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pistols of ww2

Discussion in 'Small Arms and Edged Weapons' started by Niles23, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. surfersami

    surfersami Member

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    I wonder about that myself, can an individual officer or nco carry his own sidearm? The man I knew who carried it in WWII and Korea was a Sgt. He was a driver for an officer. He said he foiled an ambush when at least three "bad guys" tried to stop his jeep some where in Europe. He said his carbine was in it's rack and would have been too slow to retrieve.:eek:
    He got two and the officer got the last guy they saw, he didn't know if there were more running about, but he didn't see anyone else.
    The officer used a 32 colt. By the way this Sgt. said the officer switched to a .45 after that encounter.:)
     
  2. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    Disregarding the part about the SEAL teams, I should point out that while the .357 S&W was rare until post war, it shouldn't be termed "custom made".

    There were only 715 built in 1935, and while it was a limited run, they weren’t really "custom made" in what would be the normal sense of the term, to my mind. The pre-war numbers are smallish, less than 7,000, and the price was so high that S&W truly didn’t expect much of a demand for them. Especially in the Depression years, hence the small and short run they originally had planned on.

    Contrary to their expectations, the FBI was so impressed with the handgun they ordered another batch, and Smith and Wesson stopped stamping the frames with registration numbers in 1940, and issued "Certificates of Authenticity instead. In the first four years (‘35-’39), S&W produced over 5,200 of the "Registered" .357 Magnums, and by 1941 had made another 1,400 (non-Registered), for civilian sale.

    Patton had one of the first of the commercial .357 Magnums, customized of course with his ivory handles and initials as were most of his personal pistols. While the S&W .357 was a "limited run", it was a production run on the N-frame of the .38 Special, and that designation eventually morphed into the Model 27.

    During the war years all S&W production was for the military, and they didn’t resume making handguns for the civilian population until 1946. That said I belive the S&W people made the .357 for the military during the war years, but I've never found documentation to verify that. It is just a suspicion since the US Army has that round listed in their purchasing rosters.
     
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  3. Hufflepuff

    Hufflepuff Semi-Frightening Mountain Goat

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    I can name my favorite pistol: Colt M1911A1 or Luger

    Least favorite: Type 94. No question. Worst pistol of all time.
     
  4. Totenkopf

    Totenkopf אוּרִיאֵל

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    Luger undisputed. its well known long range accuracy is a must, in close quarters.. I dont think it matters what pistol you have.
     
  5. B-24Liberator

    B-24Liberator Member

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    If I were in WW2, I would have to go with the M1911a1. Kills bad guys dead, with a loud THUD.

    Now if I wanted something to hang on the wall, The Luger. Definately one of the best looking pistols ever made. My Dad picked one up a few months ago, dated 1916 and all numbers matching. Gorgeous piece of work.
     
  6. Centurion-Cato

    Centurion-Cato Member

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    I thought the Webley and the Luger were good guns. The Luger was a great pistol, and although it had a slower rate of fire than say, the p-38, it was a great looking gun and a fairly accurate one I believe.
     
  7. DAVEB47

    DAVEB47 Member

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    Here are a couple of sights that talk about the .357 and Seal teams.
    Special Operations.Com
    Navy UDT-SEAL Museum :|: Equipment: Armory-Weaponary
    Navy Seals use of Model 66s or 686s?

    Here is a little info on the registered magnums.
    Navy UDT-SEAL Museum :|: Equipment: Armory-Weaponary
    Whether you call them custom or built-to-order, they were definately not a stock item. Its amazing in those financially strapped times that people would spend that much additional money to upgrade to a new gun in a new caliber.
     
  8. Hufflepuff

    Hufflepuff Semi-Frightening Mountain Goat

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    Another handgun I really like in terms of looks was the TT33. I know it wasn't really effective even for a pistol but I still think it looks pretty cool.
     
  9. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    Wide spread use of revolvers in SEALs is highly dubious. Do you have any source that is not a web forum or a dot com site administered by non-military personnel? The vast majority of side arms carried by US Special Operations was 9mm or .45 cal. It might surprise you but the most used weapons by the Green Berets are standard issue M4 carbine and M9 pistol. I have rarely if ever seen active teams carry one and I have poured over quite a lot of photographs.

    GIGN though were very fond of their .357s.
     
  10. Hufflepuff

    Hufflepuff Semi-Frightening Mountain Goat

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    I always thought the SEALS were more known for the "hush puppy," AKA the Mk. II Ruger handgun...? Or was that later?
     
  11. SPGunner

    SPGunner Member

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    Luger.
     
  12. DAVEB47

    DAVEB47 Member

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    Like you, I don't think thier use is widespread.I think thier use would be on a very limited, situation specific usually pertaining to operations in water, where the advantages of a stainless steel revolver would be evident, perhaps by only certain SEAL teams. I would agree that 99.9% of the time they use 9mm's and .45's. Yes, I saw info on the French use of the .357.
     
  13. cylon47

    cylon47 Member

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    I prefer the 1911 a1 colt .45 automatic myself.
     
  14. applevalleyjoe

    applevalleyjoe Member

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    The German Walthers P38 was a very fine weapon, especially the earlier ones. The American Colt M1911A1 was heavy and difficult to shoot accurately because of their recoil though marksmen could do well with these. A good point in their favor was their powerful 45ACP round and its stopping power: If you got hit, you got knocked about a bit. The Colt and their many different variations are a popular cult handgun in the US and modern day custom-made ones are very accurate.
     
