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Civil Guard's Rifle “Sotilaskivääri” m/28-30”

From Vic Thomas

 

 

2830open2.jpg (74146 bytes)


EARLY DECISIONS AND CHANGES

With production of the m/28 rifle for Civil Guard issue nearing the final stages of its contract, it was deemed necessary to make some improvements over the previous rifles sights and fittings. The final order of barrels from Tikkakoski for the m/28 rifle was being delivered in the last half of 1932 and imagesin Ase-ja Konepaja Oy abbreviated as “SAKO” was looking to begin domestic production at its own facility, instead of relying on contracted barrels from other firms like Tikka and SIG. SAKO had begun a limited run of barrels at the tail end of the m/28 production in 1932 and was now ready to begin large scale production for the new rifle altogether.

The first order of business would be to make improvements to the sighting system of the m/28 rifle, this task being addressed by a Civil Guard Ordnance Captain Harry Mansner. In 1930-31 he under took the task to develop a modernized sighting system and produce a replacement that would be an improvement on the old Russian based Konovalov rear sight of the m/91 rifles. The old Konovalov sight had received some minor modifications based primarily on the sight picture of the rear notch. Finnish armourers had ground off the rear notch in most cases and attached an “L” shaped plate to the rear of the sight with a “U“ shaped notch which presented a much better sighting picture with the flat topped front sight blade. Its primary fault was that it was too delicate in design, unprotected from any abuse that could damage it, as well as being totally unadjustable for windage. Some of the rear sights of the m/28 had received a rather rudimentary windage adjustable system by modifying the plate to include a screw on each side to drift the notch left or right slightly.  While this was marginally effective it was not the answer to the problem and it did not address the vulnerability of the sighting system to damage at all.

A new sighting system was required and the development of the program was given to images Capt. Mansner. His first designs drawings that were submitted for examination only dealt with the rear sight assembly. In a drawing submitted to the General Staff of the Civil Guard dated September 29th 1931, Mansner developed a sight that would use a flat sliding bar to move the sight up for increasing distances. This sight used a series of small holes located on the right side of the solid sight bar that were placed at distances that corresponded to a change in height for every 100m of distance. Only one side of the sight was indented like this and the sliding distance bar was depressed on the left side only with a spring loaded plunger to engage these holes. General Malmberg accepted the proposed design on April 28th of 1932 and a field trial was planned for the new “m/32” rear sight. SAKO undertook the trial production of the m/32 sight and 19 test pieces were produced. These new rear sights were fit to existing m/28 rifles from the serial number block of 20820 to 20848 and shipped out to various Civil Guard districts for testing. In addition a new safety system was tried on the bolt. The bolts were fit with a Mauser inspired flag safety system that was developed by Major A.E. Saloranta who would later go on to develop the LS-26 Light machine gun in conjunction with Aimo Lahti. He would provide many other important contributions to the weapons program of the Finnish armed forces.

THE FIRST MODIFICATIONS BEGIN

In a meeting the committee organized to look at improved front sights for rifles on March 22nd 1933, an engineer from the State Cartridge Factory (VPT), Mr. J Mantsas presented his drawings of a new front sight adjustment tool for windage adjustment for a proposed improved new front sight blade that was being considered for the current rifles m/27 and m/28. This new front sight blade assembly would replace the current version and would be used with the protected front sights “ears” of the m/27 and m/28 rifles. The front sight block adjustment tool was equipped with fine tuning screws on either side. While being adjusted, the front sight blade of this new sight base would move diagonally like on the Swiss short rifle model 1911. Seeing this new tool, Capt. Mansner was inspired to develop a new front sight assembly for the Civil Guard rifles. Instead of a new blade assembly that required a special tool to adjust windage, he would incorporate the screw adjustable feature into the front sight assembly itself. It was far more convenient and economical to do away with a separate tool when it all could be incorporated into one assembly. In co-operation with SAKO's Department Chief Onni Paronen, he soon designed a better front sight with this idea in mind and submitted this for trials production soon after.

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In the summer of 1932 the first series of the new improved rear sighting system based on improvements made to the protected rear tangent sight graduated in meters was produced and ready for further testing. The first of 30 improved m/32 rear sights were installed on m/28 rifles again and by early 1933 they were ready for testing. Initial tests found that additional modifications would be in order. These changes were basic to ease production and some improvements based upon the proper setting of the battle sight range of 200 meters. Also refinements were incorporated from last minute recommendations made from a member of the committee that was organized to look into the improvements. Inspector of the Infantry Gen. Ernst Löfström favored the idea to increase the range scale of the rear sight leaf to 2000 meters. This change forced the earlier sight design to be modified from the solid one piece 1000 meter marking arraignment marked in the center of the solid sight leaf in 100 meter increments, to be moved to the right side of a now split design. The new design allowed the sight to be lifted up and the greater distances are marked on the rear of the graduated sight leaf like the earlier Konovalov set up. Also the sights finish itself was changed from a blued finish that proved difficult to differentiate the numbers stamped upon it, to that of a polished finish with the sight graduation numbers now placed on the right side of the leaf. These numbers would be blued upon the polished sight leaf for a stark contrast easy to see under field conditions. In addition, the rear sight graduations were impressed on the sight bases left side in a stylized font for quick reference for the soldier. At first, just the rear sight was changed on the m/28 rifles that were designated for improvement. This total numbered only 2700 rifles altered in 1933 after the subtle changes were made to the first style Mansner designed sights. The new sight proved to be a success and it was decided that production at SAKO would continue with the new rear sight and would also incorporate the improved adjustable front sight assembly. The rifle would be redesignated the model 28-30 to reflect the improved nature of the sighting system. The “28” referring the model of the rifle and “30” designating the improvements initial proposal date. These first 2700 rifles were refit with the front sight assemblies in the spring of 1933 (April) and the first rifle to incorporate these improvements was delivered on May 10th 1933 to the Jyväskylä district. The new rear sight units were at the outset apparently produced off site from SAKO. It is not entirely clear but evidence suggests that the first 7750 or so of the rear sight units may have been sub-contracted to a firm associated with Mansner or the workshop that he worked with in development.

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These early sight bases bear separate serial numbers from that of the gun, identifying production numbers with the SAKO gear wheel located just in front. Also the left side of the rear sight base is marked in a stylized font of 2, 4, 6, and 8 that in this stylized font, only appears on the early serial numbered sights. These features disappear on the 1935 produced versions that now lack the serial number but bear the SAKO gear wheel logo alone. It is my opinion that these early sight bases were sub-contracted to a firm outside of SAKO for the above mentioned reasons as well as the style of the serial numbers marking. There is a subtle difference in location and alignment indicating to me that each sight was numbered by hand. This would be very unlikely for a serial production process of the sight bases. When these serial numbers disappear in late in production of 1934 to early 1935, the stylized side sight graduation markings also loose their fancy font. The font is now a more deliberate clear simple font that was easy to replicate with a serial production stamping. This would be an indicator to me that SAKO was moving into full time mass production of the m/28-30 sight bases and sights for the new rifle. The cost of the new sight system was expensive but the rifle committee decided that the 120 Fmk (Finnish Markka) per Mansner sighst was an acceptable cost in improving the older m/28 rifles. A cardboard sighting wheel or chart was developed that translated the bullet trajectory and type with the range markings on the new sight. This was used for quick reference when setting the sights at known ranges with a known bullet type.

