Let's face it--AR's, though practical, are a dime-a-dozen these days. I wanted to shoot something a bit different yesterday, so I went a bit farther back into the gun vault and found this wonderful Italian Mannlicher Carcano rifle, Model 1891.
This one left the arsenal at Torre Annunziata in 1897. And she's original and un-messed-with.
Those clips I mentioned:
Here's a loaded clip in place. The rifle's ready to go.
Using the battle sight, it was dead on at 50 yards. (The 100 yard line was otherwise occupied by some boring AR guys.) With just a bit of hold-under, it was shattering sporting clays on the berm with every shot. I was more than happy, to say the least.
The sights begin at 600 yards and go out to 2000.
It shot straight and true, even though the trigger was so worn that it broke clean at about a pound or a pound and a half with no staging or other indicator that it was going to fire. Just tough the trigger and move it half an inch and...BANG! But it hit where it was aimed, and once I got used to that trigger, it was a dream to shoot.
My only issue with it was that it gets so hot so fast. By the time I was half way through the second box of ammo (fired at a rather sedate pace as I had to load clips), most of the metal and even some of the wood was too hot to touch. But as a fighting rifle? Heck, come the Revolution, if nothing else is available, I'll have no problem handing this one out to a friend or using it myself once I've burned through my stocks of NATO ammunition and worked back through all of the World War Two arms in the safes. But then again, it's always been my hope that I'll last long enough to fight my Trapdoor and Martini-Henrys, and if I have to go down, let it be in a bayonet charge after all ammunition in the Lair has been expended.
If that day comes as I fear it might, this rifle will likely give a good accounting for itself in such a fight, of that I'm sure.