Still Smiling

As I said in yesterday’s post, I went to a gun show on Saturday.   John, my man and I met up and began our pilgrimage.  We only made it about 3 tables in when I decided I would be making an impulse buy.  I have discovered that I love old guns.  I love their history, I love their feel and I love their look: the beat up, I have been used, I have a story to tell sheen. No surprise then that the Mosin Nagant would catch my eye.  Once John started to tell me about them, I was hooked.  John has a system where he likes to go up and down the aisles and take mental notes of the things that interest him and then return to the booth that had the best price.  My man and I have no system whatsoever.  We wonder aimlessly, eating beef jerky and hoping we don’t get screwed.  John’s plan seemed better, so we went along with it.  The problem being, I really could not focus.  I just kept thinking about that Mosin.  We had made good progress and learned a ton of useful info plus had purchased a flashlight, some beef jerky and ran into friends I had not seen in a while.  I was thoroughly enjoying myself, but getting quite antsy.  About half way through I exclaimed, “I want that gun”.  My man said “Go for it” and John said, then “then lets do it.”  We all high tailed it back to the booth which turned out to be perfect timing.  There were 3 in the box and within 2 seconds of us picking one up, the others had vanished.  I think it was a God thing.  Now, I really wanted to buy this gun for myself, but I had left my drivers license and Conceal Carry permit in my range bag back home(I was not carrying or driving, so no laws were broken), so that fine man of mine offered to fill out the paperwork and jump through the hoops to bring that beauty home.

The Mosin Nagant is a rather larger gun and I got a good deal of attention carrying it through the expo center.  Many a folks stopped us to chit about it or ask questions.  As we were leaving one guy said,

“That is a might large gun, for a little thing like you.” 

I said, “No, worries, I can handle it.”

His friend said, “I am not coming onto your property”.

“You can come”. “Just knock first.” I told him

“I’ll knock twice”, he whispered. 

I walked on by with a big ol” smile and a bit of a spring in my step.

I spent much of that evening caressing her and squealing like, well, a girl.  I tried to get my husband to let me sleep with it, but he said, nope.  He had done enough of that in the Corps.  Truth be told, I think I could have convinced him, but, it’s probably not a good habit to get into.

Since I am spoiled and blessed beyond belief, I did not have to wait long to shoot her.  Yesterday that man of mine and our son met John and a few of his friends at the range.  I have to mention here that this has been a very mild winter in Virginia.  No snow to speak of and pretty much the temps have been hanging out around 55-60 degrees.  However, on Sunday, we woke up to windy, bitterly cold temps of around 29   degrees.  At this point I would like to state all the training in real world conditions crap that Duke and Stephen were espousing last week…HIGHLY overrated. Don’t do it.  Stick to paper targets at indoor ranges with heaters and RSO’s that serve you steaming hot cups of coffee in between magazine changes.

I wore long john type pants under my famous black jeans, 2 pairs of socks, boots, a t-shirt, a long sleeve shirt, a hoodie and my large winter coat, plus a scarf and gloves and I was still a Popsicle.  Mostly just my hands.  The gloves were not helpful, plus to shoot I took them off.  Cold is not my friend, but it did eventual warm up to temperatures that were bearable.

 You all know how I feel about gunnie’s.  Smart, kind, generous, funny…  Well the people John brought to the range on Sunday were no exception.  I did ask if I could share pictures, but I forgot to ask if I could share names, so we will just call them Mr. & Mrs. Awesome.  There was one other gentleman there, but he did not stay long, so unfortunately, I didn’t get to know him.  Mr. Awesome had a 1911 and an AR 15 chambered in. 6.8 or 6.5 (I think, I can’t remember.  It was a new caliber for me and so much to learn) Mrs. Awesome had a 9mm S&W M&P and an AR 15 chambered in the more common .223.  Because they are awesome they let me shoot their guns. I think I was still getting ready to take the shot in these pictures, but…

My husband and son thought Mrs. Awesome’s AR was the best set up they had ever shot.  I am still getting to know guns and don’t have a feel for all the little intricacies, so I liked them both the same.  Mr. Awesome’s was heavier, but it felt more comfortable in my hand.  I believe hers was shorter(I don’t know if it was a carbine, but it was smaller in length than her husband’s) and I am tall drink of water, so that might have been why.

And, of course, we all shot the Mosin Nagant.  I was a little nervous to shoot her.  Not butterflies in my stomach nervous, just a little curious as to how it would feel.  A young kid at the gun show told me he had shot about 15 rounds out of his and woke up to a black and blue shoulder and John said the Nagant kicks about 1/3 more than the Garand, so I wondered if I would be in pain. 

I did not think the kick was a big deal at all.  This is going to come as a huge shock to everyone.  You may want to sit down for this revelation, but I discovered while I love the look of this gun, shooting it was, well, FLIPPIN AMAZING!!!  I LOVED IT!!  Oh, my, oh my, oh my, it was pure bliss.  I shot about 20 rounds yesterday and enjoyed every single one.  I did wake up this morning with some slight soreness in my left shoulder,  It feels like when I up my weights on the fly machine at the gym.  I am not black and blue which kinds of bums me out.  I was hoping to show you all how tough I am.

