Finnish Mosin Nagant M39



In 1891, the Russian army adopted the Mosin Nagant M1891 rifle.  It was bolt action and fired a fairly modern cartridge that is still in common use today.  Well before the Mosin Nagant was even an idea, Finland was absorbed by Russia and it became a semi-autonomous state in 1809.  However, during the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, Finland declared her independence and fell into a short civil war.  The Bolsheviks, who were now in power in Russia, recognized Finland's independence.  During the interem between the two World Wars, Finland had to arm herself.  The army chose to adopt the same Mosin Nagant rifle that the Russians used.  The Finns started out with simple copies of Russian designs, such as the M91 and M91/30.  They used captured Russian rifles and salvaged as many parts as possible.  The first Finnish rifle with a new designation was adopted in 1924 as the M24.  Many other Mosin Nagants followed including the M27, M28, M28/30 and finally, the M39.  The M39 was adopted in 1939 and was used against the Soviets when Finlad fought them during WWII.  All M39's (like all Finnish Mosin Nagants) were built on captured Russian receivers and featured some salvaged Russian parts.  However, all barrels were newly produced by the Finns.  They made their rifles to be very accurate and M39's were still made as late as the 1960's and 1970's after a hold on manufacture since the end of WWII.

My Rifle

I bought my Finnish M39 from a private individual.  The receiver was made by the Russians in the Tula arsenal in probably 1895 or 1896 (the date is hard to read).  The barrel was made by the Finnish arms manufacturer, VKT in 1942.  Like the receiver, many other parts were made by Tula including the bolt body, bolt head, trigger guard/magazine, magazine floorplate, and parts of the trigger assembly.  With Czech silver tip ammo, I've gotten some pretty good groups at 100 yards.  I plan on starting to handload my own accurate ammunition soon, so I'll be able to see what this rifle can really do.  Overall, the rifle is in nice shape and I got a pretty good deal on it.  I like this rifle: it's an interesting part of Russian and Finnish history.

M39 Specifications

  • Caliber: 7.62x54r
  • Length: 46.75 inches
  • Weight unloaded: 9lb 8oz
  • Barrel length: 27 inches
  • Magazine: five round integral
  • Type: bolt action

Photos (click to enlarge)

NOTE: The X's were put on some pictures by me to obscure the full serial number of the rifle.  It's just a privacy issue with some people.