Need help choosing WWII USA milsurp


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Hokkmike
January 23, 2014, 10:41 AM
I want to buy a WWII combat rifle used by American forces in WWII. This to compliment my YUGO 24/47 and RUSSIAN Mosin Nagant.

The Garand is TOO BIG for me as I am small in stature with shorter arms.

So, excluding that fine firearm which many said "won the war" what would be a good representative era firearms, complete with sling, bayonet, etc., that I could add to my small collection?

I hope also in time to add a K-98, thought the 24/47 is probably close enough, and then an Arisaka. It will be a small collection.

Suggestions welcome!

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Neo-Luddite
January 23, 2014, 10:43 AM
M-1 Carbine

Quiet
January 23, 2014, 10:54 AM
+1 on the M-1 Carbine.

And get an actual USGI, not a commercial production.

USGI
Inland Division of General Motors (INLAND DIV)
Winchester Repeating Arms (WINCHESTER)
Irwin-Pedersen (IRWIN-PEDERSEN)
Saginaw Steering Gear Division of General Motors (SAGINAW S.G.)
Underwood Elliot Fisher (UNDERWOOD)
National Postal Meter (NATIONAL POSTAL METER)
Quality Hardware Manufacturing Corp. (QUALITY H.M.C.)
International Business Machines (IBM Corp)
Standard Products (STD. PRO.)
Rock-Ola Manufacturing Corporation (ROCK-OLA)
Commercial Controls Corporation (COMMERCIAL CONTROLS)

horsemen61
January 23, 2014, 11:03 AM
yep m 1 carbine is the way to go

Riomouse911
January 23, 2014, 11:14 AM
Since the Garand is too big, the M-1 Carbine is about the only thing that fits your bill. I recently bought one from a friend who retired and moved out of the US, it's a hoot to plink with.

vongh
January 23, 2014, 11:20 AM
Might be a little hard to come by and if your not only looking for a full power rifle maybe a Thompson smg looking gun.

OldBrownDog
January 23, 2014, 11:28 AM
M1 Carbine.

Have you held an M1 Garand? I only ask because I find that the stock is very short. Unless weight is the issue, shouldering it shouldn't be a problem if you need a short LOP.

Hokkmike
January 23, 2014, 11:29 AM
Since the Garand is too big, the M-1 Carbine is about the only thing that fits your bill. I recently bought one from a friend who retired and moved out of the US, it's a hoot to plink with.

Dare I ask (ball park) what you paid for it?

1948CJ2A
January 23, 2014, 11:32 AM
Since you already have 2 bolt action rifles, you might consider a 1903 Springfield. Then you'd have 3 bolt-actions from approx the same era.

I've got all 3 plus a Garand. The Garand is my favorite but the 03 is a close second! For me, the other rifles really make the Nagant look like crud.

fpgt72
January 23, 2014, 11:36 AM
I did not see a 1903 brought up...if the 91/30 and 98k are ok then the good ole 1903 is something that could be done as well.

Also some "home guard" units got the old 1917.

And if you are looking for a US made rifle you can get a SMLE made by Savage stamped U.S. Property....those are cool as well.

fpgt72
January 23, 2014, 11:44 AM
Since you already have 2 bolt action rifles, you might consider a 1903 Springfield. Then you'd have 3 bolt-actions from approx the same era.

I've got all 3 plus a Garand. The Garand is my favorite but the 03 is a close second! For me, the other rifles really make the Nagant look like crud.
I also have them all, plus a Krag, and that Krag makes all them look like crap....but that is not really the point.

They are what they are, and a 91/30 in good shape (key) is not a bad looking rifle.

I also have the good fortune to have an SVT40, Garand, and G43....and IMHO the SVT is a far better weapon over the garand it is not even funny. Adjustable gas system, external magazine and no idiot enblock to screw with. And they shoot well enough for a combat weapon...minute of man at 100yards easy.

We also left out the Johnson, but it would be in the same category as a garand as heavy....and about 4x as expensive.

carbine85
January 23, 2014, 12:09 PM
All of the USGI rifles are big except for the M1 Carbine.
The M1 Garand isn't that bad. It should be fine if it's a bench shooter.
M1917 is heavier and longer and the 1903 is lighter and shorter. Both shoot the 30.06. I would assume that the recoil might be a bit harsh for you if the guns are too large to handle.
They really aren't as bad as you might think. My 10 year old Nephew shoots all of them. He also shoots my M44's and 91/30's.

AlexanderA
January 23, 2014, 12:43 PM
Is your main goal shooting, or collecting? If you're trying to assemble a representative WWII collection, whether you are comfortable shooting the M1 Garand is irrelevant. It definitely belongs in the collection.

Regarding the M1 carbine, note that most of them have been rebuilt over the years. The typical WWII gun would not have the bayonet lug or a 30-round magazine.

USSR
January 23, 2014, 12:58 PM
Quote:
Since the Garand is too big, the M-1 Carbine is about the only thing that fits your bill. I recently bought one from a friend who retired and moved out of the US, it's a hoot to plink with.

Dare I ask (ball park) what you paid for it?

Nice Service Grades here http://www.thecmp.org/Sales/m1garand.htm go for $625.

Don

fpgt72
January 23, 2014, 01:10 PM
It is odd that he says the garand is too big as he says he has the 91/30. I would think from a recoil point the mosin would be about the most harsh out of what he says he has. Perhaps that 9lb garand is just too heavy...medical reasons perhaps....who knows, but I do agree it belongs in any WWII collection if only as a bench rest gun....and they are quite fun that way.

Hokkmike
January 23, 2014, 01:20 PM
It is odd that he says the garand is too big as he says he has the 91/30. I would think from a recoil point the mosin would be about the most harsh out of what he says he has. Perhaps that 9lb garand is just too heavy...medical reasons perhaps....who knows, but I do agree it belongs in any WWII collection if only as a bench rest gun....and they are quite fun that way.

Bad shoulder. The 91/30 has a much slimmer profile.

It occurs to me, but didn't they make a "tanker" Garand.

BigG
January 23, 2014, 02:03 PM
I think it was General Patton who called the M1 rifle the Ultimate Weapon.

Reloadron
January 23, 2014, 02:06 PM
Need help choosing WWII USA milsurp

Narrows it down to the war baby, the M1 Carbine with the emphasis on USA Military Surplus. Buy a M1 Carbine, choot it and be happy.

Ron

Fishbed77
January 23, 2014, 02:12 PM
The Garand is TOO BIG for me as I am small in stature with shorter arms

The Garand stock has a rather short length-of-pull and is not difficult at all for short-statured people to operate. It's not a lightweight rifle, but the balance is very good. Recoil is very soft, considering the round. Actually, I can't think of a rifle firing a full-size cartridge that recoils softer than a Garand.

You should definitely shoot one a bit before you rule it out. Plenty of boys carried them and fought with them effectively all the way across Europe.

Also, a $625 CMP Service Grade Garand is hard to beat. One of the best milsurp deals out there.

1KPerDay
January 23, 2014, 03:43 PM
Get a Garand. Accept no substitutes. Coolest rifle ever made. :cool:

Second choice, 1903/A3. Lighter than the original 1903 (at least mine is). With the original type straight stock, LOP should be okay for you also.

M1 Carbines are cool, too. And they are tiny.

desidog
January 23, 2014, 04:03 PM
Forget the M-1. Get an M-3. :cool:

AlexanderA
January 23, 2014, 04:27 PM
It occurs to me, but didn't they make a "tanker" Garand.

"Tanker" Garands were made, but not by the U.S. military. These were figments of certain surplus dealers, who were trying to think up a way to use the demilled barrels and other parts they had on hand.

There was a request, I believe, from the Pacific Theater very late in the war for 50,000 shortened Garands for jungle (not "tanker") use. But the war ended before these could be made.

The first wave of Garands to hit the surplus market was in the late 1950's/early 1960's (not counting the few that became available through the Director of Civilian Marksmanship). These were often cut-up demilled guns that were cleverly welded together by enterprising scrap dealers. I remember these being sold through Sears Roebuck for about $80-90 (when you could buy a nice surplus Lee-Enfield for less than $10). I still have a rewelded Winchester M1 that I bought around that time. I didn't even realize it had been rewelded until years later -- the job had been done that well.

Riomouse911
January 23, 2014, 04:35 PM
I paid 450 bucks for the carbine, but it was from a friend not a dealer so I got the break.
I paid 500 for my CMP Garands several years ago.
I paid 189 for the Savage made-US Property marked .303 at Big 5 about 12 years ago.
I paid 149 for a 98k Mauser from Samco, again, many moons ago.
I paid 125 bucks for a 1917...but it was sporterized, not stock. I sold it a few years ago because the drilled scope mounts, cut barrel etc wouldn't let it be returned to original without a bunch of $$.
I dont have a Russian M-N...yet.

strambo
January 23, 2014, 08:10 PM
I would get the $625 CMP Garand. I love my Garand and have dinged steel with it at 500 yds. The first time I shot it, it struck me how little recoil there was considering it is 30.06 and how fast the follow up shots are.

I also recently acquired an M1 Carbine and these little things point and balance so well they seem to jump up and into your shoulder! Great HD gun with 110gr soft points as well.

You need to get both, flip a coin as to which comes first!

Float Pilot
January 24, 2014, 02:56 AM
I have a few WWII era US rifles, the one that rings my bell is my 1943 Smith Corona 1903-A3. Nothing says war time more than having a rifle made by a typewriter company.

Mine has the stock cross bolts that were intended to take the extra recoil from firing Rifle Grenades. A chore for which the 1903-A3 was often issued.

rondog
January 24, 2014, 03:53 AM
All the cool kids have one of these.....

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/my%20M1%20carbines/DSCN3346.jpg

Kernel
January 24, 2014, 04:06 AM
The Springfield M1903-A3 was made during WWII, and they were used in combat. Had peep sights and some stamped steel parts replacing those that had been machined on earlier versions. It's still a good quality weapon. I think it would be a perfect complement to your Yugo-Mauser and Nagant.

