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Thread: My Century Arms 'Sniper' that isn't

  1. #1
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    Default My Century Arms 'Sniper' that isn't

    Yup, last weekend I was that guy that saw a Mosin Nagant with a PU-type scope on it and matching numbers, paid no heed to the marked up price and bought it without even thinking about haggling. Now I own a 1943 Izhevsk M91/30 with a Ukrainian PU reproduction scope from Century Arms Import.
    However! It is a high wall receiver with a scope mount with matching serial number electropenciled on (Izhevsk stamp on the mount as well), which I feel adds a little validity towards not being a cobbled together gimmick.
    I certainly do love this rifle, even if it isn't what I thought it was, and now I have several questions about it and its markings. I've looked through mosinnagant.net and 7.62x54r.net to figure out what these marks mean but I have had no luck on some of them. Hopefully someone here can shed some light on what I've got sitting in my friend's closet (I live in a university dormitory). Or at least someone might have a rifle with the same marks and we can perhaps figure something out.

    Circle/Diamond 5
    In several spots on the barrel, scope mount and a few other parts there is a 5 in either a circle or diamond. The barrel has both right next to each other.

    Circle Б
    There is a Cyrillic Б in a circle stamped on the barrel.

    Cyrillic ж
    The stock has a ж stamped on it several places near the butt.

    Circle E or ш
    The stock also has a Cyrillic ш or possibly an E in a circle. There might also be one in a diamond somewhere (barrel?).

    77 and 1
    On the bottom of the barrel there is a 1 stamped one direction and a 77 stamped going the other direction.

    There is also the ПАБ-2 indicating that at least the stock was (maybe) used in a training school.
    Does this mean that the rifle was deemed 'not battle worthy' due to imperfections? I seemed pretty accurate when I put 20 rounds though it, so I'd like to think not.



    Now that those are out of the way, I had a question about Mosin Nagants in general. I noticed that on mine there are several parts with Tula stamps. The connector rod in the bolt, the magazine plate (not the magazine itself) which looks like the old serial number was worn down and restamped with the matching serial, and I believe some other part of the bolt, have Tula stars or hammers (the magazine plate/spring is just a hammer without a circle). I was pretty bummed when I saw this as I thought it meant it was a Century Arms monkey job. Then my friend and I started cleaning the Tula M91/30 that he got the same day as I got this one. His connector rod was stamped with the Izhevsk triangle arrow, as were his rear sight and barrel bands. We were pretty surprised by this and took a look at our other friend's Tula 1942 M91/30. It also had Izhevsk stamped parts!
    How common is it to find parts from other arsenals on Mosin Nagants? All three of these rifles were refurbished, so maybe that is when they got replacement parts?
    And before I forget, one of the rifles has a small D stamped on it. Its hard to remember which when you go from one to the other to the other so quickly. Does even just one D mean it was captured by the Finns, or should there be more stamped on other parts?
    One more question: My rifle has very deep finger slots (I don't know how to call them, the grooves where you hold the stock) compared to my friends' rifles. Does that mean anything special, or is it common for Izhevsk M91/30's around that time?

    I'm sorry to have asked so many questions of you all, but I've gotten very interested in learning what all of these different marks mean.

    This is a picture of my 'sniper' the day I got it.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here are all three rifles, from top to bottom: 1942 Tula, 1939 Tula, 1943 Izhevsk (without scope).
    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
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    Your gun was fabricated from a refurbished rifle. Thus the different maker parts on your gun. Two find other arsenals secondary proofs on small parts on these imports is not unusual at all- exactly the opposite. If you have one all matching including secondary proofs that would be off indeed.. Why do you feel this marking on the stock indicates a training facility? I'm not familiar with that at all. The other markings are just inspection or acceptance stamps during the rebuild or after. Shoot it. It may be a great shooter and you'll enjoy it all the same.
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  3. #3
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    Welcome to the forum, and the wonderful world of Mosin Nagants with multiple arsenal parts.

    Many gun owners have bought the reproduction Century Snipers and found that they perform satisfactorily. It sounds like you are pleased with its performance. Can't ask for much more than that.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies! I'm feeling better about my new acquisition. I figure I'll turn it into the best target gun I can while not hurting its historical nature.

    And as for the training school mark, 7.62x54r.net has that stamp described as possibly being for a rifle used at a training school so I went along with that assumption. Could mean something completely different though, I suppose.