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It was decided as well that in order to accommodate the new rear sight block, a new style handguard would be needed. The older m/28 handguard was fit to the rounded shape of the front of the Konovalov sight base. The new sight base was flat at the front edge and the handguard would need to be changed to accommodate this. The new 28-30 model handguards would not be made at SAKO but be subcontracted out to firms that specialized in these wood working contracts. The m/28-30 handguards would be made by two firms that had a long association with the Finnish army and weapons production, the firms being Malmin Puujalostus Oy and Palmin Lestitehdas located in Porvoo. Another minor change that would be made was the creation of “dimples” on the magazine body. This was done by pressing the magazine body at the center reinforcement rib. This simple modification would help prevent the rims of the 7.62x 53mm (Russian designation of 7.62x54R) rimmed shells from interlocking and create a failure to feed due to a “rim jam”. The dimples forced the shells into an alignment that was proper for the disrupter to align the shells and prevent the jams.


FINAL MODIFICATIONS IMPLEMENTED-THE M/28-30 TAKES SHAPE

 

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At this time testing and review of the rifle dictated some other minor modifications in the rifle that would prove to be beneficial in further production. The first change would be to change the supplier of the material for the rifles barrels. Early Finnish weapons production lacked the quality steel and ability to manufacture rifle barrels and after 1930, domestic production was now able to address this need. The steel used for producing the rifle barrels was purchased from abroad-Sweden to be exact. This quality steel from the Swedish Fagersta works was excellent but a domestic source was needed-especially in the time of war when an outside source may not be possible to contract with or safely receive shipments. The new barrels of the m/28-30 would from now on be constructed with Finnish high quality steel from the Lokomo steel works. Another change would be an improved front and rear sights that was capable of fine windage adjustment.

While the rear windage adjustment plate that was used on the earlier m/28 was workable, it was preferred that the front sight be the base for adjustment as was normal on the other rifles. The protective front sight ears were modified so that now the front sight blade could be moved from side to side by screw adjustable drift. The front sight blade was moved left or right by unscrewing the left screw slightly and tightening the corresponding right screw until snug. This effectively moved the front sight blade in a controlled measurement and was finely adjustable to tune the impact point. The left side of the front sight ears was marked with small dots in a circular fashion around the screw to indicate a set measurement of movement. One turn of the screw slot to align with the next dot would move the point of impact approximately 5 centimeters at 300m distance in that direction. Counter clock wise or a “loosening” movement made a correction to the left while a clockwise or “tightening” direction moved the point of impact to the right.

Another modification was made to the trigger arrangement and style. While earlier m/28 rifles used the standard m/91 trigger that was added by a spring to create a crisp take up of the slack in the trigger to improve trigger function, the 28-30 would continue with the added spring and modify the shape of the trigger slightly to create a better trigger pull. The magazine also would now be manufactured new directly from the production facility with the “dimples” factory placed and pressed as the initial 2700 m/28 rifles modified were that were tested earlier on in production. These new factory magazines would be marked with a “HV”-an abbreviation of the Finnish word “Häiriövapaa” to denote that they were specially produced to the improved standard and be “jam free”.

2830maghousingHV.JPG (55512 bytes)

In another effort to improve the stability of the barrel and ease production, the nosecap of the rifle was altered and improved. The early m/28 used a two part nosecap with a separate plate to center the cleaning rod and stabilize the front portion of the nosecap. This was changed to a solid style nosecap of one piece design late in production and this style nosecap would be used on the m/28-30. Also an improved cleaning rod retention nut would be used in the stocks instead of the older m/91 style used on the m/28 and model of 1924 rifles. In order to place the barrel properly in the new solid faced nosecap, a design technique borrowed from the Swiss was incorporated into the new m/28-30. An aluminum sleeve with a flange at the front was placed on the barrel and fit into the stock at the nosecap area. This acted in a fashion to “float” the barrel and prevent any interference in the nosecap on sighting of tension in the stock as the rifle was fired and the barrel became heated. These modifications were quickly adopted into the assembly line of the m/28-30 by April of 1934 the first rifles with all of these new improvements began to roll off the production floor. The first rifle to be produced with these final changes would be serial number 35,710. With the production of the rifles now being done completely with Finnish supplied materials and parts, the SAKO weapons work would continue to be the primary production facility for the Civil Guard issued rifles. Production would continue into 1934 with other subtle changes being made, primarily to the markings which will be discussed later in the text.

The m/28-30 was now being produced on a full time basis by the SAKO works located in Riihimaki. 1935 would be the first year that would include all the changes mentioned above and would be the stable platform that would carry the m/28-30 throughout its continuing production. The only flaw that remained to be addressed with the m/28-30 was its use of the modified m/91 stocks. The increase in barrel depth in the earlier m/91 thin forend of the modified stocks created a weak point. These same problems had plagued the Army in their m/27 service rifle and to such a degree that production had to be halted in 1935 until a suitable correction could be found. While the m/28-30 did not experience the problems of the forend splitting when the rifle was fired with the bayonet affixed or during bayonet fighting, it did prove enough of a distraction to the Civil Guard in watching the Army’s folly with that problem, that a solution was looked into as a preventative measure. Just as the Army had decided on a new reinforced nosecap that would prevent the torque from the bayonet twisting on the thin forestock, the images high command decided that its one piece nosecap was sufficient but that the thin modified stocks should be changed. In 1935 new m/28-30 rifles began to appear with a slightly modified stock. It was now of a two piece spliced construction with the familiar “finger groove” of the Finnish stocks of the time. This heavier/thicker forend addressed the susceptible thin forend of the earlier m/91 modified stocks. These new forend pieces were ordered from Malmin Puujalostus Oy (Malmi´s Wood processing Ltd) in an initial contract for 2000 pieces. These were ordered as early as 1933 and assembly was begun thereafter on “splicing” the older m/91 rear portion of the stock with the thicker forends of the contracted pieces much like the Army had been doing on its m/91 and m/27 stocks. When these first couple thousand of stocks were found to be of sufficient quality through testing, the order was continued. In October of 1935 it was decided as well to add a small crossbolt approximately 7cm to the rear of the nosecap. This crossbolt was knurled to prevent rotation and passed through the stock where it was set by a slotted screw on the left side. The whole unit was flush with the exterior of the stock. This crossbolt connected/passed through two small metal plates that were inset into the stocks barrel channel, providing an enhanced strengthening effect in relation to torque from fighting or firing with the bayonet affixed. Just as in other Finnish rifles of the pre war, wartime and post war period, three different stock styles were used. The first m/28-30 stocks were of one piece design and of modified m/91 stocks. The immediate pre war and Winter War produced stocks were of the new two piece finger spliced design. Stocks made postwar for replacement of damaged or worn stocks in the 28-30 configuration are again the two piece design but the shape of the finger grooves has changed just as with the m/39 stocks. Now a square finger joint spine is used instead of the wartime rounded end finger splice. The stocks and handguards of new production were undertaken as mentioned above by Malmin Puujalostus Oy and Palmin Lestitehdas but during the wartime additional facilities made stocks and handguards for replacement of damaged parts on rifles. These firms were Oy Haikka Ab and later army weapons depot #1 ( AV1). These stocks and handguards can be easily identified as they are not usually made of birch but made of pine and are blonde in color under a simple oiled surface. In 1937 SAKO itself began to produce new rear sections of the stock to be used with the spliced forends. These new rear sections were made from birch and be of a slightly heavier construction than the thinner m/91 sections used prior. The stocks that were deemed to be of “first quality” where then branded with the Civil Guard Sk.Y logo of an “S” with three fir sprigs over it inside of a shield. The date of production was then stamped branded below the shield. The first stocks to be so marked are seen in 1938.

