7.62x54R "Western 20"

From my web search it seems it is made in 1920 only. Was it made specifically for Polar Bear War expeditionary forces? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1Y0d6gKx7Q

Vlad, the US adventure in Russia ended by September 1919.
So 1920 appears to be very late for this operation.
I wonder too for whom these were made.

Interesting headstamp!

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Maybe the American Government had a contract with Western for future fighting since nobody knew the Red Army would win?


from here

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Have the Western 20 cartridge in my collection. (Grew up in Illinois south of where Western/Winchester/Olin located them, I always assumed a contract for Russia or maybe even US use? The US did have a qty of US produced 1891 Moisin Nagants that were not delivered to Russia since Soviets won. I assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that the ammo was for US use in training since there were not enough US made rifles to go around.during WW1. In US there were Nagants, Canadian 1905 Ross Mk2s (Ex Canadian) left over 45/70’s 1898 Krags and others that were pressed into service for training and training National Guard. Just my guess that these were for US Govt!

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The “Western 20” is NOT mentioned in:

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It also exists with a ring crimped primerwester 20

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Was it possible that Pete’s crimped version was made as such because Americans thought they’d be fighting on the ground in extreme Russian cold and they did not want the primer to pop out? It was unlikely that Americans used Russian machine guns for training in early 1920’s.

Vlad, in 1920 Russia was no option anymore as per what had happened by then.

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From Wikipedia;

US made Nagants

Russian three-line rifle, caliber 7.62mm (.30 inches) : Due to the desperate shortage of arms and the shortcomings of a still-developing domestic industry, the Russian government ordered 1.5 million M1891 infantry rifles from Remington Arms and another 1.8 million from New England Westinghouse in the United States. Some of these rifles were not delivered before the outbreak of the October Revolution and the subsequent signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk which ended hostilities between the Central Powers and Russia. When the Bolsheviks took over the Russian government, they defaulted on the Imperial Russian contracts with the American arsenals, with the result that New England Westinghouse and Remington were stuck with hundreds of thousands of Mosin–Nagants. The US government bought up the remaining stocks, saving Remington and Westinghouse from bankruptcy. The rifles in Great Britain armed the US and British expeditionary forces sent to North Russia in 1918 and 1919. The rifles still in the US ended up being primarily used as training firearms for the US Army. Some were used to equip US National Guard, SATC and ROTC units. Collectors have taken to calling these rifles, “U.S. Magazine Rifle, 7.62mm, Model of 1916”, though no official source for this designation has ever been cited. Ordnance documents refer to the rifles as “Russian three-line rifle, caliber 7.62mm (.30 inches)”.[41] In 1917, 50,000 of these rifles were sent via Vladivostok to equip the Czechoslovak Legions in Siberia to aid in their attempt to secure passage to France. During the interwar period, the rifles which had been taken over by the US military were sold to private citizens in the United States by the Director of Civilian Marksmanship, the predecessor agency to the current Civilian Marksmanship Program. They were sold for the sum of $3.00 each. If unaltered to chamber the US standard .30-06 Springfield rimless cartridge, these rifles are prized by collectors because they do not have the import marks required by law to be stamped or engraved on military surplus firearms brought into the United States from other countries.”


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What I meant that Americans might have placed an order of crimped Western ammo in 1919 thinking they 'd be fighting in Russia in 1920 and then forgot to cancel the order. You know, sometimes large bureaucracies move very slowly. Remember that Americans left Arkhangelsk in late 1919, and there were still Allied forces on the ground there in early 1920.

Vlad, reading that the rifles were used in the US for formal training it seems much likelier that the 1920 production was for US domestic use, no?

I am not sure if in 1920 the Czechs still were there and that supply was possible (or done at all).

Somebody with a better insight my tell us.

And maybe we have a “Western” researcher amongst us who may know more?

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Well, I am trying to explain the ring crimped version (Pete’s photo). Why would they have a crimped and non-crimped versions?

Mexicans also had MN rifles and even made ammo in Mexico. Mexican contract?

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Interesting point Orange. I believe, but could well be wrong 1924 is the earliest F.N.C. production. A 1925 date can be seen in sale 17 lot 576. I’m only aware of 1924, 25 & 26 from them.

Can’t answer the question as to the why of this but there is a pair in this sale #17 lot 578, though not in the best of shape.
one photoed above is from my coll. & the primer has a large nickel cup like Vlad shows

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Pete, you got a link for us?

Is on the b/s/t/ under Auction 17 but go to: pdbullets.com
click here on that page & button to download is titled #17.pdf

$20 bid fee but catalog is free to look at. Bid sheet on the same page

Surprised you didn’t have an interest in lot 669 but apparently you didn’t see the sale.

Had an e-mail from one who knows, these Western examples are Berdan primed

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Pete, thanks!
I can not bid as there is no way to get anything over to Europe.

The 669 sure is nice but I am not particularily into EOD related ammo other than obtaining all documents (digital) when ever possible. But that goes for anything “ammo”, means from the (military) pistol cartridge up to strategic missiles.
Hardware (paper or metal) is complicating things way too much.

A quick whizz around the internet turned up this picture of an ROTC soldier holding a Nagant;


… and rather oddly, this one of FD Roosevelt, also with a Nagant. This one was supposedly taken in 1920 during his candidacy for the US Vice-Presdent;


The rifles were most definitely in circulation in the US after 1919, presumably with a need for ammunition to feed them.


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