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Personal handguns carried by U.S. Forces

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  • Personal handguns carried by U.S. Forces

    When you read personal accounts of U.S service men many carried personal ( non issued) handguns.

    Was there any policy on this? If the gun was a non standard U.S. Caliber how would ammunition be replaced?
    "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" Beatrice Evelyn Hall
    Updated for the 21st century... except if you are criticizing islam, that scares the $hii+e out of me!

  • #2
    Originally posted by 17thfabn View Post
    When you read personal accounts of U.S service men many carried personal ( non issued) handguns.

    Was there any policy on this? If the gun was a non standard U.S. Caliber how would ammunition be replaced?
    I've not read anything like this, but I've mainly read US Army and Marine accounts. Can you give an example or two?

    I can't imagine US supply system providing non-standard ammo unless it was something like a local supply unit acquiring, say, some German 9x19mm pistol ammo because a few of their buddies carried Lugers or P38s. On the other hand, they certainly stocked and issued German and French artillery ammo for units that acquired additional big guns.

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    • #3
      At the time folks mailing a pistol to a soldier in combat wasn't unheard of. They could also mail ammunition and accessories. Even during Vietnam, soldiers returned to the US with trophy weapons and used guns they got from relatives or friends stateside. Getting ammunition was as easy as a delivery. The military didn't care with units in the field. Receiving accessories... when the M16 started getting issued certain gun cleaning supplies were a common request to keep the weapon functioning... happened too.

      It is only since the 70's that the military has progressively cracked down on personal weapons. Prior to that nobody really cared, particularly if it was an officer involved.

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      • #4
        Special Forces were able to acquire some interesting weapons. The Swedish K SMG was popular. I would imagine any pistol you could get in the US could be got through the mail. There were also all kinds of Pistols available in the Market Places from the British, French and maybe Soviets. Ammo could be an issue. It seems every ex-MP I have met told me they took home a Colt 45 Automatic.

        Pruitt
        Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

        Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

        by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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        • #5
          In "With the Old Breed", Sledge carries a private revolver
          Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
          Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
          Barbarossa Derailed I & II
          Battle of Kalinin October 1941

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          • #6
            I'm kind of thinking, why would anybody plump for anything other than a Colt 1911? They don't come any better than one of those!
            The long toll of the brave
            Is not lost in darkness
            Over the fruitful earth
            And athwart the seas
            Hath passed the light of noble deeds
            Unquenchable forever.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by NoPref View Post

              I've not read anything like this, but I've mainly read US Army and Marine accounts. Can you give an example or two?


              ​s.
              Recently read ",Parachute Infantry" by David Kenyon Webster. He stated he bought a . 45 from some one.

              By the TOEs handguns weren't that common in U.S. Infantry units. Captain and down were supposed to carry a rifle or carbine, with the exception of a few members of the machine gun and mortar units. Some soldiers wanted a handgun for security.


              "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" Beatrice Evelyn Hall
              Updated for the 21st century... except if you are criticizing islam, that scares the $hii+e out of me!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Von Richter View Post
                I'm kind of thinking, why would anybody plump for anything other than a Colt 1911? They don't come any better than one of those!
                In the U.S. the 38 special revolver was the most common handgun in a "fighting" caliber in the civilian world in that era. So that would account for some of them working their way into the combat zone. .38s can be had in small snub nose barrels, 6" barrels and everything in between . Note that the U.S. 38 special is a much more effective than the British .38 S&W. The U.S. 38 is a more modern higher velocity cartridge.

                Some might have wanted something smaller and easier to carry, such as .32 /
                7.65 x 17 mm or .380 / 9 x 17 mm.

                "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" Beatrice Evelyn Hall
                Updated for the 21st century... except if you are criticizing islam, that scares the $hii+e out of me!

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