YOU choose your sidearm... WWII...


September 13, 2003, 08:00 PM
What handgun would you take into WWII if you could have any handgun that existed in that era? Make mine a 1911 or a P-35.

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September 13, 2003, 08:07 PM
Or a "registered' S&W .357 Magnum (it was the only .357 available at the time, correct?)

Andrew Wyatt
September 13, 2003, 08:29 PM
1911, cause it's a 1911.

September 13, 2003, 08:58 PM
S&W 1917.

September 13, 2003, 09:03 PM

September 13, 2003, 09:18 PM
Webley Mark VI. Those things are just so cool.

September 13, 2003, 09:51 PM
"No brainer", at least for me: The 1911A1. Would have preferred one in WWII, carried one throughout the Cold War and in Southeast Asian combat, carry them today, and see NO reason to alter this long-term, comprehensively considered decision.

September 13, 2003, 10:11 PM
Samething that I carry today 2 1911 pattern guns.

September 13, 2003, 10:31 PM
P-35 or 1911.

SW 1917 runner up.

Vern Humphrey
September 13, 2003, 10:38 PM
The M1911A1, hands down -- the only handgun in the world whose popularity is stronger now than it was in its heyday.

September 13, 2003, 10:40 PM

September 13, 2003, 10:42 PM
M1917 and/or M1911, most likely. I like 1911s, and I like N-Frames. A New Service in .45 Colt would've been nice for more power.

September 13, 2003, 10:51 PM

September 13, 2003, 11:42 PM
In SE Asia I carried a 1911a1. Haven't noticed anything better since.

Ala Dan
September 13, 2003, 11:57 PM

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

lee n. field
September 14, 2003, 12:10 AM
Webley Mark VI. Those things are just so cool.

I second that.

September 14, 2003, 12:58 AM
WW2 handgun...hmmm...I'll go 1911 please :)

September 14, 2003, 01:25 AM
1911 or 1911-A1
(Both issued in WWII and I drew an early 1911 in 67.)


September 14, 2003, 06:13 AM
A Colt National Match with optional high visibility fixed sights!
Any other 1911 or A1 if first choice was unavailable.
Lotsa mags.

September 14, 2003, 11:15 AM
BHP - high capacity in a caliber that gives much more penetration and range than .45ACP.

Shaughn Leayme
September 14, 2003, 11:48 AM
Except for better sights, a stock 1911.

Tight enough to be accurate, but loose enough to keep working should foreign material try and gum up the works.

You could always pick up a Browning or a P-38 later:neener:

Old Fuff
September 14, 2003, 12:20 PM
Some of the mentioned guns were not easily available in the 1940’s. The Browning Hi-Power being an example. Also there is a question of ammunition - 9mm was somewhat available in the European Theater, but not in the Pacific.

I would first chose a commercial Colt Government Model. Parts, magazines, accessories and ammunition would not pose a problem, and it couldn’t be beat for a reliable, close-range manstopper - especially when using ball ammunition.

Second choice would be a S&W (first) or Colt (second) .38 revolver. Again ammunition would be easier too come by. Keep in mind one might get into trouble if that pistol wasn’t loaded with FMJ ball cartridges.

Also the rank or grade of the individual could greatly effect the number of available options. As in most wars, "choice" was often determined by what could be taken away from the enemy.

Ky Larry
September 14, 2003, 03:13 PM
Same as now. 1911.

September 14, 2003, 04:07 PM
Thompson SMG.

Whaddayamean that's not a sidearm?! Take off the shoulder stock, put in a stick magazine and it'll fit in a (custom) holster just fine.

September 14, 2003, 08:00 PM
Ever carry a Colt New Service? Thats a HEAP big revolver to carry while I'm packing the BAR.


4v50 Gary
September 14, 2003, 08:05 PM
1911. From what I've seen in the movies, it can take out a Tiger tank. ;)Saw that in Saving Private Ryan. Also works great on Japanese Zeros.

September 14, 2003, 08:13 PM
1917 S&W in .45 ACP. Plenty of ammo, and I just shoot better with a revolver.

September 14, 2003, 09:21 PM

September 14, 2003, 09:42 PM
1911, a P 35 or a Mauser 712.

