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Hydrogenbond's avatar

Does anybody own any vintage World War I/II guns?

Asked by Hydrogenbond (365points) February 7th, 2010

If so, which one? How much did it cost? Where did you get it? Is it still usable?

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22 Answers

Spinel's avatar

Well, my great grandfather’s WWI pistol is still with our family. It’s a Glisenti I think? I could be off on that. I doubt is still fires – we just display it.

Dan_DeColumna's avatar

My father owns an authentic WWII-era German Mauser. He’s had it as long as I can recall. It is definitely still usable, and it is the single most accurate bolt-action rifle I have ever seen.

Just to make things easier, if anyone needs a list to find the firearm they are referring to, here’s some lists of common weapons:


WWI-German Weapons

If I find a more complete list for WWI, I’ll post it.

(Edit: Found another one. This one lists various WWI infantry weapons by country, although I suspect it isn’t anywhere near as complete as the WWII list.)

Nullo's avatar

I’ve had my eye on an M1 and MN-91 for some time, but I’ve got other things that require my financial attention (though really, the MN91s are cheap) and I’m hesitant about making large purchases.
Most relatively recent antique guns that you can buy are usable, or require little to restore them. My father has a .22 rifle that was manufactured in 1901 that worked fine after sitting in the attic for 40 years. If you want to shoot an antique rifle but are worried about it, I suggest that you take it to your local gunsmith.

TexasDude's avatar

I have several. All but one of them are safe to fire (the one from Pakistan is unsafe to shoot) and I shoot most of them regularly, except for the Steyr because the only ammo I have for it is from the 30’s and is Nazi marked, making it too rare and valuable to fire.

Mosin Nagant M44 (Soviet Union, 1945, $99)
SMLE No1 Mk III (Britain/India 1915/1951, $300)
Steyr M95 (Austria-Hungary 1895–1944, $200)
SMLE No5 Mk I (Pakistan, date unknown, $300)

I plan on buying a German Mauser 98k and a German Mauser C96 pistol soon to add to my collection, and I intend to fire both of them as well. Many WWI and WWII weapons are relatively inexpensive, ammo is available, and alot of them are safe to fire. Go to this site for more information.

also, in before the “gunssss are sscarrry and evvvillll” crowd

TexasDude's avatar

@Hydrogenbond, I should probably also note that I got my first gun when I was a senior in highschool, much like you: the Mosin Nagant, at a gun show. I just recently refinished it.
Here’s some pics in case you are interested.


Here’s a picture of it with my SMLE

Hydrogenbond's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard – I never realized that they would be that inexpensive, I nearly shit looking at the pictures of the Mosin Nagant. Wow, I’m very envious of your collection, that’s amazing.

NKH12's avatar

walther P38 german pistol (marked as a 1943 manufacture)

Dilettante's avatar

The one I most commonly encounter is the M-1 Carbine; but be careful, many of them are not vintage WW2 or Korea, but replicas, or versions manufactured much later by various arms companies.

Silhouette's avatar

I have a pair of German Lugers from my granddad.

FrankHebusSmith's avatar

The US government is still selling their M-1 carbines. I forget the site to go to, but they have a ton of them. Since WW2 was relatively recently and so massive as to include a few billion people, weapons from it shouldn’t be too hard to find.

My stepfather has a german Luger that he purchased at a trade show.

My grandmother is in possession of my grandfathers side arm and some japanese side arms/swords that were surrendered to him at the end of the war (he was a lieutenant).

The_Idler's avatar

I have a .177 CO2 powered copy of the Walther P38. I would love an original.

Nullo's avatar

Indeed. I’ve found M1s at every gun show that I’ve ever been to.
Interested persons, do yourselves a favor and avoid the Norinco knockoffs.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I have my grandfathers M1911 (not A1) pistol which he carried in WW1, passed on to my father who carried it in WW2, Korea and Vietnam. He passed it to me in 1977 and I carried it in Panama, Desert Storm and Afghanistan.
I also have a Finnish Moisin-Nagant sniper rifle (with the origional scope) used in the Winter War againsy the USSR, an M1903A4 sniper rifle (also with scope) from WW2, a Webley Mk4 revolver in .455 from WW1, a Kriegsmarine (long-barrel) Mauser pistol from WW1 era. I also have a Japanese Nambu pistol from WW2. My K31 Schmidt-Ruben was in service in WW2 but in Switzerland.
All of these except the Nambu are in good working order. Most of my collection though is pre-WW1 (Trap-door Springfield, Krag-Jorgensen, Snider, Martini-Henry, Gras, Dreyse and several muzzle loaders going back to the late 1600s).

The_Idler's avatar

That M1911 is probably one of the coolest paternal traditions I’ve yet heard.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@The_Idler It’s been the “family business” since the 17th century.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Spinel The Glisenti was an Italian pistol that fired a 9mm round less powerful than the standard 9mm round of today. There were many different versions of the 9mm pistol round in the WW1 era. Even if it will chamber (fit) a standard 9mm, it’s not safe to fire that load in the Glisenti.
The Wikipedia article on the Glisenti Model 1910 pistol gives more detail on the ammunition danger.

TexasDude's avatar

@Hydrogenbond, glad you like it. If you are 18 years old and have at least a decent bit of cash, you can buy any one of several WWI or WWII rifles. None of them are as cheap as they used to be, but the prices aren’t extravagant by any means. It’s a good idea to start buying them as soon as you can though, because the supply of surplus weapons is decreasing and demand is going nowhere but up. Go visit some gun shows and you’ll see what I mean. Also, google “curio and relic firearms” if you are interested in old guns.

Oh, and check this out.

Hydrogenbond's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard – Thank you for the info, I’ll do the best I can. I’m guessing that Nagant in the link you sent me is a replica?

TexasDude's avatar

@Hydrogenbond, nope, it’s real. Mosin Nagants (particular the 91/30 variants) are still dirt cheap some places. Mine is an M44 (the carbine version of the 91/30). My M44 cost me $99 at a gunshow after taxes, but they’ve gone up to about $110—$150 at most gun shows. Lee Enfields are $200+ now and the ammo they shoot is pretty expensive now, but you can buy a tin of 440 rounds for the Nagants for only $89. I have a few thousand rounds worth myself.

Nullo's avatar

The local gun shop can outfit you with a Mosin-Nagant 91 and a hermetically-sealed thousand-round tin of ammunition for a total of about $200.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard You did a beautiful job with that M-N. Your C96 will be sweet once you’ve got the work done on it.

TexasDude's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land, thank you, sir. A little easy-off oven cleaner and Rit dye goes a long way! It looks even better in person. I should be getting my C96 on the 22nd of this month, if all goes well, so I’ll be sure and show you pictures.

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