strange ways to get a gun!

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by tark, Sep 14, 2021.

  1. tark

    tark Member

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    This happened years ago before I started working at the Arsenal Museum, but it is a legendary story.

    Late one afternoon, near closing time, and before 9-11 happened, It was very easy to get onto Arsenal Island. One simply drove past an empty guard shack. Someone did, with a gun wrapped in a blanket. They entered the museum and there was no one at the counter. This person called out for help and a voice answered from the back of the room " Be with you in a second. "

    The man responded "You can have this." and he walked out, leaving the weapon lying on the counter, still wrapped up in the blanket. No one saw him or got a description of what he was driving. I don't know who was on duty that day, but whoever it was unwrapped the gun, gasped in horror :what: and called the Arsenal Police.

    The gun was a first pattern FG-42. The ATF was contacted and they had no record on the gun. It was determined that the receiver was cracked and the bolt rusted shut. The gun was junk, but still an unregistered machine gun. After some wrangling, it was decided that the gun was to be donated to the Museum.

    The gun is the third from the top in the pic, below the two second pattern guns.

    The guy was never caught.
     

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  2. Reloadron
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    Reloadron Contributing Member

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    Every now and then an unregistered machine gun surfaces. Many brought home by returning WWII GIs. Something long deceased grandpa had in the attic. Along with machine guns things like WWII pineapple grenades also turn up every now and then.

    When I left DaNang in '72 they told us we would be searched upon entry back into the US. There was an amnesty box where returning GIs could put anything before boarding. I just had to look and there was all sorts of crap in there, including grenades and a friggen claymore. It was amazing what guys planned to try and get out of country and home with. Nothing surprises me. :)

    Ron
     
  3. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    Two stories…

    First:

    Many years ago the former PD worked for got a call from a son who was cleaning out Mom and Dads house after Dad died and she moved into a senior home. Dad was a WWII vet and apparently had some guns in the attic in a wooden box that the son was concerned about.

    We got there and saw that there were not one, but two, Japanese type 99 machine guns in the crate. My old sergeant was not a gun guy, the old Chief was not a gun guy… both guns quietly went to the scrap yard instead of a museum :(.


    Second:

    This stuff still happens today. A guy I used to know was formerly an Army SF regular (SSgt) who did his hitch but was still a reservist. He was an expert on Islamic folks, and fluent in Spanish and Filipino, so he was sent a few times to the Philippines to advise and train the Philippine army about Muslim fanatics and anti-insurgent tactics (I guess it’s a big problem on some of their islands).

    Allegedly he was caught and fanged by the Army in 2006 because he still had two grenades on him when he either tried to board the civilian transport or when he landed in the US. (I don’t have the full poop on his story, just that he got some hearty military discipline.) :confused:

    It takes all kinds…

    Stay safe.
     
  4. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

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    One or two C-17 (maybe C-5) crew members with a US Air Force squadron supposedly tried to smuggle an AK-47 from Iraq around 2007 (?).

    Whoever it was got caught by whichever authority, whether still in Iraq or at Dover, maybe McGuire AFB etc; I have no idea where, or what the punishment was.

    A (then) coworker/ First Officer with whom I worked had heard the story at that time through his old Air Force Reserve "grapevine".
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2021 at 1:51 AM
  5. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    Cool story, Tark!

    Guys try all the time. We had an E-6 in my EOD unit that thought he could steal some stuff and not get caught when we got back to CONUS. Best story ever was the Navy admiral who tried to bring back an AK-47 from Grenada (or maybe it was Panama, can't remember).
     
  6. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    One of my daughter's ex-boyfriends was born in rural Hungary and still visits sometimes. Hes not really a "gun person" but plays a lot of video games, so he is actually pretty well steeped in WW2 small arms knowledge. He says its still pretty common to find both Nazi and Soviet era weapons stashed in basements, and barns. His Uncle apparently has a nearly forgotten MG34 collecting dust in the attic- no ammo, however.

    I was having lunch with my buddy Roger at his shop a few years ago when a little old lady hobbled in and put a plastic bag on the counter.
    "My husband passed and I dont want these in the house," she said before turning around and walking right back out.
    Inside the bag were a rough and rusty S&W 1905 m&P in .32-20 and a minty French M1935 in .30 French Long. The '35 was fully loaded with one in the pipe and the ammo was headstamped 1938......
     
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  7. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    Don't leave us hanging... what happened to the M1935?
     
  8. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    He offered it to me "off the books" as it were, since he wasn't sure how to receive it in his ledger, for a very reasonable price- $300 IIRC. I didn't want to have to track down a quantity of shootable .30 Longue, however, so I declined.

