Notches and swatstikas


PDA






Rembrandt
February 13, 2009, 09:55 PM
At a recent gun show saw an M1 Garand with four Nazi swastikas carved on the butt stock. While it was common for fighter planes to display these for each kill, I wonder if some G.I.'s did the same thing to their rifles? Seems the tradition goes back to the 1800's when gun fighters notched their gun stocks.

Anyone else seen guns marked like that?

If you enjoyed reading about "Notches and swatstikas" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
HorseSoldier
February 13, 2009, 10:01 PM
Never seen one like that.

Don't think it was very common.

Jim K
February 13, 2009, 10:44 PM
I can't say it was never done, but carving, stamping, engraving or otherwise permanently marking U.S. service firearms by a military member was strictly forbidden. That had not always been true, but it was in WWI and since.

The reason was that weapons were not the property of a specific service member, or even of a unit. They were more like a common pool, with weapons issued to a unit based on the TO&E, then by the unit to the individual GI. A weapon marked by a GI or by a unit would have to be reworked to remove the unauthorized markings before being reissued.

I suspect that those notches or the equivalent were put on after the weapon left the military service, probably by some seller who wanted to make a naive buyer believe it was a "historical" piece.

Jim

husker
February 13, 2009, 11:02 PM
i would have to agree with jim keenan. being a war history nut my thought is this. if i was captured in battle i sure wouldnt want the enemy to see the notches in my rifle.that would be bad bad bad

Rosstradamus
February 13, 2009, 11:08 PM
I know someone with an M1 Carbine that has a P carved in the underside of the stock just in front of the magazine well. The owner believes it was some GI's own Proof mark after "field testing." More discreet than a swastika but along the same lines.

Ron James
February 13, 2009, 11:09 PM
Also, just what old west gun fighter notched their handgun grips? Plus most of the old time really bad guys used a shotgun or rifle, handguns were used, but not nearly as much as Hollywood would lead us to believe.

Deer Hunter
February 13, 2009, 11:16 PM
How much was this garand going for?

Color me cynical, but I'm willing to wager the seller of said gun may have put those swastikas on the gun himself.

jcwit
February 13, 2009, 11:53 PM
I notched my M14 so much the stock fell off.

husker
February 13, 2009, 11:57 PM
jcwit. i have to ask did you do this while in battle letting every one no how many kills you had. had to be in korea or nam. PS a hero to me = vet.

elmerfudd
February 14, 2009, 12:01 AM
I don't know about carvings on US rifles, but there are some very interesting Yugo SKS's out there. Here's a link with pictures of a few.

http://www.sksboards.com/smf/index.php?topic=19300.0

Most of those are pretty crude, but I have seen pictures of some very well done ones. One had a picture of a girl carved on it. It wasn't pornographic and it was very well done.

jcwit
February 14, 2009, 12:09 AM
Nah husker, I was just joking. I am a vet tho for sure U.S. ARMY, during Viet Nam era however not in combat, but we all went where they sent us.

I was injured in AIT and had a profile, so became a paper pusher.

I have a whole bunch of respect for the soldiers we have today with the some of the injuries and stay active. GOD BLESS THEM!!

husker
February 14, 2009, 12:12 AM
ya served thats all that matters to me. and A big thank you!

skidooman603
February 14, 2009, 05:42 AM
YEP Sounds like another ploy to make you believe a Garand is something it isn't. As I look for one I find there seems to be alot of that going on. Fun to search but gets a little frustrating. :(

mbdolfin
February 14, 2009, 07:21 AM
I have a Arisaka type 99 that i bought years ago with mum intact and no import marks. Someone carved "nip" on the stock. I guess a GI did it.

Doug S
April 24, 2009, 12:01 AM
This response is a couple months after the fact, but I thought I'd add it here for the record.

I have a M1 Carbine that I bought early last year. It came in an old hi-wood Inland stock that has two notches cut out of the bottom of the buttstock. The dealer never mentioned the notches to me, and I didn't notice them until I was home cleaning the gun before the first range trip. They are just two simple "V" cuts that are now the same dark red/brown color as the rest of the stock. I have no reason to believe someone did this to increase the value as it wasn't being advertised as such. Also, it only has two notches. If I were going to embellish the stock, I'd probably want to make the record a little better than 2:). I'm not saying I know for sure that these are authentic, but they are interesting.

Pack
April 24, 2009, 01:44 AM
I, too, have to think these are decidedly not records of "kills". In addition to the organizational (military regs regarding weapons) reasons listed above, a single infantryman scoring 4 kills with the same rifle - even one as good as the Garand - would apparently make him a truly exceptional individual, and there would likely be more of a story to accompany the weapon and its markings.

