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Which WWII-era handgun?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by D.B. Cooper, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    The VIS from Fabryka Broni w Radomiu, is commonly (and incorrectly) called a Radom in the US.
    Germans were so impressed with them, that they kept the factory turning them out until the Soviets over ran it.
    So, it would be possible to have captured one.
    Kaeto got to my other idea, the Webley .455 revolver before I did. That .455 is neat. Not fast to load, though. Also, you really want to use .455 in it, as the "rebored" .45acp "conversions" vary widely in quality.
    That being said, you could make a case for the Webley in .38-200--after all, in a 2-gun or 3-gun match, it's hitting the target, not the knock-down.

    However, pleae give the 1911 a chance. It's a bit different, and always has been. Not to manual versus automatic transmission--more like diesel versus gas. Or a HET versus a HEMMT.
     
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  2. Kaeto

    Kaeto Member

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    Mine was an Aussie service pistol in WW II. The guy I got it from his Grandfather brought it back afterwards and used it as his police sidearm until he retired.
     
  3. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    From the discussions here, and my looking around on various online gun broker type sites, I think that is probably where I'm headed-almost by default.

    One of my problems is that I live in Alaska, and, while virtually everyone owns guns, I'm not likely to find an M1917 revolver for sale at the very few and small gun shows we have. I'm also not one to go around to pawn shops every week for weeks, months, years on end. The very few I've see online were expensive to a fault-to the point that I could just order a brand new Colt through a place like Buds gun shop or some such for the same or less money.

    Like the M1 Carbines, looks like I missed out on the cheap M1917s.
     
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  4. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    This is an idea I have been toying with too.

    I think that of the 3 you listed, I would opt for the Model 10. Simple, effective enough, lighter weight... and I love shooting mine...
     
  5. Sergei Mosin

    Sergei Mosin Member

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    One of the nice things about the 1911 is that it has multiple safeties. As long as the thumb safety is engaged, the gun isn't going to fire. And even if the thumb safety gets knocked off somehow (which I've never had happen in several years of carrying 1911s) the gun still isn't going to fire unless the grip safety is depressed and the trigger is pulled. As has been observed many times, "Is gun. Gun not safe." But the 1911 is well equipped for safe handling.

    As far as carrying with a chambered round and the hammer down, the greatest danger there is probably in decocking a pistol not equipped with a decocker. Some folks are fine with that, but the general consensus among 1911 users seems to be that this is more dangerous than conventional cocked & locked carry, in addition to making the gun slower to bring into action.

    Military manuals prescribed a variety of carry methods depending upon the circumstances, but cocked & locked seems to have been fairly normal in combat (based on E. B. Sledge's With the Old Breed.)
     
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  6. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    Most 3 gun style matches unless there is a required transition to handgun you don't need to carry it loaded.

    BHP has fewer safety features than a 1911 and I carry it cocked and locked.

    Many modern reproduction 1911s have a drop safety as well. It's a very safe design.
     
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  7. Merle1

    Merle1 Member

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    Sad but true....

    Another point - check the rules of the matches you intend to enter - some of them have very specific rules on allowed equipment such as speed loaders, etc. No sense buying something you can't compete with.
     
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  8. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    Yeah, I totally agree. And I like the model 10. A lot. But ot really doesn't go with "the kit" unless I do some sort of aviator thing (which worls for me-I was an aircraft mech in the air force) but then the Garand (or any long gun) doesn't go with "the kit."
     
  9. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    To me, this is personal preference. I consider it to be a deterrent, rather than a "nice thing." But I agree, decocking a 1911 is darned dangerous. I decocked one empty that, had it been chambered, would have been an accidental discharge. Plus, I had problems getting a gun to fire at all because of the grip safety.

    That book is assigned/required reading in my history class.
     
  10. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    Thats a good point if you are looking to stick to issued gear, although I don't know how often GI's were issued sidearms, but my understanding is that it was not all that uncommon for guys to receive sidearms from home.

    History question: did paratroopers have access to the 38's?

    Between the 1917 and the 1911, i think i would opt for 1911. Its a great design and arguably the most suited to an action 3 gun match.
     
  11. Kendal Black

    Kendal Black Member

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    You can write a plausible living history cover story for anything you like. I like K-frame Smiths, possibly my favorite of the handguns I have shot, so my patter would be I got it from a Squid for half a case of captured Cognac.

