Excerpt from this Guide:
A Brief history of the Mosin-Nagant Rifle
1891: Russian Sergei Mosin and Belgian Leon Nagant’s initial production of the Model 1891 at the factories in Izhevsk, Tula, and Sestroryetsk. Throughout WWI contracts were issued to Westinghouse and Remington for over 3 million M91s. During the Russian revolution these contracts were cancelled and rifles were sold to U.S. civilians.
1925 ~ 1927 The Finnish Civil Guard produced a M24 which is very similar to the Russian M91. The M27 and improved M28 were adopted with a 27” heavy barrel and were produced from 1927 ~ 1940. M28/30 & M39’s followed with improvements in the barrel bands and pistol grip type stocks. These rifles are very accurate and desired by all Mosin Nagant collectors.
1930: Introduction of the M91/30 with updates on the front sights, barrel bands and round receiver.
1938 ~ 1945 The M38 was adopted as a 40” carbine and was built at Izhevsk until 1945 and did not have a bayonet attached.
1942: The PU version of the M91/30 was adopted with a side rail scope mount.
By the end of WWII, approximately 17,475,000 Model 91/20’s were produced.
1943~1948: M44 carbine was adopted and incorporated a side-folding bayonet.
1950’s: M44’s are manufactured in Poland, Hungary, Romania, and China. These were designated as Type 53. Hungary and Romania also produced a limited number of M91/30s. Czechoslovakia shortened M91s and these are designated as M91/38s. They are recognizable by the early dates and hexagonal receivers. M91/30s were also cut down, probably by the Soviet Union and are known as M91/59s.