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  #21  
Old 09-19-2012, 10:00 PM
Nyles Nyles is offline
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Finally, here's one very special rifle for me, it was my holy grail for alot of years and I had to sell a few firearms to buy it since it came on sale at the same time I bought my house:



This is a Belgian Mauser M1889 rifle, made by Manufacture d'Armes de L'Etat (MAE) just prior to WW1. The Belgian M1889 was the first small-caliber smokeless powder Mauser, the first to use a box magazine, the weapon FN was set up to make, and is almost impossible to find in any condition. This one is even rarer for being made by MAE, the Belgian state arsenal, who only started making them just before WW1 as it was considered good for the Belgian economy to give the contract to FN, a civillian corporation.

It's in really nice shape, all matching, with clear King Leopold II cartouches, a sling and bayonet. I've wanted one of these for years, not just because of the unique design but the history. It's no exagerration to say that in 1914 Belgium single-handedly saved the Allies from a quick German victory.

When Germany made their plans for the upcoming European war, they wanted to knock France out of the war as soon as possible so they could put the majority of their armies in the East to fight the giant Russian army. The plan was to invade France from the north through neutral Belgium while a smaller force held the bulk of the French army in Alsace-Lorraine along the French / German border. The Germans assumed that the Belgian Army, 1/10th the size of the German, would either let them pass unhindered or be quickly crushed - Belgian resistance would be "the rage of dreaming sheep" in the words of one German general.

Neither happened. The Belgians bled themselves white resisting the German advance for a month under the personal command of King Albert I, first at Liege and then Antwerp. They delayed the Germans long enough for the French to re-organise and halt the German advance at the Battle of the Marne. The Belgians eventually retreated to the river Yser, refusing requests by Allied command to abandon Belgium entirely and intentionally flooding it to provide a natural defence. This left only a tenth of Belgium unoccupied, and the Belgians held that line for the remainder of the war.



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  #22  
Old 09-20-2012, 02:19 AM
Jcordell Jcordell is online now
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Very very nice Nyles. You have a keeper there.
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  #23  
Old 09-20-2012, 02:21 AM
Jcordell Jcordell is online now
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I like that Winchester 95 carbine. Those are great rifles. A factory letter would be a nice thing to have. 30-40 is good little load. The U.S. equivlant of the .303 British. You are a lucky man.
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  #24  
Old 12-11-2012, 09:18 PM
Nyles Nyles is offline
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Some more recent additions since moving in to my new place.

A 1936 Colt Police Positive Special in .38 Special with the less common 5" barrel. In very nice shape, both finish and internals. Great little revolver, and surprisingly light and small, espescially compared to a New Service or even Official Police. They even compare favorably to a S&W Military & Police, so I can see why they were such popular carry and duty guns!



I also recently purchased a Carcano M91/38 Fucile Corto in 6.5mm Carcano, made by Terni in 1941. This was the major front-line Italian rifle of WW2, and is a wonderfully practical little gun. It's very light and handy, somewhat between the length of a traditional carbine and rifle (about 3" shorter that a Kar 98K or Lee-Enfield) with a fixed 200M battle sight (that doubles as a 100M sight if you adopt a low sight picture) in a somewhat lighter caliber - features that haven't endeared it to civilian shooters but IMHO all you really need for a real-world battle rifle.



Shortly thereafter I picked up another Carcano, an M91/38 Moschetto per Cavalleria (Cavalry Carbine) made by Brescia in 1940. The Italians of course were not actually using horse cavalry in WW2, so these were mainly issued to paratroopers and military police by this point. Very short, handy little gun - about the length of an M1 Carbine. Oddly Brescia was the only factory that made the 91/38 series with the old M91-style adjustable sight, and only on the cavalry carbine. No one seems to be clear on why.



Finally, I also picked up my first military sword, though I suspect there will be more to follow. It's a Japanese Type-95 Shin Gunto, the WW2 NCO's sword. These were traditionally styled Japanese swords (as opposed to the pre-1930s western-style Kyu Gunto military swords) made with modern machinery, the T-95 NCO sword having a cast aluminium hilt painted to look like a traditional grip, whereas the officers T-94 & T-98 had a the traditional wrapped grip. These were actually carried into battle by Japanese Seargents and Warrant Officers, as well as the Kempeitai military police.

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  #25  
Old 12-11-2012, 10:30 PM
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funkychinaman funkychinaman is offline
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I wonder how these wartime swords held up in battle. I've seen shows on sword making, and it does not appear to be a process optimized for a modern war.

And the history/conspiracy nuts amongst us are somewhat familiar with the Carcano 91/38.
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  #26  
Old 12-11-2012, 11:43 PM
SPEMack618 SPEMack618 is offline
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Or course we are!

That's the gun the CIA staged for the Dallas PD to find and pin the hit on thier patsy!

That being said, love Police Positive Special.

It saddens me that the days of the service revovler are gone.

Oh, and to go along with Cordell, I too love that Model '95 carbine.

Stephen Hunter referred to it as the last of the "cowboy carbines."

Even he was an evil man, that was the gun of Earl Lee Swagger's father.

And I think Earl Lee might have used one once, too, albeit in .30-06.

Neat gun.
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Last edited by SPEMack618; 12-11-2012 at 11:47 PM.
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  #27  
Old 12-12-2012, 12:04 AM
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Spartan198 Spartan198 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkychinaman View Post
I wonder how these wartime swords held up in battle. I've seen shows on sword making, and it does not appear to be a process optimized for a modern war.
I read in one of my dad's WWII Pac Front books a while back something along the lines of that ground troops were instructed to "pay close attention" (i.e., put as many holes as possible in) to Japanese officers with swords due to that they had cut through the barrels and stocks of rifles on some occasions.
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  #28  
Old 12-12-2012, 12:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spartan198 View Post
I read in one of my dad's WWII Pac Front books a while back something along the lines of that ground troops were instructed to "pay close attention" (i.e., put as many holes as possible in) to Japanese officers with swords due to that they had cut through the barrels and stocks of rifles on some occasions.
Many officers came from families with military traditions, and thus brought their own swords, which were made in the traditional way. Those were hand made, with steel folded several hundred times and hand sharpened. Like I said, that really doesn't lend itself to mass production. You can probably mass produce enough rifles to arm a battalion in the time it takes one man to make one sword the traditional way.
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  #29  
Old 12-12-2012, 10:15 PM
Nyles Nyles is offline
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That's why the Seargent's swords had machine-made blades. No more complicated to make than a bayonet. Mine is a very early, likely pre-Pearl Harbor example, of course they got less elaborate as the war dragged on, much like any other Japanese weapon. Officer's actually purchased / supplied their own blade and then had it put into the regulation mounts - you can find T-94 / T-98 Shin Gunto with everything from hundred year old Katana blades to T-95 equivalent machine blades, depending on how wealthy the individual officer was.
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  #30  
Old 12-13-2012, 12:22 AM
commando552 commando552 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spartan198 View Post
I read in one of my dad's WWII Pac Front books a while back something along the lines of that ground troops were instructed to "pay close attention" (i.e., put as many holes as possible in) to Japanese officers with swords due to that they had cut through the barrels and stocks of rifles on some occasions.
That story was busted on a an episode of Mythbusters (possibly twice, I think they may have revisited it), and I'm inclined to agree. I can believe that you could possibly shatter or crack a very well used brittle barrel, or slightly bend one that is red hot, but to slice through it seems like your typical "samurai sword" myth to me.
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