~The Things Military Surplus Tell Us~


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308sc
August 17, 2008, 02:07 AM
I wanted to start this thread to gather a collection of strange things we find on some military surplus items. Mostly things that let you know the original owner/solider..was not so lucky or just interesting stuff.

I have seen blood under the butt plate of a Mauser....finish damage from blood on an AK magazine, and heard about a bullet hole in the stock of a Japanese Type 99, and lines carved on the handguard of mosin nagants (I guess the number of enemies killed.)

What have you guys seen or heard off. Pictures are a plus. I am looking forward to seeing what things you have discovered.

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Ohio Rifleman
August 17, 2008, 02:10 AM
There's always the troop tags under the buttplate of some K31s, which I think are about the neatest thing in the milsurp world. Other than that, despite most of my guns being milsurps, I haven't encountered any little oddities like that.

rugbyer81
August 17, 2008, 02:26 AM
There are six roughly one-inch tall tally marks on the buttstock of my K31; four with a slash through them and then another one. Always wondered what they were, can't imagine its a kill count because of the Swiss neutrality. Maybe somebody used to hunt with it?

bgeddes
August 17, 2008, 02:27 AM
This might be your own thing but it seems a bit disturbing to me. You are looking for evidence of the demise of brave men? This is what I do not understand. The historical aspect of military weapons in very interesting. The horror of war, regardless of cause, is at the cost of the lives of real people.

As an analogy, would you want the seats from a car someone perished in? The tumor that killed a nice person?

I guess I'm missing something so please explain.....

earplug
August 17, 2008, 02:34 AM
There is a huge differance between auto accident damage and the toll from war.
Its the differance between a junkyard and a museum.

308sc
August 17, 2008, 02:39 AM
Each Rifle has a story to tell the ones im interested in are the ones that tell it for you.

no disrespect but if you don't like the topic why comment?

mnrivrat
August 17, 2008, 02:40 AM
The historical aspect of military weapons in very interesting. The horror of war, regardless of cause, is at the cost of the lives of real people.

I sorta think you answered your own question here. It is more a matter of perspective as one looks at a historical object . The fact that it may bear the marks of the story of its personal history is just simply interesting history - not a sign of glorification of death and war. It could be to the viewer mean just the opposite.

Trebor
August 17, 2008, 02:43 AM
My Finnish M 39 still has shrapneal embedded in the stock and gouges from the shell or grenade.

I fear for the soldier who carried this rifle.

I have pics and when I get a chance I'll post them.

goon
August 17, 2008, 02:57 AM
I had an M-39 with blood pitting on the buttplate.
I kind of hope that the blood pitting was from just subduing some Russian, but the odds are good that it wasn't.

Marcus84
August 17, 2008, 03:05 AM
As morbid as it sounds I'd love to own guns with "history." Cabela's near me has pistols from the Civil War but I don't have $600+ for one. :(

bogie
August 17, 2008, 03:36 AM
I'd love to personally own the M-1 Garand that killed an SS thug who was one of the concentration camp guards. Nothing particularly evil about the feeling - more of a "never forget" kind of thing.

Dang thing's broken in already, right?

Deus Machina
August 17, 2008, 05:13 AM
more of a "never forget" kind of thing.

Quoted. It can be a morbid glee (A neo-nazi with a Mauser) or it can be the historical and honor value--knowing that particular rifle has done some evil use but honoring the fallen in that it will never again be used for the purpose it once was.

That said, I--personally--really wouldn't feel bad about owning a notched Garand, but would look for a different Mauser if I knew about them.

Deus Machina
August 17, 2008, 05:14 AM
Double post.

jrfoxx
August 17, 2008, 12:18 PM
All I have found on/in any of my surplus stuff is the common tag under the K31 buttstock, and there is a soldiers name and grade stenciled in typical military fashion on the surplus canvas USGI half shelter I bought. Feel sorry for the poor bastadge that had to lug that thing around.

