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Longest Serving WWII/Korea-era weapons on Active Duty?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by .455_Hunter, Jun 30, 2020.

  1. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    So what are latest WWII/Korea-era fabricated weapons you have seen in active duty military units (US or world wide)?

    One of my Active Duty Army units (not NG, not Reserve) had M3A1 Grease Guns until 1998 as a primary issued weapon, and ran familiarization ranges with them until that year. The newest they could have been was Korean War production. For background, the Grease Guns were replaced by base M4's with open sights and carry handles- no optics.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
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  2. LNK

    LNK Member

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    Pretty sure there are M2's in inventory.
     
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  3. Robert

    Robert Administrator Staff Member

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  4. entropy

    entropy Member

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    The one M1911(not A1) I had in my Arms Room had been in inventory from 1918 to 1986, when I had to send it to Anniston for an M9. :(
     
  5. jmace57

    jmace57 Member

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    I know this isn't what you had in mind...but the B52 bomber.
     
  6. entropy

    entropy Member

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    The M2 still serving would be analogous to the MB-1 Martin bomber still serving, not the B-52.
     
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  7. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    My reserve unit was still armed with M-1's only in the early '70's.
     
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  8. rubberduck

    rubberduck Member

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    m1 in 1960 when i went in :evil:
     
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  9. Mk-211

    Mk-211 Member

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    It's amazing that the M2 .50 BMG is still in service and the fact that going on 100 years, nothing else has been made that can replace it!

    The latest upgrades to the M2 were quick change barrel, higher cyclic rate and a better buffer. These changes will keep Ma in service for at least another 20-30 years! Talk about if it ain't broke don't fix it!!!

    I'm sure if the military looked into modernizing the 1911, it would still be in service also. JMB made weapons to last, even after being given to people that were going to use and abuse them.

    Did we really need to replace the 1919? Or would a modernizing program have been a better option? If you think about it, the M60 was replaced by a weapon system that was just as old!

    They have M60E4 versions out now that have made the M60 the weapon system that it should have been.
     
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  10. entropy

    entropy Member

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    And 5 lbs. heavier! The easiest way to have kept the M60 in service would have been a replaceable 'modular receiver' - it wouldn't have been hard to do.
     
  11. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    By the time of my service period, the M60s that I was exposed to were best suited as a scrap metal source. A Colt-Browning 1895 "Potato Digger" would have been more effective.
     
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  12. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    The M2HB is the only weapon from that era still in service as a standard issue weapon. In the Special Operations community, there are still vintage 1911's, Garands, and older mortars and the like tucked back in the far corners of some arms rooms, but they are there for pre-deployment training purposes. Not for primary "go-to-war" weapons.
     
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  13. U.S.SFC_RET

    U.S.SFC_RET Member

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    One of my responsibilities as an Army supervisor was an arms room and that arms room had an M2 50 cal machine gun with a born on date of 1938.
     
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  14. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    When was that?
     
  15. tark

    tark Member

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    I was in Germany 69-70. My MOS was 45B20, Small Arms Repair. When I wasn't spending time in Grafenwohr trying to keep that Galactic turd of a machine gun, the M-73 co-ax on an M-60 tank.....in working order....I was back in Nuremberg trying to keep the Army's other problem child, the M-60, from breaking things. Usually this would involve weakened springs, reassembly with the sear reversed, or broken feed tray and cover parts because some troglodyte insisted on closing the cover with the bolt forward. We found a couple with cracked bolt lugs and one with a cracked receiver. Most of these problems were not the guns fault.

    I have talked to a lot of Vets these past two years. Working in the museum, I meet vets every day. I have run into an awful lot of them who loved the M-60 and would trust them with their lives. I have always wondered why I ran into so many bad ones.

    Maybe the Army sent the lemons to Germany? Lol.
     
  16. entropy

    entropy Member

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    They must have. The only problems I ever had with them is when another Armorer in my BN put half of the hockey pucks (pistons) in backwards, turning those 60's into 23 # straight-pull bolt action rifles for a little while, until I (who actually brought his wire braiding pliers and wire) could redo all 13 of them while soldiers qualified with the other 12 of them. :p
    I wasn't even supposed to be there, I just tagged along for the trigger time, and ended up getting an ARCOM and the insistence form that CO CDR. that I go along whenever they went to the range......

    My SMOS was 45B.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2020
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  17. Ohen Cepel
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    Ohen Cepel Contributing Member

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    I toted a 60 for a couple of years and liked it well enough. Aside from the weight of it. Mine ran well and I had few issues with it, guess I was lucky compared to others here.
     
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  18. EIB0879

    EIB0879 Member

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    I carried an M1911 as a Rifle Company Commander in 1986-87.
     
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  19. Ohen Cepel
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    Ohen Cepel Contributing Member

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    Our unit also had a few Grease Guns which went away in the timeframe the OP mentioned. I would guess it was 98 or 99, 2ID in Korea so we were sometimes behind on things there. Only had 2 I think and they belonged to the Hercules tank recovery crew IIRC. Wasn't a unit wide weapon.

    At that same time I had deuce and 1/2 trucks (or maybe they were 5 tons as we had both) which were in Vietnam. Also, still had 113APCs, forget the age on them.
     
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  20. jdh

    jdh Member

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    Tank or GPMG?
     
  21. alfsauve

    alfsauve Member

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    Reaching way back, and using "weapon" broadly, wouldn't the USS Constitution be the oldest, still active weapons systems?

    And rumor has it, the only, currently active ship in the US Navy to have sunk an enemy vessel.
     
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  22. deadin

    deadin Member

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    Trapdoor Springfield in the 1960's. (USS Yorktown. Line throwing gun made from a modified 45/70 TD.)
     
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  23. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Was thinking of that, but the OP was asking about WW2/ Korean era weapons, which I took to mean those introduced during or just prior to those wars.

    Ive read that the guards at the Svalbard Seed Bank still use K98s for some unfathomable reason. I dont know exactly what their status is in regards to the Norwegian active military, though.

    Granted, its really a WW1 weapon, but supposedly the Swedes or Danes still use a few M1917s for extreme cold weather operations in the mountains. I wouldnt be shocked at all to see some Enfields in the hands of Indian or Pakistani mountain troops either.
     
  24. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    There were a pair of Navy subtenders until just a few years ago that were veterans of Pearl Harbor, I think one was the USS Proteus? Ill have to look it up.

    Mexico had a pair of Fletcher-class destroyers which served until just recently too.

    Update- Ok, Proteus was launched just before Pearl Harbor but missed the battle, though she was present for the Japanese surrender. She was in and out of commission until 1999 and finally scrapped in 2007.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2020
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  25. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Ahhh, yes- USS Pueblo, commissioned April, 1945. Still on (technical) active duty due to being illegally captured and held by North Korea. There are some pretty good pictures of her on Google Earth as a museum ship in Pyongyang.
     
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