Rummaging Through Grandpa’s Closet

I am concerned. Grandpa always claimed a Russian heritage but we always assumed it was a bloodline, ancestor thing. But after what we found in the back of his closet, well, maybe we should have a “conversation” with him.

Not some liberal tripe conversation where the “conversation” is actually them making outrageous demands based on skewed data at best, more likely manufactured data to fit a narrative that they have already set in stone.

No, a real in depth talk to learn why he has 4 modified Russian imports from WWII sitting in the back of his closet. This couldn’t be speculation, he is smarter than that and knows they are not rare, that many of these exist.

And on further inspection they turn out to ones imported by CAI – and modified so they could be sold in American as American “sporting” rifles. Nice, a bit of history, but a value of between $250 to $400 each tops, and modified from their original design to make them “American” and “sporting“, something collectors frown upon. And to be fair to CAI they made the mods to comply with BATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) requirements. BTW, I have always thought that “Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms” should be the name of a chain of convenience stores in Texas. Saw one in Houston once called “Gold, Guns, and Guitars” – close.

Of course, as we waited for him to put in an appearance we rummaged around and found a whole ammo can full of 7.62 x 54R rounds, hidden behind his supply of 7.62 x 51 NATO standard rounds. I for one always appreciated the nuance of the Russians making “copy cat” rounds that would operate in their rifles but not ours while our standard rounds would work in their rifles. Sort of one more spit in our eye.

Yeah, we see the Ruger 14 too, but he had always had that, it is his favorite though we wish he would fix the front sling assembly as it always works loose after you fire a couple of mags through the thing. Still, a fun gun to shoot. It is representative of grandpa, fun but with a few parts starting to act predictably abnormal.

On the M44’s we unfolded the bayonets and they are intimidating to say the least. Coarsely designed and simple they are scary as hell. Given the choice of being shot with one of these rifles or impaled with its bayonet, well, I’ll take a pass on either.

I always liked the simplistic brute-force Russian solutions for most problems. Back when Armalite and the US Army were STILL working out the delicacies of the M-16 (while it was in the field in combat in the jungles of the Viet Nam) the Kalashnikov’s AK-47, which has changed little since it’s original introduction in the late 1940’s, were working well dropped in a rice paddy and not cleaned in a year.  Or the fact that the Fisher Space Pen was designed at the cost of over a million dollars to write in “space” for our Mercury missions and the Russians simply took pencils.


Grandpa love’s it when I talk old tech. Maybe I can butter him up with that and get him to say okay to going out and actually shooting these things? Then again, he really isn’t easily manipulated unless it is into something he wants to do anyway.

He’s home and I am sitting here trying to not get sidetracked by the shopping bag from Forever 21 he dragged home. Focus. So I am about to ask about the rifles and the ammo when the other parts of my brain came back on line – “why was I in his closet in the first place?” While it was innocent, he has a birthday coming up and I was checking brands and sizes of the shirts I see him wear the most, he could use some variety. PANIC. The birthday is less than a week away, so I guess I can wait for the answer. Then I hear myself talking “Shopping at Forever 21?”

The Rifles are:

  • 1946 M44 Russian 7.62 x 54R with bayonet, CAI Georgia, VT.
  • 1942 M1938 Russian 7.62 x 54R, CAI Georgia, VT.
  • 1948 M44 Russian 7.62 x 54R with bayonet, CAI Georgia VT
  • 1947 M1938 7.62 x 54R, CAI Georgia, VT
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A former rocket scientist (really) who has traveled the world, father, freedom lover, hates to stay indoors, and loves wild places, people and things. PC challenged, irreverent but always relevant and always looking to learn new things.


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