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The Mosin-Nagant (Russian: Винтовка Мосина, ISO 9: Vintovka Mosina) Model 1891/30 is a bolt-action service rifle that was used by the Red Army in WWII.
The Mosin-Nagant is a bolt-action rifle, and the first Russian small arm chambered for the 7.62x54mm rimmed cartridge, that was first produced in Tsarist Russia in 1892. On the standard infantry rifle, the bolt handle projects directly to the right instead of angling down as in most bolt-action rifles, and is mounted several inches forward of the trigger. Due to the extremely harsh conditions commonly encountered during Russian winters, the Mosin-Nagant's bolt is designed to be kicked open if it freezes. The rifle's design is extremely simple (even crude), but also very reliable, fairly easy to use and repair, and remarkably accurate.
It first saw combat during the Russo-Japanese War in 1904, and later in the Eastern Front trenches during World War I, the bloody October Revolution of 1917, and the civil war that followed. Afterwards, it remained the standard-issue rifle of Stalin's Red Army. The rifle was very long and somewhat unwieldy, prompting the development of a shortened carbine version in 1939 and another even shorter variant in 1944. These were issued concurrently with the more numerous standard model during World War II and remained in production until 1950.
The Red Army first discovered the combat potential of snipers during their invasion of Finland in 1939, when entire Soviet divisions were pinned down by determined Finnish snipers. When Nazi Germany turned on its erstwhile Soviet allies in 1941, the Russians promptly established a sniper program of their own, issuing modified Mosin-Nagants. These rifles had been fitted with down-turned bolt handles to allow the use of a 3.5-power PU marksman scope mounted to the receiver. Perhaps the most famous user of this weapon was the "Hero of Stalingrad," legendary sniper Vassili Zaitzev. Another famed user was the most successful sniper of all time, Simo Häyhä, who used a modified Finnish version during the Soviet invasion which is called M/28 (nicknamed "Pystykorva" in Finland). Because of its overall success, it was also highly valued to the point that the Germans preferred using captured Mosin-Nagants over their own sniper rifles.
Though it remained the standard Soviet rifle throughout WWII, the Mosin-Nagant was showing its age. The Red Army gradually began supplanting them with newer automatic rifles: first the Tokarev SVT-40, then the Simonov SKS. By 1951 it was finally replaced by the Kalashnikov AK-47. However, it kept its role as a sniper rifle until the 1960s, when it was finally replaced by the SVD.
A modified Mosin-Nagant was used by Cobra Unit member The End as his primary weapon. It was believed to have been modified after the war. This weapon fired battle rifle-sized tranquilizer rounds instead of the standard lethal 7.62x54mmR round. The normal stock was also replaced with a paratrooper's folding stock and a pistol grip, possibly for parachute jumps. It weighed 4.4 kg.
- Main article: Peace Walker Incident
The Militaires Sans Frontières private military company procured design specs for the Mosin-Nagant rifle during the Peace Walker Incident in 1974. It was modified to include a skeleton stock and eventually a suppressor, as well as gaining improvements on its scope. Just like The End's rifle, it functioned as a tranquilizer weapon.
In 2014, gun launderer Drebin 893 stocked the Mosin-Nagant scoped rifle in his store. Like The End's rifle, it functioned as a tranquillizer weapon, presumably being modified by Drebin himself due to his being a fan of legendary units such as the Cobra Unit.
Behind the scenes
- "The Mosin Nagant. A tranquilizer sniper rifle, and The End's weapon of choice. Adapted by The End from the M1891/30, a bolt-action sniper rifle used by the Soviet military during World War II. Uses special 7.62mm x 54R tranquilizer rounds. Magazine size is 5 rounds."
- ―Mosin-Nagant description in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.
The Mosin-Nagant first appears in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, where it used against the player by The End during a boss battle. Naked Snake can obtain the rifle by defeating The End non-lethally. It is a useful weapon for no-kill runs. As a non-lethal sniper rifle, it replaces the PSG1T from the previous game, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, and has appeared in every succeeding game thus far. It is the only weapon (not counting the Patriot, which requires a second playthrough) that can be obtained via a non-lethal kill against any of the Cobra Unit members (in this case, The End).
In Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, the Mosin-Nagant appears again as a tranquillizing sniper rifle, a long-range alternative to Snake's standard Mk22 with 9mm T ammo, despite not having a suppressor, no mobility, and a slower rate of fire due to its bolt-action mechanism. It can be procured at the Warhead Storage Facility. It also acts as a very simple way to non-lethally defeat Python.
- "A Soviet-made sniper rifle based on the M1891/30, in turn derived from the "3-line infantry rifle" that was first produced during the Tsarist period. Developed by selecting the most precise units from the M1891/30 production line and making necessary modifications, the Mosin Nagant was employed in large numbers on the Russian front in WWII, proving its worth in battle.
Uses 7.62mmx45R ammo specifically modified into tranquilizer rounds (7.62 tranq)."
- ―Mosin-Nagant weapon description in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops.
- "A Russian-made bolt-action rifle. It originated as the main infantry rifle of Czarist Russia and saw considerable action in the Second World War as the "long spear" of Red Army snipers. It was also the preferred weapon of The End, the Cobra Unit's aged sniper.
The Mosin Nagant is not terribly accurate and has a low rate of fire; its appeal lies in its ability to fire special tranquilizer rounds that put targets to sleep.
An absolute must-have for players who want a no-kill completion without having to get close to the enemy.
(Rank 1) Has a 2-level zoom scope.
(Rank 2) This model has been fitted with a 3-level zoom scope, making it easier to adjust the zoom level to match the target distance.
(Rank 3 and 4) Its stock has also been replaced with a skeleton model, making it slightly lighter.
(Rank 5) Equipped with a suppressor, making this the ultimate no-kill completion weapon."
- ―Mosin Nagant weapon descriptions in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker.
During the Vietnam War, scoped Mosin-Nagants were used heavily by NVA and VC snipers. In one incident in 1968, legendary U.S. Marine sniper Gunnery Sergeant Carlos N. Hathcock killed an NVA sniper who carried a Mosin-Nagant. Upon finding the body, Hathcock discovered that his bullet had passed through his opponent's scope, through his eye, and into his head. Hathcock's near-mythical "through-the-scope" killshot would be impossible against a modern riflescope, whose multiple shaped lenses would deflect the incoming bullet, but worked just fine against the 1st-generation PU scope mounted to the Mosin-Nagant.
Dummied code in the PC version for Ground Zeroes indicated that the Mosin-Nagant was planned to be in the game.
Most of the Mosin-Nagant's appearances were of the modified version that contained tranquilizer rounds. The unmodified version of the Mosin-Nagant does appear, however, in one of Metal Gear Solid 3's cinematic cutscenes as the main firearm of a Soviet footsoldier march.
Notes and references
- ^ Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2004).
Sigint speculates this in an optional radio conversation.
- ^ Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2004).
Naked Snake speculates that this was the case in an optional radio conversation.
- ^ This is implied in Drebin's entry in the Metal Gear Solid 4 Database.