Collecting WWII Infantry firearms


PDA






Kuyong_Chuin
February 27, 2014, 07:53 AM
I do not have a C&R licence yet but I will probably get one sooner or later. On to the point. I have had family fight in WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam and I have been around weapons all my life. I have, in the last few years, started to collect military weapons used in WWII. I am starting with WWII because my Grandfather left his bring back gun to my Dad and my Dad is leaving it to me when he goes. What I want to do is get a handgun, a bolt action carbine, and a semiautomatic rifle from each of the major players in the war. Britain, US, Russia, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan are the key nations I want to collect from. I want guns that I can shoot and is not going to cost me too much to start with. Right now counting the P-08 Luger that I will get when Dad is gone, I have a M91 6.5 Carcano Calvary Carbine from Italy, and a 1945 M44 from Russia. I'm thinking a K98k 8mm Mauser for Germany's bolt action carbine. I need suggestions for the rest except for the Russian guns, I'm thinking a TT-33 for the pistol and a SVT-40 for the semi auto rifle. I know some of the weapons are going to be costly and hard to find but I'll start with the cheaper ones first and work my way up till I get them all. I am hoping to be able to mount scopes on most of the rifles without doing anything to them that is not reversible. In other words no drilling holes and such. Firearms need to be low cost if possible, carbine for the bolt action, be able to get ammo and clips or mags for them, and be able to mount a scope if possible without damaging the gun from the original form. So let me hear your suggestions for the guns from the other countries I don't have please. And thanks ahead of time for your time.

If you enjoyed reading about "Collecting WWII Infantry firearms" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Reloadron
February 27, 2014, 08:17 AM
Something I would suggest with a focus on US Infantry and only US Infantry weapons is the book US Infantry Weapons of WWII by Bruce Canfield. While obviously you aren't about to run out and buy a machine gun the book has some really good and interesting material in it. As to US you may want to consider an 03 Springfield, 03A3 Springfield and of course the M1 Garand for starters.

Ron

Ryanxia
February 27, 2014, 08:47 AM
The Mosin Nagants you already mentioned are some of my favorite.
You could also look into getting a Polish PPS-43C which is sold as a semi-auto pistol now but originally was a folding stock short barrel rifle with full auto fire. You could even get the tax stamp and have a folding stock again to make it a bit more authentic. Roughly $400.

Also the semi-auto version of a Suomi from Finland is a neat gun. Drums and mags are still cheap, it's a heavy gun but I think they're neat parts of history. Roughly $450.

Centerfire systems has them still.

Sten guns/ Sterlings also something to check out (I think you can still get the Sten's).

Kuyong_Chuin
February 27, 2014, 09:18 AM
Something I would suggest with a focus on US Infantry and only US Infantry weapons is the book US Infantry Weapons of WWII by Bruce Canfield. While obviously you aren't about to run out and buy a machine gun the book has some really good and interesting material in it. As to US you may want to consider an 03 Springfield, 03A3 Springfield and of course the M1 Garand for starters.

Ron
Hopefully I'll find out who ended up with my great grandfathers M1903 that he used in WWI as well as the pair of revolvers he had as well. Maybe able to talk whoever has them now out of them for a price. As for the M1 Garand the only one I have seen locally is a nice looking National Match but it was well out of my price range. The M1D is what I would like to get but it too will take forever to save up for it. I did find a nice looking M1A1 at the LGS. They had three of them and I might get one of those too. While in boot camp at Great Lakes IL we drilled with the M1 Garand daily.

Ryanxia
February 27, 2014, 09:38 AM
CMP (Civilian Marksmanship Program) is a place you can order M1 Garands for decent prices (compared to local prices).

Doug S
February 27, 2014, 09:42 AM
I have a small WWII collection. My goal was to acquire the primary longarm for each of the primary combatants for display in my Man Cave. There are still a couple of things I'd like to pick up, but so far I've acquired...

American - 1903 Springfield, M1 Garand, M1 Carbine
British - N4 Mk1
Russian - Mosin Nagant 91-30, Nagant Revolver
Japanese - T 38 Arisaka, T99 Arisaka
German - K98 Mauser

It's also fun to aquire the bayonets, and helmets.

Of these I'd recommend the Nagant revolver as a cheap, easy to find addition. Seconded by an Arisaka.

vaupet
February 27, 2014, 09:57 AM
Not from the big countries, but certainly worth owning: m96 swedish mauser and swiss k31 and on the handgun front the BHP, used on both sides.

hso
February 27, 2014, 12:51 PM
Nagant pistols were cheap and plentiful and should be less expensive and more appropriate for WWII.

Japanese rifles and pistols wil be pricey.

Dr. Sandman
February 27, 2014, 12:56 PM
Get a Webley! I love mine.

