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    ST. PETERSBURG, April 23 (RIA Novosti) - Festive activities to mark the 155th birthday anniversary of outstanding Russian arms designer Sergei Mosin (1849-1902) are taking place in Sestroretsk, a suburb of St. Petersburg, on Friday, the administration of Petersburg's Kurortny district told RIA Novosti.

    Mosin's main invention is the 0.375 rifle of 1891. It replaced the obsolete single-shot rifle designed by American inventor Berdan. The main principle of the new weapon is that it is simple to operate and reliable. The designer worked out his own original scheme without copying foreign arms systems.

    The breech block of the 0.375 magazine rifle of the 7.62-mm caliber consists of only seven components. In expert opinion, in its ballistic characteristics the Mosin rifle exceeds all the rifles that existed at that time, and had an excellent rate of fire - up to 20 shots a minute, and accuracy.

    The design of the rifle enabled it to remain in service in the Russian army without any changes to speak of practically till the end of the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945). In the wartime the Soviet plants manufactured about 12 million Mosin rifles.

    Over 500,000 Mosin rifles were supplied to republican Spain, and even more - to the People's Republic of China.

    The Russian arms makers still use some elements of the Mosin system in designing present-day small-arms, the Vintorez noiseless rifle in particular.

    The activities and events to mark the 155th birthday anniversary of Sergei Mosin are being held in Sestroretsk where the inventor lived and is buried.

    The local-lore activities with the participation of the scientific associates of the Military-Historical Museum of Artillery, Engineers and Communications Troops are timed to this date.

    An Open-Door Day is to be held at the museum of the Sestroretsk tool-making plant on Friday. The visitors will see the famous 0.375 rifle of 1891 among the numerous exhibits of the museum.

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