Sunday, Italian Style

It’s Italy Day here on this back porch of mine:

…and here are some fine Italian things.

First up, a matched pair of Rizzini shotguns:

Next up, a 1955 Fiat 8V, styled by Zagato:

…and a 1967 Fiat 2400 Dino Spider:

Speaking of fine Italian models of yore, it’s about time we looked at Sophia again:

…and her younger compatriot, Monica Bellucci:

And speaking of yummy:


Where could one buy such things?  Well, in Milan, for instance:

That’s all Italian style, folks, and it’s pretty much unbeatable.

Straight Shooting

From Reader Greg S, a question via email:

Might I ask you to share your thoughts on “English” stock vs. American stocks for shotguns? As I imagine many do here in the USA, my shotgunning experience started with the typical “pistol grip” style of butt stock. There’s also a similar style called “Prince of Wales” that I’ve seen.
A few years in, I was fortunate to try the straight English butt stock and became an instant convert. Strictly for myself, I’ve found that recoil management is better and the shotgun seems to point more naturally.

Those would also be my reasons for choosing the straight stock, but I also just love the way they look.  Compare the pistol-gripped Beretta Silver Pigeon and the “English” Browning Superlite (both lovely shotguns) below:

Now compare even the Browning to an English stock and splinter forearm on a side-by-side H&H Deluxe:

More graceful, lighter (by several ounces), quicker to shoulder and point… pretty much perfection.  (We can argue about twin vs. single triggers at another time.)

Your opinion may vary, but neither Reader Greg nor I care.

Welcome Home

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”).

Gratuitous Gun Pic: Manurhin MR 73 (.357 Mag)

Mentioned in Comments by Reader Motoguzzi on my Difficult Choices post on .357 Mag revolvers, and also in email from Longtime Reader Martin K.:

Please allow me a few questions: do you have any experience with the MR 73 revolver from the MANURHIN factory? Have you ever shot one? If yes, what is your opinion on this model?

Okay, I have to make a HUGE admission of guilt right up front.  Because ‘Murka is the fountain of Fevolverdom (Sam Colt, Horace Wesson etc.), I’ve always looked upon European revolver offerings with something of a pitying smile — one exception being the non-Euro British Webley revolvers, of course.  The source of my condescension can be seen in the Austrian Rast & Gasser Mod 1898:

…which has to be the ugliest revolver ever made.

And indeed, I’ve always known about Manurhin guns in general, but tended to dismiss them because, well, my American chauvinism coupled with the fact that one doesn’t see them that often Over Here — my logic being that if they were any good, there’d be a market for them in the U.S., but there isn’t.

Also, the older Manurhin guns were nothing special to write home about:

HOWEVER, as I delved more into these guns (prompted, it should be said, by Martin’s question and the fact that I respect Reader Motoguzzi’s opinion of guns), I came across this little article:

Interest in the historic Manurhin MR73 has increased since Beretta announced its plans to import several models to the US—and for good reason.  It’s called the “best revolver in the world,” designed to endure several dozens of shots per day, every day, for the lifespan of the gun. As the first official GIGN revolver, it has never been officially retired after nearly fifty years of service.

Wait, what?  How did I miss that last little snippet?  (See above for reasons.)

And then the pictures:

And if that weren’t enough to make my trigger finger itch and my wallet tremble, there’s a stainless steel version, the MR88 SX Inox:

Are you kidding me?

And of all that weren’t enough, Gun Jesus Ian McCollum loves it.

I WANT ONE — that stainless Inox.  Annnnnd it displaces the S&W 686 in my top three .357 revolver list.  It’s going to be spendy, but I can always sell a couple guns of lesser quality, right?

Finally, to Manurhin-Chapuis:  je suis désolé, messieurs.

Gratuitous Gun Pic – Rossi Circuit Judge (.45 LC / .410ga)

Okay, I did not know of this gun’s existence.

Rossi says it was inspired by the Taurus Judge revolver, and I have to say, having what is essentially a large-caliber revolver with a stock attachment and 18″ barrel piques my interest.  It has a 5-shot cylinder, and comes in either stainless steel or what they call “polished black”.

“But Kim,”  you may ask, “what would you use it for?”

Offhand, I can think of three, whether as a pest control bush gun, a trunk/truck gun, and even a home defense piece.  If I spent a little more time, I could probably come up with another four or five reasons.  Best reason I can think of, though, is that the Circuit Judge looks extremely badass.  So yes, I’d like one.

…preferably the stainless model, but the black would do, too.

MSRP is about $850, and probably a hundred less “street”.

Oh, Hell

I can’t believe this has happened to me.

On my various meanderings through this thing we call Teh Intarwebz, I came across yet another post by Hitchcock45.  I’ve watched dozens of his EeewChoob shows — he’s my kinda guy altogether, no surprise, and I lust after his range setup — but I’d never seen him play with a Mauser K98k.

FFS.  I thought I’d purged myself of Mauser-lust, but just watching the old bugger shoot the thing reawakened my urge to shoot a K98 again.

And I don’t have any 8x57mm ammo either, so that’s yet another thing that’s going to depress my bank balance somewhat.  (Fortunately, I don’t intend to shoot it a great deal, so a five-box reserve will do me fine.)

I thought I’d outgrown this thing, but damn it all…

So if anyone has one of these K98 beauties in decent condition (I’m a shooter, not a collector, so I don’t have a fetish matching numbers or anything) and it hasn’t been to Bubba’s Amateur Gunsmithing, Inc., and it’s taking up space in your safe and you want to get rid of it:  talk to me first.


Afterthought:  here’s a pic that’s going to make you sob, like it did me: