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View Full Version : Mosin Nagant MO markings explained (maybe)


nick
01-03-2011, 11:37 PM
I'm sure many of you were wondering what those MO markings on Mosin Nagants mean. Yes, they stand for Ministry of Defense (Ministerstvo Oborony), but weren't most of the rest of the rifles issued to it, as well? Then how come they weren't marked MO when they were refurbished? Also, it looks like MO-marked rifles are often in a better shape than the rest, especially the barrels.

So, I was talking to distant cousin of mine who was a reserve officer in the Soviet Army (a tanker, but he still has a decent enough knowledge of small arms, although he's by no means an expert on them) and who now lives in Ukraine. I mentioned that I just got a couple of Mosin Nagants with those markings, and that they were in an exceptionally good condition (for Mosin Nagants, that is). He made an inarticulate sound and said something like, "of course they were, those VOHR morons probably only shot them in salutes". So I asked him to elaborate, and well, VOHR (which stands for Voenizirovannaya Ohrana, or basically paramilitary guards) was a paramilitary service guarding factories, convoys, even delivering mail. They were transferred to the newly formed Soviet Ministry of Defense (MVD, Ministerstvo Voennyh Del, or Ministry of Military Affairs) in the 1950's, which is quite consistent with the markings. These people also used Mosin Nagants and 1895 Nagant revolvers way past everyone else, since they were pretty much the lowest of the low in the Soviet military pecking order.

The embarrassing part is that 7.62x54r.net has had this info all along, and it was easy to find once I knew what to search for. I should've been paying attention... :)

http://7.62x54r.net/MosinID/MosinMO.htm

Interloper
01-04-2011, 7:54 AM
Hmm. Well, we've all seen that page on 7.62x54r.net. Some people remain unconvinced. One of the counter arguments I've read is that the Ministry of Defense has had different titles over the years represented by the dates found on the guns. For instance, the major government bureaus were called Commissariats, not Ministries up until 1946. Yet the year range of the weapons in question appears to be 1935-1953. These years coincide perfectly with the years of the purges ending in the death of the Monster himself. That certainly suggests that the double and triple dating phenomenon is actually connected with the Gulag and the system of internal security aka, prison and labor camp guards.
But in your cousin we have a first hand witness and his description is certainly compelling. At any rate it adds to the body of evidence. Sadly, the passing of the years makes it less and less likely that we will ever know the real truths behind so many of these mysteries. I wish we could all pool our resources and hire a team of researchers to go to Russia and the former SR's and dig through the documents...at least the ones that still remain, anyway.

mievil
01-04-2011, 6:00 PM
I'm a big MO guy, and reading through the bigger, richer, more knowledgeable Mosin collectors thoughts on the MO phenom is brutal. As many people that believe that it is the Ministry mark, there are just as many that believe it isn't. The most compelling was why you don't really see the MO on anything other than Nagant pistols, and Mosin rifles. I believe one SKS was found. And it has been seen on a few k98s. Very few. So it will always be a mystery, as much as all the other mystery markings. The only thing that it is for certain, is a nitch to the collection. It's fun to search for the rarer MO guns. Dear Triple date M38, come to Butthead.

Lurch762
01-04-2011, 6:50 PM
Dear Triple date M38, come to Butthead.

Double date MO M38 on GB right now, but it's been on there for a long time. Real nice looking triple date MO M38 sold there a few months back. :(

OHOD
01-04-2011, 7:12 PM
Great story!

Interloper
01-04-2011, 7:29 PM
Here's another bugaboo. The Red Army itself belonged to the Ministry of Defense...why aren't all weapons marked MO?

nick
01-04-2011, 7:32 PM
I'm a big MO guy, and reading through the bigger, richer, more knowledgeable Mosin collectors thoughts on the MO phenom is brutal. As many people that believe that it is the Ministry mark, there are just as many that believe it isn't. The most compelling was why you don't really see the MO on anything other than Nagant pistols, and Mosin rifles. I believe one SKS was found. And it has been seen on a few k98s. Very few. So it will always be a mystery, as much as all the other mystery markings. The only thing that it is for certain, is a nitch to the collection. It's fun to search for the rarer MO guns. Dear Triple date M38, come to Butthead.

Heh, watching/reading any group of people who've acquired a large body of knowledge and an even larger ego (and collectors usually fall into that group) argue is always entertaining, in a brutal sort of way.

mievil
01-04-2011, 7:45 PM
Double date MO M38 on GB right now, but it's been on there for a long time. Real nice looking triple date MO M38 sold there a few months back. :(

Saw it. But the Buy It Now price.........Guy thinks Jesus used it to cap Pilot.

