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  #1  
Old 02-28-2013, 3:43 PM
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Default 1917 Remington M91 Rifle - American made Mosin with unusual double blade front sight

Hey Calguns,

Thought I'd share my 1917 Remington-made M91 Mosin-Nagant rifle that I picked up at the SB gun show earlier this month. American-made M91 rifles were made by Remington and New England Westinghouse for the Tsarist Imperial Russian government during the midst of the First World War to supplement their forces, but when the Russian Revolution of 1917 happened, the provisional Russian Government defaulted on the contract, leaving Remington and New England Westinghouse stuck with the contract and hundreds of thousands of rifles. The United States Government intervened and bailed out Remington Armory and New England Westinghouse by buying the remainder of the rifles and sold the rifles to the DCM to the public at $3 a piece (a government bailout I can get behind!), as well as to Federal and State troops as auxiliary weapons. Allegedly, a lot of rifles were also shipped over to Vladivostok to the Czechoslovak legions to help fight the Bolsheviks, but many Japanese soldiers absconded with them and converted them to single-shot trainers as well. My particular rifle likely never left the United States as there is no import mark on the gun, nor are there any Finnish [SA] markings on the rifle.

I've done some light restoration work on the piece, especially around the muzzle-end of the rifle which was pretty badly corroded and I buffed out and reblued with Brownell's Oxpho-Blue. I know there are some who would contend that rifles shouldn't be restored, but it really looked like hell. Barrel was badly pitted and rusted over from years of neglect by prior owners, so it needed to be done in my opinion. Feedback appreciated for my rebluing job, but I have to say that Brownell's Oxpho-Blue is the real deal when it comes to touch-up work. I followed Iraqveteran8888's video on Youtube for a guide and it worked out pretty well IMO!

Bore was pretty dark when I bought the gun but it cleaned up beautifully! Rifling is sharp and bright with some frosting in the inside but overall in very good shape for the age of the rifle.

I had to replace the original barrel bands as they were badly corroded and the screws were pretty much stripped, so I ordered some NOS ones from Finland - likely from a Finnish capture M91. The bands are Izhevsk-made judging from the stampings.

I also had to acquire a cleaning rod as the rifle didn't come with one, so that has been added and really adds to the completeness of the rifle. The rod is original M91, but no stampings anywhere as far as I can tell, but I estimate it's a Russian-made rod.

Stock is original Remington, with the great Remington Russian Imperial Eagle cartouche marked with the year (1917). Handguard is not matching as its finish is not matching; I estimate this to be a Russian-made handguard and not American black walnut.

An unusual feature of this rifle is the double-blade front sight post on this gun. From other pictures I can find of Remington M91s, this is unusual as they had single blade front sight posts. Could anyone chip in any information regarding this kind of front sight post? I've never encountered a double-bladed front sight post and it makes for an interesting front sight picture. It makes me wonder whether or not the front sight post is original to the rifle, or if it's been replaced by a previous owner.

Now, for the pictures:








Barrel before restoration; you can tell the parts I lightly sanded initially and the parts that had the original amount of corrosion. A lot of work had to be done to get it as smooth and in-the-white as possible for rebluing. Unfortunately, some of the pits were too deep to get to without doing more drastic sanding, so that couldn't be undone, but I'd say the current result is much better than it was before:




Full album of the rifle can be found here.
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  #2  
Old 02-28-2013, 3:50 PM
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Saw this on another website, much better pic display here. 'Murican history right there.
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Old 02-28-2013, 3:57 PM
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That is one damn cool rifle, its just a shame that it was so rough when you got it. I've always wanted an American M91, they just seem so cool.
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Old 02-28-2013, 4:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crusader View Post
That is one damn cool rifle, its just a shame that it was so rough when you got it. I've always wanted an American M91, they just seem so cool.
Yeah it was a bit rough but I'd say overall the rifle isn't in totally unsalvagable condition. The magazine and floor plate were painted with black paint () which I stripped with some paint thinner. I'm debating on rebluing that part too but I like the faded look of the rifle, it's part of its history and it's not particularly rusted over or anything.
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Old 02-28-2013, 4:05 PM
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I know how you feel, the rifle has character that's for sure. Did you do any research on the rifle being painted? I recall watching a show on firearms in which a guy found an old French musket from Napoleon's era that had all the metal parts painted black. The guy stripped it all off thinking some previous owner had done it, only to find that the soldiers painted them black so they weren't blinded by the bright polished barrels in the sunlight.
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Old 02-28-2013, 4:13 PM
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Nice rifle! I've always thought the American connection with these otherwise quintiessntial Russian rifles is a cool bit of history.

And nice work on the barrel restoration! The reblue doesn't look out of place on the rifle, like a lot of the modern reblues do.
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Old 02-28-2013, 4:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crusader View Post
I know how you feel, the rifle has character that's for sure. Did you do any research on the rifle being painted? I recall watching a show on firearms in which a guy found an old French musket from Napoleon's era that had all the metal parts painted black. The guy stripped it all off thinking some previous owner had done it, only to find that the soldiers painted them black so they weren't blinded by the bright polished barrels in the sunlight.
Heck, soldiers rattle can their rifles in the field to this very day.
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Old 02-28-2013, 4:39 PM
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I remember that British arsenals would paint the Lee Enfields rather than re-blue them. I might not be correct, but that is what I recall.
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Old 02-28-2013, 4:41 PM
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In my Mosin's case, it was just the magazine and magazine floor plate, as well as the barrel bands, that were painted black. I suspect it was done by a previous owner, but I can't confirm that as I don't really know the vintage of the rifle. I suspect it was probably "ghetto gunsmithing" at work here given by the level corrosion that was on the last 6-7" on the barrel and stock cap (which I also replaced).
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Old 02-28-2013, 5:44 PM
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I've never seen a front sight like that. When you said double sight, I thought you meant a stacked finnish sight...but two blades is rather odd.
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Old 02-28-2013, 8:14 PM
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I am dumbfounded by the dual front sight, but congrats on picking up an American Mosin
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beetle Bailey View Post
I am dumbfounded by the dual front sight, but congrats on picking up an American Mosin
Thanks! I've ordered some PPU non-magnetic ammo for the gun too, so we should hit up the range sometime and have a Mosin day.
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:25 PM
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Nice. He scores..He shoots.
Let us know how the front sight works for you.
I've never seen that before.
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Old 03-01-2013, 6:18 AM
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Great rifle!

I wouldn't have sanded it however. Steel wool works well to remove rust but is more gentle on the metal.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:44 AM
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The barrel was badly corroded so I had to use something a bit more aggressive than steel wool. I did use varying grades of sandpaper from 220 grit to 400 grit.

Last edited by Syntax Error; 03-01-2013 at 10:46 AM..
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:38 AM
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The "split" front sight was a French idea - sort of the same idea of making more light available for aiming as the current fiber optic front sights. I've seen a few American civilian rifles and one M1917 that have one of these installed. I'm guessing that it was an after-market front sight sold in the 1920s as I've never seen one on a rifle made after 1930 or so.
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Old 03-01-2013, 8:36 PM
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Nice I don't think the re blue looks bad or out of place ether good job .
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