The finish applied to the birch m/28-30 stocks was first a stain to seal and color the wood. Stocks made from walnut wood were not colored in any way. A departure from the army’s style was that the m/28-30 would have the barrel channel of the stock varnished for hardness. After the varnish in the barrel channel had dried it was then coated again with hardener of a lacquer base. The outside of the stock was also finished with a protective coating. Two coats of "Four hour Pomo-lacquer" (pomo translates literally to “boss”) was added as a final finish. This lacquer gave the stocks a reddish tint in its color as well as a hard durable surface that was weather resistant.

The m/28-30 would gain its fame on two occasions during the late 1930’s and 1940’s. With the World Shooting Championships being held in Helsinki in 1937, SAKO was ordered to produce m/28-30 rifles for the competition. As each participant would be using the m/28-30 rifle in the event, over 440 rifles were ordered and produced to exacting standards to ensure that each rifle was identical. Prior to 1966, the shooting championships were held using the host country’s service rifle in a center fire caliber. For the 1937 championships the m/28-30 of the images (Civil Guard) was chosen over the Army’s m/27 because of its excellent quality, adjustable sights and exceptional accuracy. These rifles were marked with a special indicator of “MM” prior to the serial number of the rifle and marked with a small brass plaque on the right side buttstock. The serial number block that was used for the championship was between 48791 and 49467. Of these rifles 83 of them were picked to be used in the competition, from serial numbers 48963 to rifle number 49466.

The event was opened by the former President of Finland himself P.E. Svinhufvud, an avid shooter. When the event had closed it was the Finnish team left standing on the winner’s podium and holding the championship cup. This team was led by the individual gold medal winner-Olavi Elo, a long time competitive shooter and previous winner of many shooting events. It is said that he was 72 years of age at the time of his win at the 1937 world championship in Helsinki. The m/28-30 rifle that he used was serial number 49334 of the 83 chosen for competition. After the event, the 83 participating rifles from the event were donated by the images to the Finnish Sports Museum and the remaining rifles sent back into inventory for distribution to guard units. With the onset of the Winter War in November of 1939, the m/28-30 proved itself in combat. Well liked by the troops it was issued to, it served valiantly and earned it reputation as a deadly accurate rifle while in combat. The m/28-30 remained in the inventory of the Civil Guardsmen well into WW2 (Continuation War) when it was then absorbed into the inventory of the regular army in 1942 and served on.

MARKINGS / IDENTIFICATION

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The m/28-30 went through 6 different identifying barrel markings or lack thereof. As mentioned previously in the text, the first marking used on the m/28-30 rifles was actually that of the earlier m/28 series. A stylized SY marking was the identifying mark on the m/28. With the first 2700 m/28-30’s actually being m/28’s with upgraded sights, the marking was not changed.

The second marking used was on the initial production of barrels especially for the m/28-30 and bearing the new Sk.Y markings. These were made from early 1933 and bore the “thin lined” Sk.Y marking with a simple engravers type font with serifs on the letters. This marking was placed above the SAKO gearwheel logo on the barrel. The serial numbered appeared on the woodline of the left side of barrel as on earlier m/28 rifles. The Civil Guard issue district was stamped on the right side woodline. There is no date stamped on the first rifles produced in the first months of production in 1933 as was the case on the earlier m/28 production.

The third variation of markings would appear in the summer of 1934. The width of the letters was changed slightly to an ever so slightly more prominent size. In addition the date was added below the serial number on the rifle barrels shank as would be the custom on Finnish barrels to come. The font was not changed in any significant degree at this time. It still remained a simple single line stamping with serifs of the Civil Guard headquarters organization or Sk.Y. The SAKO logo was however moved at this to above the Sk.Y logo to accommodate the space required to stamp the date of manufacture on the barrel.

This marking would again be changed again in the following year of 1935 to an even more stylized version of the letters and again in a bolder font. The SAKO gearwheel was still placed above the Sk.Y identification marking and below that the serial number and finally the date of production. This change would affect both the logo and the serial number style/look and be used from 1935 until the final m/28-30 rifle was produced in 1940. This style of markings and location was also continued on into the SAKO production of the m/39 series of rifles for the Civil Guard during the Continuation War (1941-44) and the last of wartime production during the Lapland War of 1945 with retreating German forces. This conflict was forced upon the Finns by the Peace document signed with Russia to cease hostilities against Finland in August of 1944.

The fifth logo or lack there of is the “late date” m/28-30’s produced during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Information from Finnish sources indicates that these rifles were used for Officer Marksmanship training and competition. The rifles are of m/28-30 configuration and or often shimmed and bedded for accuracy. The barrel shank is devoid of markings completely but for a serial number or will simply have the serial number and date below and will bear SAKO pressure proofs on the wood line. They will lack the Sk.Y markings or the SAKO gearwheel. The Sk.Y was ordered to cease and desist at the close of the Second World War and the weapons manufacturing plant at Riihimaki (SAKO) that produced the m/28-30 and later the m/39 would be sold to the Red Cross to avoid its seizure by Russian authorities in violation of the peace agreement in producing military weapons.

The final marking was a version placed on a standard production model but included an identifying logo to indicate a “civilian” purchase. The program to buy an individual weapon was begun in 1934 and continued on through the entire production schedule of the m/28-30 terminating in 1941. The extra markings of the word “SAKO” without any serifs was stamped below the SAKO gearwheel logo and the word Riihimaki below that was added to these rifles, then the serial number of the rifles and the date as normal. These rifles bore the special serial number range as well being from 100,000 to 102,000.

