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The Russian Carbine Mosin-Nagant M. 1907

kh1907main.jpg (8010 bytes)

Text And Photos: Karl-Heinz Wrobel & Vic Thomas


m/1907 Carbine
Overall length
1.015 meters/1015 mm 39.96 inches
Barrel length
508 millimeters 19.9 inches
Weight
3.28 kilograms 7.22 pounds
Sights
Front: unprotected blade drift adjustable Rear: Tangent graduated to 1900 and 2000 meters
Production maker(s)/totals
Izhevsk

44,000 first pattern

300,000 second

 

1) The Name Of The Carbine

Even in new publications and works, many authors refer to a "Cossack-carbine M. 1907", a "Carbine M. 1910" or a "Cossack-carbine M. 1910." All these references are incorrect. The only correct name is "Three-Line-Carbine, Model of the Year 1907." It is even incorrect too to refer to this carbine as the "Carbine Mosin-Nagant M. 1907", as was done in the headline of this article; however, the names of the designers of the Three-Line-Rifles are so commonly used in the Western Countries as names that it seems permissible to make use of this name while not entirely correct.

The Russians always designated their rifles after the year of introduction, and it was 1907 this carbine was adopted into service. What is the reason, that many authors use the wrong nomenclature? It seems that the Germans are guilty here. In the "KENNBLÄTTERN FREMDEN GERÄTS", used in WW II, the Germans enlisted a nearly unknown old Czarist carbine and gave it the name M. 1910. Many authors, especially in the USA, trusted the accuracy of the Germans and used that name in their publications. Other authors trusted these authors and so the error became "historical truth".

True carbines had normally been issued to various mounted troops, and it seems that the author or dealer, who "designed" the word "Cossack-carbine", knew, that the Russian Dragoon troops had an their own rifle. The only other Imperial Russian troops besides the Dragoons and Czarist Guard Cavalry Units that utilized horses were Cossack troops, but the author did not know, that the Cossacks had their own long rifle version of the Mosin Nagant. This author used this fantasy and another incorrect designation was born.

KHMN07reciever.jpg (28798 bytes)

Rare M1907 Carbine without the crossbolt through the stock.

2. The Carbine's History

The carbine M. 1907 is not the first carbine Mosin-Nagant, as there are two earlier models. One with a permanently attached metal bayonet-scabbard on the right side of the weapon and the other know as the "Gendarmerie Carbine (border police carbine). Both of these early carbines are extremely rare. If you were to find a first pattern Gendarmerie-Carbine PLEASE tell me, as there are only 11 ever known to have been manufactured. I will gladly sell my house, endure the divorce, and buy it (smile). It is this carbine that is the direct predecessor of the carbine M. 07.

St. Petersburg Cavalry Carbine - Another rare Mosin Nagant which has traits like the M1907 as these are much

like a 1907 with a side folding bayonet

In 1891 the military leaders of the Czarist Empire could not foresee the possible use of a carbine and it was decided to issue all units the two long rifle models of the Mosin Nagant. In the Russo/Japanese War of 1904/5 it became evident there was an urgent need of a handier weapon for technical troops like machine gun units or sappers. Therefore on May 11, 1907 the Czar decided that a carbine should be introduced immediately. On May 23, 1907 the Russian Artillery Commission submitted order No. 287 to Colonel Nikolai Ivanovitch Jurlov, who had designed the Gendarmerie Carbine already, to begin manufacturing a new carbine.

KHMN07sideview.jpg (40669 bytes)

3. Carbine M. 1907, First Pattern

I must state that the Russians never did officially designate a "first" or "second" pattern. In all official Imperial Russia records there is only a reference to the "Three-Line-Carbine Model of the Year 1907". Using these "patterns" will make it easier in describing the main differences in the development of the carbine. The first pattern is a rare Mosin Nagant crown jewel as well. It was designed for the first rounded nose cartridge M. 1891 and the majority of these original carbines have been altered for the later spitzer bullet.

Technical data:

Length:

1015 mm

Length of barrel:

508 mm

Weight:

~3.276 g

Sights:

400 bis 1.900 arshini

Muzzle velocity:

~560 m/sec

 

3.1 Special features of the carbine M. 1907, first pattern

KHMN07muzzle.jpg (26597 bytes)

Stock and handguard

Both stock and handguard nearly come up the muzzle, which means a bayonet can not be attached to the weapon. The backsight is inletted in the rear end of the handguard, with it ending about two inches behind the backsight. This rear part of the carbine handguard caused several problems and one will find many handguards broken in this rear location.

1907handguard.jpg (44413 bytes)

Crossbolt

The first pattern does not have the crossbolt through the stock. There was no need for the crossbolt as the cartridge M. 1891 had much less power than the later M. 1908 cartridge.

Backsight

The carbines have a very specific backsight, that one will not find on any other Mosin-Nagant with the exception of the before mentioned carbine with bayonet-scabbard. Workers at Sestroretsk developed this rear sight. It functions in the same way as the normal Russian backsights, but the axis to open the sight for longer distance shooting is located in the back of the sightleaf.

