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The Finnish Model Of 1924

by Vic Thomas

 

 

 

Top and side view of the first series production style rifle produced with the straight barrels of the 1891 pattern by the Schweiz Industrie Gesellschaft Neuhausen (SIG) company of Switzerland. The first 3000 barrels produced for the Finnish contract were of this design mimicking the original Russian specifications.  The stock is a Russian one piece design that would require no modifications to accept the new barreled receiver. The later version with the heavier stepped design would stock modifications.

 

 

           

 

 

The markings of the two barrel producers who were contracted the produce the barrels for the Civil Guards m/24 rifle. On the left is the Swiss produced barrel of the SIG company. On the right is the barrel marking of the larger German consortiums contract found on the bottom of the barrel.

 

 

                

The marking designed by the Civil Guard headquarters to denote the ownership of the model 1924 rifle by the Souljeluskunta organization. The marking is a letter "S" with three fir sprigs above it enclosed within a shield. The rifle on the right has an unusual marking in that it is dated 1924 which was not the norm for the m/24 rifles, as they lacked barrel dates marked on the top as

this rifle is. The serial number, N. 15 of the barrel is below the date.

 

 

The early markings of the Civil Guard headquarters signifying that the rifle was accepted for service within the organization. For lack of a better description, the marking appears to be of a stylized star or flower petal shape.

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

                       

 

The rifle on the left bears the marking "KLP" which signifies that the gun was assigned to the the Kymeenlaakso district and most probably the armoury. This district's armory was the most active of all the local Civil Guard sites and was responsible for all kinds of major armament contract jobs for the Souljeluskunta. The marking on this rifle almost certainly denotes that work was preformed on this barrel in shortening the threads and refreshing them, thus making the recutting of the chamber a necessity. The rifle on the right with the "christmas tree" also signifies the same procedure but it is presumed to have been performed at the primary Civil Guard workshop. It is thought this is the reason that the "christmas tree" marked guns often lack the high pressure proof of the SAKO facility as found on the KLP gun. You can clearly see the marking of 3600 with the SAKO "S" in a gear wheel separating the 36 and 00. This also adds some credence to the though that the Kymeenlaakso district preformed the work and it was approved by the SAKO facility as meeting pressure specifications.

 

                              

 

The left side photo shows the 3600 pressure proof again on the shortened chamber rifle as well as two separate "S" numbers indicating that the gun has been transferred from one district to another. The primary or original district is almost certainly the marking placed on the barrel indicating issue to Nylands Södra district. This district also used the letters NSD on the barrel shanks in exactly the same manner the Kymeenlaakso district marked their guns with the KLP marking.  These two districts are the only Civil Guard districts that marked their guns with specific identifying markings as in "NSD" and "KLP". The rifle on the left bears the S 85387 marking in an atypical placement indicating that the gun was transferred after its initial issue to the Pohjois-Karjalan district located on the Isthmus. The rifle on the right exemplifies a standard issue marking of the m/24. This guns single "S" number of 714 indicates issue to one district-Helsinki. It does bear a boxed [SA] marking which tells us this gun went on to later serve in the Finnish army, more than likely it was marked with the [SA] marking in 1942 when the army assumed control of the Civil Guards weapons inventory.

 

 

        

Two shots of the handguard of the m/24 rifle. It was slightly wider and deeper than its 1891 counterpart to accommodate the larger barrel diameter of the m/24's barrel. On the left is the m/24's handguard and the right is the standard 1891 handguard. The right side photo is an over view of the same two handguard's showing with some more clarity the thickness of the sides and depth of the groove allowing the handguard to seat properly on the barrel and not "bow" or "gap" as a 1891 handguard does when it is seated on a m/24 barrel.

 

 

The stock of a m/24 with the action removed. It is very evident in this picture the areas that were modified by widening and deeping the barrel channel slightly. The light colored sections of this stock are where the 1891 stock was modified to allow the wider and deeper model 1924 "heavy" barrel to seat fully in the stock and allow the proper placement of the bands and handguard.

 

 

The two versions of the barrels produced for the Civil Guard and the m/24 rifle. The top barrel is the first contract of 3000 in the 1891 original configuration. The bottom barrel is the second pattern made to the improved heavier specifications resulting in a barrel with a 1 mm step all the way around and providing improved accuracy over the original thinner pattern barrel. Note the top rifle also bears the earlier straight high blade of the first Finnish made rifles and the bottom the improved "notched" version that permitted improved light transmission/reflection on the blade creating a sharper silhouette.

 

 

 

The two versions of the rear sight used on the m/24 rifle. The original unaltered sight on the left and the improved sight on the right fit with the "U" shaped sight notch that was affixed by milling of a section of the rear sight and the plate attached by the two screws as the picture shows. This sight provided an improved sight picture of the new notched front sight blade. It is found sporadically on m/24 rifles showing no particular time frame of conversion.

 

 

The trigger spring found on the m/24. It was retained by the trigger pin passing through the center of the coils and then engaging the trigger housings in the receiver. The spring placed some subtle pressure on the trigger that removed the "creep" from the trigger and enhanced the shooters accuracy by allowing a crisp let off instead of the usual two stage effect so prevalent on the unmodified versions. This enhanced trigger with the spring was later carried over with the successor of the m/24-the m/28 rifle.

 

 

Three different rear sights for the m/24 rifle. On the left is the unmodified sight of the 1891 rifle as found on some m/24's. In this case a Austro-Hungarian modified sight showing range settings out to 1200 meters. In this particular case a SIG straight barreled rifle. In the center is a rear sight modified to allow a lowest setting of 150 meters. On the far right is another rear sight done in a much neater manner allowing a 150 meter range setting. The center and right pictures show Finnish modified rear sights marked with the range graduations of 300 meters, 400 meters, 550 meters, 700 meters, 850 meters.

 

 

The rear barrel band arraignment of the m/24. The primary focus of this picture is to illustrate the small "blocking" screw used on the m/24 and later rifles. This "blocking" screw allowed the bands to be loosened so as to not put any pressure on the barrel and thus distorting the harmonics and placing a pressure point on the barrel damaging the accuracy of the rifle. This small round head wood screw simply blocked the bands from moving forward when the gun was fired and thus maintaining the proper position in order to retain the handguard. Both the front and rear bands were done in this manner on the m/24 rifle and the 1891's of the army that followed.

 

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