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Finland

Rifles

Used by the Finnish Army in the Winter War

 

 

 

 

 


 

7.62 mm MOSIN-NAGANT M1891 RIFLE

The m/1891 Mosin-Nagant
(Picture source: "Talvisodan Historia 1", p.166)

The basic Mosin-Nagant model 1891 with ammo pouches

The Mosin-Nagant rifle was adopted in 1891, by the Imperial Russian Army. The action was developed by S.I.Mosin of the Russian army and the magazine was developed by Nagant, a Belgian.

As thousands were captured during the War of Independence, the 7,62 mm m/91 was the primary rifle of the Finnish Army, during Winter War.

 

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MOSIN-NAGANT M1891 RIFLE

Caliber:
Operation:
Length:
B.Length:
Weight:
Feed device:
Sights: Front:
Rear:
Muzzle velocity:
Bayonet:
7.62 mm x 54 R
Bolt
1 305 mm
800 mm
4.3 kg
5-rounds
Unprotected blade
Leaf
810m/s
500 mm

 

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7.62 mm M/27 Military Rifle

The m/1927
(Picture source: "Talvisodan Historia 1", p.166)

The model 1927 rifle with ammo pouches

After long discussions concerning the replacement of the m/1891 Russian infantry rifle, the Ordnance Department of the Finnish Ministry of Defense, in February 1927, presented their proposal for a new infantry rifle.

The weapon was based on the m/1891 rifle but the barrel was shortened from 800 mm to 685 mm. Changes were also made on the trigger mechanism, sights, hand guard and bands. An Austrian-type bayonet was to replace the Russian-type spike bayonet. It was decided that the new rifle was to be issued only to combat units of the infantry and the m/1891 was retained as the weapon of the support units, due to the lack of funds.
This new rifle was designated as m/27, and the production was projected at 120 000 rifles.

By October 1934, the Army had received about 49 000 m/27 rifles when serious defects were noticed in the rifles and production was immediately discontinued after the batches under assembly had been produced. The bands and the shortened version of the stock were too weak, and the bayonets couldn't be used without damaging the weapon.

A new stock strengthened at the front end, and stronger bands were designed in 1935 - 37. After these had been manufactured, the fitting of these new parts to the rifles already in use begun. The work had hardly started when the Winter War broke out. In World War II the m/27 infantry rifle was one of the basic weapons of the Finnish front-line troops.

 

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE M/27 MILITARY RIFLE

Caliber:
System of operation:
Length overall:
Barrel length:
Weight:
Feed device:
Sights: Front:
Rear:
7.62 mm x 54 R
Bolt action
1195 mm ( 47 in )
685 mm ( 26.97 in )
4.3 kg ( 9.48 lb. )
5-round
Hooded post
Leaf

 

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7.62 mm M/28 Civil Guard Rifle

The m/1928 Civil Guard Rifle
(Picture source: "Talvisodan Historia 1", p.166)

The model 1928 Civil Guard rifle with ammo pouches

In the 1920s, the Civil Guard considered it essential to improve the Russian m/1891 rifle. When the Ordnance Department produced their own improved version, in 1927, the Civil Guard obtained a prototype for inspection. After some tests a very similar military rifle was designed for the Civil Guard organization in early 1928. Small differences were found between the new design and the m/27 in trigger mechanism, sights, bands and sling attachments.

The first series of the new m/28 rifle came out in 1928. After the changes in the basic model, some of the Civil Guard members had their m/28 rifle sights altered to the m/28-30 sights. Thus there also existed an official transformed version.

Throughout the 1930s, the m/28 rifle was the basic rifle of the Civil Guard and in World War II, these weapons were mainly used by the Finnish Army in front-line combat units.

 

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE M/28 CIVIL GUARD RIFLE

Caliber:
System of operation:
Length overall:
Barrel length:
Weight:
Feed device:
Sights: Front:
Rear:
7.62 mm x 54 R
Bolt action
1190 mm ( 46.85 in )
685 mm ( 26.97 in )
4.2 kg ( 9.26 lb. )
5-rounds
Hooded post
Leaf

 

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7.62 mm M/28-30 MILITARY RIFLE

The m/1928-30
(Picture source: "Talvisodan Historia 1", p.166)

The modified M/28-30 rifle

The basic weakness of the Civil Guard m/28 rifle was the old type m/1910 "Konovalov" rear sight. Therefore the arms inspector Harry Mansner started working on a new rear sight design for this weapon in the beginning of the 1930s.

The first test sight was ready in autumn 1932. The first trials revealed a need for some further modifications. The modified weapon was designated as m/28-30. The m/28-30 went to production in 1932 and it was produced until 1933. The only major difference between the m/28 and m/28-30 rifles was the form of the rear sight, but small changes were also made to the hand guard and magazine.

The next production series from 1934-41 had several other modifications as well:

  • Swedish steel was replaced by Finnish Lokomo steel for the barrel
  • The front sight became screw-adjustable
  • The magazine and trigger mechanism were modified
  • An aluminum bushing was fitted to the barrel at the upper hand to reduce the effects of excess heat.
  • The method of fixing the cleaning rod and the weapon markings were altered.

Older m/28-30 rifles were modified as well by renewing the sights and certain other parts. The m/28-30 rifle was used in the 1939 - 44 wars mainly by infantry combat units and its performance in the field proved to be excellent and it was particularly accurate.

 

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE M/28-30 MILITARY RIFLE

Caliber:
System of operation:
Length overall:
Barrel length:
Weight:
Feed device:
Sights: Front:
Rear:
7.62 mm x 54 R
Bolt-action
1190 mm ( 46.85 in )
685 mm ( 26.97 in )
4.3 kg ( 9.48 lb. )
5-rounds
Hooded post
Mansner-type sight

 

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