Mosin Nagant M39 – a Best Military Rifle

April issue was very refreshing. It was good to read a story that reminds us of what it was like to try out a different firearm for the first time, all the while enjoying the sport and experience.

I am a collector of Finnish wartime firearms. Albeit I must lean a bit more to the Finnish Civil Guard M28/30, the M39 is an amazing rifle, and I agree it’s the best of the Mosin Nagant family.

Many articles have been written about how the M39 was the best military rifle at the time, and I am certain, depending on one’s opin­ion, that is true. Each country wanted to send its troops into battle with the best firearm available. Finland was no exception to this. Finland was not wealthy enough at the time to develop an entire “shooting system” from scratch, so it did the best it could with what it had and made a few amazingly accurate rifles. I say “a few” because Finnish firearms of the time do not number in the millions, but in the thousands, and all were tested for accuracy before leaving for the fields of battle.

I would also like to give credit to the 7.62x53R (Finnish) and 7.62x54R (Russian) ammunition. I know it appears to be of a very old and obsolete design, but it is the oldest military cartridge still in use. Like most ammu­nition, if loaded correctly it can produce stellar accuracy. I shoot and hunt with my old Finnish war rifles and have taken critters from prairie dogs to elk with them. They perform, when used correctly, just as well as any of my “modern magnum” rifles and hurt my 55-year-old shoulder a lot less.

I have included a picture of me and my 713-yard (laser rangefinder veri­fied) antelope harvested in Wyoming with my 1939 Sako M28/30 rifle. For you history folks out there, yes, the bent bolt is not the original as I used a Russian 91/30 bolt body to facilitate the construction of it, and the original bolt body is safely tucked away in a box with all the other original Finnish straight bolts I have. I used a handloaded 175-grain Berger VLD bullet, Reloder 15 powder, and PRVI brass to take this fine speed goat with one shot.

What ST is Made Of

Mr. D. Faubion’s article on the .30 Nosler is something to behold! I’ve been a loyal reader of Shooting Times for 35 years (yes, I did get a late start at age 8), and his exploration of the .30 Nosler is something to behold! The narrative is spectacular, the facts are clear, and the personal impressions are a joy to take in. I’ve reread this piece at least 12 times—and I’ll read it again. We’ve found a fresh perspective that the likes of Skeeter and the other greats should well be proud of. Get this writer more print space! This is what Shooting Times is, and shall be, made of! Keep on, D.! I’m looking forward to the next great article on our amazing sport! Kurt Lentner Via e-mail

Inherent Accuracy

I really enjoyed Allan Jones’s “The Ballistician” column on inher­ent accuracy as I have thought for many years it is a silly cliché. He cor­rectly notes the importance of platform. A .308 cartridge could be extremely accurate if handloaded with a VLD projectile and fired from a custom-made rifle. But I have read reviews in this publication on short-barreled, factory-standard, semiautomatic .308s that were not so “inherently accurate.” As Jones points out, certain conditions could render such a cartridge inherently inaccurate. He makes a strong argument that factors like COL, bullet dimensions, and shoulder posi­tion are far more significant in a cartridge’s accuracy than the vague notion that the round was created with some inexplicable permanent attribute. Well done!





John Fuquay Cary, NC

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