April 24, 2006

Meet Mistress Annika

Allow me to introduce you to Mistress Annika:

Mistressannika.jpg

Annika's Journal reader Hannes has bestowed the distinct honor of naming his newly purchased Yugoslavian M48 Mauser after yours truly! Here's how this all came about:

[I]t is a variant of "der Mauser Karabiner 98k". Yes, in 1898 this was considered a carbine! The design dates back that far, but this one rolled off the line in Yugoslavia in the late 40's or early 50's. Designated the M48, it was built in a factory that not been bombed out using captured German machine tools and designs. It was meant as a military surplus rifle for issue to reserve troops and sales to various conflicts around the world at the time. . . . My new toy has been sitting in a warehouse only to be test fired every five years. It may be 50 to 60 years old, but for all intents and purposes, it is brand new.

I wasn't planning on buying a Mauser when I walked into that gun store three-plus weeks ago . . . . I picked up a brand new M1 Garand and liked it until I saw the price tag: $2700. Yeesh! It's a shame I don't have any children, because then I could sell them to a wandering band of gypsies and buy the thing. Plus maybe some ammo.

Finally I relented and asked what was all the way in the back row right where the shotguns start -- their lowest priority rifle sales location. "The one with the hogsticker," I said. I was expecting it to be yet another Chinese SKS with a folding bayonet ... yawn!

The saleman said, "That's a Mauser."

Hannes thinks, "Mmmmmm, Mauser!"

So I bought the thing right then and there for half the price I was going to pay for the jilted rifle, complete with its first aid kit for wounded jihad monkeys ... er, I mean the bayonet! How insensitive of me.

But enough about the rifle, let's talk about the bullet. It's fires an 8x57 mm cartridge. . . . the expended shell casings are as long as a full AK-47 round ready to fire. It will propel a 170-grain bullet with a muzzle velocity of almost 3000 fps. . . .

OK, after I offered my rifle to one of my younger shooting buddies he ran out and set a can about 15 meters away and then took aim at it. He's an absolute newbie to shooting, but indignant to CA's idiotic gun laws. While he's doing this, I'm remembering that the Mauser 98k first saw action in the Boer War and that, at Spion Kop, Afrikaners were using them to pick off British soldiers from 1000 meters away without a scope ... and he's aiming at can at pointblank range.

I was expecting the can to be empty, but no. It was full of mandarin nectarines. And when he hit it on the first try, it disappeared into an orange cloud. Afterwards, the most we found of the can was what was once its bottom and a small speck of a nectarine -- perhaps 1/8 of an inch long -- that the wind had blown back onto one of our sweatshirts.

Even more bottom line, 60 rounds through the thing gave me a fat lip. And I have this nasty snaggletooth on the right side of my jaw that means I should invest in a football player's mouthguard when shooting this thing lest I want it to tear up my inner lip again.

What can I say? German Kannonenthumpenboomen in das Haus! Ya.

Awesome. But why the name?
When I picked up the Mauser, I got a butt pad with it. The salesman was fumbling around looking for a black one after he found a brown one. I told him that it's OK since the rifle is brown. He countered that MY rifle is blonde.

I had been struggling for a woman's name to give it. Right then and there I decided on "Annika". And after the beating it gave me last weekend, I've amended that to "Mistress Annika". I hope you don't mind ...

Not at all Hannes! I'm totally flattered.

Posted by: annika at 05:59 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
Post contains 700 words, total size 4 kb.

1 So, how much did you pay for this wonder of old world engineering? As for Afrikaners plinking the Brits through open sites at 1000 meters, I don't think that it's possible. It's hard enough to see with the naked eye let alone hit a mansize target at 500 meters. Under the rubric of one-up, Casca II was on the machine gun range today. Can you say Ma-deuce?

Posted by: Casca at April 24, 2006 10:28 PM (2gORp)

2 Casca, How much did I pay? Too much. As for Spion Kop, Afrikaners plinking Brits may have been an exageration. But I got the story from my days in the Army, at the Infantry School at Fort Benning. Perhaps the trainer was inaccurate. I was trying to impress a hottie, and I apparently succeeded. So shoot me. But Mistress Annika still makes me spit up blood after 20 or so slaps ... --HH

Posted by: Go 4 TLI at April 24, 2006 11:03 PM (TmKwU)

3 The M48 is a capable rifle; I considered one myself before settling on a K-31. If you didn't know it already, http://surplusrifle.com/yugom48/index.asp is a nice info source for M48s.

Posted by: will at April 25, 2006 04:28 AM (GzvlQ)

4 Casca, the Swiss would hold target shooting competitions at their villages where the average citizen-soldier would shoot non-scoped K-31s at targets 300-600 meters away. Better eyes than mine...

Posted by: will at April 25, 2006 04:31 AM (GzvlQ)

5 You poor doggies, Marines learn to shoot, and qualify annually on a known distance course that has firing positions at 200, 300, and 500 meters. The target at 500 is mansize, and is harder than hell to see.

Posted by: Casca at April 25, 2006 04:18 PM (2gORp)

6 -Will, a K31, I knew there was something I liked about you. -Hannes, she's a beauty. I'm partial to swedes circa '96, but that's one croatian I'd like to take for a ride. -[Enter the pedant....] The Boers used an earlier model chambered for the 7x57mm. Although Botha's Kommandos were decent riflemen, at 1000m the Mausers lethality lay in it's (for the time) high rate of fire.In a short time they could put large amounts of lead on a given acre of veld.

Posted by: Jasen at April 26, 2006 07:43 PM (hhi1R)

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