Ash
January 24, 2014, 05:40 AM
Since the Mauser and Mosin were primary combat rifles, to best match the collection outside of a Garand would be the Springfield, which was a primary combat rifle (the Marines invaded Guadalcanal with it).

Of course, the M1 Carbine was used in vast numbers, too.

USSR
January 24, 2014, 07:11 AM
The Springfield M1903-A3 was made during WWII, and they were used in combat.

Yes, they were made during WWII, but they were not used in combat. The Marines entered the war with the 1903 Springfield (not the 03-A3), and were issued M1 Garands later in the war. The 03-A3 was not an issue weapon for front line troops.

Don

fpgt72
January 24, 2014, 07:23 AM
Bad shoulder. The 91/30 has a much slimmer profile.

It occurs to me, but didn't they make a "tanker" Garand.
Understand fully...I have 5 bits of titanium holding my head on so I do know what you are talking about...my left arm is so weak I really can't support the weight of a garand but do bench shoot it.

I would say that a 1903 is going to be pretty close to a 91/30 in feel and weight. After that it really is a M1 Carbine.

I really think that if you can do the mosin you can do the springfield if you want to stay with that full power cartridge. You also may want to look at an SVT....I know soviet again, but it is lighter then the garand and (he dawns flame proof underwear) a more advanced rifle.

Only down side to the carbine is ammo, but if you reload that is really a non-issue....if you want to shoot that carbine more then just once in a blue moon, look into reloading. You can also do most of the military matches if you are looking for some games to play with the rifle.

Reloadron
January 24, 2014, 08:19 AM
Float Pilot Mentions:
I have a few WWII era US rifles, the one that rings my bell is my 1943 Smith Corona 1903-A3. Nothing says war time more than having a rifle made by a typewriter company.


Now taking into consideration the size restraints of the original poster and Float Pilot's comment all the original poster need to is run out and buy a M1 Carbine manufactured by Underwood. :)

Ron

j1
January 24, 2014, 08:25 AM
Another ditto to the M 1 carbine. Nice handy little gun. Fun to shoot too.

Reloadron
January 24, 2014, 09:49 AM
Pictured below are an O3A3, M1 Garand and a M1 Carbine, all are US Military rifles:

http://www.bearblain.com/images/03%20Garand%20Carbine.png

As can be seen the O3A3 and Garand are about the same overall length and both rifles come in around the same weight. While the O3A3 and Garand are obviously longer and much heavier (about twice the weight of the M1 Carbine) all 3 rifles have the same distance from the heel of the buttstock to the trigger at about 13 inches. While I don't have a M1941 Johnson it would come in around the same weight, length and trigger distance as the M1 Garand and O3A3 rifles.

So in keeping with light weight (bad arm) and being a US Military WWII era rifle the only logical choice I see is the war baby known as the M1 Carbine. That or a very, very expensive sub machine gun. :)

Ron

sansone
January 24, 2014, 09:58 AM
I remember when those surplus M1 carbines were under $100... I Should have bought 10, no, 100 ;)

cfullgraf
January 24, 2014, 10:04 AM
The world is full of "would have", "could have" and "should have"'s.

I wish I had finished out a collection of M1 Carbine manufacturers when CMP still had them. As is, I only have half a set.:(

Given the OP's stated limitations, I'd go with a M1 carbine.

AlexanderA
January 24, 2014, 10:32 AM
I hate to be the dissenting voice on the M1 carbine, but here goes:

At one time I used to collect M1 carbines by manufacturer, and I managed to get most of them. But eventually I realized that it was a pipsqueak gun, and sold all my carbines. That's a decision I don't regret.

Stick with the Garand.

sansone
January 24, 2014, 10:54 AM
pipsqueak and mouse guns have their place too :D

Speedo66
January 24, 2014, 11:29 AM
Get a 1911 and duct tape a bayonet to it. :neener:

fpgt72
January 24, 2014, 02:07 PM
I hate to be the dissenting voice on the M1 carbine, but here goes:

At one time I used to collect M1 carbines by manufacturer, and I managed to get most of them. But eventually I realized that it was a pipsqueak gun, and sold all my carbines. That's a decision I don't regret.

Stick with the Garand.
yea...heck those guns are not any fun to shoot, can't kill anyone...heck all those marines and parachute troops had to wait for those with garands to kill any germans....that carbine just made them mad.

SlamFire1
January 24, 2014, 02:35 PM
Not only was the M1903A3 used in WW2 so was the M1903! The highest concentration in images are in the North African invasion and with the Marines on Guadalcanal. I believe I have seen 03A3’s in D Day pictures. The Marine Corp carried the M1903 exclusively on Wake, Guadalcanal, but no American photographer made it back from Wake. Occasionally I will see pictures of MP’s carrying 03’s in Italy, Germany and I read one combat account, in Germany, where the author found and used a 03 in a house to house fight. A straight grip stock 03 is short, light, and kicks like a mule! Expect the stock to fatten your lip on recoil.

