Everyone with a Mosin is to blame! After reading the forums for months and seeing how much fun they are, I figured I had to get one. I learned enough on this forum and the Mosin-Nagant website to make an intelligent choice as to what to look for. I went to the gun dealer yesterday and looked at all the M44's. They were all the same price..$199.95 I thought that was a little high and wasnt going to buy especially since some were real beat up. The dealer admitted he knew nothing about the M44. He didnt even know what ammo it took! I found one in his inventory that was a brand new UNISSUED and I'm sure has never been fired. It was packed with webbed sling, ammo pouch, and oil bottles. It was made in 1945 at the Izhevsk plant. This gun is absolutely perfect with no dings or nicks. The magazine follower still has 100% bluing like its never been loaded. According to Mosin-Nagant.net, there were over 3 million made in 1945 but it is uncommon to find one with Russian markings because most were sold to other countries that put their marks on the guns. It looks like I'll be at the range tomorrow. Cant wait to shoot it and see the muzzle blast everyone talks about. I've read a lot about the recoil too. Guess I'll find out about that too.