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How would WWII personnel react?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Puncha, Feb 28, 2009.

  1. Puncha

    Puncha Member

    May 14, 2003
    South East Asia
    Considering what I know about old timer or old school shooters (retired ex-cops or soldiers), they are quite fixed in their ways. I don't mean this in a derogatory way as I too am quite old fashioned (am in my early 30s but strongly prefer older revolvers and reliable/tough bolt action rifles). However, as i mainly associate with the more senior (white haired) shooters at my range, their comments can be quite amusing.

    For example, there is the retired commandant of the police academy who thinks that revolvers are king and that his last issued service semi-auto handgun (in 1992) which was a browning high power was a "new fangled toy best suited to snot nosed rookie cops". Also, a retired navy captain that I shoot smallbore with frequently says that any gun with plastic parts is "trouble" and that only all steel/metal guns should be issued to service members.

    My question to you wise THRers is, if you went back in time to the battlefields of WWII or Korea, and showed hardened GIs (or even their axis/chi com counterparts) the following guns...

    1) Glock 21
    2) SIG P220
    3) H&K USP45
    4) Mod 96 Beretta
    5) H&K G36
    6) FN SCAR
    7) Steyr Aug/Famas/Tavor....any wonder 5.56mm bullpup

    how do you think they would react? Of course, the pistols would be shown to officers while the rifles passed to enlisted men.

    More realistically, do you have old male relatives (in their 70s and older) who have seen your modern service type weapons? What did they say? This would perhaps be an indicator of how old school servicemen regard todays wonder guns.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2009
  2. solareclipse

    solareclipse Member

    Sep 18, 2005
    Inbetween FL and TN
    the hk 36 would be laughed at for not being able to be used as a crowbar/door ram

    the beretta would be chastized for lack of cocking hammer and that its missing part of its slide

    the glock would be called a plastic squirt gun

    the sig is probably the only one that might pass. who knows.. in times of war you shoot whatever you have. you dont get to choose from a catalogue in the comfort of your home
  3. Sunray

    Sunray Senior Member

    May 17, 2003
    London, Ont.
    "...how do you think they would react?..." If it helped keep them alive without adding to the weight or it'd reduce the weight they had to hump and it's reliable, they'd jump all over any of 'em.
    Mind you, a handgun they wouldn't care one way or the other. Regular PBI troopies didn't fight with handguns. Handguns were for officers.
  4. Hush

    Hush New Member

    Jan 31, 2009
    As Clint Eastwood would say...with a Garand leveled....

  5. skidooman603

    skidooman603 Member

    Dec 13, 2008
    Northern Michigan
    Hang Out with an 87 year old, "active" shooter-WWII vet, all the time. I'm 47. It was like torture to him to see my AR or SKS or whatever the gun of the day was until he started to take a turn with em at the range. We are both huge Garand fans as well but his coment was " wow you could have mowed down 30 of those dogs instead of 8 without reloading!"
  6. Tom S.

    Tom S. Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    Waterford, MI
    I'd rather show them a Dillon Mini Gun...
  7. woad_yurt

    woad_yurt Senior Member

    Aug 23, 2007
    36° 31' 47.1742" X -87° 21' 34.0301"
    I was at the range once and got to talking with an old, old guy, a Korean war veteran. He said that he thought that the newer stuff the military uses (5.56) was more practical in that it was easier to hit one's target. He hated Garands (too heavy and too much recoil.) He told me that younger folks would have a different opinion of a Garand if they had to lug it and the ammo around every day and everywhere. He loved my Norinco SKS Paratrooper.
  8. Pulse

    Pulse Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Zurich / CH
    WWII seen all the basics in combat, what we have today mostly existed back then in a less sophisticated form.
    i have been told that US GIs and English Tommys droped Garands and Enfields when ever they could get there hands on a MP44 with enough ammo, so they where not reluctant to new gear once they seen or expirianced its effectivnes.

    it would be more intresting if we could show WWI personel the gear we have today and see there reaction.
  9. JWarren

    JWarren Senior Member

    Jan 5, 2007
    MS and LA
    Do some research as to what the opinion of the M3 "Grease-gun" was when it was introduced.

    I suspect that the reaction to this cheaply-made stamped metal firearm would be similar to the reaction to any you mentioned.

    (Edit: I don't know if the reaction to the M3 was postive or negative, but I can see some parallels in what the reactions may be.)

    -- John
  10. Officers'Wife

    Officers'Wife Senior Member

    Aug 23, 2007
    A long way from heaven and too close to Chicago
    My basic answer to a gun-grabber that the Founders couldn't have imagined 'assault weapons' when writing the 2nd is 'you mean if someone had shown up at the Battle of New York with an M16 Washington would have sent them home?

