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A little history needed on military rifles

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Snowdog, Nov 8, 2003.

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  1. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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    I'm slowly getting into the military surplus field, particularly rifles from the WWII era.
    I have a few rifles that already fit that genre, such as my Soviet M44, Soviet captured K98 (and a post-war Yugo M48A), Swedish M96, British Enfield (Mark 1 #4?) and an M1 Carbine.

    My next purchase will be a Turkish Mauser in the best condition I can find, but I plan on purchasing a K31 down the road.
    Just what military action did the K31 see in the second world war anyway?

    Also, besides the M1 Garand, are there any other suggestions on military surplus rifles of the WW11 era I should consider that are currently on the market that can be acquired in at least somewhat respectable condition (or the ability to be restored)?

    Also, does anyone know of any importers still offering the Japanese 6.5 or 7.7 battle rifles?
     
  2. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

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    M1 Carbines are fun!

    M1 Carbines are fun!
     
  3. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    You didn't mention the Springfield 1903-A3.

    Check out www.gunbroker.com and other auctions for Japanese or other WW-2 rifles. You just missed a big one in Kansas City.
     
  4. DMK

    DMK Member

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    The excellent M-39 Mosin Nagant has an interesting history. Those Finnish were fierce fighters during WWII and put those rifles to good use.

    [​IMG]

    Don't forget the Enfield either. They are harder to find in nice condition and shoot more expensive ammo however.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    "Just what military action did the K31 see in the second world war anyway?"

    None.

    The Swiss never participated in that little tiff, and to the best of my knowledge never provided any to either side.
     
  6. Bart Noir

    Bart Noir Member

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    True, the Swiss weapons were not used, but they served well.

    There is a reason that Germany didn't invade, and the Swiss rifles etc were a very big part of that reason. Along with the well-known skills of the men in a country where rifle shooting was and is a very popular sport.

    OK somebody will tell me that the Oelerkon 20mm (yeah, can't spell it right) was used in lots of fights, since this auto-cannon was adopted by several countries. Remember the cannon in the back of the PT boats?

    Bart Noir
     
  7. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    The Oerlikon cannons were developed in Switzerland by engineers from Rheinmetall-Borsig who thus avoided the treaty restrictions against gun development in Germany between wars. They were later licensed by the Swiss to many countries as well as used by the Germans and the Swiss themselves. AFAIK, no Swiss-made guns were used in WWII, except by the Swiss themselves who fairly often fired at both Axis and Allied aircraft that invaded their airspace. Rumor had it that their accuracy was very bad when firing at Allied aircraft, but pretty good when Nazi planes were in the sights.

    I do believe that K-31's were also in use by one other country during WWII - the Vatican. The 200 man Swiss Guard was/is normally equipped as a Swiss Army infantry company and would have carried the K-31 in that period. Of course, there was no combat use.

    Jim
     
  8. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    The real reason the Germans didn't invade Switzerland is because the Nazis NEEDED the Swiss free as go-betweens with the rest of the world once the war started.

    Hitler and his generals weren't so much afraid of the Swiss military (at the time virtually no tank corps, no air force, little artillery) as they were at losing their international brokers. Same with the Swedes.

    The Swiss proved themselves to be dramatically useful as bankers and as an outlet for critical metals and machine tools that Germany couldn't buy on the open market.
     
  9. Beetle Bailey

    Beetle Bailey Member

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    Snowdog You don't need an excuse to buy the K-31 :D . If you want it, get it. Lots of happy K-31 owners out there ;) .
     
  10. VG

    VG Member

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    What Mike said.

    We have a Swiss family friend who said they [Swiss] ignored the deportation of Italian Jews through Switzerland to death camps in the North. The Germans only brought these trains through at night, allowing them to be politely ignored. In his opinion the Germans could have successfully invaded them - in part because they were allowing train traffic through. For money.

    I am interested in a K31, just can't decide where or what to buy. I bought an M48 to let people shoot before trying a Garand, to see (approximately) what the other side was using.

    [​IMG]
     
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