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Mosin-Nagant Dot Net:

The Sniper Rifles

Of The Red Star

From Vic Thomas


10. 39SOV perspective.JPG (21423 bytes)

Right hand perspective view of the Finnish wartime m/39 SOV sniper.

This gun is dated 1943. and utilizes an early PE focus adjustable scope.

19. early PU scope & mount 2.JPG (18465 bytes)

Very early production of the PU scope. Note the brass lens fittings as in the earlier PE version and the windage and elevation turret is a square block type like the earlier PE as well. The tube is constructed of a light weight material, possibly aluminum and painted with a black enamel type finish. This scope is extremely rare and rarely encountered if at all.

20. early PU scope & mount var.2 3.JPG (19750 bytes)

A later version of the early PU scope. This scope does not utilize the earlier brass lens fittings but is still painted with a black enamel finish.

21. early PU windage housing 4.JPG (13789 bytes)

A close up of the early PU scopes windage and elevation turrets and PE style housing.


65. pu perspective.JPG (19362 bytes)

Full left rear perspective of a first year 1942 m/91-30 PU sniper with initial production scope mounted.

102._Finnish_PU_capture.JPG (42476 bytes)

m/91-30 PU sniper made in 1942 and captured by Finnish forces in the Continuation War. It is reported that less than 100 were captured and reported to Divisional HQ. Unofficial numbers could be slightly higher as reported by Finnish veterans.

The m/91-30 PU sniper rifles base attached to the left side of the high wall receiver. Note the locking screws to prevent the mounting screws from loosening, and the forward and rear pins used in placement.

Close up of the m/91-30 PU mount and scope as fitted the rifle.


97. ww2 snipers.JPG (69671 bytes)

The series of sniper rifles utilized by the Red Army during WW2. From top to bottom: Hex receiver PE, round receiver PEM, side rail PEM, SVT40, and the finally the PU.



6. 12 pu covers.JPG (54936 bytes)

PU model scope covers. These 12 versions represent the major color variances and country origins. Top row left to right: Soviet post war-Soviet wartime-DDR-Soviet wartime with leather end caps. Second row left to right: Early Soviet wartime tie version-Early Soviet tie version-Polish post war-Hungarian post war. Third row left to right: Soviet wartime-Soviet wartime designed to attach around magazine box-Unknown, possibly DDR-Soviet wartime designed for attachment around trigger guard.

With the adoption of the AVS-36 rifle designed by Simonov in 1936 and mass produced in 1938, a snipers rifle was designated that fit the low slung PEM scope in a special mount on the left side of the receiver. The receiver had an integral rail machined into it to accept the scope mount in the undercut dovetail. Two screws affixed the rifles mount firmly to the receiver. These riles are extremely rare today as the gun was not intended to be a precision accuracy weapon but was more suited to play the role of a optically sighted rifle was acceptable accuracy.  The top picture shows the oblong groove for the mount and the bottom with the rifles optical package attached.


SVT sniper showing the mounting of the SVT scope and mount.

Left and right viewsd of the SVT-40 sniper rifle. The SVT 40 sniper rifle become the standard issue snipers weapon in the summer of 1940. The Soviet Unioun was the 1st nation to officially adopt a semi automatic snipers rifle and it served throughout the war despite being wirthdrawn as the primary snipers rifle in October of 1942.



87. svt covers.JPG (18666 bytes)

SVT scope covers with the scope and mount rolled up and fastened inside for carrying dismounted from the rifle. Two styles are shown on the left. On the right is the cover empty to show its size and shape. The cover on the bottom left is the same as the unpacked version.


27. later style PU cover 12.JPG (24363 bytes)

The laminated sniper fitted with a breech cover designed to be attached around the trigger guard.

63. PU left side perspective.JPG (22765 bytes)

Left side rear perspective view of a 1944 m/91-30 PU sniper showing the mounting arrangement.

