But knowledgeable folks know that there is an alternative to spending all your money to get a deer rifle. You can get a great gun - and a legitimate piece of history - for next to no money.
|Is cool, da? Da!|
This rifle here is the Mosin Nagant model 9130. It was the standard rifle issued by Russia from 1892 until the end of World War II in 1945. The troops loved it, based on its reliability under just about any operating condition, its relative ease of operation, its ability to be field-stripped and cleaned quickly, and its otherworldly durability. Even if one ran out of ammo, it was still a dangerous weapon; at over eight pounds you could crack the enemy's ribs or skull by hitting him with the steel-coated stock-end of the rifle, called the butt-plate. You could run him through with a bayonet that fit on the end of the barrel - and in fact the rifle could be accurately fired with the bayonet permanently fixed.
The Russkies made over 17 million of these puppies. The sheer number of Nazi scumbags that were killed by this weapon staggers the mind.
Now at some point shortly after the war ended, and they stopped making new 9130's, someone somewhere had the idea that instead of taking hundreds of thousands of crates full of guns and dumping them in the ocean, that instead they should store them away and sell them sixty years later. And that's exactly what they did. They took millions of rifles, coated every part with a lubricant/rust preventer called cosmoline, and put them away.
Cosmoline is messy, it's difficult to remove, and it stinks like a combination of crayons and feet. It gets in the wood stocks and you need to steam it out of the wood with one of those portable clothes steamers for about three days. But I'll tell you what: it kept these rifles in perfect shape for the seventy-ish years they've been in storage. I haven't seen a single one that had any rust or pitting on any metal part.
So if you want a good, reliable rifle that can take down a deer from 300 yards, and that started off its life killing Nazis, and don't mind spending three days wiping cosmoline off of it, you can get yourself a Mosin Nagant 9130 for under a hundred bucks.
Or you could do what I did. I had an opportunity to take my pick out of a batch of ten, all of which had the cosmoline cleaned off, all of which were in perfect shooting condition and all of which had matching serial numbers. The one I chose had a near-pristine stock, a 1938 model made in the USSR's Izhevsk factory, for $130. Just a staggeringly small amount of money for a firearm in near-perfect condition. I count myself lucky.
Oh, and one more thing: the ammo that the 9130 uses is unique to that weapon: 7.62mm caliber and 54mm long. There's also millions of rounds of THAT that have been preserved as well. You can get a sealed can of 440 rounds for $65 or so. That's about eighteen cents a round. Remember, its nearest equivalent, the .308, is fifty cents a round for the cheap stuff.
So, to sum up: it's cheap to buy, cheap to shoot, and it's almost a guarantee that this very rifle killed actual Nazis. There's literally no downside to this transaction. I can't wait for the waiting period to be over and to get this puppy in my hands.