Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

My WW2 Handgun Collection

Discussion in 'Weapons' started by George Patton, Feb 20, 2015.

  1. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Messages:
    13,458
    Likes Received:
    1,373
    Location:
    London, England.
    I'm afraid so ; this is after all the UK......

    ( Note to would-be trolls : please do not hijack this thread on one of those interminable ' Why do you people in the UK put up with this ?' lines :pistolas: )
     
  2. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    6,089
    Likes Received:
    1,562
    Location:
    The Arid Zone
    DAMMIT!

    It's all the same. Good sights and a good trigger and a good shooter count, but caliber doesn't. There's been at least two dozen oddball cartridges introduced in match pistol shooting, but none of them have had any legs. The gun cranks get all feverish about them, but a few years later everyone is still shooting the standard rounds.
     
  3. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,081
    Likes Received:
    1,061
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Here's the last one (for now). A 1944 Smith and Wesson "Victory" Model.

    [​IMG]

    Background

    Smith and Wesson has long been one of the premiere revolver manufacturer in the world. One of its most successful designs is the "Military and Police", ("M&P") also known as the Model 10. The so-called "Victory Model" is the WW2 military version of this revolver. The M&P traces its roots to 1899, when S&W designed the Model 1899 Hand Ejector -- a .38 Long Colt double action revolver. It was adopted by the US Army and Navy, and became known as the "Military and Police" model. A series of modifications were made over the next decade and a half, and in 1915 the design was finalized as the "Military and Police 4th Change". The revolver subsequently became known simply as the "M&P" and was extremely popular with both the military and law enforcement. The revolver was finished in a deep bluing.

    In the late 1930s, Smith and Wesson was contracted by the British to design a carbine that became the Smith and Wesson Model 1940 Light Rifle. The carbine was a failure, and the British refused to accept the guns. The British demanded their cash advance back, and Smith and Wesson couldn't pay. Instead an agreement was reached to provided M&Ps in .38/200 (.38 S&W) until the debt was repaid. In 1941, this contract was taken over as part of the Lend-Lease Program and revolvers began to be stamped "US Property". The Americans also heavily invested in the M&P -- In the leadup to WW2, the gun was ordered in large quantities by the US Navy. By 1942, the USN would have nearly 90,000 revolvers.

    Starting in 1942, Smith and Wesson introduced the "Victory Model", which was a M&P with a parkerized finish instead of the blued finish of the "standard" M&P, a lanyard ring and smooth walnut grips instead of checkered grips. Serial numbers began with "V" for "Victory". The "Victory Model" came in two basic variants -- one in .38/200 (.38 S&W) for the British, and one in .38 Special for the US Military. 570,000 of the former were supplied to Britain and the Commonwealth under the lend-lease act, and had 4", 5" and 6" barrels. The US military version was used by the Navy, Marines and Army and came with either a 2", 4" or 5" barrel. Both versions were popular with pilots.

    Production of the M&P continued after the war, and it became the "Model 10". Production continues to this day, and over 6 million "M&Ps" of all variations have been built.

    My Pistol:

    My revolver was built in 1944, and is one of those supplied to the British under the Lend Lease act. It has a 5" barrel and is chambered for the original .38/200 round. Many of these were re-chambered to the easier to obtain .38 Special cartridge. The revolver is in excellent condition, with only some light surface wear and a drag line on the back of the cylinder. The barrel is like new. The revolver is stamped "US Property" on the top strap (above the cylinder) and bears the US Government "GHD" inspection mark. It appears as though this revolver never made it overseas as it lacks any type of British commercial proofs normally found on military guns that were surplused. Judging from the condition, it obviously didn't see much use.

    These photos include 2 boxes of Canadian-issued .38/200 ammo (one of which is unopened), WW2-vintage .303 British ammo, and (in the corner of the last photo) a Bren magazine.