Other markings found on the m/28-30 are as follows. In the first guns of 1933 were serial numbered as the earlier m/28 rifle was-on the left side of the barrel just above the woodline. The inspectors marking of <KE> was found in the area as well above the serial number and was the abbreviation for the chief Civil Guard ordnance inspector Kosti Eakola. His marking remained on the rifles until 1935. In 1936 this left side of the barrel just above the woodline was used for the SAKO 3600 pressure proof now that the serial number was placed on the top of the barrel. From research into the serial numbers and physical examples examined from the author’s collection and others, it is apparent that the serial number was moved from the left side woodline area of the barrel like on the m/28 rifle to the top of the barrel in the area that it is most identifiable. This move was done in 1934 and occurred at or about serial number 35,550. On the right side of the barrel the markings of the Civil Guard district that the rifle was assigned to are found just above the woodline. This serial number was preceded with a capital “S” for the abbreviation of the word “images”. Therefore this number is often refereed to as an “S” number. Each Civil Guard district in Finland was assigned a serial number range. This system was originated in 1921. It continued to be placed on rifles contracted to the Civil Guard until the organization was disbanded in 1944. In addition to the “S” number one or often times two Sk.Y headquarters acceptance stampings were placed on the right side of the barrel. These markings consisted of an S with three lines on each side. Rifles that later were accepted into Army service after 1942 where additionally marked with a capitol “D” to indicate that the rifles chamber has been modified slightly to accept the now standard D-166 bullet in use in the Finnish Defense Forces (FDF).


SNIPER RIFLES m/33

The Civil Guard was one of the first in the Finnish military to recognize the importance of an optically sighted rifle in service. After the use of telescopically sighted rifles was found to be of a significant military threat during the First World War, many of the nations involved looked into adding optics to there service rifles. Finland with its small army and limited resources was late in coming to the table on this matter. It was not until the advent of a more prominent use of optical rifle sights were being employed by Finnish hunters and shooters did the military make an inquiry into adding scopes to a military rifle in 1927. It was the images that would actually be the first military organization to make any serious efforts in this endeavor and in 1928 thru 1929, a series of optical sights were obtained from Germany for trials on a Japanese rifle in inventory. This experiment proved to be interesting enough that in 1929 an order was given to mount optical sights in a mounting bracket on the rifles left side of the newly adopted m/28 rifle.

. The bracket was of a wedge shape and was very similar to that of the Maxim machine gun bracket used on the machine gun. Upon examination of an example in a Finnish museum, I am struck by the similarity of the mount to the later Soviet side mounted version. These rifles only numbered 11 in quantity and were not continued on in production. It is not known why, either from costs or interest but these few rifles were not continued and were simply issued in Civil Guard service and remained there until the close of the Continuation War. This early effort did prove successful enough to warrant another venture into mounting an optical rifle sight on the now updated model in service with the Civil Guard-the m/28-30. Again the images looked abroad to obtain some quality telescopic sights and turned again to optical firms in Germany. These initial scopes were purchased from Zeiss and the Busch optical firms. Markku Palokangas indicates in his extraordinary reference material that the scopes were of the Bush Visar 4.5x Dr. Zf104 models. The order was placed in September of 1931. The side mounted bracket used on the m/28 was refined and included a more secure method of affixing the scope bracket to the weapon and the stocks were now also modified slightly to allow for the sight bracket to be slid to the rear of the rifle to remove it from the base. A ledge was cut into the rear of the stock on the left side to create the room for this “runway”. The rifles to be used for these sniper rifles were picked from production and were in the serial number range of 34,842 to 34,866

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This work was begun on December 30th of 1932 at the SAKO works and by March 30th of 1933, the rifles were ready for testing and were issued to Civil Guards units in the field. These rifles remained in service with the Civil Guard as well as the 11 earlier m/28 rifles, through the hostilities of 1939-1945. After the war the remaining examples were sent to the Museums for display and what few remained are in the hands of private collectors. I have had the honor to handle two such rifles and it is known that there are but a handful of others surviving examples that are intact. These are truly one of the rarest sniper rifles in the world. On an interesting side note, a Mosin sniper rifle with an over the bore mounted scope can not be loaded with a normal stripper clip of 5rds of ammunition for speed in reloading. The Civil Guard developed a special curved stripper clip that when inserted into the rifle “bent” around the mounted scope and allowed the rifle to be rapidly reloaded. These special clips are almost non- existent today as such few rifles were produced.

ACCESSORIES-SLINGS

The m/28-30 was issued with a standard set of accessories as was the norm for service rifles. The most important was the sling. Each rifle was issued with a special three part sling that was originally developed for the m/28 rifle in 1930. This sling was of brown leather construction and utilized oval buckles. This design was upgraded in 1936 to a similar three part design but with wire buckles that were round and used a roller type insert to ease in adjustment and not chafe the leather of the sling. Three different leather makers were contracted to produce slings and other leather goods for the Civil Guard. F. Niskalan Nahka, the Oy Veljekset Åströmin Valjastehtaat leather works located in Oulu and the famous Friitalan Nahkatehdas Oy leather works. The initial order for the first pattern m/30 sling with the oval buckles was delivered from 1930 to 1935 and numbered 14,300 pieces. The pattern was changed and the updated m/30 sling with the square wire “roller” buckles was produced from 1936 to 1939 and an additional 24,700 slings were delivered to the Civil Guard. The final order for 6000 slings was filled by Oy Veljekset Åströmin in 1940. Other leather goods were manufactured for the Civil Guard such as equipment straps and belts.

ACCESSORIES-BAYONETS

The bayonets used for the m/28-30 rifles were contracted from the same two makers of the bayonets that the Army had used in 1927. Hackman Oy and Oy Fiskars Ab were the primary bayonet makers for the armed forces. The first m/28-30 bayonet was essentially an m/28 bayonet but with a slightly refined tip. It was more pointed than its m/28 cousin. It did differentiate itself in its grip panels though. “Curly” or “fancy” birch was used that resulted in a stunning grain pattern of a light color on the grip panels, as they were not stained darker like the other bayonets in use. The Oy Fiskars Ab company produced only 7,785 bayonets for the Civil Guard. These were broken into two separate contracts. The first contract made the bayonet in the m/28 configuration by Fiskars but with the modified tip and a sharper cutting edge. This bayonet did not have a provision for the oil hole like on the later m/28-30 bayonets made in the revised m/35 pattern. These early style blades were delivered on June 3rd 1938. The second pattern made in the updated m/35 style with the addition of an oil hole in the pommel for lubricating and flushing out the attachment groove was ordered and delivered the following year on March 1st 1939, the last 2000 bayonets from Fiskars were delivered. These Fiskars made bayonets are extremely rare in a Sk.Y contracted version. An interesting side note is that the Fiskars made bayonets are not marked on the same side of the blades base as the Hackman made version. They are marked on the opposite side.

