News to me Claven2....Vic's article states differently. Denny
Everyone knows most (or all?) B-barrels were assembled after the lapland war. These are dated 1942 and sometimes also have the VKT logo applied.
On another site, a fellow was quite adamant in telling me my 1942 VKT (No made with a B barrel) has to also be post-war.
Everything I've read is that VKT made M91's between 1940 and 1942 before switching entirely to M39 production. I can't recall reading anywhere that 1942 VKTs with no B-barrel lineage are considered post-war put togethers.
What is the current thinking on this issue?
the best written reference I found last night was from Doug Bowser's Rifles of the White Death (Valkoisen Kuoleman Kiväärit: A Collector's and Shooter's Guide to Finnish Military Rifles, 1918-1945, 41), but it didn't directly say any of those VKT rifles are 1942 marked.
M39 wartime production:
Wartime SAKO Sk.Y. 10,588
Wartime SAKO 59,549
Wartime VKT 51,038
What the fellow claims verbatim is:
"99.9% of 1942 Marked VKT rifles were assembled post war from 1942 dated barrels.....Both M91's & M39's..... this is common knowledge amongst Finn Collectors"
I must admit, I'm a Finn collector and it was not "common knowledge" to me.
Last edited by Claven2; 03-12-2017 at 08:48 AM.
"B" barrels are all I know about re postwar. Ask that guy for a citation.
Bowser and MN.net references have been known to have errors. Critical thinking is required here. Lots has been learned in the last 20 years. No disrespect to Mr. Bowser (I regularly look at his book) but the book in particular is riddled with big mistakes. Info was the best available at the time but citations are lacking for much of it based on what was many times assumed or mis-interpreted. For instance, "Moisin" as a spelling - and "Sestroryetsk" did not make SVTs.
I'm sure Mangrove (Finnish researcher) will be around with primary source documents to iron out the issues. I do know that Mangrove has previously shown that some B barrel M91s were actually made during the war! Backed by Finnish government documents.
We continue to learn here and even "common knowledge" proves to be untrue at times. Like the idea that there are only 84 M27 1929s out there. There were 84 delivered in 1929 but over 1000 1929 M27 barrels out there which could have been assembled any time after 1929. Because the 84 number was stated on MN.net, some people have taken this as gospel that there are only 84 1929 M27s made. Again, critical thinking here is needed.
Another unknown previously - were Tikka 9130s issued to the front in the war?? We know that "about 5000 were made by wars end" - according to MN.net - which doesn't say that they were actually issued. But Russian capture Tikkas are known up to the very first few serials of 1944 - so new evidence keeps arriving.
HOWEVER, where 1942 M91's are concerned, VKT manufactured M39 barreled actions from 1940 through 1944. They didn't just start making M39's at the end of 1941 and stop making M91's on the same day they stated making M39's. From 1940 through 1942, they also assembled M91 barrelled actions, there are plenty around that show signs of heavy use. In both cases, the guns were further assembled at AV1 and AV3, according to most sources.
The idea that in 1942 the Finns kept producing new M91 barrels at VKT at the expense of making more M39 barrels and then not assembling them, while there was a known shortage of M39 barrels to build rifles with, makes absolutely no sense to me. The enemy was at the gates and they needed small arms badly.
Both barrel types are made with the same machines and have negligible differences in external dimensions apart from length (as evidenced my all the M91's cut down to M39's). If they did not need M91's in 1942, they would have made M39 barrels instead, just like they did in 1944 (and to a lesser extent in 1943).
The fellow on the other forum also claimed VKT M39's dated 1942 are post-war, which also seems like nonsense to me. VKT made M39 barrels every year from 1940 to 1944. But somehow the Finns decided to set the 1942 M39 production run aside for assembly at war's end? Doubtful.
The B barrels are another matter, it's not clear why those barrels were bought and then often not finished. It's head it said they were defective in some way, but were brought back into spec somehow post-war, but I've not seen hard evidence of this. I think it's more likely that they arrived in a configuration that did not readily lend itself to the existing Finnish production line - something related to external dimensions, length, or an alloy that didn't work well with the tooling they already had set up. Or perhaps they arrived so late in M91 production that they weren't much needed. Dunno.