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Resident Curmudgeon
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Years ago, when I was unfortunately between jobs, I went to an apartment sale that had advertised some artwork I thought I might be able to negotiate for. The gent that had contracted for the sale was richer than God, one of the Holleriths (as in the IBM Holleriths). And he was selling some of his personal rifles, absolutely glorious pieces, mostly from the 1950s. They had been made to fit his father, and did not fit him, so ...

The rifles were works of art, the finest walnuts and ebonies, with genuine ivory spacers, the kind of thing we all fantasize about owning after we win the lottery. He and I got on a treat, and he offered me a 7x57 Mauser that had been used on safari to hunt for the pot at a price which was absurdly low for what it was. If I had been working, I'd have snapped it up in a heartbeat even if it had meant eating pasta for a month (ask Her Imperial about the time we came on a genuine, named artist Hudson Valley School painting that we acquired at an estate sale run by a pro), but right then I could just not afford it. But I at least got to handle them, which is more than most shooters ever get to do.
 
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