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The Hackman made bayonets were the first of the contract blades for the m/28-30 and followed suit with the m/28 contract. These bayonets were first delivered for the m/28-30 on December 29th 1934 with 3,500 blades in the order. The contract continued in each successive year with 4,000 blades delivered in June of 1935, 4,500 more the following year in June of 1936 and 3,720 delivered again the following October in 1937. It was between these last two contracts that two important changes occurred. The scabbards changed in the style used and the addition of the oil hole appeared in the pommel on bayonets made after January 31st 1936. The smooth surface of the Army’s m/35 bayonet would replace the earlier ribbed style of the scabbards used on Civil Guards bayonets prior. Also at this time the scabbards of the Civil Guard bayonets would no longer be painted green, but would be finished in a durable blued metal finish. Hackman would skip a year of production and not deliver any bayonets for the images in 1938 but would finally fulfill its contract for 20,220 bayonets with a final delivery of 4,500 blades on February 28th 1939. In total, the production of bayonets for the m/28-30 rifles never met the total production of rifles made with approximately 75% of the quota filled.

The leather scabbard belt hangars or “frogs” made by the contracting leather works would be marked with the maker’s logo” pressed into the top portion. For example, the “frogs” made by the F. Niskalan company of Lapua would mark the bayonet hangars with a simple Sk.Y 36 marking. The other makers marked them with just a large “S” pressed into the leather or with a series of marks. One example in the author’s collection is marked as being made by AV3, weapons depot located in Kupio and is made in green leather. It is additionally marked Sk.Y and the date of 38 marked below that. It is of the style that included a ricasso strap to retain the bayonet on the scabbard and prevent it from falling out accidentally. The hangars would be of brown leather up until 1936 when the color was changed to green.

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ACCESSORIES-TOOL KITS

Cleaning kits followed the same basic contents as those of the m/27 and m/28 rifles. The kit consisted of a wooden handled combination tool. This reversible blade that fit into the handle and acted as a small screw driver for firing pin adjustments and use on the small screws of the weapon. When it was reversed it yielded a large bladed screw driver. In the sides of the tool were cut two notches to assist in the disassembly of the firing pin from the bolt body. The other contents found in the early kits were a large square flask style oil bottle. These came in two versions-one with the letters Sk.Y pressed into the bottle and the other embossed onto the bottle. The later came with an oil dripper in the lid. The third version and most common of the three is the large round oil bottle made by either Oy E.M. Nordquist or the K.V. Karlsson company or “Ab ja K.V. Karlsson konetehdas”, two metal working workshops. This zinc coated metal bottle is marked with a large Sk.Y embossed on the front. It is my opinion that the large square flask bottles were not used specifically for the rifle but were meant for other uses such as on the light or heavy machine guns like the Madsen, Lahti Saloranta or Maxim guns in use with the Civil Guard but often found their way into the standard kit. The other contents to the kit included the brass jag to hold the cleaning cloth and the brass rod extension that would create the extra length in the rod when attached to reach the chamber of the rifle when cleaned from the muzzle as was the custom. The cleaning rod handle was present as was the rod collar. The collar was not simply a round cylinder like on the army’s kits but had a tapered end to secure and stabilize the rod when inserted. The final component of the kit was a coarse bristle bore brush used to clean the chamber and bore of residue and the muzzle cover/rod guide. This small cover was made of brass and spring steel and is outer surface knurled to ensure a firm grip. It has a small steel finger that when installed on the muzzle properly, snaps over the leading edge of the front sight base and engages a small lip to retain it. The hole in the end for the rod was covered by a small circular piece of treated leather covering the hole. SAKO subcontracted these covers to E.M. Nordquist again and the Lindeöfin Company and 37,200 pieces were fabricated between 1933 and 1939. Flannel or cotton strips of cloth were often carried in the tool pouch. The pouch itself was made of khaki cotton with a drawstring or of a homemade version of various cloths and styles with a tie string. This was not uncommon as each guardsman kept his rifle at his home and some “home front” kit was often included with issue items. Those tool bags that were produced by the state were made by the Women’s Auxiliary workshops located in Helsinki. These ladies produced and astounding 42,600 tool kit bags in five years (1934-1939). That concluded the standard Civil Guardsmen’s issue tool kit. These are not encountered in any numbers today as many were scrapped in the 1970’s and 80’s with other obsolete parts and equipment and when the guns were surplused or sold.

 

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VARIANTS OF THE m/28-30

Variants of the m/28-30 included an official production version that was made for private purchase as mentioned in the markings section. This version was a standard production model but included an identifying logo to indicate a “civilian” purchase. The program to buy an individual weapon was begun in 1934 and continued on through the entire production schedule of the m/28-30 terminating in 1941. The extra markings of SAKO with the word Riihimaki below it was added to these rifles. They also had there own special serial numbers that ranged from 100,000 to approximately 102,000. These rifles were either purchased by wealthy individuals in the guard for their own personal use, by the local auxiliary units in the districts for an individual or by a civilian wishing to shoot with it in competitive shooting matches. Often time the Lotta Savard would organize a fund raiser to purchase an individual weapon for a member of the local district guards. These rifles are extremely rare and hardly if ever encountered in personal collection either here or abroad.

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Other versions of the m/28-30 are actually those that were produced for replacement of older models of the guardsmen’s rifle that was returned to SAKO for an upgraded version. These upgrades varied widely depending on what rifle was returned to the factory for work to be performed. The modifications were not done for free but were paid for by the individual SK guard member. The following chart defines the guidelines set up for this program of rifle upgrades:

A. Rifle to be upgraded is either a m/91 or m/91-24
B .Rifle is m/28 but the barrel is found to have unacceptable wear
C. Rifle is m/28 with a usable barrel
D. Rifle is m/28-30 oldest serial number and requires a new barrel or fittings


Depending on what parts and the type of modifications the rifle needed, the cost for example in 1936 was a fixed amount in regard to codes D - A that were between 90 to 550 Fmk (Finnish Markka). In those cases the portion of the cost that the individual soldier/Guardsmen would be liable for was between 90 to 300 Fmk (Finnish Markka). The costs of these repairs or upgrades was to be paid “upfront” or in some cases when the rifle was picked up from SAKO after the modifications were finished and the rifle was now a modernized m/28-30.

In such cases as letters C and D, the Civil Guardsmen was returned his rifle with same serial number. Examples of this are found such as the earlier m/28 barrel markings of SY and possibly the double sling slot stock used on the m/28 “ski trooper” models not altered or the stock replaced entirely, although this would be very uncommon to have the earlier stock not replaced with new fittings if ii was sent in for such.

In such circumstances like the category A and B the old rifle was retained by SAKO and used as spare parts for other rifles. The Civil Guardsmen or private purchase individual would then be sent a brand new rifle from the stock of weapons off the current production line. Privately owned rifles m/28-30 that were converted by methods set forth in category C or D are officially accepted models even though depart noticeably in their markings. The rifles upgraded by options A or B are simply rifles pulled from standard productions batches. SAKO records indicate that 13,723 rifles were put through this modernization process. These rifles or accessories could be purchased directly from the Civil Guard at one of the stores set up to handle such transactions. These were called “Oy Skoha Ab”.