    The double action trigger is surprisingly smooth, and is absolutely no comparison to the crude trigger on the Nagant Revolver I posted earlier. These are the only two "wheelguns" I have. Note the case hardening on the hammer and trigger that has given a nice patina.
    [​IMG]

    The finish looks great, and the revolver doesn't even have holster wear on the front surfaces. The parkerizing looks as if it was done yesterday.
    [​IMG]

    You can see the light wear marks in this photo. They look much worse than they actually are, and aren't visible unless you hold the revolver under the light and angle it just right. They are not deep at all.
    [​IMG]

    How does it shoot?

    I have no idea. I picked this up last week and haven't taken it out yet. All I can comment on is how it feels. The trigger is excellent and the revolver is well-balanced. The sights are easy to see, and the post is a bit wider than on a M1911A1. Recoil with .38/200 is supposed to be light and I'm expecting this to be a lot of fun to shoot. .38/200 is a bit of a tricky cartridge to find up here, but I got 50 rounds with the revolver and an extra 50 for an extra 20 bucks. It looks like I'll have to start reloading for this one. I'll post an update when I take it to the range.
     
    Half Track likes this.
  4. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,081
    Likes Received:
    1,061
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Next up will be a 1942 Browning Hi Power produced under German occupation. I just bought it tonight and I should have it in 3 weeks or so.

    Unfortunately for my wallet, I have no plans to stop hoarding anytime soon.
     
    KodiakBeer likes this.
  5. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    6,089
    Likes Received:
    1,562
    Location:
    The Arid Zone
    Please repeat your last post so I can salute the Hi-Power twice!
     
  6. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,081
    Likes Received:
    1,061
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I could post a photo sent to me by the seller as a teaser, but that would just be mean....
     
    KodiakBeer likes this.
  7. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    6,089
    Likes Received:
    1,562
    Location:
    The Arid Zone
    1942 was a good year for Belgian/German Hi-Powers. The quality begins to deteriorate in 43 and 44.

    I missed a Hi-Power by just minutes that had both the German waffenants and the Israeli Star of David on it. It was in a batch of Israeli surplus Hi-Powers and I caught the markings on the photos and called the importer, and it had just been spoken for. I still groan when I recall that.
     
  8. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,081
    Likes Received:
    1,061
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    This one has a serial number in the 165000 range, which would put it in the last quarter of 1942 according to what I've read.

    I haven't heard of a Hi Power with both waffenampts and Israeli markings but I have seen many K98ks (most of which were re-barreled to 7.62mm) and a couple of P38s. How much was it? For those that don't know the story, In the late 40s the Israelis took whatever weapons they could get and ironically ended up forming their own country through conflicts fought with largely ex-Nazi guns. At a gun show 3 weeks ago I saw a 1936 Radom Wz.29 with an intact Polish crest, waffenampts and Israeli markings on it. I'd have bought it even though the price was a bit higher than the going rate except for the fact that it had a 2-3" long hand-stamped US import marking running down the side of the receiver. Lots of interesting pieces out there.
     
  9. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    24,985
    Likes Received:
    2,377
    George all your pictures seem to have gone
     
  10. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    6,089
    Likes Received:
    1,562
    Location:
    The Arid Zone
    It was $300. They had a bunch of Israeli surplus guns for $250 and the only difference in price was that the older ones with the thumbprint slide were $50 more. They weren't even mentioning the markings, you had to pick that up from the photos. I ended up buying two seventies era pistols to rebuild. I still have one of those. I just thought a pistol with such markings would be very unique, not to mention that I'd be getting a Nazi Hi-Power for well below collectors value. I doubt any of the older guns were all original...

    A couple of years ago I snapped up an aluminum framed Hi-Power, which is an extremely rare variant. They made less than two thousand of them for the Austrian border guards.
     
  11. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,081
    Likes Received:
    1,061
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    It looks like I exceeded the bandwidth limit. I'll try switching to another photo hosting site.

    EDIT: Should be fixed now.
     
    Half Track likes this.
  12. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
    Messages:
    6,074
    Likes Received:
    1,666
    Location:
    Perfidious Albion
    Has this thread been pinned yet? It's a cracker.