They arent exactly light (thick, tight weave canvas), especially when added to all the other stuff infantry guys have to hump around.Yet another reason I'm glad I was in the Navy. Aside from being allergic to getting shot at and/or blown up, I dont think 145lb, 5'4" guys like me enjoy humping 1/3 or more of their body weight around. I'm sure 50+ lbs stinks even when your 6' 180lbs, but it's gotta be a whole new level of suck at my size/weight. Kudos to the guys that hump all that weight all day, especially in hot jungles, deserts, etc, and while getting shot at. You have giant cajones and must eat rusty nail for breakfast. I was much happier to be complaining about freezing my nuggets off in my breezy, 50deg shop on the carriers.:D

BruceRDucer
August 17, 2008, 01:52 PM
This might be your own thing but it seems a bit disturbing to me. You are looking for evidence of the demise of brave men? This is what I do not understand. The historical aspect of military weapons in very interesting. The horror of war, regardless of cause, is at the cost of the lives of real people.

As an analogy, would you want the seats from a car someone perished in? The tumor that killed a nice person?

I guess I'm missing something so please explain.....

I think it's okay. It is just a part of the reality of military arms. People do mark weapons. Blood gets on weapons. The collector is curious about the reality of it.

It is also related to collecting, because if weapons are sold with no efforts to clean them up, that becomes an issue.

After all; what should people do? Avoid all recognition of the reality of military arms and their condition?

Relax....it's ok.

/

evan price
August 17, 2008, 09:53 PM
I had a friend who had a milsurp rifle that someone had spent some time carving an unclothed female upon the handguards in such a position that when shooting, your fingers would be on some "naughty bits". Not the best artwork, but A+ for effort.

The Freeholder
August 17, 2008, 10:04 PM
I have a Dutch Mannlicher that my Dad brought back from WWII. It killed one of his squadies, he killed the guy using it.

ZeSpectre
August 17, 2008, 10:14 PM
I have a "frankenSKS" built from parts. The barrel/action are old, unissued Norinco stock and the trigger group was fresh-from the cosmoline, never issued, Russian.

What does that tell me? They built a lot more SKS rifles than they needed <grin>.

Realbigo
August 17, 2008, 10:48 PM
i cherish the the funny little bend left in the trigger guard of my GrandDads 1911 where he had to bend it back out after an uncomfortably close encounter w/ a Germans helmet

ColinthePilot
August 17, 2008, 10:56 PM
I have a Beretta 1934 that was issued to the Italian Army in 1943, and won in a poker game by my grandfather during his navy years in the early 50's. Don't know the fate of the officer who carried it, but likely not good.

My Yugo SKS has the name "Milka" carved in the stock. Some lonely Yugo soldier's girlfriend I guess.

Autolycus
August 17, 2008, 11:01 PM
There was a story on Glocktalk a while back. The man picked up a surplus Swedish rifle (I am not very good with milsurp rifles) and traced the history of the rifle and found who was issued the rifle. He also traced the soldier to a town in Texas or Kansas. He contacted him.

I am pretty sure it was Glocktalk but it may have even been on this forum.

rondog
August 17, 2008, 11:39 PM
It's not a gun, but I have a WWII surplus canteen that was part of my dad's hunting kit. I recently discovered that it has the names of a bunch of various places all over the European Theater scratched into it, very faintly. Some I can barely read, all in the same handwriting. I thought that was cool. Has the correct cover and belt too.

ultramag44
August 17, 2008, 11:43 PM
308sc, here's a short story you might like.

http://www.surplusrifle.com/articles2008/adayinthelife/index.asp

ColinthePilot
August 18, 2008, 01:54 AM
That was nice. I'm gonna take my milsurps out next weekend I think. Just a day with me and my veterans, and maybe a friend or two (of the human type). I may be crazy, but I believe that mechanical objects, especially older ones, have a personality and a story to tell. I'm glad someone wrote one down.

230RN
August 18, 2008, 02:20 AM
I don't have photos of it, but in my gun list for my military M1 Carbine, I noted:


"Military cal .30 M1 Carbine + 15 rd magazine + 5rd magazine, sling, bayonet. Parkerized. Postal Meter SN 420xxxx. Initials "AAG" stamped in left side of stock twice. Filled-in with wood filler just below breech which looks like a bullet hole which had gone through from right to left was repaired at the arsenal, with an almost invisible split out of the stock which had been repaired. Nothing interesting under the butt-plate."

