Gletcher Mosin-Nagant Model 1944 Part 2 Part 1
The Russian sharpshooter is back
By Dennis Adler
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.