Moderator: Miller Tyme
The Finns and the Russians shared the same weapons in the first half of the 20th Century and they had been through multiple shooting border conflicts with them. In 1809 the Finns became part of the Russian Empire after the Napoleonic wars, then after some strife the Finns got free of Russia in 1917-18. Then some more border scuffling over Russian violations of the Treaty of Tartu followed until 1922. Then came the Winter War of 1939 to 1940 and where the M39 comes into the picture.
The Finns,as I stated already, used the same weapons as the Russians and weapons changed hands according to who won in any skirmish. But the Finns wanted to improve their weapons and the only way to do that was modify what they had. So... to begin with they started with the hex receiver found on the 1891 as step one and kept using only the hex receivers even after the intermediate length Nagant with the round receivers came into play. Then they improved the trigger pull so it would be nice and smooth when pulled. Then they rejected the stock with the scant stock butt and replaced it with a pistol grip stock. Then next they shortened the barrel by about four inches and beefed up the forestock and made it two piece with strong finger groove joinery . Then they moved the sling hardware to the bottom of the buttstock. Seeing that the sights could be improved they thickened up the rear sight base and then made a big adjustment of the front sight. The front sight acquired big blade protecting ears of about the size of Enfields. Then in one of the sight protecting ears they put a screw to adjust the sight blade. The barrel bands and the nose hardware were made stronger and heavier as well and the bayonet lug was on the bottom of the new nose cap.... no more Russian spike bayonet. They had made a pretty battle tough rifle when they were done.
I took the following photos to illustrate what I just wrote. Note in the photos with two rifles, one of them is a standard M91 Nagant and the other is the M39. Where you see three rifles, two of them are M39's.
- Miller Tyme
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