Now that I have had the chance to get things organized, here is the detailed review with photo essay. The first I'll start with is the model 1938 carbine. I must state that all rifles received have just amazing bores and are counterbored approximately 1/2 to 3/4" to allow for a clean crown which has been recut and is perfect. All three guns were packed in thier own boxes inside a larger box. The scope was p[acked in its own small box and well wrapped in bubble paper. The accessory packs were inside each rifle box. Very well packed and presented-A+
The rifle ordered was a model 1938 carbine in a model 38 carbine stock. I got a pristine m/38 dated 1944 from the Izhevsk arsenal in a m/38 hardwood carbine stock. Tyhe numbers were all matching stamped and the magazine was a line out renumber to match. The gun has a excellent finish and appearence to both wood and metal with little if any handling marks. It came with its usual accesory pack of a carbine length sling, an oil bottle, tool kit and pouch and a 1951 dated ammo pouch-all in like new condition. Overall this gun was a real winner and I'm really pleased with it. Condition of rifle and bore-A
The next rifle was a laminated m/91-30 again from Izhevsk but 1942 in this case. The crown sparkled on this rifle and the bore was a mirror. This rifle was matched via EP (electric pencil) and again showed little if any handling marks. I was after a wrist crossbolt rifle asnd mentioned this in my order and received what I was after. This gun also came with its usual accessory package of a 91/30 sling, an ammo pouch that will hold 30rds on clips, a tool kit for maintenence and a dual spout oil bottle. It also came with an original Soviet cruciform bayonet in excellent shape that was EP'd to match the rifle. I'm looking forward to shooting this rifle. Both the carbine and the rifle came out of the box clean and dcevoid of heavy cosmoline of any kind. Condition of rifle and bore-A
The third rifle was the PE reproduction sniper rifle. I was anxious to see the new rifles as I had heard there was some subtle differences in quality between the first versions offered and these being released. The rifle came out of the box with out its scope. It was in ezxcellent condition and had little if any handleing marks.
The finish was excellent at 100% and the rifle was stamped matching. I ordered a Tula produced gun and that is what I received. The gun is a 1942 dated Tula and I see that the rifle has what appears to be the marking for sniper production/issue on each side of the Tula star. These markings are not placed above the star as they should and are an indicator of reproduction production to me. They are placed tro each side of the star and are the c n markings I discuss in the sniper section.
The base screws were all tight and the mount base itself well placed. The bore on this gun was clean as a wistle and just as bright and sharp as you could hope for. The mount and scope was packed seperate from the rifle and upon unwrapping several small differences can be seen. The markings have been moved from the bottom of the rear lens housing to the side to more approximate the original location of these markings.
The rifle was all stamped matching but I choose the break in price to me as I'm poor to accpet an example that had a mismatched scope mount. Its a non issue for me and saved me a few bucks. The scope was well made, fit the mount and rings well and showed no slip in the rings. The scope dials were properly set and the foucus adjustment ring worked without problems. It was in perfect focus for my eyes set at "0". The elevation and windage adjustment worked without problems as well. The lens's produce a bright sharp image and are coated. Ocerall the optical portion was very nice. The reticule is the standard European three post variety. The scope was well centered over the bore.
Overall the rifle was excellent and I am eager to shoot this one and see how much I can improve over the intial rifle I reviewed a couple of years back . The trigger pull on this gun was much ligther than the first rifle and should be a crisp break at about 8 lbs. I will adjust that down to about 5 lbs before shooting it. This rifle came with its accessories as well. A matching bayonet, tool kit and oil bottle and a 91/30 sling and ammo pouch for 30rds of 54r. I'll add one of Igor's excellent reproduction PE scope covers to this rig to complete the set. For info on how to contact Igor for a PE scope cover see the review on the items on the sniper section top portion as a sticky note. Now off to the range for a range report on what ammo goes the best with the gun and how it performed!
