So I realized today that when I go to pick up my Lee-Enfield No 4 Mk 2 tomorrow, I will have four of the great rifles of World War Two. I know this may not seem like much, but this has been something of a childhood dream ever since I got into reading history and discovering the fascinating stories and harsh realities of the Second World War.
The first rifle that I purchased out of this group, also my very first rifle, was a Mauser Karabiner 98k. My dealer had it marked as a Yugo M48, but I noted several discrepancies and we figured out it was, actually, a German Mauser. He still let me buy it for the listed price, since he figured that if I had a sharp enough eye, I could get a ‘deal’ on it. The second was a Mosin-Nagant M91/30, a simple enough rifle that made me realize that the Russians had to be tenacious bastards of men to shoulder those, let alone fire them under combat conditions! Finally, my M1 Garand is my pride and joy, despite .30-06 being expensive where I live. Now, I have a Lee-Enfield, one of the most storied rifles of history. I know I’ll have a difficult time getting .303 where I live, but thankfully Vermont has all kinds of stores with the right ammunition for my guns.
I am a student of history, and love learning about anything that falls within my area of interest/specialization: World War Two. But learning is nothing compared to physically having your hands on the weapons that were used, feeling that recoil, and seeing what happens to the target downrange. To know that such weapons were most likely used in combat brings a kind of chill to me, but at the same time it excites me. The guns speak on the range, and, in a way, they can remind us of the past through that, with all the terrible consequences and costs that they signify.