  5. #5
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    Welcome to the forum. I myself am not experienced enough in snipers to spot a good fake vs. a real refurb sniper. The safest bet and most well documented snipers right now are the RGUNS snipers. They run for $800 though. A good fake sniper can be had for around $400-$500. If you don't mind me asking, how much did it run you?

  6. #6
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    After all was said and done it was just under $400. It was on sale so I figured it was now or never. I hesitated on buying a Russian SKS that was $225, and it slipped through my fingers a couple days before I bought this one. Wasn't going to let that happen again.
    Tomorrow I'm taking her out with some friends, a spam can of ammo and 3 other Mosins so I'll have a better idea of how accurate it really is.

  7. #7
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    Under $400 is a good price for a repro sniper. You should be able to sell it for that much if you wanted to ever get out of it. I wouldn't worry about it. Many people who collect real snipers like shooting fake snipers, so they don't run the risk of damaging their real ones at the range or while hunting.

  8. #8
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    CAI replica "snipers" like yours are $495 plus tax at Big Five today, so you did fine.
    We call it the "sum of the parts" price - a rifle at about $125, a bent bolt for $50, a replica mount and base for at least $125 and a quality replica scope for $160 or so, plus the machine work to drill and tap and cut the stock. It all adds up to more than you paid.
    See how the shooting goes.
    Many of these replicas shoot great- I have shot several. Also, you can buy 440 round tins of ammo from our sponsors at vastly lower prices than regular stores sell it for.

  9. #9
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    I have a Century Arms import sniper PU that I was discussing in forum, today, and I'm wondering what it is about yours that convinces you that it's a reproduction, so that I may check mine... I've posted pictures of mine in a thread entitled "Determining the validity of my Mosin Nagant Sniper.." or something like that. Feel free to check out my pictures and info.. But again, I'm interested in what makes you think your rifle is a repro. Hope you're well. CPT Ruotolo

  10. #10
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    Guys are paying huge money for Gibbs and Creedmore repro 03A4 rifles made from drill rifles. If your repro PU sniper shoots well, you got a far more realistic reproduction of a sniper rifle than the A4 rifles with Chicom scopes/mounts/rings, repro stock. That the sniper matches are being won by these A4 clones should encourage you to fine tune your repro PU and go shoot distances ! You may find you got a great shooting repro sniper to enjoy. To me, it makes more sense to shoot a repro sniper than put wear & tear on a collectable sniper rifle.

  11. #11
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    @ CPTRuotolo: The main thing that makes me believe this is a reproduction sniper instead of an original is that there is no serial number stamped horizontally on the receiver next to the scope mount. In addition to that its trigger has a fair bit of play and the cut into the stock for the scope mount isn't quite as clean as I feel it should be (a little too much taken out of a corner, a line that extends a bit too far). I'm quite new to the world of Mosin Nagants, but those two considerations keep coming up in my searches about Mosin snipers. But your rifle certainly appears to be the real deal! I wonder, how do the grooves in the stock of your rifle (where you hold it. I'm terrible at describing these) compare to your other rifles? Are the deeper, with a sharper cut? That's how mine are, and now I'm interested in seeing how my rifle compares to your sniper model. :P

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrSticky View Post
    After all was said and done it was just under $400. It was on sale so I figured it was now or never. I hesitated on buying a Russian SKS that was $225, and it slipped through my fingers a couple days before I bought this one. Wasn't going to let that happen again.
    Tomorrow I'm taking her out with some friends, a spam can of ammo and 3 other Mosins so I'll have a better idea of how accurate it really is.
    Knowing exactly what it was going in, I'd have bought it at that price. Relax and enjoy it.

  13. #13
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    You need to compare it side by side to a legit RGUNS sniper. Look for the slight differences in things like the screws. Look at every aspect, also use a magnet. If it is aluminum anywhere, it is fake. This is just basics, as I said though, I am by no means an expert on the subtleties of real snipers. All the more reason, if I ever buy a sniper; it will be a RGUNS sniper. (unless I have the scratch like Miller to pony up for an Empire Arms rare sniper rifle, I would trust Dennis)

  14. #14
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    An easy thing to look at is your scope. A repro scope almost always has flat turret screws and no wear, no old dried cosmo in the screws and under the turret and a big nice hammer and sickle stamped on it, usually saying "91/30" to look like a real Progress. These are good Ukrainian repros on most CAIs.
    (You also have the "retain the scope by sewing the lens cap strap through the mount," a feature of all replica CAIs never seen on any real snipers.)

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