The history of bolt-action rifles on the battlefield began in the second half of the 19th century, and the most numerous were those made in Russia.
The origins of this rifle date back to the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878, which ended in a victory for the Russian Empire. Despite this, the Russian Army realized the shortcomings of its Berdan single-shot rifles compared to the Winchester repeating rifles used by Turkish troops. For this reason, a contest was organized to provide the Russian Army with a bolt-action rifle. The winner was the 7.62 mm caliber rifle presented by Russian captain Sergei Ivanovich Mosin, but the resulting rifle ended up incorporating some features of another model presented by the Belgian designer Léon Nagant, which is why the resulting rifle ended up being known as the Mosin-Nagant.
The new rifle was adopted by the Russian Army in 1891, which is why its official name is M1891. Russia used the Mosin-Nagant for the first time in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905), and later it was also used in the First World War, the Russian Civil War and the Polish-Soviet War, among other conflicts. In 1930 some changes were made to modernize it, which resulted in the M1891/30 variant, which would be widely used by the Red Army in World War II and also by the Republican side during the Civil War Spanish.In 1932 a sniper variant was introduced, with PE and PEM sights and an elongated, L-shaped lever. In 1942 a new sight was introduced, the PU, used among others by the famous Soviet snipers Vasily Zaitsev and Lyudmila Pavlichenko.
In 1945 the Mosin-Nagant was already obsolete, being replaced by the SKS semi-automatic carbine. However, the Mosin-Nagant continued to be manufactured in some countries and used in numerous wars. Currently it is being used by the pro-Russian militias in the Dombas, in Ukraine, where rifles of this type made in 1941 and with old telescopic sights from the Second World War have been seen. In total, it is estimated that since the beginning of its production in 1891, some 37 million Mosin Nagant were manufactured in Russia and the USSR alone, making it the most numerous bolt-action rifle in history.
If you want to know more details about this rifle, I encourage you to watch the detailed video about the Mosin-Nagant that the Tropa Guripa YouTube channel has just published. This channel is a reference in this multimedia portal when talking about military recreation and historical weapons (the video is in Spanish, but has English and French subtitles)
>Main photo: alphacoders.com.
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