My ancient Amberg 98 Mauser had the intitials "E. W. L." hand-cut (not factory-stamped) on the orginal stock. (Since rebarreled to .30-06 and a sporter stock put on. But I still have the old stock for this rifle.)

I never got around to looking under the buttplates of my other milsurps.

I've also got a European shoulder rig for small auto that looks as if it has bloodstains on it.

All this just makes you wonder, doesn't it? And sometimes the sweetest mysteries are those which are totally unsolvable --even though there once was a real solution, lost to time.

koginam
August 18, 2008, 03:02 AM
I have a Mosin Nugant rifle I was shot with in Nam, I was walking point watching the ground for trip wires when I was shot in the crotch, My LT brought it to me as they were getting ready to medavac me out. It still had the empty case in the chamber I had the base cut off and made into a earring and the rest of the case made into a ring.

tinygnat219
August 18, 2008, 09:28 AM
The CZ-24 and Radom Vis 35 that my grandfather brought back from WWII. He was in Patton's army, and his unit was part of the 88 "Golden Acorns". That Radom went with my father to Vietnam, where it saved his life. The CZ 24 went with my uncle to Vietnam, where it was never needed.

My collection is interesting. I have a K-31 made in 1934, and a Swedish Mauser M96 that have probably never seen combat, but were ready for the mission.

I have a 1937 marked Mauser K98 that has Russian Capture markings.

Then there is the 1895 Nagant revolver dated 1898 that is NOT chambered for the 7.62 Nagant cartridge, in fact the cylinder seems to be more for a 9MM sized base. I am thinking I have a cylinder for the Tokarev round. If that's the case, then this one is never going to be fired.

I have a Webley MK IV with Israeli proof marks.

I have a Smith and Wesson "Victory" Revolver that has a nice DEEP bluing to it and not a parkerized finish.

jonmerritt
August 18, 2008, 06:34 PM
I tend to think it is the connection, the connection with the warrior that carried the weapon in combat. Enemy or friend, we were all brothers in arms. We still respected each other, to a point, even in combat.

45Guy
August 18, 2008, 07:46 PM
Very well said jonmerritt, I don't think anyone could've put it better than what you just did.

ultramag44
August 18, 2008, 07:58 PM
[/QUOTE]"I believe that mechanical objects, especially older ones, have a personality and a story to tell. I'm glad someone wrote one down".[QUOTE]


Colin, you are 100% correct. :)

chefman
August 18, 2008, 11:33 PM
My dad has a K98 with a bullet strike on the right side just under the rear sight. It appeared to come from the lower right, took out a half-moon shaped chunk of the stock and left a round wrinkle in the mount that attaches the rear sight to the barrel. I have wondered many times what the reaction of the person holding the rifle must have been. Wet drawers maybe?

chefman
August 18, 2008, 11:48 PM
ultramag, just went to the link you posted about the Jap rifle, good story. Reminded of my dad's 6.5 Arisaka that was supposedly taken from the Japanese soldier sniping American troops in the Phillipine jungle. Still has the mum intact. Everytime I handle it I think about the man that was issued that weapon and wonder what he was like.

ultramag44
August 19, 2008, 12:07 AM
ultramag, just went to the link you posted about the Jap rifle, good story. Reminded of my dad's 6.5 Arisaka that was supposedly taken from the Japanese soldier sniping American troops in the Phillipine jungle. Still has the mum intact. Everytime I handle it I think about the man that was issued that weapon and wonder what he was like.


Yes, I have a P-38 w/ both mags and the holster. NOT import marked, vet bring back, about 99%.

I often wondered, was that German officer that carried the P-38 a true believer in the Nazi cause, and ashamed @ the surender? Or, was he just another draftee happy to go home?

Questions without answers. But we do have many of the arms and acrutriements if nothing else to remind us of that era.

http://www.surplusrifle.com/articles2008/adayinthelife/index.asp

230RN
August 19, 2008, 10:30 AM
I wondered what "mum" meant.

"Chrysanthemum."

See

http://www.surplusrifle.com/arisaka/index.asp

Darn! Up until now I thought I knew everything.

And now I do, woo-hoo! woo-hoo!

Fascinating tale.

This pic Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 TENNESSEE GUN PARTS:

42
August 19, 2008, 02:14 PM
When I move to a free place in terms of handguns I would love a webley police revolver or a browning hp to honour my family in the mil and from police respectivly.