    My Gramps fought in WWII, his comment on my Uncles' AR-15 was simple. 'Damn right I would have liked to had one like it then.'
  11. jeff-10

    jeff-10 Senior Member

    Feb 14, 2004
    South Florida
    They would probably say they are a lot more useful than a Grease Gun/Sten/Tommy Gun/M-1 Carbine.

    As for a Sig P220 or a Beretta M96 they are designs that are similar to or direct off shoots of handguns that go back to WWII.

    To people who think WWII vets would not like the M-16 remember that it was Curtis LeMay, a major military figure in WWII who brought the M-16 to the US military's attention. He apparently fell in love with it the first time he shot it.

    I would imagine they would also have learned to respect the polymer guns in the island battles they fought in the Pacific.
  12. Jorg Nysgerrig

    Jorg Nysgerrig Member

    Apr 13, 2006
    I have no doubt it would be like other people view the same guns now. Some people would think they were technilogical marvels, some would want to know why they are messing with something that works.
  13. CWL

    CWL Senior Member

    Jan 6, 2003
    Don't mistake USGIs from WWII as rubes and simpletons, they were probably more well-read than most Americans today. They lived in an era of as many changes as we do today.

    American soldiers loved gadgets and hunted battlefields for war souvenirs, as such I think that they'd immediately grab and hold onto any newfangled firearm that they managed to get their hands on. With the world at war, there were all sorts of new & different war gear available.

    You have to understand that WWII was a transition period that changed from bolt rifles to semi-auti rifles like the Garand, machineguns went from heavy water-cooled to LMGs like the German M42s. Biplanes to jets and nukes.

    The realm of pistols had always been Officer-territory, and there were always different pistols being touted as the newest & best - no change from today.
  14. snipe300

    snipe300 Member

    Sep 8, 2008
    +1 Jorg
  15. TMM

    TMM Senior Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    my gramps was in the air force for a time...

    he hates recoil (calibers on all his rifles begin with a 2...), and thinks mag-fed semi-autos are "dangerous" because you don't know that they're loaded. tube fed guns are bad, too, because you can't remove all the ammo at once (like a mag-fed...) he doesn't seem to have an issue with internal or removable magazine bolt-actions, though.

    don't ask me for his justification, because i have no idea.

  16. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
    I don't think you can fairly ask an 80 year old guy to compare an M-1 to an M-16.
    Memories are fickle things

    When I was 19 or 20 and lugging around M-1's and M-14's for Uncle Sam, they felt like nothing but a powerful, accurate combat rifle.
    I never once considered them too heavy.
    And recoil? What recoil?

    A Browning BAR has kinda heavy.
    A Browning .30 cal machinegun WAS heavy!
    An 81mm Mortar tube or base-plate was really heavy!
    Heck, even an M-60 machinegun after 12-14 hours was a little heavy.

    Now that I'm 65, and not getting any stronger, an M-1 Garand feels heavy!
    By the time I'm 80, it will feel really heavy I betcha!

    I imagine that WWII combat in European cities & forests, and even the South Pacific, would have been a totally different ballgame without the power of the 30-06 & .45 ACP.

    And one I wouldn't have wanted to play with a 5.56 & 9mm!

  17. Alchymist

    Alchymist New Member

    Feb 14, 2009
    Central PA
    Probably the way a WWII tank veteran would feel when he took a turn in an Abrams... WHOOOeee!
  18. yokel

    yokel Senior Member

    Apr 29, 2007
    I trust that the reaction to some plastic peashooter would be much like Gen. McAuliffe’s one-word reply to the Germans after they demanded his surrender during the Battle of Bastogne--“NUTS!”
  19. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

    Jan 8, 2008
    Southern Virginia
    My pops is 89, he has shot an AR and an Ak, his reaction was to pick up his M1 after saying "forgetaboutit"
    Thats pops
  20. gripper

    gripper Member

    Jan 7, 2004
    Nashua NH
    My father, an 83 year old WW2 vet ( secured his citizenship by enlisting after Pearl Harbor);had a LOT of fun with me ayt the range when I still had a Polytech Legend AK....like me ;he also highly regards the SKS as a "grabbit and go!" rifle.
    He was a medicin infantry units,went from North Africa up the boot of Italy (looking in on relatives)...he told me he liked th eM1 carbine for its "handiness"(carried a lot of other gear,but outside of "bush range" he preferred ( as he put it ) a "real rifle"-actually carried an '03 Springfield initially ( Garands were not always in sufficient supply for non-grunts.

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