor is it likely to.

As noted above, most Mosin-Nagants imported from Russia during this period had been manufactured in the USA decades earlier, intended for export to Russia and France.

Between 1891 and 1965, upwards of forty million Mosin-Nagants were manufactured in various nations but mostly in the USA, almost all in 7.62x54R caliber.

Today, the Mosin-Nagant Rifle, long considered “obsolete” by the world’s armies, still has an active and enthusiastic following in the USA and other nations. Their owners have no compunction about shooting them often and relying on them for honest personal protection.

Many are thus still on active duty to this day.

I’ve scant doubt that stalwart Mosin-Nagants, along with 1903 Springfields, 1917 American Enfields, G98 Mausers, M1s, M14s, M1 Carbines, AKs, ARs, G3s, FALs, et al. will be faithfully serving their formidable owners one hundred years from now,… probably until the end of our time.


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About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc

As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor John Farnam will urge you, based on your own beliefs, to make up your mind in advance as to what you would do when faced with an imminent lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance, if any. Defense Training International wants to make sure that their students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or in-actions.

It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to the Planet Earth. Mr. Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit:

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Deplorable Bill

Inexpensive, low recoil, accurate enough, powerful as most WW-2 weapons and built to last especially in cold environments are all good points. Mill surplus ammo is still available as is factory fmj and sp hunting ammo. A draw back would be the sights and no easy way to mount a scope on it. Like most WW-2 bolt action rifles it holds five rounds as compared to the Enfield mk-4 which holds ten rounds in the magazine. There are shorter versions of this rifle that are easier to maneuver and loose little in ballistics but the lost weight also means recoil… Read more »


So true. I enjoy mine 91-30. It started life as an 1897 Dragoon and was refitted in 1929.
Bore is near perfect. GREAT rifle for the $115 I paid for it.


I’m not an expert on the 91/30 and variants, but I think the statement that most of the Mosin style rifles were made in the USA is incorrect. Perhaps this is just a typo in the article. I only know of the Remington and Westinghouse rifles that were made in the US prior to the Russian Revolution of 1917.

From the article:
“Between 1891 and 1965, upwards of forty million Mosin-Nagants were manufactured in various nations but mostly in the USA, almost all in 7.62x54R caliber.”


What? Attack at dawn? Naw.. I can bayonet the foe on the other side of the river without leaving the comfort of my hole. Last time my Russian M91-30 was cleaned was in 1945…….in Berlin. Safety? Finger is safety! MY rifle sling has dog collars! Yes, my M91-30 CAN hit the broad side of a barn….from two counties away! My sight adjustment goes to 12 miles and I’ve actually tried it. Service life…100 years. I can’t shoot the M91-30 at the range….the muzzle blast knocks all the targets over! After a long day at the range I relax by visiting… Read more »


Dang, I miss the good old days when 7.62 x 54R was dirt cheap. I just didn’t have any way to dispose of it back then (not that long ago really). Same goes for 7.62 x 39. I remember buying cases of 1100 rounds on stripper clips for $99. I’m sure there were better deals than even that.