By Clayton K.
We see a lot of the latest and greatest on this website, but even as a youngster myself, I can appreciate that, in some cases, they just don’t build them like they used to. Take, for example, this beautiful Yugoslavian Tokarev, model 1957. Based on a Russian design, it’s durable to a fault, fires an impressive and inexpensive round, and holds nine rounds in the magazine, which is even greater than a SIG Sauer P220 . . .
Or, this great example of a Mosin Nagant M91/30, which, like the SCAR-17 and other, more modern battle rifles, fires an extremely effective round, is very easy to maintain, is built like a main battle tank, and weighs less than nine pounds.
Perhaps you prefer a shorter, handier battle rifle, much like the M1A SOCOM? This M44 shares all of the great attributes of its bigger brother, but enhances the value by putting all of those attributes into a lighter, shorter package. Plus, you get a pronounced flamethrower-like effect every time you fire the thing!
Now, before you blow my door off its hinges with internet hate, I fully understand that firearms design has come a long, long way since these firearms were introduced. They are in no way close to modern designs so please put away your pitchforks. This article was written with tongue firmly in cheek. However, these firearms do have two huge advantages over more modern arms: extremely low price, and extreme ease of purchase.
Those are, coincidentally, the two primary advantages of obtaining a curio and relics license. There are several other articles on this site about how to obtain one, so do a search if you want to learn more. I’m more interested in the why of a C & R license: it allows me to buy these firearms online, NOT have to deal with any of the additional fees that an FFL will sometimes charge, and have them delivered right to my door, which saves both money and hassle. The upshot? All three of these guns cost me less than five hundred bucks. That’s less than the price of the most humble newly-manufactured AK!
Best of all, with the money I saved, I bought ammo. A truly biblical amount of ammo. And then some more ammo. So for the price of a decent AR with all the goodies, I not only own these pretty pieces, but I also learned their manual of arms in order to use them safely and effectively, arguably the most important facet of gun ownership. Moreover, lighting off an M44 fireball at the range is just about the most fun you can have with your pants on.
Yes, it must be said that prices have been rising as supplies of these relics of World War II — particularly the Mosins — have dwindled. However, there are still plenty of deals to be had. Moreover, when you buy one of these so-called “relics”, you buy a genuine piece of history that is also functional and very, very affordable. What plastic-fantastic can match all of that?
All that’s left is to ask why you haven’t started applying for your Curio and Relic license yet. Go get one! Your wallet, and almost certainly your significant other, will hate you. But for just a little bit of money, you open a whole barrel of fun, value, and history.