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C.J. Chivers writes:

This particular rifle was more than a half-century old... and it was not in a reserve armory or a museum. It was still in active use, and was carried on this day, a few years ago, by an Afghan soldier on a joint Afghan-American patrol in Ghazni Province. Can you think of tools that last this long, or that you expect to? Your pickup truck? Cell phone? Refrigerator? Television? Laptop? Do you own anything that was manufactured in the 1950s and still is in regular, active use in your life?

Matt Frost is impressed:

This inventory of which machines endure explains a lot about why some of us enjoy guns. A well-maintained rifle, shotgun, or handgun will continue to perform what is expected of it more or less the same after twenty, thirty, fifty years. Firearms offer a shelter from planned obsolescence, so prevalent everywhere else in our material culture.

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