The Best Book on M91/30 Rifles and M38, M44 Carbines in WWII

M91/30 M38 M44 book

Recently, I ordered and received a book from Ukraine called M91/30 Rifles and M38/M44 Carbines in 1941-1945, Accessories and Devices. The rather utilitarian name accurately describes what this book is about: the Mosin-Nagant rifles during World War II.

Without a doubt, this is the best book I have read on the guns made during that period of time. The original manuscript was written by Alexander S. Yuschenko and translated into English by Ryan Elliott. Its publication date is 2016.

The author covers many aspects of the guns’ uses, manufacturing and importance during these critical war years. He documents all of the production numbers and other facts, and notes where historical records conflict.

In some cases – like with the 1941 production of 58,000 M91/30 rifles and M38 carbines from receivers “discovered” in the basement of Factory #74 – the author offers details on all of the conflicting explanations. If you’ve ever seen a M38 carbine marked with the imperial crest, it could very well have been one of these guns.

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Additionally, the author offers interesting insight into the move toward the SVT-40 during the pre-war months, the political intrigue surrounding it, and the rapid move back to the Mosin-Nagant as soon as hostilities began. What was remarkable to me were the numbers of perfectly functioning SVT-40 rifles that were abandoned by soldiers on the battlefield in favor of the more reliable bolt action guns.

The book is packed full of charts that cover everything from production numbers to the types of failures these rifles experienced. ‘Incorrect usage’ accounted for nearly half of the rifle failures experienced with both the Mosin-Nagant and SVT-40 rifles, by the way.

The author documents cartouches and other markings on the guns. Additionally, he provides a very detailed look at all of the accessories – including the sniper scopes – used on the Mosin-Nagant rifles during the war.

Additionally, Yuschenko looks at some of the lesser known uses and accessories made for these rifles such as sound suppressors, rifle grenades, mine detection and harpoons.

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The book is hard covered with quality, glossy pages inside. There are many historical photographs from the war. These older photos are in black and white. Newer photos showing different scopes and other equipment are in full color.

The amount of information in this book cannot be overstated. It is worth picking up if you have any interest in these rifles or this period of war history. The only complaint I have about the book is the formatting. The paragraphs run too long, making it somewhat difficult to read at times.

With shipping to the US, I paid $42, and I feel that I got a good bargain. The information contained within it show a sizable amount of research that I could never have done or afforded to pay someone else to do. From that perspective, the $42 is a real bargain.

Right now, it appears all of the books have been sold by the author. While it is possible that a few of these may turn up on eBay or similar sites, I suspect that most of these will be retained by the folks interested enough in the subject matter to order them in the first place.

I’m hoping that the author will consider a second run of these books, or perhaps consider expanding the book with more information in a second edition.



Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is http://www.gunsholstersandgear.com/.


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  • Swarf

    Sounds fascinating, here’s hoping he gets picked up by a larger publisher.

    His timing is certainly good, given the current popularity of the Mosins. I have three, and I don’t even consider myself a collector.

  • Death Merchant

    I purchased the book while it was still in stock. Haven’t had time to read it cover to back, but I’ve flipped through it a few times. Lot of great information in this book for a decent price. I hope the author considers writing more books on older Soviet era weaponry. Most of this information is not readily obtainable in Western countries, and if it is its often printed in Russian!

  • Ed

    Looks good wish they translate and publish it here. Just hide it from Alex C he hates Mosins with a passion! Lol

  • Bob

    “This book is DA bomb!” *Stats to get excited*

    “$42 and not available” *Curse you for getting me excited over something I can’t get*

  • Just say’n

    Did Alex get his copy??? (*snork*)

  • Drunk Possum

    You should post a link to where it WAS available to be bought from, that way those Mosin fan boys among us can keep an eye out for future availability.

    • Andrew Dubya

      Agreed.
      “Hey readers! Look at this awesome thing I got! Good luck guessing where it came from!”

      • As stated above, the first link in the article takes you to the author’s site where I purchased the book.

    • The very first link in the article takes you to the author’s page, which is where I ordered the book. If he decides to run a second printing, I would imagine the information will be on his site.

  • Major Tom

    Authentic made sound suppressors for a Nugget? Teach me more!

  • DW

    What do we call a book about garbage rods?
    Recycling manual?

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      For God’s sake, get real and grow up.

  • DiverEngrSL17K

    I was lucky enough to get one of the last copies from the first publishing run, and only because I happened to catch Ian McCollum’s FW article about the book sometime after it was posted ( as an FW subscriber, I usually keep up with the articles but I had missed this one due to a heavy work schedule ). I ended up writing directly to Alexander Yuschenko, and he was kind enough to reply directly to my inquiry. The book arrived well ahead of anticipated schedule and contains, as Richard Johnson and other readers have indicated, a wealth of information that was previously almost unknown, at least in this country. Altogether, it is a very good addition to anyone’s library on the Mosin-Nagant and its long and colorful history.

    Hopefully, a second run will be published so that other readers will be able to add the book to their knowledge base.