The Mosin-Nagant Rifle, Bill Harriman

The Mosin-Nagant Rifle, Bill Harriman

Weapon 50

The Mosin-Nagant Rifle was the main Russian and Soviet rifle of the First and Second World Wars and was produced in vast numbers in Russia and overseas. The Mosin-Nagant was produced in large numbers in Russia, but also under contract in Britain and the United States, and was upgraded and greatly improved in Finland (as a result the Finns ended up using a higher quality of the Mosin-Nagant during the Winter War than the Russians themselves).

The author of this book is a fairly rare combination of a weapons collector and a high quality historian, so we get a good history of the weapon and its times, comparing it to its rivals, looking at its historical users and development, but combined with a good insight into how the weapon was actually operated and the skills needed to maintain and fire it, written by someone who clearly has experience of what he's talking about. As a result he is able to judge the accuracy of contemporary discussions of the weapon, and in particular to look at criticisms of the rifle and see if they actually fit with the weapon.
The book goes beyond the rifle itself to include the cleaning kits, ammo, oil bottles, bayonets etc. This section is a combination of a collectors guide and a useful reminder of how much extra kit was needed to keep a single rifle working.

This was a very widely produced and used rifle, so there is plenty of material to fit into the 80 pages. The author admits to originally having had a low opinion of the Mosin-Nagant before getting to know it better, but even so his conclusion is that it was an effective weapon for the 1890s when it was introduced, and remained robust and 'soldier proof', but that the Soviet versions weren't modernised enough.


Author: Bill Harriman
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 80
Publisher: Osprey
Year: 2016

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