Courtesy of The Mosin Crate, we have a Soviet “M44L” today. This was an intermediate length (24 inch barrel) pattern of the Mosin Nagant rifle with an M44-style permanently attached folding spike bayonet. Developed in 1944, it was intended to serve as a universal replacement for the Mosin Nagant rifles and carbines in service, but trials did not begin until after the German surrender in 1945 and the program was dropped.
Total production is not known, although the initial order was for 1,000 rifles in this infantry configuration plus 200 more without bayonets for use as snipers’ rifles. When development ceased, the existing guns were refurbished, put into storage, and eventually distributed with other Rosins as military aid to allied nations. This example was imported from Bulgaria by Century, and is imported marked by them as an “M44”. The term “M44L” has been adopted by the American collector community in lieu of knowing a proper Soviet designation for the pattern.