There is one “ghost” rifle that is always in the background and that is the M1917. I have seen lots of M1917’s pictures in the hands of troops in basic training. The M1917 was used in the Philippines by the Philippine Army, the Japanese Invasion period was a very chaotic time, it could have been used by Americans in the collapse that lead to Corregidor. I have read accounts of American’s who escaped the death march, stayed in the jungles, and occasionally a M1917 pops up in their accounts.

I have not found any confirmed uses in Europe , but there is one image, from the PBS series on WW2 . I have seen this footage used in other WW2 programs, there is a burning jeep, a wounded GI being carried, winter gear, snow on the ground, and this unmistakable outline of a M1917.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/DSCN7497M1917riflePBSWWIIShow_zps9cd2c728.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/SlamFire/media/DSCN7497M1917riflePBSWWIIShow_zps9cd2c728.jpg.html).

I have no idea where, what, or why, the footage is always used when Battle of the Bulge programs are being played.

Kernel
January 24, 2014, 04:35 PM
The 03-A3 was not an issue weapon for front line troops.

No duh. BTAIM, thousands upon thousands of A3's were used in WWII combat.

USSR
January 24, 2014, 06:25 PM
Not only was the M1903A3 used in WW2 so was the M1903!

No duh. BTAIM, thousands upon thousands of A3's were used in WWII combat.

No way. There are thousands upon thousands of WWII combat photos and reel footage, so it should be easy to come up with a couple. Good luck with that. I have seen exactly one, and that was in Italy I believe and belonged to a rear guard soldier that was in a bombed out city well after the battle was over. The 03-A3 and Remington produced M1903 were NEVER a standard issue rifle. The M1 Garand was standardized on January 9, 1936 and the first production model was issued to the U.S. Army in the summer of 1937. The USMC did not adopt the M1 Garand until March 5 1941, and it was not until nearly halfway through World War II that the Marine Corp was completely changed over from their 1903 Springfields (not the M1903 or M1903-A3 models). So, with the M1 Garand replacing the U.S. Army's 1903 Springfields prior to the development of the Remington M1903 and M1903-A3's, and the Marine Corp turning in their prewar issue 1903 Springfields for M1 Garands during the war, and with the M1903 and 03-A3's being held in reserve or given to U.S. allies, please explain how all these "thousands" of a non-standard issue rifle were used in combat?:rolleyes:

Don

Reloadron
January 24, 2014, 08:17 PM
While this seems to have gone a little off topic, the following is a partial quote from the book U.S. Infantry Weapons Of World War II (http://www.amazon.com/U-S-Infantry-Weapons-World-War/dp/0917218671) by Bruce N. Canfield.

Many people do not realize that most of the U.S. Marine Corps’ early Pacific campaigns were fought with the old ’03 as the primary service rifle. The Marines on Guadalcanal were armed with the ’03; the newer semiautomatic rifles did not come into use until the latter stages of the campaign, when Army troops armed with the new M1 Garand rifles reinforced the weary Marines. Most of our troops fighting in the Philippines prior to their surrender used ‘03s as well. Many Army troops were armed with ‘03s during the North Africa and Sicily campaigns and surprisingly large numbers were also used in much of the fighting in Italy and other theaters. During World War Two, the ’03 was generally utilized due to a shortage of M1 rifles or other semiautomatic weapons. However, even when other weapons were available, the ’03 remained the weapon of choice for some troops due to its reliability and greater inherent accuracy. As stated in the official History of U.S. Marine Corps Operations in World War II, “Nostalgia for the reliable ’03 was widespread….” A number of ‘03s remained in front line combat duty until the very end of the war. It must be added, however, that the majority of combat troops greatly preferred the firepower of automatic or semiautomatic weapons.
The M1 rifle began to replace the ’03 in Marine Corps service by early 1943. A Memorandum to the Commandant of the Corps, dated January 26, 1943, stated that
M1 rifles are now being received at a rate that will not only permit the equipping of all new Fleet Marine Force organizations but the gradual replacement of M1903 rifles now in the hands of other units. M1903 rifles, as received, will be turned over to the Navy.


There is quite a bit more but I am far from a proficient typist and got my wife to type that small bit for me. The book is very good reading and very informative.

I do know that my father landed on Guadalcanal as a young Marine with the O3 Springfield rifle. They never saw a M1 Garand till well after the island was secured and the Army replacements had the then new rifles, new to them anyway.

Looking at my dad's old unit books I don't see any pictures that include a M1 Garand during the Guadalcanal Campaign (August 1942 through February 1943). However, by the time they got to Peleliu (September–November 1944) there are pictures depicting the Marines with the M1 Garand rifles.

Ron

Speedo66
January 24, 2014, 09:26 PM
Being "issued", and being "in combat" are two different things.

While certain guns may not have been officially issued, they sure were used in combat.

Plenty of M-1 and M-2 Carbines used in Viet Nam although they were never "issued". Hey, there were even Swedish "K's" used over there, and they sure as heck weren't issued.

