So my contribution to Soviet Saturday is a few of my favorite (non automotive related) things out of the Soviet Union. I'm talking, of course, about my babies that go BANG! I recently became a FFL-03 C&R collector. This means I can do all my own transfers on antique guns and I've already added a few beauts to my collecting including a 91/30 Mosin Nagant, an M1895 Nagant revolver, and a Sino-Soviet SKS (ok, so technically this is Chinese, but it was built on soviet tooling under soviet supervision).
Each one is cool and has it's own little unique story. The Mosin and Nagant revolver both rolled out of the Izhevsk arsenal, the rifle in 1943 and the pistol a year later in 1944. This practically guarantees they saw wartime combat. I find it fascinating and quite sobering, is somewhat morbid, to imagine what these guns have seen. Oh, and from an engineering standpoint they are both very interesting. The 91/30 is the mark of simplicity, using 4 screws in the whole gun, and features machine work that looks like it was done with a rock. The M1895, on the other hand, is a technical masterpiece. It features a unique gas seal system that slides the whole cylinder forward when the hammer is cocked, sealing it to the barrel and preventing the side blast common to most revolvers.
The SKS on the other hand, is an early serial number 1958 Sino-Soviet. It probably never saw action, but it's quite an exquisite piece. The stock is in marginal shape as it seems China has a poor supply of quality hardwoods suitable for a gun stock. That aside, the machine work is quite excellent and features all the details and attentive craftsmanship of an early SKS. One thing of note is that it appears to be a factory defect on the stock. The sling is always mounted along the underside of the stock, or completely absent in later guns, but mine features it on the side, and there is no indication a sling mount was ever present on the bottom. At this point I'm thinking about refinishing the stock, but unsure, I might leave it as is since it technically isn't broken.