Production numbers & factories

There are a number of sources which provide some numbers about M91 and M91/30 production. But they mostly do not provide any sources or explanations about them. This page provides production numbers, which were discovered by A.S. Yuschenko during his research, links to archive sources were provided in the 2018 "Model 1891/1930 Rifle and its variations" book. Unfortunately, confirmed numbers for each factory have not been discovered for all years, sometimes only total numbers were available.

 

The information below covers only M91/30, M38 and M44 production since 1931, when M91/30 production started (in  May of that year). Some earlier sources stated that the beginning of M91/30 production was 1930, but this information is not correct. M91 dragoon production ended in 1931. However, much more detailed and full research, which covers all M91/30 and M38/M44 production periods, exists, but it has not been published yet. Publication of this new information is expected at the end of 2020.


Something that should be pointed at are the production factories. It is very common to call them "Izhevsk" and "Tula", but those are just cities. Of course, rifle were produced by specific factories, which had different names. For example, pre 1940 and post 1941 "Tula's" were made by completely different factories. By saying "Izhevsk", we should understand that rifles or carbines were made by:


 1932 and earlier (Soviet period) - Factory #10 of the Supreme Soviet of the National Economy;
 1932 -1936 - Factory #10 of the People's Commissariat of Heavy Industry;
 1936 - 1939 - Factory #180 of the People's Commissariat of Defense Industry;
 Post 1939 (December) period - Factory #74 of the People's Commissariat of Armament;


"Tula" rifles and carbines were made by:
 

 1932 and earlier (Soviet period) - Factory #1 of the Supreme Soviet of the National Economy;
 1932 -1936 - Factory #1 of the People's Commissariat of Heavy Industry;
 1936 - 1939 - Factory #173 of the People's Commissariat of Defense Industry;
 1939 (December) - Summer 1940 - Factory #314 of the People's Commissariat of Armament. In July 1940 production of M91/30 in Tula ended and the factory switched to SVT-40 production. In October 1941 the factory was evacuated to Mednogorsk;

 1942-1944 - Factory #536 of the People's Commissariat of Armament, newly created factory in Tula;


More experienced collectors know that 1941 "Tula" 91/30 rifles exist, and that production in Tula in 1941 is not mentioned above or below. That is correct, even though those rifles have a Tula star on the barrel, they were assembled and issued in Izhevsk from leftover Tula parts. Same thing happened with 1940 "Tula" M38's - they were not produced in Tula. These interesting cases are worth covering in a separate article, but this will be done later.

 

The table below covers only production at two main factories, but there were other factories, that issued complete rifles and parts for them. Some details will be provided under the main table.

Also, details about markings used by main factories are described in "Markings stamped during production" section.

Izhevsk factory logo

Tula factory logo

* Details about "short" M91/30 rifles and initial bullet speed rifles, that are mentioned in the table above, will be provided in other sections.

In addition to complete rifles, factories produced barrel and receiver assemblies. They were not recorded in production numbers as complete rifles, and were sent to repair depots where they were used as needed to repair damaged rifles. These barreled receivers and their markings are described in the section factory markings. However, there is at least one recorded case when such a barreled receiver were used outside of repair depots. In the autumn of 1941 approximately 2,000 M91/30 rifles and 1,000 M38 carbines were assembled in besieged Leningrad at the M. Geltz factory. This factory used 1941 produced Izhevsk barreled receivers which were stored at District Artillery base #75. In addition to Izhevsk markings, these assembled rifles and carbines were marked with the M. Geltz factory logo - combination of the "Г" and "M" letters in a circle. Only a few of these rifles survived.

M91/30 rifle, assembled at M. Geltz factory in Leningrad. #356. Photo courtesy of Richard Percy. On the bottom - M. Geltz factory logo

The main M91/30 rifle and M38 & M44 manufacturers also stamped their markings on various rifle parts. Some lucky collectors can find markings that are different from Soviet and Imperial Tula and Izhevsk (and Sestroretsk) markings, which do not belong to foreign M91 and M91/30 and carbine manufacturers. One such marking is a "П" letter in a semi-oval. It belongs to the Podolsk Mechanical factory, which tried to start M91/30 production in the early 1930's. The Podolsk factory was not a weapon factory (it produced sewing machines and motorcycles), this caused huge problems. Up to 1939 it managed to produce only spare replacement parts. In 1939 this factory produced at least 1,000 barrels, possibly one day a  rifle with such a barrel will be found. So far, Podolsk markings have been observed on bolts (all parts), bayonet buttons, magazines, sears, rear and front sights (and sight springs). In 1939 the factory switched to SVT-38 production and produced first SVT's in the spring of 1940, since the summer of 1940 it started producing SVT-40's. Starting in 1940 this factory used an arrow in oval marking.

Podolsk mechanical factory marking (two styles) and parts with these markings

Podolsk manufactured SVT-40 marking. Was used since 1940.

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