RockyMtnTactical
August 19, 2008, 02:15 PM
Interesting topic to say the least.

Clean97GTI
August 19, 2008, 02:53 PM
My grandfather brought back a few things from his time in the Pacific theatre during WWII. One is a mum-intact last ditch Arisaka chambered in 7.7mm. Not really any interesting story behind it that I ever heard. He did inscribe his first initial and last name into the stylish, nailed-on wood buttplate.

The other one that I found interesting though was the FN Model 1910 he brought back as well. While I later learned that Japanese officers often purchased their own sidearms (were required to?) to avoid carrying the garbage pistols the Imperial Japanese army was turning out, he didn't know this.
When asked about how a Belgian gun turned up in some Pacific island somewhere, he simply grinned and answered "the nip officer probably got it the same way I did."

Brad Johnson
August 19, 2008, 04:36 PM
All I have found on/in any of my surplus stuff is the common tag under the K31 buttstock, and there is a soldiers name and grade stenciled in typical military fashion on the surplus canvas USGI half shelter I bought. Feel sorry for the poor bastadge that had to lug that thing around.

Ever thought about trying to locate the person? Might be interesting.

Brad

ultramag44
August 20, 2008, 11:30 PM
Another short story about what could be behind a used gun.

http://www.surplusrifle.com/articles2008/spirit/index.asp

Trebor
August 21, 2008, 01:15 AM
Here's the pics of my Finn Mosin 28/30.

Notice the gouges in the stock. There are little BB sized pieces of shrapneal embedded in the stock. You can see some of them when you handle the rifle and others you can feel when you run your hands over the stock.

I fear for the Finnish soldier who carried this rifle.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v494/Trebor1415/011_8A.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v494/Trebor1415/009_6A.jpg

Ian
August 21, 2008, 02:54 AM
My most interesting rifle in this context isn't at all morbid. I have a 1964 Romanian AK with the name "Emilia" roughly carved in the pistol grip. Hopefully she and the rifle's previous owner had a long and happy life after he left the military!

Ohio Gun Guy
August 21, 2008, 10:56 AM
My first rifle larger than a .22 was a yugo capture /rework 98k. It was a mail order, so I didnt get to pick it out, but I did pay for the had select; it has the "Dirty Bird" on the stock and the proofs intact. Even though it was reworked, I always wondered about the history of the gun/s. You have to immagine, as with the russian capture rifles. The German soldier carrying it was killed, captured, or dropped it and retreated; only to go through it all again. I know some of the yugo reworks were bought from the russians after the war, so this may have happened on the Eastern front or in the balkans, but its all the same.

This is why I like Military surplus guns, the history, and you get to shoot them.

During college, I took German as an elective. It caused me to get to talk to some older "German" people in the area. One was a mechanic at the dealership I worked at was named Hans. I asked him if he spoke German. He told me, he grew up in Germany. After talking to him many times, he told me that he had 3 older brothers in the German army. Their family never knew their fate. He knew at least 1 was at Stalin Grad (6th Army). These were not Nazis, just boys who got drafted. Although I wouldn't change history, but you have to realize that they were not all evil, and more than likely were farm boys, drafted like so many here were. So, yes, its natural to wonder what personal history is attached to the guns we now own. If I saw a battle damaged rifle, I would but it, and preserve it.

CYANIDEGENOCIDE
August 21, 2008, 11:30 AM
I don't know how much truth there is to it, but at a gun show a few months back a dealer was selling a BHP with a swastika stamped into it. The front of the slide and the left side of the pisol was devoid of finish and pitted. The story: this was a WWII bring back recovered from a german who shot himself in the head the pistol was found lying in a pool of blood hence that is why the finish is missing on only one side. I would have been the 4th owner, 1st the german, 2nd the GI, 3rd the dealer. Seemed suspect so I passed

Fireball
August 21, 2008, 12:00 PM
More than 35 years ago when the Texas Army National Guard paid us extra to jump out of various aircraft, I had more than once drawn a T-10 parachute that had dried blood on the deployment bag(outside cover). Kinda increased the pucker factor a little, but never a problem with the chute itself.