The one a few months ago was at a buyable price and I don't know why I passed on it. Except now the new toys are coming so that makes it worth it. Sort of. :p

mievil
01-04-2011, 7:47 PM
And the whole double date without the actual MO stamp. Or the difference of a MO/(date) outside of the original date vs. a Date/Date with a separate MO. That one dude on 762 thinks it's only a valid MO if it is a split date. They are all goofy I tell ya.

G-Man WC
01-04-2011, 7:53 PM
There's nothing for either side that has swayed me one way or another on the M.O. debate yet. Yours is a intresting and thanks for the story.
The forums of 7.62x54 amd MN.net have been hashing this one out for years.
On a side note I own a MO triple dated Tula round 1939-44-50 91/30 with a 3 digi serial # that is not counter bored. A fine CalGunner from SoCal was kind enough to sell this to me at a very nice low price I may add. :chris:-g

nick
01-04-2011, 8:36 PM
I got mine (1925/47/53 Izhevsk and 1927/53 Tula), both are in excellent condition and not counterbored (very good bullet test, as well), from J&G. It pays to go and pick the rifles in person. They had a lot of other double and triple-marked 91/30s with hex receivers, these were just in the best condition. You'd think a 1925 and 1927-made Russian rifles were shot more.

G-Man WC
01-04-2011, 8:40 PM
I got mine (1925/47/53 Izhevsk and 1927/53 Tula), both are in excellent condition and not counterbored (very good bullet test, as well), from J&G. It pays to go and pick the rifles in person. They had a lot of other double and triple-marked 91/30s with hex receivers, these were just in the best condition. You'd think a 1925 and 1927-made Russian rifles were shot more.

Very nice selection there Mr. Nick. -g

gorblimey
01-05-2011, 1:56 AM
I'm sure many of you were wondering what those MO markings on Mosin Nagants mean. Yes, they stand for Ministry of Defense (Ministerstvo Oborony), but weren't most of the rest of the rifles issued to it, as well? Then how come they weren't marked MO when they were refurbished? Also, it looks like MO-marked rifles are often in a better shape than the rest, especially the barrels.

So, I was talking to distant cousin of mine who was a reserve officer in the Soviet Army (a tanker, but he still has a decent enough knowledge of small arms, although he's by no means an expert on them) and who now lives in Ukraine. I mentioned that I just got a couple of Mosin Nagants with those markings, and that they were in an exceptionally good condition (for Mosin Nagants, that is). He made an inarticulate sound and said something like, "of course they were, those VOHR morons probably only shot them in salutes". So I asked him to elaborate, and well, VOHR (which stands for Voenizirovannaya Ohrana, or basically paramilitary guards) was a paramilitary service guarding factories, convoys, even delivering mail. They were transferred to the newly formed Soviet Ministry of Defense (MVD, Ministerstvo Voennyh Del, or Ministry of Military Affairs) in the 1950's, which is quite consistent with the markings. These people also used Mosin Nagants and 1895 Nagant revolvers way past everyone else, since they were pretty much the lowest of the low in the Soviet military pecking order.

The embarrassing part is that 7.62x54r.net has had this info all along, and it was easy to find once I knew what to search for. I should've been paying attention... :)

http://7.62x54r.net/MosinID/MosinMO.htm


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MVD

Having won the October Revolution, the Bolsheviks disbanded the tsarist police forces and formed all-proletarian Workers' and Peasants' Militsiya under NKVD of the Russian SFSR. After establishing USSR there was no Soviet (federal) NKVD until 1934.

In March 1946, all of the People's Commissariats (NK) were redesignated as Ministries (M). The NKVD was renamed the MVD of the USSR, along with its former subordinate, the NKGB which became the MGB of the USSR. The NKVDs of Union Republics also became Ministries of Internal Affairs subordinate to MVD of the USSR.

Secret police became a part of MVD after Lavrenty Beria merged the MGB into the MVD in March 1953. Within a year Beria's downfall caused the MVD to be split up again; after that, the MVD retained its "internal security" (police) functions, while the new KGB took on "state security" (secret police) functions.

In his efforts to fight bureaucracy and maintain 'Leninist principles', Nikita Khrushchev, as the Premier of the Union, called for the dismissal of the All-Union MVD. The Ministry ceased to exist in January 1960 and its functions were transferred to the respective Republican Ministries. The MVD of the Russian SFSR was renamed the Ministry for Securing the Public Order in 1962.

Interloper
01-05-2011, 5:44 AM
Yep. The dates fit perfectly with those observed in the double/triple dating system. 1935-1953.