    I too like the Polish Radom, a vastly underrated pistol, but in that instance the story would involve radio parts and clandestine operations.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017
  12. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    For enlisted men, almost never. Medics were issued 1911's as self defense guns. I think tanker guys might have gotten them as well. My research has shown that most enlisted men that had handguns got them outside the normal supply chain. (Stolen. Won in a poker game. Traded for some other war trophy or a bottle of jack, etc.)

    Officers were often issued handguns, as I understand it, for enforcing discipline if necessary. But officers almost never carried M1 Garands. So that screws up my plan. If I went to an M1 Carbine or a Thompson, then it would "fit better."


    I've heard stories of this up through the Vietnam war. (I never heard of it in my time in the military, but I also get the impression that the modern military is more of a stickler for the rules than that of the WWII era.)

    Not through the normal supply chain. Any paratroop (really any front line combat arms soldier) that would be "issued" a hand gun, would be issued a 1911. The 1917 and the Model 10 were used as back fill for non combat roles-at least in the "official" sense.
     
  13. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    I like the way you think. Yes, I could make up almost any story, but I am trying to stay within the realm of historically correct.
     
  14. Dog Soldier
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    Dog Soldier Member

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    Have you ever visited Wild West guns in Anchorage? They ship guns every where it seems. :thumbup:
     
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  15. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    I have. I choose not to do business with them for various reasons that I won't get into here. There are a number of LGS/gunsmiths who will handle transfers for a nominal fee, usually ranging between $25 and $30. (I don't know what WWG charges.) In addition, I have a C&R license, but I've found that a lot of online sales folks won't ship to a C&R. (I suspect they're afraid of having to deal with ATF if they make an error in what constitutes a C&R gun.)
     
  16. Dog Soldier
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    Dog Soldier Member

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    Thanks D.B. I know many other fellows who work the "Oil Patch" in Alaska. Some like WWG others do not. :)
     
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  17. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    "Oil Patch" is a lower 48 term, usually referring to Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, or the Gulf.

    Up here, we call our "oil patch" the North Slope. (It's north of the Brooks mountain range,the northernmost mountain range in Alaska.) I've got a family member up there right now.
     
  18. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    PS: just realized you're from Wyoming. The only other place, besides AK, I'd want to live.
     
  19. Dog Soldier
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    Dog Soldier Member

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    Yes, I know the terminology "North Slope". The many thousands who went North to open the oil fields were from the "Oil Patch". I was set up for a 2 year hitch at a Kennecott Project in Alaska . My retirement came through from London and I went home to Wyoming.:D
    Yes, You would be at home here. It is cold and tons of snow in our long winters. The good news is in 5 hours from my place you can be in the Mojave Desert.:)
     
  20. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    "With the old breed" is a personal favorite of mine. FWIW, my relatives who served in WW2 and Vietnam seemed to get whatever gear they wanted, either from barter or "borrowing". My uncle was a Seabee and he has many stories of "borrowing" every Army supply or equipment that wasn't nailed down. Also, as a huge fan of memoirs, I have read about MANY officers who preferred to carry a long gun because A, it was more effective than a handgun and B, they were not as obviously an officer when viewed through some sniper's scope.
     
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  21. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    For those of you who liked With The Old Breed, you will probably also like Company Commander by Charles B. MacDonald. Also, there is a "Japanese version" of Old Breed titled The Breaking Jewel by Makoto Oda. I haven't read it yet, and I believe it's actually a work of historical fiction, but it is supposedly set on Peliliu and may give at least some insight to the Japanese experience of Sledge's book. I've been meaning to buy a copy and evaluate it for my class, but it's a rather spendy purchase-especially for a class set.
     
  22. stoky

    stoky Member

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    ...........could include the Philadelphia Experiment and time warp(s) :alien:
     
  23. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    It was only a matter of time before THAT came up. *sigh* =)
     
  24. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    In Band of Brothers a paratrooper Floyd "Tab" Talbert got a care package from his hometown chief of police, a Colt revolver just before D-Day. The mini-series used a Colt New Service .45.

    Wiki info: Talbert was accidentally bayoneted by Private George Smith prior to the Battle of Bloody Gulch and was evacuated. Talbert was wearing a German poncho and prodded Smith with his personal Colt revolver to wake him for guard duty, startling Smith to think Talbert was a German commando attempting to capture him.

    Historically, it happened. The actual caliber of Tab's revolver was never mentioned.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017 at 10:22 PM
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  25. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Member

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    The closest currently-produced copy of the WW2 M1911A1 is the one made by Thompson / Kahr. The only major difference is that it has the Series 80-type firing pin safety (drop safety). That can be removed, and standard parts substituted. You have to use a special spacer to fill the gap in the frame.
     

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