Checking Ammo in my Finnish M39 Mosin for Finnish Brutality

Finnish Brutality 2021 is going to be a tough match in the best case. But I will be running it in a 1940 uniform, with a Mosin. A Finnish M39 Mosin, sure, but still a Mosin. That means that I have a lot of things already working against me, and the last thing I want is to have the rifle not shooting to point of aim on top of everything else. So today I’m taking my M39 out to the range to test out a variety of ammunition.

The M39 sights are nicely adjustable for windage, but elevation is a fixed scale – so I need to find a brand/loading that hits at the 150m battle sight setting without needing to hold over or under. The Finns used a 200 grain projectile, so I dug up several loading around that weight – 200gr Wolf, 204 gr mystery ammo, and 206gr Bernaul. Then I also brought some Czech 148gr light ball, Wolf 174 gr, and lastly PPU 182 gr “Match”.

Rather to my surprise, the PPU was dead on, as was the Czech 148gr ball. The PPU also made the best groups, and didn’t cause any sticking go the bolt (which the Czech ammo did). So, that’s what I will be planning to source for the match!


  1. Nice to finally see the targets after watching you pull the trigger in dramatic fashion in so many other videos…
    It’s really a great thrill to hear the bang bang and see the recoil , but it gets a little boring after he first three rounds.

    • A second camera filming the impacts would be best, but that about doubles the time for cutting the video. So it is understandable, that he does not do this. And I think we can trust Ian, that he is not falsifying anything. It is in his best interest finding the best loading for his particular Mosin-Nagant after all.

      • There’s no question of falsifying resulting holes in targets, but Mae and Othias show the targets after the shoot. If THEY can do it , Ian can do it. He can cut down on the footage of the firing line without losing any quality. I have always wondered why Ian never showed the targets and assumed that he had NO HELP in making the videos, or perhaps it appealed to the “Cowboy shooting style of John Wayne” that we all crave in the closet.

  2. Nice to see an m39 in action, I love mine and love the Finns, they’ve always walked the tightrope due to their physical position, making everything around them work to their benefit by holding a compromise in their hands, and turning it into a benefit. Does anyone know what bayonet goes with the m39? Never been able to find out through normal sources.

  3. Don’t forget that Finland in February will be quite a bit colder than Arizona in December and that can affect ballistics. Also, you can get taller front sights for the M39 to replace the factory one if that is allowed in the match.

  4. I agree with David and it’s a bonus Ian is an average shot. His results show what a normal soldier would have shot. if he does this with every weapon you’ll get a good comparison between the different types. That’s one thing I like about C&Rsenal’s Mae.

  5. “Finns used a 200 grain projectile”
    Альбом конструкций патронов стрелкового оружия has data about two normal 7,62×54 R cartridge used by Finnish forces: 7,62-mm cartridge with light bullet and 7,62-mm cartridge with heavy bullet “D-166”. It states following data for them:
    bullet mass (g) – 9,6 – 13,0
    velocity 25 m away from muzzle (m/s) – 820 – 695
    powder charge (g) – 3,16 – 2,88
    powder shape: grains, size 1,46 mm x 1,25 mm x 0,30 mm (same for both)

    • The 13.0 g D166 was adopted by Finland as standard bullet in 1936. This was in line with the decision of other nations to use the same -long range optimized- bullet in machine-guns as well as rifles (German sS, U.S. M1, Swiss GP11). The previous Finnish rifle bullet had been the equivalent of the Russian 1908 bullet (9.6 g).

  6. Great video. It’s not shocking at all that any M-39 would shoot that well. I was happy to get to wear my Finnish wool pants yesterday. We had a high of 47°, which doesn’t happen much in E. Texas.

  7. Based on jow mu M39 shoots, I suspect that a previous owner has swapped in a shorter front sight to use the more available light ball and the similar commercial 150gr loads. I’m curious about the mystery 204gr – the headstamp should indicate whether it was loaded by Barnaul or LVE. I’ve seen both under various labels, with bullet weights listed variously from 200gr to 204gr.

    • “… how my M39…” I shouldn’t type when I’m tired, especially on a tablet rather than a real keyboard.

    • Everything is much simpler.
      Finnish rifles were aimed at the Russian model, which means “under the bleed” of the target.
      Ian said he was aiming for the center. it explains everything.

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