Back In South Africa, I remember the time I bought my first Mauser, an Israeli surplus (rebarreled to 7.62x51mm NATO). It looked something like this:
Of course, as my very first centerfire rifle, I was as proud as all hell about it — I even took it to the annual family reunion (on Ouma’s birthday) and showed it around.
One of my uncles peered at it like a suspicious dog, then took it, worked the action expertly, and smiled broadly. When he handed it back to me, he asked in Afrikaans, “Do you know what they call a Boer without a Mauser? No? An Englishman!” *
Many chuckles from all the men sitting around, with murmurs of agreement and pats on my shoulder.
So yesterday I took possession of my latest badge of Afrikanerdom (courtesy of Longtime Reader BobJ, thankee squire), and OMG…
Pre-war manufacture, all the proper cartouches, and matching serial numbers. The “42” refers to the Oberndorf factory, 1938 the year of manufacture, and the serial number has only four(!) digits. I haven’t been so excited about a gun in years.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the range.
* “Weet jy wat hulle ‘n Boer sonder ‘n Mauser vernoem? ‘n Ingelsman!”
In the Army (no explanations, it’s too long a story), the CO of my commando unit referred to it as “that Jewish Mauser” (“daardie Joodse Mauser”).