What a relief. Friday was my first full day off in 10 days and believe me it was very much appreciated. Seriously, I don’t think I could have managed many more days of work without a break. People can only take so much.
In any event, I made pretty good use of Friday, going to the shooting range with a family member. He recently acquired an AR-15, in the “New York compliant” configuration. Mostly I used the Ruger 10-22, though I did fire about 20 rounds through the AR. Can’t say that I cared for it too much. I like traditional-style guns, not the “tacticool” ones that are all the rage today. It was still a fun trip.
Saturday continued with the firearms theme, as in the morning I went to a gun show about ten miles away. Before going I had some concerns that it would be all rednecks, but it actually wasn’t like that. A pretty normal-looking crowd, tending toward the older side. Anyway, I went there looking for older military surplus rifles, like a Mosin-Nagant or a Lee Enfield, but it was rather slim pickins. Lots of AR’s, also many shotguns, and plenty of really expensive stuff. The only military surplus rifles I saw in any numbers were M-1 Garands, the semi-automatic US military rifle of World War II. They are highly sought after, and had prices to match, with the cheapest ones running about $1,200.
And then it caught my eye. Its light wood (beech) stood out among all the dark walnut stocks, and a quick inspection showed it to look almost flawless. It was a bolt-action Swedish Mauser 96 dating back to 1916. Yes, it was 100 years old, though obviously refurbished in recent years. The bolt worked smoothly and an inspection of the bore showed it to look clean. Best of all, the seller was asking a very reasonable $400, and I went for it.
The rifle is in 6.5×55 SE (for Swedish) caliber, a very popular round in Europe though a comparative rarity in the United States. It’s powerful, too, with hunters in Scandinavia routinely using it for moose. Guess it’ll make short work of paper targets. Ammunition can be a bit pricey, though I was able to pick up 50 rounds from a different seller for $40. I’m really eager to take it to the range, though that’ll have to wait until next Friday.
On Saturday evening I did a 6:30 to 11 shift at the Major Home Improvement Retailer, and it was absolutely interminable. There was no freight to pack out, and except at the very beginning of the shift hardly any customers. The other employee in garden – yes, there were two of us – and I were reduced to arranging products on the shelves to make them look more esthetically pleasing. Yes, it was that boring. Fortunately, Sunday’s 10:45 to 4 shift was busier, and it went much much faster.