Other official variants of the rifle are those made post war for use in target shooting competitions. These rifles are often standard rifles that have had additional diopter sights added to enhance the sight picture or have had some modifications done to the stock and bedding to enhance the accuracy of the rifle. There are several such examples of these rifles based upon the m/28-30. The base model used target sights on a standard m/28-30 in its military form but with the bolt handle turned down into as recess on the stock. Later the version had diopter sights replacing the standard sights and was fit into an m/39 stock with a pistol grip. It also retained the turned down bolt but it was flattened on the handle to reduce weight and space. This rifle was known as the m/28-57. It was used by military personnel for target competition. As the popularity of the biathlon increased a slighter version of the rifle was required. At that time the biathlon was shot with center fire weapons and not the smaller, lighter .22 caliber versions we know today. The stock on the 28-57 rifles was then cut back just in front of the rear band and tapered. The weapons depot number 1 or AV1 was commissioned in the 1970’s to produce a more stylized version of the stock that was suitable for competition. The result was a sleeker stock with a higher comb and a more pronounced pistol grip. A rubber recoil pad replaced the standard steel buttplate of the earlier models. When the guns were upgraded with these new stocks the designation was changed to the m/28-57 H. The final version was a m/28-76 that was used strictly in military shooting events. It was again an improved version of the 28-57H and was for all intensive purposes a version of the sniper rifle but without optics.

PRODUCTION TOTALS AND CONCLUSION

The m/28-30 enjoyed 7 years of production and saw over 24,420 rifles produced from official images placed contracts. See the chart below for the official order and delivery dates of the m/28-30 from archival records as reported in Sotilaskäsiaseet Suomessa 1918-1988 (pg 64)

                                                

Date of SK order Date of delivery Rifles produced
March 1932 May 2nd 1932 2700
April 1933 September 15th 1933 2370
April 1934 May 15th 1934 2600
February 1935 April 13th 1935 2650
June 1936 May 27th 1936 2650
October 1937 July 22nd 1937 2650
November 1938 June 15th 1938 2000
July 1939 November 10th 1939 2800
January 1940 July 19th 1940 4000
Total contract production 24420

The last two orders of this contract (7/39 and 1/40) was actually placed by the by the staff of wartime "Kotijoukot" (Home troops) but financed by Civil Guard. This group was born from the reformed headquarters and organizational shake up done just prior to the winter war and from the experiences learned in the winter war. For more information on this please refer to the History of the images   section (coming this summer) found in the main index of the website. The production totals above are slightly misleading though as the Civil Guard had many more than 30,000 model 28-30’s in the field prior to the Winter War in 1939-1940 when one counts the upgraded versions in use not reflected in the production chart of “ordered” totals.

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These began with the initial production version meeting the m/28-30 upgrade requirements beginning with serial number 33,710 which was sent to the Jyväskylä district to the highest recorded serial number of a 1940 dated example of 72575. This contracted total does not include the 2000 rifles procured under the civilian sales program or on upgrades of earlier m/28 rifles to m/28-30 configuration. Adding in those 2000 rifles plus the 13,723 rifles returned for upgrade and the totals rise to approximately 40,143 rifles of the m/28-30 design. These rifles are one of the most accurate of the Finnish service rifles and one of the rarest. With only 22,131 examples left in inventory in 1951 and the attrition rate of the years since then, they remain one of the favorite and rarest examples of Finnish service rifles for collectors. With the disbanding of the Civil Guard in 1944 and the transfer of the SAKO works to the Red Cross to protect it from seizure, the m/28-30 rifles that were in active service were dispersed throughout storage depots. 20,521 of these m/28-30 rifles were placed in Army storage and another 1,530 of them put into active service with the armed forces in an active role post war and in training. An additional 80 rifles were secured by the Border Guard units for active duty at the frontiers. It is also unknown how many rifles were never turned into the Army after the war by individual guardsmen who purchased the rifle on their own and reported it “lost”. This was fairly common in the years immediately following the wars end, found many soldiers making weapons caches to secure arms in the event the need should arise that the Soviets would renege on the peace agreement. Civil Guardsmen were well known for this type of activity throughout the countryside. Many of these weapons caches are still being found today. The rich history of the m/28-30 rifle and its achievements in competition and combat make this rare rifle one of the author’s favorites and a favorite of collectors’ world wide. I hope this article provided you the reader, with some more insight and knowledge on the extraordinary history of the Sotilaskivääri m/28-30 and its variants and accessories.

Good luck in collecting!

Vic Thomas

 

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The m/28-30 was born from the decision to improve the m/28 and its fragile sights. On the top is the model 1928 Civil Guard issued rifle and below the final version of the m/28-30. On the bottom is a m/28 refit to the revised m/28-30 standards.

 

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Many m/28's were later upgraded to the improved m/28-30 standards. The top photo is a m/28 made in 1930 with a barrel manufactured by Tikkakoski. The top photo shows the new improved Mansner sight installed. The bottom photo shows a side view of the new rear sight and the typical markings of the m/28 that were not changed until 1934. The side of the rear sight base was marked with a stylized font of 2,4,6,8 to indicate at a quick glance what range the sight was set at in terms of hundreds of meters. You can clearly see the serial number and the chief inspectors markings of Kosti Eakola <KE> above. The Finnish Army property marking of [SA] can be seen above and to the right. This was added after 1942 when the Civil Guard transferred most of its weapons to the Army.

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The top photo shows the markings of a newly adopted m/28-30 made in 1933. The serial number markings as well as the inspection markings where still placed on the barrel in the same location as the earlier m/28. This would change the following year of 1934.

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The bottom photo shows a typical m/28-30 from 1935. It does however carry an updated cleaning rod that began to be used in 1939. On the bottom is a 1940 dated example in the improved stock style of two pieces and with the forend crossbolt added for stability. It is depicted with the its corresponding m/28-30 bayonet affixed. The improved m/35 pattern scabbard and hangar are below.


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The old m/28 style rear sight and handguard on the left and the improved m/32 Mansner rear sight as installed on the upgraded rifle known as the m/28-30. You can clearly see in this side by side comparison that the rifles handgaurd needed to be changed due to the shape of the anterior portion of the rear sight base. Also this picture illustrates the need to develop a "protected" rear sight. A good bump directly to the rear sight leaf of the modified Konovalov sight would could cause it to be damaged and unusable. Of interest on this m/28 Konovalov modified rear sight is that it has been fit with the adjustable rear sight bracket to have some rudimentary windage adjustments. These are considered very uncommon. While it was some what effective, it lacked the fine adjustments that the new m/28-30 sighting system would incorporate.