Fireball

myrockfight
August 21, 2008, 02:02 PM
When you pick up a rifle, or any other object that has seen many previous owners, you wonder about the events and people it has seen. A large part of the draw for historical objects are the stories behind them. This is why, when the history of the object being sold is known and documented, the value can multiply by 100x.

When you are talking about guns, you wonder what the soldier carrying it experienced. When you find blood, shrapnel marks, bullet holes, etc., you know the previous owner went through something heroic, tragic, and life changing. You run through the various stories you have heard, both fiction and real, that might fit the scenario which would have forever changed the gun which you now own.

It is neither morbid nor disrespectful. Rather, it is an appreciation for what that soldier went through. No matter what flag a soldier fights under, every soldier fights for one thing in the end - that is his life. No matter where you are from, you, as a person, can appreciate the thoughts and feelings a soldier has as he carried his weapon while trying to survive the most dramatic ordeal of his life. Those gouges, shrapnel marks, and rust from spilt blood simply mark a moment in time, no doubt the most dramatic in the life of the firearm and possibly the soldier carrying it.

If you cannot appreciate the struggle for which it signifies, I do think you need to live a more fulfilling life.

leadcounsel
August 21, 2008, 02:21 PM
I own a lot, but not enough, C&R guns. There are few things in this world that have the historic value as weapons of war just as others have articulated.

There are fewer things yet that are not obsolete.

Couple that with fine working firearms that have stories to tell at a significant price savings and it truly is amazing.

NG VI
August 21, 2008, 02:33 PM
That said, I--personally--really wouldn't feel bad about owning a notched Garand


I would love to have a notched M1. Protect it from being ditched into the ocean or melted down by some charlatans.

.455_Hunter
August 21, 2008, 02:37 PM
My 8 mm M1892 Lebel Revolver (made in 1897 at St. Etienne) has multiple fragment hits on the side of the frame and cylinder. One of the hits on the cylinder actually dented the outside wall to the point of requiring a reamer to restore the roundness of the chamber (done before my ownership). The gun still shoots great, both with 8 mm Lebel from Fiocchi and .32 S&W Long. I bet the gun could tell some stories of life in the trenches during the "Great War".

Halo
August 21, 2008, 02:49 PM
I have a late war Arisaka 99 that my grandfather brought back, but there's nothing personalized on that one. My aunt has a lot more of his stuff, including a blood stained Rising Sun flag. He was in the Navy and piloted landing craft carrying Marines ashore all over the South Pacific.

Some of the most interesting stock carving is found on the Yugo SKSes. A few years ago on another forum a guy posted a picture of his Yugo SKS, and whoever it was issued to had taken a picture of David Hasselhof from a Baywatch booklet, glued it to the buttstock and then sealed it with varnish! It's amusing how Europeans on the one hand say America is boorish and devoid of culture, yet on the other hand they absolutely eat up the cheesiest TV and pop music we export.

Cosmoline
August 21, 2008, 02:49 PM
What they tell me is to avoid war. It is better to fill a freezer or shoot at marks.

The most banged up ones I've seen have been pre-war Finns that saw the brunt of the Winter War. I've had some with serious shrapnel damage to the stock. The stock was repaired, but I can't imagine the rifle's owner survived the hit. It's a pretty horrible thing to contemplate.

Aren't we all
August 21, 2008, 02:57 PM
I have a mosin 91\30 that had it's owner's name engraved on the bolt and floorplate.
translates to ivanovich- son of ivan.
and the same rifle had a little blood under the stock cap.

Marsh

B.D. Turner
August 21, 2008, 03:06 PM
I have collected military items off and on all my life.
One of my best finds is a small flag from Lebanon that had been folded inside a USMC flack jacket. I bought the armor from a Marine who had worn the armor during the bombing of
the marine barracks in Beruit.

B.D. Turner
August 21, 2008, 03:10 PM
I also have a Iraqi helmet from Desert Storm. The helmet is a yellow sand color. The interesting thing is that there is an outline of a gasmask burned into the helmet. Sort of like an X-ray. You can even see the elastic strap marks burned into the helmet. This is a very interesting and unusual find.

B.D. Turner
August 21, 2008, 03:12 PM
My only cold war left over is a chunk of the Berlin Wall. My buddy brought back a suitcase full when the wall came down.

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