Guns from the 1940s

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by beforethefall, Apr 16, 2006.

  1. beforethefall

    beforethefall New Member

    Apr 16, 2006
    Hello folks!

    I'm currently studying the 1940s for a story project I'm making. There will be some parts involving guns, so what better place to ask about information than the firearms forum!
    I've tried to search for pictures and info on the net, but I really couldn't find anything worth using.

    It'd be great if anyone could help out with some names of guns that were around in the early 40s. Not specified to military. Anything will do.
    If you know where to get some pictures and general info about them, feel free to add them too.
    It's actually the pictures I need the most, since I'm going to draw them. The story will be in sort of a picture book format, for a more adult audience. (Not intended to sound dirty)

    Thanks for your time!

    (if this was put in the wrong section, I apologize)
  2. Before, asking what kinds of weapons were available in the 1940s is a very broad question indeed. Here are a few that might get you started, but there are literally hundreds more:

    German K98 Mausar bolt action rifle (main German rifle of WWI and WWII.
    American M1 Garand semi-automatic rifle (main battle rifle for the U.S. in WWII)
    Russian Mosin-Nagant bolt action rifle, models 38 and 44, among others, primary battle rifle of the Russians in WWII.
    Colt 1911 .45 ACP semi-automatic pistol, primary military sidearm of American forces in WWI and WWII.
    Japanese Arisaka Type 99 7.7mm bolt action rifle, primary Japanese military rifle of World War II.

    That's merely a small sampling. As for pictures, I would suggest you use Google Image search engine to find them. There are thousands on the Internet. Here is the link:

  3. beforethefall

    beforethefall New Member

    Apr 16, 2006
    Thanks alot for the info there. It's alot easier to find pictures now that I know exactly what to look for. Just searching "guns from 1940s" didn't work very well =P

    It'd be great if you could give me a couple of names of handguns from the time too. I'll be checking out the ones you sampled right away
  4. Bruce FLinch

    Bruce FLinch New Member

    Aug 27, 2005
    Bay Point, Kali..aka Gun Point
    Don't forget the Thompson sub-machine gun. 38 special revolvers were very popular, S & W type.
    Might suggest you go to a used book store. Probably find an old Gun Digest for $10.00, Lots of pictures & descriptions. Good Luck :) I think the Winchester mod 12 shotgun might fit in the category, too
  5. southernshooter

    southernshooter New Member

    Mar 5, 2006
    Deep South Mississippi
    I'm with Bruce The Thompson.(Tommy Gun) Just to brag on my city Al Capone had a house down here in Ocean Springs So did Elvis
  6. Before, besides the 1911 Colt, there were a myriad of revolvers and a few automatics commonly used as well. Here is a sampling:

    German Walther P-38 9mm auto, the most commonly carried side arm by the German military in WWII.

    The German P-08 Luger was also still in use, though it was not nearly as common as the P-38 Walther. The P-08 was much more common in WWI.

    The Russians primarily used the Nagant revolver Model 1895, a rather clumsy weapon, but effective. It was chambered for the 7.62x38R cartridge, which is essentially a .30 caliber round, a bit smaller in bullet diameter than the 9mm.

    On the homefront, civilian police, and some military, were issued the Smith and Wesson .38 revolvers, often the tried and true Military and Police model.

    Hope this helps.
  7. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

    Feb 23, 2001
    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    Hi beforethefall....welcome to TFF.

    For your purposes, here's a good website to go to:

    In the left hand column, you'll find a large number of pistols and rifles listed. Click on any one them and it'll bring up a picture and a short history of that firearm. A great many of them were used during the 1940's.
  8. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    You can also try Numrich, I THINK its A lot of the guns they list show schematics, and some give dates I THINK.

    Another good book woould be the NRA series of firearms assembly/dissassembly books. Mine is one book covering long guns and handguns. Each section has a couple of pages of dates, features, history, etc for each entry, I found it enlightening just to read through, and browse it all the time.

    You can also check the local library, and find a treasure trove of old books on hunting, and rifle shooting etc, many of which were written in the 40s!

    I just got done reading a book called "the Rifle Book" written by Jack O'Conner, a noted early gun writer, copyrighted 1949! It had tons of other info and pictures too.

    While we don't know what your "project" is, if it's civilian, any vintage Winchester shotgun, from the M97 to the Model 12, Remington Model 10s, Model 11s, right up to the 11-48 model, Ithace M37s, Savage/Stevens humpbacked pumps (various models) would be 40s models, for rifles, the bolt action was still only about 20 years or so into it's rise in the hunting world, you would probably only see Winchester M70s, or s"sporterized" 03 Springfields, mayb e a Savage or two, but MANY hunters used lever actions---a Winchester M94 or M95 or a Savage 99 would PROBABLY be pretty common for hunters.

    For Cops, besides the Thompson and the M97 or M12 riot guns, you would see many of them carrying 94 Winchesters, or a couple of various Winchester and Remington Semi-auto sporting carbines in .35 WSL or similar low powered cartridge.

    For handguns, it was pretty simple for the most common....45 ACP Colt Automatics, .380 or .32 Colt Pocket Automatics, S&W Model 10 .38 revolver, or else a Colt Single Action Army in .45 LC....if pre-war, after WWII it could be MANY types of surplus or European automatics in .32, .380 or 9mm.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2006
  9. IBFrank

    IBFrank New Member

    May 7, 2006
    So. Ohio
    Non-mil rifles like Remington, Savage, Harrington & Richardson, Marlin, Winchester, Colt's, Mossberg and many other American gun makers. Many were slowed, stopped or diverted to produce the weapons of war by the war effort but these names and a few others are still making fine firearms. Many non-gun producers like Singer Sewing Machines, Underwood Typewriters, Saginaw Steering Gear (GM) and others made rifles during the war like M1 Garands and M1 carbines. Chrysler & Ford made airplanes & tanks.
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