USSR
January 24, 2014, 09:52 PM
Being "issued", and being "in combat" are two different things.

While certain guns may not have been officially issued, they sure were used in combat.

Plenty of M-1 and M-2 Carbines used in Viet Nam although they were never "issued". Hey, there were even Swedish "K's" used over there, and they sure as heck weren't issued.

So where did the U.S. troops in Viet Nam get the M1 and M2's if they weren't a standard issue weapon? Actually, the select fire M2 was a commonly issued weapon in the early years of the Viet Nam war. One of our own THR members (Vern Humphrey) was issued one (he hated it). As for the Swedish K subguns, a lot of that had to do with spec ops forces within the country, and it's not like they were commonly used by grunts. The simple fact is: the 03-A3's were not a standardized or issue weapon for front line troops because M1 Garand production was ramped up enough to fill the needs of our combat troops. That's why you can occasionally find mint or unissued 03-A3's like my Smith-Corona.

Don

Steel Horse Rider
January 24, 2014, 10:57 PM
I think your argument is one of picking at nits. "Standard issue" removes from the argument rifles which were issued to specialty people, whether you are talking about a squad automatic weapon, armored division, or snipers. I don't have the reference in front of me but it is my understanding that both the 1903 and the 1903A3 were used as sniper weapons, but after 1943 only the M1 Garand was a "standard issue" weapon for front line units. Of course in most occassions just because the army declared a unit as "front line' the enemy did not have to respect that decision which led to a lot of "nonstandard issue" weapons being used in places like eastern Belgium in the winter of 1944. The M1 Carbine was not "standard issue" but it certainly saw a lot of action in both WWII and Korea.

These types of discussions that continually go south over semantics certainly are not a reflection of the supposed "High Road" nameplate on the front of this unit. So would the Garand have been a better "standard issue" weapon had it been in .308 instead of 30-06? Might as well drag this completely into the gutter. :(

Reloadron
January 24, 2014, 11:02 PM
M1903A3 Rifle

The changes made in the M1903 (Modified) rifle did result in faster production, but some additional changes were necessary to further decrease manufacturing time. Big problem was replacing the M1905 rear sight with its fixed base. Remington’s engineers designed the rear sight that replaced the M1905 sight.

Finally on May 21, 1942 the redesigned rifle was designated the U.S Rifle, Caliber .30, Model of 1903A3. To supplement Remington’s production of the M1903A3 the government contracted with L.C Smith & Corona in February 1942 to also manufacture the M1903A3 rifle. Both firms delivered large numbers of the rifles before the contracts were cancelled in February of 1944, when the production of the rifles finally met the demand.

By the time Remington and Smith-Corona had begun large scale production of the rifles, most of the combat units had been fairly well equipped M1 Garand rifles. Many of the ‘A3s were used as training weapons but a number were employed in combat roles in both Europe and the Pacific. Standard issue M1903 and M1903A3 service rifles as well as the M1903A4 sniper variant were used by the U.S. Army in Italy and the China/Burma/India (CBI) theatre well into late 1944 and early 1945.

The above was taken from the book I linked to earlier. It is condensed.

How many were actually employed in combat? I doubt anyone knows for sure but I have a picture from the CBI campaign where a O3A3 and O3A4 are seen side by side fighting the Japanese in 1944. However, as mentioned by the time the O3A3 was readily available the M1 Garand was also very much available and widely distributed. Did the O3A3 see deployment in combat in the European and Pacific theaters? Yes but as widespread as the M1 Garand.

Ron

rondog
January 25, 2014, 12:40 AM
Well, I have a 1943 Remington M1903A3, and as far as I'm concerned, "it was there and it done that". That's all that matters to me.

Owlnmole
January 25, 2014, 03:36 AM
For what it's worth, I have seen several references to the M1917 as regular issue to mortarmen, artillerymen and presumably other non-rifleman and "second line" troops in North Africa, who certainly sometimes saw combat whether they liked it or not.

To take this in another direction, since the M1A1 Thompson and M3A1 Grease Gun may not be practical options (I can't stand the long-barrel repros, but a semi-auto SBR would be fun), how about a combat shotgun?

From Wikipedia...

More than 80,000 Model 12 shotguns were purchased during World War II by the United States Marine Corps, Army Air Forces, and Navy, mostly for use in the Pacific theater. Riot gun versions of the Model 12, lacking the heat shield and bayonet, were purchased by the Army for use in defending bases and in protecting Air Forces aircraft against saboteurs when parked. The Navy similarly purchased and used the riot gun version for protecting Navy ships and personnel while in foreign ports. The Marine Corps used the trench gun version of the Model 12 to great success in taking Japanese-occupied islands in the Pacific. The primary difference in Model 12 shotguns between the World War II trench gun version versus the World War I trench gun version was that the original design, containing six rows of holes in the perforated heat shield, was reduced to only four rows during 1942.