    I don't have enough practical gun experience to comment on his opinions, but I always enjoy Hickock's rambling low-key style.
    Entertaining (to me) comparison from him of Model 08 & 1911.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PymVKz29jjU

    And I can watch this animation as a pure piece of machinery over and over again:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEdRo0g-Mp8


    What gets me, is the sheer age of the designs. Both at least 100 years old - seemingly out of time in sophistication.

    Anyway, GP - sorry for butting in; thoroughly enjoying the thread & you shooty chaps' comments.
     
  13. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    6,089
    Likes Received:
    1,562
    Location:
    The Arid Zone
    Since we're waiting on the Hi-Power I hope George won't mind me bombing his thread with a picture of one of mine.

    This is a Remington UMC 1911 (not 1911A1) produced in 1917. It had been arsenal polished and re-blued sometime late in life (the arsenal marks tell the story), probably for a parade sidearm. The original finish would have been a dull satin blue. It had WWII era Colt grips on it when I bought it and I've never been able to track down original WWI Remington grips. Anyway, when this picture was taken it was wearing grips I made from the rib bone of a Stellar Sea Cow. It was, and still is, my "BBQ Gun."

    View attachment 22159
     

    Attached Files:

    Cadillac and George Patton like this.
  14. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,081
    Likes Received:
    1,061
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I like Hickok45. He has a nice calm non-nonsense approach that focuses on the fundamentals rather than on flashy graphics and music. He's an all-round fine "shooty chap" -- much better than the other "flashy" YouTube personalities out there.

    Very nice piece. What makes you say that it was arsenal re-blued? Either way, the job was done tastefully and it looks like care was taken to preserve the markings. Are the parts period correct on it?
     
  15. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    6,089
    Likes Received:
    1,562
    Location:
    The Arid Zone
    When I got it some years ago, I took careful photos of all the marks and had some 1911 gurus interpret everything online. When a gun had major work at an arsenal they stamped a code on it which designates place and year. I don't have that info handy right now, but it went through an arsenal in the late 30's and was likely a piece (according to the gurus) which was deep blued for parade use. The 1911's (not A1's) still in stock were often shifted to that purpose.

    Everything is original except the barrel and grips. Those are both the later 1911A1 items. The original Remington grips are the "double diamond" style and have a different checkering than the Colt. They're impossible to find. The barrels turn up occasionally, but the price is astronomical. And... since it has been re-blued (even arsenal re-blued) it makes little sense to spend a lot of money because it's no longer top grade collector material.
     
  16. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,081
    Likes Received:
    1,061
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    No, the Hi-Power hasn't arrived yet.

    Just thought I'd add that I'm now waiting for two new handguns. I picked up a nice 1943 Nambu Type 14 this afternoon. It should hopefully get here around the same time as the Hi-Power. Now I have to find some ammo for it....
     
    KodiakBeer likes this.
  17. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    6,089
    Likes Received:
    1,562
    Location:
    The Arid Zone
    Nice!

    I just googled the Nambu and learned that Bill Ruger stole the lines and the cocking mechanism for his iconic .22 pistols.

    Oh, and 8mm Nambu ammo: http://mrnambu.com/
     
  18. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,081
    Likes Received:
    1,061
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Unfortunately there's no way to get US ammo up here unless I want to fork out big money for an importer.

    I did some research today and it looks like reloading is the only option. Brass it hard to find in itself, so I'll likely order some from that link you posted. Thanks.
     
  19. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,081
    Likes Received:
    1,061
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    A brief update: after an unusually-long waiting period, the transfers of both the Nambu and Hi Power have been approved. I should have them late next week.

    I did manage to track down 50 rounds of 8mm Nambu, and an additional 200 pieces of brass. That should keep it busy at the range for a while.
     
    KodiakBeer likes this.
  20. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    6,089
    Likes Received:
    1,562
    Location:
    The Arid Zone
    I've been looking forward to hearing about those. Especially the Browning.
     

Share This Page