Mosin Nagant Rifles Captured by Austro-Hungary

Mosin Nagant Model 1891 Infantry Rifle
7.62mm M.91 Russisches Repetier-Gewehr

Made by Ishevsk, Tula & Sestroyevsk, Russia, Remington & Westinghouse, USA and Chatellerault, France 1891-1917 (Later manufactured guns are not subject of this webpage)
Caliber: 7.62x54mm rimmed.
Muzzle velocity 835 m/sec M1908 ball ammunition
Integral charger-loaded box magazine, 5 rounds
Turning-bolt action, locked by rotating lugs on the bolt head into the receiver
1305mm [51.4"] overall, 4.4kg [9.6 lbs]
803mm [31.6"] barrel, 3-groove rifling, RH, concentric
Leaf sight graduated to 3200 arshins (1908 Type 2 rear sight shown)

M1891 Socket type Spike Bayonet

'E.A.IX.' = Erzeugungs Abteilung 9 (Production Department 9) Austrian mark on the bayonet

Mostly during 1915 Austro-Hungarian forces on the Eastern front captured sizable quantities of Russian Mosin Nagant M1891 rifles, and also received large numbers taken by the Germans. A small number of M91 Dragoon and Cossack rifles and the M07 (M10) carbines were also captured along with the long rifles. All captured and inspected rifles were marked with 'AZF' (Artillerie Zeugs Fabrik) and/or 'OEWG' (OEsterreichische Waffenfabrik Gesellschaft) on the receiver.

The picture on the left shows both, the 'AZF' mark, and the overstamp with the 'OEWG'.

The AZF marked guns in Austro-Hungarian service were issued with captured 7.62x54r Russian ammunition. When supplies begun to run short, more than 50,000 guns were converted (rebored or rebarreled) in the Wiener-Neustadt armory for the standard rimmed M93 8x50mm Austrian round. These rifles were designated '8mm M.91 Adaptiertes Russisches Repetier-Gewehr'.
In addition to the chamber alteration, the Russian sight graduations on the left side of the rear sight base were scrubbed clean and remarked "2 3 4 5 6" to accommodate the 8x50r cartridge. Many newly stamped numbers were filled with gold paint. The rifles also has wire sling swivels added, as was the common practice with all Russian weapons captured and reissued by Austro-Hungary. Reportedly a number of rifles were just re-chambered to 8x50, but not rebored. The strength of the M91 action proved to be sufficient for this type of conversion.
The OEWG marked guns went through arsenal repairs/reconditioning or caliber conversion. The original Russian style socket bayonets were retained wherever possible, but some Austro-Hungarian substitutes were made also.

After WW1 Austro-Hungarian and German captured M91's ended up in numerous European countries:
1. Austro-Hungary was separated into a number of small, weak (no longer a threat to France) countries by French generals in 1920, without regard to the populations' ethnicity or previous borders. Many of these countries 'inherited' the weapons inside their borders.
2. Additional weapons were supplied by Austria and Hungary by war reparations.

Known amount of Mosin M91's: Italy (43000), Yugoslavia (60000), Czechoslovakia (20000), Romania (7000+), Poland, Latvia, France, still many of them stayed in Austria, Germany and Hungary.
The photo of a M91 on the left shows an example, the 'S [lion] 7' mark, indicationg Czechoslovak Olomuc District service.

Finland adopted the Mosin Nagant M91 as their official infantry rifle due to the fact that it was the most common rifle Finland. Finland started to purchase or trade for these M91's from any available source:
1924: Poland (2150)
1926: Italy (40000 rifles)
1928: Romania (5000), Czechoslovakia (8000) & France (2200 rifles)
1930: German gun dealers (4200), 1934: German gun dealers (26300)
1936: Czechoslovakia (11000), Hungary (4600) & Poland (2900)
1939: Yugoslavia (56500) captured by Germany
1940: Hungary (300) from Polish refugees from the USSR-invaded Eastern Poland
1941: Bulgaria (12300)

Many of these deals also included large amounts of parts and parts rifles. Finland's trading materials included 6.5mm Arisaka rifles , bayonets and ammunition, 7.92mm Gew.98, Kar.98a rifles, 7.92mm Maxim Machine Guns and millions of 7.92x57 ammunition.
The Finns rebuilt them into their 7.62x54r M27's, M28's, M39's, etc. and used them against the USSR during WW2. The AZF and OEWG markings can be found intact on some of these rifles telling their history. See the following rifle.

Finnish Mosin Nagant Model 1891/30 Infantry Rifle

Originally made by Ishevsk, Tula & Sestroyevsk, Russia, Remington & Westinghouse, USA and Chatellerault, France 1891-1917. Captured by Austro-Hungary during WW1. Purchased by Finland and rebuilt with Tikka, Finnish made barrels 1943-44
Caliber: 7.62x54mm rimmed
Muzzle velocity 805 m/sec M1908 ball ammunition
Integral charger-loaded box magazine, 5 rounds
Turning-bolt action, locked by rotating lugs on the bolt head into the receiver
1230mm [48.4"] overall, 3.95kg
730mm [28.7"] barrel, 3-groove rifling, RH, concentric
Tangent leaf sight graduated to 2000 meters

A few of the Finn owned Mosin Nagants were rebuilt into the Finn M91/30 configuration as shown on the left. Others were built into their other models (M24, M27, M28, M28/30 and M39)
Receiver markings: 'AZF' above the Russian PK crest. Barrel shank indicate 1944 Tikka, Finland made barrel.

M1891/30 Socket type Spike Bayonet

Buttplate markings indicate Hungarian WW1 usage, with small Hungarian crest stamp next to the upper buttplate screw, and a large unit mark believed to be Hungarian.

German marked M91 buttstock. Austrian unit marked M91 buttplate