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Titanic officer's pistol

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Gunnerpalace, Aug 19, 2007.

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  1. Gunnerpalace

    Gunnerpalace Member

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    This is a little tough, I am a big Titanic buff and recently was reading about Harold Lowe one of the ships officers and it seems that he brought his own weapon it was a Browning automatic (it was referred to as a revolver in everything I read) does anyone have an idea what this pistol is? (it would be circa 1912 if that helps)Thanks.
     
  2. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Member

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    Have you been to the Titanic museum at St John's in Newfoundland? Pretty impressive if you get a chance. It is housed in the geology museum.
     
  3. Checkman

    Checkman member

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    It might have been the Browning Model 1910 or perhaps the 1900. Both models shot the 32 acp. It might have also been the Colt Model 1903 hammerless (32 acp) which was designed by Browning. The other possibility is it was the Baby Browning Model 1906 in 25 acp.

    Hope this helped.
     
  4. Avenger

    Avenger Member

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    Not a hijacking, but a side trip: In the movie, what is the gun the butlery guy carries?
     
  5. Checkman

    Checkman member

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    I believe he carries a nickel plated Colt 1911. Which is historically inaccurate, but it looks good. The 1911 wasn't being sold commercially in 1912. As a matter of speculation I would imagine that very few soldiers had the 1911 in 1912.
     
  6. Gunnerpalace

    Gunnerpalace Member

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    M1911

    Yeah it was a M1911 and there were several errors First they were not available for civilian purchase until August (the ship sank in April) but rich people he might have been able to buy, it oh wait the nickel finish was not available until 1913ish+ (I believe, not an expert though). Been to a few museums still have to get to the Newfoundland one.
     
  7. Joe Demko

    Joe Demko Member

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    I never got too worked up over the bad guy's gun in Titanic. He was a fictional character, anyway. I've been a Titanic buff since the 70's, and I pretty much hated that movie for too many other reasons to care about the gun.
     
  8. News Shooter

    News Shooter Member

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    In A Night to Remember

    (Which was the best of the Titanic movies, the captain handed out what appeared to be Webley revolvers to the officers as the ship started going down.
     
  9. Mikhail Konovalov

    Mikhail Konovalov Member

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    Jim Cameron seems to look for an excuse to put 1911's in every film. Man's got good taste, haha.

    With regards to the real handgun carried by the real officer, I give the nod to the old Browning .32 ACP's, if it was in fact a Browning.
     
  10. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    It has been common for writers, especially British writers, to call any handgun a "revolver." That being said, I know of no indication of the types or makes of handgun(s) that may have been on the Titanic, officially or unofficially, and any details would be pure speculation. That includes the other famous gun, the "pistol" that Molly Brown supposedly used to command Boat No. 6. (The story of the pistol does not appear to be true; the force of her personality was apparently enough to command anything.)

    Jim
     
  11. Joe Demko

    Joe Demko Member

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    White Star Lines had to purchase arms for any arms lockers just like they purchased all the other furnisings and equipment. Somewhere in whatever of their records may remain for such things, you might find an accounting entry for arms. If it doesn't specify what they were exactly, it would point at the company from which they were purchased. If that company or its records still exist, one might find the exact guns listed as sold to White Star.
    Anybody got a lot of spare time and money to go find out?
     
  12. Gunnerpalace

    Gunnerpalace Member

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    Titanic Guns

    The Titanic (as far as we know) had 4-5 Webley .455 revolvers ,Lowe brought his own weapon and it is well believed at least 2 other passengers were carrying at the time (try that now) one of whom was envoy to president Taft (Major Archibald Butt). As for the Webleys I figure they were Mark IV's.
     
  13. Johnny Guest

    Johnny Guest Moderator Emeritus

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    And to further complicate matters - -

    I fully agree with above: ANY repeating handgun was apt to be called a “revolver.” AND, some places, especially parts of the British Empire, any semi auto pistol, even today, is apt to be called “a Browning.” Fits pretty well, really - - in 1912, J. M. Browning was still designing handguns produced by Colt's and at FN.

    Without doing the admittedly ridiculous stretch about a pre-production 1911 Colt .45, by 1912, there were several autopistols in production and already in fairly wide circulation. And not just in .32 ACP - - Colt's had been selling .25 ACP, 38 ACP, .380 ACP, and even .45 ACP for a few years by then. And there were several NON-Browning designs being marketed by European armsmakers by 1912. You could already obtain a Luger in two calibers.

    The Webley Mark !V has been prominently mentioned above, as a likely occupant of an English flag liner's arms locker. It certainly COULD have been, but there's another consideration - - Well cared-for firearms last almost forever. The arms on RMS Titanic could have stayed in White Star Line's shore-based stores or on the shelves at the arms dealer for years. I seriously doubt that the line would junk good cartridge revolvers of an earlier vintage simply because a newer model was on the market. The .455s could as easily have been marks I, II or III.

    I shot a match last weekend, using a 1948 production Colt Government Model .45. My bedside piece in a late -40s vintage M&P .38. Both still work just fine, and both are older than a MK I Webley would have been in 1912. ;)

    Best,
    Johnny
     
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