OldBrownDog
February 27, 2014, 01:03 PM
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c257/OldBrownDog/DSCF0111_zps80183229.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/OldBrownDog/media/DSCF0111_zps80183229.jpg.html)

CMP Service Grade Special. Go for a Garand.

Doug S
February 27, 2014, 02:01 PM
Japanese rifles and pistols wil be pricey.

In my area I still regularly see the run of the mill T99 Arisaka minus the monopods and wing sights for under $200. In fact my most recent Arisaka was a series 1 Nagoya minus those parts listed above that I picked up for $175 at a local shop not exactly known for it's reasonable prices. Pretty cheap compared to the run of the mill Enfields, Mausers, and American guns.

medalguy
February 27, 2014, 10:51 PM
Concentrate on the US weapons first. They are getting more expensive every day so get them while they're not too unreasonable. CMP is a good source for a Garand but they're going to run out very, very soon and prices will skyrocket just like carbines. Next the German and then start on the other countries.

Kuyong_Chuin
February 28, 2014, 11:26 PM
Concentrate on the US weapons first. They are getting more expensive every day so get them while they're not too unreasonable. CMP is a good source for a Garand but they're going to run out very, very soon and prices will skyrocket just like carbines. Next the German and then start on the other countries.
My next one is probably going to be the M1A1 30 cal carbine since they had 3 of them the other day. Hope they still have one come payday. $399.00 each I need to find out if that is a good price though first.

CoalTrain49
February 28, 2014, 11:59 PM
May I suggest that you focus on US weapons first. The prices seem to be heading toward the moon as all of the imports may be cut off soon. Some have already been stopped.

Doug S
March 1, 2014, 08:36 AM
[QUOTE]My next one is probably going to be the M1A1 30 cal carbine since they had 3 of them the other day...$300 each...[QUOTE]

If you are talking about a WWII folding stock M1A1 30 cal carbine (of which there were only about 150,000 produced compared to over 5,000,000 M1 Carbines), then $300 is an unheard of (CHEAP) price nowadays (I'd snag all three, but I really doubt that's what you have there...it would be like buy one, get two free.). For that reason, I can't imagine you are describing an authentic USGI carbine of any sort above. Even the knock offs are going for more than that today. In fact there is no American WWII infantry firearm that is available for such a price that I can think of (unless you find a great private deal). Sounds like you'd benefit from buying a few books and doing some research. This is a fun part of the process IMO.

Bentonville
March 1, 2014, 11:22 AM
Low cost original condition, non-rebuilt, WW1 and 2, Korea and Vietnam firearms are really difficult to find in my recent experience. Perhaps you will run into a widow who just wants to get rid of some old gun left by her dead husband but even then, some auction company will probably be handling the sale of that gun. I have collected all (but the Singer) 1911A1 models, the Rem. UMC 1911 from WW1 date, three M1 carbines, three M1s, bayonets for all, and various blades and all but two of the guns are gone. I had to upgrade the home or pay outstanding tax bills, etc. over the years . I made a good profit by selling the guns. The time for a 450 dollar all correct 1943 Springfield M1 is long gone.
The last 1911A1 Colt WB I sold brought a little over 2,000 dollars and that was priced to sell. You can check out http://www.milsurps.com/index.php and
http://jouster.com/ to talk to serious collectors and see what is for sale on those websites. You can get decent authentic M1s from the CMP. Check out their website at http://www.civilianmarksmanship.com/. You can call Mike Wamsher at (913) 631-0686 in Kansas. It's been a long time since I bought anything from him but I found him to be a straight up guy. Also, check out Scott Duff at http://www.scott-duff.com/. You can get in touch with collectors at the M1 collectors site, http://www.m1collectorsclub.com/. These are just a few places to contact other collectors who can direct your quest. I had to get out of the collecting because of college tuition payments for three sons over the past ten years. It's an addicting hobby. A friend of mine stuck with it and has all of the M1 carbines and the many makes of bayonets, all the M1s and bayonets, all the .45s except for the singer, and all of the various accoutrements that accompany the weapons. They are all in pristine condition. It can be done. At a cost that staggers a poor man's ( me) mind.
You may luck up and find what you want at a low price. I hope so.

goon
March 1, 2014, 02:05 PM
The Mosin Nagant and maybe a Nagant revolver are no-brainers. Time was when you couldn't get on the internet without tripping over a dozen Mosin Nagants, but now they seem to be drying up. I'd shop around and get the best one you can now before prices get outrageous.

VonFatman
March 1, 2014, 08:13 PM
This would be my short list for cartridge U.S. rifles...a good shooter but they need to look good too...

Springfield Trapdoor

Krag Rifle

1903 A1 (or A3)

Model of 1917

Savage Enfield No.4 Mk. 1

M1 Garand

M1 Carbine

AR-15

I even like these....

http://www.fototime.com/42C9CC7A5ECAEB5/medium800.jpg

HexHead
March 1, 2014, 08:31 PM
I'm trying to figure out what US WWII bolt action carbine you're going to get?

