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Text: Tuco Photos: Tuco and David F

While the Hungarian PU Mosin Nagant Sniper Rifle is commonly known, the Hungarians also undertook production of the M44 Carbine and their version of the standard M91/30 rifle at FEG in Budapest.   Production ran from 1952-1955; however, the total amount of carbines/rifles manufactured is unknown.

 

The Hungarian PU Snipers are often sold as a Vietnam bringbacks.

Hungarian Model 1944 Carbine

 

These firearms will be marked with a 02 on the barrel shank and also have the Hungarian crest.   The 02 is the Eastern Bloc country code for Hungary and the crest is a star , hammer, with a bar running under.  While this crest looks a bit like the Soviet Izhevsk proof, they are clearly different.  The stocks of these rifles will have a 02 and a B ( Budapest Arsenal ) marking in almost every case.  The various parts used in the Mosin Nagants will also bear Hungarian proof markings with the  02 proofs commonly encountered on the bolt parts.

hungarym44.jpg (8361 bytes)Russianmark44iz3.jpg (14581 bytes)

Hungarian proof on left and Soviet on right.

Another noticeable difference in the Soviet and Hungarian M44's are the numerous inspector proofs that appear on the Hungarian bayonet housing.  As with the Romanian and East German proofed M44's and M91/30's, the Hungarian models are often sold and marked as Soviet ( Russian ). 

buttstockhun.gif (45568 bytes)

02 Buttstock marking from a PU Sniper.   This same cartouche appears on the M91/30 and M44.
While hard to see in this photo there is also a B proof marking on the stock.

The overall quality of the Hungarian manufactured Mosin Nagants are much the same as their Soviet and Eastern European counterparts.  In short they are well made and dependable.   The wood is a local type and like the examples from Romania shows little grain pattern in many cases.  The stocks also have a similar overall heavy varnish type finish seen on the Romanian manufactured firearms.  While these can be found in very good overall condition, the Hungarian firearms tend to show a bit more use than the Polish or Romanian examples, and are much more in line with the M44's that came out of the DDR when comparing condition.  It should be noted that many of these carbines seem to have parts from Romania mixed in.  It is unknown why this was done as there could be a number of reasons.  I do think it clear this happened in Europe and was more than likely done in the nation of Romania as this is where many of these carbines were stored.   This appears to be the same location of many Polish, Romanian, and Russian carbines as well.

bud1.jpg (63784 bytes)

During the Hungarian uprising:  These "freedom" fighters make use of the M91, M44 Carbine, and the PPSh41. As was the case in most Eastern European nations, there were large amounts of older Soviet firearms in service.

While the Hungarian M44's seem to be a bit more common than the Romanian and Polish models, they are still a desirable Cold War collectable.   The M91/30's produced in Hungary are even more collectable as they are not commonly seen on the market.  It is unknown if they are truly a rare rifle or if they are just misidentified as Soviet rifles.  The truth, as it does in most cases, is probably somewhere in the middle.  If a collector runs across a Hungarian M91/30, it should be snapped up instantly as one never knows when or if they will see another.  These rifles are showing up in decent numbers in Europe but still would have to be considered rare. 

As with all the Eastern European Mosin Nagants, the Hungarian examples are interesting parts of Cold War history.  They deserve a section in any Mosin Nagant collection.


 
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