Gletcher Mosin-Nagant Model 1944 Part 2

Gletcher Mosin-Nagant Model 1944 Part 2 Part 1

The Russian sharpshooter is back

By Dennis Adler

Aside from Russian soldiers, Russian Jewish partisans, men and women alike, joined in the fight against Germany. One of the most common rifles used by the resistance was the Mosin-Nagant, which had been in production for more than 50 years by WWII. The Gletcher M1944 CO2 model is shown with the sling (which comes with the rifle) attached to the stock.

The last variation of the Mosin-Nagant was the M44 carbine (Model 1944), which was adopted by the Russian army late in 1944, and this is the model after which the Gletcher Mosin-Nagant CO2 model is named. The Model 1944 was an updated Model 1938 carbine with the addition of a side folding bayonet. The Russian military still deemed this a necessary tool, especially with increased urban combat toward the end of the war. The bayonet for the M1944 was designed by the N.S. Semin and chosen over several others as it performed exceptionally well with the shorter length of the Mosin-Nagant carbine. The side folding mount for the 15.1 inch cruciform bayonet also made it an unobtrusive accessory when not needed, as well as eliminating the earlier requirement for a soldier to carry a separate detachable bayonet, as with 91/30 and earlier 1891 infantry models.

Often fighting behind enemy lines and living in the forests, as depicted in the 2008 film Defiance, about the Bielski partisans and their role in suppressing Germany’s invasion of Eastern Europe, the Mosin-Nagant was one of the most commonly used rifles.

The carbine remained in production until 1948 and was produced from 1943 to 1948 at Izhevsk and briefly at Tula in 1944. It was the final version of the 91/30 redesign, itself an amalgamation of the three earlier variations. Standard weight for the Mosin-Nagant was 8 pounds, 8 ounces with a 29-inch barrel, tangent rear and a hooded post front sight. The Gletcher Mosin-Nagant CO2 model copies the full length stock with upper handguard and sling cuts, under barrel cleaning rod, and fully operating, short-handled bolt and knob safety. It also has an injection molded Mosin-Nagant M44-type permanently mounted folding bayonet that, while not metal, is an accurate copy of the M44 design.

The Gletcher Model 1944 Mosin-Nagant follows the lines of the 1944 carbine which was developed from the 1938 carbine model. Although the Gletcher has a synthetic stock, it looks very similar to the beech stocks used by Russian manufacturers.

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Real vs. CO2   

For military arms collectors and vintage arms enthusiasts, there is really no shortage of original Mosin-Nagant rifles in all variations, as more than 37 million were produced by various manufacturers and in different countries (including Finland, Hungary, Poland, Romania, France, Bulgaria, Germany and China), making it the longest serving and most widely used bolt-action rifle in history.

The bolt action on the Gletcher is derived entirely from the original Mosin-Nagant design. The straight bolt handle is remarkably quick to operate, although when the action is closed it does stick straight out rather than resting along the side of the receiver like more conventional bolt handles. A curved handle was only used on the 91/30 Sniper model.
In this close-up of the open action you can see the valve for the CO2 at the rear of the barrel breech. The internal smoothbore barrel is around 15 inches in length and is recessed 5-inches from the air rifle’s 7.62mm muzzle opening.

Like so many Russian-designed arms, it was not built for looks but rather function and to endure harsh conditions. The Mosin-Nagant was nothing if not rugged, attesting to the longevity of surviving examples.

The Mosin-Nagant was capable of 1,000 meter shots (thus its use as a scoped sniper rifle using the longer barreled Model 91/30. The CO2 carbine model has a correctly designed tangent rear sight. Given the barrel length and velocity of the air rifle it should be accurate at 50 feet and beyond. We will find out Saturday.

Gletcher authenticity and operation

The original Mosin-Nagant rifles employed the established Sergei Mosin and Emile and Leon Nagant designs for the unique bolt handle and safety, which was engaged by pulling the cocking piece to the rear and rotating it to the left, allowing it to hook over the rear of the receiver. The horizontal position of the turn bolt handle might seem awkward in appearance compared to more “elegant” bolt action rifles with curved bolt handles that lay against the side of the stock, but Captain Mosin’s design proved remarkably quick to operate in the field, which was more important than appearance for a military rifle. However, the WWII M91/30 PU Sniper rifles were fitted with curved bolt handles which were necessary to clear the back of the scope when working the bolt action.

An original-style Mosin-Nagant safety is used on the CO2 model. Here it is shown in the ready to fire position with the tongue of the bolt aligned with the barrel and the red dot exposed…
…to put the Mosin-Nagant on safe, the bolt handle is pulled back and rotated to the left as shown with the tongue covering the red dot.

The one big difference with the CO2 model compared to the original is that the Gletcher M1944 uses a removable box magazine that holds the CO2 cartridge and a load of 16 steel BBs. The original Mosin-Nagant rifles only had the integral magazine with a capacity of 5-rounds loaded through the open action from a stripper clip. The Gletcher modification is actually a functional improvement!

The one advantage the Gletcher CO2 version has over the original Mosin-Nagant models is a removable magazine, which holds both the CO2 and 16 BBs. The 7.62x54mm R caliber models were loaded with 5-rounds on a stripper clip pushed into the magazine from the top (as pictured in the illustrations in the background).

Gletcher uses the ruggedly-designed M91/30-style sliding tangent rear and hooded front post sights. While the wood-grained stock is synthetic, it has a good, wood-like appearance and smooth reddish-brown finish. It also has the correct style finder grooves set along the sides of the forend. With an overall weight of 8 pounds, 21 ounces, (just slightly heavier then the actual Mosin-Nagant carbines) it is no lightweight but an accurate copy of the legendary Russian model, right down to the operation of the action and trigger.

Back again in a limited supply, if you missed it the first time, this is definitely one worth owning!

Saturday we will wrap up with full specs and a multi-distance shooting test using three different types of BBs.  

7 thoughts on “Gletcher Mosin-Nagant Model 1944 Part 2”

  1. If nothing else, it is a realistic shooting replica of a historically significant military rifle. That alone makes it a worthy addition for replica collectors. Hopefully a manufacturer with its’ finger on the market pulse , will come through with a bolt actionSpringfield, and 98 Mauser

        • Same reasons I passed on it. It’s number 1 advantage is it doesn’t need CO2 or an outside source of air. Because I don’t often get much time for target shooting, and CO2 takes a considerable amount of time to consume, I could possibly consider buying one simply because I would only need the rifle and pellets. Even with only a few minutes of time, I could shoot a few shots and then set it aside without having to leave the rifle pressurized with air or unused CO2.

  2. One thing I’m waiting for about the Gletcher replicas, is whether the BB Nagent revolver shoots more accurately than the pellet Nagent revolver (e.g. like the Webley revolvers).

    And whether it is possible to shoot pellets in the Nagent BB revolver (e.g. like the Webley revolvers).

    • I see no reason why you can’t shoot the pellet cartridges in the BB model, just like the Webley; of course you can have a pellet firing model for a very reasonable price and the advantage of a rifled barrel for better accuracy. But you raise an interesting point, is one more accurate than the other. Sounds like an idea for an Airgun Experience article.

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