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This photo shows the transition of the rear sight markings on the Mansner rear sight. In the beginning the sights carried the SAKO gearwheel logo as well as a separate serial number to indicate the number of sights produced. In 1935 this separate serial number marking was dropped and just the SAKO logo remained as shown in the center photograph.. By the last year of production no markings are found at all on the sight base as depicted on the rifle at the bottom

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Top view of the m/28-30 rear sight showing the range markings in 100 meter increments. It clearly shows the split design and the sliding adjustment bar that used two spring loaded "teeth" to engage the serrations on the sides of the sight to correspond with range settings.

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The above photo shows the sight in a rear perspective view. Note the sharp  V notch for the rear sight picture and the polished surface in front of the deeply blued sight plate to reflect any light onto the V for sharp definition.
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A close up of the front sight area. The shape of the front sight blade can be seen as well as the robust protecting ears of the "Pystykorvaan" m/28-30. The name is a slang reference to the shape of the front sight blade protecting ears. It means "spitz" and refers to the shape like a dogs ears.

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The middle photo depicts the front section of the rifle in profile. The range adjustment increments on the front sight can be seen highlighted in this photo. As well as the nosecap and older style cleaning rod head used up until approximately 1939. It is not uncommon to find the later cleaning rod style in earlier guns as replacements.

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The third photo down shows the stocks in profile and exemplifies the early unreinforced stock of pre 1937 and the later heavier style that incorporated a forward crossbolt to stabilize the rifles forend with the bayonet mounted for fighting or when shooting with the bayonet affixed which was a taught practice with the Souljeluskunta

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The bottom photo shows a clearly marked front sight base and cleaning rod indicating production by SAKO for the m/28-30 rifle.
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The top photo shows the aluminum bushing used to center the barrel in the stock at the nosecap,. The stock was inletted in this area to allow this bushing to seat flush with the nosecap. This procedure was very reminiscent of the method used by the Swiss on their K11 and K31 series rifles. It was very effective and more than likely was copied directly from the Swiss. The Civil Guard had a long association with the Swiss weapons maker SIG through contracts from 1924 to 1928.

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The second photo on this page shows the updated cleaning rod retention nut found in the barrel groove of the stock. The old pattern on the left and the heavier new version on the right with its beveled insertion point.

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The HV marked improved magazine fit to a m/28-30 rifle. The HV was an abbreviation for the Finnish word "Häiriövapaa" which loosely translates to mean "Jam Free".

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The bottom pictures shows the modification to the magazine body. The new "dimples" pressed into the sides of the magazine along the center rib, helped to align the shells in the magazine so that they would not be locked in because of rim jams caused by one rounds shell rim being placed in behind the rim of the shell below it. This modification along with the disrupter proved to be very effective in this process.


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The markings found on the m/28-30 series production. On the top you can see the progression of the style and placement from the far left of a first year 1933 produced rifle to the modified fonts and new placement of the serial number and date of manufacture on the 1924 produced specimen. The third from the left shows the change in style and font again that took place in 1935 on the 1939 marked rifle. The far right shows the special markings placed on 2000 rifles produced for civilian sale. A special serial number range of 100,000 to 200,000 was issued to these rifles alone. Below you see the very rare markings of a first year 1933 production weapon that was sent back to SAKO for upgrades to its fittings i.e.: new stock and bushing, bands etc...This was done in 1939 as the added date marking shows below the SAKO gearwheel logo. Also evident if you look closely in this picture are two small punch marks above the "K" indicating that a "hardness" test was done on the barrel metal before acceptance. To the right is a last year of production rifle from 1940. Of special interest here is the number 2 found above the SAKO gearwheel. This marking indicates that while the weapon showed to be of acceptable accuracy, it did not produce a "group" worthy of being a first quality weapon. So the number 2 was added to signify that this gun was a second tier grade rifle. This marking would be later used on m/39's in the same capacity. One can also see the Civil Guard headquarters' acceptance marking of a =S= marked on the right side of the barrel. Usually there are two of these present and the second is out of view in this picture.  The last photo is of a 1968 dated example, which are very uncommon to see. The last rifle from the Kevin Cordell collection.

The first picture in this series is an extraordinary example of a retrofit m/28-30 from 1939. This rifles markings were shown on the previous page as being a first year marking of Sk.Y with only a gearwheel. The gun was
retrofit in 1939 and the date added later to the barrel shank. In all probability this rifle when returned to the owner may never have seen action due to its fabulous condition. This gun should be used as a reference for
what an untouched pristine m/28-30 should look like! An outstanding rifle shared with the site by Mala, one of our many friends in Finland.

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The next photo shows the special barrel band cap that was applied to rifles from the factory at SAKO to prevent the rifles from being disassembled in the field past normal accepted maintenance. Since disassembly of the gun from the stock could affect its accuracy, this special copper cap was placed over the rear barrel band screw to prevent its removal.  The lower photo shows a rifle without this cap.


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The ultra rare m/28-30-33 sniper rifle. In this rare color photograph taken at the Finnish War museum in Helsinki, the German contracted scope and low slightly offset mounting position can be seen. The scope is a Busch Visar 4x model and is [SA] marked indicating Finnish property. This gun more than likely was used in combat during the Continuation War from 1941 to 1944. It is a first year production version of the m/28-30 as the markings show and the lack of a date.

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The reverse view showing the mounting bracket and manner the scope was affixed to the rifle. Note the stock relief to allow the scope to be slid off its tapered rail to the rear without interference from the stock. The
method of attachment to the rifle was very robust to say the least. This gun is apparently from the first m/28-30's 1100 produced in 1933.

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The special curved stripper clip used for the m/28-30-33. Normally the gun could not be loaded rapidly with the standard 5 round stripper clip due to interference of the scope. This special curved stripper clip bent around the mounted scope and allowed the gun to be rapidly reloaded.

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This rare vintage photograph depicts a Civil Guard rifle squad on field exercises. Of interest here is that this squad has been issued one of the 25 m/28-30-33's produced. The trooper second from the left on the kneeling row is holding the rifle. The far right kneeling soldier is apparently equipped with the Lahti-Saloranta model 1926 light machine gun

 

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The m/28-30 rifles had the last two digits of the serial number placed on the buttplate for quick reference when the rifle was racked horizontally while in barracks.

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Another example of the rifles buttplate matching the rifles as well as having the stock numbered. This is not the norm however and is very uncommon and is probably not Finnish done but an add on by a collector in the US

 

The three styles of stocks used on the m/28-30 From the left is the late model stock produced by depots with square finger splices. In the center is the typical improved pattern made after 1934 with round finger spliced
indicative of pre war and wartime production. On the far right is the on piece m/1891 style stock that has been modified to m/28 and m/28-30 configuration by shortening and altering the barrel channel.


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Stock markings found on m/28-30 rifles. The top is the stock made of birch produced at SAKO and of "first quality". These stocks once accepted were branded with the Souljeluskunta shield and the last two digits of the date of production placed below. In this case 1940.

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This stock is of the earlier design made from a modified 1891 stock. This gun was issued to 2 different districts as shown by the two separate "S" numbers branded into the stock.