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  15. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    As an interesting diversion which might take some of the "ethnocentric" preferrences out of the debate, and simply compare rounds to rounds might I suggest this? The Hatcher formula.

    While some of the handgun calibers listed below didn’t exist when Gen. Hatcher came up with his formula for estimating "stopping power", the formula can still be used for the newer rounds, since it is a formula which can be cross-checked by actual test firings.

    See:

    Miscellaneous Questions

    His formula has withstood the test of time and validation from other studies and data related to estimating relative stopping power (RSP), by "wound" examination in ballistic gel.

    A handgun cartridge that has a Hatcher value of over 50 generally has the most effective stopping power. Values over 55 have diminishing returns in that you don’t gain any significant increase in stopping power for the extra recoil and control you must cope with. Handgun cartridges that don’t make a value of at least 50, should not considered for truly effective self-defense.

    If the rating of a handgun cartridge is under 30, it only has about a 30% chance of producing a one shot stop. Hatcher Ratings of 30 to 49 raise a one shot stop to approximately a 50% chance. Ratings of 50 or higher produce a one shot stop about 90% of the time. Not EVERY time, but most of the time.

    Handgun Cartridge Type ……………..... Hatcher Rating

    .45 ACP full metal jacket 230 grain .......... 49.1
    .45 ACP jacketed hollow point 230 grain ...... 60.7
    .44 Magnum full metal jacket 240 grain ....... 92.3
    *.44 Magnum lead wad cutter 240 grain ......... 136.8
    .44 Special full metal jacket 240 grain ...... 51.6
    *.44 Special lead wad cutter 240 grain ............. 76.5
    .41 Magnum full metal jacket 230 grain ............. 54
    *.41 Magnum lead wad cutter 230 grain .............. 80
    10 millimeter full metal jacket 180 grain .......... 50.3
    10 millimeter jacketed hollow point 180 grain ..62.1
    .40 S&W full metal jacket flat nose 180 grain ...... 53.4
    .40 S&W jacketed hollow point 180 grain ....... 59.4
    .38 Special full metal jacket 158 grain ...... 26.7
    *.38 Special lead wad cutter 158 grain ............. 39.7
    **.357 Magnum full metal jacket 158 grain ..... 32.7
    **.357 Magnum lead wad cutter 158 grain ............ 48.5
    .357 SIG (automatic pistol) full metal jacket 147 grain ................ 36.6
    .357 SIG (automatic pistol) jacketed hollow point 147 grain ..... 45.2
    9 millimeter full metal jacket 147 grain ............ 32.3
    9 millimeter jacketed hollow point 147 grain ... 39.9
    .380 Auto jacketed hollow point 95 grain ..... 18.3
    .32 Auto jacketed hollow point 71 grain ...... 11.1
    .25 Auto jacketed hollow point 50 grain ...... 3.7
    .22 Long Rifle jacketed hollow point 40 grain ... 4.2
    Barrel lengths are generally the shortest available for the various rounds.

    * Jacketed hollow points will have the same rating as wad cutter bullets if the bullet hollow tip is greater than 1/2 of the caliber of the bullet.

    ** .357 Magnum ratings are taken from a firearm with a 3 inch barrel. Longer barrels will raise the rating of the round.

    Every proponent of every handgun and every round will either "pounce" on this and use it to validate their own choice, or denigerate a different round. That is neither here nor there.

    This is an objective, not subjective formula. Placement of round is vital, but if good placement is coupled with good Hatcher numbers, the outcome is predictable in most (but not ALL) instances.
     
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  16. DAVEB47

    DAVEB47 Member

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    It would be nice to see this chart comparing all of the handgun cartridges used in WW2 fired from thier respective guns. One can always wish. One thing is very clear from this data, if you are using a .25 or a .22, don't stop pulling the trigger! LOL
     
  17. applevalleyjoe

    applevalleyjoe Member

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    Right on, Marc! Ditto all the way.
     
  18. B-24Liberator

    B-24Liberator Member

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    And reload real fast :D
     
  19. Sparviero

    Sparviero Member

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    I agree. A Browning P-35 Hi-Power. (but from the choices given--Walther P38)

    In combat having those extra rounds would be handy. In addition its a very reliable handgun--moreso than mil-spec M1911's of the period.

    The ammunition for it would be plentiful as both sides not only used this pistol but 9mm SMG ammo would also be available.

    In addition, a FMJ 9mm will penetrate any helmet of the period. A .45ACP will not.

    Remember, a pistol is just a tool to permit you to get to your long arm.
    ;)
     
  20. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    I'm not an expert on small arms balistics but there must be a reason most post war SMG users went for the 9mm rather than the .45, both were widely used in ww2 so the advantages should be known.
    Given the choice of 9mm parabellum my choice would be the Browning HP, the Luger is beautiful but not as good a combat weapon and the P38 is ugly. BTW the HP and it's polish Radom Vis P. 35 derivative had the reputation of being amongst the few pistols to fire reliably the overpowered italian "fiocchi" 9mm ammo of the Beretta SMG.

    IMO double action is a big advantage, a pistol is often a quick reaction weapon and having a chambered round at all times not a great idea.

    brndirt1 in your table is the soviet 7.62 or the very similar Mauser round included? The "broom handle" mauser predates most WW2 pistols but was quite popular between the wars so it's ammo is likely to have been tested accoring to your formula. BTW I'm a bit surprised at very poor showing of the .22 LR possibly due to it having been designed with much longer barrels in mind.
     

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