The m/28 Photo section
The earliest m/28 serial numbers have a small "o" in front of the number. Its unknown what this signifies at this date. This barrel- made in the first contract of 10,000 from SIG in Switzerland was proofed by inspector "Eriksson" as the <E> proof indicates. The [SA] markings tells us that this rifle was assimilated into the Finnish Army along with most of the Civil Guards weapons at the start of the Continuation War (WW2) in 1941 and marked as property of the Army in 1942 when the boxed [SA] came into use.
The marking of the SIG factory who was contracted to produce barrels for the Civil Guard on the model 1924 and 1928 rifles. The factory name of the barrel producer "Swiss Industrial Society" and the town it is located in "Neuhausen" are stamped in script just below the wood line on the right side of the model 1928 barrels. The first 20,100 barrels of the model 1928 were made at SIG. The S27404 is a Civil Guard district number that identified what area of Finland that the rifle was issued into in the organization. This rifle was fabricated at SAKO and then sent to the northern section of the Satakunta district. The (KE) marking above it is for the chief inspector of the Civil Guard at the SAKO factory who has approved the rifle for issue. His name was Kosti Eakola hence the KE.
The front sights of the m/27 left and the m/28 right. Identical in shape and method of adjustment which was a simple drift left or right in a dovetailed base. The only significant identifier for the front sights is the locating screw lock screw for the front sight base. The model 27's is located at the front of the sight while the m/28's is at the rear. There are some very subtle differences in front sight ear shape and width caused by sub contracting of these parts and by year of manufacture. The heavier appearing sight ears of the m/27 on the left are from 1937 production. The right pictures m/28 is from the first years of production-pre 1930.
Some other subtle differences in the m/27 to m/28 rifles are the rear barrel band screws. The model 1927 rifle of the Army pictured on top used a large pan head type screw that was seated into a beveled recess in the band. The model 1928 rifle below, used a much smaller pan head screw and the bands lacked a significant bevel.
The front bands are the most obvious difference in identifying the m/27 from the m/28 rifle. the m/27 rifle pictured above left used a front nosecap that was hinged and used a large pan head screw again in a beveled recess. The model 1928 rifle above right used split band and the smaller pan head screw. The front of the stock was also slightly beveled in to allow the nosecap to be removed more easily. Both featured a bayonet lug that would mount the new knife type bayonet. Both rifles early on featured a separate sheet metal front plate that was retained by two small wood screws on the m/28 rifle. the model 27's front plate was retained by small arms that were inlet ted into the nosecap wood and retained by the nosecap screw passing through it. Later versions of the rifles would be made with updated nosecaps.
The m/28 with its early stock in the "ski trooper" configuration. The rear of the stock had an upper and lower sling slot. This allowed the sling to be mounted in a side postion making it easier to carry the rifle slung across the chest. The first 6,000 rifles made were in this configuration.
A close up of the ski troopers rear sling slots with a sling mounted. The special rear sling loop was approximately 6cm longer allowing it to be slung through both slots and fastened on one side. This effectively moved the mounting point of the sling from the bottom to the side of the stock as indicated above.
The Civil Guards m/28 rifle fit with the Gustav Genschow &Co. side mounted optical bracket. The rifle pictured is a later version fit with a Soviet 4x PE scope. The Gustav Genschow & Co. was better known by the name of "GECO". This style of mount would be copied very closely by the Soviets in the mid 1930's and be issued in a slightly heavier version by the Red Army in 1938. The m/28 snipers rifle is one of the rarest in the world with only 11 being produced and an unknown number remaining-possibly single examples.
The GECO mount and base used on the m/28 series of rifles. The range plate was for adjusting windage on the rear ring which was able to be drifted left and right. The rings were of a solid one piece construction which meant that the scope had to be assembled "into" the rings and was not removable. The later Soviet reproduction of this mount used a split ring design that made removal of the scope easier as well as a simplified base.
The rear one piece ring of the GECO mount. The windage adjustment plate and graduations are clearly evident on the plates.
A side profile view and front shot of a first production m/28 muzzle cover. Made of aluminum that was milled on the first versions this cover differs from the later mass produced versions by the markings of the Civil Guard headquarters on the muzzle cap and by the rounded rear raised ridge at the top of the cover. Later versions used a cast aluminum construction to facilitate mass production and had a more rounded appearance. Most covers will have the =S= marking on the body of the cover-usually just above the cap.
A front shot of the early cover on the left bearing the early acceptance stamping on the muzzle cover cap and the =S= proof clearly above on the body. The right side version is a later production variant that is of cast construction and has a flatter more square sight protection ridge on the top.
The m/28 muzzle cover attached to the rifle. The catch was depressed just like on a bayonet and the cover pushed on. When seated the button was released allowing the catch to grab onto the hole in the side of the front protection ears. This cover effectively protected the front sight blade from being knocked or damaged and also served as a muzzle crown protection device when cleaning the rifle. To clean the rifle the cap was simply unscrewed to expose the rod channel guide and axis to the muzzle.
The m/28 with its muzzle cover attached and cleaning rod inserted. The cover allowed the rifle to be cleaned from the muzzle end and not damage the muzzles crown. The aluminum cover centered the rod to prevent friction on
the edges of the muzzle that would eventually degrade accuracy over time. The cleaning rod is inserted into the rod collar and then the cross handle is inserted through the rod collar and cleaning rod retaining holes. This made for a very sturdy "T" handle to allow for the rifles bore to be cleaned easily when a patch was installed on the jag tip.
The standard m/28 cleaning kit as issued to each Civil Guardsmen. The brass jag and rod extension would be SY marked and as on later m/28-30's stamped with a Sk.Y marking. The dual flasks were for oil and solvent. The oil being contained in the smaller flask and applied with the dripper attached to the cap. The larger flask would contain an alkaline solvent to neutralize the corrosive powders and primer residue. I've heard that often lamp fuel was used or kerosene.
A later version of the m/28 cleaning kit. This kit is in a homemade or Lotta Savard supplied bag made of domestic cloth. This kit contained a large single solvent bottle that was embossed with a large SY in the center.
The markings from a m/28 sling. The sling marking is SY 30 indicating Civil Guard manufacture and a production date of 1930 for the m/28 rifle. The m/28 sling was constructed of brown leather with a smooth finish. A zinc coated or plated oval buckle was attached. The early slings were of one piece construction.
The sling on the top is a later production version sling for the m/28 rifle. It is commonly refereed to as a "three piece" sling due to its three pieces attached at oval rings. Two oval buckles are used to adjust both the front and rear of the sling while attached. The bottom sling is the early version with the oval buckle again. Civil Guard issued slings will be marked with a SY and a date of manufacture stamped into the leather. This date is either a full date like SY 1925 or a two digit year indicator like the top sling which is SY 30. Model 1928 slings can be generally said to be of a smooth leather finish and brown in color. All will have oval buckles.
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