Finnish Brutality 2021: Winter War 2-Gun with a Finnish M39 Mosin

Brought to you by Varusteleka and Sako, Finnish Brutality 2021 was run as a much-reduced private event to meet Finnish Covid-19 event size regulations. We only had three stages and 7 shooters, but the full public match has been rescheduled for October 22-24 of 2021!

I ran the match in an original Finnish Winter War uniform (and a Dutch surplus snow cover, as I did not have a Finnish example). I used a Finnish M39 Mosin Nagant rifle and a Russian TT33 Tokarev pistol, although the match was predominantly rifle this time. We had one kettlebell stage, one stage on skis, and one stage on skis and also with a weighted sledge to pull. It was great fun, and I’m rather disappointed that we were not able to host the proper full match so that more people could have been able to participate.


  1. To complete the picture of communication with the Mosin, Jan just did not have enough to lose the bolt.
    He almost did it, though. 😉

  2. When I saw everybody’s breath smoking like black powder, I knew it was going to be old-time fun. And running that second string pulling a sledgeload of the company’s vodka ration!

    Keeping your fingers attached is a serious concern in winter. And your ears.

    Take note that the Mosin didn’t ice up in spite of being dropped authentically in the snow.

  3. I take it the M39 does have a safety, but it is too awkward to use?

    If I were left handed, I think I would learn to use a bolt action rifle from the right shoulder. It just looks like too much trouble firing it from the left.

    • Like all Mosin-Nagant rifles: The cocking knob is pulled back and twisted over to the left, i.e. “counter-clockwise.” Yes, it is a pain in the butt, and if your fingers are cold and wet or muddy, forget it. The butt stock in the crook of the elbow helps with leverage.

  4. Perhaps Ian would consider it too much gaming, but on some of those M39 reloads when just one or two cartridges might make the difference in finishing a shooting stage, why struggle to pull out and load an entire charger of cartridges? Why not just single load cartridges instead? Two to four cartridges could have been individually tucked into the folds of the uniform hat for easy access.

    Why not? Single-loading seems legitimate to me. After all, wasn’t the Mosin-Nagant deliberately designed from its origin to be suitable as a single shot rifle?

    • The first Mosin’s rifle contained a magazine in the buttstock. But a comparison was made of all the designs of rifles that were obtained by all possible means, and there were several dozen of them. As a result of this “competition” it turned out that the magazine is necessary in the new rifle, but definitely not in the buttstock.
      Satisfactory functioning central magazine, “to create” failed. Probably because designs not protected by patents simply did not exist yet. So (gritting their teeth) was had to buy Nagant’s patent.

      Here are some pretty good pictures.
      It’s better not to read the text component at all…

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