One of the characteristics that often leads me to be particularly interested in a given gun is a long and convoluted history. I really enjoy finding firearms that have found their way across the world and back. One entire category of rifles that did just that were the hundreds of thousands of rifles made in the United States during WWI under contract for the British, French, Canadian, and Russian armies.
The Mosin Nagant is the most numerous example of this sort of rifle, but far from the only one. Literally millions of Model 1891 Mosin Nagants were made in the US by Westinghouse and Remington, and those rifles proceeded to find their way into countless conflicts over the past hundred years. They passed through that hands of Russian, Americans, Brits, Finns, Japanese, Chinese, Czechs, and many others. Now THAT is some cool history.
The details of these contracts and how the rifles were made has been lost for a long time, but Luke Mercaldo’s Allied Rifle Contracts in America has put that history right at our fingertips again. The details of how the contracts were awarded, how production facilities were found and adapted, how the rifles were inspected and accepted or rejected, how the US firms made or lost money, and where the rifles eventually went is all here, and not just for the Mosin Nagants. Mercaldo also covers the Belgian 1889 Mausers made by Hopkins & Allen, the Remington Rolling Blocks made for France, the Winchester 1895s made for Russia, the Remington Berthiers made for France, the Savage 1899 lever actions made for Canada, and the Pattern 1914 Enfields made for England.
This is a definite must-have book for anyone who collects these rifles, and its a pretty cool collecting niche. The work was published in 2011 and is still readily available…but this is also definitely one of those books that is unlikely to be reprinted once the first printing sells out. So if you want it, get it now: