Friday morning I’m picking up my 1945 manufacture M44 from Big5. Ninety dollars or so after tax - it’s a sale week!
Matching numbers on the stock, bolt, and receiver. There’s a stock repair on the lower edge of the butt, but it looks to be an arsenal fix. The bore is sharp and clean, exterior metal is evenly worn with very little pitting and the wood to metal fit is surprisingly good.
I stopped in on my way home from work just to check their inventory. I do this often on Fridays when the traffic is bad. I thought the Yugos were the only sale running this week and was surprised to see the Russki up there with a pink tag on it. The clerk handed me two paper towels before handing over the rifle. It’s nasty with cosmo. They won’t take off the trigger locks unless you are actually buying the weapon so I wasn’t able to pull the bolt out. Turning the bolt and running it back was kind of disgusting - slime oozing out coming and going.
But damn, it felt a LOT more solid than any other Moisin action I’d handled before…
Wiped off the worst of the gunk and went through a few more cycles. Damn. Like my Remington 700. Almost as slick as my Lee Enfield, but with even less play. In and out a few times more. Very good… look down the bore (somebody else has to have been in there - the bore was mostly clean) and see nice sharp lands and grooves.
Picked a spot on the far wall and shouldered it for a look over the sights.
Then I handed it back to the clerk, thanked him for his time, and headed for home.
And mom said yes about ten minutes ago, so if it’s still there at nine on Friday morning, it’s mine. If it’s gone, I probably won’t buy another one. The one I handled tonight is the one.
Yeah, that’s why I collect these things. Millions of them were made. But some of them were made just for me.