The Mosin–Nagant: The Most Mass-Produced Bolt-Action Rifle In History (Watch)

Russian Soldiers in World War One Armed With Mosin-Nagant Rifles
Russian Soldiers in World War One Armed With Mosin-Nagant Rifles

First appearing in 1891, the Mosin–Nagant rifle was invented for use in the Imperial Russian Army. The weapon, which took roughly three years to be developed, is a five-shot, bolt-action, internal magazine–fed gun. It has seen use across the globe, and is to this day one of the most widely mass-produced bolt-action rifle in recorded history. In fact, at least 37 million units have been manufactured so far.

Although the original iteration of the weapon appeared in the late 1800’s, the model most commonly used was a refined and improved design, created in 1930. Back in the late 1880’s, when the Russian military was trying out different options for their new rifle, they had to choose between two designs; one was submitted by Captain Sergei Ivanovich Mosin, and the other by a Belgian designer called Léon Nagant. Although it was Mosin’s proposal that was initially approved, the new generation of the rifle, created in 1930, borrowed many aspects from Nagant’s design – so much so that the designer actually started a law-suit over the matter.

For this reason, the gun is known as both the Mosin-Nagant and the 91/30 model.

It is specifically this improved version of the rifle that is featured in this video. The YouTube channel behind it, “hickock45”, is run by a well-established firearms expert, and has a following of more than 2 million subscribers. Testing a wide range of weapons from many different time periods and locations, the channel’s owners describe their site as “drama free” and “family friendly”, and provide in-depth analysis on the subject of each video they post.

Whether your interest is in this specific rifle or in the history of weapons in general, hickock45 is well worth your time.

Malcolm Higgins

Malcolm Higgins is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE