29 Oct 19
“Nations have no perpetual ‘allies,’ nor ‘enemies.’
Nations only have ‘interests.’”
Lord Palmerston in England (1835), but re-quoted many times by subsequent politicians, from Charles de
Gaulle to Henry Kissinger!
During WWI (before the USA, in the aftermath of the sinking of the Lusitania, got actively involved), the USA was, at least officially “neutral” and was thus merrily supplying arms to many active combatants, particularly Russia and the UK.
Russia bought American-made 1895 Winchester lever-action Rifles, as well as American-made Mosin-Nagant bolt-action Rifles from Remington and Westinghouse. Some Mosin-Nagants were delivered, but the 1917 Russian Revolution saw the installation of a sinister new government, and Russia, consumed with its own internal conflict, promptly dropped-out of the War!
The new Communist government ultimately refused to make any payments to Remington , nor Westinghouse, so the US government partially bailed-out both companies, in the process taking possession of large numbers of American-made Mosin-Nagants. Most of these were retained by the USA in military warehouses, and eventually sold as surplus for pennies on the dollar. Many are thus still in private possession by Americans today!
After the War (and the Russian Revolution), many rifles still in the Russian inventory were sold to Spain during the eruption of the Spanish Civil War.
Many more ended-up in Finland. Some were purchased by the Fins, but most were captured during the Russo-Finnish War (The Winter War) of 1939-40
Finland gained its independence from Russia in 1917, during the Russian Revolution.
Brief armed struggle followed between the “White” Finnish and “Red” Finnish. White Finnish forces won, and
Finland thereafter wanted no connection with the USSR, except that they adopted (the Finnish version of) the Mosin-Nagant Rifle.
It was, in fact, a copy of an iron-sighted Finnish Mosin-Nagant Rifle that famous Finnish sniper, Simo Hayha used to terrorize Russian invaders during the Winter War.
The term, “Mosin-Nagant,” was actually manufactured by the Western press!
The rifle never went by that title in Russia!
Mosin was Russian. Nagant was België. Both submitted rifle designs to the Russian military in the 1880s. The “Mosin-Nagant” bolt-action rifle that was ultimately adopted by the Russian Army in 1891 was mostly Mosin’s creation, but with design features borrowed from Nagant.
Mosin-Nagant rifles gathering dust in Russian military warehouses for many decades were eventually made available for export to the USA, but only when the USSR broke-up in 1991, and as a result of the break-up. It was only for a brief period, and nothing has come out of Russia since, nor is likely to.
As noted above, most Mosin-Nagants imported from Russia during this period had actually been manufactured in the USA decades earlier, intended for export to Russia and France!
Between 1891 and 1965, upwards of forty million Mosin-Nagants were manufactured, in various nations but mostly in the USA, almost all in 7.62x54R caliber
Today, the Mosin-Nagant Rifle, long considered “obsolete” by the world’s armies, still has an active and enthusiastic following in the USA and other nations. Their owners have no compunction about shooting them
often, and relying on them for honest personal protection!
Many are thus still on active duty to this day!
I’ve scant doubt that stalwart Mosin-Nagants, along with 1903 Springfields, 1917 American Enfields, G98 Mausers, M1s, M14s, M1 Carbines, AKs, ARs, G3s, FALs, et al will be faithfully serving their formidable owners one hundred years from now,
… probably until the end of time!