Inescapable Comparison

“Oh good grief, here’s Kim grinding on about old stuff again.”

Yeah, guilty as charged.

Watch Jay Leno’s glorious love affair with his 1940 Lagonda 4.5-liter V12.  His is a direct, faithful copy of the cars which were taken straight off the street and raced at Le Mans in 1939 — and placed 3rd and 4th, the very first time they were entered.

After watching that, tell me you don’t want to smack him over the head and take his car.  And if you feel a little intimidated by the size and manual strength needed to drive the thing, you need to take some double-strength manly pills.  Me, I’d do it all in a flash.

Now watch Henry Chan shooting what is, to me, the firearm’s equivalent of that Lagonda:  the Mauser K98 bolt-action rifle.  (For background, here’s Ian McCollum.)

Same idea, same technique, same principle for both:  outstanding performance, infallible reliability and guaranteed to put a smile on your face every time you take it out for a spin.

Like the one on Jay’s face.

I need to get back out to TDSA and shoot my K98, because I want to get that same smile.  (And I use a rubber recoil pad, just like old hickok45 does.)

I don’t have a Lagonda, though.  Bummer.


  1. I would be delighted if Jay took me out in that car for drive; I’d be well chuffed if he let me drive it.

  2. which Mauser do you prefer, the K98, Swedish Mauser in 6.5×55 Swede, 1903 Springfield and its variations, Winchester Model 70 pre ’64 style, Ruger 77 Mk II, Argentine Mauser in 7.65 I think?

    Looks like I’m going to add to my library with a book on Mauser rifles now.

    1. My favorite has always been the 1896 Swede. The action is lovely and 6.5x55mm cartridge is probably my favorite rifle load of all time (only the 7×57 runs a close second).

      Then again, the K98 or K98k… how I love it, although its recoil can be punishing if shooting the heavy military 7.92×57 boolet.

      Only the latter lives in Ye Olde Gunne Sayfe at present, because the Son&Heir grabbed the Swede for himself.

      But if I’m to be honest, just about any Mauser or Mauser-derived rifle is wonderful.

  3. Dad had one of the Swiss Mauser Karabiner 98’s in 8mm. That gun would kick like a wild mule. I don’t know what happened to it.

  4. I’ve had this book on the K98 for years. It is thorough treatment of every aspect of the rifle. Including every step of its manufacture. If you can find it, snap it up right quick !!!

    Backbone of the Wehrmacht: German Kar98K Rifle, 1934-45
    by Richard D. Law

    1. Gun Professor, I found that book you mentioned. It’s $125 on Amazon. I might have to add that to my collection.

  5. Lagonda: All right, so the average Korean hot hatch could blow it away in terms of acceleration, top speed, roadholding and especially braking… but the only question to ask is, Does it pick up fluff?

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