I've got the bug for military surplus firearms and I currently have a Finnish M-39 and a Yugo M-48 and their awesome. I'm doing some research
on Mosin-Nagant Snipers, ex-sniper, etc and I can't find any substantial info on 91-30 snipers. What I'm asking is
-looking at a 91-30 and a 91-30 sniper without a scope how can you tell the difference cosmetically (besides the turned down bolt)
-was the original sniper 91-30's made to higher production standards than the infantry rifle? I wanna say yes but how much better
-What accuracy can you expect out of sniper 91-30 at 100, 200 yds?
-what exactly is an ex sniper
Here's some eye candy me and my friends Finnish Mosins. Mines a Sako and Finnish Mosins are totally worth buying if anyone's looking for a next military surplus firearm.
Next on the list,
German K98k, Swiss K31, and maybe another Finnish Mosin
all the info you'll even need on nagants
Basically, an ex-sniper is one that has had the scope/mount/base removed and the holes plugged and welded over. On side rail type snipers (PEM and PU), you can still see remnants of the screws from the inside of the receiver, on it's left wall. For the earlier, top mounted scopes, the holes can be harder to spot, but there will be six spots, three on each side of the forward receiver, where the mount holes used to be.
Generally, the pre-war snipers will be only from the Tula arsenal. The top mount was used from 1932 to approximately 1937, but there are exceptions that pop up. The first mass production side rail snipers, also using the 4x PE/PEM scope, appeared in 37/38 and were made until mid/late 1942, when the PU type scope began to see service. The smaller 3.5x PU is the one you will most commonly see on the reproduction snipers that are currently flooding the market. PU rifles will be either Izhevsk or Tula Arseanal rifles, but the Izhevsk are more common.
Tula snipers will usually have the proof marks of "Cn" (prewar), or "CH" (wartime) above the star/arrow arsenal marking. Early top mount Tula snipers will also have a scope number stamped on the upper right side of the forward receiver. This number would have been covered by the mount. Izhevks snipers will usually have the scope number on the left side of the barrel shank (chamber, NOT the receiver, as this is a common place to find importer serial numbers and can be confusing), just above the wood line of the stock. It's not uncommon for these scope numbers to be crossed out, asterisked over, or ground off. Some rifles will even have more than one scope number, if they has scopes switched out at the arsenal.
It is believed that these rifles were, at one point, singled out for their accuracy. Recent research has also indicated that some lots were built specifically as snipers. Check out the sniper forum at Gunboards.com. There are tons of knowledgeable members there and some great research/info.
This is just a short overview and there are a lot of nuances to collecting them. There are also a lot of reproductions/fakes out there, so it pays to know what you're looking for, before buying.
Just like any other 91/30, these rifles will often be picky with what type of ammo that they prefer. Given that the bores are in VG or better condition, however, they do seem to shoot better than a standard 91/30. It may be necessary to tweak the triggers and shim/wrap the barrels, as the Russians did. But, I have several that will shoot one inch, five shot groups, at 100 yards, with surplus ammo. I have a couple that will do even better, if the stars align, or with careful handloads. A lot of it has to do with how much time you spend shooting them, too. I'm confident that I could easily hit a man in the chest at 500 yards, with any of mine (with the scope, of course).
Hope that helps.