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Hey Folks,

For those of us that come across WWII U.S. firearms, is there a way we can tell where they were sent? I know how to look up manufacturer and year but is there a way to sleuth out where the firearm went? Certainly it would be great to identify unit or the individual Soldier but even knowing if it went to the Pacific, Europe, or stayed at home would be helpful.

Where do I start?
m1doesmytalking_sm.jpg
 
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Sometimes you can get info from a Colt letter. Or a book.
There are privately owned data bases that can also provide a letter. For a cost.

Of all the military guns I own.
I know the story of one.

And No.
Stories about Grandads gun are not true.

Remember. ''Buy the gun. Not the story''.
 
The history around a firearm can be a mystery.
When I give a show or display , I use the terms : about , circa , maybe , I think etc....
All I know for sure is that most of them are old.

Military rifles are tough to pin down.
They get used , repaired , sent to different units , etc.
As a general rule :
If the military rifle has rack rash , wear points on the stock and barrel , etc.
Then it was used.
If it looks well preserved , or has all matching numbers and parts* , and the like :
Then it was repaired at a armory , never issued or a parts gun that was put together that way.

* For US issue firearms...the idea was to fix the issues , then get it back out in service , to Hell with matching numbers or makers.
No care or thought to future collectors was given....:eek: :D
Some foreign issue firearms are the exception here.

I do have the "Weapons Card" for one of my dad's issue M1 rifle.
So I do know where that particular M1 was issued and to who...Interesting enough is this :
That M1 , was issued to my dad when he was in the the 32nd Armored.
He was a Cavalry Scout there.
So what , do you ask...?
This was also in the same unit and time that Elvis Presley was in. :D
Andy
 

Mikej

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Remember. ''Buy the gun. Not the story''.

I consider the story part of the purchase price. Every little dent, ding, scratch or stamping has part of the story in it. I'll never know the true story, with any accuracy. That's part of the lure to owning guns like that.

As long as Bubba hasn't got a hold of it and erased the story.
 
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I consider the story part of the purchase price. Every little dent, ding, scratch or stamping has part of the story in it. I'll never know the true story, with any accuracy. That's part of the lure to owning guns like that.

As long as Bubba hasn't got a hold of it and erased the story.


I hear what your saying.

But some of these guns do have documentation.
 
Interesting HSC....looks like part of the holster has been cut away.
German Cowboy fast draw...?:D

Many of the WWII veterans that I know , would talk at times about their experiences.
But one really had to know them for this to happen.

I would bet that many bring backs were taken from a pile of captured firearms and not from a particular individual , note that I said many , not all.

I can also understand the reluctance to talk about combat experiences as many folks :
Don't have a clue / can't relate at all ...
Have a expectation that the story needs to go a certain way...
Think that you must feel like_____ and get confused at best if you don't...

Plus for me at least , my thoughts on combat and my experiences with it , have changed over the years.
This alone can make it difficult to talk about.
Andy
 

Mikej

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I hear what your saying.

But some of these guns do have documentation.

I've learned the Garand's and M1 Carbines are going to have parts from other manufacturers. It just is. A gun that isn't that way is going to cost much more, and I guess you're not suppose to shoot it. I know there's not much chance of tracing where those have been. Take a Swedish Mauser. Their condition plate on the stock, and stamps under the wrist will tell you which arsenal did the work and bore diameter/condition. The Lee Endfield's also have a bunch of stampings telling you where they have been.
 
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This WW2 pistol is well documented.




I'm sure it is.
But funny no talk about the actual documentation?

Plenty of embellishment.
And that is what were all use to hearing.

Who here hasn't been to a gun show and heard, or had a buddy that told you, some amazing story about a gun. With no proof mind you!
The zinger is how offended they are when you don't believe them. o_O
 
Not a WWII rifle but :

Lets just say that I know a GI who in the course of a firefight , his unit captured a warehouse.
In this warehouse , was various military equipment...to include rifles.
Said GI took one...a Soviet made SKS , made in 1954.
Various ways and devious means , were used so he could get it home.

After said GI got out of the army....He decided he no longer wanted the SKS and took it to a gun show.
At the show , he saw many SKS Carbines for sale , most around the $100 -$125 dollar mark.
After several tuns about the show , he went to leave , sighing as he headed towards the exit.

Near the exit was a vendor with many military rifles.
Vendor spotted the former GI and asked :
"Hey Kid , Whatcha got ?"

"A SKS , Like the 6 or so you have on your table "
, was the reply.

"What's that tag hanging from the trigger guard ? "
Was the vendor's next query.

"A capture tag" said our gun show weary trooper.
"A CAPTURE TAG...! Who Did YA get it from ? "
This was asked very loudly and excitedly from the vendor.

" I didn't get it from no one...I took it off a warehouse wall"
Was our somewhat honest , former GI's answer.

The vendor then took a look at the SKS and asked if our hero in the story wanted to sell the rifle.
A price was agreed on ( $300 ) if the capture tag was included.

Now when that SKS was re-sold...I am sure that it had a much more exciting and dramatic "War Story" with it....:eek: :D
Andy
 
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Interesting HSC....looks like part of the holster has been cut away.
German Cowboy fast draw...?:D

Many of the WWII veterans that I know , would talk at times about their experiences.
But one really had to know them for this to happen.

I would bet that many bring backs were taken from a pile of captured firearms and not from a particular individual , note that I said many , not all.

I can also understand the reluctance to talk about combat experiences as many folks :
Don't have a clue / can't relate at all ...
Have a expectation that the story needs to go a certain way...
Think that you must feel like_____ and get confused at best if you don't...

Plus for me at least , my thoughts on combat and my experiences with it , have changed over the years.
This alone can make it difficult to talk about.
Andy

he had told my dad that it was taken off of someone he had killed and that is all we know He was in the battle of the bulge Here is a news paper clipped from a Seattle paper of him in a captured baby tank.

CB67173A-A44B-457B-9E88-CA2204B0974F.png
 

jbett98

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I'm sure it is.
But funny no talk about the actual documentation?

Plenty of embellishment.
And that is what were all use to hearing.

Who here hasn't been to a gun show and heard, or had a buddy that told you, some amazing story about a gun. With no proof mind you!
The zinger is how offended they are when you don't believe them. o_O


If you look at the General wearing the pistol at the 8:15 minute mark there's considerable wear on the right side wood grip, but the pistol now sports pristine grips.
 
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If you look at the General wearing the pistol at the 8:15 minute mark there's considerable wear on the right side wood grip, but the pistol now sports pristine grips.

It's also a 1911 with a flat main spring. Not a 1911A1 being sold.







Clarence R Huebner was issued a .380 [Assume a Colt 1908] but no serial number was noted at the time.
Only 380.
 
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Moeca

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Don't know if its still active but there was Springfield Research Services aka US martial arms collector. Never used it but heard you could email them and they would research there database. Believe there was a fee but not sure.
 
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Don't know if its still active but there was Springfield Research Services aka US martial arms collector. Never used it but heard you could email them and they would research there database. Believe there was a fee but not sure.


I tried to use them a year or two ago.
They were in complete disarray.

I would like to know of there current status is anyone here finds that information?
 
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