Just an FYI: If the M44 has the bayonet attached, it's actually a couple ounces heavier
than a standard 91/30. The bayonet and lug add a lot of weight.
I have a bayonet lug, no bayonet, sitting here in the shop and it's around one to 1.5lbs.
The 91/30 is longer, and that is a strength in my view. I had to get used to it, but after owning a Kentucky Long Rifle clone for a while before giving it to my brother and new sister-in-law for their wedding, the 91/30 just didn't seem that long anymore!
Remember, the M44 was primarily a defensive weapon for tank crew, heavy gunners, etc, playing the same role for them as our M1 Carbine was intended to play for us. Soviet logistics dictated the same ammo for all long arms and simplicity of manufacture in post-war USSR demanded an arm they were already familiar with as R&D resources were going to the SKS-45 and AK-47.
I have not found the 91/30 to be a burden in any but the thickest vegetation, and even in thick vegetation, the M44 tends to get the bayonet hooked, even when folded.
Just some thoughts.