A little scrap of history

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by troy2000, May 7, 2008.

  1. I just bought a sweet little Stevens .410 shotgun, bolt-action and tube-fed. In the course of trying to figure out when it was made, I surfed through a couple of interesting facts.

    As many of you know, during WWI the Russians contracted through the British for Mosin Nagants to be manufactured by Remington and New England Westinghouse. I've always been a little puzzled by that second one; who the heck was New England Westinghouse, and what ever happened to them?

    Turns out that Westinghouse Electric Corporation, General Electric's competitor and arch-rival for over a hundred years until it merged with CBS, bought out J. Stevens Arms Company in 1915, and set it up as a subsidiary. Apparently their first big arms deal was the 'British Contract,' and they came very close to going bankrupt after the Bolsheviks took over in Russia and our government halted arms shipments--not that the Reds had the money to pay for them anyway...

    Our government bailed N.E.W. and Remington out by purchasing the undelivered Mosins for $32.00 each, and most of them were issued as training rifles. They also gave a bunch to the NRA, who sold them on the civilian market until they ran out of them in 1929.

    After the run of Mosins, N.E.W. began making Browning machine guns, apparently because Remington was falling behind on a contract for them. In 1920 New England Westinghouse was sold to Savage Arms Company, who revived the J Stevens name and eventually shortened it to simply Stevens.

    So now you know: if you own a New England Westinghouse Mosin Nagant, you have a Stevens firearm. My little .410 Stevens should feel right at home, snuggled into the safe alongside its Russian cousins.:)
    Last edited: May 8, 2008
  2. Shiney! I just bought a Stevens/Savage .410 singleshot break.

  3. just_a_car

    just_a_car G&G Newbie

    T2K, that was really neat!

    Thanks for the history lesson.
  4. Big Dog

    Big Dog Retired IT Dinosaur Wrangler Forum Contributor

    Cool! I had wondered why my little Stevens Model 15 .22 rifle and the Stevens .410 singleshot boltie get along so well with my Mosins - caught them schnockered on cheap Vodka once..... :09:
  5. just_a_car

    just_a_car G&G Newbie

  6. Hmm. Remind me not to hide booze in my liquor cabinet. Do you suppose those bolt-action .410's are the result of Mosins and Stevens shotguns being left unchaperoned in the dark at the old Chicopee Falls facilities?
    Last edited: May 7, 2008
  7. marion57

    marion57 G&G Newbie

    Sounds about right to me LOL:)
  8. just_a_car

    just_a_car G&G Newbie

    Now the question is, what would happen if the Mosin and the Savage rifles were left unsupervised in the dark recesses of the gun safe?... :kiss:
  9. samuel

    samuel G&G Newbie

    If you tryed to put a Kimber or Cooper in with a N.E.W.,would it cause a class war? sam.
    Last edited: May 7, 2008
  10. SwedeSteve

    SwedeSteve Freedom Zealot Forum Contributor

    Thanks for the great info!
  11. troy, as far as I know, the Russkies contracted with Westinghouse and Remington directly, the British never had any part in it as far as i know.

    The Russians also contracted to the French arms company Chatterault (very rare Mosins nowadays), but after the Bolshevik Revolution, instead of stopping the contract, the Frogs kept on shipping the rifles to Russia.

    So 3 foreign(outside Russia) made Mosins exist:
    New England Westinghouse

    nowadays these are very rare Mosins indeed, so if ya find one buy it.
  12. With all due respect, Mosin Shooter, I stand by what I wrote: the deals were known as the British Contract because the British government acted as the middleman and guaranteed the contract, and the rifles were shipped to Russia through Great Britain. In fact, the Mosins the American Expeditionary Force carried when they landed in Russia came from the undelivered rifles sitting on British docks, instead of being supplied from those still in the States and taken by the U.S. Army.

    Edit: here's an excerpt from a New York Times article, dated May 28, 1917, and entitled, "BIG WESTINGHOUSE PROFITS; Year's Earnings Far exceed Any Previous Record of Company."

    Regarding orders for war munitions, Chairman Guy E. Tripp says:
    "With the exception of the contracts with the British government for the manufacture of Russian military rifles, which are being carried out by the New England Westinghouse Company under a modified contract, the company has no uncompleted munitions contracts for foreign governments on its books, all such contracts having been completed or canceled."

    The Chatteraults were the first Mosins ever built; the Russians contracted for them to be built in France while they were gearing up for production themselves. I don't believe any more were built there after the initial contract was fulfilled and the Russians started building their own, but I'd have to look it up to be sure.

    I believe you're right about those three being the only foreign-made Mosin Nagants supplied to Russia. But of course, Mosins were also made in Poland, Hungary, Romania and China. And although the Finns built their rifles on bought or captured Russian receivers, they turned out some very nice ones.

    The New England Westinghouse Mosin I have is apparently one of the ones sold by the NRA: it has no U.S. acceptance marks, and no Russian marks either. It's in great condition and a good shooter; I'd stack it up against my Finnish M39's any day. Unfortunately, the original American walnut stock had been badly bubba'd by the time I bought the rifle, so I dressed it in an Arctic birch stock from Finland instead.
    Last edited: May 8, 2008
  13. SwedeSteve

    SwedeSteve Freedom Zealot Forum Contributor

    Straight info, and a really petty rifle there Troy!
  14. marion57

    marion57 G&G Newbie

    Exactly right on both info and gorgeous rifle!!!
  15. troy2000 When I was a kid my Mother told me when you learn something you get a new wrinkle on your brain.
    Thanks buddy I now 2 !!!
  16. SwedeSteve

    SwedeSteve Freedom Zealot Forum Contributor

  17. huh, never heard that before Troy, never wouldve thought the Brits wouldve liked being the middlemen
  18. I'd guess the Brits wanted to keep the Russians in the fight against the Germans, and were willing to do whatever it took.

    Also, I would imagine they were getting a percentage of the deal, and could use the money for their own war effort.
  19. loks like they do more tha just drink tea and eat crumpits
  20. Wow Troy that Westinghouse is sure nice looking. A lot different then the battle beaten Chatterault I have.