Unlike most modern pump-action shotguns, the Winchester Model 12 had no trigger disconnector. Like the earlier Model 1897, it too fired each time the action closed with the trigger depressed. That and its 6-shot capacity made it effective for close-combat. As fast as one could pump the action, another shot would be fired.


The trench gun models with bayonet lug and heat shields are harder to come by and very expensive, but the riot gun versions can sometimes be found at a more reasonable price since the don't scream "combat weapon."

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/32/Trench_Shotgun_win12_800.jpg

http://picturearchive.gunauction.com/346458/7225590/0e90db004ada05aaf776214c20e2940d.jpg

Hokkmike
January 25, 2014, 08:27 AM
Thanks for all of the thoughtful and informative replies. Very good reading.

USSR
January 25, 2014, 01:02 PM
I think your argument is one of picking at nits. "Standard issue" removes from the argument rifles which were issued to specialty people, whether you are talking about a squad automatic weapon, armored division, or snipers. I don't have the reference in front of me but it is my understanding that both the 1903 and the 1903A3 were used as sniper weapons...

You are talking about totally different weapons. Yes, the Marine Corp's M1903A1 with it's Unertl 8X scope was it's "standard" issue sniper rifle. Note: this is not the same as the 1903 Springfield rifle which was being phased out. Also, the Army's 1903-A4 was it's "standard" issue sniper rifle. Again, this is not the 03-A3 rifle. Picking at nits? No, just being accurate like our armed forces are when standardizing on and issuing rifles. Still waiting for WWII combat pictures from someone showing our guys using 03-A3's against the Germans or Japanese.

Don

Kernel
January 25, 2014, 01:49 PM
This is pic is just cool............
http://candrsenal.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Melange-of-WWII1.jpg
Who could put them all back together blindfolded? How long would it take?

Reloadron
January 25, 2014, 08:08 PM
You are talking about totally different weapons. Yes, the Marine Corp's M1903A1 with it's Unertl 8X scope was it's "standard" issue sniper rifle. Note: this is not the same as the 1903 Springfield rifle which was being phased out. Also, the Army's 1903-A4 was it's "standard" issue sniper rifle. Again, this is not the 03-A3 rifle. Picking at nits? No, just being accurate like our armed forces are when standardizing on and issuing rifles. Still waiting for WWII combat pictures from someone showing our guys using 03-A3's against the Germans or Japanese.

Don

OK, you want a picture? Here is a picture:

http://www.bearblain.com/images/O3A3%201A.png

I am sorry the file size is about 3 MB. Following a scan and conversion I had to keep the image file size pretty large. If you look closely at the shooter in the foreground (Top Image) just behind his pinky the word "Hell" is written on the stock, I haven't a clue what else was written but the image looks better full size.

So here we have American soldiers shooting at Japanese using an M1903A3 and a M1903A4. This is the image I referenced in an earlier post which you apparently felt did not exist. Try as I will Don, I can't change history and that is the way it was in Burma, 1945 as US Soldiers engaged the Japanese.

I agree the use may have been limited and the quantities may have been limited because as you stated, and is very true, the M1 Garands were common place by 1945. I also spelled that out above.

Ron

rondog
January 25, 2014, 08:53 PM
http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2012/04/james-grant/gun-review-m1903a3-rifle/

USSR
January 26, 2014, 05:55 PM
Reloadron,

Appreciate you finding and posting that photo of the 03-A3. That is only the 2nd that I have seen, and appears to be the only one showing it actually being used in combat. I would be interested in knowing what unit is involved in that photo. It appears that the guy behind the M1919A4 is Burmese, so I am wondering if perhaps this a case where the army unit is operating with local resistance fighters who may have been supplied by us with 03-A3's? Something that we will never know, but in any case you have found a photo of an 03-A3 being used by a U.S. soldier, so I congratulate you.

Don

Reloadron
January 26, 2014, 07:29 PM
Don,

All I can say is the photo was scanned from one of my books. Can you imagine how many pictures like this were archived?

It appears that the guy behind the M1919A4 is Burmese.

Till you mentioned that I never noticed but yes, he does look to be Burmese. Working with the resistance makes sense I guess but who knows. The pile of spent brass is interesting. :)

Have a good one....

Ron

Steel Horse Rider
January 26, 2014, 09:42 PM
I think the Joe in the bottom picture on the right is holding an M1 Carbine. Both of those pictures (I believe) are a good indication of the variety of weapons that are used in warfare whether they are "issued" or not. My nephew who spent 20 years in the Special Forces used a large variety of weapons depending on his assignments. The weapons ranged from the shortened M4 to AK-47's and at least 4 different pistols because he didn't like the "standard issue" 9MM pistol. He normally carried 4 different weapons with him while on an assignment and used the one that best fit the situation.

Owlnmole
January 27, 2014, 03:00 AM
Some other options per Wikipedia...

