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Soldiers bringing back weapons

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by jmr40, Feb 22, 2013.

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  1. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I know this would never be permitted today, and we had a discussion on this topic a few months back concerning previous wars. There was some disagrement as to whether it was allowed during WW-2 or not.

    Dad served in Europe during the final months of the war and aquired 2 guns. He mailed a FN made SXS shotgun back home and had a Spanish made .32 pistol in his possesion after returning. The pistol was stolen from his duffel bag somewhere between NYC and Camp Atterbury Indiana where he was discharged.

    According to dad's version he had permission to have both guns. Dad died 2 weeks ago and while helping mom sort through a few things I found this. It seems it was officially allowed and dad did in fact have permission

    img001_zps8a187ff6.jpg
    The shotgun made it back and I still hunt with it on occasion.

    001-9.gif
     
  2. ccsniper

    ccsniper member

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  3. Chevelle SS

    Chevelle SS Member

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    very cool
     
  4. Ragnar Danneskjold

    Ragnar Danneskjold Member

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    What was the last war in which this was legal?
     
  5. jmace57

    jmace57 Member

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    My Dad brought back a Walther PP, and a Walther semi-auto rifle (G-43) that he unfortunately GAVE AWAY to someone to use as a hunting rifle. He stuffed them in his barracks bag and put a padlock on it, and it arrived safely back in Texas. I still have the Walther PP. Almost everyone my Dad knew brought stuff home with them, most without benefit of the bringback papers. I also have a Viet Nam bringback SKS that had no papers.

    That said - it is really cool that you have the documentation.
     
  6. Torian

    Torian Member

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    It is still legal, however there are many hoops that you need to jump through, and it isn't going to hand-carried.

    Certain types of weapons are prohibited, but one of our BN COs brought back an Enfield that was a gift from a foreign national after the local GO signed off on it.

    It's been a couple years since then, but I'm tracking it can still be done.
     
  7. Racinfan83

    Racinfan83 Member

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    Very neat story. While I know that lots of guns came back from WWII - How about Vietnam? From you guys who were there - is there any truth to the things you see once in awhile - that Vietnam servicemen mailed guns home in parts and pieces? Couldn't get away with taking a whole gun back so they disassembled it and mailed it a little at a time?? Was that even POSSIBLE? I was born in 65 - so I don't remember much about that era - but I'm a huge Military History buff and seeing this thread made me remember I always wanted to ask that...
     
  8. Fryerpower

    Fryerpower Member

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    File a stolen gun report with that serial number! It would be neat for it to get back to you almost 70 years later.

    Jim
     
  9. Gladius

    Gladius Member

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    My father accumulated several firearms in theater during WWII -- handguns, rifles, even a Drilling. He had Walthers, Lugers, CZ's, target pistols. One of the guns he had was a German military rifle made in the US (on which I've found no further information). He was able to mail home a .22 target rifle and a 98K (he swore he brought the Drilling home, but I can't recall ever seeing it). Before he left the continent, a General Order was issued which limited GI's to only one pistol each, on penalty of court martial. He says he handed out pistols like they were candy, keeping a Luger. Then, from the Continent, back to England, then to NY Harbor, and back home to Oregon, NO ONE checked his bags or any of his property, or even asked about contraband of any kind.
    Eventually he sold the .22 rifle (it was accurate, but spit gas right back at the shooter's face), and the Luger. I still have the 98K.
     
  10. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Good idea. I have no idea as to the exact model. Dad just said it was a Spanish made .32. He never said anything about the documentation and had probably forgotten about it.
     
  11. jamesbeat

    jamesbeat Member

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    Those Spanish .32's were made by many makers, collecting and cataloging them is a subject all unto itself.
    I believe many were made for French military contracts by independant makers, usually in Eibar, Spain. They were often marketed as 'Ruby'.
    I really want to obtain at least one, maybe a whole collection, but living in NY makes it next to impossible :(
     
  12. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    My father was a Annapolis Graduate class of 1948 (U.S. Naval Academy) and served in the Korean War in a U.D.T., a sort of precursor to the Navy Seals.
    He brought back a CO2 powered spear gun which we no longer have, and an M-1 Carbine, which I have in my gun safe.
    I am not sure exactly how he procured the carbine, which in spite of some dings in the wood is in very good shape, he may have done some sort of unofficial horsetrading or ...whatever. Unfortunatly he's no longer with us so we can't ask.
     
  13. Ehtereon11B

    Ehtereon11B internet infantryman

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    It was probably stolen at Atterbury. The out processors there have the stickiest fingers I have ever encountered.

    It is very difficult to bring back weapon war trophies now. The last time I know it was done it was my old unit coming back from Iraq and they had a few of Saddam's gold plated AKs. The AKs were stripped of all internal parts and put on display in the lobby of Battalion headquarters. I tried bringing back a severely broken Pakistani Makarov I pulled from a high ranking member of the Haqqani family as a project and it was seized. Even after doing the customs paperwork. Was told I couldn't have it for "personal use." A few guys in the unit bough black powder revolvers from the Afghan bazaar in Bagram, but I am not sure if they were allowed.
     
  14. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Yes, there's paperwork to mail pre-1899/weapons that appear to be pre-1899 back. At least, there was in 2007. Didn't try during this recent deployment.

    John
     
  15. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    It never made it that far. Somewhere along the way they got off the train. I'm unclear on the specifics, but it was to either change trains, or for a meal break. Dad's gear was left un attended for a short time and when he came back someone had gone through his stuff. The pistol was the only thing taken.