    I'm not sure what ultimately became of it, never saw it again. I know it never went in his display case. I assume he made some calls to known collectors and made it disappear.....

    The 1905, on the other hand, went home with me for the princely sum of $75. I refinished it and shoot it occasionally. Turned out pretty nice, actually.
     
  9. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    Very neat story Tark. I haven't been to the Arsenal since I was a kid. my parents grew up in Rock Island and a lot of my relatives that didn't enlist worked at the arsenal during WWII.

    Back in 1992 while I was stationed in Germany, we had received a M113 that just came back from Kuwait. When we pulled up the belly plates , there were several new in wrap AK47's stashed away. Needless to say the platoon leader instantly freaked out and has us carry all the AK's to BN headquarters to turn in. While clearing bunkers in Iraq in 91, we found one bunker full of brand new Hungarian FEG Hi Power clones still in the original crates, command made us blow them up on the spot. By the time I left to go home, customs was so strict that they would reject field gear for sand :confused: So we didn't even think about trying to bring back any weapons. We put all of our field gear into conex boxes and buried them. I'm sure some bedouins had a field day when they unearthed the conex boxes.
     
  10. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    MILF is their biggest issue. And not the one you are thinking of. Moro Islamic Liberation Front is a huge Islamic terrorist cell in the southern islands. There has been a loose "ceasefire" with the government since 2019 ish.

    Every now and then some guy close enough to an arms room will make off with something the US government frowns upon. Usually something small like night vision but I have heard people dealing in M240Bs to some shady characters.
     
  11. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    @40 years ago, in a state I no longer live in, a friend and coworker asked me to help him clear out his recently deceased father's housd. The deceased had been a WW2 vet serving in europe. My friend was getting ready to move himself.
    Cleaning out the attic involved only moving a few things, one of which was a large HEAVY trunk. We had to break a padlock to open it.
    Inside we found:

    *various uniform and hats, medals, and related clothing items.

    *Canteen, WW2 utility belt, small medical kit and such.

    * Colt 1911 with .... serviceable holster and a few magazines. Unfortunatly no ammo.

    And :eek:

    * A 1928 Thompson submachine gun. In obviously used condition. Apparently in good working order. A pouch containing 3 30 round magazines.

    I looked at my friend and said; "buddy, you need a good lawyer."

    :uhoh:

    Sadly I did not know how it turned out until a few years later when we connected again. He'd hired a lawyer, lawyer contacts BATF, BATF guy comes and removes the horrible, evil, loathsome , degenerate, subgun. What became of it? Dunno. What does ATF do with these old iconic WW2 guns? :confused:
     
  12. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Member

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    When I was attending the University of Alabama back in the '90s I used to kayak on the Black Warrior River, which runs right by the school. There's a spot a couple of miles upstream from the school where they bulldozed the remains of an old steel plant into the bank of the river, I was checking out the bits of scrap for use in a found-object sculpture project when I realized the the box-like object sticking out of the bank was the receiver of a Maxim machine gun!
    Sadly, there was multiple tons of debris on top of it so I just let it be.
    I wonder if it's still there... .
     
  13. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    It either went in the local office collection of horrible evil loathsome degenerate subguns unless they already had one, in which case it was scrapped.

    I am told that a machine gun turned up in the attic of Pope's Tavern here in Florence AL. It probably went the same way.
     
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  14. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    I remember reading the account of a rural sheriff's deputy on his daily patrol. Crossing over a creek, he noticed a shadow in the water that he had not seen before. Investigation revealed it to be a pristine Type 92 MG with mount, and had been in the water for probably a day. No doubt the result of a panicked discovery in Grandpa's attic.
     
  15. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I was told that an MP 38 or 40 was dredged up when a new bridge was being built here.
    I recalled that a deceased friend had claimed to have one although he did not show it off to his buddies, so I cannot say for sure.
    But it certainly makes sense that his family found it in his effects and disposed of it informally.
     
  16. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    When I was a kid, my Mom was big into geneology and dragged me to a small town in rural IL to examine some birth/ death certificates being held at the local Town Hall/Library/Town Museum.

    While she was busy flipping through rotting paper records in the basement, I wound up in the museum storage room which contained a number of items apparently donated by townsfolk over the years which they had no space or interest in displaying- including a large number of mementos from both World Wars.

    As it happens, I found an intact Lewis gun leaning in a corner, covered in dust and missing the magazine, but otherwise apparently fully functional.

    Im sure they had no idea what it was, or that it was even there. When I was done playing with it, I reverently put it back in the corner and covered it with an old field jacket.