List of secondary and special-issue World War II infantry weapons

United States

High Standard HDM pistol
M1941 Johnson rifle
M1941 Johnson machine gun
M42 United Defense submachine gun
M50 Reising submachine gun
M97 Shotgun (Used in the Pacific War)
M12 Shotgun (Used in the Pacific War)
Ithaca 37 (Used in the Pacific War)
Browning Auto-5 (Used in the Pacific War)

Of those, why not a High Standard pistol, maybe even pay the tax stamp and create a recreation of an HDM from a basic HD pistol?

fpgt72
January 27, 2014, 07:35 AM
Never knew they used the auto-5....I have one of those things...they do pack a punch.

cfullgraf
January 27, 2014, 07:44 AM
Yes, the Marine Corp's M1903A1 with it's Unertl 8X scope was it's "standard" issue sniper rifle. Note: this is not the same as the 1903 Springfield rifle which was being phased out.

I am under the understanding that the M1903A1 is a rebuilt/overhauled M1903 with a pistol grip stock ("C" stock). Most or many were done in the late 1920's.

But, I've slept since I read that.

USSR
January 27, 2014, 08:50 AM
Actually, I believe they started life as match rifles with star gauged barrels, but I am at work now and will need to check Brophy's book about the 1903 Springfield rifles.

Don

Reloadron
January 27, 2014, 09:31 AM
Some other options per Wikipedia...

List of secondary and special-issue World War II infantry weapons

United States

High Standard HDM pistol
M1941 Johnson rifle
M1941 Johnson machine gun
M42 United Defense submachine gun
M50 Reising submachine gun
M97 Shotgun (Used in the Pacific War)
M12 Shotgun (Used in the Pacific War)
Ithaca 37 (Used in the Pacific War)
Browning Auto-5 (Used in the Pacific War)

Of those, why not a High Standard pistol, maybe even pay the tax stamp and create a recreation of an HDM from a basic HD pistol?
I am not real sure about the Browning Auto 5?

Browning would later license the design to Remington, who produced it as their Model 11 (1905–1948). The Remington Model 11 was the first auto-loading shotgun made in the USA. Savage Arms also licensed the design from Browning and produced it as their model 720 from 1930 to 1949.

The Remington Model 11 Riot Gun and the Savage Model 720 Riot Gun were both very popular WWII shotguns and while both guns are clearly the Browning design (that unmistakable Browning Auto 5 look) I can't find any reference to an actual Browning Auto 5 being used by US forces?

I see the following shotguns used by US Forces during WWII:

Winchester
Model 97 trench guns, riot guns and training guns.
Model 12 trench guns, riot guns and training guns.

Stevens
Model 520-30 trench guns, riot guns and training guns.
Model 620A trench guns, riot guns and training guns.

Ithaca
Model 37 trench guns, riot guns and training guns.
Interesting note is that Ithaca completed its military shotgun contracts by the end of 1942 to concentrate on manufacturing the M1911A1 .45 pistol. All in all Ithaca only produced 1,420 Model 37 shotguns making them very rare.

Remington
Model 11 and Sportsman riot guns and training guns.
Model 31 riot guns and training guns.

Savage
Model 720 riot guns and training guns.


I can scan some images if anyone has an interest in any of these shotguns.

Ron

cfullgraf
January 27, 2014, 09:57 AM
Actually, I believe they started life as match rifles with star gauged barrels, but I am at work now and will need to check Brophy's book about the 1903 Springfield rifles.

Don

Don, at least from one source, we are both correct.

Bruce Canfield says in his "An Illustrated Guide to the '03 Springfield Service Rifle", pg 107-108.

The "C" stock was initially used in 1929 on National Match rifles and liked so well that the "C" stock was approved for use as the "S" stock supplies were exhausted.

To be a "true" M1903A1, it had to have a serial number dated 1929 or later.

Canfield goes on to say that there is some controversy on what is a M1903A1 and the military considered any M1903 with a "C" stock as a M1903A1.

He says collectors and students of the subject consider only 1929 serial number rifles and later as M1903A1 rifles.

Of course, production numbers of 1929 and later serial number rifles is very low.

USSR
January 27, 2014, 05:18 PM
Chuck,

Okay, home now. In Lt. Col. William S. Brophy's book "The Springfield 1903 Rifles", regarding the Marine Corps sniper rifle he states "...it is known that the rifles used were Marine Corps rifle team pieces with selected (star gauged) barrels. It has also been reported by Marine officers and men involved with the program during WWII that the only '03 rifles of Marine shooting teams were the Model of 1903A1 National Match rifles.".

Don

cfullgraf
January 27, 2014, 06:53 PM
Thanks, Don.

Reloadron
January 27, 2014, 07:10 PM
Don, is Lt. Col. William S. Brophy's book "The Springfield 1903 Rifles" a good read? I looked at it on Amazon and it appears to be well researched and informative. I have no problem with around $70 for a book but would like your view of the book if that is OK.

Ron

USSR
January 27, 2014, 08:08 PM
Ron,

Yes, the $70 price tag does give you pause. But it is a 616 page hardcover book that covers all the variations, accoutrements and history associated with them, and is written by a man who has used them since the late 1920's.

