With over 37 million units produced since its development in the late 19th Century, it is no secret that Mosin-Nagant rifles are one of the world’s most popular military surpluses that even well into the 21st Century, the historical firearm remains to be among the most used rifles.
If you happen to find this iconic bolt-action firearm well-tucked somewhere in the attic or basement of your ancestral house, you might have wondered about its worth. That or you’re just a curious/avid collector planning to add the Mosin-Nagant to your collections.
The Russian-made five-shot bolt-action military rifle, officially known as the “three-line rifle M1891” and informally nicknamed “Mosin’s rifle” by former Soviet Union forces, has been around for more than 130+ years, and its vast number of units available had significantly impacted its value. But what about 2022? How much would a Mosin-Nagant cost today?
Short answer: Not much.
Long answer: It depends. Accordingly, one rifle can be valued anywhere from $300 to nearly $2000, depending on factors such as model, condition, rarity, accessories/modifications, and history—almost all historical pieces fall into the same criteria when determining their worth in the market. But most especially for rifles, model rarity, odd modifications, and the story behind its previous owners are quite the factors being thoroughly considered when naming the price.
Brief History Recap of the Mosin Nagant
The year was 1882. Fresh out of the Russo-Ottoman War, the Russian government sought to equip its men with rifles capable of firing more than one bullet at a time. They had suffered severe casualties against the Turkish troops who were bearing repeating rifles, and with lessons taken from the previous war, Russian commanders aimed to modernize their general infantry weapon. As a result, a call for a new firearm was issued shortly after, and three designs were submitted by 1889, including Captain Sergei Ivanovich Mosin’s .30 caliber 7.62mm rifle.
After thorough deliberation, Mosin’s “3-line” rifle was eventually approved, and by 1891, the internal multi-round magazine feed firearm was placed into mass production and into the hands of the Russian and Soviet Union forces. Throughout the years, the Mosin-Nagant rifle saw action in many wars, was used by soldiers from various countries, and was manufactured outside Russia beginning in the early 1900s when there was a rifle shortage due to a lack of a well-developed domestic defense industry capability in the region.
The bolt-action rifle became a legendary icon after aiding arms soldiers during World War I, World War II, Civil Wars, Korean War, Vietnam War, War in Afghanistan, Iraq War, and even some military services worldwide today.
What Makes This Historical Rifle Worth It?
The original M1891 underwent several upgrades, including the M91 Dragoon, the M91/30, the M38 Carbine, the M91/59 Carbine, the M44 Carbine, the M24, the M27, The M28, the M30, and the M38—each with a different price tag depending (again) on the factors, which we will discuss some of it below.
Disclaimer: By any means, I am no Mosin Nagant rifle expert, so this article is just more of presenting basic information to give you an idea of what criteria to consider for this historical firearm’s price.
Now that’s out of the way, let’s take a closer look at these common yet important factors.
While scratches and minor damage may add aesthetic value for collectors, buyers who intend to use and customize the weapon would prefer a well-maintained Mosin.
According to experts, Mosin’s price drastically increased in recent years due to the spike of weapon owners looking to add the 19th Century weapon into their arsenal. The more in good condition the rifle, the more it would be worth, considering some owners might want to customize and actually use the firearm. And we are looking into a price as low as $150. Before the spike in interest, the Mosin Nagant rifle was valued at no more than $100. But, as mentioned, the appreciation for the historical piece has increased recently, so there might no longer be below $100.
Rarity & Accessories
I’m talking about odd modifications, rare customizations, and its accessories if you own one. The rare your Mosin Nagant, the more valuable it would be for interested buyers and historical collectors. When inspecting the rifle, look for serial numbers and stamps indicating its rarity. Some units considered to be rare are versions manufactured by Remington and/or Westinghouse.
In 1916, when Russia encountered a production shortage, the government placed orders overseas, particularly to United States-based Remington and Britain’s Westinghouse. However, when Moscow’s administration changed, manufacturing contracts were canceled midway, displacing several hundred thousand Mosin rifles that had already been built. To save it from going to waste and for the company to go bankrupt, the US government then bought all the said models and inducted these firearms as training guns for the Army, as well as the National Guard, Student Army Training Corps (SATC), and Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) units. Meanwhile, those batch that made it through the shipment found their way into the hands of the US and British expeditionary forces. These Mosin Nagant versions have a designated “US Rifle, 7.62mm, Model 1916” on them, which is said to be of high value due to the lack of engraved marks that most military surpluses have.
Rare accessories are another bonus factor and could add a couple more bucks to the price. Some of these include the 1900s experimental bayonet, Modrakh Device, Kulakov’s Automatic Grenade Launcher, Wire Cutter Bayonet, Dyakonov’s Muzzle Grenade Launcher, Naiman’s Hand Mortar (“RMN-50”), and Mitin Brothers (“BraMit”) Suppressor.
Look out for fake and/or reproductions of these, though, as it is quite common for extremely rare items.
Previous Owner’s History
Like any other historical item, previous owners play a huge role in naming its value. Well, it still remains on a case-to-case basis. Some might give their money more on a Mosin Nagant M39 with a rare accessory than an original M1891 owned by a WW1 hero, or vice versa. Collectors might pay higher for units with unique histories, whether they participated in important combat or if their owner was a known hero or infamous soldier.
Among the factors, this criterion is the most subjective.
Whether you’re a buyer, collector, or looking into selling your Mosin Nagant rifle, it is important to do some digging on your specific model to assess the right price better. It is a widely mass-produced weapon, so having a unique edge on your historical rifle could make it stand out among thousands of listings in the market.
For more information on this legendary rifle, you might want to read this article that we found useful during our research.