I'd be more interested in getting each country's main battle rifle, and the carbine that was used. FYI... Some Soviet units at Kursk and in the battle for Berlin had prototype SKS rifles. Get a Moisin 91/30 and a Russian SKS.

BobWright
March 1, 2014, 08:47 PM
One rifle that I have not seen mentioned is the M1941 (?) Johnson semi-auto rifle. These were used by OSS troops in the Italian campaign, also by the Marines in the Pacific.

Also be aware of the M1917 revolvers, both the S&W and Colt versions.

And the Colt New Service, in .45 Colt, was used by Canadian forces.

Bob Wright

medalguy
March 1, 2014, 11:58 PM
Just as a VERY rough guide to prices on US weapons, but you should be able to find sound examples of these weapons for around these prices:

M1 Garand $1000
M1 carbine $900
1941 Johnson $5000
1917 Enfield $800
1903 Springfield $750
1898 Krag $750
1884 Trapdoor $1000
1911 pistol $1000
M9 Beretta $500

Exceptionally nice examples will often go for multiples of these prices. As condition goes up arithmetically, prices go up exponentially.

Doug S
March 2, 2014, 10:33 AM
medalguy,

It's nice to see someone posting realistic prices for newbies who will be looking at local shops, etc. Everyone seems to talk about he CMP prices (although they are now out of much), but the prices you list are what the average person getting into this type of collecting is going to find in most cases. Very helpful in providing a realistic base.

Kuyong_Chuin
March 7, 2014, 05:42 AM
Just as a VERY rough guide to prices on US weapons, but you should be able to find sound examples of these weapons for around these prices:

M1 Garand $1000
M1 carbine $900
1941 Johnson $5000
1917 Enfield $800
1903 Springfield $750
1898 Krag $750
1884 Trapdoor $1000
1911 pistol $1000
M9 Beretta $500

Exceptionally nice examples will often go for multiples of these prices. As condition goes up arithmetically, prices go up exponentially.
+1 btw the "M1 carbines I looked at ended up being made by Universal Firearms so they are just knock offs so back to looking. Thought I had found a real nice K98 locally that looked real good, in fact too good for the price. After I asked to see it I found out why it looked so good from a distance. It was not a K98 at all but a regular 98 Mauser. The stock had been cut back and refinished, the barrel had been chopped shorter with the sights wielded back on and the barrel recrowned and reblued. Who ever did the work did a nice job but you could still tell it was not a factory job. If anyone else is collecting surplus keep an eye out for knockoffs.

Doug S
March 7, 2014, 04:06 PM
+1 btw the "M1 carbines I looked at ended up being made by Universal Firearms so they are just knock offs so back to looking. Thought I had found a real nice K98 locally that looked real good, in fact too good for the price. After I asked to see it I found out why it looked so good from a distance. It was not a K98 at all but a regular 98 Mauser. The stock had been cut back and refinished, the barrel had been chopped shorter with the sights wielded back on and the barrel recrowned and reblued. Who ever did the work did a nice job but you could still tell it was not a factory job. If anyone else is collecting surplus keep an eye out for knockoffs.

Sounds like you're doing good...taking your time, and checking things out. That's the way to do it. Know what you are looking at, and what you are looking for before mistakenly throwing dollars at something.

cheesebigot
March 8, 2014, 03:14 PM
As someone who was in your exact shoes only a few years ago with very similar desires for his collection, I started with the following (adding carbines too):

Britain: Lee-Enfield No4 Mk1, No5 Mk1 "Jungle Carbine" (different era)
US: M1 Garand (CMP), 1903A3, M1 Carbine
Russia: Mosin-Nagant, M44
France: MAS 36, MAS 49/56 (different era, I know)
Germany: K98, Steyr M95
Italy: Terni Carcano 7.35, Carcano 91/30 Cavalry Carbine
Japan: Type 99 Arisaka, Type 38 Carbine, Type 44 Cavalry Carbine

Most were found local or for good prices on auction sites. If you decide to get into handguns from the big players, be prepared to spend some extra time looking for the right deal, it's easy to get screwed and pay big money for little return.

Kuyong_Chuin
March 8, 2014, 05:58 PM
That is exactly what I am doing, I am just starting with the carbines since I have two already. The M44 and the 6.5 Carcano Calvary Carbine. I will probably get one semi and one revolver pistol from each of the main nations as I go. Russia is the easy one a T-33 and a M1895 Nagant.

cheesebigot
March 8, 2014, 11:30 PM
You'd think a Russian TT-33 would be easy to find...you might have to settle for one of the copies. The M1895 revolvers are getting tougher to find too, they used to be nearly as common as their rifle counterparts.

Good luck in your search!

If you enjoyed reading about "Collecting WWII Infantry firearms" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!