Don

Reloadron
January 28, 2014, 02:39 AM
Ron,

Yes, the $70 price tag does give you pause. But it is a 616 page hardcover book that covers all the variations, accoutrements and history associated with them, and is written by a man who has used them since the late 1920's.

Don
Thanks Don, on my wife's Amazon list. Can never have too many good boks and now retired the time to enjoy reading them.

Ron

CoalTrain49
January 28, 2014, 01:30 PM
Is your main goal shooting, or collecting? If you're trying to assemble a representative WWII collection, whether you are comfortable shooting the M1 Garand is irrelevant. It definitely belongs in the collection.

Regarding the M1 carbine, note that most of them have been rebuilt over the years. The typical WWII gun would not have the bayonet lug or a 30-round magazine.

I have an Inland with a type III barrel band and lug built 1/45. Only Inland and Win. used them but they are correct after 11/44 depending on mfg. Regarding mags, 15 round is correct. I believe 10 and 30 came after WW2.

CoalTrain49
January 28, 2014, 01:45 PM
The two most common would be a Garand or M1 carbine. I recently went looking for a WW2 rifle and ended up with an Inland carbine. Garands are considerably more expensive to shoot. 06 is available but mostly for hunting applications. There is ball still available but it's .60 a round and very old surplus. 30 carbine is at .40 a round new or .25 if you reload. 06 is more expensive either way. I assume you want to shoot your service rifle.

cfullgraf
January 28, 2014, 01:48 PM
Ron,

Yes, the $70 price tag does give you pause. But it is a 616 page hardcover book that covers all the variations, accoutrements and history associated with them, and is written by a man who has used them since the late 1920's.

Don

Also, thanks. I have one o the way. Looks like a nice addition to the library.

7mmstalker
February 13, 2014, 04:50 PM
AK Float Pilot wrote:

"I have a few WWII era US rifles, the one that rings my bell is my 1943 Smith Corona 1903-A3. Nothing says war time more than having a rifle made by a typewriter company."

That brings back some memories. My first centerfire pistol was a GI 1911 made by Remington-Rand. Were they a typewriter mfgr. back in the '40s? Sold that in the early '80's to get a few bucks extra toward my lovely brides wedding ring! Wish I still had the pistol, though the wife has been pretty good to me.

USSR
February 13, 2014, 05:03 PM
That brings back some memories. My first centerfire pistol was a GI 1911 made by Remington-Rand. Were they a typewriter mfgr. back in the '40s?

Yes, they were a typewriter manufacturer into the early 70's. My first full time job after graduating from high school in 1968 was at a Remington Rand plant in Elmira, NY.

Don

Owlnmole
February 13, 2014, 11:52 PM
I want to buy a WWII combat rifle used by American forces in WWII. This to compliment my YUGO 24/47 and RUSSIAN Mosin Nagant.

The Garand is TOO BIG for me as I am small in stature with shorter arms.

So, excluding that fine firearm which many said "won the war" what would be a good representative era firearms, complete with sling, bayonet, etc., that I could add to my small collection?

I hope also in time to add a K-98, thought the 24/47 is probably close enough, and then an Arisaka. It will be a small collection.

Suggestions welcome!
Going back to the OP's very first post, where he mentioned not only interest in U.S. issue WWII weapons but also other Allied and Axis guns, I find a Lee-Enfield lighter and handier and the action slicker than other bolt-action rifles of the era and you can still find an original or replica (modified standard rifles) No. 5 Mk 1 "jungle carbine."

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7c/Jungle_Carbine.jpg/320px-Jungle_Carbine.jpg

Also, for a rifle of the era for someone of modest stature, you'd be hard pressed to find a better solution than an Italian 6.5 mm Carcano carbine.

http://www.cowanauctions.com/itemImages/tee9012.jpg

If you need any proof that the Carcano is actually a fine and durable weapon, ask these guys, Libyan rebels still using them in 2011. I read somewhere that in both Libya and Syria there are quite a few WWII weapons in regular use today, and in Libya, due to their Italian colonial past and the fact that the Carcanos make great hunting rifles as well, most of those WWII weapons are Carcanos.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2SH99UmaBc4/ThWjyu4OAlI/AAAAAAAAQL4/KcbvvBZVLDc/s1600/tumblr_lnxiujckT81qd74g2.jpg http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-XTUiD9g0XiE/ThWjuF4u5qI/AAAAAAAAQLw/2r3WYr8p5FM/s1600/tumblr_lnxictrbQ01qd74g2.jpg

Cheers,

Matthew

fpgt72
February 14, 2014, 07:44 AM
Jungle carbines do pack a punch....then there is that wondering zero problem. The gun even back then was just not the greatest....but they are very cool.

Yes if he opens himself up to other countries there are many choices....a bazillion different shorty 91/30 flavors, and I do love my Carcano, and Japanese rifles. Ammo is a bit of an issue, and you really should get into rolling your own if you go too far off the path.

French weapons are also very nice, just be sure to get on in 7.5 French and not one converted to 308. They are some VERY nice shooting guns and are still a very good buy along with the guns from Japan and Italy.

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