The Russo-Turkish War saw Russian troops armed with mostly Berdan single-shot rifles engaging Turkish soldiers with Winchester repeating rifles. Not surprisingly, Russian commanders were alarmed at the resulting disparity of casualty seen on the two sides.
Consequently, the Russian Main Artillery Administration undertook the task of producing a modernized, magazine-fed, multi-round weapon in 1882. After failing to adequately modify the Berdan firearm to meet these requirements, a commission was developed to identify and choose a new magazine-fed rifle design to be used as the standard rifle of the future.
The two main competing rifles evaluated by the commission were submitted by Sergei Ivanovich Mosin, a young captain in the Imperial army, and a Belgian named Léon Nagant in 1889. While Mosin’s "3-line" (7.62 mm caliber) rifle performed slightly inferior to Nagant’s 3.5-line design, the decision was made to infuse the feed mechanism of the Nagant rifle into the Mosin model; hence, the birth of the Mosin-Nagant.
Production began in 1892 at the ordnance factories of Tula Arsenal, Izhevsk Arsenal, and Sestroryetsk Arsenal. Due to the industry limitations and the newly formed Franco-Russian Alliance, an order of 500,000 rifles was placed with the French arms factory, Manufacture Nationale d'Armes de Châtellerault. Since its initial production, the Mosin-Nagant rifles have seen variations and military implementation in numerous countries. Additionally, the rifle has seen action in The Russo-Japanese War, the Russian Civil War, World War I and World War II, The Korean War, The Vietnam War and numerous other conflicts.