Although my shoulder is fine, I did take several good hunks of flesh out of my thumb working the bolt action.  I am left handed, so my left hand sits on the butt stock(not sure what it is called) , so when I pull the bold back it very nicely slides right over my thumb, taking a piece of me with it.  I am gonna have to practice and find a new way to work the action.

Mr. & Mrs. Awesome.  This is my favorite picture.

A few last notes…if you don’t understand the title of my last two posts, go here.  Also, I was informed that rifles are girls and they must be named.  I was not aware of this, but who am I to buck the system.  I am going to steal my friend Lynne’s idea and ask for help from all of you.  Please give me your suggestion for what her name should be and if I decide to use the name you suggested, I will send you this as a little thank you.

50 thoughts on “Still Smiling

  1. I would usually suggest Natasha (trite, I know) for a Russian gun, but in this case, I’m going with Lydumila

    A lot of the difference between the M-N and the Garand (as far as recoil is concerned) is the weight and stock design. The 7.62x54R of the Mosin Nagant is, ballistically, very close to the .30-06 Garand.

    Have fun with her!

  2. First gun I ever bought was a Mosin-Nagant. Elegant, sleek, sexy, and mean-as-heck look to that bad boy! Er…girl. I’m right-handed, but cross-eye dominant, so I shoot handguns with my right hand on the trigger, using my left eye to aim…and shoot rifles left-handed. For the Mossie (not to be confused with the most excellent British Mosquito fighter-bomber of WW2 that shares the same nickname), I fire, switch hands really quick to work the bolt, then fire again. Probably not the most efficient way to operate in a battlefield condition, but then again I don’t plan on being in a battlefield condition with a 60-year-old bolt-action rifle chambered for rounds that will be impossible to scrounge on the battlefield when that box of 20 disappears. As for names….well…a beast like that, she deserves a name worthy of Valhalla itself (yeah, I know…its a Russian rifle, and I’m goin Nordic with names, but its just fitting, I think), like Helga or Brunhilda or Astrid the Red or something similar, such that the mere name will strike fear into the heart of anyone foolish enough to be in a position to hear her speak her name (ie, working the bolt). Oh, for a good variety of Nordic names, check out the list here (and read some, if you’re not offended by profanity…lots of it, but tastefully used):

    Dangit, its Monday morning, 9am….and now I want to ditch work and head back home to grab my Mossie and go slaughter innocent sheets of paper….

    • I started doing the change hands real quick thing. It’s a heavier gun thou, so not a quick movement for me. Your right, probably not going to be in a situation where I need speed.

      Who needs work…lol

    • All of my guns have boy names. Guns just seem very masculine to me, what with the phallic shape and the going boom and all.

      Guns are boys, but knives are girls (because they’ll cut you if you handle them wrong).

  3. Might as well go all out and call her “Vera.” Um… yeah, not original but it indicates you are “hip.” 🙂

    Otherwise, “Lara” as in “Lara’s Theme” as in “Dr. Zhivago.”

  4. Also, shooting lefty with a bolt gun I have learned to move my thumb over out of the way of the bolt travel to avoid devastating my hand with unforgiving steel. You really have to bear down and develop a crushing grip though as that left hand squeeze is the only thing that will be supporting the rifle on your shoulder.

    I move my thumb back into position while actually touching off the shot though.

    • or you can use the sling and be supporting the rifle with your offhand and the butstock in your shoulder – works for me as well as for the lefties i’ve taught

      can’t remember what the type of sling method is called but if you tell your hubby that it is NOT a loop sling he can prolly figure it out

  5. note that you are wearing a lot of clothes, which is the best way to shoot a M/N. the stocks are a little short for the average American, but in Old Mother Russia folks wear several layers most times of the year so a shorter length of pull is called for. a heavy wool great coat is just the thing to mitigate recoil from one of those things. and a furry hat. you need a furry hat.

    Tanya. good Russian name. eat some kasha and potatoes. is good for you.

  6. Curse you Tango Juliet, now I have that 2 note song stuck in my head! Oh, please, let your answer be anything but Dr. Zhivago…

  7. Russian girls should have names like, Bertha. Tell the gentleman in the black coat to lean into his weapon. His stance is wrong. Just an FYI.
    Great rifle for a great lady. Well done.

    • Lol, that is my husband. I was teasing him last night about that pic. I have no idea what was up, but that is not really his stance:)

      As always…thanks!!

  8. I think you should call it “MoNa.” The Mo comes from Mosin and the “Na” from the Nagant. But I’m not good at naming things. My pets have some really weird names. . .

    • I’m with you on that… I’ve had a dog named after the governor of Montana, a cat named from the Old Testament, and now I have a dog named after a tool company.

