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The Expert
12-26-2010, 02:39 AM
Does anyone have know of any information about the salt mine(s) which served as arms depot(s) in which the Soviets stored their inventory of M-N and captured K98k's?

ij70
12-26-2010, 02:39 AM
American romanticism.

The Expert
12-26-2010, 02:50 AM
Does this mean you have information to the contrary (i.e. that such a depot did not or does not exist), or are you merely expressing an opinion without any evidence?

milprileb
12-26-2010, 07:41 AM
Let me ask this. Are there any Russian members on this board and could one please expand on this and any other historical information about Mosins?

Joop
12-26-2010, 08:35 AM
Does this mean you have information to the contrary (i.e. that such a depot did not or does not exist), or are you merely expressing an opinion without any evidence?
While I'm not disagreeing with this logic, the same could be asked about information proving they DO exist. My first question would be "why?". I don't see any legitimate reason they would need to store weapons in a salt mine, of all places.:confused:

Sounds more like gun show sales banter, to me.

John

Ken in Iowa
12-26-2010, 09:04 AM
It doesn't sound like a good place for the long term storage of steel for goodness sakes.

Actually, I think ij70 is spot-on! :D

Marcus
12-26-2010, 10:30 AM
I can't comment on whether the Soviets actually stored weapons in salt mines or not. However I see no good reason why they wouldn't, and during WW2 the Germans definitely stored documents, gold, etc. in salt mines.

Has anyone here ever been in a European salt mine, like the ones in Salzburg, Austria?

Salt mines do have a lot of advantages for storing items of value. They tend to be quite deep underground in mountainous areas that limit access and make them highly defensible and difficult to attack from the air or ground, are very dry in most areas, the geology is ancient and hence very stable, and since many date back to pre-historic times they have large and extensive rooms and tunnels (think truck roads and train tracks) that extend for great distances.

I believe most Soviet era storage facilities would be warehouses and arsenal facilities at military facilities near major towns and cities or in other strategic locations, but many mining operations also have large population centers that have grown up around them. Also, it would make sense to store fair size quantities of weapons in more remote areas far away from western borders shared with potential invaders like Germany and later NATO.

Here in the western U.S., old salt mines are among the facilities used or being considered for long term storage of items like nuclear fuel/weapons material and nuclear waste because they are so stable and safe.

A little research on salt mining locations in the former Soviet Union might turn up some possible locations.

But I do agree that most Mosins were stored in warehouses and armories, and that salt mine stories are for the most part probably the same kind of advertising/ sales puffery b.s. as stories of German weapons discovered in long-lost U-boat pens on the coast of France and MAS 36 rifles hidden from the Nazis in wine storage cellars under French castles and palaces...especially since said MAS rifles were post-war production.

cammobunker
12-26-2010, 10:38 AM
Actually, disused salt mines make pretty good storage places. Temperature is constant and since salt is hygroscopic, humidity is low as well.
There are numerous verified cases of salt mines being used to store all sorts of things, weapons and explosives included. The RAF used salt mines during WW2 in several place in the UK, and the Nazis did the same on the continent. In fact the Nazis stored artwork in salt mines to safeguard them from bombing raids.
The Soviets turned Ukraine into one giant arms depot during the cold war, as we know. Ukraine has lots of salt mines; in point of fact, people with severe Asthma go there to stay in the salt mines as a treatment. (I had no idea; they even cut huge blocks from one of them, brought them to the US and have made a "salt room" for the same treatment). If Ukraine was an island, it'd be in danger of sinking from the weight of the weapons stored there.
I seem to remember back in the late 90's somebody had been to Ukraine and had taken pictures of a large underground storage facility filled with crates that appeared military in nature, allegedly containing Mosin rifles. Of course I have no idea who that might of been or where I could source those photos now, so perhaps I'm mistaken.

Fushigi Ojisan
12-26-2010, 11:23 AM
Semi-related

When my brother-in-law and I were installing my Mom's new HDTV Christmas Present, we saw a documetnary on an Auto Untion "Type D" race car made in 1939 and later hauled off to the Soviet Union. It had been stored in a salt mine in Germany and possibly Russia

http://www.worldcarfans.com/10701235209/1939-auto-union-type-d-race-car-at-christies

http://www.bjorns-story.se/private/Audihtm/Audi_1_eng.htm

gunhorde
12-26-2010, 11:53 AM
My VERY first Mosin-Nagant purchase ever was a "mummy-wrapped" 1948 Izhevsk M-44, the paper and string were all intact except for where Century opened it up to put the import marking on the end of the barrel; when we opened it up there were tiny salt crystals (yep, I tasted it!) in the paper folds, and one area under the handguard where a salt crystal had gotten in and corroded/pitted the barrel a little. I'm not saying the rifle came from a salt mine storage facility, but I can think of no OTHER explanation for it...

Poot
12-26-2010, 12:08 PM
If i recall correctly, Aztec used the salt mine story for awhile. It's probably true to an extent, but not across the board.

waffenlandser
12-26-2010, 12:19 PM
Dang. Its the only time I will smile when on Monday morning its back to the salt mines.

Shoots High
12-26-2010, 01:13 PM
Gary Cole of Cole imports personally told me of hand selecting rifles from these mines in "Ukraine" not Russia. Gary sets up at Knob Creek twice a year. I am sure he wouldn' mind relating his account to others, if you ask. He had some very interesting information about his several trips to Ukraine. Now having said that, I would not hesitate to believe his account of these mines rather than the person behind the retort of, "American romanticism."

unreformed66
12-26-2010, 03:04 PM
Salt mines are excellent long term storage facilities. Dry, deep, and solid. I was just watching a show a couple of weeks ago on the History channel about the salt mine storage facility here in the US where the government stores many of it's sensitive documents and so on. It's also home to the largest archive of film anywhere in the world, Hollywood sends all the old reels there for safe storage.

ij70
12-26-2010, 03:36 PM
Ukrainian salt mines:
http://topertravel.blogspot.com/2010/04/salt-mines-of-soledar.html
http://www.oregongrotto.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=861

gotula
12-26-2010, 04:16 PM
Salt mines proven to be the best place for long term storage. Look how long the salt has been preserved!
Humor of course.

Hope everyone had a great holiday.

WLD Bill
12-26-2010, 04:49 PM
I do not know about of the salt mines in the old USSR but i do know that 91/30,s were stored in old salt mines.

The Expert
12-26-2010, 05:13 PM
Salt mines are excellent locations to store almost anything, with the low low humidity in them.

In his recent book The Gun, CJ Chivers talks about a mine in the Ukraine at Artemovsk that was used by the Soviets. At its peak, it held surplus AK production, WW1 guns, German-capture WWII guns and US firearms obtained via Lend Lease during WWII. He describes arms crates stacked 10 meters high. He also states that this single facility held 3 million weapons at the close of the cold war. He also states that in deeper levels of the mine, the miners continued to mine salt.

I wonder how many old US weapons are still there, and specifically I wonder if this proposed new law to take reimportation decisions of US small arms out of the jurisdiction of the State Department will allow for reimportation of US small arms from Ukraine.

I was hoping to get some additional solid information about this facility and others like it, if anyone has access to any more.

ij70
12-26-2010, 05:18 PM
History of Salt Production in Russia
http://www.tribunes.com/tribune/sel/logu.htm

Tony C.
12-26-2010, 10:42 PM
Does this mean you have information to the contrary (i.e. that such a depot did not or does not exist), or are you merely expressing an opinion without any evidence?

maybe he always wanted to kiss an American in a salt mine? there's a huge one under detroit, and louisiana is full of them. there's hope yet. :/

Fatherandersonthepaladin
12-27-2010, 12:02 AM
There's no reason to say that no Mosins were ever stored in a salt mine. That said, there's no reason to say that all Mosins were stored in salt mines either. There may have been a batch stored in a mine for a while, or maybe several batches in several mines, but the truth of the matter is, it'd be a serious pain in the butt for the government to haul a whole bunch of equipment into an abandoned, possibly even unstable mine, store it there, and then guard it sufficiently, so if it was done, it more than likely would've been done on a small and probably temporary basis while they constructed a proper arsenal for them.

To sum up, it's not beyond the scope of possibility that they did it, it's just not probable that they did it with all of the weapons, or even a majority of them, since it would've been a logistical nightmare.

Surplus
12-27-2010, 12:17 AM
Ukrainian salt mines:
http://topertravel.blogspot.com/2010/04/salt-mines-of-soledar.html
http://www.oregongrotto.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=861

According to the first article, humidity is up to 65%, look too high for me to store any kind of metal.

Surplus

sdh1891
12-27-2010, 03:03 PM
Geeze, What would happen to the goods should dampness set in. I think of my chainsaw stored in the bottom of a bin in my old Ford 250, It had gotten wet and went un noticed until a cleaning sometime later, damn thing melted, I mean you could see the piston through the head! On the flip side not many elements care for salt, assuming it stays dry, not much could mess with it, hmm, good question!-SDH

FGD135
12-27-2010, 09:04 PM
I guess if you owned a salt mine, you would need a serious tequila distillery nearby, along with a couple of lime and lemon tree orchards as well.

ij70
12-27-2010, 09:12 PM
I guess if you owned a salt mine, you would need a serious tequila distillery nearby, along with a couple of lime and lemon tree orchards as well.
I hear Southern Ukraine is warm enough to grow limes and lemons. Once they make a deal with one of the Stans to grow cacti, we would have all the ingredients for tequila shots.

The Expert
12-27-2010, 11:30 PM
What has this board come to? I ask a question about guns, and people only want to talk about the salt mine?!!!

Sounds like the moderators might need to start a new Mining forum after the first of the year! :laugh::laugh:

ij70
12-27-2010, 11:31 PM
What has this board come to? I ask a question about guns, and people only want to talk about the salt mine?!!!

Sounds like the moderators might need to start a new Mining forum after the first of the year! :laugh::laugh:
That gives you some places to visit. Get visa. Go to Russia. Play CIA agent.