But generally, someone brings in something to show around for "Tech Time." Tonight, Brent the Token Soldier brought in his Makarov. I'd never held on in my hand before, and now I want one. But I won't likely find a deal like the one Brent got; about ten years ago, he found this one at a household auction for $50. Fifty dollars. No kidding.
Brent's Makarov is an East German version of 1964 vintage, and it's a lovely little thing. The finish is a deep, nearly-black bluing on well-polished steel. The pistol is tight and solid, larger in the hand than I expected, and heavy for its size (well, by my standards, but remember that I was six years old when the first Glocks reached the U.S. People my age don't remember when guns could only be made of steel.) Throughout the gun (and on each of the magazines) most of the parts had been marked "48" with an electric pencil. In Corvette terms, this is a numbers-matching Communist oppression pistol.
Did I forget that part? Yes, under the grips of this elegantly simple little pistol are the markings of the East German Stasi--secret police.
I know there are people who can't stand to hold a Nazi-marked K98 or Luger, and would view this pistol the same way. But I can't hold a milsurp and keep from wondering what the original users would have thought of someone like me holding it. Tonight I had to wonder; could the Stasi agent who carried good old No. 48 have imagined that someday, maybe 30 years or so in the future, "his" issue pistol would be carried and plinked with by some American soldier on his own time?