Someone may well (likely) refute this, as I'm sure there were a number of individual soldiers, whose names aren't familiar to us as those of heroes, who were simply very, very good on the battlefield. I'm just saying that, statistically, it doens't seem to wash:

Of the 100-some million deaths in WWII - military and civilian - nearly half were due to disease.

Of actual infantry casualties, at least in the US Army (from the book Dirty Little Secrets of WWII, by James E. Dunnigan and Albert Nofi):

Artillery (inlcuding mortars) accounted for over two-thirds of all casualties.

Even the deadly German light machine guns accounted for just 6%

I don't have the figure for rifle fire, but it is listed as being further down the list than all of these - so, less than 6%.

Granted, all things being equal a GI with a Garand was likely dishing out more damage than a Landser with a K98k, but from all of the above I have to infer that four kills would dictate that 1) the man saw more than his fair share of action - well above the average, and 2) in said action, he acquitted himself very well, to say the least.

Again, I'm certainly no expert - on Garands or combat - but the numbers would seem to make this unlikely/exceptional.

starkadder
April 24, 2009, 02:26 AM
First off I would like to say that this could very well be a selling ploy and I would not put it past some of the more unscupulous dealers out there but to say that a G.I. would not carve on his rifle just because the regs say "don't" is quite a rediculous statement, and to go quoting casualty rates and causes as to say that a G.I. probably didn't have four kills to his credit is frankly absurd. :scrutiny:
Grunts are grunts the world over whether they are American or any other nationality and they will personalize thier equipment, paint on thier vehichles, modify thier web gear, and yes some even put kill marks on weapons, some will even go to the extreme of taking the most gruesome of trophies.

My Father in Law who was in the army from 56-59 burnished and hand rubbed the stock of his Garand until it looked like something that you would see in the Cody museum and no one sent him to the stockade, he even told me that his CO said that he had the finest rifle in the company and asked him to do the same to his M-1 carbine.

This is this! It's not something else, it's this!

ALWAYS REMEMBER OUR MEN AND WOMEN OVER THERE.

turkeythigh
April 24, 2009, 02:36 AM
"I know someone with an M1 Carbine that has a P carved in the underside of the stock just in front of the magazine well. The owner believes it was some GI's own Proof mark after "field testing." More discreet than a swastika but along the same lines."

a friend of mine asked me to do some research on an M1 he picked up from a WWII vet, his was also marked with a P on the underside of the stock. from what ive found out from various books is that it is a mark to show that the rifle has been rebuilt or atleast had a new stock installed. some of them came back from the war pretty beat up and new stocks were marked with a P. just what ive read, i could be wrong.

.45Guy
April 24, 2009, 03:13 AM
Sounds like a marketing ploy to me. If I could get away with it I'd snap some pictures of the IRA Krag in the used rack at the Mentor, OH Gander Mountain. Has a name, unit, and "used in the Irish revolution 1926" carved on the stock...

Pack
April 24, 2009, 03:51 AM
"First off I would like to say that this could very well be a selling ploy and I would not put it past some of the more unscupulous dealers out there but to say that a G.I. would not carve on his rifle just because the regs say "don't" is quite a rediculous statement, and to go quoting casualty rates and causes as to say that a G.I. probably didn't have four kills to his credit is frankly absurd."

I don't know about "rediculous" (Ridiculous?) or absurd, but I did both begin and end that part of my post with a statement that I had no firsthand knowledge of this particular rifle whatsoever - much like you - and was simply postulating as to what was likely

Implicit in my post ("there would likely be more of a story to accompany the weapon and its markings") was the fact that it seems if a GI had gone to the trouble to mark his weapon in this manner, and was thus apparently fond/proud of his service, he'd have done what he could have to hand onto it, and there would be an accompanying story.

Given the vier hakenkreuzen in the stock, I found it highly unlikely that the rifle went through an arsenal refinishing post-war, or came from the CMP in that state. So, the rifle came most likely came straight from an individual GI at some point.

Given that, it seemed to me that if the markings were genuine - as opposed to a mere sales ploy - there'd be more of a story regarding how they got there and who used the rifle to such good effect. After all, such "details" - true or not - would only serve to help the seller spin more of a yarn.

I don't know what part of my reasoning on this - which I didn't spoon-feed everyone in my first post in the interest of space, but made sure it was implied - is "ridiculous" or "absurd".

What inferences are you drawing from the facts given? You took issue with everything I said, but offered no specific contention of your own, effectively saying nothing more than "well, it's possible the original soldier did it, because some others almost surely did". No one, inlcuding me, ruled out that possibility, but spoke only as to its likelihood.

Anything's possible, but saying so adds nothing to the discussion.

Art Eatman
April 24, 2009, 10:57 AM
Pack, you're reading more into idle speculation than is warranted. Folks weren't knocking you; just thinking out loud about "maybes".

Enuf.

If you enjoyed reading about "Notches and swatstikas" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!