There are two different types of sightleafs one will encounter, and both will have a slot in the middle of the leaf. The slot of the first version ends in a semicircle on the upper side, while the second has a second smaller semicircle above the normal one.  Both sightleafs of this first pattern have the same graduation, up to 1.900 arshini only.

KHMN07rearsight19.jpg (31316 bytes)

First pattern rear sight

3.2 Production data

It is very difficult to say how many carbines of the first pattern were produced. The files in the Russian archives mention only two years. It is sure that only some hundred carbines were built in 1907, the first year of production. As the first pattern of this carbine is quite rare, it is also very difficult to collect serial numbers of the carbines. The highest number I have encountered is 19052 from a carbine dated 1909. It should also be noted that carbines used the same numbers as the Infantry and Dragoon rifles M. 1891. In 1911 the files say, that 22.437 carbines were manufactured in that year. The yearly production increased from 1908 up to 1911. This means, that about 10.000 had been produced in 1908 and about 20.000 in 1909, according to the increase and decrease of the production data of the other Mosin Nagant rifles.  It is this data that reasons me to believe, that about 44.000 carbines M. 1907 first pattern had been manufactured up to 1909.

4) Carbine Mosin-Nagant M. 1907, Second Pattern

The "second pattern" Carbine M. 07 was manufactured for the use of the improved cartridge M. 1908. Just as the Dragoon and Cossack Rifles, the Carbines M. 07 did not receive the new spitzer bullet cartridge in 1908 but two years later in 1910. This is in contrast to the Infantry Rifles M. 1891 which were built for the new cartridge starting in 1908.

Technical data:

Length:

1015 mm

Length of barrel:

508 mm

Weight:

~3.276 g

Sights:

400 bis 2.000 arshini

Muzzle velocity:

~812 m/sek

4.1 Special features of the carbine M. 1907, second pattern

Although similar in outward appearance there are some minor but important differences between the two patterns of carbine.

Crossbolt

The difference that is conspicuous is the addition of a crossbolt, which was introduced 1910 after some severe accidents with the new cartridge in the M91 Infantry Rifles. (As stated earlier the M91 Infantry models used the cartridge M. 1908 from 1908 to 1910 without the recoil bolt.) The energy of the stronger new cartridge had at times pushed the metal parts of the rifles rearward through the stock and into the face of the shooter. Therefore a strengthening bolt for the stock was urgently needed.

Sights

Another difference that can be easily  seen is the altered backsight. The graduation on the second version reaches from 400 arschini to 2.000 arschini not the 1.900 in the previous example. The two different shapes of the slot in the middle of the sightleaf can be encountered on these carbines as well. The second pattern backsights are the more "common" of the two. This form is what most lucky owners of a Carbine M. 07 will find on their weapon.

KHMN07sight20.jpg (28362 bytes)

Rear sight second pattern

Handguard

Just as the Dragoon Rifle, in the last two years of production the handguard of the carbine M. 07 was altered a little bit. After 1916 the handguard was shortened to end under the backsight to avoid cracking.

4.2 Production data

One can only estimate the production data per year of the second pattern of the carbine. Using production data of the first pattern, it can be assumed that about 10.000 carbines were manufactured in 1910. It is known that 22.437 were produced in 1911. Further it is known that 122.659 carbines were built from 1910 up to 1913. Most of these, about 70.000, were manufactured in 1913. This would mean, that about 10.000 carbines left the factory in 1912.

On August 1914 WW I broke out and while this had the consequences, the amount of manufactured carbines surely did not decrease in large numbers. Estimating very carefully, I have concluded that in the years 1914 to 1917 about 60.000 carbines per year were produced. That would make about 300.000 carbines of the second pattern all together.

While some authors have stated that carbine production ended in 1914, I personally have inspected several carbines dated from 1914 to 1917.

khMN07view.jpg (16172 bytes)

5. Factories

In May 1907 the Izhevsk factory received the manufacturing order for the new army-carbines. It was mentioned in this order that production of the M1907 Carbine was not to interfere or cause a reduction in production of the Infantry/Dragoon/Cossack Rifles. Several new parts had to be designed, like the barrel and stock, as the carbines did not use a shortened barrel or stock of an Infantry or Dragoon rifle. Izhevsk was the only factory that produced the Carbine M. 1907. While one may encounter information of carbine production at Sestroretsk, it is important to note these were versions of the Gendarmerie-Carbine.

6. Brands

Therefore all carbines M. 07 will be proofed with the main brand of the Izhevsk factory kh-1907izproof.jpg (6455 bytes). These proofs will be found in the same location as the M91 Rifles but both only up to 1918 as the proofs were changed.

The normal factory logo (bow and arrow) will appear on the receiver and many of the small parts, like bands, bandspring, sights etc. They will also bear the markings of the Russian proof commission:

   Izhevsk Proof

 

   Proof Commission Marking

 

From:

Karl-Heinz Wrobel

Author Of Drei Linien Die Gewehre Mosin-Nagant

(Please see book information in the Interactive Area)

 


 
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