September 14, 2003, 10:18 PM
Simple: Walther P38!!! :cool:

September 14, 2003, 10:23 PM
Most definately a 1911A1. However, I wouldn't feel too bad if I got stuck with an S&W or Colt M1917. Third choice would be an S&W .357

September 14, 2003, 10:33 PM
Definitly Webley MkVI, although this is a realy tuff one. I love the p-35's 1911's p-38's and 1917's. The Radom isn't a bad peice either. But my MK IV has class. I own one of eatch of the others though! AHHHHHHHHH just gotta have more than one.:evil:

September 15, 2003, 12:05 AM

I like a challenge :neener:

September 15, 2003, 12:48 AM
I'd dial one nine one one. :cool:

September 15, 2003, 12:58 AM
1911 and I'll have Marty McFly send me a pair of carbon fiber grips :p

September 15, 2003, 02:28 AM
S&W .357 Registered Magnum. 5" barrel with the (then new) magna grips and a T-grip type adapter. I'd load it with hard-cast wadcutters over the .357 Keith load* as not to offend the anti-hollowpoint Hague accord.

*: 15.5 gr of 2400 pushing a 173gr. SWC to 1450 fps out of a 5" tube.

Mmmm-Mmmm, 173 grains of Creamy Goodness.

September 15, 2003, 09:47 AM

I'd might be tempted by a Browning Hi-power. Used by both sides (in Europe) during the war and 9mm readily available on the battle field. Might make a good backup.

Johnny Guest
September 15, 2003, 04:39 PM
Oh, wait - - You're talking about during WWII?

Well, in that case, a 1911A1.

I'd take a 1911 if the -A1 wasn't available.

I gave some thought to hunting up a P35 High Power, but there was NO reliable HP ammo available at the time, not to mention the potential Hague accord difficulties.

Yep, a .45 auto. :p


September 15, 2003, 04:42 PM
1911 :D

September 15, 2003, 05:10 PM
M1911, and I would choose to fly the P-38.

Erik Jensen
September 15, 2003, 06:19 PM
Mauser broomhandle in .30 Luger. accurate, great penetration, quickly loaded with stripper clips, so there's no mags to lose or to take up more space than necessary. with a shoulder stock, it's nearly as good as an M1 Carbine, methinks.

September 15, 2003, 07:05 PM
I'd carry a general issue 1911 without qualms, hopefully just not a hold over from the first world war. I do prefer the arched mainspring housing and lengthened trigger if given a choice... though I believe this was standard format for WWII production 1911s.

This would augment a 7.92x57JS K98 (I love that rifle).

September 15, 2003, 07:08 PM
S&W M-1917. I'll take two please!

Johnny Guest
September 15, 2003, 11:21 PM
The C-96 Broomhandle Mauser was usually chambered for the 7.63 mm Mauser ctg, which had a .985" long case, firing an 85 gr. FMJ bullet at 1170 - - 1200 fps from the 5.5" barrel.

I really don't think it was ever chambered for the 7.65 mm Parabellum (Luger) ctg - - That used a case of .845" length, and a 93 gr. FMJ at about 1136 fps from the 3-3/4" barrel.

The Mauser was also chambered for the 9x19 mm Luger cartridge, and a longer 9 mm Mauser ctg, but I have no figures handy for that one.

As an aside - - the .30 US carbine shoots a 110 FMJ at around 1900 fps.


September 16, 2003, 01:06 AM
Snowdog, the long trigger was standard on the original 1911 (with the flat mainspring housing) and the arched housing was standard on the 1911A1 (with the short trigger).

Old Dogg
September 16, 2003, 01:37 AM
As I am a newbie here, I don't know if this will go through or not, so here goes. :rolleyes:

One of the posters hit it on the head whith the reply of available ammo.
During WW2 Europe, the mid east and England, 9mm was probably more plentiful/available than the .45 ACP. However, if you were depending on the military for your source of ammo, the .45 ACP would probably be the arm of choice. Many pilots carried .38 Specials, with the S & W Victory or the 1917 models issued. Those who were with the Ferry Service came in contact with the Browning Hi Powers and the Webley's short barrel .455 caliber.
Pilots usually wore these in sholder/chest rigs for comfort.
Grunts always looked for pistols and the Germans had the .32 cal., the various 9 mm's (P-38's and Lugers) and Brownings 9mm to pick up on.
Some GI's were issued the Smith and Colt .45 ACP revolvers also, but the .38 Specials were more common. Truckers, Artillery, revolvers being carried by members of the Airborne Test Platoon at Fort Benning in 1940 and by AA gunners. The Army issued the .38s to the Service of Supply troops, provost troops, predecessors of the MPs, who guarded the ports and kept order among the garrisons.
So, What would I carry? Whatever I could get that insured me a plentiful supply of ammo. :D