Soviet m/91-30 PU sniper as removed from long term storage. Note the desiccant paper inside the caps to prevent fogging/moisture in the lens’ and oil paper and cosomline on the turrets to prevent the windage and elevation turrets from corroding. The mount is electro penciled with the scopes serial number and the guns serial number to prevent them from being mismatched as each set is mated together and not meant to be separated. This sets optics and mount ares numbered to the guns as shown with the matching numbers of 2512 for the scope on the mount and wood line of the barrel. The rifles serial number of EH322 is above the scopes number on the mount matching the hand fit mount to the rifle so accuracy is assured.

58. pu  scope cover front view.JPG (15137 bytes)

Three major variations of the PU scope/breech cover in an end view.


85. stamped PU screw 27.JPG (19138 bytes)

Locking screw for the PU mount. This is a stamped and welded version found on the first year 1942 produced gun with an early style scope.

28. milled PU screw 13.JPG (19079 bytes)

Later war production of a machined and knurled scope mount retention screw. Also the rough elevation adjustment screws can be seen in this picture as well.

13. closeup CH  1.JPG (12807 bytes)

Tula 1943 made m/91-30 PU sniper in a laminated stock. This is the first year of Tula’s resumption of manufacturing sniper rifles. Note the CH markings denoting "sniper" above the Tula star.

90. Tula PU and scope 1943 34.JPG (19861 bytes)

A Tula produced m/91-30 PU sniper made in 1943. Note the scope is also dated 1943. The Tula marking for sniper (cn) is clearly evident above the arsenal marking of the five pointed star.

26. laminated PU 11.JPG (22222 bytes)

Right side perspective of a rare laminated stocked Tula m/91-30 PU sniper rifle.

This gun is dated 1943 and is fitted with an all leather sling.



63. PU left side perspective.JPG (22765 bytes)

Left side rear perspective view of a 1944 m/91-30 PU sniper showing the mounting arrangement

m/91-30 PU sniper in bolt side full view. This particular rifle is from 1943 and spots a laminated stock which had begun to appear on Soviet rifles at that time frame of late 1943.

60. PU bolt side view.JPG (20029 bytes)

m/91-30 PU bolt side view of mount and scope arraignment. The gun is a 1944 Ishvesk made weapon.

69. PU woodline number.JPG (13869 bytes)

Marking found just above the wood line on PU style snipers. It is the scopes serial number that is stamped on the barrel at the initial manufacture and fitting of the optics to the rifle. This was done to prevent the separation of the optical package from the rifle for which it was custom fit and sighted. This number shown here-"b" 31984 matched a scope made at the Progress Optical Factory or as known during the war-factory "357"-from late 1943 to this particular weapon. The Izhevsk factory began this process of scope serial number matching in the later half of 1942 and continued on through the close of PU sniper production at that facility in 1948. The Tula factory in WW2 did not use this method and the barrel shank will be blank or devoid of a scope number on most examples. A handful have been reported with numbers but it is not the norm in anyway and could denote an optical match during post war refurbishment.

72. rear view PU scope 21.JPG (17660 bytes)

Rear view of the PU sniper showing the mount and

over the bore placement of the scope with style mount

MO.jpg (26973 bytes)

In the recent imports some 91/30 PU rifles have been observed marked in such a manner that indicates use in later service with the Soviet government post war. These rifles like the one pictured are marked with the original date and a slash following with a reissue date i.e.: 1944/51. This date is often proceeded with a MO marking, i.e.: 1944/51 MO. This marking arraignment indicates use by the Soviet Ministry of Defense in an internal security type role. This rifle is dated 1933 and must have been converted to a sniper post war.

This picture from the authors collection shows all standard production years post war for the PU sniper rifle. Small lots of rifles had begun to be made again from the absent year of production in 1945 to replace or fit the need for specialty units. These three rifles show production examples from 1936, 1947 and 1948. The last being a Ministry of Defense marked rifle as well.


Examples from 1946 and 1947. The production appears to have been in a series run with the serial prefix of "yr" starting in 1946 and continuing into 1947. There the prefix switched to "rr" for the last half of the year.

The matching date scope from the 1948 dated example in the authors collection. The original production date of the scope is seen in the serial number below the makers marking. The serial number of 4336845 denotes that the scope was made in 1943 and is serial number 36845. These examples all appear to have not been issued as they retain heavy cosmoline inside and out.





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