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A later pattern m/28-30 stock produced from a blank with either a repaired heel or a defect in the heel section of the stock. You can barely see the expertly placed "heel splice" joint on this buttstcok. A testament to the
skill of the Civil Guard wood workers.

 

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A M28/30 once used by KERÄNEN, LAURI ARTTURI.  In researching this former owner it was found he served in the 2nd Machine Gun Company of the 53rd Infantry Regiment.  He died in 1944 in a field hospital from wounds received in battle, he was only 22 years old.  This photo from the Owilly collection

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Another stock marking this from a 1937 dated rifle.   The meaning is not known but it is not uncommon to see such markings on various Finnish issued Mosin Nagants.

 

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The three versions of the m/28-30 bayonet. The top is a Hackman made version in its true m/28-30 configuration. In the center is a Hackman m/28-30-35 with is refined blade shape and the addition of the oil hole in the pommel. This was done to lubricate the mechanism and allow oil to flush out any debris in the slot. On the bottom is a rare Fiskars made version with its own slightly different style of m/35 blade shape.

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Two m/28-30-35's made by the two bayonet makers to the Civil Guard-Hackman on the top and Fiskars on the bottom. Note that the bayonets are reversed as each maker marked their logo on opposite sides of the bayonet

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The factory markings of the two bayonet makers for the armed forces. Fiskars on the left with the Sk.Y ownership marking above and the Hackman Co. marked bayonet on the right. It bears the Sk.Y marking above as well indicating Civil Guard contract. The =S= marking of the General Headquarters' acceptance of the Civil Guard is placed on the cross hilt.

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The district that the bayonet was sent to from the general staff was marked on the bottom of the bayonet between the grip panels. This was the same as on the rifles and most m/28-30 bayonets will bear this "S" number. The pommel would also bear the last two digits of the rifle it was issued with.

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Here you can see the standard pattern m/28-30-35 bayonet with its smooth m/35 pattern scabbard with a round "frog" button to hold the scabbard in the leather belt hangar. Below is the trials pattern m/42 bayonet. This bayonet was fashioned in this manner by shortening the blade and modifying the tip to be of a similar shape and length to the Sk.Y contracted m/39 bayonets. With the contracted company Veljekset Kulmalan Konepaja unable to produce enough bayonets of the m/39 type to meet requirements, the m/28-30 bayonet was modified in a trials program in 1942 to see if it was feasible to use existing stocks of bayonets to meet the need. Only 150 of these predominately m/28-30 and 28-30-35 bayonets were so modified making these truly one of the holy grails of Finnish bayonet collectors. The special short m/42 scabbard is below the bayonet and even rarer than the blade in the authors opinion.

 

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The later m/35 pattern scabbard in its leather hangar made at Frittla and the earlier m/28-30 fluted scabbard that was typically painted green over the blue. This hangar was made at AV3 in Kupio and features the leather
retention strap that prevented the bayonet from being accidentally removed from the scabbard.

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The maker markings of the leather bayonet hangars or "frogs". The left is one made at F. Niskalan Nahka and marked 36 below the marking. On the right is a later m/28-30 frog fashioned at a depot level at AV3 located in Kupio. This frog as you can see is marked Sk.Y and dated 1938. Some leather goods of the Sk.Y were painted or dyed green as this one.

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The bayonet affixed the rifle with its scabbard and hangar below.

 

Two tool kits issued for the m/28-30. On the left is more than likely a "later" tool bag from the post 1937 rime frame. Its contents are the later large round round oil bottle embossed with the SkY marking of the Civil Guard., the brass muzzle cover cleaning rod guide for the 28/30 rifle , its rod collar, cleaning rod cross bar to be used as a "T" handle when placed through the rod collar and cleaning rod as shown, the bore brush and two brass cleaning rod sections. One for use as an extension and the other is the patch jag. The combination screwdriver has two slots for disassembly and firing pin depth completes the final component. The kit on the right is identical in content but for the early pattern oil bottles painted Civil Guard green and impressed with the SkY logo. The wooden cylinder on the bottom may be a home front produced item for use in protecting the bore brush from damage. The wire retains the brush in the hollow tube by blocking the hole that the brush slides into. The felt strips under the jags were used to retain the oil or solvent from the bottle while wrapped about the jag. Both bags are more than likely produced by the Souljeuskunta's Helsinki women's auxiliary and are marked with the SkY property marking in ink.

 

A close up of how the Civil Guard issued jags differes from the standard isue of the Army. The jags knurled prtion is of a different pattern and shorter then that of the army's verion. Notice as well the marking of the army in its boxed [SA] on the tool and the Sky marking stamped onto the Civil Guard issue.

 

 

 


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Two pictures of the improved one piece nosecap and front sight with the muzzle cover attached and the top view showing the knurled brass muzzle cover/cleaning rod guide attached. The blued spring steel catch had a lip on the end that when seated fully, would snap over the leading edge of the front sight base and engage a depression that would secure it.

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The 5 versions of slings issued with the m/28-30. From the top to bottom-the first pattern m/30 sling with its oval buckles. The refined m/30 sling with the square wire buckles and zinc "rollers" to aid in adjustment and
prevent chaffing of the sling when moved. The sling loop attachment portions of this sling are sewn permanently. The third from the top is the same style sling but the sling loop attachment sections are secured by a sling keeper button. This allowed the sling to be used with leather sling loops or with wire sling hangars. These top three slings I refer to as "Three piece" slings based on the three leather sections of the sling. The fourth sling down is the Continuation War sling produced by Oy Veljekset Åströmin in 1940 for use with the m/28-30 but primarily the newly adopted m/39 for Sk.Y use. This was the final order for Sk.Y slings and 6000 slings were produced in this pattern. They are of a light brown web construction and marked Sk.Y on the leather tab. Bottom: Various makers markings of Sk.Y produced slings. From the far left we can see two slings produced by F. Niskalan Nahka in 1936 and 1938. The third from the left is the Friitalan Nahkatehdas Oy marking from 1937 and on the far right the marking used on the 6000 Oy Veljekset Åströmin Valjastehtaat made slings for the m/28-30 and m/39 in 1940.


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Each Souljeluskunta soldier was issued a special box of ammunition. Here you see that box and its very specific instruction. I've translated the box marking to English in the line box below from the original. His name would be written on the box in the space provided. This box is unissued

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The new sights of the m/28-30 were explained in this instruction sheet and a special sight chart wheel was available to accurately adjust the sights to various bullets and distances. The charts could be purchased from the Civil Guard store called "Skoha" in the envelope pictured. This is an extremely rare accessory with very few remaining today.  In fact the fine collection above containing so many examples is almost unheard of. The sheets have instructions in Finnish on one side and Swedish on the other.

 

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This advertisement was placed in the Civil Guard published magazine "Hakkapeliitta" in 1935 extolling the new virtues of the m/28-30 and how to have your older rifle upgraded by SAKO. The ad as it appeared is on the top
right and I've taken the liberty to translate the ad in its original format to English in the blow up.

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