Wrecks over 100 years old and archaeological objects found underwater are protected under the National Monuments (Amendment) Acts 1987 and 1994. Significant wrecks less that 100 years old can be designated by Underwater Heritage Order (UHO) on account of their historical, archaeological or artistic importance as is the case with the wreck of the RMS Lusitania lost off the Old Head of Kinsale in 1915. UHOs can also be used to designate areas of seabed or land covered by water to more clearly define and protect wreck sites and archaeological objects . https://www.archaeology.ie/underwater-archaeology
A selection of the rifles recovered from the Aud exist in various museums in Britain and Ireland, -among these are the Cork Public Museum in Fitzgeralds Park,Cork, The National Museum in Dublin,The Irish Defence Forces Museum, Collins Barracks, Cork, and the Imperial War Museum, in London.
It is agreed tht the majority of these rifles are the model known as the Mosin Nagant 1891,captured in the German rout of Russian forces in the battle of Tannenburg. These rifles have been referred in various publications as being 'outmoded and out of date' - when in fact they were comparable with many of the leading makes of the era.
They were a rifle with a magazine, which enabled the owner to pre-load 5 rounds from a clip, and then fire in reasonably rapid succession. The Mosin-Nagant was the first Russian rifle to incorporate the ideas of a small calibre high-velocity magazine rifle, and replaced the earlier single-shot Berdan rifle in the hands of Tsarist troops.
They were known as 'three-line rifles' which referred to their calibre. A 'line' was approximately .10in, so the calibre of the guns was .30in. After the Russian revolution the Soviets adopted the metric system, and thereafter this calibre was referred to as 7.62mm.
The Rifles on the Aud were of the type 'Russkaya 3-lineinaya vintovka o1891g'. - (Russian 3-line rifle, model of the year 1891). This was the basic model, fully stocked except for a few inches of muzzle to which a socket bayonet could be fitted. Although obsolete elsewhere, the Russian army placed great reliance on the socket bayonet, which was intended to be carried in a permanently fixed attitude. Bayonets for these guns were carried on board the Aud.
Ref: Military Arms of the 20th Century By Ian Hogg and John Weeks (1973)
The cargo of small - arms ammunition on board the Aud was mixed. Samples were photographed during an archaeological survey of the wreck in 1997. Martin Pegler of the Royal Armoury, was kindly able to identify the different types, and he ilisted them as:
Mauser rounds for the ‘Howth Gun Running’ Mauser rifles.
7.62mm Rounds for the Maxim Machine gun
7.62mm rounds for the Mosin Nagant rifles
.303 Lee-Enfield rounds, probably captured on the Western Front
Samples of the different types of ammunition on the Aud
Page last updated 10th Jan 2020
Mosin Nagant rifle stock, in the Defence Forces Museum, Collins Barracks.