Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Merry Christmas to me (g)

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Story and details to follow on the other blog.

Yesterday I stumbled onto a Christmas present for myself. I am.... pleased. (g). I like old tools. I like firearms. I like casual history. I like quality design and engineering. In this 1934 Beretta I have found all those wrapped into a neat little package.

I discovered it in the showcase of a gun shop, while doing a book/gun store crawl. Novels by Poul Anderson, Terry Pratchett, and Ray Bradbury tucked neatly away on the backseat, a friend and I made the trip to a little toy store.... ah.....gun shop... I knew of.

Few things attract my eye faster than an old firearm, and yesterday was no exception. It's a questionable trait in a human male, I must admit. If I were faced with a gorgeous, and naked, blond woman who happened to be holding a Springfield 03-A3, my first thought would be whether or not the rifle had a star above the muzzle.

This little Beretta was one of a few used pistols in the shops cases, but the only one of it's age. Naturally I asked to fondle... ah.... see it. Intriguingly, the price dropped by a steak dinner before the pistol even cleared the back of the case. Perhaps due to the grips, which are not original and appear hand made. The internals are nearly perfect, and holster wear is present but at a minimum considering it's age. Proofed as an Italian military sidearm, it's an excellent example of a Beretta classic.

I'll post about it over on Carteach0, with lots of photos as is my custom. For now... I'll just hold it and think about the history a 68 year old pistol must have been witness to. Was it carried by an Italian officer turned partisan? Did it wind up in a gendarmes holster, only to be removed for inspection and oiling? Perhaps the Nazi occupiers confiscated it during the war, and left it warehoused for years (properly cataloged, of course).

For me... it will be a shooter. I'll track down the proper grips, perhaps at Numrich. Then, I'll let it grace my pocket at gun shows over the coming years and maybe I'll find the correct holster with it's correct pocket for the spare magazine. Maybe it will see service as a casual CCW pistol, fitting to ride in my pocket as I move through the day.

This little pistol has not stopped accumulating history. It's just my turn to add some. To start with... it has made this Christmas just a bit better than it already was. Who doesn't like getting a new gun at Christmas ?

4 comments:

Old NFO said...

Purty... :-) You will enjoy it and I know it will function perfectly!

dondad said...

My wife got me a new gun for Christmas. It is a 1957 Colt Python. It looks like it might have had one box of shells put through it, 98%.

Brigid said...

Those fingerprints all over it. They are NOT mine. . honest. Barkley was playing with it.

Somerled said...

You've got a classic M1934, Art. I suspect if you share the marking with someone like Tam, she could fish up some more information. A few more than a million were made. Some were purchased by Romania--they're marked "9mm Scurt".

They're good shooters. I've not fired one since the great "decade of greed", the 1980s. It came home in a vet's duffle bag.

Good luck finding original grips.