    • Heh. Our dogs have relatively mundane names (Molly and Max). If we ever have a son, though, my two choices are “Hayden Ulysses” (shortens to “Hey U” pretty well), or “George Erwin”, named after George Patton and Erwin Rommel. Yeah. Talk about being conflicted as a teen…

  9. I smiled all the way through your post. Congratulations, I’m very happy for you. Since it is a Mossin, I couldn’t resist suggesting (with a small nod to Bette) the Divine Miss M. Although I thought Mo-Na was inspired!

  10. “That is a might large gun, for a little thing like you.”

    I told you this would happen! Isn’t it great? 😀

    Anyway, a few things:

    * I believe the gentleman was shooting a 6.5mm Grendel.

    * Get an ATI stock. It’s lighter, has a built-in recoil pad, and the Monte Carlo grip should drop your hand out of the way of the bolt. And you can do it without permanently altering your rifle.

    * The name Mosin-Nagant is properly hyphenated, since the rifle is a fusion of two designs made by Sergei Mosin and Leon Nagant.

    * Interestingly, if you just want to call it a Mosin, that’s fine, since Sergei Mosin didn’t design anything else. Leon Nagant, on the other hand, designed the Nagant revolver (in 7.62x38R). So it is possible to own both a Mosin AND a Nagant!

    * As for a nice name… might I suggest Sascha? It’s a pretty name, used for both girls and boys in Eastern Europe, and means “defender/helper of mankind.”

    WV: pally. Why yes, that IS one of my nicknames! 😀

  11. BOLT – Bolt-action rifle. (“Bold” is an interesting Freudian slip thing, though!)

    And if you can put twenty rounds through a Mosin and still have a big grin on your face, you are, in fact, a GUNNIE! I didn’t see a bayonet on your tomato stake, but you may now appreciate the humor of this link.

    • Lol, yes I meant bolt. I knew it was bolt. I am not good at editing. I just don’t have the time to give my posts the attention they need. Thank you for clarifying.

      Thank Also for sharing the link. I just saw the shirt ast night from another blogger.

      I do have bayonet, but forgot to bring it to the range.

  12. I would call her Dascha since it is a Russian gun! See below what I found on line:

    Darija, Polish variant of Dorothy; from the Latin, “God’s gift”
    Dascha, Russian variant of Dorothy; see Darija

  13. I would suggest Anastasia, but since the last well-known Russian named Anastasia was more than likely killed with a Mosin-Nagant, it might not be appropriate.

    For what it’s worth, my long, sleek M-N is named Tanya. The ugly, clunky AK is named Olga.

  14. None of ours have names other than what they are “AK”, “Mini” (as in mini-14), “.22”, “SKS”…. My cars on the other hand.. well that is a different story. But if I were to name a Mosin-Nagant it would be Veronica.

  15. “However, on Sunday, we woke up to windy, bitterly cold temps of around 29 degrees.”

    Hummmm – 8F . . . . 8F in Iowa on Saturday. Ya shoulda been out in your swim suit!! 🙂

    Nice photos and recount of your gunshow trip. Glad you are enjoying this new journey you are on.

    • I do remember those cold Iowa winters, but it has been years since I have felt them. I left Iowa for Califonia and then Virginia, so I am no longer used to the bitter cold and I am not a fan.

  16. Not trying to be picky, but compare your stance to Mr./Mrs. A’s and you’ll notice they are ‘leaning’ into the rifles more than you are. You are standing too upright and you’re getting more felt recoil action than they are… You want most of your weight on your front foot, not your back foot. And glad you got to shoot some ‘new’ and ‘old’ things too!

    • I know. I try, but it’s not comfortable for me. Practice I guess. I really am not the least bit bothered by the recoil. I don’t get all the fuss, but the stance probably does effect my accuracy. I do normally lean, but not as much as Mr. & Mrs. A. But they are show offs, really:) I will work on it. Thanks for the pointers!

  17. Without reading the replies, I’m going to chime in with naming ‘it’ “Freedom”, because that is what it represents and why it was created. (Not to mention, Freedom is non-gender, so you can have a boy or a girl and no one will know. 😉 )
    For how to handle the bolt, try this: after you shoot (DUH!), keep your hands where they are, and use your right hand to ‘roll’ the rifle to the left so the bolt is facing upward. As the rifle rolls, slide your left hand around the top of the grip, so you grab the bolt with your thumb and forefinger. Work the action- it may be stiff until you build the muscle memory of how to do this- back (remove empty) and then in (load).
    The Mozzie is a heavy rifle to be trying to man handle with acrobatic gymnastics to manipulate the bolt. Hopefully, this is one idea you can try, but as your Hubby will atest: the real idea is to practice different methods so you will ‘adapt and overcome’.
    Congratulations on the purchase, AGirl. I know well your feeling of excitement for the old and tried tools. Especially rifles and handguns.
    Shy III

  18. I’ll vote for Anastasia as she was one of the last princesses of Russia and was rumored to have escaped the firing squad. So in a way you could say that you’ve found a lost princess of Russia.

    • I like to think she escaped. That meaning to her and me would be wonderful, but it appears that rumor is not creditable. However, stories do seem to be consistent that she fought. I like that. There are no guarantees in life, but to fight with everything one has, until there is nothing left, that inspires me.

Comments are closed.