Sometimes, something catches your eye

Mystery Mosin Sporter. Fine gunsmithing on an unusual choice of gun.

Mystery Mosin Sporter. Fine gunsmithing on an unusual choice of gun.

…because it’s so unique. Odd. Bizarre. Different. And yet… not bad. Another gun blog has a beautifully sporterized Russian Mosin-Nagant rifle. Not only is sporterization something you very seldom see done to one these utilitarian old guns, which were mostly imported long after the peak years or sporterizing military bolt-actions, but it’s rarer still to see it done well. And it’s almost unheard of to see it done with high-art inlay and engraving. Go Read The Whole Thing™ over at RTB where he has lots more pictures.

An interesting rifle walked in today. Actually the rifle was a common Mosin Nagant; it was the fact the rifle had been engraved that made it interesting. The owner didn’t know much more than it was their Grandfather’s who brought it back from Africa. He claimed the diamond inlay was Ivory, but I had no way to verify that. The rifle had an additional two position safety installed which appeared to be functional. Sorry in advance for the cell phone pics.

via RomeoTangoBravo: Engraved Mosin Nagant.

Sure beats the factory cocking-piece safety. Not perfect (has to be on fire to unload, we think)

Sure beats the factory cocking-piece safety. Not perfect (has to be on fire to unload, we think)

The safety is visible in the photo. We’d love to know more details about this gun, such as its caliber (the stock 7.62mm x 54R, or perhaps something better suited to African game?) and who the maker is. It’s hard to believe someone could have done that gorgeous work and not marked the gun. Further, what Mosin did he use as a basis?

Mosins were made by the Tula, Izhevsk and Sestroretsk arsenals for the Imperial and Soviet Russian armies, but they also were made at SIG (Neuhausen, we seem to recall), Manufacture d’arms de Chatellerault, Westinghouse, Winchester, and Remington under contract, and at three Finnish makers. After WWII they were made in the Soviet satellite nations and in China.

The stock design and inlay suggests to us 1960s or 1970s. What do you think?

The stock design and inlay suggests to us 1960s or 1970s. The gun appears never to have been scoped. What do you think?

Mosins are normally marked on the forward (well, on a Mosin, only) ring of the receiver. Any markings there were erased by the deep and rich floral engraving. (Someone who knows more about engraving might be able to pin down the style or even nation of origin of the surface work).

There are more pictures of this remarkable, but pretty, oddity at RomeoTangoBravo.net, a new gun blog to us. So go there and Read (well, Look At, ’cause we lifted most of his text but not all his pictures) The Whole Thing

One thought on “Sometimes, something catches your eye

  1. Ian

    I bet it has a Timney trigger, or other similar aftermarket trigger installed. That safety looks very similar to the one on my Timney.

    The only identifying mark I can make out is a bow and arrow on the cocking piece, which indicates pre-1928 manufacture at Ishevsk. Of course, that really only means the cocking piece was made there, as lots of Mosins came into the US with all sorts of oddly mixed parts. I have a Westinghouse one with Finn markings, Ishevsk barrel bands, Tula rear sight, and Chatellerault floorplate.

    There will likely be a mark on the underside of the receiver tang indicating the date and maker. Incidentally, it’s this date that gives you the age of the receiver, not the barrel marking. Many Mosins have had barrel replaced (especially by the Finns), and it’s not uncommon to find guns with 1940s barrel dates that are actually pre-1898 receivers and thus not legally firearms.

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