    I am really fortunate that we were able to record a lot of my dads history. Dad was ALWAYS telling stories about him growing up, his military service etc.

    About 10 years ago my wife and sister in law got dad to start writing everything down. My wife took the stories and family photos and put everythng into a book of my dads life.

    You can preview the front and back covers as well as the 1st 15 pages here.

    http://www.blurb.com/books/1731636-the-book-of-john

    This is a good idea and more families should do this to record their family history.

    Not trying to sell anything, we don't make any money anyway. We bought about 8 copeis for all of the immediate family to have a copy
     
  16. 76shuvlinoff

    76shuvlinoff Member

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    I have Dad's WWII bring-back Walther P38, no papers. He lost a Luger on the way home and complained about that till he died last year.
     
  17. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    My dad foolishly sneaked a Thompson SMG home from WW II.
     
  18. 22250Rem

    22250Rem Member

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    The Luger I inherited in 2002 from an uncle came home in a nazi marked holster for a Walther P38 and he just stuffed it all in his duffel bag in 1945. Bet you couldn't get away with doing that nowadays. I can recall seeing a couple Vietnam bringback SKS's in the early 70's. I think they were the first SKS's I'd ever seen in person. Never did find out how they got here but it sure would be interesting. One of them was brand new from an NVA weapons cache that our guys uncovered.
     
  19. kerreckt

    kerreckt Member

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    I have a Russian SKS and M44 both Viet Nam bring backs. I shoot the SKS but not the M44. The M44 was being shot right up to the time the shooter was killed but the bore looks so bad I would never shoot it.
     
  20. vito

    vito Member

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    I served in Vietnam from '70 to '71 and being in a medical unit, had the opportunity to acquire all sorts of firearms from wounded G.I.'s (since obviously they could not take their weapons with them to the hospital). Over time I had a beautiful Colt 38 Special revolver (I don't remember what model) that had been given to General Officers (I was told) earlier in the war; an M-79 grenade launcher (excellent weapon for scaring off sharks when we flew down to the beaches on the South China Sea; a Winchester Model 12 shotgun; an old M-1 Carbine and a Thompson machine gun. I knew of some guys who shipped home captured weapons by breaking them down and hiding parts in stereo speakers or other items they were shipping home but I never tried that. I was really tempted to try to sneak in the Colt revolver, but being a career soldier I knew that if I was caught I would be in major troubles. Ironically, when I processed through customs upon returning Stateside, and having no contraband of any kind in my canvas carry bag, I was not even checked! The Customs official asked me if I had anything in the bag that I shouldn't have, and when I said no, he waved me through with a "Welcome Home" (which, by the way, was about the only welcome I received from other than my family). Thinking about Vietnam is like remembering a different life. Sometimes it's hard to believe that was over 40 years ago. Oh well.
     
  21. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Yes it was possible.

    We had a young wife bring a Chinese Tokarev into the AMU shop her husband had mailed home from Vietnam in 1969.

    It had a hole in the slide from a shrapnel hit, and she wanted us to fix it so she could surprise him with a working gun when he got home.

    Turns out it was still loaded, and had a loaded mag in it!
    We couldn't get the slide open to unload it because the shapnel damage had pretty much welded the slide to the frame!

    We finally poured the barrel full of penetrating oil and very carefully drilled a hole through the bullet. Then let it soak in penetrating oil for a few days to deactivate the powder & primer and returned it to her with a dud round still in the chamber.

    A good friend mailed two M2 Carbine kits home, but they never made it past some package snooper somewhere between Vietnam and Kansas.

    rc
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  22. statelineblues

    statelineblues Member

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    I worked in a gun store in the early '80s, and one day one of our long time customers brought in two guns to put in the consignment case . One was a Walther P-38, the other was a 1934 Beretta, both with Nazi proofs. They came with capture papers just like jmr40 showed.

    Never did hear how he got them.
     
  23. MagnumDweeb

    MagnumDweeb Member

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    A lot of soldiers pre-Vietnam didn't realize if they were doing anything wrong and so many times they just mailed guns home. Some didn't care if they had the right paperwork and just mailed it home as well. If you think guns aren't making it back from this most recent set of wars, you'd be mistaken.
     
  24. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Member

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    Only things I managed to bring back from Iraq were an AK bayonet, a recovered .50 BMG bullet and shell casing, a 7.62 bullet I haven't identified and a green tip 5.56 cartridge I dug up in the desert.

    The mortar shrapnel I picked up got taken, though.

    The customs out processing center at LSA Anaconda/ Balad AB had a wall covered with all sorts of weapons guys tried to bring home.
     
  25. jobu07

    jobu07 Member

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    vito:
    From one vet to another, welcome home Vito.

    Customs was fairly rigorous coming home from Iraq for me. Generally, I believe, the ability to smuggle is easy when a conflict starts and as it extends it becomes more difficult. I remember reading about guys smuggling AK's home in oxygen tanks and what not early on.

    Personally I brought home several sets of AK furniture (grips, hand guards, etc) and shrapnel from some personal experiences. The Navy Customs inspectors asked what the AK furniture was and marked it down as weapons parts and proceeded on as normal. They were more concerned with my haji DVD collection!

    I have a nice Nazi marked 1944 FN that came with the capture papers from the GI who brought it home. Gentlemen was a Spec 4 when he exported it from Europe and was a CPT when he registered it at Ft. Sill based on the paperwork.
     
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