Here is another installment for the classic sniper rifles. The model 1891/30 Sniper is based on the standard issue 1891/30 rifle from the former USSR. These rifles were used for much of the 20th century. To create the sniper version of these rifles, high quality examples of the 1891/30 were pulled off of the production line. They specifically looked for high quality barrels. They took these hand picked rifles and then turned the bolts down for operation while using a scope. They mounted a scope; both the PV (4x) and PU (3.5x) versions were used. The PU was preferred and used on most of the sniper versions. There was no bayonet issued and the foresight was raised 1mm, which allowed the open sights to be used out to 600 meters. The trigger was also lightened to 4.4-5.3 lbs (2-2.4 kg).

1891

File Photo of 1891/30 Sniper with PU Scope

The 1891/30 Sniper proved to be an exceptional sniper rifle, perhaps even the best of WWII. The rifles were mass-produced, with as many as 330,000 of the sniper variants being produced between 1941 and 1943. Of course, due to these types of production numbers, some problems arose. There were numerous complaints about the triggers, they were not adjustable, and so what came with the rifle was what you were stuck with, so hopefully it was adjusted nicely from the factory. Another complaint was with the stock, as some of the wood used during some of the high production times was not high quality and warped a lot during changes in weather. The rifles were also long and heavy which made them a bit awkward in the field. But, despite all that, these rifles were very accurate. Average accuracy was about 1.5 MOA with some examples shooting WELL below 1 MOA. This level of accuracy is amazing for a rifle produced during wartime conditions and in these numbers. It is believed that many German snipers in WWII would use captured 1891/30’s as their personal sniper rifles, over their Mauser 98K’s.

The 1891/30 Sniper rifle was originally developed in the early 20’s (on the Dragoon rifle) and used in the 30’s (as the 1891/30). Like many countries did before and during the war, the USSR was switching over to semi-auto combat rifles, the SVT-40, and a sniper variant was produced of this rifle. But accuracy was not up to par and many complaints over the SVT-40 sniper rifle prompted the return of the 1891/30, which performed very well throughout the war. The rifle stayed in service until 1963 when it was replaced in the USSR military by the SVD. The 1891/30 Sniper’s stayed in service until the 70’s with many communist countries. It actually served with the NVA during the Vietnam Conflict as well. This rifle has an exceptional service history and performance history and deserves to be placed among the greatest of all service built sniper rifles.

 

5 Comments

Wrathchild

“This level of accuracy is amazing for a rifle produced during wartime conditions and in these numbers.”
but “perhaps even the best of WWII”?
In Soviet Russia? yeah, ok. 😉

Reply
Mel Ewing

Yep, initially one would think that, but after you have experienced and shot them and compared them to the other rifles available during that period, they are impressive for as crudely built that they were.

Reply
Dave G

I have an authentic P/U and with my handloads it absolutely shoots MOA. I also always assumed Mosin Nagants were junk, and some are very rough and inaccurate. But the P/U is hand selected and modified by an expert armorer. They’re literally the best of the bunch.

Reply
Kris

Good article, but that the Germans preferred Russian sniper rifles over their K98 sniper rifles
is not true. I have read many interviews of German snipers and they all preferred their K98 snipers over the mosin sniper.

Reply
Mel Ewing

During our research we have read both accounts. Some preferred the accuracy of their own K98’s where others preferred the rugged durability of the Mosin, at the expense of some accuracy. By and large, we would agree that the majority of the German snipers stuck with their own K98’s. We were just mentioning that there are accounts of others preferring the Mosin.

Reply

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