    Its probably still there, forgotten and sleeping away its well-earned rest. I like to think so anyway.:)
     
  17. illinoisburt

    illinoisburt Member

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    I personally knew a kid who brought back an Uzi from Israel after IDF service. No idea how he got it through the airlines. He brought it to school at the community college in his backpack to show it to us. Had a folding wire stock and a separate silencer. He was pretty nonchalant about it. We were not really sure what to say. Never talked to him about it again and lost contact after the summer classes ended.

    ** Many of my relatives worked at the Arsenal. A lot of union machinists from Deere, Case, IH, and Cat would have second jobs there back in 60-80s before the big factories closed. My maternal grandfather was a commanding officer at the Arsenal in the 1970s after serving in the Philippines in WW2. I remember visiting there often as a kid but haven't been back in decades since the old folks have passed on.
     
  18. trackskippy

    trackskippy Member

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    I think you'd be amazed at the number of unregistered bring-back guns that are floating around. Lots of cool stuff, well cared for by those who did, and never harmed a soul.

    There was a local bar where I used to live back in the late 90's, early 2000's that was well known to the locals as a hangout for gun guys. Around that time, and lot of older fellas started coming in with all sorts of cool stuff wanting to get rid of it so their families wouldnt have to deal with it. Of course, they never registered it back during the amnesty and it was all basically contraband. What went on after that..... whos to say. Im betting a lot of stuff is still being well cared for.

    I knew a guy back about the same that worked at a local gun shop. The story as I heard it, he was coming back from a trip upstate and stopped at a big yard sale. There was a wooden box full of doilies and some tools. Weird combos of stuff in most of the boxes, and the way they were doing it, you had to take everything in the box. He figured the old lady would like the doilies so he bought the box for a couple of bucks. He did say it seemed heavier than it should have been, but didnt really think about it at the time.

    When he got home, and gave his wife the doilies, he was going through the tools and stuff in the bottom, when he noticed the bottom was loose and not really "the bottom". When he pulled it up, there was a German MP40 and a bunch of mags on the real bottom. He had an idea what it was, but wasn't really sure, so he took it to work with him at the gun shop. When he pulled it out, the owner and another one of the older guys working there went off on him and told him to get it out of the shop. They knew right away what it was and from his story, likely not something that was in the registry. Not sure where that ended up, but I have a feeling, its probably lovingly caressed now and then too. :)
     
  19. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    In Appalachian coal country the occasional Thompson, BAR, Monitor, M2 Carbine, or Grease Gun turns up from the old union wars.
     
  20. Reloadron
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    Reloadron Contributing Member

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    I spent time in Israel and something I will never forget is flat out pretty woman at bus stops and part of the Israel Defense Force armed with Uzi sub machine guns. Something else cool beyond the Uzi was just show a US military ID or like me US DoD ID and you used public transportation for free. Something about a pretty girl armed with a sub machine gun. :)

    Ron
     
  21. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    Every now and then a veteran dies, leaving a machine gun war trophy he brought back with proper bring-back papers, but none of the family know about the paperwork, or the legal status of the gun, and freak out when they find the gun. I can understand not wanting everyone to know about a highly valuable and stealable item, but in event of death, there should be a sealed envelope with instructions in the hands of someone trustworthy.
     
  22. Howland937

    Howland937 Member

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    I got a call a couple years back from my cousin with some questions about "some sort of old German pistol with a stock attachment". Seems his girlfriend was at work, checking in donations at the Goodwill store, when she found it in a box under a pile of old quilts.

    She said it's not that uncommon to find guns in donations boxes, but they're not allowed to intentionally take them. Apparently company policy is for all firearm donations to be given to the local PD.
     
  23. Rubone

    Rubone Member

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    I guess I'm a bit different mindset than some, but if something like that fell in my lap...it would still be there.:evil:
     
  24. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    A now deceased friend was remodeling his upstairs. When he knocked a hole in the wall, he found a budget Italian 12ga. O/U in excellent condition.

    He gave it to me to take to my then shooting club (with a trap and skeet range) to try to sell. The trap and skeet guys would have looked down their noses at a $5,000 gun, so there were no takers.

    I hung onto it occasionally asking if anybody wanted to buy it.

    Eventually the friend died of cancer and I asked the wife what she wanted me to do with the gun. She told me to keep it.

    It's never done anything except sit in my safe and make a few trips to swap meets at the club when I was a member.
     
  25. 357 Terms
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    357 Terms Contributing Member

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    I went to school with a guy whose family owned a salvage yard, a few times over the years a handgun would turn up in a vehicle, usually in poor shape.
    I've often wondered how many times guys (customers) would be picking parts from cars/trucks and discover something, and not say a word about their find.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2021 at 12:10 PM
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