Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Like Guns? Jewish? Oy, Have I Got a Deal for You...

The worst part about being a gun enthusiast is that it is an expensive hobby to maintain.  A firearm with sufficient horsepower to be considered a legitimate hunting weapon can cost $800 or more - there are a few exceptions, of course, but your average .308 in an AR-15 configuration is over a grand. Worse yet, the ammo is expensive - the cheapest stuff you can find will run you $.50 per round.

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.


  1. Guns make me happy :) when I was a kid our father would let us help him make his own rounds by help I mean watch quietly from the corner. He was a machinist so he thought he could build or fix anything. We called him the Mexican Macgyver. I've been handling weapons of all sorts for about 10 years, there's nothing quite like it.

  2. Yeah, my Dad - the only Jewish mechanic in the world! - used to do his own re-loads. I wish I'd paid more attention. It's like everything else, I reckon - you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone.

  3. No but now I have. Read a bit about it just now.

  4. It's got a pretty cool history, and they're here in the US by the hundreds of thousands. I predict they'll be $200 in 3 years, $500 in 10.

  5. I was thinking of buying a crossbow for Christmas but a new gun is tempting.

  6. You know, the whole arrow thing, it never really tripped my trigger, so to speak. Maybe it's because the few times in my life I came across a compound bow, it's been right-handed so I can't use it. Maybe I just like the mechanical and engineering miracle that is the modern firearm. I dunno but that would be an easy choice for me. In fact my next hundred bucks is probably going towards this purchase.

    1. I want this for no other reason than it is obnoxious and makes me want to be touched in the bikini area.

  7. Hi,
    That is awesome. Do you know if I can purchase one also?

  8. Gary, that was an awesome post, and I'm not even into guns. Very interesting stuff.

  9. Thanks Jordan - just picked it up today, the thing wreaks awesomeness.

  10. So where does one go about getting ones hands on some of this awesomeness? A friend is very interested in acquiring one.