Most people that are into the Mosin game know about the Mosin Nagant M91. Like most earlier milsurp rifles produced before WW1, they are long. The M91 rolled in at a whopping 51 1/2 inches overall, and had a 31 1/2 inch barrel. As time progressed and the Soviets modernized their long guns they rolled out the 91-30.
It was a bit shorter at 48 1/2 inches overall. Now that we are on the same page with long guns lets talk about the Mosin Nagent M91 Dragoon. It was a rifle that was made for the mounted infantry. They realized that being mounted, they needed something smaller so they made the M91 Dragoon 2 1/2 inches shorter. In theory, that helped. As the 1930’s rolled around and the advent of the M91-30 which was even shorter. They realized that the Dragoon no longer had an advantage. So in typical Soviet fashion, they sent them to the arsenal and reworked them into M91-30’s.
From a collectors point of view, they tend to be desirable because its a variation and all good collectors want and need variety. So, how does the home gamer decide if he has a M91-30 Ex-Dragoon sitting in a corner gathering dust. There are a couple easy ways to determine this.
First. Look at the barrel length. The Dragoons barrels were cut down but they are still about a 1/2 inch longer than the average M91-30.
Second, Look at the rear sight. The sight base will have gaps in the corners due to the difference between the M91 and M91-30 site base. The squared off M91-30 sight will leave a void (see pics)
Third, Look at the markings. A true Ex-Dragoon will have a hex receiver opposed to a round receiver and be pre-1930 dated.
The example we have in the armory is a Hex receiver with markings for the Izhevsk Ordnance Factory 1919-1928. Ours is dated 1924. The receiver tang marking has the Izhevsk Bow and Arrow proof that was used pre-1928 and of course is dated 1924.
Like most Mosins that have been arsenal reworked, it has they typical box proofs showing it has been reworked and any ex-Dragoon should have these. If you have a pile of old Mosins, you may want to check on them to see if you have one. It’s an interesting variation and they do command a premium price over the standard M91-30.
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