Condition of rifle and optics-A
I received some of the scope covers that Igor Tablisman is offering to those who wish to have a cover for their sniper rifles. These covers would be the ticket for all of you who own or are going to purchase a repro PE sniper from Cole's or I/O. These covers are built off originals using materials that closely resemble the original cloth and trim. The covers are made of canvas with leather end caps and trim just as the originals. They also have the strap and buckles of the original for mounting on the rifle or as a protective wrap off. I found the sizing to be very faithful and the color and finish to be excellent. Obviously the color is slightly lighter and greener than an original but the new reproduction cover is also not sun bleached and 70 years old! Below you will find a photo essay in regard to these covers and how they stack up against some of my originals. Just this week I received the newly made 1st generation cover that has the optical tool and cloth pouch on the right side just as the original does. The pocket is constructed juts as the original with a canvas tool pocket with a leather flap and snap closure. These covers are a great accessory to the rifles and it appears that great lengths were taken to keep them as faithful to the original as possible.
The first pattern cover mounted on a side rail PE sniper
The first pattern cover with tool pocket above and the second pattern cover without. Both are the excellent reproductions from Igor and are mounted on a PEM rifle above and a PE below.
Here is the reproduction cover above compared to an original below. You can see that attention has paid to detail in the double stsiching and placment of all straps and buckles. Only the pocket is slightly larger on the reproduction and may be just the sample I received for the comparison.
Here the leather end caps of the reproduction and the original on the right are compared.
Tyhe 2nd pattern cover is compared with the original on the bottom. This cover is a very faithful reproduction of the original as one can see.
Reverse view of Igor cover for the PE showing the "off rifle" wrap loop for rolling the scope in the cover for protection while dismounted from the gun.
Here you see both the side and top mounted PE scopes and mounts fit to the protective scope cover illustrating the cover is of the proper size for both scope types.
An original scope cover and mount showing the repro is of the correct size and shape. Compare this picture to the reproductions above.
Front view of the scope covers-repro left and original right showing the attention to fit and finish as well as a faithful reproduction of the leather end pieces. The leather is a good quality and tanned a medium brown color. All stiching appears to be strong and in a nice matching colored thread that does not stand out as a poor quality copy's would.
If I was purchasing , have purchased or will be purchasing a PE rifle or reproduction PE rifle, then this accessory is a must. Originals are few and far between and not available on the market today. When they do come available one must be prepared to pay hundreds of dollars for them if they are lucky. These reproductions-faithful to all detail are an excellent alternative. With a cost of 40.00 they value and quality can not be beat. It is doubtful that you could reproduce this cover yourself for less money. They are a nice accessory for either an original rifle with no cover or a reproduction that travels to the range with you-this cover is a must. It provides protection for the lens's and scope from scratches and bruises. It also acts as a dust cover- just as the original did, to keep your scope whether original or not from dirt and debris and range ready. I am impressed with both versions and find them to be a welcome accessory to my rifle rack. These covers along with Igor's side mount and base and leather lens caps make a perfect set. If you are having a side or top mounted PE sniper put together from an ex-sniper or original I highly recommend these items. For more info please contact Igor at his e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org or online at e-bay where he lists his items frequently. Contact him soon and please remember to mention your a Gunboards member!
Overall all rifles were as advertsied and in excpetional shape. Great lengths were taken to assure the best quality of rifles for thier customers. In speaking with the owner of the company, he sent me some pictures of the selection process showing the grading and sorting of rifle by conditon and bore condition. only those witrh superior grades were selected. I am very happy with my rifles and reccomend that anybody in the market for a great m/38 or 91/30 and the fantastic early PE reproduction look no furthur than IO of America for thier choices. They are the best choice for other surplus interests as well such as german items. They offer the best K-98's and P-38 pistols also. Here are some pictures of the rifles being inspected and selected by condition of the exteriror and bore in Russia and being packed in the original arsenal crates for transport after selection. My next choice will be a P-38 pistol as soon as I can get the funds saved up!
Each rifle is hand inspected before acceptence for purchase.
K-98 rifles selected by maker code and condition for import by IOA
Mosin m/91-30 rifles selected by IOA for import
P-38 pistols selected by bore condition in this group
P-38 pistols grouped by overall condition and matching numbers in this pile while being inspected in Russia.
The german P-38 pistols being packed into the original arsenal storage crates for shipment to the US and sale by IO of America.
For ordering and pricing information please see this link to IO of America and tell them your from Gunboards!