Defensive Arts
J&B Firearm Sales
RifleClass.com
Buster Beaver Cerakote
Oregon Rifleworks
Oregon Arms & Ammunition
Gun Deals
Sporting Systems
Advertise on Northwest Firearms
Low Price Guns
Southwest Firearms Forum
Welcome to Northwest Firearms
Join our community, sign up for free today!
Sign Up

Favorite World War II era Handgun(s)?

So, since it is December 7th, and the fact I was engaging in system test cycles so standard/routine I can do them in my sleep, I watched/listened to a bunch of Pearl Harbor related documentaries today. I avoided the bullplop ones, but focused on ones done by real historians. Most of the material I already knew, but there were some interesting insights.

All that aside, due to the footage, I thought I'd toss this out for discussion: what are your favorite World War II-era handguns? Those would be pistols and revolvers available in the 1939—1945 time-frame. And, why so? Have pics to share?

Thanks!
 

AndyinEverson

Messages
12,669
Reactions
62,173
I really like the
1911 and 1911A1 series of pistols...
1917 Smith & Wesson revolvers...
And the Walther PPK...
As for the why..
The first pistol I shot was my dad's Colt series '70 ...And I have carried the 1911A1 in the Army...as for the Smith...well its a Smith , what's not to like...?:D
And the Walther PPK , just for the cool factor....
Andy
 
I really like the
1911 and 1911A1 series of pistols...
1917 Smith & Wesson revolvers...
And the Walther PPK...
Andy
Ditto that. And having acquired, shot a good bit, and now carry a PPK/S (9㎜ Corto/.380 ACP), the pistol has really grown on me, and I understand the popularity. :)
 

66PonyCar

Messages
1,267
Reactions
5,235
I have a couple of WWII pistols.

The Nambu is functional but this one manufactured in May 1944 is crude in fit and finish, not surprising since Japan was losing the war at this point. The bolt locks back on the last shot but when you remove the magazine it releases the bolt. Removing the magazine requires a strong pull. When you insert the fresh magazine you have to pull back on the cocking knob. Not exactly great for a quick reload. Not the pistol I would want to take into battle.

The P38 below was made by Mauser in 1944. The fit and finish is much better than the Nambu even though Germany was also losing the war at this point. Definitely a better pistol and would be my choice over the Nambu.


Nambu - 1.JPG
P38 - 2.JPG
 
Last edited:
Messages
977
Reactions
2,203
The 1911 is obviously great, but not a WWII pistol. It was used in WWII, but invented and first used during WWI. By analogy, the M14 is not a OEF era rifle even though it's use in OEF. If it's purely availability, I agree the 1911 is the superior pistol.

However if it's just those guns FIRST introduced and used in WWII, I would submit the FN P35, otherwise known as the Browning Hi-Power first introduced at the start of WWII.
 
Doesn’t matter when a weapon was invented or produced... as spelled out in the OP, if it was used in WWII then it was a WWII era weapon.


The Mosin-Nagant (invented in the 19th century) was a WWII era weapon, and in all its various iterations played a prominent role on the Eastern Front.

;)
 

AndyinEverson

Messages
12,669
Reactions
62,173
The 1911 saw service into WWII along with other WWI weapons...
The 1903 Springfield , 1917 "Enfield" and 1917 Colt and Smith & Wesson revolvers...All come to mind and this is just US service firearms...many other countries held on and issued older weapons as well...If issued , to my mind at least its a WWII weapon as well.

Kinda like how the Luger "P08" is a pistol adopted in 1908...but used in WWI and WWII..you can find many a re-worked older Luger used in WWII or Heck...even in Indochina by the French.
Andy
 
Doesn’t matter when a weapon was invented or produced... as spelled out in the OP, if it was used in WWII then it was a WWII era weapon.


The Mosin-Nagant (invented in the 19th century) was a WWII era weapon, and in all its various iterations played a prominent role on the Eastern Front.

;)
The 1911 saw service into WWII along with other WWI weapons...
The 1903 Springfield , 1917 "Enfield" and 1917 Colt and Smith & Wesson revolvers...All come to mind and this is just US service firearms...many other countries held on and issued older weapons as well...If issued , to my mind at least its a WWII weapon as well.
Andy
^ Exactly, my friends.

Parenthetically, one I have "liked", but never had a chance to own is the Colt 1903. Apparently, they were common among the "brass" of the era. I remember we looked at one for my beloved sidekick when newlywed a long time ago, but, alas, it sold after our initial visit, and we acquired a different automatic. It does seem like a neat-o piece though:

Colt_1903_right_side.jpg
 
I've owned a few Enfields and Webleys over the years. I regret selling 100% of them off. I picked up this curious little fellow during the cold early months of this year. For the record, I did not cut the barrel. From what I read, the "secret squirrel" story on these shortened Enflields is bulldink, but the "cut it down because Americans will buy more of these surpluses out guns" story is likely more true. Be that as it may:

374637-21cbe388d23b454f02bb5a760c1a4e25.jpg


374638-b6bdef82df3d91493d75619d86f4857c.jpg
 

Flymph

Messages
4,887
Reactions
8,685
I have to admit that I am a sucker for a P08... the first 3 shots are dead on accurate, not so much in subsequent shots.
You can shoot 8" groups at 25yards just by pointing with a Colt 1911, just something exceptional about them.
Also gotta love a Browning High Power!
For style I like a Webley MKVI and a Mauser C96... maybe a Webley Fosbury (but haven't shot one of those). ;)

If I was taking one of the above into a fight, it'd have to be a Colt 1911 or BHP.
 

po18guy

Messages
877
Reactions
2,023
Always liked the look of the P-38. Here is a 1944 Mauser-built example, oddly enough with a 1940 dated holster. About 1975, one of dad's co-workers at Boeing wanted to sell it. Corporal Sculati had brought it home when the German soldier it was issued to no longer needed it. Dad was going to buy it, but before he could, someone told Mr. Sculati it was valuable. So the price went up.

From $65 to $75. Sold. It was a bittersweet acquisition, as I had to lose dad to inherit the P-38.

IMG_2544.JPG
IMG_2545.JPG
IMG_2549.JPG
IMG_2547.JPG
 

NEW CLASSIFIED ADS

LATEST REVIEWS

  • Adaptive Firing Solutions
    5.00 star(s)
    I've been party to a couple transactions with Steve and he is a great guy to deal with.
    • titsonritz
  • TJ Gun Sales
    5.00 star(s)
    Purchased two handguns there and have one on consignment now nice folks!
    • rl280
  • Northwest Armory - Tigard
    5.00 star(s)
    Went in to help my buddy with his purchase and ended up trading in a 1911 towards a CZ SP-01 Tactical. They gave a higher price that some of the...
    • nosbocaj
  • Lincoln City Sporting Goods
    5.00 star(s)
    They have a good selection of firearms and ammo - their prices are very good - and the service if exceptional.
    • python287
  • Supporting Vendor Copeland Custom Gunworks
    5.00 star(s)
    My Yugo M48 was in dire need of a face lift after removing the sights a few years ago, so I contacted Tim to have it Cerakoted. He was very good...
    • arrowshooter

SUPPORT NORTHWEST FIREARMS