Finland declared independence from Russia in 1917.
Taking advantage of the revolutionary environment in Russia at
the time, the Finnish White Guards expelled all communist. The
armories left behind became the property of the new Finnish Republic.
The Russian Model 1891 became the standard issue to Finnish troops.
These rifles were not to the specifications required by the Finnish
army so the Finnish M-39 Mosin-Nagants were rebuilt upon Russian
Model 1891 receivers and included new barrels, sights, and stocks.
A later production in the 60's was introduced to
the US collectors market. The M39 is easily recognizable for it's
pistol grip stock. The straight stock variant was only produced
in 1941 by SAKO and is considered as highly collectable. Another
very collectable variant is the B-barrel so named because the
barrel is not arsenal stamped but rather has a distinctive B marking
that denotes the barrel is made by Leige Belgium.
These rifles saw much action in the Winter War and
the Continuance War, both against the Soviet Union. The tactics
of the Finnish army depended upon smaller squads of attacking
troops and the deployment of snipers. Estimates show the Finnish
army lost between 40,000 to 50,000 men to the Soviet losses of
over 800,000 men.
After these two conflicts the Finn's had a new influx
of Russian Model 1891/30 and never had to manufacture receivers