Old Dogg

September 16, 2003, 04:00 AM
A baby Nambu - your enemies would die laughing
A Lahti - you can throw a tanks tracks off with that heavy clunker
A Nagant revolver - when you shot all 6/7 rounds, you know you have to run, because reloading is too slow.
A Mauser Broomhandle in 9mm - If you survive the war thats something of an investment to sell

Would actually choose the P38!

September 16, 2003, 11:06 AM
You would use what was issued and most troops didn't use handguns, more likely the M1 carbine.

Very popular were captured Beretta 1934s, small, well made and reliable.
Just drop it in your pocket and forget it.

September 16, 2003, 11:08 AM
Thanks, BluesBear.

Modern history was never my strongpoint....

September 16, 2003, 02:23 PM

In place of the Centennial that I like as an "always" gun - didn't Smith make a saftey hammerless model in 38 S&W? I'd use that also.

Alas, there is no period gun for the P7......

Old Dogg
September 16, 2003, 02:31 PM
I forgot to mention, General Patton carried a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum with customized ivory grips and a engraved Colt .45 Revolver with customized ivory grips.

Contrary to Hollywood fiction, he only wore one gun at a time. One of his "famous" comments was "Only a pimp in a New Orleans whorehouse or a tin-horn gambler would carry a pearl-handled pistol."

As he was a wealthy man in his own right, he could get the .357 Mag and .45 LC ammo when he wanted it. Thee and I would be hard pressed to do that if we were grunts in his AO. :barf:

Old Dogg

September 16, 2003, 02:59 PM
Originally posted by Old Dogg
As he was a wealthy man in his own right, he could get the .357 Mag and .45 LC ammo when he wanted it. Thee and I would be hard pressed to do that if we were grunts in his AO.

Since I would be using a rifle or SMG 99 percent of the time and consider a pistol (in that regard) either a truly last-ditch, "We're being overrun" weapon, or a CQB room clearing arm, I figure a box of 50 or at most 100 rounds would suffice. Plus, .38 Spl was around in decent quantities and could be loaded in a .357 if it was combat expedient.

Zach S
September 19, 2003, 04:02 PM

September 19, 2003, 05:11 PM
A Liberator.:D :D Just joking.

a 1911 deffinately.


EDIT: Ok, just went back and realized I missed jsalcedo's post. My bad.

September 19, 2003, 05:37 PM
If it was just to carry, a Broomhandle Mauser cuz they are so Kewl.
If I had to defend myself with it, 1911.

September 19, 2003, 07:48 PM
the High Standard Military----s'pressed!:D:what:

September 19, 2003, 07:50 PM
Colt model 1911A1. It has a proven track record, the ammuntion was plentiful. Why try to fix something that ain't broke?

Black Snowman
September 19, 2003, 09:47 PM
In that era I'd have to say the 1911. I may not be a fan of them but I like it better than the alternatives.

September 19, 2003, 11:32 PM
Actually Patton did, on occasion, wear both revolvers. Guns & Ammo magazine had an article and photo essay years ago about Pattons sidearms. There were photos showing him wearing both. As well as photos of him wearing his Colt Pocket Model .32 with 3 stars on the grips (he had already been promoted to 4 stars) as well as him wearing a Colt Detective Special.

In fact the only holster I have seen in pictures for his 3½" Registered .357 is a left handed model. I don't recall ever seeing any photos of him wearing just the S&W although most of the time he wore only the Colt SAA.

Ala Dan
September 20, 2003, 12:15 AM
You know, I voted for the 1911A1; but sitting here
thinking, I had a beautiful parkerized Smith & Wesson
4" barrel M&P "Victory" model that I bought from a
college lad for $100. It was all original and in darn
good shape; and I regret ever getting rid of it !:(

FWIW, it was the gun I qualified with at the police
academy; and I drove it to a very impressive score,
in the high 90's.

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

September 20, 2003, 10:06 AM
I would be happy with either 1911A1 or P-35.

If you enjoyed reading about "YOU choose your sidearm... WWII..." here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!