St Petersburg Cavalry School Mosin Carbine

This is a rather mysterious – or at least poorly documented – Mosin Nagant carbine variation. Made from an assortment of rifles dated from 1896 through 1920, these carbines were designed to fit Gulkevich folding bayonets. They have a barrel just slightly longer than a 1907 carbine, but were fitted with 1907 Carbine rear sights. They were also fitted with metal sheaths alongside the rear sights to retain the tip of the folding bayonet, as well as new sling swivels on the left side of the stock and barrel band.

Basically no documentation has been published explaining the origin and purpose of these carbines, but hopefully some will eventually be found. The best hypothesis I am aware of at this time is that the carbines were made by and for the St Petersburg Cavalry School.

Thanks to the anonymous collector who shared this one with us!

12 Comments

  1. No papers left on this? No surprise, as Russian logistics and organizational skills of the day left much to be desired. Were there purposely dedicated cadet rifles in Russia during that era or did everyone train on obsolete single-shot guns first?

    • Even if there were records at the time, between the revolution, the civil war and the purges in the ’20s and ’30s, I doubt anything would be left to find.

  2. German civilian firing proof “9KC” on this rifle are coded for the date September (9) 1992 (KC for 92). They were sold by Frankonia, proofed by the FWW marking, which is the largest German gun dealer. All known are reblued, all have the Czarist markings removed. Albrecht Wacker documented these rifles in his book too.

  3. “Gulkevich folding bayonets”
    Better match for this weapon would be Imperial Russian (pre-1914) flag.
    According to http://www.bayonet.lv/ru/articles/Russia/Gulk.htm it was developed shortly before First World War, it was tested by various units. Ability to fold, make carrying carbine easier, it was decided that it will be made for usage in dragoon and cossack units, but First World War broke out, before it was possible to remove all found flaws. All known examples of this bayonet are from that experimental batches.
    BEWARE: sample of bayonet depicted on photos in link is incomplete. This particular bayonet was made by «Я. М. Айвазъ» Joint-stock company.
    Generally this pattern of bayonet is known in Russian language works, however I was unable to find how many example were made and also any data about alterations made in rifles itself, however taking in account experimental nature of its development I would say that differences from example to example should not be surprise.

    • Some more interesting data, can be found here: http://samlib.ru/c/chekmarew_w_a/1913tajnyrusskogoshtykashtykgulxkewicha.shtml
      This bayonet was created in 1913, widely tested (as I wrote before) and found unreliable, possible due to corruption among Russian generals, due to inspiration of Russian industrialists – for them it was better to continue production of earlier pattern of bayonet, rather than invest in new machines. Modernized version of this bayonet was developed in late 1920s in USSR, but again it was not put into production, as they considered that shortly new self-loading rifle with new (knife) bayonet, which will replace old rifle (together with its bayonet), this proved to be not so easy, but that is another story.

      • is: “(…)old rifle (together with its bayonet),(…)”
        should be: “(…)old rifle (together with its bayonet) would be put into production,(…)”

  4. It has always been curious to me that the thousands of Imperial carbines just vanished. They ought to be all over the place.

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