One of the significant foreign rifles in Finnish service during the Winter War and Continuation War was the Swedish M96 Mauser. These rifles began arriving in Finland even before Finland’s independence, and in 1919 the Civil Guard was given ownership of 1,390 of them. The numbers increased slowly through individual purchases by Finnish sport shooters and Civil Guardsmen in the 1920s, but it was in 1940 that Finland arrange the purchase of a large number. In total, 77,000 more M96 rifles were bought from Sweden during the Winter War, plus about 8,000 more brought and left in Finland by men of the Swedish Volunteer Corps.
About 30,000 of these rifles were returned to Sweden in mid 1940, with the remainder staying in Finnish inventory until the early 1950s. In both the Winter War and Continuation War they saw significant combat service, with the Swedish volunteers, with Finnish forces in northern Finland, and with Costal Infantry and Coastal Artillery units fighting in the south. When they were finally surplussed by Finland in the 50s, they were repurchased by Sweden, overhauled, and put back into service. The Finnish examples found today on the US collector market can be identified by their “SA” Finnish property stamps and (usually) Swedish single-screw stock disks.
9 Hole Reviews Taking the M96 to the 1000-Yard Range:
C&Rsenal History of the Swedish M94 Carbine:
C&Rsenal History of the Swedish M96 Rifle: